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Category Archives: Review

Cedges Recommends – janespatisserie.com

If you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook Page you may have noticed that I’ve recently baked quite a lot from this one website.  The recipes are super easy and gratuitous to boot. Who isn’t going to be enticed by Cheesecake Cookie Bars or Twix Cupcakes?

I don’t necessarily wish to reproduce someone else’s recipes on this blog but I did want to showcase some of the items I’ve made and provide links to the recipes I used. There are a couple of photos that I’m quite pleased with although I’m generally not so enamored by the camera on my replacement S7 – the photos seem to run a little dark but as I’ve smashed the screen on it within 6 weeks of having it, the new replacement thats has just arrived will hopefully be better!

Let me know if you try any other recipes from the site and how they go.


Millionaire’s Brownies

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Anyone who knows me will know my long term love for Millionaire’s shortbread, indeed Maureen of Manaccan was once upon a time regularly sequestered to make me a batch under the pretense that it was going to be sold in our Cornish Village Shop. Technically it was nothing special or fancy but boy do I love that soft caramel layer which I have historically really struggled to make myself.  This recipe, whilst requiring some boiling of the caramel mixture was pretty foolproof and I never felt in danger of it splitting or going grainy.

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The brownie element of this was the absolute perfect texture. It held its own whilst being very rich and fudgy without being wet. I struggle a little with very rich chocolate however – I’m more of a milk chocolate girl so this was overall a little rich for me….so next time I thought I’d try another version with a different base….


Millionaire’s Flapjacks

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The swirl on that! This recipe was also spot on and for my taste was a little less rich with the flapjack base providing a still pleasantly yielding alternative to the brownie. I did add 200g of milk chocolate chips to the base because they were to hand and I’m a big fan of chocolate chip flapjack. I did add them when the flapjack mixture was still a little warm so they melted quite a lot into the mixture but I’m going to call that a happy accident!

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The biggest problem I found with both of the recipes was getting the chocolate topping to slice without cracking all over the shop – I’m all for a bit of rustic but I’d like some of the topping to not fall off – I’m sure there is an optimal point of setting to do the slicing but I’m yet to find it! The trick I did employ was to turn the whole block upside down onto a chopping board and then slice it – the pressure of the knife on hard chocolate above soft caramel is part of the issue so the upside down method deals with this somewhat.


Biscoff Fudge

If you are not familiar with ‘Biscoff‘, I cannot recommend it enough. The generic name  is ‘Speculaas‘ and its basically those little slightly spiced biscuits that you get on the side of a fancy coffee. It is now available as ‘Cookie Butter’ which is essentially biscuits whizzed up into a paste with a bunch of oil. Its not exactly health food but never mind! You can buy it, like with peanut butter, in ‘crunchy’ and ‘smooth’ varieties from pretty much all of the supermarkets.

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So the fudge – so so easy. Its basically condensed milk, white chocolate, a little bit of butter and the Biscoff spread melted down together with icing sugar beaten in at the end and left to set in a tray in the fridge. I used the smooth variety as that is what I had in the cupboard and as I was baking this was a bake-sale, I needed to keep the cost down so I didn’t add any crushed biscuits as I’d have needed to purchase these separately.


Nutella Fudge

People seem to go nuts for Nutella (unintentional pun I promise!) – everyone knows what it is and I don’t recall coming across many people that don’t like it. I can take it or leave it on the whole – I like it occasionally but sometimes I find it a little overpowering. As I was baking to sell this however, Nutella seemed like an excellent crowd pleasing option to try.  Again I didn’t add the suggested Kinder Bueno garnish to keep the ingredient cost down but I think a bit of crunch would work very well.

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The recipe is almost exactly the same except the Biscoff spread is substituted for Nutella and the white chocolate for milk chocolate. I struggled to beat the icing sugar into this mix quite so well but I think that might actually be the colour just showing up the lumps of icing a little more. It doesn’t taste grainy and because there isn’t a total shedload of sugar in the recipe, it isn’t too sweet.  Surprisingly, it is actually a not overpoweringly Nutella-y and I’m a much bigger fan of this fudge that I thought I would be.


Peanut Butter Fudge

Another crowd pleaser, I’ve become increasingly fond of peanut butter over the last couple of years – I think its salty nature is extremely appealing. To complete my trifecta of bake-sale fudges, it was the obvious easy flavour to go for.

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I think its my favourite. Until I have a piece of the other flavours, then they’re my favourite again! Either way, this is super accessible and the texture is great – I went with crunchy peanut butter this time. Again its almost a straight swap of the Biscoff spread for peanut butter in the recipe – I can’t wait to start experimenting with other flavours – I have some passion fruit curd in the cupboard which I think would go excellently in a white chocolate based fudge. I’d also like to make this peanut butter version again with dark chocolate chips. I think that will be happening sooner rather than later!

