Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brilliant pocket coffee book – FCP revisited

Pocket coffee guideProbably my favourite coffee place in the UK, Full Court Press has excellent coffee, great music and awesome staff (see my previous review). So, when I finally ventured out with baby to revisit the city of Bristol, which I sorely missed, I of course had to stop by FCP. Not once, but twice 🙂 I had two great coffees from Workshop – a washed Kenyan, which was slightly citrussy, but also with hints of caramel. Really, really nice as a flat white. The second cup (later in the afternoon) was a Workshop decaf (apologies as I have already forgotten where from, or if a blend), and while it was nothing like the ‘proper’ great coffee of the morning, it was certainly not bad and clearly one of the better decafs I have had over the past year. Decaf is just never as good, albeit currently a necessity.Hart's croissant

 

While sitting in the cafe drinking my coffee and spoiling myself with a Hart’s bakery croissaint too (there are none better, not even in Paris), I had a read of Matt’s pocket coffee guide, and I very much liked it. For those who know nothing about coffee, it is a great read – informative, clear and concise, andBaby goes to FCP not at all patronising or hipster in tone. For people with a knowledge of coffee, it is valuable too. The book is clearly a work of passion, and the graphic design and printing is simply beautiful. The first edition has sold out, but a second print is just around the corner. A perfect present for any coffee lover.

A year away

Over the past year, I have hardly posted anything. At first, I was just tired. Then, I was sick 24/7. After that I felt awesome for a little while, only for exhaustion to take over. There was a good reason for it all: meet Alice.

Meet Alice

Now that she is here, I shall endeavour to blog again.

Projects for 2015:

Growing:

Get the over-grown allotment up and running again (weeds and grass loved my baby bump).

Over-grown allotment

Baking bread and cooking:

A year in the kitchen inspired largely by Danish food entrepreneur and chef Claus Meyer. Principally from his book ‘Almanak’ and his baking bible.

Claus Meyer - kanelsnurre

For more on Meyer, see http://www.clausmeyer.dk/en/

Kanelsnurrer (cinnamon buns)

I have not posted in absolute ages. Apologies. It is not as if I have not been cooking or writing, though. I have done both in spades and, hence, have not had a minute to spare. That, and I have been watching Treme…

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This week has been a baking bonanza: focaccia, fastelavnsboller (buns filled with creme patissiere) and kanelsnurrer. All three were a hit, so I shall post recipes for all. However, there is no question that the most popular were the kanelsnurrer. By a mile. Mr Speranza said it is one of the nicest pastries he has ever tried, and that is saying something given how much he loves bakery goods and the fact that he is a superb baker.

Makes 14 enormous kanelsnurrer

5 dl cold milk

15g fast action dried yeast

1 egg

1 kg flour (preferably strong)

150 g sugar

15 g sea salt

2 pods of cardamon (ground)

90 g butter

For the filling:

125 g butter (soft)

125 g light demarera sugar

3 tbsp cinnamon (ground)

Dissolve the yeast in the milk, then add the other dry ingredients (i.e. all except the butter). Mix in a kitchen robot for 15 minutes at a medium speed. The dough needs to be smooth and shiny, but not sticky. Now, add the butter in little cubes, and mix for a further 5-10 minutes. Do not skimp on the kneading, it makes all the difference. Leave the dough to rest for 2 hours covered by a tea towel.

Roll the dough out into a square (40cm x 50cm), and gently spread on the butter for the filling. You need to go all the way to the edges. Then sprinkle on the sugar and the cinnamon, and massage/press it gently, but firmly, into the butter. Fold the top one third of the dough towards the middle, and then the bottom one third on top (the dough is not a third of its original size). Roll the dough into a square, this time 30cm x 60 cm, and then cut it into 28 strips.

Take two strips and squeeze them together at the top. Hold the end of the two strips between your index and middle finger, then twist the strips twice around the two fingers, put the end through the loop and pull gently. Place on a lined baking tray, and leave to rise until doubled in size (approx. 2 hours).

Turn the oven on to 200C. Brush the kanelsnurrer with egg and/or milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes until baked through and nicely browned. They should be lovely and moist.