Tag Archives: bread

Baker Street Quarter Food Market

11 Sep

The bustle of Baker Street gets an extra injection of excitement on the second Wednesday of every month – a thriving Food Market offering everything from sandwiches to truffle oil. 

image

Located in the outdoor atrium of 55 Baker Street, the market features a variety of stands showcasing foods from across the globe. Attracting hungry diners happy to queue for a lunchtime treat, there’s plenty to choose from:

Sandwiches & Wraps

image

Greek Cypriot outfit Petros Produce dished up Grilled Halloumi Wraps (£5), a popular choice from a menu which also included Smoked Ham. Watching the thickly sliced cheese grilling slowly over a hot plate, it was easy to see why queues had formed!

A fundraising meal-deal from The Radisson Blu Portman Hotel offered a homemade sandwich, a piece of fruit and a smoothie for £3.50 – with all money going to Variety, the children’s charity.

image

Large, soft baps housed fillings of Chargrilled Vegetables & Hummus or Chicken Chilli Mayo & Rocket – both looked very tempting!

Curries

image

An array of vibrant-looking curries from Fire & Spice Bar & Kitchen attracted quite a crowd. The Marble Arch based restaurant dished up meat and veggie options of its signature dishes: Chicken Chettinad infused with coconut; Vegetable Korma made with yogurt and saffron; Lemon Rice; and Poppadoms.

Baked Goods – Breads, Pastries, Tarts, Cakes & More

image

Samples of Karaway Bakery‘s beautiful breads and pastries all tasted superb – particularly a Lithuanian Scalded Rye and a Pumpernickel loaf.

I brought home a bag of Pancake Biscuits, priced £1.20. The vanilla flavoured, bite-sized puffs have an airy texture and are exceedingly moreish!

For something sweeter, visit Galeta‘s stall. The bakers are well known for their chewy, giant cookies and an award-winning, decadent chocolate brownie (£2).

image

Giving the latter strong competition is their Pastéis de Nata (Portugese Custard Tart): layers of light, flaky pastry containing a scrumptious egg custard. The tarts are priced at £1.50 each but it’s worth splurging £4 for four – restricting yourself to one could prove difficult! 

Hush Hush Chefs‘ filo pies and tarts also drew crowds. Crisp triangle pastries filled with Roasted Aubergine & Peppers and Mushroom & Cheese were huge, while open topped tarts, sliced into giant wedges, included Caramelised Onion & Parmesan and Roasted Vegetables & Goat’s Cheese.

image

I opted for a slice of Spinach, Feta and Nut (£3.50) pictured above. The flavour and texture of the cheese seemed more akin to an unsalted Ricotta, but no-one else seemed to notice!

Truffle Oils & Sauces

image

Newcomer Marche Food was a great find at the market! Their delectable White Truffle Oil with Courgette was incredible, as was a sample of the oil served separately, Tartufo Bianco (£8) . Selling products from Marche, Italy, a region renowned for its produce, the quality of the oils was exceptional, with a luxuriously rich flavour.

Deli Items

Flying the flag for charcuterie was Picco Salumi, an Islington based outfit famed for its cured meat products, made with the finest free range, British pork.

image

I couldn’t resist buying three varieties of salami: Soppressata, made with garlic, chilli, oregano and hungarian paprika; Saucisson, spiced with ginger, garlic, ground white pepper, and whole black pepper corns; and Salt & Pepper with Mulled Wine – all delicious!

An enticing array of plump Olives, Nuts and Turkish Delight were also on offer from another vendor which I cannot name.

image

Unfortunately, their branding still needs some work – the stall didn’t carry a sign with a company name – but their produce is great!

Confectionery

image

Simply Handmade Chocolates had a glorious assortment of truffles (from 95p), fudge (from £3.50) and macarons (£5 per bag) to choose from. I particularly enjoyed a smooth and intense dark chocolate Raspberry Fondant Heart and a creamy and crunchy milk chocolate Manuka Honeycombe Cluster. I’ll definitely be returning for some fudge and macarons very soon!

Tea and Coffee Blends

Bellevue Teas had a wonderful stall, with a fabulous selection of blends and gift sets.

image

Both bags and loose leaf varieties were available to purchase, from classic Peppermint and Camomile to Nilgiri Silver Tip and Sweet Orange Rooibos.

