2 ingredient soy-roasted nuts

I love cooking. That’s what I spend most of my free time doing and I find it extremely relaxing and rewarding.

But there are days when it hardly feels it’s worth the troubles and all I want is something tasty to munch on while watching re-runs of my favourite series.

Super easy 2 ingredient Soy-Roasted nuts | Cake + Whisky

These super-easy, 2 ingredient soy-roasted nuts are dream snack material; salty and crunchy just like the very best of supermarket-bought nuts, but with a more complex, deep savoury flavour.

And they barely take any time (or effort) to make. Merely a bit of patience. Which you can exercise while lying on a sofa and watching Gossip Girl (yes, AGAIN!), so it’s all well and good.

Ingredients: 140g of cashew nuts (or blanched almonds), 30 mL soy sauce

1. Put the nuts and soy sauce together in a box.

2. Close the lid and give it a good shake. Leave it to rest for 1-2 days, shaking it again whenever you think of it.

3. Once all the liquid has been absorbed by the nuts, bake them for about 20 minutes at 150°C.

What’s your favourite snack? Hope you’ll be as nuts about those as I am! ??

 

 

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2 ingredient soy-roasted nuts

Bocca di Luppo

Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

Since it’s been so succesful on her, I thought I might try the Italian diet for myself with a visit to one of London’s favourite Italian restaurants: Bocca di Luppo.

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

Yes, getting a table is difficult. That’s the problem with good food: it attracks the crowds.

But if you’re at the door right when it opens, it should be too much of a problem (good to know if you’re on the lookout for some pre-theatre dinner!)

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

Along with the table came a basket of Italian breads and a few olives to nibble on. Carb paradise I hear you say?

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + WhiskyBocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

The Sea bream carpaccio with orange and rosemary was truly magnificent and most probably my favourite dish that night.

I mean, raw fish, citrus and pesto all in one dish? It’s like they didn’t even give me a chance not to fall in love with it.

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

The Cured beef carpaccio with rocket and shaved parmesan was another highlight, thanks to the deep savoury notes and the melt-in-the-mouth quality of the beef.

A definite must-order for meat lovers this one!

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

Even better with a couple of glasses of wine…

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

Artichoke alla giudia (deep-fried) was both wonderfully beautiful (doesn’t it look just like a camelia flower? So Chanel!) and incredibly more-ish.

And don’t even get me started on the Buffalo mozzarella bocconcini.

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

Yes, that IS indeed mini balls of mozzarella that have bean crumbed and then deep-fried.

Bottomline is: order those. But I doubt I really needed to tell you that, did I?

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

I must admit I was a little scared of trying the Fried Lamb Chop with peaches and rosemary but I really shouldn’t have been.

Clearly, the guys at Bocca di Luppo know what they’re doing if they can pull off this kind of weird combination.

And how brilliant is tempura rosemary eh? #BorderlineGenius

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + WhiskyBocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

On the other end of the risky choice spectrum was the Tagliatelle with Duck Ragù.

Basically the DNA of Italian cuisine and an absolute must-order.

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

But do make sure you keep a bit of room for dessert, because they’re truly spectacular.

We skipped the Gelupo ice cream (tough job!) but the Bonet chocolate, coffee, amaretti, caramel and rum pudding was well worth the sacrifice.

Indulgence on a plate is what it should be called, I’m telling you.

Bocca di Luppo, Italian restaurant, London | Cake + Whisky

Especially when it comes with Caffe alla nocciola (with egg yolk and hazelnut).

A match made in heaven and one I truly encourage you to try.

Together with literally EVERYTHING ELSE on the menu.

Bocca di Luppo12 Archer St, London W1D 7BB Bocca Di Lupo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bocca di Luppo

Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake

I don’t have many back to school rituals but one thing I always, always crave when Autumn comes around and the leaves turn red is a classic lemon and poppy seed cake.

It might have something to do with the fact that it’s always been a basic in my house when I was growing up (and that the first cake I ever baked by myself was actually a version of this very recipe…).

Or maybe it’s just because the said recipe is absolutely perfect: very moist and extremely versatile, and so easy I don’t even believe it’s possible to mess it up EVER (I’ve tried and still haven’t managed).

