- I went to the Bake for Syria charity evening, as promised, and stuffed myself with an assortment of delicious carbs. The highlight was definitely the version of pizzette made by Johnnie Collins from The Store Kitchens with pickled grapes, walnuts, nectarines, herbs and cheese on a rye base (manoushi) that managed to be both crispy and chewy and so tasty.
- Another highlight was The Good Egg's pistachio & cherry babka. It is the softest and most pillowy dough. Both of these recipes will be in the Bake for Syria Cookbook, along with MANY others, from Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Claire Ptak (maker of the royal wedding cake!) and ... me! :-D It's out on June 20th and available to pre-order from Amazon now.
- A few weeks ago I started soaking some raisins in rum. I took them out on Monday and put them in the dehydrator to get them back to a similar moisture content to put them onto bars of chocolate. Then on Wednesday I went to Damson Chocolate and spent the afternoon filling moulds with Dom's Madagascan/Peruvian blend, adding the raisins and tapping out air bubbles to make 70 bars for a chocolate-themed dinner I'm hosting this week. I can't wait.
- I left there to head to the launch of the Good Food Media competition for writers, photographers, audiophiles and videographers (published and unpublished) who are telling stories about the state of our food system. It was catered for by eco chef Tom Hunt and his corn bread was divine. Look out for him cooking at Borough Market or festivals around the country or in his Bristol Restaurant, Poco. He has a book, too.
- When I met with Russell from Fifth Dimension Chocolates to collect some of the chocolates for this week's dinner he also brought me along one of his newest chocolates: an arctic thyme caramel. Russell has a real talent for balancing unusual flavours in chocolate and this was gorgeous, a slight herbal hint to lift the caramel, but not too overpowering.
I'm planning to meet a friend for dinner at Delamina tomorrow night and I can't wait to tell you all about the chocolate-themed dinner, too!