Market Porter Supperclub

A few months ago, I made the decision to make the difficult step to step away from supermarkets and find alternative solutions when it comes to buying food.

I wanted better ethics, better quality, and most importantly, I wanted to stop giving my money to corporations and instead, support local, independant people dedicating their life to improving the way food is produced and sold in the UK.

Market Porter Supperclub

“When we started Market Porter, we did it because the stuff we were buying in the supermarkets just wasn’t cutting it. We knew that there were people out there who were doing it better. People from across the UK who’ve made it their life’s work to care and get a kick from producing food that is so much better than just edible. People who deserve to get their produce into the hands of the wider British public.”

Needless to say, Market Porter’s moto resonates pretty strongly with me.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

You can take my words for it. Market Porter carefully selected produce is as good as it sounds.

But then again, you don’t have to.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Instead, you could let pictures of a recent dinner I attended do the talking…

Market Porter Supperclub

For their first-ever supperclub event, Market Porter teamed up with Young British Foodies 2015 Chef of the Year, Adam Rawson, for an unforgettable 7-course tasting menu, showcasing meat, cheese, charcuterie and chocolate from independent producers across the UK.

Market Porter Supperclub

The lovely Table Café restaurant, a champion in its own right when it comes to commitment to impeccable sourcing and quality British ingredients made for the perfect settings for the great British wonders to come…

Market Porter Supperclubmarket-porter-supperclub-16

Starting with a few super-local cocktails highlighting the complexity and versatility of Jensen’s Old Tom Gin, a beautiful spirit brewed in small batches using only traditional gin botanicals based on recipes from the 1840s.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Paired beautifully with Square Root fantastic soda range.

market-porter-supperclub-18Market Porter Supperclubmarket-porter-supperclub-19

All mixed expertly in front of an eager crowd, with results definitily going way beyond expectations!

Market Porter Supperclub

The London Collins (Jensen’s Old Tom, bitters, Meyer lemon soda).

The perfect balance between sweet and tart, and one that will steal any fresh, citrusy cocktail lover’s heart.

Market Porter Supperclub

The Britain’s Finest (Jensen’s Old Tom, Cocchi di Torino, Maraschino, orange bitters) was a bit more unexpected and possibly even better.

Market Porter Supperclub

Basically a gin cocktail masquerading as a whisky drink and doing so well at it it’d steal a great scotch’s thunder any day.

Market Porter Supperclub

Meanwhile in the (open) kitchen, Chef Rawson’s team were busy chopping, roasting, baking and making the most of Market Porter’s incredible offering.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Starting with a beautiful dish of Soft Highland Brie (from Highland Fine Cheeses) with oats, smoked russet apple and nasturtium.

Market Porter Supperclub

Now, as you already know, I’m the worse French person ever and I don’t actually eat cheese, but I took it upon myself to at least try this beauty (tough job eh?).

Market Porter Supperclub

And you know what? I LOVED IT!!

I was so subtle, and very un-brie like. Sweet and comforting, with every ingredient (crunchy, tart apple cubes, piquant nasturtium leaves, super textural oat granola and a caramelized apple puree so good I could eat bowlfuls of it at a time) bringing something to the table to make this simingly simple dish so much more than the sum of its elements.

Market Porter Supperclub

The next dish was the one I most had my eyes on: Pork cheeks (from Lakehaven Farm) with chervil root, shallot and watercress.

Market Porter Supperclub

A cheap, often under-estimated cut of meat that can proove so rewarding when cooked right.

Market Porter Supperclub

Which is just what Chef Rawson’s team did and it was love at first bite for me & absolutely everyone at the table.

The meat was super tender and juicy, yet there was a freshness to it I really didn’t expect from that dish.

Quite a brilliant surprise & a great reminder that underrated cuts are definitely worth a second look.

Market Porter Supperclub

Dorset air-dried beef (from Capreolus Fine Foods) with potato, rosemary and enoki mushroom.

Not quite as much of a crowd-pleaser than the previous dish, but possibly the most interesting one on the menu.