Lemon and Poppy Seed cake | Cake + Whisky

Ingredients: 3 eggs, 170g granulated sugar, 160g self-raising flour, 150g melted butter, pinch of salt, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2 tsp poppy seeds

1. Whisk together the eggs and the sugar

2. Add the flour and the salt and mix thouroughly

3. Pour in the butter and mix again

4. Add the lemon zest and juice and the poppy seeds and mix thouroughly once more

5. Bake for 45 min at 180°C

P.S: Don’t feel like lemon and poppy seed? Then skip them and add litterally ANYTHING ELSE you want instead!

What do you say? Best cake recipe ever or what? 

Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake

Plum crumble with hazelnuts

Alright. I had my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Which means it’s officially Autumn (yes, this IS the scientific way to date the beginning of Autumn, didn’t you know?) ??

Which of course means Autumn-ey cakes (because obviously). With a liberal sprinkle of cinnamon in all of them (re-obviously).

Plum & Hazelnut Crumble | Cake + Whisky

 

And my Sunday (Cake Day!) Plum crumble with hazelnuts was no exception!

Plum & Hazelnut Crumble | Cake + Whisky

Ingredients (serves 4): 400-450g red plums, 25g honey, 15mL lemon juice, 30g flour, 20g sugar, 10g butter, sprinkle of cinnamon, 40g hazelnuts

1. Put your hazelnuts in a mortar and crush them until you get small-ish pieces (it doesn’t have to be super fine as this is a rather rustic recipe)

2. Combine the flour, sugar and butter together in a bowl (you should get a rather fine, sand-like crumble dough). Mix in the cinnamon and the hazelnuts.

3. Cut your plums in 8 and put them in ramequins (or a bigger dish). Add the honey and lemon juice on top.

4. Top with the crumble and bake for about 30 min at 180°C.

Plum & Hazelnut Crumble | Cake + Whisky

I highly recommend you eat them still warm (and maybe with a cheeky scoop or two of vanilla ice cream?).

What’s your go-to Autumn recipe? 

 

Plum crumble with hazelnuts

Le Méridien Piccadilly Afternoon Tea and Unlock London by RIBAPix

Having Afternoon Tea has been at the very top of my London Bucket List for quite a while now.

I mean, what is there not to love about a meal that’s basically cake, with a few bits around it?

Nothing. My point exactly.

So when Le Méridien Piccadilly and The Royal Institute of British Architects asked if I’d like to join them for a cake-and-scone-fuelled presentation of their current collaboration, a London-centric, architecture pictures exibition named Unlock London, I could barely stopped jumping all over the place (I was THAT close to add heart-eyed emojis to the RSVP email to be honest…)!

But is there any better reason to get overexcited than the prospect of a few of my favourite things (architecture pictures, bloggers and errrrr… cake!) all in one room?

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Le Méridien Terrace Grill & Bar is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. Nestled on the second floor of the landmark Piccadilly hotel, there’s so much to love about it, starting with the incredible glass ceiling.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The very well-stocked bar must certainly be another (and I heard the terrace itself is one of the best places for a drink come summer…) but I’ll have to leave those for another day.  

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

For the time being, I was far too busy contemplating the three-tiered platter that had just been put in front of me…

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Luckily I wasn’t the only blogger in the room and nobody touched a thing until we all took pictures to our heart’s content!

Then it was time for a London-inspired feast!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Starting with tea (obviously).

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The Jing selection available at Le Méridien is both impressive and interesting and it left many in our group wondering which one they should go for.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

But I knew it’d have to go for the Whole Rosebud tea as it is one of my favourites and it’s not often you actually find it on a tea menu!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Next came a selection of finger sandwiches (of which my favourite had to be the Smoked salmon one)

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Then there were scones (both plain and with raisins).

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

And clotted cream of course.

Since I’m quite a newbie at that whole afternoon tea ritual, I obviously had no clue as to what the proper order to pile cream and jam up was, but thanksfully, I had an expert sitting right by my side.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

We debated on the topic for a little while before deciding that jam on top was more Instagramable (definitely a word) and all embrassed our new-found less-than-traditional way to eat scones!

But the best was still to come!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The cakes!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

A whole platter of them, even! 

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The ‘Helen of Troy’ poppy seed cake (considered to be the most beautiful cake of the 1930s) was definitely the prettiest of the bunch.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

But if you want to win my heart, there’s no better way than a few of Traditional Bakewell tarts!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

After indulging in all those treats, we learnt a bit more about the exibition that inspired them all: Unlock London.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The exibition showcases a selection of stunning photographs from the 1.5 million held in the Royal Institute of British Architects’ massive picture library (which is now available to browse online! ?).

