30 Jun 2013

Taste of London 2013 - Review

This year in Regents Park, Taste of London celebrated their 10th food festival. Electrolux Chefs' Secrets was our first stop - Michelin Star Chef Tom Kitchin was offering a hands on masterclass to visitors, not only did they have the opportunity of cooking under the instruction of Tom, gaining hints and tips along the way, visitors also had the opportunity to use the latest Electrolux induction hobs to create their dish.

Electrolux Taste Theatre with Thomasina Miers was a short walk away from the Chefs' Secrets theatre. The audience were treated to a plethora of advice as the demo proceeded. We made our way back to the Taste Theatre to see Raymond Blanc and later in the day Pierre Koffman with Tom Kitchin.

Electrolux Chefs' Academy was full to the brim with ovens, hobs and extractors.  The Inspiration Range of kitchen appliances, including a steam combination oven, induction hobs and extractors were on display. Demonstrators offered one to one help and advice regarding the appliances and there was also a demonstration of the very impressive steam combination oven.
Belly pork being cooked in the outside kitchen of the Savoy Grill
Charcoal Grill Dingley Dell Pork belly with honey and apple also
Saltwater Shrimp Cocktail, celeriac and pink peppercorns
Taste showcases some of the finest food in London and is a great opportunity to sample tasting dishes. The currency used at the show are crowns, each crown is worth 50p and you buy a minimum of £10. Our two small plates of food cost 12 crowns and 8 crowns respectively which were never going to fill the hungry gap - more food on the plate would have represented better value.

Time for a coffee stop at Barista Baby Mobile pop up coffee shop.
Exotic Fruit and Vegetable Creations.
We were drawn to a Taste of Thailand where Thai eateries, street food, cocktails, entertainment and more took place. 

Artisan Spirits
Sweet or Savoury Gourmet Popcorn in the Producers Market
It was a lovely warm afternoon and we enjoyed a walk through beautiful Regents Park prior to the afternoon session. We only wish we had planned the day a little better because there is so much to see.

We attended Taste on the Friday afternoon as guests of Electrolux.

26 Jun 2013

Blueberry Crunch Muffins: Recipe

I'm in the process of emptying the freezer and have approximately three weeks to either eat what's in it or throw things away.  A bag of blueberries needed using up and I decided to make these homely muffins.  There are only two of us to get through eight large muffins, I tested one to make sure they are up to scratch, I've had to freeze the remainder.  The blueberries took up a fraction of the room of seven large muffins.  I really need to think the freezer problem through and maybe start a list. The fridge/freezers new home will be in my dining room, empty and turned off whilst I have a new kitchen installed but it still needs emptying.

Over the next few weeks Kitchen Delights London Reporter @PaulFoodie will be adding to the mix by contributing more fun posts. We have reviews for Taste of London, healthy snacks, tasty barbecue spices, exciting kitchen kit, a restaurant review and in the pipeline a Guest Posting by a friend of Kitchen Delights. There will be before and after photographs of the new kitchen refit which I've been planning since the end of last year. I've also made a few things which will hopefully get posted too!

I've been sent a fabulous microwave to review which will get us through a tricky couple of weeks whilst we are without any kitchen appliances.  I'm in need of a few survival tips......

Makes: 8 large muffins (in tulip cases) or 12 muffins in muffin cases.

200g plain flour
125g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
75ml vegetable oil
1 egg
130ml semi skimmed milk
zest of 1 lemon
150g blueberries
25g plain flour
15g cubed butter
1 tbsp caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Place the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
3. Making a well in the centre, add the oil, egg, milk and lemon zest.
4. Mix together with a whisk to make a smooth batter.
5. Fold in three-quarters of the blueberries. Save the remainder to place on top of the batter.
6. Add to a bowl the flour, sugar and cubed butter.  Mix to a crumble with a fork.
7. Using an ice cream scoop fill the muffin cases equally with the mixture.
8. Taking the reserved blueberries, scatter over the top of the batter, pressing down slightly.
9. Sprinkle over the crumble mix. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and cooked through, a cake tester is useful for this.