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Did you know….Cedges_Eats has a list of Restaurant Recommendations…..

…..its been here all along in fact. You’ll find it by clicking on the Bars/Shops/Restaurants option at the top of all my blog pages.

I keep adding suggestions and trying to update it as I visit new places….I’ve just added these new entries….


The Greenhouse – I can’t believe that I haven’t mentioned this place before. It’s easily one of my favourite restaurants in the UK. Actually, the world. And I’ve not even been there for a good 8/9 years. Leonie and Neil set up the restaurant in little St Keverne which was just down the road from the village shop and post office that my family owned at around that time.  I found them on a yell.com search looking for somewhere new to eat in the area and we couldn’t stop going back, including for a couple of Christmas Day lunches.  They now have a regular stall at Helston and St Keverne farmer’s markets and Neil runs occasional bread making classes. They also have an Instagram which makes me constantly drool and I really should actually go back to Cornwall. The Greenhouse is the first place I’ll be heading to and the first place I recommend to anyone heading in anything vaguely like the direction of the Lizard.


The Wharf Inn – Fenny Compton – The mixed grill dreams are made off (unless your dreams involve lamb or pork). 8oz rump steak, an 8oz chicken supreme, 10 oz gammon steak, 2 sausages, 2 eggs, 1 (undercooked) tomato, peas and chips (I substituted for salad) – proper meat sweat inducing for £20. The burgers were also fairly epic, the burger pictured below included 2 beef burgers, 1 battered chicken burger, bacon, hash browns & onion rings, topped with cheddar cheese on a soft bun with lettuce, tomato and onion with chips. Because you really need chips with that! Not! Its also right on the canal path and is perfect for a sunny day pub garden pint.

Recommendation – The Champagne Concept – Harrogate

Now I will, as always, be up front. The Champagne Concept was opened late last year by my great friends Gemma and Laurence Page-Connolly (you may remember that I baked afternoon tea for their Wedfest) but I wouldn’t blow the trumpet of anyone or anything that I didn’t genuinely recommend and this is no exception. I love the Champagne Concept and now I’ve bought a car, I cannot wait to get up to Harrogate more often to hang out there. 

Harrogate, if you don’t know it, is the jewel of Yorkshire. Its a cracking little (quite large) town to spend the weekend with lovely buildings, loads of independent shops, restaurants (and the usual chains) and gorgeous scenery on your doorstep. You can get there by direct train from London Kings Cross on the East Coast Mainline in under 3 hours. Most trains do however require a change in York or Leeds but still get you there in around 3 hours. The little local shuttle trains which you connect on are a hark back to the 70’s and luxury travel shouldn’t be expected!

If you can’t pop up to Harrogate for the weekend (you really should), then you’re still in luck – keep reading, be inspired and then check out their Online Shop! If you want to send a friend a lovely gift, they also sell gift certificates including for tastings and brunch.

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So what is the concept then I hear you cry? In simple terms its about bringing small and boutique grower produced champagnes to the UK which aren’t otherwise available. Forget your Moets, Cristals and Veuve’s, compared to the champagnes on offer here, they’re all the equivalent of a loaf of slightly stale Lidl white sliced while these are more akin to a lovingly crafted artisan sourdough from an independent baker, fresh from the oven.

‘It must be so expensive!’ I hear you holler. Nope. Not really. Prices for full size bottles start at £28.00. Even cheap old me thinks that’s pretty decent value.  Half size bottles for around £18.00 are available in the shop.  There is also a discount of 10% when buying 3 or more bottles and 15% when buying 6 or more.

The remainder of the concept revolves around tasting.  Think about the last time you had champagne – a glass or two at a swanky event maybe or a celebratory bottle popped for a birthday toast perhaps? Then think of the time before that. And the time before that…I’m betting that for all but the most decadent of you (and those who don’t know Gemma and Laurence personally) there was a fairly decent gap between occasions. Then think if you  can remember the difference between the different champagnes you had. (I’m so uncouth, I can barely tell the difference between Lambrini, Prosecco and tea with a time gap, never mind champagnes). I’m going to bet again that you probably can’t and that you think champagne tastes like champagne. It turns out that when you try more than one side by side, they can be quite wildly different. Like, really different!

And so the shop has a seating area and a tasting menu for you to sit down, relax and try out the range on offer.  Whenever I go and do a tasting, my reaction is usually (again uncouth) “Cor that’s so tasty!” It turns out I quite like the oak aged ones – with ‘notes of sherry’ like this one.  (I’ve ordered a bottle for Christmas Day). They really are truly tasty.

