The Three Wise Panettone

You know what they say about buses? Well I’ve had a similar experience with panettone recently. Having previously only occasionally eaten those mini ones at a well-known coffee shop chain, suddenly my life seemed to be filled with panettone. As well as taking part in a bake off, I had the fortune to be invited to a masterclass held by a top Italian pastry chef. So in keeping with those proverbial buses, here’s my three wise panettone.

My home-made Panettoncino

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The Long Table – Friday Night Market

Reading Tweets from the queue on the opening night was how I first heard about the Long Table. I was sat in Lahore Kebabhouse, a much warmer environment from which to ogle at the bizarreness of London’s food scene. We’re people really queuing up, in the cold, on a Friday night to get into a market? Fast forward a couple of weeks and the Missus declares that her birthday gathering is taking place at the same market. Despite my best efforts to get the earliest train up to London, I find myself queuing a warehouse in Dalston, with the hipsters and the foodies, in the cold, on a Friday night.

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Breakfast at the Hawksmoor

Thirty five quid for a fry-up. OK, that is for two, but still that’s a lorra money for a cooked breakfast. But when it comes with the Hawksmoor’s meaty seal of approval it gives you confidence that you’ll be in for a treat.

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Get Your Mo On Bro!

I bet you didn’t know that eating burgers can help beat cancer? You won’t find any medical journals covering this remarkable breakthrough but it’s true because London based hamburger chain Byron is once again taking part in the annual Movember charity fund-raiser. Movember is a moustache-growing charity event held every November which raises funds and awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer. Originating in Australia, it’s spreading across the global and growing in popularity here in the UK.

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Banana & Chocolate Chip Bread with Maple Glaze

We get free bananas at work, something about keeping us alert and healthy making us more productive. I don’t know if it works, but bananas are nice and they’re usually gone by the middle of week. However, occasionally you get a batch that go brown quicker, and fickle as people tend to be, the less appealing ‘nanas remain uneaten, getting even browner under the icy blast of the office air conditioning. Well rather than let them go to waste, myself and our office manager squirrel them away; their fate is to become delicious and decidedly less healthy, productivity sapping banana bread.

Finished Banana Bread

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Pig Cheeks Braised in Cider

With my parents visiting and funds low, a tasty but good value meal was needed. I usually cook a casserole, an old family favourite, for my parents and this certainly a good fit for the budget conscious cook. But then inspiration came at the butchery counter in Waitrose, looking rather lonely was a tray of pig cheeks. Now I’ve eaten pig cheeks in fancy restaurants, but never cooked them at home. The theory is similar to casseroling cheaper cuts; muscles that work a lot are flavoursome but incredibly tough, so animals cheeks which have been used to chewed food throughout their life are a joint prized for offering maximum flavour – slow cooking is essential though.

 

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An Ode to Byron’s Uncle Sam

Back at the beginning of September I had the great pleasure to attend a gathering at London based Byron Hamburger chain to sample their new guest burger – the Uncle Sam. Byron founder Tom Byng hosted what can only be described as thoroughly excellent, beef-laden evening.

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