Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dinner at Molly's Yard, Belfast

Sometimes, a restaurant is worth a second visit.  Even though it's in a city with loads of brand new, look at me our food is amazing, restaurants that appear on every list of recommendations.  Molly's Yard is that restaurant.  It's nowhere near the usual suspects, tucked away in a corner beside Queen's University in the heart of studentland, but it's somewhere you should plan to visit.  Why?  They've inventive, delicious food and a love of all things gin.  Sometimes they combine the two for sold-out gin tasting menu events which are much sought after.  Lucky people of Belfast.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Calvados Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Mascarpone

Something we're a little bit fond of in the day job is cake.  We pretty much drop everything if there's the rattle of forks and the chance of something sweet to bring a bit of sunshine into our lives.  Doing the Bake Off in work is a great way for everybody to show off their baking talents (or blatantly cheat in some cases - you know who you are) and I have a great time being Queen Judge and very fairly evaluating everybody's entries.  You'd think that would absolve me from having to bake myself, wouldn't you?.

Not a chance.  Especially with my colleague Karen sitting across from me. If she hears the C word, there's an immediate yelp of "cake, cake, CAKE???" and she gets very excited.  When she heard I had bought some apples, I was instructed to go home and make a cake.  With the apples and maybe some salted caramel because she's fond of that too.  How could I resist such an order?  To turn it into a very grown up cake, I marinated the apples in some Calvados and made a mascarpone cream with the last of my salted caramel.  As I'm feeding a crowd, I made a large traybake cake and topped it with the salted caramel mascarpone,but if it was for a smaller crowd, I'd make two 8 inch cakes and sandwich them together with half of the mascarpone and use the rest to decorate the top, with a few swirls of salted caramel for added prettiness.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Taste of Dublin 2015

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Taste of Dublin food festival which kicks off in the Iveagh Gardens today.  Sadly, I'll be missing it due to #babaduckenvacances but if you're planning a trip into town, here's my top tips for a great afternoon or evening out.