Market Porter Supperclub

Charcuterie is a difficult, demanding ingredient to work with as it’s so strong in flavour and tends to overpower any other produce it’s forced to share the plate with.

Pairing it with dashi & mushroom, which have similar, deeply umami flavours to that of cured beef, accentuated those notes, making the whole thing a challenging, yet fascinated dish.

Market Porter Supperclub

Roast chicken (from Merrifield Farm) with leek, Cornish blue (from Cornish Cheese Co) and tempura eel.

Market Porter Supperclub

Not my favourite dish (the blue cheese was very subtle, but I’m still not the biggest fan of the slightly flour-y texture).

The eel tempura was fantastic though, a bit like super fancy, complex-tasting chips. Simply divine.

Market Porter Supperclub

The last savoury dish, Gammon (from Lakehaven Farm) with egg, pineapple and chips, was highly anticipated, if only because unlike the rest of the menu, everyone sort of knew what to expect.

Market Porter Supperclub

Or at least, we all thought we did.

But of course, it wasn’t quite what anyone expected…

Market Porter Supperclub

Thick, salty gammon, crispy matchstick fries, rich orange egg yolk, chargrilled pineapple & HP brown sauce, it was all there in the plate, yet it couldn’t have tasted more different from the pub classic.

A refined, adult take on a childhood favourite and the ultimate nostalgia dish!

Market Porter Supperclub

The thin borders between sweet and savoury were further explored with the next dish, an ode to Ocelot‘s incredible Hebridean sea salt chocolate.

(seriously guys, if you’re into Lindt’s sea salt chocolate, get your hand of this one IMMEDIATELY, it’s THE BOMB!!)

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Much like the chocolate itself, the cookie & cream-inspired dessert, featuring a vibrant chocolate custard with cookie & cocoa nib crumbs and milk sauce, was deeply salty and savoury.

An absolute triumph if you ask me.

Market Porter Supperclub

Last but not least, alittle play on the iconic Custard Cream biscuit, served with a ganache mixing custard cream filling with Creighton’s white chocolate and balanced with tart preserved orange bits.

The ultimate indulgence to finish of a beautiful meal championing British finest ingredients.

Market Porter Supperclub

Sadly the pop-up was a very, very short affair (only two days with tickets selling like hotcakes), but a little birdie told me that there might be more coming up in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

And in the meantime, I strongly encourage you to treat yourself to a bar of that fantastic sea salt chocolate & a few more things from Market Porter incredible selection of amazing goodies from local, independant producers.

Meat, cheese, charcuterie, chocolate (and even a few Christmas goodies), they have it all and from what I tasted, I can voutch it’s all top notch quality and taste, right to the last morsel.

25/05/2017 edit – Market Porter has had a bit of a makeover and are now Heartier. They’re still the same friendly Market Porter bods, only better & heartier!

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Market Porter Supperclub

Halloween Monster Brookies

Sure you can buy them in the stores, but there’s something special and fun about making your own Halloween treats.

Halloween Monster Brookies | Cake + Whisky

As far as I’m concerned the spookiest day of the year is as good an excuse as any to bake a batch of favourite sweet treats… And everybody knows that brownies are the way to my heart.

Halloween Monster Brookies | Cake + Whisky

Now, I’m a big fan of the traditional recipe, but trust me when I say Brookies, the genius crossing between brownies and cookies, are next level good.

Halloween Monster Brookies | Cake + Whisky

Chewy, crumbly, super chocolate-y and just a tiny bit spooky, these Monster Brookies are the ultimate Halloween-win treat, and you definitely want a batch (or three) of those in your life ASAP!

Halloween Monster Brookies | Cake + Whisky

Halloween Monster Brookies (makes 6 monster-sized cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 120g 70% dark chocolate
  • 15g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 15g chocolate chips
  • 30g Smarties
  • a few drops dark food coloring (or, even better, a food-safe black pencil)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and combined, then remove from the heat.

3. In the meantime, combine the sugar, cornflour, baking powder and egg and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate-butter mixture and mix until well combined.

