Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

Growing up in France, my breakfasts were almost always of the sweet variety. Toast with butter and jam, or Nutella, pastries… and on the very best days, cake!

Fast forward a few years (really not that many!) and you’ll find that my breakfasts have taken a savoury turn… but cake very much remains at the top of the ‘best breakfast’ list!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

Now, I know that not everyone can stomach a brownie calorie bomb early in the morning (feel free to call me shall you need some help!), but the below Cranberry Oatmeal Cake is a completely different animal.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

It has oats, and berries, and syrup and egg. It has that sweet, milky taste of the very best porridge, contrasting perfectly with the sharp, tangy cranberry and deep, dark chocolate chips. And it’s much more convenient to eat on-the-go than a bowl of cereal.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

If that’s not top breakfast material, I don’t know what is!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

Cranberry Oatmeal Cake (serves 6-8)

Ingredients: 

  • 100g porridge oats
  • 250ml hot milk
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 1 big free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 120g self-raising flour + 1 tbsp
  • 150g fresh or frozen cranberry
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C°. Grease and line a large loaf tin.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cranberries with 1 tbsp flour until evenly coated (that will prevent them from falling to the bottom of the tin).

3. Combine the oats and the hot milk in a large mixing bowl and set aside for a while to allow the oats to absorb most of the milk.

4. Cream the butter and sugar together with a whisk, then stir in the maple syrup and the egg.

5. Fold the flour into the butter mixture.

6. Drain any remaining liquid from the oats, then stir into the cake batter.

7. Add in the chocolate chips and 2/3 of the cranberries and mix once more.

8. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle the remaining cranberries evenly on top.

9. Bake for about 45 min (or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean).

10. Let rest in the tin for 10 min before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

 

 

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Cranberry Oatmeal Cake

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!

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

Chocolate Madeleines

There are few dishes that everybody loves.

And while I have met a few of those people with rather unusual dislikes (apparently, some people do find ice cream repulsive. Shocking, I know!), I am still to come across anyone that doesn’t like madeleines.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

But then this small, bite-size cake originating from the Lorraine region in northeastern France is utterly irresistible.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

With its distinctive shell-like shape, domed top and light, delicate sponge-like texture, madeleines are commonly served as a mid-afternoon snack in France and make for the perfect bite-sized treat.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Based on a light sponge batter, madeleines can be made into many different flavour variations, from plain vanilla to more extravagant combinations such as chocolate & orange.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

The chocolate-enriched version below lays somewhere in the middle and makes for a brilliant, indulgent tea-time treat.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Chocolate madeleines (makes 30 small madeleines)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • 60ml milk
  • 75g melted chocolate
  • 185g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • 175g melted unsalted butter

1. Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the milk and melted chocolate, then fold in the flour, cocoa powder & chocolate extract. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at leats 2 hours or overnight.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C (gas mark 9) and grease a madeleine tray or tin.

4. Scoop the batter into the prepared tray, filling each mold to about three quarters (about a small tablespoon in each).

5. Insert into the oven and immediately lower the heat to 180°C (gas mark 6). Bake for about 15 minutes, until the madeleines are domed and set, then remove from the oven and unmold immediately.

6. For subsequent batches, get the oven temperature back up to 230°C before inserting the tray, then down to to 180°C after inserting.

(For an even more indulgent version, dip the cooled madeleines into melted chocolate and allow to set on a sheet of baking papper before serving)

PIN FOR LATER:

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Chocolate Madeleines

Basement Sate Dessert & Cocktail Bar

A party without cake is really just a meeting.

And birthday meetings aren’t really a thing, so cake was most definitely needed after our Bao feast.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Dessert bars are having a bit of a revival in London, and Basement Sate was one of the trend-setters.

Created by two friends who love well made drinks, decadent desserts and meaningful music in equal parts.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Inspired by the revival of Soho, they created a place where people can sate (= satisfy (a desire or an appetite) to the full) themself in an informal and social setting, and where the music is as vibrant as the cocktails & desserts.

Cocktails + dessert it was then!

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Little Japan for the Mr.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

An unusual but intoxicating mix of Japanese whisky, artichoke liqueur and sweet vermouth.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

El Pampa (pisco, almond & champagne syrup, granny smith juice) for me.

… and then the puds!

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

The Hazelnut Rocher.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

A Ferrero-inspired wonder combining hazelnut praline brownie, chocolate espuma, milk chocolate sphere, dark gianduja, caramelised hazelnuts, chocolate caviar and caramelia pearls.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Between smashing the chocolate dome & all the endorphins, it’d be a delicious cure for a bad day (and the perfect way to make a good one eve better!)

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

And then there was fruit.

Cocktail-inspired fruit-based pud’, that is…

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

The beautiful, zesty & exotic Bitter Orange.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Basically a Negroni in dessert-shape, with white and pink grapefruit jelly, gin-infused rhubarb wind, vanilla poached rhubarb, chocolate crumble & orange sponge cake.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Creative desserts & cocktails, Basement Sate definitely lived up to the expectation and is the perfect venue for any special celebration (or any time you want to treat the sweet-toothed in your life!)

Only one thing left to say: ‘Pip Pip Hooray, it (was) my birthday’

Basement Sate8 Broadwick Street, Soho, London W1F 8HN

PIN FOR LATER:

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Basement Sate Dessert & Cocktail Bar

Salted Caramel Brownies

So, today’s the day.

The day when I’m officially closer to 30 than I am to 20.

Feeling old much? YOU BET!

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

Luckily, birthdays are nature’s way of telling you to eat more cake, and god knows that’s something I’m always up for!

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

Now, birthday brownies are a bit of a tradition in my house (find out why here), but this year’s needed to step it up a notch…

And what’s the best way to make any amazing dessert even better?

You know it: SALTED CARAMEL e’rythiiiiiiiiiiiing!

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

So here it is. Salted caramel brownies.

Now, I used to be a triple choc’ brownies kind of girl. And then I made those and I’m telling you: TOTAL GAME CHANGER!

100-billion-calories-a-slice game changer, but after all, birthday = ultimate cheat day, right?

(and if it’s not quiiiite your birthday yet, well, you could always celebrate your un-birthday instead! ??)

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

 

Salted Caramel Brownies (serves 6-8)

You’ll need: 

For the brownies: 

  • 120g soft (but NOT MELTED!) salted butter
  • 160g granulated sugar
  • 3 big eggs
  • 70g self-raising flour
  • 200g dark chocolate

For the salted caramel sauce: 

  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 40g salted butter
  • about 100ml pouring or double cream
  • a generous pinch of salt

1. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C. Butter and flour a brownie pan (I like to use a 21×21 glass roasting tray like this one)

2. Make your caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan, put the sugar and a little bit of water. Cook over a hot stove until it turns a deep-brown colour and doesn’t re-crystalised if taken off the heat for a few seconds. Add in the butter, mix well, then add the cream and mix again. Add the salt, then leave to the side to cool down.

3. Make your brownies batter: In a big mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and the flour. Melt your chocolate over a double-boiler, then add it to the batter and mix until well combined.

4. Pour about half of your brownies batter into the buttered and floured pan, cover with a layer of salted caramel sauce, then top with the remaining brownies batter. Bake for 30-35 min.

5. Let the brownies cool down (they’re even better the following day!) before serving with the remaining salted caramel sauce drizzled on top.

Do you have any birthday traditions? I’d love to hear them in the comments!!

PIN FOR LATER:

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

Salted Caramel Brownies

7 best London restaurants for Father’s Day

I’ve never been Daddy’s little girl but I’ll still take any opportunity to spoil my parents. After all, it’s only fair after all they’ve done and are still doing for me.

Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to treat the most important man in your life (sorry BF…).

There are billions of ways you can do that of course, but my favourite way to say thank you is with a nice meal out…

 

1. You can’t go wrong with a classic: Sunday roast at Pig & Butcher

The Pig & Butcher, Islington | Cake + Whisky

A local favourite for all things British and nose-to-tail, The Pig & Butcher is Islington’s hot spot when it comes to Sunday roast and the perfect place to indulge in dad’s Sunday fave (and maybe a Bloody Mary or two…).

The Pig & Butcher, 80 Liverpool Rd, London N1 0QD

Menus + bookings

2. Too much month left at the end of the money? £10 steak at Flat Iron

Flat Iron | Best London restaurants for Father's Day | Cake + Whisky

Treating dad needn’t cost an arm and leg (+ steak dinner’s a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to spoiling the old man) and Flat Iron £10 steak ticks all the boxes: juicy steak cooked to perfection, for less money that you’d pay for pizza and a free ice cream cone to top it all… what more could you possibly want?

Flat Iron, several London locations

More info

3. Personalised Pies at Mr Fogg’s Tavern

Mr Fogg's Tavern | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Mr Fogg’s Tavern’s award-winning pies are becoming personal for Father’s Day. The Victorian inspired Pub, Gin Parlour and Salon in Covent Garden will be offering exclusive personalized pies for Dad. Perfect to make it a Father’s Day to remember!

Mr Fogg’s Tavern, 58 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4EA

Mr Fogg's Tavern | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Bookings + Personalised pie orders

4. Have your pie & eat it too: Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum

Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Credit Photo: Hot and Chilli

The Athenaeum Gentlemen’s afternoon tea was designed with those who prefer savoury to sweet treats in mind. Think wild boar sausage rolls, mini steak and ale pies, cheddar and bacon scones… and single malt scotch from the whisky menu!

The Athenaeum, 116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ

More info, menu + bookings

5. Football extravaganza at Bar Kick

Bar Kick | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Credit Photo: Paul Winch-Furness

Does your dad live & breathe for the Euros football competition right now? Then he’ll love Bar Kick. Not only do they show live football, but there’s also table football tables, an extensive beer menu and a reasonably-priced Euros-inspired menu! The best place to cheer on Euros 2016-host France on Father’s Day!

Bar Kick, 127 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE

More info + bookings

6. Father’s Day Il Porco Feast at Bunga Bunga

Il Porco by House of Peroni and Bunga Bunga 8

This Father’s Day, spend your dough on Dad at Battersea’s hit Italian-inspired restaurant, bar and karaoke joint Bunga Bunga. On Sunday, 19th June enjoy Il Porco, one of London’s most authentic Italian hog roasts with all the trimmings. Grab your knife and pork this Father’s Day and tuck in!

Bunga Bunga, 37 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11 3BA

More info + bookings

7. Dad likes the finest things in life? Whisky + chocolate masterclass at Bart’s

Bart's Chocolate + Whisky Masterclass | Best London restaurants for Father's Day

Celebrate the day with Dad by sampling top notch whiskies from around the globe and indulge in specialty chocolate pairings from Chelsea’s hidden cocktail bar Barts. Barts’ world-class bar team will provide guests with an hour and a half of tip top tuition about the fine art of whiskey and chocolate pairing, talking through the tasting notes of each variety of whiskey and explaining in detail how each distinctly pairs with the rich flavours of the chocolate.

Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DW

More info + bookings

 

How are you treating your dad this Father’s Day? Any fun plans?

7 best London restaurants for Father’s Day