Blackcurrant & Apple Bircher Muesli (Vegan)

I am not a morning person.

No matter how early I go to bed, or how long I sleep, leaving my bed is always a challenge and I’m the kind to hit the snooze button several times in a row, every single morning.

Blackcurrant & Apple Bircher Muesli (Vegan, Dairy Free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Needless to say that, the ol’ ‘sleeping a few more minutes vs breakfast’ dilemna isn’t really a thing in my house.

It’s sleeping all the way.

Until the very last minute.

Then running around like a headless chicken trying to get showered/dressed/tooth-brushed.

And -if I’ve been organised enough- grabbing a jar of homemade bircher muesli from the fridge before running out of the door to make it to the office on time.

Blackcurrant & Apple Bircher Muesli (Vegan, Dairy Free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

As far as I’m concerned, bircher muesli is a bit of a life (and growling belly come 10am) saver.

Blackcurrant & Apple Bircher Muesli (Vegan, Dairy Free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

It takes minutes to make (and you can do it while watching TV and then there’s nothing left to do in the morning!).

Plus it’s super healthy (hello, protein, complex carb, good fat and vitamin powerhouse!) and SOOOO satisfying.

Quite honestly the berry best on-the-go breakfast around!

Blackcurrant & Apple Bircher Muesli (Vegan, Dairy Free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:23]

More make-ahead breakfast recipes

Paleo Granola (V, GF)

Lemon Drizzle Porridge (Vegan, dairy free, GF)

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake (V)

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Blackcurrant & Apple Bircher Muesli (Vegan)

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one way to make chocolate mousse.

No whipped cream, no butter, no nothing. Very fresh eggs and really good quality chocolate and that’s it.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Unless of course you’re making vegan chocolate mousse.

Which you really should because:

  1. It’s a fantastic way to use aquafaba (aka. the thick-ish, yellow-ish liquid your pour down the drain whenever you use canned chickpeas). Take that, food waste!
  2. It’s delicious. And no, it doesn’t taste like hummus.
  3. It’s so simple (only 3 ingredients!) yet as indulgent as the real deal!
  4. You won’t believe it works until you’ve tried it anyway, will you?

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

But once you’ve seen the magic of turning bean brine into fluffy goodness and turned that into amazing vegan chocolate mousse, I can garantee you’ll wonder where such a genius concept had bean hidding!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

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More vegan pudding recipes

Sticky Toffee Porridge (Vegan, GF)

Pink Fruit Salad (Vegan, GF, paleo)

Strawberries & (Coconut) Cream (Vegan, GF, paleo)

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

10 tips to make the most of your trip to the farmers’ market

The first time I visited London’s Borough Market, I remember coming back home empty handed.

There was simply too much to take in, too many possibilities in front of me and I couldn’t make a choice.

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

The first time I visited Barcelona’s world-famous Boqueria market, the same thing happened.

And then, right before Bastille Day, I was lucky enough to attend a private tour of the Borough market with demo chef Luke Robinson, who showed us around and shared his top tips to shop around the market.

And that’s when it hit me: buying produce at the farmers’ market is not as obvious as it appears and a few farmers’ market tips go a long way to find the best produce and make the most of your trip!

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

1. Go early

The early bird gets the worm. This is especially true at the farmers’ market.

The crowds much more sparse, produce is fresher when it hasn’t sit in the sun/cold for a few hours and you’ll also avoid the risk of the produce you really wanted to have run out.

So check the opening hours, take a big nice latte along and head on down early & bright!

2. Plan ahead

Whether you want to go all in by doing all the meal planning heavy-lifting ahead of your farmers’ market trip is entirely up to you. If you go for this option, make sure you compile (and take to the market!) a grocery list.

One thing you definitely want to think about beforehands though is the quantity of produce you’ll need and whether any impulse buy is a good idea.

How much will you’ll cook that week? How many people are you feeding? Do you want to (and can you) freeze any leftovers or will they need to be eaten soon?

Asking yourself those questions will help you make sure you buy enough food without wasting any of it.

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

3. Shop around

At the market, it’s quite often the case that a few stalls offer the same type of produce.

