The Shrove Tuesday Files

Who doesn’t love Pancakes. It’s one of my first positive food memories that repeats through my life. My mum made great Pancakes and always served with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of Jif Lemon (not sure why we never had fresh lemons). I have carried on that tradition on, until recently as I’ve started having pancakes as a treat breakfast.

This morning I was feeling a bit flat after a great weekend in Brighton with my nephew and as an emotional eater I didn’t want my usual Bran Flakes.  So inspired by the great American series The X Files the truth was out there…

The Pancake recipe I used was this recipe :

● 135g Plain Flour
○1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
● Teaspoon of Salt
○ 2  Tablespoons of  golden caster sugar
● 1 Large Egg (free range)
○ 4.5 fld Oz Milk

Then I decided to mix it up with
● 1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
○ Handful of Sultanas

The method is simple
Put flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon into a bowl (I prefer to use my Pyrex Jug it makes it easier to decant.)

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Crack the egg into the middle and start to mix in.

Then add the Milk  mixing as you go until you have a thick batter.

Next melt a nob of butter in your pancake pan and add this to your mix and stir in.

Finally add your Sultanas and leave the batter to rest. An hour if you can and if you have no patience like me, then five minutes; this let’s the ingredients meld together and the starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter making the batter thicker. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency.

Then I use peanut oil to oil the pan and put it on a low light.

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I use a tablespoon as measure for each pancake (most recipes suggest a ladle)

I cook until I see air bubbles then turn (this should take about 1 to 2 minutes)

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Then serve with or without  Maple Syrup (other brands are available but this was on offer).

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American Cinnamon Pancakes

I loved these and as a huge fan of Cinnamon they will be a new Sunday treat . 

Tonight we will be having traditional pancakes unless I’m out voted!

Hope you enjoy your Shrove Tuesday.

If you like my blog please follow me on here or Twitter @LouiseWinder

Love Louise X
Louise Winder Food & Travel

#EatBakeBlog

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#EatBakeBlog won’t jack on Flapjacks

It has been a while since I made these sticky oaty bars and in my efforts to use up the sugar in the house and continue with my attempt to remove it from my daily life it seemed like a good use of  our cupboard staples.

Why I am doing this today after stepping on the scales since before Christmas is beyond me, as the news was as grimmer than I’d expected. Not since ten days in Vegas back in 2010 have the scales creaked as much.

This time I used this recipe from my recently purchased book Mary Berry’s Baking Bible see page 191 for her Fast Flapjacks.   I made same minor tweaks as I had no demerara sugar so I used the following ingredients:

  • 225g / 8 oz Butter (unsalted)
  • 100g /  3.5 oz   Caster Sugar
  • 125g / 4.4 oz  Soft brown sugar
  • 275g/ 10 oz  Porridge oats (organic)
  • 100g (3.5oz) Sultanas

With the butter and sugars melted, the oven hot and ready to go, I mixed in the oats and sultana’s into the greased tin, flattened and popped this sticky buttery mix it into the oven.

Now our favourite baker tells us to cook for about 35 minutes, so knowing our furnace of an oven (which would incinerate you, as soon as look at you) and I took them out at 30.  But alas it was too late –  the Flapjacks are beyond what I call golden (think the dress – we all have our own colour charts)

Now, I know David will tell me they are perfect (he is too kind plus I am sure worries if he critiques I may give up)  but I know better so next time it will be 25 minutes and I will invest in a thermometer to try and seek a more golden offering.

Flapjack by EatBakeBlog
Flapjack by EatBakeBlog

Thank you for reading if you like my blog then please follow me on twitter @LouiseWinder

Louise x

#EatBakeBlog

 

 

Ego at The Beverly Arms

It’s no Ego trip (Donaster Road, Ackworth)

This review focuses on our first impression of Ego at the Beverley Arms  and a few comments on our subsequent visits.

We booked in on day 3 of trading at the newly opened Ego at the Beverley Arms.   We arrived at 730pm and were quickly seated our drinks order was taken about 15 minutes later.  There is a lovely buzz about the place with a hint of chaos from a new team which added to the excitement and anticipation.  I am craving an excellent restaurant locally and hope this fits the bill.  However they clearly can seat over 100 covers so I hope they have the experienced team to handle this with their extensive menu.