4. Spoon tablespoons of mixture onto baking trays lined with baking paper, making sure you leave enough space inbetween them (they spread A LOT while baking). Dot the top of the cookies with the chocolate chips and Smarties.

5. Bake for 12-13 min in the preheated oven, then set aside to cool before drawing eyes using the black food colouring.

Halloween Monster Brookies

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Finding fun & easy Halloween-themed dishes that are not laced with sugar can be quite the challenge.

Everything I’ve come across sofar has been of the ‘candy-upcycling’ variety (guilty as charged), but in the wholesome, real-food department, there isn’t so much to stick your fangs in…

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

I’m not sure why that is though, as a few tricks are enough to transform beautiful, healthy everyday dinner dishes into fantastic Halloween centre-pieces.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Proof if you ever needed one with these pesto-studded, couscous- & veggie-filled vegetarian stuffed peppers.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Very quick & super easy to prep, healthy and satisfying all at once, they’re all treat & no tricks!

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (vegan version included) (served 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 orange peppers
  • 100g Israeli couscous
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 big carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pesto (I used this one from Borough Olives)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, shredded (skip for a vegan version)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C

2. Cut the tops of the orange peppers and remove the core & seeds. Using a sharp knife, carefully carve eyes and a mouth in each of them, season the inside of each pepper with salt & pepper, then set aside.

3. Cook the couscous in boiling salted water according to packaging instruction, then drain and set aside to cool.

4. Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, then add the chopped yellow pepper, onion, chilli pepper and carrot and cook until soft and golden.

5. In a big bowl, mix together the cooked couscous, vegetables, pesto, mozzarella and spices. Season to taste and mix thoroughly.

6. Stuff the peppers with the couscous mixture, place the tops back on and place the peppers in an oven-proof dish.

7. Bake for 40 min. Serve immediately (they’re especially great with a nice green salad on the side).

PS: You can also make the whole thing in advance, in which case you’ll want to slightly reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes, and stick the dish into a hot oven (180°C or so) for 10-15 min to re-heat.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (+vegan version!)

Halloween Cocktail – Bloody Ghoul’s Goblet

Bonfires burning & bright pumpkin faces in the night…

Witches, ghosts, vampires & zombies gathering in the shadows…

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

It’s definitely time to get ready for the most frightful night of the year!

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

Line up the candy apples, befriend a few spiders, get working on the pumpkin carving & dust the old potion book…

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

… For there’s no Halloween party without a spooky (witches’) brew of a Halloween cocktail!

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

My elixir of choice? How about a Bloody Ghoul’s Goblet*?!

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

The perfect mix of sweet & sour, this spooky serve, inspired by thebar.com Smirnoff Ghoul’s Goblet, is sure to cast a spell on your guests!

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

Just don’t be alarmed when you see some creepy creatures at the bottom of your glass, for if you don’t garnish drinks with worms & tarantula brains on Halloween, then when?

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

Bloody Ghoul’s Goblet (serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 35ml Tanqueray gin
  • 150ml ginger ale
  • 2 slices blood orange + juice of 1/4
  • a few drops red food colouring
  • Gummy worm sweets, mini plastic spiders, pomegranate seeds & small blackberries

1. Fill an ice tray with gummy worms sweets, plastic spiders & small blackberries (a few to each square) and add water. Add a few drops of food colouring, then freeze.

2. Add 2–3 gummy worm sweet ice cubes to a tumbler glass.

3. Pour Tanqueray gin into the tumbler, add the blood orange juice and top with ginger ale.

4. Garnish with blood orange slices and pomegranate seeds & serve immediately.

PIN FOR LATER:

Bloody Ghoul's Goblet Halloween Cocktail | Cake + Whisky

* This post was sponsored by thebar.com and the featured recipe was inspired by their Smirnoff Ghoul’s Goblet but all text, pictures and Halloween cocktail excitement my own.

Halloween Cocktail – Bloody Ghoul’s Goblet

Halloween Inspiration

This is Halloween! This is Halloween!

Piles of pumpkins, flying crisp white sheets, black cats and spiders aplenty, there’s no doubt about it: the scariest night of the year is upon us!