If that’s the case, it’s always a good idea to take a stroll around to check for freshness, quality and prices before you start shopping.

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

4. Follow the seasons

One of the main advantages of shopping at the market is the availability of fresh, local, seasonal produce.

It’s no secret that seasonal produce tastes better and, more often than not, is cheaper than out of season alternatives.

But while we’re all roughly aware of fruit & vegetable season, fish, meat and even flowers (!) have seasons too, and markets’ merchants are always happy to show you what’s good at any point in time.

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

5. Trust the queues…

Most farmers’ market rely on regulars’ customs.

Which means the people around you most likely know their way around the market, and therefore know who has the best meat/fish/vegetable/bread…

6. … And your nose!

When it comes to finding the best produce, your nose is your best friend.

Fish shouldn’t smell fishy. Fruit, especially berries, melons and tomatoes should be fragrant. And I am still to meet anyone who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread…

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

7. When in doubt, ask!

Farmers’ market merchants are knowledgeable professionals and you should absolutely make the most of it.

Want to know what’s truly sensational this week? Unsure about which cut of meat to choose or how to cook it? Not sure you can quite fillet a fish on your own?

Don’t be shy and ask way! You’ll be surprise how much helpful advice, useful services and inspiration you’ll get that way.

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

8. Don’t be scared to try something new

While you should definitely not buy each and every alien thing you see at the market, a little something new here and there never hurt anybody (and absolutely helps keeping the creative juices flowing!).

Heirloom varieties, uncommon produce, rare spices, there are many ways to think outside the box and you should take full advantage of it!

9. Look out for special events

On top of their regular schedule, some markets also hold special events that are always worth taking a look at.

From weekly cooking demos (if you’re ever near the Borough market on a Thursday…) and tours, to annual events and Christmas specials, make sure you keep an eye out for those as they’ll allow you to see your local market with fresh eyes!

10 Farmers' Market Tips • Cake + Whisky

10. Always reward yourself with some celebratory baked goods!

Because let’s face it, if you don’t come home with a freshly-baked all-butter croissant, a crunchy baguette or a bag of artisan doughnuts, have you even really been to the farmers’ market?

What’s your top tip to make the most of a trip to the market? Answer on a croissant-filled brown paper bag or in the comments below!

More London adventures & tips

A local’s guide to Angel Islington

5 things to do in London before summer is over

30 regional French dishes you must try (& where to eat them in London)

What to do in London when it rains

Exploring London’s Bankside

10 tips to make the most of your trip to the farmers’ market

Vanilla Lemon Posset (V, GF)

When it comes to dessert, I love a good chocolate cake. I have a thing for anything raspberry. I find it hard to resist a gooey brownie.

But my one true love are lemon puddings.

Vanilla Lemon Posset (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

There’s something about zesty, creamy citrus desserts that simply makes my heart sing.

My absolute fave is a good (aka my dad’s) lemon tart (with no meringue), but I’m also quite partial to a beautiful, just set lemon posset.

Vanilla Lemon Posset (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

The first time I tasted a lemon posset was at my former local The Pig & Butcher.

It was love at first bite.

Vanilla Lemon Posset (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Silky smooth, super light and tart, with just a hint of vanilla, this recipe is just as good.

The zest.

So, if life gives you lemons… give it a go!

Vanilla Lemon Posset (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

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More easy pudding recipes

Classic Chocolate Mousse (V, GF, dairy free)

Orange Salad with Spiced Cranberry (Vegan, GF, dairy free)

Mojito Lemon Curd (V, GF)

Vanilla Lemon Posset (V, GF)

Mustard & Onion Quiche (V)

Like any self-respecting French person, I loooooooove onions.

In a borderline-obsessed, sneak-them-into-every-recipe, don’t-know-what-to-do-without-them-how-else-do-you-build-flavour sort of way.

And I love soup about as much.

Mustard & Onion Quiche (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

And yet I don’t like onion soup.

Which makes no sense, and, once added to the not liking cheese thing, makes me the worst French person to have ever walked this planet.