For more muffin recipes:
Apple Muffins
Nigella's Chocolate Banana Muffins
Crumble Berry Muffins

19 Jun 2013

Ice Cream Soda - A Bit of Nostalgia

You wouldn't readily think 'lets have an ice cream soda' but back in the day we used to visit a fabulous Italian ice cream parlour, we bought one ice cream soda between us and would always ask for a couple of straws and spoons. This wasn't because we were mean but based on trying to save enough money to get married and buy a house. The courtship was 15 months in total and I hadn't even reached my 21st birthday when we married.......on Cup Final Day! Hence two straws and two spoons.......happy days.

We have always made ice cream soda by placing a scoop of ice cream in the base of a tall glass and pouring over a can of cream soda, the ice cream floats and the cream soda creates a lovely frothy top. The Ben Shaws website recommend using a dash of grenadine syrup but I doubt we had even heard of 'grenadine syrup' in those days. I used Mackie's Traditional Ice Cream but there are lots of fun variations. Further information for ice cream soda and ice cream floats can be found on Wikipedia.

I would be really interested to hear your nostalgic story.

18 Jun 2013

Stellar Colourtone 5 Piece Knife Block Set: Review

The Stellar Colourtone Knife Block Set has added a welcome splash of colour to my kitchen and is available in two on trend colourways lime green or classic black.

Five very useful every day kitchen knives make up the set: 7" Chefs Knife, 7" Bread Knife, 5½" Santoku Knife, 5" Steak Knife and a 3½ Utility Knife.  The knife blades are stainless steel, coated with an easy-release coating and are super-sharp.  The handles are two tone and soft grip for safety. Easy to clean either by hand or in the dishwasher.

Photograph showing the inside of the knife block.
The knives are stored safely and securely in a fibre knife block which is washable too.
Move over traditional knife blocks, this is the new way to store those every day kitchen knives safely and securely.  I have been using the knives on a daily basis and they feel comfortable and secure in the hand without fear of slipping whilst cutting fruit and vegetables. The knives come with a Lifetime Guarantee.

For further information and more Colourtone knife and knife block options, including knives with their own protective sheath, please visit Stellar Cookware.

Many thanks to Pam and Stellar Cookware for the knife block and knives.

8 Jun 2013

Strawberry and Chocolate Cupcakes: Recipe

I've eaten more chocolate this year because the winter went on and on, I'm not a chocolate snob, but a bar of Lindt Excellence Strawberry Intense Dark Chocolate is hard to beat. The chocolate has pieces of freeze dried strawberries running through, it smells of summer and reminds me of strawberries dipped in chocolate.

The strawberries for the cupcakes were bought but it
shouldn't be too long before I am picking my own strawberries
For the vanilla cupcakes:

Makes: 9 cupcakes

You will need: 12 hole muffin tin lined with 9 cupcake cases

115g softened butter, 115g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 115g self raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence.

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and beat together with an electric mixer for two minutes.
3. Spoon into 9 cupcake cases and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool.

For the vanilla buttercream:

You will need:

175g softened unsalted butter, 350g sifted icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract.

1. Beat the butter in a bowl to soften. Add the icing sugar gradually, add the vanilla extract, and beat until the icing is very smooth and pale in colour which will take 5 minutes using a stand mixer.

To decorate:

I used a 1M icing nozzle to pipe the buttercream. Cut a square of chocolate in half and place on the buttercream, top with a whole strawberry.

More recipes you may like:
White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans Cupcakes
Mini Strawberry Victoria Sponges

Photographs taken using the Nikon D3200.

4 Jun 2013

Nigel Slater's Smoked Haddock with Potato and Bacon

You will definitely need more sauce on your plate than this!
We would happily eat this tasty meal any day of the week, my husbands name for this is 'posh fish and chips' and I agree.  Dyed smoked haddock is our choice because it always looks good on the plate.

A pan of fabulous bacon and chips
Smoked Haddock, cream, bay leaves and peppercorns

There is a very generous amount of sauce, we didn't waste one single drop - dunk some fabulous bread into any remaining sauce.

The Smoked Haddock with Potato and Bacon recipe can be found on the Guardian website.

I am entering this into Dish of the Month challenge hosted by Janice at Farmers Girl Kitchen and the host for June is Sue at A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate.