I’ve always liked to bake. As soon as I was old enough to co-ordinate reading recipes and using a wooden spoon, I was anxious for any cake-making excuse – and most of them involved copious amounts of chocolate. Over the years there have been many good chocolate cakes, from my early attempts using chocolate-flavoured cake covering and marg to (when I started paying for my own shopping!) butter and 70% dark chocolate. This cake, however, although it may not look like much, stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Tagged: of course
Five days in the Lake District didn’t give me as many opportunities to try local food as I would have liked but I did manage to eat vicariously after picking up Jane Grigson‘s authoritative English Food in a second hand book shop in Cockermouth. Reading it with the help of an English map helped me to properly place its regional references so, after a few days, I was getting much better at understanding where dishes like Dartmouth Pie, Cumbrian Tatie Pot and Grasmere Gingerbread came from.
The first of my contributions to last Thursday’s Irish Times Christmas Supplement…A Foodie Getaway in Ireland: The Old ConventWhat do you want from a weekend getaway? A romantic location that is not too obvious, yet easily accessible? A relaxed atmosphere, stylish comfortable bedrooms, fabulous breakfasts and a dinner to die for? In that case, head straight to Dermot and Christine Gannon’s The Old Convent. Situated in the small Tipperary town of Clogheen, this hidden treasure is nestled at the foot of the Knockmealdown mountains. Dermot and Christine established their restaurant with rooms here, in the former home of the Sisters of Mercy, in 2006 and have since been attracting customers from far and wide.The main draw, of course, is Dermot’s creative eight-course no-choice tasting menu, created afresh each day with a focus on organic and local artisan produce, including Trass raspberries, North Cork pancetta, Dunmore East crab and Gabriel cheese. Dinner is served at 8pm in an atmospheric candlelit dining room. From well-balanced appetisers, seasonal veloutés and sorbets, beautifully cooked fish and meats to the grand finale, The OC signature Chocolate Fondue, the meal is brilliantly paced and perfectly presented.
I’m the Sourdough aficionado, using natural yeasts to raise my bread. Now – and it’s been brewing for a while (pun very definitely intended) – the Husband is just after taking delivery of his own yeasts as he prepares to embark on a long-discussed, thought-over and well-researched foray into the world of making beer at home.After we were both spoiled for choice with microbrewery beers in NZ, it’s become more and more difficult to drink the rubbish that you can find on tap in most Irish pubs (with an honorary exception for Beamish, of course, and both the Franciscan Well Brewery and Bierhaus in Cork). So, this could be a whole new world. And, finally, there’s some good reason for the dozens of empty beer bottles stored in the spare room!