Almond Cardamom Mousse with an Apricot/Passionfruit Sauce

For all the Swiss and German pastry lovers out there: if you think back to your childhood, what was your favourite breakfast pastry? I’m not speaking cake, but more of pastries such as filled croissants, chocolate buns, cinnamon or nut rolls, donuts, spitzbuebe, danishes. Have one in mind? Well, one of the top contenders on my list is the classic almond croissant. Not the kind you’ll find in an English bakery where a normal croissant is cut in half post baking and stuffed with an almond filling, but the Swiss kind where one fills the croissant before baking. I couldn’t (and still cannot) get enough of that rich almond filling. It’s like marzipan but better. When I came across the filling in a jar, I secretly wanted to run around in the supermarket 10 times screaming my head off to express my joy. Luckily my inner sensible self stopped me before I had a chance to embarrass myself.

Now I have the filling.. what next? I wasn’t in the mood for actual croissants, but desperately wanted to use the filling for something….. what to make for grown ups which isn’t breakfast….. hmm….. and what do I do best….. DESSERT! After googling (haha I cannot believe this is an actual word..) for inspiration I found a recipe to use as a guideline. Of course I decided to add some cardamom, because, why not, let’s face it, cardamom for the win. Let me know what you think!

Almond Cardamom Mousse with an Apricot/Passionfruit SauceIMG_6277

adapted from wildeisen

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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:

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

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

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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Polenta Inspiration

WE DID IT!!! My friend and I successfully ran the Race for Life yesterday evening in Battersea Park. It was such a great event with an amazing atmosphere – over 3000 people had signed up to run, jog or walk the distance :-).


I managed the 5k in just over 25 minutes… not too bad for an awful long distance runner. Thank you to everyone for your generous donations, together you helped me raise a grand total of £1’711.00 in aid of Cancer Research UK!!!! If you have not yet donated but still wish to do so, the link below is active until early September:

Moving on to today’s recipe – recently I have started taking one ingredient and basing an entire menu around it. Today’s choice: Polenta. Polenta is great in cakes and breads (nothing beats chilli with cornbread) but also makes a great side to mushroomy dishes. It reminds me of my childhood holidays in the warm italian part of southern Switzerland. The reason behind my choice of polenta is a recent dinner invitation. They served a delicious polenta/lemon/almond cake for dessert. I had two helpings (despite a starter, a main and an exploding food belly). The minute I got home I tried to find a similar recipe, determined to re-create this heavenly lemony dessert. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same recipe, but it sure tasted just as good :-). The strawberry coulis is an addition of mine, I felt the dish needed some fresh fruity sauce to round it off.

Beef Fillet, Mushrooms, Sherry Sauce, Creamy Polenta


adapted from Fast Food by Laurel Glen and Wildeisen

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Number 2/5

Following the previous post, I present you with cake number 2 of 5 baked for the birthday festivities. A true must for both chocolate and amaretti lovers. Amaretti are possibly my favourite biscuits, they should be yours too. And don’t get me started on Amaretto, the tastiest liquor ever created. Those sours are dangerous. Remind me again why I decided to give up alcohol for Lent? At least there are only 22 days left and Fortnum’s Easter sponge pudding (honey, amaretto & almond sponge pudding with a soft chocolate centre….nom) waiting at the end of it. Not to forget the amaretto butter topping, Easter dessert wouldn’t be half as good without it.

Enough about Amaretto. This cake, like the Linzer, is best after having rested in a cool place (e.g. cellar) for a day or two. Perfect if you have a lot of baking or cooking planned!

Chocolate Amaretti Loaf Cake

IMG_2079 - Version 2

adapted from Wildeisen

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Martha’s Linzer Torte

Birthdays are funny things. The hype around celebrating them seems to come in two phases. The first one starts with birth and lasts probably until 25. At 25, after having (hopefully) graduated and joined the real working world, every reminder of age is given the evil eye and subconsciously creates internal stress: career-wise, relationships, friendships, financially, where to go in life, aaaahhhh….! Recently I saw a 15 page CV….. how am I ever going to fill so many pages in the next few years? Too much to do and so little time. Also, if you’re female, mid twenties-thirties and single, I’m sure you can relate to this dialogue from When Harry Met Sally:

Sally: AND, I’m gonna be forty.
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday
Harry: In eight years.
Sally: But it’s there. It’s just sitting there, like some big dead end. And it’s not the same for men.

The second phase of celebratory hypes starts round about retirement age, 60 years, and lasts for the rest of your life (YAY some celebrations at the end of the 40 year working tunnel). Last week we celebrated a very special birthday within the family. Planning for the 3 day weekend (apparently the older one gets, the longer one wants to celebrate, one day isn’t enough) had begun months before. The closer we came, the only thing on the birthday boy’s mind was the party. The excitement was comparable to that of a 4 year old eating chocolate cake for the first time. Being 23, I didn’t quite understand how one could be sooooo excited about getting older, but I guess the older one gets the more appreciative one becomes of age and life (oooooo words of wisdom…. :-P). Let me get back to you about that when I turn 60.

With a guest list close to 50 and a Sunday morning plan of coffee, tea and cakes, no more needed to be said. I successfully took on my first cake marathon and baked 5. Luckily some cakes, like the one below, are best baked 2 days in advance. This made life a little easier, however with the additional skiing, small-talking and remaining birthday madness, sleep deprivation was to be expected.

Finally, about this first cake: my mother grew up with a nanny/maid called “Martha”. She joined the family when my mother was born and stayed for 50 years. Martha was like a grandmother to me. She could also bake like a goddess; her cakes were divine. The Linzer Torte (swiss style, not Austrian and overly spiced) is one of her recipes. Deciphering her jumbled handwriting and trying to follow her thoughts wasn’t the easiest, but definitely worth it. Sadly she passed away a few years ago, but she is always remembered when one of us decides to whip up a cake for a special occasion. The Linzer has become somewhat of a family tradition. With its special almond paste filling and generous layer of jam, it’s always a winner.

Martha’s Linzer Torte


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