Mustard & Onion Quiche (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

And then, to put the cherry on top of this whole onion & soup & onion soup non-sense, there’s the fact that I absolutely ADORE onion quiche even though it tastes exactly like French onion soup that would have been encrusted in the most crumbly, delicate shortcrust pastry.

Mustard & Onion Quiche (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

I don’t really know what to say, other that my onion quiche situation makes absolutely no sense.

But then again, does it really matter?

Rhetorical quichetion! When food’s that good, of course it doesn’t!

Mustard & Onion Quiche (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:20]

Mustard & Onion Quiche (V)

How to make shortcrust pastry

I am the laziest of cooks.

If there’s an easier way to do something, I will figure it out; if there’s a shortcut, I will find it.

How to make Shortcrust Pastry • Cooking Basics • Cake + Whisky

As long as it’s no compromise on flavours, that is.

And when it comes to tarts and quiches and that sort of thing, Jus-Rol is absolutely not the one.

How to make Shortcrust Pastry • Cooking Basics • Cake + Whisky

As this country (or at least, my teeny-tiny local supermarkets) doesn’t seem to have reach the ready-made full-butter pastry stage yet, so I’ve had to come to terms with making my own shortcrust pastry.

How to make Shortcrust Pastry • Cooking Basics • Cake + Whisky

The good news is: it’s very easy to do it yourself, takes just a few minutes, requires no weird/unusual/I’ll-have-to-run-to-the-shop-for-this ingredients and results in the most delicious, buttery and crumbly shortcrust pastry I’ve ever had.

Simply fan-tart-stic!

How to make Shortcrust Pastry • Cooking Basics • Cake + Whisky

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What to make with your homemade shortcrust pastry

Provencal Tomato Tart (V)

Spring Vegetable Tart (V)

How to make shortcrust pastry

30 Regional French Dishes You Must Try (& where to eat them in London)

When it comes to French food, there are the classics everyone knows, and then there is the rest.

As a matter of fact, the world famous snails and frogs’ legs aren’t what French people eat on a regular basis.

Instead, the vast majority of French cuisine is a regional affair.

From the fish and tomato heavy diet in the South, to much cheesier affairs in the mountains, and duck every way in the South West, there’s much more to French food than your regular café might have you believe.

Below is a list of 30 lesser-known regional French dishes that are worth ditching up your usual steak-frites for!

1. Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew. It was originally made by Marseille fishermen to use the fish they were unable to sell at the market.

The traditional version includes at least three kinds of fish, and there usually is some seafood inthere as well. Vegetables and potatoes are also simmered in the broth. The whole lot is served with rouille (a spicy, saffron and chilli infused mayonnaise) and grilled bread.

Try it at: Brasserie Zédel, as well as many other London restaurants including popular chain Café Rouge and Brasserie Blanc.

2. Baeckeoffe

Typical in the French region of Alsace, baeckeoffe (“baker’s oven”) is a mix of sliced potatoes, onions, mutton, beef and pork which have been marinated overnight in white wine and juniper and slow-cooked in a sealed ceramic casserole dish.

The dish was a way for French women to have something to put on the table on laundry day. In the morning, they would drop the pots off at the baker, who would cook it in his oven during the day and the children would pick it up on their way back from school.

Try it at: Brasserie Zédel, where it’s the dish of the day on Tuesdays.

3. Canard au sang (ou à la presse)

Canard au sang (also known as pressed duck or duck Tour d’Argent) is a very extravagant dish, that was invented in the 19th century at Paris famous La Tour d’Argent restaurant.

The simple-looking yet devilish to prepare dish consists of various parts of a duck, served in a sauce of its own blood and bone marrow, which is extracted by way of a press.

Try it at: Otto’s, where they also serve a lobster dish along the same lines.

4. Canelés

A speciality from the region of Bordeaux, canelés are small French pastries flavored with rum and vanilla.

The recipe is very similar to that of a traditional French crêpe batter and results in small cakes boasting a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust.

Try it at: Babelle, or indulge your and your guests’ sweet tooth by ordering a few dozens from Yvonne & Guite.

