Coming back to real life after India was a huge uncomfortable bump. I was feeling rather blue, real life is just pants. I was still day dreaming about flexing my yoga skills under blue skys with the parrots flying overhead. So I was very glad to have my chocolate day course booked in for the week after my return with the fabulous Mark Tilling, twice crowned UK’s best chocolatier at Squires Kitchen near Guildford. This was the second part of my prize after winning Tate and Lyles Baking Dreams competition back in November (I haven’t stopped entering competitions since, you’ve got to be in it to win it).
They say you should never meet your idols, you will only be disappointed. So understandably, I was feeling apprehensive yet super excited about meeting my favourite French sugar god, Eric Lanlard. I have been swooning over his books for a few years and had visited his shamazing café, Cake Boy, in Battersea so when I had to choose what I wanted for my 25th (ok, ok, 30th) birthday present, there was no doubt in my mind what to ask for. A baking tutorial day at Cake Boy with Eric. A whole day with Eric! A whole day! Me! And Eric! ERIC! He does a variety of different baking days and I plumped for the French Baking day complete with breakfast patisseries, lunch with wine and you get to take home everything you bake. The cakes we were going to make were almond and lavender provencal cake (gluten free), a gateaux Breton (even I had to google that one, a buttery crumbly flakey gorgeousness apparently) and a pear and juniper tart tatin. Major yummo.
This Easter weekend, I have eaten a lot of cake. However, in the words of my inspiration, Nigella, you should only feel guilty about food if you do not feel pleasure from eating it. And each sweet treat was v pleasurable and therefore guilt free (until I stand on the scales)! I started off my sugarathon at Manuka Kitchen in Fulham where I shared a peanut butter, chocolate and pretzel tart with the BF. Very rich and indulgent, one to share was more than enough (pictures can be seen on my Instagram @hollylovescake). The ground pretzels were used to make the pie crust filled with a rich chocolate ganache and topped with peanut creammmmmmmmmm (Opps, sorry, just thinking about it is making me drool). Delightful. The cafe itself is stylish with an open kitchen at the back with black and white pictures from local industry adorning the walls, it serves a great brunch menu with pancakes as big as mattresses. The same day also saw us going to Dum Dum Donutterie located in Box Park, Shoreditch. Wow. They are all about the doughnut and they do it so so well. Every doughnut sounded like a dream including creme brulee. But I was all over the cronut, a big craze of cake hybrid mixing a croissant with a doughnut. Flakey yet doughy, buttery and sugary and oozing with pistachio cream. This was absolute filth in the best possible way.
Welcome to my new Wednesday Cake Review! Ta da! I have been trying to think of a smart catchy name but this is still work in progress (Damn my acorn sized brain) so Wednesday Cake Review will have to do for now (suggestions welcome). Every week I will endeavour to review a cake or dessert. The vendor will only be judged by the standard of their cake/dessert, nothing else and scored out of 10. This week I review cake from Lily Vanilli.