An unexpected, yet welcome, discovery came in the form of a smooth coffee that wasn’t actually made from coffee beans!

image

Innocente‘s Caffè d’Orzo is a caffeine free alternative made from roasted barley and produced by a family-run business in Tuscany. Looking like espresso, it lacks the expected aroma yet tastes just like decaf – but without any of the nasty chemicals used in the manufacturing process! You can buy a cup for £1.

Exotic Fruits & Juices

Toucan Fruit had the most colourful stall, showcasing exotic produce also available from their London store.

image

I found a good mix of familiar and unusual fruits, from Coconuts and Melon to Cacao Fruit and Colombian Pitahaya. I recommend picking up an Exotic Fruit Pot – a healthy lunch or dessert option that will only set you back £2.50.

image

Toucan also offered freshly squeezed juices: the only cold beverage available to buy at the market – great for washing down a hearty sandwich or chocolate treat!

Baker Street Quarter Food Market, is held on the second Wednesday of every month, from midday to 4pm.

Advertisements

Top 5 Things of the Week (August 12th – 18th)

18 Aug

#1 Restaurant Reviews course at City Lit
Food writing is a delicate art, requiring balance and creativity – just like good cooking. Hidden in a discreet side street in London’s Covent Garden, City Lit adult education college offers a range of food-related courses, from cupcake decorating to food writing.

Under the supervision of expert tutor Nikki Spencer, a vivacious food critic and journalist, I spent a week honing my Restaurant Reviewing skills.

Gaining useful tips, advice, feedback and skills, the course included two visits to local restaurants – which, of course, we had to review. It was an inspiring week and my classmates were awesome: an amazingly talented bunch of food writers and truly lovely people.

#2 Chocolate Frozen Custard Shake at Shake Shack

image

Rich, smooth and exceptionally delicious, the Frozen Custard Shakes at Shake Shake burger bar in Covent Garden actually taste better than their burgers!

I discovered the delights of their chocolate flavoured creation during a field trip in the Restaurant Reviews course mentioned above. Sitting within the bustle of Covent Garden, draining my carton of chocolate goodness in the name of education, I felt a pang of sorrow for all my classmates who had ordered a different drink – my shake was unbeatable!

#3 Music Paper Bread
Crunching out a pattern of addictive beats with every bite, I’m addicted to these wafer-thin bread discs from Sardinia.

Salty, crisp and as addictive as Pringles, these have become a storecupboard staple. Available from M&S stores for £2.49, they won’t break the bank and come in a handbag friendly box – result!

#4 Tiramisu at Polpo in Covent Garden

image

It was a toss-up between Venetian-inspired Polpo’s cheese and onion Pizza Bianca or their creamy Tiramisu: the dessert only just clinched it! Creamy, light and served in a glass, every mouthful was superb – from the flavorsome cofffee-soaked sponge to what looked like a chocolate ganache lining the bottom. Heavenly!

#5 Gelati from Venchi

image

Covent Garden certainly kept me well fed this week! A cone topped with two Chocolate and Chocolate and Hazelnut gelati from Italian chocolatier Venchi was rich, tasty and the perfect antidote to the scorchingly hot summer sun!

image

Italian ‘Music Paper’ Bread – Baked in Sardinia

13 Aug

A new sound has invaded the streets of London. If you hear the staccato rhythm of a persistant crunch within your vicinity, fear not – it’s just me devouring my Sardinian Music Paper Bread as I traverse the Capital.

Known to Italians as Carta Da Musica, which translates to “music sheet”, these exceedingly moreish discs are thinner than poppadoms and mottled in colour (food blooger Kat vs. Food likened them to “giraffe skin”).

Crisp enough for you to hear a snap with every bite (music: geddit?), they smell and taste of mild olive oil, with a cunning sprinkling of salt to make them as addictive as Pringles.

image

On sale in M&S stores (£2.49 for 100g), the small, square box is tucked away in the retailers’ international food section
– alongside delicious-looking Italian chocolates, Spanish condiments and continental oils.

