30 August 2012

NYC - SoHo To NoHo

♬ 'Hangin Tough' by New Kids On The Block
They were on at a bar called Catch and that's when I knew it was going to be a good holiday.

Last week I submerged myself into what can only be described as foodie heaven, the city I will be bragging on about for the next couple of minutes is New York. From SoHo to NoHo I dipped into the boudoirs of amazing, hidden establishments, spotted a few familiar faces and dined like I was already an A -list celebrity, chances are I might just make it to class B! Now as a keen food writer, photographer and a lover of Iphone apps I deferred from taking too many pictures in restaurants; it's not actually cool and I didn't want to look too much like a tourist and food blogger: saying that I wore stars and stripes every day (with style).

Here a few sneaky pics which I couldn't help but take on the lowdown.

Honestly every place I ate, drank and sat in New York made me want to drop everything in London and immigrate, and I mean eating...

Fish at Crave,
Sushi at Toy Bar,
Kung Pao monkfish in Buddakan, (by far the BEST meal I've ever had to date)
Bacon flavoured cocktails at a speak easy (shhh)
Buckwheat blueberry pancakes at Grand Central Station,
Cakes from Crumbs and Magnolia Bakery,
Taco's in Williamsburg.

The list can go on, fortunately for you I stopped listing after about two days into the trip as I couldn't keep track! To balance the heavy eating and drinking everyday I couldn't help but go to Bikram yoga and experience the NYC version of these twenty six sweaty postures. While holding the triangle pose which is extremely difficult and at this point sweat was dripping from my ear lobe, the teacher made us all sing a birthday song to a student. Classic. Happy Belated Birthday Cathy. 

You know what I did miss - BAKED BEANS. As a staple in my life and a blessing on my breakfast plate every weekend, I felt a bit weird not having them around or you know just knowing they are nearby. Apart from that brunch in New York is massive, plus the New Yorkers make (excuse the next phrase) the meanest next level pancakes. Now obviously this trip has inspired me to create, adapt and transform classics into legendary Mita recipes, so watch out for the next few weeks of pancakes, muffins, brownies, pretzels, pizzas, burgers and complaints about my weight.

The question that cropped up every day was, 'could I live here?' and the answer was 'yes but I would never cook!', however it would be a great place to be filmed about my food experiences.
Good Morning New York Show in Times Square.

Or even setting up my own cake shop. dot dot dot.

All that's left to type is this - the men were of a high calibre and definitely on par with the standard of exquisite food. Amen to NYC.

Favourite Song:

ê 'You Got It (The Right Stuff)'

18 August 2012

Gold Medal Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes

'Tongue N' Cheek' by Dizzee Rascal

Here I am again! This time my exuberant behaviour is about the cupcake below, and Dizzee contributed some extra energy! 
Rhubarb and custard is quintessentially British and I've always wanted to put my own twist on the pair, shame I couldn't find mini custard creams they would have been extra cute. I think next time a sprinkling of pink dust and home made custard creams will be in order. 

Covers 12 muffin size cupcakes


250g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
4tsps Instant custard powder
1 tbsp warm water


: In a food mixer first soften the butter.
: Add the icing sugar in batches.
:Once soft add custard powder and water.
: Keep the mixer on for a further 2 minutes.
Fill piping bag or use a small palette knife.

I think this has been the shortest post to date! The blog will be a bit quiet for a while because I am off to NEW YORK! WAAAAAAAAAA!

A trip that will induce even more crazy ideas, let me know if you try the custard buttercream. Trust me you will LOVE it.


Biscuit Themed Cupcakes

You are looking at jammie dodgers, hobnobs, chocolate digestives, cookies and mini oreos. All on their own signature sponge and my rather dodgy home made usherette tray.

Watch and don't judge the frizzy state of my hair!


'21' by Adele

Aren't these cupcakes just to die for! This is not a long post as the video with my chunky swept fringe explains everything. Mini versions of biscuits are available at large supermarkets and are normally used in lunch boxes, they are perfect to put on cakes, this way you can scoop butter cream without getting your mouth dirty. I would suggest to put them on last due to some of them getting a tad soft. Also in the video I showed you this:

I struggle and stress all the time packing cakes BUT this plastic fruit thing (will look into proper term soon) has been my saviour. I would recommend this in a box and the cupcakes fit and stayed securely(even muffin size) A fantastic and economical way instead of buying cake boxes just to transfer, obviously these are just pretty for transportation, still invest in cake boxes for customers.

