Raspberry Jelly with Lemon Mascarpone

What is your favorite childhood dessert? I’m sure you all have at least one fond sweet memory of either your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen. There are many classic Swiss/German “children’s” desserts I (think) was deprived of in my childhood. Ok, that was phrased wrongly, as you know I was a fussy eater. My elders knew better than to serve me a bowl of something that would come right back their way.

Milchreis (rice pudding) was one of them, rote Grütze  (something like a red fruit jelly) the other. After a recent birthday party filled with childhood memories, I decided to see what I missed out on all these years and attempted the latter. Conclusion: Aside from the adult-tailored lemony addition (which is amazing, but not child-friendly), I’m pretty sure I would have liked it back then.

Raspberry “Jelly” with Lemon Mascarpone

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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:

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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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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