Around 745pm we placed our order from the a la carte menu ordering the Chicken and Rosemary Pate and Moules Marinieres to start. Followed by Moroccan Lamb  Tanjine and Iberian Belly Pork, served on a bed of spinach with black pudding.

The starters arrived around 15 minutes, they were nicely presented (although no finger bowl for the Moules!). The Pate was very chilled so the flavour was lost and the toasted bread  was not really toasted.  The moules, a starter portion was served in a main course bowl #disappointment. The upside was they were juicy and the mariniere sauce was creamy with just enough garlic so they can be forgiven what I see as teething problems.  I do hope the Head Chef orders some small pots to avoid disappointing their diners.

The main course arrived an hour after our initial order.  The Moroccan Lamb was well presented in the Tajine.

Ego at The Beverly Arms
Lamb Tajine

The was no shortage of olives in this dish, the cous-cous, as promised was lightly buttered (and very fluffy), the vegetables were tasty in the rich sauce, the lamb however as tougher than you’d expect for a slow cooked dish.  There was plenty of tzatziki and corriander to compliment.  Overall this dish was tasty – however – I think it is overpriced at £15.95 considering the lack of provenance and the average quality of the lamb.

David enjoyed his belly pork – the sauce was rich and pork was tender and had a wonderfully crisp top. Again though the pricing is high, you can find similar dishes and more plentiful plates for less (consider this is not served with any vegetables or carbohydrates).

The Dauphinoise Gratin was a fraud it was more like Lyonnaise Potatoes; in summary it was cheesy potatoes – not the wonderfully rich creamy garlic dish you’d expect.

Dauphinoise Potatoes
Dauphinoise Potatoes at £3,25 (that’s a desert spoon for reference)!

It was quite late by the time we finished our mains so we did not order a further course or coffee.

Overall we were not bowled over by Ego at the Beverley Arms, I think  the Ego brand may think they are stronger than they are. In my opinion they have some evolving to do.   We paid over £50 (inlcuding a small carafe of red wine) and in my experience I have paid less for more.  In future, we will dine on their special nights as their main course prices match that of a an established city restaurant with great service.

Our second experience was on the steak night this improved upon our first visit. The latest visit was for a family meal for 8 which was better than our first trip but still a long way off, stronger service is needed again the gap between starters and mains was noticible with no apologies and we were left alone far too long with regards to drinks orders as not all the party were wine drinkers.

I give Ego 3 out of 5 and hope that this soon will improve and would recommend you try but if you are too a keen cook you may wish to book in for a specials night first.

If you like my reviews you will find more on Trip Advisor or follow me on Twitter @LouiseWinder

Louise x

#EatBakeBlog

An anniversary dinner to remember (The Magpie Cafe, 14 Pier Road, Whitby)

We dined at The Magpie Café first in November 2014, then again in February 2015 and each time we said we’d come back and have something other than Haddock and Chips and for our first anniversary of meeting I took David here for dinner. We were booked for 7.30pm as queues are commonplace at this landmark restaurant.  Were quickly seated on the first floor which gave us a view of the harbour and the Abbey – so romantic as a view, just a shame the restaurant’s spotlights do not dim for the evening.

Our waitress Jeanette was just lovely, really warm and funny. We ordered our starters, I chose Chilli Glazed Monk Fish followed by Lemon Sole with Whitby Crab with Béarnaise and Magpie Hash (£17.99) and my partner opted for Moules Mariniere then Dover Sole with Nut Brown Butter (£12.99). Unfortunately the kitchen advised the Dover Sole was “soled” out so David chose the Roast Coley Fillet served on Barlotti Beans with Ham Hock (£16.99; this dish was served at the Deck to Dinner event in London to promote the Magnificent 7 crab, megrim, plaice, coley, mackerel, hake and gurnard). We have had 2 of the 7 – mackerel is out of season now so that was a non-runner.