One of my favourite images so far.

Favourite Song:

ê 'I'll be waiting'

11 August 2012

Honeycomb Cone

♬ 'Dare' by The Human League

These are the things dreams are definitely made of, a crunchy candy cone which can be made at home in less than ten minutes. There comes a time when I do doubt if I can still pull something creative out the bag in todays food industry, and this my friends is a lesson. Never doubt yourself! So far this month has been about testing, applying generous amounts of sun cream, eating ice cream every second day and pushing boundaries in all aspects of my crazy life.

Right I bet you are wondering how to make the above? I'm smiling and in fact wish I made a video, unfortunately at the time my outfit was one of those never to be seen by anyone else apart from housemates. You know the tracksuit bottoms and stripey t shirt that only should be worn indoors or maybe a quick two minute sprint (Usian Bolt style) to the corner shop. Basically videos can only be made if I look good! Clearly this paragraph has gone off course and I will have to start a new one more linked to the matter in my hand...

Honeycomb CONE

Bees build it, humans steal honey from it and I will tell you how to make it without getting stung. Still this post is about how to manipulate the honeycomb when it is nearly setting, not so much the recipe. There are loads of recipes online that say add water, many teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda etc. Personally science was never my strongest subject at school but I do know that bicarbonate of soda is pure sodium bicarbonate and used because it creates carbon dioxide in the mixture and expands when at a high temperature, whereas baking powder contains cream of tartar and acts as a drying agent, best to use in biscuits than honeycomb. There you go science lesson over!

Honeycomb to make 4 cones the same size as above.


80g soft butter
160g brown soft sugar
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp golden syrup

Melted dark chocolate
Ice cream

You will need:
Pizelle cone roller (not that important I first twirled them by hand)
Greaseproof paper
Extra butter
1 removable cake base 18cm.


: Cut out 4 circles from greaseproof paper, the same size as cake base.
: On a large baking tray line them up and brush a bit more butter on top of the circles.
: In a saucepan with a pouring tip add the butter, sugar and syrup.
: Boil on a constant high heat for 4-5 minutes until there are no sugar lumps and bubbles are golden brown.
: Take off the heat and add bicarbonate of soda and stir until mixture expands and gets frothy.
Pour onto each each circle and spread with a  small palette knife, making sure to work quickly!
Then leave them to set in the kirchen for 2 minutes. Be careful when touching to see if they are soft.
Next put the cone roller on top of one circle and slowly roll into shape, pulling away the paper and pushing slowly. Squeeze the end tip so there won't be a hole for ice cream to escape.
: Once all four are done, dip in melted chocolate and other decorations and refrigerate until chocolate has cooled and honeycomb is hard. 
: Store in an airtight container for two days only, to hold cut a square piece of greaseproof paper and wrap around the bottom.

To display use a spice rack, or alternatively if you do have a test tube holder get that involved.


Favourite Song:

ê 'The Sound Of The Crowd' 

6 August 2012

Team GB Sundae

'Tongue N' Cheek' by Dizzee Rascal

A classic dessert dedicated to the fine Olympians smashing world records and everything else at the moment, I randomly made this while there was a short break on TV, you know just as a quick treat. Usian Bolt among Jessica Ennis and Michael Phelps have made it into my legend list (next to Delia Smith). Clearly there is not an excuse to watch anything else on TV, totally feels wrong watching the Hairy Bikers this month!
The space in which I inhabit in my messed up and annoying shared house is resembling a mini bakery! I don't believe I now own cans of lustre gold spray then found some chocolate Oreo's hiding behind the condensed milk. Seriously watch this space for exciting baking developments!  Anyway this was the outcome -  a sort of gold medal sundae with colours representing the union jack. Totally delicious. Really quick to prepare.
An ice cream worth raving about is Yeo Valley (and NO I am not working with their PR!) I genuinely love this company and love the Greek style yeogurt with honey ice cream. Buy it, I swear you will tut-tut at other ice creams after one glorious scoop. 

 ▶ Get Dizzee on..

You will need one gorgeous sundae dessert glass, worth investing in and they look too cute.
First grab a few raspberries and blueberries, press down in glass then add one scoop of ice cream on top and one crushed Oreo. Repeat then decorate with gold Oreo (which I sprayed before) and edible glitter on the ice cream. Obviously I was side tracked and had a biscuit upside down for one of the images, this was resolved by consuming it quickly and spraying another one.

