25 May 2013

Breakfast with a View

The other weekend we enjoyed our breakfast with the most amazing view of London at Duck and Waffle. We sat at a corner table with floor to ceiling glass on either side and looked down on buses snailing their way along Bishopsgate whilst enjoying some rather gorgeous waffles. The view to the south was not bad either, looking down on to the Gherkin with Tower Bridge in the background. Quite exciting. 

I had booked our tables 10 weeks in advance - this is a popular place so planning a visit is essential. I thought breakfast was a good time to visit, but would like to go back in the evening to see all the lights of London twinkling away.

22 April 2013


After going along at a gentle speed for some time, it has picked up pace. Some big decisions have been made and all of a sudden I have little time to make any cakes or check in here on the blog.

A bit like in the garden. For so many weeks there have been no real signs of life, then one day you realise that things are moving! There is still not much to look at so for now, you have to really zoom in on the few beautiful things out there. Like this snake's head fritillary which Charles Rennie Mackintosh was so fascinated by. It is easy to understand why, with that seemingly perfect checkerboard pattern. Gorgeous and intriguing.

11 April 2013

Signs of Spring

Ordering a cold drink at lunch instead of a hot one. At Market Cafe in Broadway Market.

4 April 2013

Fruit Cinnamon Rolls

Here we have two of my favourite things rolled into one delicious baked treat. Cinnamon Rolls are the most archetypal Swedish treat, you can get them at any cafe and freshly made with a glass of cold milk they are...beyond gorgeous. From the English baked goods section the thing I like best is Hot Cross Buns. Fruity and spicy and so tasty toasted with plenty of butter on top. So, this recipe is a combination of both - looks like a Cinnamon Roll, tastes like a Hot Cross Bun. Genius if I may say so myself!

A note on yeast first of all. In Sweden we pretty much always use fresh yeast. It is readily available in supermarkets and even corner shops. Here in London it is not so easy to get hold of and for years I didn't do much baking as a result of many failures using dried yeast. Thankfully there are now several Swedish food shops in London where you can buy the fresh variety, try here and here. Ocado also have a Swedish section that sells yeast. The benefits of using fresh yeast I find are faster and more reliable proving, and the finished result always seems a bit lighter and more fluffy.

Makes 32 Rolls

50gms Fresh Yeast
400 ml Milk
90 gms Sugar
100 gms Butter
A Pinch of Salt
650-850 gms Plain Flour
Zest of 1 Lemon
Zest of 1 Orange
2 tbsp Mixed Spice
1 Handful of Raisins
1 Handful of Sultanas

100 gms Butter
70 gms Sugar
3 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

On Top
1 Egg
Pearl Sugar

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the milk. Let it warm up to 38 degrees then take it off the heat. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and pour the liquid over, stirring until the yeast had dissolved completely. Add the sugar, salt and mixed spice then start adding the flour bit by bit, working the dough until it holds together without sticking to the bowl. Cover and leave to prove for about 30 minutes until it has doubled in size. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about ten minutes until it is shiny and stretchy. Now add the zest and fruit to the dough, working it until all the bits have been absorbed and evenly spread through it.
To make the filling mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon with a fork until it is soft without any lumps. Divide the dough into two halves and roll each piece out to a rectangle shape about 7 mm thick. Spread the filling onto the rectangles, making sure to cover the whole area. Roll them up from the longside and cut each one into 16 slices. Place the slices cut side up on a baking tray, cover with a cloth and leave to prove for another 30 minutes. Brush the tops and sides of the rolls with some beaten egg. To decorate sprinkle some Pearl Sugar on top - another Swedish speciality which adds a touch of sweetness and crunch. Alternatively use flaked almonds. Bake for 6-9 minutes at 250 degrees until golden and beautiful!

29 March 2013

Sounds of Spring

The sun has made an appearance after days of gloom. How glorious to feel the warmth on my back even if only for a few minutes! As I stepped outside yesterday it struck me how the sounds of spring had returned. For the past week all you could hear was the howling wind, but now the birds are singing again. If I closed my eyes I could almost imagine sitting outside, glass of rose in hand...not long now hopefully.

25 March 2013

Lunch at Homa

On a recent visit to Stoke Newington we stopped for lunch at Homa. How gorgeous to sit by one of those big windows enjoying a deliciously garlicky pizza. I hope I have reason to go back soon - there were plenty of other things on the menu I would like to try!