The wine we chose was a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc called Infamous Goose from the Marlborough region of New Zealand £19.99)  which was just divine, it had a perfect balance between buttery flavours and the zest of citrus and gooseberries –  a real winner.   I must add that I love that the Magpie have a great choice of half-litre carafes as you do not see this enough in England so big thanks to the team for offering this.

Starters: the mussels were a winner for David but we were surprised that no finger bowl or substitute was offered to clean up after dipping in.  I love this meaty fish (yes I am lazy and I hate fish bones) however the dish left me slightly disappointed – the fish was moist but the Sweet Chilli Glaze was lacking as was the coriander.  The chef had used Coriander Stalks and it just didn’t come to the party – I personally would try this using leaf and stir it thought at the end of cooking.  It was my first time to have Quinoa which may be good for you but it doesn’t seem to absorb the flavours of the dish.

Mains: portion size was generous as you can see  .

Coley with Ham Hock
Coley with Ham Hock

David loved his Coley dish it was really hearty but had delicate flavours and he felt the deep fried spring onions and prawns were not really needed to accompany this dish .

Lemon Sole and Whitby Crab..
Lemon Sole and Whitby Crab..

My Lemon Sole dish could have lost one of the flavours too, as the hash contained salty pancetta or lardons, capers and with the rich béarnaise sauce there were a lot of strong flavours supporting the delicious Lemon Sole and Crab.  The béarnaise was one of the best I have ever had – overall I loved this and would recommend if you see it on the specials.

Cost – £65 excluding tip.

Winder Winner …4 out of 5 stars for The Magpie Café.  Overall we love The Magpie as it holds fond memories for us and we were so pleased we dined her to celebrate and would again.    It always has a good atmosphere as it is busy and as its spread over three floors the chatter is never overwhelming.    I just wish in the evenings they would dim the lights to add to the romance of the vista this location gives.

If you want to read more of my food adventures follow me on @LouiseWinder or on Trip Advisor.

Louise  x

PS we had a late lunch here on the Sunday of Haddock and Chips (small for me as I have learnt)  which never fails to please, still to this day I have never had better x

Surf and Turf at the New Inn (New Inn Walton

It was Friday, we were hungry and unusually the fridge was empty so we booked a early table at the New Inn.  The pub was quite busy with a good buzz.  We ordered a couple of ales –  Black Sheep and Jennings Golden Ale, which was more bitter than golden.

We decided to skip starters and ordered mains; the Rump Steak 10oz £11.95 with hand cut chips medium-rare.  (I was intrigued to try this meat as we live close to their supplier,Taylor’s of Ackworth; I promised myself  won’t let the  appearance  of  their  premises count against  the  steak).

David  ordered  Grimsby Haddock  large  with  mushy  peas at  £10.95.

Mains were served,  but not the best start as they did not give me steak  knife and  the  steak  was very  rare more blue.  I decided to be brave and go with the flow but the steak was tepid as was the plate. I advised the waitress and asked for it be to cooked it a tad longer (I hate waste) and they were apologetic and took the steak away.

Ten minutes  later the steak returned, this time well done. I tucked to what should have been a slighty bloody steak and thankfully as the meat was full of flavour it had survived the overcooking.

The  service  to  correct was impeccable it’s a shame the kitchen had overcooked or it would have been perfect.

I did  enjoy the fat chips, they were  full of flavour, chunky, crispy and fluffy on the inside; so many restaurants claim they do great chips which are often disappointing. The New Inn clearly takes the time to offer the best.

We shared a desert the Very vanilla Cheesecake as the waiting staff raved about this.   It  could  not have been more bland, maybe the chef was being  ironic when he named this dish.  It  was  very  clagggy the redeeming factor was the  ice cream which surpassed the cheesecake on the vanilla flavour.

On paying  we were received 25% off the bill by way of an apology for the steak.

Winder winner…3 out of 5 stars for the New Inn. Overall we enjoyed the surroundings and the team approach to service. We enjoyed  the food and we will be back and I’m hoping for full marks next time.

If you want to read more of my food adventures follow me on Twitter @LouiseWinder or on Trip Advisor.

Louise x