5. Carbonnade Flamande

Popular in the northenmost parts of France, as well as in Belgium, carbonnade is a sweet and sour beef and onion stew, made with beer and usually served with fries or boiled potatoes.

Try it at: Bar Boulud

6. Céléri Rémoulade

This dish of grated celeriac seasoned with a mustard and vinegar flavoured mayonnaise is a school cantine classic, where it’s usually served as a starter. However, it’s best served alongside some grilled meat, especially pork and sausages.

Try it at: Terroirs, where it’s currently served alongside grilled eel.

7. Choucroute garnie

A German import into French cuisine, especially popular in the bordering region of Alsace, choucroute is a preparation of hot sauerkraut with meat and potatoes.

Though there is no fixed recipe, traditional garnishes include three kinds of sausages (Morteau, Strasbourg and Frankfurt) and salt pork in one form or another.

Try it at: Unsurprisingly, Alsatian-brasserie-inspired Bellanger is the place to go!

8. Coq au Vin

Coq au vin is a winter warmer kind of dish, made of chicken, braised with wine, lardons and mushrooms.

Traditionally, red Burgundy wine is used, but many other regions make their own version of coq au vin using local varieties, such as coq au vin jaune in the Jura (deeeeeelicious!) or coq au Riesling in Alsace.

Try it at: La Poule au Pot

9. Crêpe Suzette

A flamboyant take on the much-loved French pancake, crêpes Suzette are served with a sauce of caramelised butter and sugar, orange juice and zest and Grand Marnier, flambéed in a table side performance.

Try it at: Le Pont de la Tour

10. Cuisse de Canard Confit

Originally used as a way to preserve the meat by salt curing it, then cooking it in its own fat, duck confit is considered to be one of the finest French dishes.

It is made across France but is generally seen as a specialty of the duck-rearing region of Gascony. Traditionally, all the pieces of duck are used to produce the meal, though today, it’s most common to use the thougher leg meat that way.

Try it at: Chez Elles, where it’s served alongside another duck-enriched South-West classic, Sarladaise Potatoes.

11. Foie Gras Poêlé

Foie gras is a usual sight on french inspired restaurant menus, where it usually features as a terrine served with toast and chutney.

Less common is ‘foie gras poêlé’. A hot alternative to the luxurious cold slab, it’s made of raw foie gras that has been roasted, sauteed, pan-seared or grilled.

It’s usually served with pan-fried fruit such as fig or stone fruit, or atop roast beef tenderloin (Tournedos Rossini).

Try it at: La Poule au Pot

12. Galette de Sarrasin

In Brittany, a proper meal is constituted of traditional buckwheat galettes and cider.

Galettes are usually garnished before being folded. One of the most common variations is the Galette Complète, garnished with grated cheese, ham and a fried egg.

Try it at: Mamie’s

13. Gâteau Basque

Typically, Gâteau Basque is constructed from layers of shortbread pastry with a filling of either almond or vanilla pastry. Sometimes, preserved cherries are also added to the filling.

Try it at: Bar Boulud

14. Gougères

A gougère is a baked savory choux made of choux dough mixed with cheese (commonly grated Gruyère, Comté or Emmentaler).

Gougères are said to come from Burgundy, where they are generally served cold when tasting wine in cellars, but also warm as an appetizer.

Try it at: Colbert, Brawn

15. Île Flottante

Another school cantine classic, a ‘floating island’ is a dessert consisting of poached meringue floating on thin vanilla custard (crème anglaise).

Try it at: Brasserie Zédel

16. Kouign Amann

Kouign Amann is a Breton round crusty cake, originally made with bread dough that has been enriched with butter and sugar.

The strict, traditional recipe insists on a ratio of 40 percent dough, 30 percent butter, and 30 percent sugar, making it some sort of croissant on steroids and a very indulgent treat indeed!

Try it at: Dominique Ansel Bakery, where the DKA has gathered a following almost as strong as the trademark Cronut. Alternatively, Temper serves an extra-indulgent version with salted caramel sauce & dulce de leche ice cream…

17. Lapin à la Moutarde

“Rabbit is probably the biggest divider between our two nations” says chef Raymond Blanc. “The French on one hand view rabbit as food; the British as a pet”.

