07.10:2015- Adventures in Baking: Greengage and Pomegranate Pavlova

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

With the grand final of The Great British Bake Off airing tonight (!), I'm convinced that there couldn't be a better time to whisk up a celebratory feast in the kitchen. Whilst this series has been notably incident free (no 'bin-gate' far!!), I think it's been one of the best, and I've got a definite favourite- although I won't jinx it by sharing! It's also encouraged me to get back in the kitchen and bake some old classics, as well as trying some new recipes, and if I'm being honest I'd forgotten just how relaxing cracking on with making a cake could be. Whilst I'm already planning some festive cooking, today seemed like the perfect opportunity to share one of my recent kitchen adventure- which saw me get a little bit experimental with a new twist on an old favourite...

Greengage and Pomegranate Pavlova


4 large egg whites, 250g caster sugar, 350ml double cream, 6 greengages (sliced), 1 pomegranate (seeded)

1) Set the oven to 130 degrees fan, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2) Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks, then whisk in the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Take care not too overmix- you should end up with a nice glossy mixture which forms stiff peaks and doesn't budge when you turn the bowl upside down.
3) Once mixed, gently spoon the meringue mixutre on to the baking tray- you can be as precise as you like with this depending on what sort of shape you're after. I usually find it helps to make the sides a little higher just so you've got a little bit more structure to work with.
4) Bake the meringue in the oven for one hour, and once cooked turn the oven off and leave to cool inside completely.
5) Whilst waiting for the meringue to cool, wash and slice the greengages- they are quite watery anyway so I found it really helpful to pop them on a piece of kitchen paper just to absorb the excess moisture. Once you've done this, seed your pomegranate- this can be a little bit on the messy side so best done over the sink, or if you want something really hassle free, pick up a pre-seeded packet from the supermarket!
6) Gently whisk the cream.
7) Once completely cool, remove the meringue base from the oven and pop onto your serving plate.
8) Spread the cream evenly across the meringue- try not to worry too much about any breaks as this adds to the overall effect once finished.
9) Complete the decoration with the fruit.
10) Serve and enjoy!

Although this takes a little bit longer to whip up than the average cake, it's well worth the wait. It's also really light on the ingredients front too, so perfect if you're trying to use up bits and bobs from the cupboard- and the fruit combination is one which you can experiment with depending on what's in season too!

Have you tried any new bakes recently?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

05.10.2015- On the Menu: The Modern Pantry, Finsbury Square

Monday, 5 October 2015

Contrary to popular thought, I'm firmly convinced that sometimes you can't have too much of a good thing. The Modern Pantry, which I posted about back in June has fast become one of my favourite foodie haunts, so you can only imagine how delighted I was to discover that they've just opened a sister branch- with some exciting new additions to the menu as well as some firm favourites which have proven to be real heroes at the Clerkenwell site. This brand new branch (immaculately decorated, as you'd expect!) sits on the corner of Finsbury Square, and a few weekends ago I popped along for brunch (what else...??!) before popping along to the Barbican for an afternoon of high drama courtesy of their production of Hamlet. Needless to say, the menu provided the perfect way to kick off the day in tremendously tasty fashion...

The menu is absolutely expertly crafted, and the thought and attention to detail behind each dish is incredible. For a leisurely Saturday morning, I opted for poached eggs with all the trimmings- a simple brunch staple but one which, in my book at least, trumps so many others which I've tried. Everything on the plate is flavoursome and perfectly executed, and it was so lovely to have the time to enjoy everything fully. For a palette cleansing pudding, I opted for the mandarin and jasmine sorbet- an iced taste of heaven if ever there was one. I guarantee I'll be back to sample some more menu marvels before too long, particularly as the Finsbury Square branch also houses a tapas bar...bring it on!

Have you discovered any new brunch spots recently? 

 (Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

04.10.2015- What I Wore Today #233

Sunday, 4 October 2015

At this time of the year, knowing how to best dress for the tricky temperatures can be something of a fine art. Regardless of what's been forecast, over the last few weeks I've woken up to various combinations of fog, torrential rain and (however intermittently!) glorious sunshine. Such changeable conditions mean that any forward planning in the fashion stakes is more or less futile, particularly if you've underestimated potential downpours (#soggybottom..!) So, with that in mind, of late I've found myself reaching for some failsafe style staples:

Coat- Whistles 
Shirt- & Other Stories 
Jeans- American Apparel 
Shoes- Converse (c/o JD Sports)
Bag- Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses- Ray-Ban (via John Lewis)

I've had this trench coat from Whistles for what feels like absolutely ages, and season after season it's always a piece which I come back to. Needless to say, it's well and truly been a worthwhile investment and one which I'm so glad I made. It's also one of those wonderful staples which works wonderfully with more or less everything I've got in my wardrobe, and here I teamed it with a comparatively new addition in the shape of this gorgeous shirt from & Other Stories- again a fairly basic piece but one which I've been getting so much wear out of over the last few weeks. Another purchase which has proven to be seriously savvy!
Which pieces are your transitional treasures?

(Image credit: Lily Safavi, please do not reproduce without permission.)
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