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Left: St Pancras Station, Euston Road, London (1949) | Right: Paramount & Plaza cinema, Lower Regent Street, London (1968)

Taken by leading architectural photographers from the 1930s to 1960s, these images show iconic London landmarks as well as some less well known or long since vanished.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLeft: Leisure Kitchen Equipment, Regent Street, London (1954) | Right: Night street cleaning near St Paul’s Cathedral, City of London (1957)Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyEscalator, St John’s Wood London Underground Station, Wellington Road, London (1940)Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskySt Pancras Station, Euston Road, London (1949)

Last but not least, we went on a little tour of the hotel, which ended up in the lovely Oak RoomLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyPowder pink from the floor to the ceiling with touches of gold here and there, it’s a little girl’s dream come true. Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyBut we were not there to play dolls! Instead, we had a bit of a photography workshop.

After picking our favourite from a selection, we had to give architectural photography a go while trying to explore angles, lighting, reflection…

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

I went for a bit of a darker take of the pink room to try and get details to pop up…

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyAnd ended up discovering that chair backs might very well be your best friend when trying to frame architectural details…

Tea, cake, bloggers and fun; very much my kind of afternoon!

Want to experience Le Méridien Piccadilly’s Afternoon Tea for yourself (and take a look at those stunning pictures when you’re at it)?

What about you say you’re coming from me and bag yourself a 20% discount in the process and send me cake pictures on Instagram? Deal?

Unlock London at Le Méridien Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly, London W1J 0BH
Terrace Grill & Bar - Le Meridien Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Méridien Piccadilly Afternoon Tea and Unlock London by RIBAPix

London’s Dîner en Blanc 2015

There are events that look so beautiful they almost not feel real. From the very first time I read about Le Dîner en Blanc, I knew it would be one of those.

Launched by a Frenchman returning to Paris 27 year ago, the event has since grown and thousands of people attend one of the worldwide events each year. From Paris to New York, Cape Town, Brisbane and Copenhagen, every city wants to host their version of the chic-est picnic of the year.

And with a tradition of posh picnics as soon as the sun shines, London‘s first Dîner en Blanc was set to be a massive success.

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

Early in the evening, guests, dressed in white from head-to-toe, gathered at a few handpicked locations around town…

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + WhiskyDîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

… before heading to the secret location the Dîner will be held at, causing a lot of confusion and wondering everywhere they pass by!

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

Secrecy is key in building anticipation, which is why everyone only finds out where it’s all going to be at the very last minute!

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + WhiskyDîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

There truly is something quite magical in hundreds of people dressed in white all flocking to the same venue.

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + WhiskyDîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

I heard people saying it must be a wedding, or coming to me asking what we were all up to… One thing is sure, it does leave everyone around wondering!

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + WhiskyDîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

Once you finally arrive, it’s time for a few well-deserved selfies…

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + WhiskyDîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

… as well as setting the tables and getting the picnic party started!

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + WhiskyDîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

On that point, some are more organised than others…

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

(others being me, quite obviously! But in my defense, it was my very first Dîner en Blanc!)

Dîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + WhiskyDîner en Blanc London 2015 | Cake + Whisky

Actually, it didn’t look all that bad once I finished putting it all in order! There was salad and lemonade (and a few cheeky chocolate puddings as well!)…

Diner Blanc London 2015 officalDiner Blanc London 2015 officalAfter dinner, we lit sparklers, ate cake, danced and drank wine until late in the night.

The brightest party of the year? I sure think so!

 

London’s Dîner en Blanc 2015

Radicals and Victuallers

Four-day weeks are always so confusing to me. I’m not sure what exactly my brain is so confused about, but I seem to never know which day it is, and for some reason, they seem longer than regular weeks (#nonsense).

But there definitely are silver linings to them. First of all, you get an extra day of weekend. Also, the next weekend is one day closer to the beginning than it is on regular weeks.

Which in my (admittedly food-obsessed) brain only means one thing: I’m one day closer to brunch day yay!

Obviously, the discovery of the little gem that is Radicals and Victuallers makes things even more exciting on that point…

Radicals & Victuallers restaurant review, London | Cake + Whisky

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Radicals and Victuallers