As a kid, Halloween was one of my favourite holidays.

The candy, the candles, the spookiness, I loved it all… and to some extend, I still do & there’s hardly anything making me more excited than a good Hallow’s Eve-inspired moodboard!

After all, ‘black is such a happy colour‘!

Halloween Inspiration | Cake + Whisky

Image sources: 1. Unknown – 2. via Myopia – 3. via The Davy Graves Aesthetic – 4. The Jewels of New York – 5. Unknown – 6. Dividing ME

Halloween Inspiration | Cake + Whisky

Image source: As Above So Below

Halloween Inspiration | Cake + Whisky

Image sources: 1. Unknown – 2. via Camille Styles – 3. – 4. The Rover Boutique – 5. via Fortune Tellers & Dreamcatchers – 6. via DARK

Do you guys have any exciting plans this Halloween? Mine include eating too much candy (any excuse I get, I use!), watching spooky movies and maybe befriending a black cat (or twelve)!

Halloween Inspiration

Absurd Bird, Soho

I first fell in love with Deep South American classics when we visited New Orleans a bit over a year ago.

The weather this past few day had me reminissing about that trip, craving the heat, the Bourbon Street atmosphere, the music, and most of all, the food!

Luckily, there’s no food you can’t find in London, and if you’re after some soul-warming American South comfort food, I know just the place!

Absurd Bird restaurant, Soho, London

Nestled at the heart of always bubbly Soho, Absurd Bird feels like a little slice of the Deep South, with all the contradictions it involves.

Nostalgic and modern, humble and sophisticated, comfortable and innovative…

Absurd Bird, Soho, London Absurd Bird, Soho, London

Upstairs is all about the open kitchen and Absurd Bird’s signature Moonshine lampshades, but downstairs is the true hidden gem.

Absurd Bird restaurant, Soho, London Absurd Bird restaurant, Soho, London

An inviting basement den, complete with an intimate hideaway bar and cosy dining space, all absolutely NOLA-worthy…

The cocktails truly live up to the expectations as well.

Absurd Bird, Soho

Moonshine’s Mary

A fiery take on the bloody classic made with the restaurant own distilled Absurd Moonshine.

Absurd Bird, Soho

Hillbilly Iced Tea (Monshine, Lipton peach iced tea, syrup, lemon juice)

A light & refereshing drink that’s perfect to accompany all the spicy, crispy deliciousness to come.

Absurd Bird, Soho Absurd Bird, Soho

Starting with an all-round favourite: the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, served with giant fried tortilla chips.

Absurd Bird, Soho Absurd Bird, Soho

Creamy & zingy, this classic American dip is absolutely addictive and perfect for sharing!

Absurd Bird, SohoAbsurd Bird, Soho

Jalapeno Cheese Biscuits with apple butter

Crumbly, cheesy and spicy, they’re an absolute triumph.

Not that it takes away from the star of the show at Absurd Bird.

Absurd Bird, Soho

The chicken.

Superstar, free-range chicken from Fosse Meadows farm, all marinated in Absurd Bird’s secret sauces and cooked in a variety of ways, each more delicious than the next.

Absurd Bird, Soho

The wings come in 5 different flavours, ranging from the classic Crispy fried buttermilk version to the more unexpected Smoked garlic, parmesan & lemon one and seriously fiery Buffalo wings.

Absurd Bird, Soho

All are finger-licking good, the perfect balance of super moist chicken, crispy batter & amazing sauces.

The kind of thing you can’t just wing!

Absurd Bird, Soho

Big Mama’s Favourite

A generous helping of perfectly-cooked, Southern style smoked chicken served with sweet gravy

Chicken baos at Absurd Bird, Soho Chicken baos at Absurd Bird, Soho

Dirty Buns (fried chicken, spicy mayo and pickle served in sweet milk buns)

Chicken &Waffle at Absurd Bird, Soho Chicken &Waffle at Absurd Bird, Soho

Chicken and Waffles with smoked sweet gravy & maple syrup

Absurd Bird, Soho

Popcorn chicken waffle cone.