Which may explain why lapin à la moutarde is nowhere as common this side of the Channel as it is in France. Regardless, this dish is an absolute classic!

Try it at: La Poule au Pot

18. Moules Marinières

Moules marinières, a combination of super fresh mussels cooked in white wine, garlic and parsley is the quintessential French holiday dish.

For a bit of a twist, try Mouclade, where the sauce is thicken with crème fraiche.

Try it at: Chez Elles

19. Petit Salé aux Lentilles

The classic lentil and ham hock stew combines the advantages of being very easy to prepare, relatively unexpensive, tasty and filling, making it a very popular winter dish in France.

Try it at: Casse-Croute

20. Petits Farçis Niçois

Farçis are a Provence speciality and are usually prepared by emptying the insides of summer vegetables and stuffing them with a combination of sausage meat, bread or rice and herbs before baking them.

Try it at: La Ferme

21. Pissaladière

Pissaladière is a dish which originated from Nice in Southern France. It consist of bread dough, topped with caramelised onions, black olives and anchovies.

Now served as an appetiser, it was originally a morning snack.

Try it at: Blanchette

22. Poireaux vinaigrette

One of the simplest French recipes, yet most beautiful ingredient combination there ever was.

Try it at: Chez Elles, where it’s on the lunch menu.

23. Poule au Pot

Poule au Pot, just as Boeuf Bourguignon, is one of the most classic of classic French dishes.

It consists of a vegetable-stuffed chicken, poached with pieces of beef meat and simmered until the meat falls of the bones. It’s similar to Pot au Feu in the way it’s cooked, though the latter is made with salt pork as its main source of protein.

Try it at: The eponymous La Poule au Pot

24. Quenelles de Brochet

Lyon and Nantua are famous for their quenelles de brochet (pike). They may be served sauced and grilled, or with a variety of sauces.

Try it at: Pique Nique, where it’s served as a very elegant Vol au Vent with sauce Nantua.

25. Raclette

Raclette is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese, that is most commonly used for melting. In the eponymous Franco-Swiss dish, the cheese is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners’ plates.

The term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape”.

Raclette is usually served with boiled or steamed potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions and dried meat.

Try it at: the Borough Market, where Kappacasein serves theirs with all the trimmings, street-food style.

26. Rillons

A speciality of Touraine, these slow-cooked cubes of pork belly are usually purchased from your local butcher and make for the perfect snack.

So good in fact the last piece usually starts up a fight (that I would totally win, would my brother not be freakishly strong).

Try it at: Bar Boulud

27. Salade de Chèvre Chaud

An absolute classic of café and bistrot cuisine, this simple goat’s cheese on toast focused salad doesn’t seem to have quite made it over here just yet. Which is surprising, considering how much people seem to looooove cheese anything in London!

Try it at: Chez Elles, where it’s a lunch menu favourite!

28. Salade Lyonnaise

Another classic on the menu of bistros and small restaurants throughout France, this typically French salad hailing from Lyon is all about contrasts. Salty lardons, creamy poached egg, crunchy croutons and bold mustard dressing make it simplicity at its very best.

Try it at: It’s currently on the menu at Bon Vivant, and a good lunchtime pick from Paul.

29. Saumon à l’Oseille

A symbol of French ‘New Cuisine’, the classic salmon with sorrel was created in 1962 in Roanne’s famous Maison Troisgros restaurant by some sort of happy accident. It quickly became so popular the local train station was painted in similar pink and green shades and that taking the dish off the menu could only be done under the condition that customers could still order it regardless.

Try it at: La Poule au Pot

30. Tarte Flambée Alsacienne

Tarte flambée (or flàmmenküeche) is an Alsatian-Mosellan and South German dish made of bread dough rolled out very thinly, covered with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons and cooked in a wood-fired oven.

There are many variations of the original recipe, the most common being the addition of grated cheese (gratinée) or mushrooms (forestière).

Try it at: Bellanger serves the traditional version, as well as cheesy and sweet twists on it.

30 Regional French Dishes You Must Try (& where to eat them in London)