Poppy Seed & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits

Cravings are an evil, evil thing.

Picture this. You’re sitting on the coach, minding your own business (read: trying your hardest not to watch the entire season of House of Cards in one go) when,¬†coming from nowhere, the idea of crunchy, crumbly¬†cheese biscuits pops up into your mind.

Poppy Seed & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits ‚ÄĘ Recipe ‚ÄĘ Cake + Whisky

You try to push it away, but there’s nothing to be done. Before you know it, you find yourself rummaging through your kitchen cupboards, hoping you have all the ingredients to make your craving dreams come true.

If you’re lucky, you’ll avoid the late-night visit to your closest Tesco Express to pick up the missing bits. Otherwise… well, you’ll just have to go, won’t you?

Poppy Seed & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits ‚ÄĘ Recipe ‚ÄĘ Cake + Whisky Poppy Seed & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits ‚ÄĘ Recipe ‚ÄĘ Cake + Whisky

Then¬†it’s time to get measuring, mixing, and baking,¬†peering through the oven door and wishing the time to pass quicker so you can -finally- get your hands on those long anticipated cheese biscuits.

Poppy Seed & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits ‚ÄĘ Recipe ‚ÄĘ Cake + Whisky

That’s the thing about cravings: they make you do crazy things. Like a supermarket run / baking session in the middle of the night.

But after that first crumbly cheese biscuit bite, you can’t help but think that it was all worth it.

You know what they say… Sweet dreams are made of cheese!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:14]

More snack recipes:

Coconut curry roasted cashews

Chocolate madeleines

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Poppy Seed & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits

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

‚ÄúWhen we started Market Porter, we did it because the stuff we were buying in the supermarkets just wasn‚Äôt cutting it. We knew that there were people out there who were doing it better.¬†People from across the UK who‚Äôve made it their life‚Äôs 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.‚ÄĚ

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

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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 Caf√© 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…

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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.

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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!

Market Porter Supperclub

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Have you guys heard? Apparently, the coming winter is going to be a long, cold one.

Experts are foreseeing freezing temperatures and loads of snow.

Which I’m not exactly excited about, to be honest.

Frozen rain isn’t exactly my thing. Eww. Nope.

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Even though it does make for the perfect excuse to start developing mac ‘n’ cheese recipes.

Starting with Jalapeno Poppers Mac ‘n’ Cheese!

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Hidden under a blanket of crispy, golden breadcrumbs, this combination of two classic American recipes is rich and creamy, but also spicy & punchy.

Comfort food at its finest if you ask me!

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

And if we are to face 12 weeks of snow (!!!), we are going to need many bowls of it.

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese (serves 2-3):

Ingredients:

  • 180g short dry pasta (preferably macaroni)
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 big handful grated cheese (I used 2/3 cheddar and 1/3 parmesan)
  • 500 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno, finely chopped, plus a few slices and 3 tbsp of pickling juice
  • 3 tbsp bread or panko crumbs
  • Salt + pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200¬įC grill.

2. In a big saucepan, mix together the milk, the cream cheese and the jalapeno picking juice. Add the macaroni, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat until tender (about 10 min).

3. Mix in the grated cheese, then cook for a few more minutes.

4. Mix in the chopped jalapenos, then transfer to an ovenproof dish, top with a few more jalapeno slices before sprinkling the breadcrumbs.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and serve immediately.

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Terroirs Wine Bar

The best place to indulge in meat, cheese, bread and wine is France. Obviously.

And trust me when I say I’ve been having my fare share of the good stuff already and fully intend to have more this coming week #wheninFrance

But¬†with Bastille Day approaching,¬†there’s no reason for me to be the only one enjoying les bonnes choses de la vie.¬†

So if you’re suffering from French food envy… I have just the place!

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + WhiskyTerroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Just a stone’s throw away from Covent Garden (and right by one of my absolute favourite London restaurants), Terroirs is a vibrant wine bar focusing on small scale, natural wines and ingredient-led, French-inspired small plates.

Everything sounds so good you’ll want to get stuck right in.

And after all, wine not?!

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

“Beryna” 2012 (Bernabe Navarro, Alicante, Spain) for the girls…

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

While I simply had to stop and smell the ros√© (a lovely glass of 2014 Ch√Ęteau Plaisance from Fronton, France).

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + WhiskyTerroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

With some bread and butter bien s√Ľr.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + WhiskyTerroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Quickly followed by a table full of Terroirs’ best nibbles.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Rich, meaty Pork & Pistachio terrine with a generous helping of crunchy and sharp cornichons.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Wafer thin slices of Salame Felino.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

And a little bit of blue cheese (Bleu de Laqueille)…

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

We nibbled our way through the lot…

… and then some!

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + WhiskyTerroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Beef carpaccio with herbs and lemon.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Zingy, herby and fresh, I could have eaten five of those.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Last but not least, France’s most infamous culinary speciality: snails.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Big, juicy snails, served on toast with a pungent, parsley & garlic sauce and crispy bacon.

A match made in (French) heaven.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Don’t mind if I do…

French puddings are always something special & Terroirs is no exception.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Simple but stunning Chocolate pot & Salted caramel.

Intense, rich and super indulgent.

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + WhiskyTerroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Beautifully light and creamy Panna Cotta with grappa and honeycomb.

A little piece of France in the heart of London, Terroirs Wine Bar is one of the best places if you’re after a lil’ bit of something nice.

Perfect for a quick after-work drink or a leisurely dinner with your favourite people

…or any time you just need to wine down!