Present to someone who works hard and deserves a gold medal for just being amazing. Yes the Olympics are a celebration of passion, commitment, focus, skill and talent, and there are people who do that on a daily basis and get no recognition. Represent and show some love.

Enjoy the rest of the games, I might be inspired to rustle up another golden selection of something fabulous. Good luck to your home country, as for mine we are unstoppable and shining through and through.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Dance Wiv Me'

4 August 2012

Simple Roast

'Radio 1's Live Lounge Vol.5' by Various Artists

This is all I can stomach today - music easy on the ear and a simple meal, steady food full of protein and minimal flavour which is not a gastronomical headache. Having a roast is clearly a Sunday ritual, as you can see I didn't go haywire by adding Yorkshire puds and gravy into the mix! It's a nice meal for two while the Olympians show us what they are made of, and as you probably know the talent that is being displayed is unbelievable. I couldn't get over Zoe Smith aged only eighteen lifting 121kg! Pure shock and amazement as I watched her with awe, the girl made it look so easy. At 18 I swear I was only lifting cans of beans. 

Moving on I invested in courgettes, yes they are in season but I really had no idea what to do with them. They are so boring and every recipe book I flicked through dismissed them like they were a bad smell. I chopped them along with carrots and potatoes, drizzled olive oil, lime juice, snuggled in some chicken thighs and hey presto, job done. Partnered with the other vegetables they worked really well and the tangy lime made them taste lovely. Of course the leafy beauty that is coriander had to be involved, which accompanies lime incredibly well. 

Ingredients for two:

2 chicken thighs
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thickly.
2 large potatoes, same as above.
1 large courgette, not peeled but vertically chopped.
Olive oil
2 limes
Bunch of coriander, coarsely chopped.


Preheat oven to 150°c.
: Parboil the potatoes and carrots, for about 15 minutes.
: Drain and tip in a medium roasting dish with courgette.
: Place thighs in the middle, drizzle olive oil and squeeze one fresh lime over the whole lot.
: Pop in the oven and increase temperature to 200°c. Bake until chicken is done, which should be after 30 minutes.
Add extra lime, and sprinkle coriander.

Great, now time for ice cream!

Favourite Songs:

ê 'Little Lion Man' by Taio Cruz
'Telephone' by Roll Deep
'Better Than Love' by Hurts
'Underdog' by Kelly Rowland

2 August 2012

4 Is The Magic Number

'channel ORANGE' by Frank Ocean

Finally in front of the Mac. I've been wanting to blog for such a long time, fortunately lots is happening and it's all go in the production and catering world! Plus a bike accident and a punch in the nose have hit me hard this week! 
For those who are not familiar with the ups, downs, rants and creative spurts on this blog I have to reiterate, especially on this post that I love putting my hand to something and flipping the script. As a part time job I am a nanny and have sole charge of a now four year old beauty, she has picked up my creative streak and is just as crazy as me! During the day if we find a massive piece of polystyrene on the streets I take it in and let the little one paint it, once a giant lollipop was made with a massive branch attached. No wonder she once decorated a bush with tennis rackets then started to paint the leaves! As much as I (like most people) have testing days with work, I enjoy it and continue to do my best.  Anyway for the little girl's birthday I surpassed myself and designed the above.


All the kids were in awe, and actually most of the parents were too! Smarties don't need to be flat down on a cake, on a soft frosting they stand upright perfectly. This cake has a triple sponge, two are meringue based, and the top is a normal vanilla sponge, filled with mascarpone and strawberry jam, the frosting was cream cheese, butter cream and a dash of pink colouring. I know these cakes might look all E-numbered up but this one is not that bad, after all 99% is home made and no one will object to that!

Here are a few tips when making and creating this sort of mammoth cake:

Patience - all three sponges have to be cold, I left them in the tin ran a knife round the edges and then put them in the fridge.
Presentation - decorate just before presenting and take your time, looking good is key when it comes to cake.
Persevere - when putting sponges together and sandwiching with chosen filling, the cake won't look that pretty. This doesn't mean it is a disaster, keep at it and take care when spreading frosting all over the cake. With a cream cheese covering it is best to keep in the fridge until you are ready to decorate. Use a butter knife or even better a cake palette knife.

My hands are battered and dry, I think finally a night in with a hot cup of milk and Frank Ocean is in need. Keep an eye on my twitter, I have had another genius food wave and it will be spread all over here very soon.

Favourite song:

ê 'Forrest Gump'