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Showing posts from January, 2014

Pop goes the cake pop

I've seen dozens of pretty pics of them all over foodie Facebook sites. I somehow missed trying them on a cruise ship last September. I was so hypnotised by the chocolate fountain on the dessert island that I lost the will to focus on anything else. Then I noticed a cake pop mould in a recent Lakeland kitchen catalogue. It seems that cake pops are the new black in the baking world. And now I have met them up close and personal, thanks to a baker from Delray Beach, Florida.
A baker with passion. A baker who sparkles with delight as she tells me about her Halloween cupcakes: vanilla cake, chocolate frosting and caramel drizzle. A baker whose mise en placeis meticulously organised. An offset spatula? Never heard of one.

This is evidently a learning curve for me. And cake pops are our goal. I'm a little flummoxed when she tells me that while her cakes are cooking she likes to do a little dance around the kitchen. But hey, if it helps them rise, I'll join in! 
Meet Amanda, aged 10…

Pizza. And other words that can change your life.

Okay, a little bit of headline exaggeration going on there. Pizza is more about changing your waistline than your life but... it all knocks on. However, I did have a small life-changing hope for this plate of potential deliciousness at Brewzzi in Boca Raton. It was a siren calling to me from the menu:
But a little asterisk introduced some doubt: *seasonal availability. And this is January: fresh figs aren't available at this time of the year in South Florida, are they? But it was available. Yay! And no they aren't. Oh dear. 

As every cook knows any equivalent dry ingredient has to be cut by half, at least, to replace the fresh version. But the preserved black figs topping my pizza, and my lunch partner's, had been scattered with unadulterated enthusiasm which turned a main course into a very large dessert. When I did manage to detect a sliver of caramelised onion or snippet of bacon through the fructose rush I felt like shouting 'Hallelujah!' with relief. 

Roll on the…

An edible BFG. And big, blowsy and irresistible Tom Wolfe.

BFG has always been Roald Dahl for me: The Big Friendly Giant. Here in south Florida it's another thing entirely: a chain of restaurants called Bonefish Grill. But I never complain when there's food involved. And neither do their customers if the majority of reviews are anything to go by. But apart from seafood all-ways, a whole net of fresh fish seared, baked and farcie-d, as well as Kobe and US beef, and serving staff that are professional and funny and courteous (Gina with the red hair: you rock) it was something on their dessert menu that made the meal unforgettably different for me. 
And this is for all you non-dessert eaters who'd still like a little something sweet and tantalising after dinner: the Espresso Martini made from Svedka Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, crème de cacao and espresso and served in a glass whose rim is encrusted with chipped cane sugar and chocolate.
The only complaint I do have is that the (enjoyably) dim light in the restaurant made it almost impossibl…

The taste of place

I've landed in Miami and I want a filet mignon. Not any filet mignon but a Victoria's filet mignon from Outback: 'Pittsburgh' (heavily seared) medium rare, heavy on the classic seasoning (a kicking blend of peppers and salt). It doesn't matter that it's 2am UK time. Or that after eating it I'm going to crash out with over half a pound of undigested protein in my stomach! Outback's filet is part of what makes me feel I've arrived in South Florida. No steak anywhere else in the world tastes like this one. This is where my holiday begins. Add a large glass of J Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon to that order, would you? 
Hungry Writing Prompt Write about a particular food that anchors you to a place.
If I had to choose a food that anchored me to my home in Kent it would be roast chicken: a 'Sunday dinner' roast chicken with home-made gravy and sausage-meat stuffing. And the culinary comfort attached to my hometown, Port Talbot, In South Wales? That's ea…