It’s easy to forget (or in my case, deliberately ignore) their purpose as a quirky addition to a bread basket, as opposed to a conveniently-sized, carry-around snack. I’m sure they would prove wonderful dipped in oil and balsamic vinegar, plunged into any kind of dip, or simply layered with soft cheese and tapenade.

Unfortunately, that would require enough restraint to carry them all the way home without delving into my shopping bag to consume them throughout my journey.

Delivering a cracking rhythm that wouldn’t be out of place in a Will.I.Am or Pharrell Williams track, I’ve turned into a chomping music-maker who should be credited with the creation of a fresh new sound: Bread Beats. Will it take off in clubland? Probably not. But I’ll be playing my ‘instrument’ in many a tube station throughout the summer; I get rather peckish during my long journey home.

Homemade Greek Bread for Church Offerings

22 Jun

There are many things about my Cypriot culture to celebrate and partake in. One of the nicest customs is the baking of bread for offerings at church services. Depending on if you are making an ‘offering’ or mourning your dead, the type of bread made will be different. Here’s a look at a plain white round, stamped with traditional Christian Orthodox emblems. It’s lovely served warm with butter, halloumi and watermelon but tonight we had to make do without the melon. Ah well, you can’t have everything!

image

REVIEW: One New Change’s Weekly Food Market Spices Up The City of London

2 Jun

Yesterday marked the launch of a brand new, weekly food market in the City of London’s classy and inviting shopping mall, One New Change. Introduced by chef, food writer and style icon Gizzi Erskine (pictured), the arrival of the market reflects Londoners’ growing demands for fresh or locally sourced produce, exciting new flavours and homemade delicacies. 

image

There was something to suit all palettes and hunger pangs – from crumbly, handmade cheeses to mouthwatering cakes, biscuits and breads. With the enticement of free samples and cheerful conversation from an eclectic mix of sellers – all set against a backdrop of popular fashion retail outlets just a short walk away from St. Paul’s Cathedral – this new market offers the perfect pit-stop during a Saturday trip into London.

I’ve compiled a list of recommended items to buy from the market but, in all honesty, every stall has something so tantalisingly delicious, you’ll have a hard time deciding what you want to take home. My sweet tooth naturally veers towards confectionery and cakes – as indicated by my recommendations below – but there’s an abundance of savoury options to enjoy so I’ll be making a second trip down to the market within the next few weeks to buy a wider range of yummy goodies!

1. Handmade doughnuts by Cakehole (£1 each / 5 for £4 / 10 for £8)

image

These lusciously light buns are available with a filling of jam, vanilla creme or chocolate custard. Lip-lickingly tasty without being too sickly, I came home wishing I could have purchased the whole stall. Family and friends all agreed that the vanilla doughnut I brought home was heavenly – but had left them all wanting more!

2. Bresaola by Picco (£4 per pack)

image

This tangy, melt-in-the mouth beef – cured with rosemary, thyme and juniper berries before being thinly sliced – would be perfect in a sandwich, eaten on its own or enjoyed as part of a summer picnic, served with fresh bread, mozarella, rocket and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Utterly wonderful and an absolute must for any charcuterie board!

3. 70% Chocolate Brownies by Galeta (£2 each)

image

Deliciously decadent, moist and satisfyingly gooey in the centre, this award-winning brownie is one of the best in the UK. You’ll savour every bite. Guaranteed.

4. Indian Spiced Shortbread & Mini Madeleines by Pistachio Rose (ask for prices)

image

Aromatic, fragrant, light and seriously sensuous, Pistachio Rose successfully combine bold flavour combinations into elegant, delicately balanced, biscuits and cakes. They both excite the senses and satisfy curiosity. Outstanding.

5. Chocolates by Secret Garden (Bag of Truffles £4 / prices for bars and slabs vary)

image

This small start-up, from North London, only uses ethically sourced ingredients. Their white chocolate, vanilla truffle melted in my mouth to deliver a luxurious burst of flavour, whilst a strawberry and balsamic alternative delivered an intoxicatingly sweet and sharp explosion, quickly followed by the sinful richness of intense, dark chocolate. Superb.

6. Chocolate Cake by Arapina (ask for prices)

image

My mother has been making moreish cakes without any butter or preservatives for as long as I can remember. Thus, when I found out that Arapina also makes her signature chocolate cake without using any butter or unhealthy additives, I had phenomenally high expectations. A free sample of her creation thankfully dispelled all my fears. Packed with flavour, it was gratifyingly moist, rich, melt-in-the-mouth and not too sweet – everything I expect from a good chocolate cake. Thank you, Arapina!

