Happy Birthday

HAPPY BIRTDHAY to a very special man in my life, who has supported me since day 1, no matter how difficult I’ve been in the past 25 years (yes, these type of men do exist). Thank you!
I don’t know if you recall the birthday craze two years ago where I baked 5 cakes for one celebration. And there weren’t even many leftovers! Lucky for me, after a certain age, big birthdays only come once every 5 or 10 years (depending how excited the birthday child gets). This year, having reduced the guestlist from roughly 50 to an intimate family affair, one cake fed all. Not just any cake, but my grandma’s famous chocolatey, flourless, moist, gluten free, almondy heaven. It was praised by all tasters. One even demanded I post the recipe online. So here you go, try and recreate, let me know how it goes, invite me to taste and judge, but most importantly – enjoy.

Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

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The British

This post is dedicated to all recent Cupcake & Prosecco indulgers (because birthday cupcakes win over birthday cakes). Thank you again for making the event what it was and for eating so many cupcakes! You know who you are ;-). And I think you enjoyed it, as did your taste buds. Especially The British, they seemed to go down very well. So did The Classic, but that recipe is already published.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about: The British =  Apple Crumble Cupcakes (obviously…… the most British dessert ever), adapted from an Apple Crumble/Streusel Cake recipe. As almost always, the secret ingredient is cinnamon, lots of it. But you need to make sure it is good quality. For example, if you happen to live in London ❤ and surroundings, Whole Foods stocks the best! Now, once you have succeeded in finding such cinnamon, everything you bake will be heavenly, including this cake/these cupcakes. Enough blabbing, below you’ll find the cake recipe which can be easily changed into cupcakes. One quantity of the ingredients makes 20-24 cupcakes. Good luck and dig in!

Apple Streusel Cake (or Cupcakes)

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adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days

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HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!

HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY to me!!! It’s like I have two birthdays worth celebrating annually from now on – exciting:-) I cannot believe a year has passed since I spent hours with my other half in my tiny flat in Chelsea trying to figure out how to best take a picture that would adequately represent the medical gourmet. Good times.  Good memories. Didn’t turn out too bad right?

In celebration of this day – a small sweet treat for a spring and late summer culinary sin which reminds the palate of Christmas. Served with bubblies, obviously. No birthday of mine could go without!

Apple and Red Currant Crumble Bars

Apple Currant Crumble Bars

adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

One thing I missed extremely during my time in London was the winterly weekend getaways to the snowy Swiss alps I am used to from my childhood. Finally I have them back!! Since the season started I have spent every free day in the snow. The fresh mountain air and the relaxed ambiance are irreplaceable. There is no better way to finish off a long day on the slopes than with a piece of fresh cake and a cup of hot chocolate (with the obligatory generous splash of some sort of Alcohol, Amaretto in my case) – pure bliss. Here is a lemony classic I personally love – even if you think you are drowning the cake in lemon, use all of the lemon sirup to drizzle!

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Cake

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Swedish Cardamom Cake

The last time I had a few days off after nights I decided to visit Stockholm with a friend, who also randomly had some days of compensation (the one plus about working as a doctor – you get random days off to compensate for your ridiculous hours = free holidays!). One thing the Swedish know how to do well is the so called “Fika“, or coffee break with lots and lots of pastry. It belongs to the daily routine apparently, like breakfast, lunch and dinner. Genius. The pastries the Swedish are most famous for are, correct me if I’m wrong, cinnamon bullar (buns), cardamom bullar, cardamom cake and also saffron bullar. When I read cardamom bullar for the first time, I must admit, I was a tad sceptical as I immediately associated it with curry (ew…. curry pastry… not what I had in mind for my tea break). Retrospectively, I can proudly call myself an Idiot. Ground cardamom is the new cinnamon! Every pastry with cardamom was amazing – indescribable! I have even started adding it to my morning muesli instead of the good old cinnamon…. it seems to go with everything.

Anyways, with this newly revealed secret ingredient, being responsible for the sweet side of a Christmas family gathering, I decided to attempt to recreate something from my trip – a Swedish cardamom cake. It went down extremely well. You should try it!

Swedish Cardamom Cake

Cardamom Cake

adapted from a random cookbook, unknown name and author, read in Stockholm airport.

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The List You Have All Been Waiting For

GOODBYE LONDON! Thank you everyone for an amazing year – it will definitely never be forgotten. I have had so many memorable experiences and built great friendships. Leaving will not be easy (multiple tears have already been shed) – who knows, maybe I shall call this city my home again in the near future, I love this place!
For the past year I have been known as the London restaurant-connoisseur amongst my friends; my phone has a secret long list of recommendable places to go. How will they decide where to have dinner once I leave? With the help of this post. I present you with an excerpt from my list, enjoy:

Restaurants
Princi – Soho, good for Italian desserts and pizza
Burger & Lobster – Lobster for £20!
Hakkasan – Tasty but pricey Chinese food in Mayfair
Modern Pantry – Clerkenwell, great brunch
Caravan – Kings Cross, great brunch
Big Easy – Kings Road, burgers, lobster, fajitas, the best
Suksan – Park Walk in Chelsea, a hidden Thai gem
Nopi – Soho, one of Ottloenghi’s finest venues, don’t stay for dessert though, wasn’t worth it
Lahore Kebab House – Aldgate East, great for canteen style cheap Indian curry and lamb
Dishoom – Covent Garden, possibly one of the best Indians in town, also good for brunch
Masala Zone – All over the place, also Indian, for the full experience order a Thali
Tayyabs – Whitechapel, extremely chaotic and terrible service, but excellent spicy Indian food
Assa – Off of Tottenham Court Road, a cute tiny Korean where I guarantee you will be the only non-Korean
Social Eating House – Soho, great dinners and amazing desserts
Sketch – Off of Regent Street, worth going for tea just so you can have a look at both toilets, one is egg themed, the other music box themed
The Breakfast Club – Best pancakes for miles
Duck&Waffle – Liverpool Street – 24 hour heaven, great for breakfast and dinner, trying the dish duck&waffle when you’re there is obligatory
Spice Market – In the W hotel, great pan-Asian cuisine
La Relais de Venise – Marylebone, there is only one thing on the menu: Entrecôte and fries. Amazing.
Patty & Bun – Marylebone: Best. Burgers. Ever. (Honest and MeatLiquor aren’t bad either).
Granger – Decent brunch in Notting Hill
Atelier Robuchon – Michelin starred restaurant in Covent Garden with an amazing pre-theatre menu!
Crazy Bear – Asian in Fitzrovia with devilish cocktails
10 Greek Street – Soho, great for an intimate dinner
Duck Soup – Soho, great for a glass of wine and nibbles
Fernandez & Wells – Multiple locations, great for some wine and nibbles
Kopapa – Covent Garden, brunch
Chez Elles – Brick Lane, cute French brasserie
Goat Chelsea – My local pub, 50% discount for locals on Wednesday and great biweekly cocktail classes
Santore – Exmouth Market, great Italian, yummy pizza
Honey&Co – Warren Street, tasty Middle Eastern food, but rather small portions
The Wolesley – Picadilly, a classic for any time of day
Le Caprice – Picadilly, great for lunch and Jazz
Berners Tavern – Above Oxford Street, great for brunch and dinner
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – In the Mandarin Oriental, probably the best meal I have had in London
Sapori Sardi – Family run Sardinian restaurant in Fulham
Electric Diner – Brunch in Notting Hill
Cinnamon Club – Indian at the old Westminster Library
Hawksmoor – Steak!
Workshop Coffee – Clerkenwell, great for brunch and coffee
Balthazar – Covent Garden, français, good for dinner and brunch
Uyen Luu – Amazing Vietnamese Supperclub at the chef’s home
The Market Place Restaurant – Chelsea Farmers Market, perfect for an outdoor jug of Pimm’s in Summer
Sydney Street Noodle Bar – Outdoor Vietnamese noodle bar hidden just off of Kings Road, great for lunch

Cafe’s/Cake/Gelato
Timber Yard – Covent Garden
Bagariet – Covent Garden, only has two tables, so you might have to fight for them
Konditor and Cook – tasty baked goods off Borough Market
Lola’s – Best. Cupcakes. Cake. Ever.
Megan’s – Kings Road, yummy cakes
Leyas – Camden, amazing cakes
Kahalia – Brick Lane, coffee and cakes
All Museums – The V&A has amazing cakes and is great in Summer
Gelupo – Ice cream in Soho
Gelateria 3bis – Ice cream by London Bridge
The Coffee Works Project – Islington
The Langham – great for Afternoon Tea

Drinks
Experimental Cocktail Club – China Town, you might not find the door at a first attempt
Barts – Sloane Avenue, speakeasy bar with a great vibe
Angelsea Arms – Chelsea, always packed!
The Commercial Tavern – Shoreditch somewhere, really cool pub with multiple styles of interior design
Kensington Roof Top Gardens – High Street Kensington, great views and cocktails
Aqua Bar – London Bridge, in the Shard, possibly one of the best views
Artesian at the Langham – Innovative, relatively pricey, but amazing cocktails
Archers Bar – Soho, great vibe with singing waitresses
Amouse Bouche Champagne Bar – Parsons Green
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels – Covent Garden, wine bar with a mystery wine one can guess and potentially win a bottle
Vinoteca – Soho, wine bar
The Blind Pig – Soho, comfy leather chairs and a good vibe
Book Club – Shoreditch
Simmons – Camden, great cocktails served in teapots
The Swan at the Globe 

The list could go on and on, but I think I’ve given you all enough to start with!

Being the last post from London for now, I thought I’d stick to a very British recipe: Bakewell Tart. You can never go wrong with almonds and raspberries. It took 3 girls only 2 days to get through the whole cake… must be good!

Bakewell Tart

IMG_2106adapted from bbc food

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Race for Life – Donations Welcome!!

Craziness and possible over-ambition struck: I decided to sign up for Race for Life on the 11th June!!! I am running this race to help raise lots and lots of money for one of the most important fields of medical research – cancer. Liposarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, hit my family 17 years ago and decided to relapse a few times – the most recent episode of disease being the worst with metastases. Sadly, treatment options for late stages of this (and other types of) cancer are scarce – a lot more research is needed!

So please click on the following link: http://www.justgiving.com/themedicalgourmet and donate as little or as much as you want in aid of Cancer Research UK – every penny is a step closer to finding possible cures!

As for this cake – it is the final cake baked for the birthday celebrations (YAY 5/5; I made it!) – a traditional Swiss style carrot cake with a Kirsch icing. I made a gluten free version to cater for everyone’s needs by simply substituting the flour with gluten free flour – it was actually one of the most successful and praised cakes of the event! Definitely worth baking again 🙂

Swiss Rübli Torte ala Betty Bossi

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