#24 FOOD NEWS: London design festival, Take 3 ingredients, Weekend cherry tart

Every monday

KEEPING AN EYE ON ALL THINGS BRITALIAN…

Design week strip

A buzzy atmosphere and an explosion of colour created a feast for the senses on a Wednesday night. Part of the London Design Festival, designjunction 2014  made the most of the impressive London Sorting Office with a vibrant exhibition showcasing both cutting-edge design and more traditional brands.

A couple of stands really caught my Britalian eye: Whitbread Wilkinson (designedincolour.com), with it’s colourful bright pink espresso pots and Beef Eater cup, bowl and plate sets – inspired by Disney’s  ‘It’s a Small World’ and the Waterford crystal stand where a craftsman sat quietly giving a live demonstration, creating a clear and sparkling piece using a diamond tipped wheel. Completely absorbed and deep in concentration, you would have thought he was in the calm surrounds of his Irish studio not a pulsating London exhibition! Totally inspiring.

www.thedesignjunction.co.uk

Take 3! Weekday tea: Cannelloni al forno

canelloni

When it’s all too much. Simply pour half a 350g tub essential Waitrose tomato & mascarpone sauce (£1.65) into the base of a small baking dish.

tomato and mascapone

Nestle Waitrose Spinach & ricotta cannelloni (£3.39) in the sauce, spoon over the remaining sauce.

Waitrose fresh pasta cannelloni spinach & ricotta

Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and bake according to the cannelloni pack instructions.

Waitrose Davidstow Cornish mature Cheddar cheese, strength 5

Serves 2-3.

Weekend pud: Guten tag cherry tart

Guten tag cherry tart

Mixing up the fusion theme this weekend, my traditional shortcrust tart case held an Italian-style filling topped with Opies cherries: grown in Kent and soaked in German tipple, kirsch.

Ingredients strip

Serves: 6
Prep: 20 mins (plus chilling and cooling time)
Cook: 20 mins

175g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
100g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
250g ricotta cheese
3 tbsp icing sugar
300ml double cream
1/2 390g jar Opies cherries in kirsch, drained, kirsch reserved
15g flaked almonds, lightly toasted

1 For the pastry, sift the flour in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2 Add the egg yolks and 2tbsp cold water and stir with a fork. Bring it together with your hands to make a dough. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth. wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins.

Pastry strip

3 Preheat the oven to 200’C, 180’C fan, gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm loose-based tart tin. Trim the edge and prick the base with a fork. Line with parchment and fill with baking beans and bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 mins until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

4 Meanwhile, make the filling, put the ricotta in a bowl with icing sugar and 4-6 tbsp of the reserved kirsch and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the cream into the ricotta mixture.

Filling steps strips

5 Spoon the ricotta filling into the pastry case and level the surface. Spoon the drained cherries over the top, then scatter over the almonds.

Cook’s tip

For a great shortcut, use ready made pastry. For an all-out cheat use a ready made tart case!

#16 FOOD NEWS: Gourmet glamping, Aperol Spritz & London design festival

KEEPING AN EYE ON ALL THINGS BRITALIAN…

Every monday 

Gourmet glamping

New Forest banner

Forget cold beans and an energy bar. I may not have Hunter wellies [yet] but whilst in the New Forest this weekend I experienced a touch of glamping for the first time. A sound sleep on a decent camping mattress, with a proper double duvet and pillows followed by a delicious breakfast is definitely the way forward.

As the smell of barbecued bacon wafted over the campsite for our luxury bacon butties (topped with a flourish of baby salad leaves I might add), inspiration struck for my entry for the Parmigiano Reggiano cross cooking challenge to re-create a typical dish from my culinary culture using this delicious Parmesan cheese:

Barbecued Britalian bacon butties

Recipe here

espresso

Stay, eat, sea

For a great campsite in the New Forest happy to accommodate one night stays try Hollands Wood campsite, Brockenhurst.

Get fantastic gastro-pub style food in the hamlet of Bank at The Oak Inn www.oakinnlyndhurst.co.uk.

Afternoon tea by the sea? It had to be done. Beachcomber cafe, Barton-on-Sea.

afternoon tea banner

Going, going, gone

aperol

Aperitvo or ‘getting-the-taste-buds-going’ as I like call it, is a whole other level in Italy. We ordered an Aperol in Undine – this promptly appeared with a huge plate of Orecchiette alle cime di rapa which left me mouthing to Giuseppe, ‘do we have to pay for this?’ (this was met by an Italian tut). How was I to know? They charge £2.50 for a bowl of peanuts in London. Delighted, I sipped my Aperol and tucked into the pasta. So it was a real treat last weekend when my sister-in-law brought out the Aperol before Sunday lunch. However she supercharged it by making an Aperol Spritz which did get-my-taste-buds-going but also demanded a pre-dinner snooze. That stuff is strong.

For Aperol spritz you will need 3 parts of Prosecco to 2 parts Aperol to 1 part soda water, pour over ice and finish with a slice of orange. Aperol costs around £15 for 700ml, available at most major supermarkets. For more info visit aperolspritzuk.co.uk

Design time

Officina Alessi "La Conica" Espresso coffee maker designed by Aldo Rossi

Look out for designjunction showcasing the very best in furniture, lighting and product design from around the world at the iconic 1960s Sorting Office in New Oxford Street. Italian design brand, Alessi are bringing a pop-up cafe and bar to the ground floor space.  The on-site cafe has been realised by designer Mario Trimarchi, and will serve coffee the Italian way. Alessi will also run a pop-up shop for the duration of the event, presenting the Super and Popular collection, a selection of 70 of Alessi’s most familiar and successful objects. Part of  The London Design Festival 18th-21st September.