Last week we took a little day trip to London, and while we were there visited The Hummingbird Bakery. They have six bakeries dotted all over London, but I have never been in, just occasionally drooled at the brightly coloured cupcakes through the window. I have been baking from their cookbooks for years (they are the creator of my go to brownie recipe), and so jumped at the chance to eat the actual thing when pudding was called for!
I went for a carrot cupcake, a recipe I haven’t tried, but now fully intend to. Dom had the real-thing-brownie, topped with it’s own icing sugar Hummingbird, which he claims it wasn’t as quite good as mine…but I think this was probably more of a brownie insurance ploy. And Luke, just out of shot, devoured the biggest piece of red velvet you have ever seen.
Delicious, and most certainly worth a visit if you happen to be passing.
We took a four day weekend this weekend. It involved a tour the length of the country which began in Aberdeen where we moved into a lovely new flat with two of our bestest friends, followed by a snooze all the way back down to London to spend the actual weekend with Dom’s parents. It was crazy and busy and wonderful and my birthday all at the same time, and we were truly spoilt seeing Othello at the National Theatre, Prom 28 at the Royal Albert hall, and eating lots of delicious food.
I was sad to leave the new flat and not get to live in in right away as we worked so hard all day Friday to make it look beautiful. The one room I really cannot wait to get stuck into is the kitchen. It is big, has tiles on the floor and beams on the ceiling. I do love beams! I miss my kitchen when I am in Bristol, and my recipe books, and my kitchen aid (known by most of my friends as my baby). In fact I think a fully equipped, clean and anytime kitchen is what I miss the most while we are living away for the summer. I have also discovered that my ‘kitchen essentials’ – things to tide us over for just ten weeks – are an ever-growing collection of things which are now spilling out of the tiny cupboard supplied. Woops! I was a bit fed up, so this evening I decided to prove that kitchen essentials can make more than just pasta and pesto (not that I have anything against pasta and pesto). Cue the goats cheese and pesto roast veg puff pastry with rosemary chips…
Before you do anything else, get the potatoes in the oven. Chop them up into friendly size chunks, we call them chips but really are wedges, cubes or whatever you feel like on the day. They are also one of Dom’s favourite things I make, and excellent for cheering up a meal of anything at all. Put them on a baking tray and cover with a good dose of olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary, then stick them in the oven on about 200 degrees.
Tesco very kindly helped me make my puff pastry this evening. It comes on baking paper so all you have to do it lay it out over your tray and trim to make it the right size for however many are eating. Then spread it with some pesto to give the veg a really yummy summery taste as it cooks, but remember to leave a margin for the puff! I used a mixture of red pepper pesto and normal basil pesto, but I don’t think it matters too much – use whatever is in the fridge.
Layer on a selection of veg. I used aubergine, courgette, red peppers, and tomatoes and then sprinkle on some goats cheese.
The only thing left to do is brush a little egg (one of my mum’s eggs from her lovely chickens if you’re lucky) around the edge to give the pastry a lovely golden colour as it cooks. Sadly my kitchen essentials didn’t include a pastry brush, so, fingers it was!
Then pop it in the oven and wait for the magic to happen!
We ate ours with a nice crunchy salad to complement the sunshine.