Last weekend was my grandmother’s 80th birthday celebration! We had a tea party with cupcakes and vintage tea cups… followed by a delicious dinner with Ottalenghi salads, salmon en croute, sri lankan chicken curry, beef stragonoff and much much more. An interesting but delectable combination. This was all prepared when my Nana fell down the stairs and broke her wrist, poor her! She had to be in hospital and it was all a bit sad. But, silver lining the food was very good at cheering people up and I took her a nice box of cupcakes to the hospital.
Top top photo is of cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar amassed with delicious herbs from the garden. We baked them and at them in a puy lentil salad with gorgonzola and red onions. I would very much recommend everyone buying Ottalenghi’s salad book – it makes a Caeser salad look laughable! The salads really are delicious and healthy but without making you feel empty inside… like the normal pile of leaves!
Above, is my mum stirring this chard, chick pea and carrot dish – also Ottalenghi and also… divine.
I made Pavlovas with my mum’s AwESOME Kenwood mixer. I need to get myself one of these! I have used a Kitchenaid before.. but I must say I disapointed – it didn’t mix in all the ingredients thoroughly and I was left with flaky floury dough at the bottom. Kenwood may not have pastel colours, but it is better in my (humble) opinion.
I used Eric Lanlard’s Pavlova recipe. If you are more into pastries and other dessert that cake, Eric is your man. He does cakes too, but I think his speciality lies in patisserie and meringues.
Sorry there is no “final” picture… it was too dark to take nice photos by the time it had the cream and copious amounts of fruit on top. But I am going to be redoing the recipe so you can all see it properly.
This is how THICK meringue needs to be before you bake it.. it needs to stay up by itself. Otherwise it won’t have as pretty a shape when cooked. It should have a semi-solid consistency. Be patient and keep going until its thicker… if you want a good meringue you have to work for it.. (just like Jillian Michael’s says for her 20 minute work outs… haha.. what can I say – she has some good rhetoric).
Back to basics – a delicious almond and berry loaf cake. I am going to again redo this.. with recipe because it was AGAIN too dark. But if you are confident enough to try it – it is SO easy. Just take a basic vanilla sponge recipe (can even be a cupcake one) make enough for your loaf tin or anyone other baking tray. Buy some frozen OR fresh berries and stick them in the top of the batter. Then sprinkle some flaked almonds on top and bake until a skewer comes out clean – about 25 minutes on 175°C.
MMMMMmmm this is a fab sunday cake!
I also went to an AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING restaurant in Berlin, for any Berlin dwellers or visitors. It is called Der Goldener Hahn and we had 5 starters EACH (beef carpaccio, spinach, mushroom and parmesan salad, octopus carpaccio, grilled aubergine ragout with rice & goats cheeze with beetroot and caramel glaze) and then for main prawn pasta which was to die for. Along with copious bottles of wine and water and a chocolate fondant for dessert. All for an AMAZING 35 euros. And that was quality food not something that had fallen out of a freezer. Really cool place with lovely ambience too. It is near Gorlitzer Bahnhof opposite Markthalle 9. Make a reservation I would say! But definitely, definitely GO!
Anyone else have a fantastic foodie weekend?