Terroirs Wine Bar, 5 William IV St, London WC2N 4DW

PIN FOR LATER:

Terroirs Wine Bar | Cake + Whisky

Terroirs Wine Bar

One pan Broccoli Mac n Cheese

Mac ‘n’ Cheese is the ultimate comfort food in my book.

No matter how good I’ve sworn to be, I can never, ever resist it.

If I go out for dinner and it’s on the menu, I will order it. And eat most of it, even when it was originally meant to be shared. #worstdiningcompanion

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

And yet, I had never made it at home. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

Especially since all you need are super basic ingredients I’m sure most of you already have in your fridge right now.

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

Plus it’s super easy and feels like a hug in a bowl.

A very cheesy, super delicious hug, that is!

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

And if you add enough vegetables in, it’s actually not that un-healthy a dinner option.

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

The perfect reward for surviving yet another Monday

(or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday and, ehh, sometimes, Fridays are tough as well right?)

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

One pan Broccoli Mac ‘n’ Cheese (serves 2)

Ingredients: 200g macaroni (or other short pasta), 1/2 pint milk (about 1 mug), 1/2 pint vegetable stock (about 1 mug), small chunck of Parmesan (grated), big handful of grated Emmenthal (or Cheddar), 200g broccoli, 1 tsp oil, sea salt, pepper, Tabasco

1. Cut the broccoli in bite-sized chuncks. In a big pot, heat up 1 tsp oil, then add in the¬†broccoli and cook until tender. Remove from the heat and pour it out in one of the bowls you’re going to be serving in (save dirtying another dish!)

2. Add the pasta to the same pan with the milk, vegetable stock, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Stir it around, cover and turn the hob down (it should be down to a very gentle simmer). Keep it covered as much as possible, stiring every now and then until the pasta is fully cooked and the milk has reduced down to a creamy sauce.

3. Check the seasoning and add more Tabasco/salt/pepper if needed.

4. Add in the cheese (Parmesan + Emmenthal/Cheddar) and the broccoli, give the whole thing a good stir and serve immediately.

‘OMG-SOOOOOO-GOOD’¬†eye-rolling absolutely compulsory!

One pan Broccoli Mac n Cheese

Cheesy date at Melt Room

Nothing beats a cheesy date.

By which I don’t mean an amalgam of all the cliches you see in movies.

Nop, no red roses, candlelit restaurants or gondola ride for me. Instead, loads and loads of melted cheese and bread.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Melt Room is London’s first grilled cheese sandwich shop.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Yes, you read that right. They only serve grilled cheese sandwiches.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

And a few other things on the side…

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

The atmosphere is very in phase with the menu…

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

In an American diner meets your wildest childhood dream kind of way.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Service is friendly and really quick.

Those guys sure understand that cheese cravings don’t wait.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

The cheese fries arrived first.

Crispy, yet soft in the middle, and covered in the most sinful puddle of cheese sauce, they were simply delicious.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

And even more so when combined with the homemade relish (that thing is gold, do get some!)

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a must-order.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Golden toasted sourdough bread, sandwiching a generous serving of Mac ‘n’ Cheese (with added chorizo because YOLO).

Come on, you know you want to.

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Or will it be the Pastrami (with mushrooms, horseradish, red leicestershire and cheddar)?

Melt Room {Restaurant review} | Cake + Whisky

Melt Room also does a brilliant tomato soup + classic grilled cheese sandwich deal for £5.

That’s your lunch break (and all of your cheese cravings) sorted then.

Melt Room, 26 Noel Street, Soho, London W1F 8GY  Melt Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cheesy date at Melt Room

Market Porter, Battersea

Those last few weeks, I had been working really hard on blog scheduling, trying to make sure I balance content to make sure you guys don’t end up reading 7 restaurant reviews one week, and then none for weeks.

It was all going well, but then I visited the newly-opened Market Porter in Battersea and everything tumbled down.

Forget being organised and planning content ahead, there was no way I was keeping this one from you for one second!

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Nestled in the still-being-built Embassy Gardens¬†luxury development right by the river, finding Market Porter is still a bit of a challenge…

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

But it’s well worth the effort as Market Porter is the cutest caf√© / deli I have ever seen.

Worthy of my Paris’ favourites!

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + WhiskyMarket Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Quite small, but so very charming and welcoming, just like the people running it!

People who love wine, cheese and charcuterie are always the best people anyway.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

And true to its roots (Market Porter is the first off-line venture of Meatporter.com, famous for delivering exceptionally high-quality meat cuts right to your door), Market Porter focuses on the quality of ingredients.

Only the very best, carefully sourced with both taste and ethics in mind, is to be found on the shelves.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + WhiskyMarket Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

The artisan deli selection of course includes some of Meat Porter‘s gorgeous own produce, usually only available through their website.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Along with a fine selection of wine, coffee, cheese as well as other high-quality British food and drink products.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

You can of course take all those beautiful things home and turn them into the most beautiful of picnics.

Or you can turn to the man behind the bar and trust him to come up with something wonderful.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Like this Green Peppercorn wild boar salami on sourdough with spinach and roasted red peppers.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Crunchy toasted sourdough, spread with a touch of the very best mayo, fresh baby spinach leaves, paper-thin, smoky and delicate salami, soft peppers, simply drizzled in fragrant olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, this beauty shines by its simplicity.

But when everything that goes into a dish is that good, nothing more is needed to create something absolutely stellar.

Market Porter, Battersea, London | Cake + Whisky

Both picture and taste-perfect and one of the best lunches I’d had in a while.

So if you happen to be in the area, go give them a go (and get me some of this salami when you’re at it!).

Market Porter, 5 New Union Square, Embassy Gardens London SW8 5AJ Market Porter Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Market Porter, Battersea