7. ‘Biskies’ by Cutter & Squidge (ask for prices)

image

Everyone who tried a free sample was quick to comment on the excellent flavour combinations of Cutter & Squidge’s rainbow display of ‘Biskies’ (such as milk choc with peanut and salted caramel; green tea with white choc and raspberry; or raspberry with lychee and rose). Looking a bit like a Macaron-Whoopie Pie hybrid, these are a moist and moreish cross between crisp biscuits and chewy cookies – hence the name ‘Biskies’! Addictive, original and a must-add to your bucket list of things to eat before you die!

8. 100% Raw Local Honey by Local Honey Man (ask for prices)

image

Produced using beehives located, amongst other places, in Hackney and Essex, jovial Londoner Curtis (a.k.a the Local Honey Man) boasts an array of delicious varieties to satisfy even the pickiest honey connoisseur. Check out the White Rape Seed and Lucerne options but, whatever your preference, Curtis has the perfect jar of honey to sweeten your day!

9. Mexican Cheese by Gringa Dairy (£5 / 250g)

image

This delicious Mexican cheese is made in Peckham and reminded me of fresh, salted ‘Anari’ found in villages across Southern Cyprus (which, if you’re unfamiliar with, is a bit similar to Italian Ricotta). Light, tasty and bursting with flavour, I might add it to my dinner party cheese board and have some fun asking my guests to guess where it’s from!

10. Chocolates by Chocololo (ask for prices)

image

Delectable chocolates inspired by Provence, these are everything you’d expect… luxurious, smooth, pretty and sophisticated. They are slightly less rich and intense in comparison to some of the other chocolates and chocolate flavoured goods available at the market – which makes it far less sickly to devour more of them. Result!

11. Curry Bread by The Thornbury Deli (ask for prices)

image

Light and airy with a perfect crust, the Thornbury Deli’s wonderful loaves are made even better with imaginative spices and other ingredients. Try the Curry bread or the Cheddar Cheese, Tomato and Red Onion loaf – both are divine!

One New Change Food Market, every Saturday from 10am

Gizzi Erskine Launches New Weekly Food Market

1 Jun

image

Gizzi Erskine is one of the most exciting cooks and food writers of our time. Combining an infectious passion for food with a signature vintage style, Gizzi isn’t afraid to break from the crowd and tell it like is whenever it comes to anything edible. Thus, when I heard she’d be in the City of London to give a talk at the launch of a new weekly food market at One New Change (adjacent to historic landmark St. Paul’s Cathedral), I threw on the first thing I could find in my cupboard and hot-footed it down to the location.

Once there, I found an array of artisan food producers, selling the most aromatic and melt-in-the-mouth delights. My eyes feasted on handmade doughnuts by Cakehole, spicy Japanese-seasoned nuts from Kinomi, Indian spiced biscuits by Pistashio Rose, gooey chocolate brownies and tarts by Galeta, beautiful Mexican cheeses from Gringa Dairy, moreish Macarons by Cutter & Squidge, mouthwatering bresaola and Hungarian spiced salumi from Picco, arrays of honey from Londoner Curtis, a.k.a the charming Local Honey Man, oils from Morocco courtesy of Arganic and so much more!

My stomach rumbled appreciatively for the entire afternoon!  I stumbled upon so many delectable goodies, I actually need to list my favourites in a separate blog so that this post doesn’t turn into a dissertation!

Of course, I can’t leave you without sharing anything from London’s newest and most delicious weekly food market… so here’s a video of Gizzi Erskine’s afternoon speech. Sharing her heart-warming appreciation for both farmers and food markets and the important contribution they make to local communities and the food industry in general – indeed, many food buyers from supermarket and high-end retailers trawl the markets for luxury or unique products – Gizzi also discussed her brand new weight loss cookbook that can help shed extra pounds without compromising on taste or regular treats. It definitely made me feel A LOT less guilty about tucking into a handmade vanilla custard doughnut, chocolate brownie and flaky, spinach and feta croissant at the market…