A quirky, genius take on the chicken wrap, complete with fresh tomato, salad and a generous drizzle of spicy mayo.

Chicken Sliders at Absurd Bird, Soho

Fried Chicken Sliders (with bacon jam, pimento cheese, potato bun).

An obvious winner.

 

Especially when served alongside some irresistible sides…

Absurd Bird, Soho

French fries and Spicy sweet potato fries

The kind that’d give the old ‘Fries before guys’ thing a whole lot of sense!

Absurd Bird, Soho Absurd Bird, Soho

Jalapeno Mac & Cheese 

Almost an exact twin to my own recipe and an absolute must-order.

Sweet potato bake at Absurd Bird, Soho Sweet potato bake at Absurd Bird, Soho

…and the divisive Sweet potato bake with toasted marshmallows (not really my thing, but if you’re into that sort of things, go for it!)

absurd-bird-soho-32 Absurd Bird restaurant, Soho, London

All topped off with insanely good, home-baked desserts, including Crack Pie (just as addictive as the name suggests), a rich & indulgent Peanut Butter Cheese Cake (perfect for sharing) and impossible-to-resist warm Choc Chip Cookies, served with the cutest mini milk bottle.

The (Deep South) American dream, in dessert form and definitely one of the many, many reasons to chicken Absurd Bird menu!

I’m sure you won’t have too much difficulty finding friends to come along, the place’s an absolute chick magnet, but if you do go with a big(ish) group, make sure you book ahead!

Absurd Bird, 5 Peter Street, London W1F 0AH

Absurd Bird, Soho

LoveScotch pop-up at The Drift

Neat, on ice or with soda.

That’s pretty much the only options you have when it comes to Scotch whisky.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Or rather, had, before the #Lovescotch pop-up opened.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

An exclusive partnership between swanky City restaurant The Drift and upscale spirit brand Diageo, Lovescotch aims at proving that Scotch is much more versatile that it’s given credit for.

Until March 2017, you can get stuck into ‘Scotchtail’ (understand classic cocktails with a whisky twist) masterclasses and experiential tasting and just generally soak up the gorgeous surroundings.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

I mean, how pretty does the pop-up look? Very antique-store meets boudoir, super-intimate and just my kind of place.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Add in the opportunity to experiment with cocktails you already know & love (each with an exciting twist!) and you’re in for a treat from up North!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

The Scotchtail Masterclasses shows the diversity of Scotch by experimenting with it in classic cocktails, where traditionally other spirits would have been used.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Combining Johnnie Walker Gold, passionfruit liqueur, vanilla & pineapple juice and served with a Champagne chaser, the Goldmember is a clever take on The Drift’s Pornstar Martini bestseller.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

The same tangy flavour as the classic, but with a more grown-up, complex finish – the perfect way to make any whisky-hater change their mind!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

And a great accompaniment to The Drift’s generous Meat Platter!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Piled high with chicken Satay skewers served with smooth peanut sauce, mini beef sliders, fiery chorizo, more-ish Scotch egg, served alongside piping hot fries and onion rings and unbelievably addictive smoked paprika mayo…

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

But the fun doesn’t stop there, there’s still a world of Scotchtails to try!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

My favourite was the Seven Flowers, a citrusy mix of Haig Clubman scotch, elderflower syrup and lemon juice, all topped with Champagne.

Sweet, sour and incredibly elegant.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

And incredibly easy to make, should you want to give it a go: just pour, shake, sieve and serve!

Or you know, let the amazing people at The Drift do it for you! Whether you’re a Mojito fan, an Espresso Martini aficionado, a Pornstar Martini lover, or a French 75 addict, LoveScotch is really quite a neat place to be.

Masterclasses are available for private bookings and would make for the perfect start to a girls’ night out (or a brilliant way to switch up the office’s traditional Christmas party for something a bit more un-usual!).

#LoveScotch pop-up at The Drift / until March 2017 / More information on The Drift’s website

The Drift, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

*I got invited by The Drift to try out the #Lovescotch pop-up but all cocktail lovin’ and slider addiction my own.

LoveScotch pop-up at The Drift