Tasting flights start at £15.00 for 3 x 75ml glasses (a usual glass is 125ml if that puts it in context – these are no measly morsels) and go up to £50.00 for 2 people to try 10 champagnes. (and in December there is a £70.00 ’12 Champagnes of Christmas’ tasting as a cheeky extra!).  Thats quite a challenge even in my boozy book! I watched an elderly couple work their way through 10 glassed a couple of weeks ago and I have to admit they kept their ends up pretty well!  All the champagnes are also available by the glass.

Popcorn is provided as a palate cleanser and you can order very light snacks like baguette or oatcakes and cheese to accompany your drinks.  Whilst there is no onsite kitchen, there is Baltzersens, a super friendly Nordic inspired cafe next door who team up with the Champagne Concept to provide a fabulous looking Champagne Brunch with a choice of hot dishes including waffles, 2 glasses of champagne, a glass of fruit juice, and unlimited tea and coffee. All for £20.00. I know I’m starting to sound like a paid for advert but come on – 20 quid for 2 glasses of champagne, a hot brunch, juice and unlimited hot drinks? I’d struggle to just get a decent brunch and a couple of coffees around these parts for that price.

 The Champagne Concept shop is relatively small but they have also teamed up with another local venue; North Bar to offer larger groups a package including a tasting, buffet nibbles and a drink after in the bar. A nice classy start to a hen party or birthday celebration if ever I heard of one.

They also put on special events a few times a year. They recently hosted a ’12 Days of Christmas’ event which included a special tasting of 12 champagnes and festive nibbles all for £35.00 each.

There is also a party happening on New Year’s Eve (2016) which will likely be featuring a very special guest (me!). £50.00 a ticket including 5 full glasses of champagne, party tunes (courtesy of an actual proper jukebox) and with wine, beer and of course champagne available to buy on the night. It’ll make a nice change for me and a step up from last years ‘party’ involving a solo jigsaw, fluffy socks and Jools Holland on the TV!

Other one off events generally involve one of the shop’s champagne producers flying over from France to conduct a special tasting evening of that grower’s champagnes. As if Laurence and his staff aren’t knowledgeable enough (they really are, I learn something new every time I look at them) I do love to get the inside track.

I’ve said it before above and I’ll say it again, I know I sound a little like I’m on the Champagne Concept marketing board and I guess I sort of am (unpaid!) but its purely voluntary and whilst I really want Gem and Laurence do well, I’m also absolutely sold on the concept (even if I wasn’t initially sold on the name – shhhh!). And tasty tasty reasonably priced unique champagnes. Plus one day if they do really really well, I’m hoping for employment at the spin off ‘The Champagne Tea Concept’. A girl can dream!

 Oh and did I mention that there is an Online Shop! I did? Whoops!

Review – John the Unicorn – Peckham

***UPDATE*** Ben and his sous chef Pete are no longer at JTU. Their website reflects that their menu continues to be served but I have no idea if this is actually the case or if its any good. Sad times.


I’ve turned into a weird Groupie. I just can’t help myself. I love this new Peckham pub. It’s the newest venture from  Antic Pub Co,  the creators of  The East Dulwich Tavern (ironically one of my least favourite pubs in the area) and last year’s newbie The Hope, also in Peckham.  As a result of my groupie love, I can’t stop talking about John The Unicorn and how much I love the place, especially the food.

Now I could be accused of being a little bit biased as I know the head chef Ben Mulock from Band of Bakers, but as he won me over a long time ago with his amazing food, and I’m a right picky git, I feel like it’s ok.  I’m not exactly easily swayed or scared of telling someone I know that they’re a bit pants. Time Out and Southwark News also seem to agree with me and I’m yet to hear a bad word said. Actually, that’s a little bit of a lie – my one criticism would be that along with the nearby Peckham Refreshment Rooms, some of the seats/stools are a bit un-comfy for the long-haul 😦

In the couple of months since it opened, I’ve had 4 meals, including brunch and a visit to the first supper club event and popped in for a couple of other drinks and snacks. Some of my pictures are not amazing, as whilst the upstairs is a cool and cozy spot littered with granny table lamps which makes for a nice dining atmosphere, it doesn’t make for cracking food photography (and I wouldn’t have it any other way).

If you’ve not been yet, go check it out. I’ll likely see you in there. A run down of my food eaten there so far:-


Bar Snacks

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I headed into the pub with Siobhan on a busy Saturday afternoon back in May and was talked into a Wrey and Nephew rum and ginger beer (by Siobhan, I don’t blame the bar staff – they were just super friendly and helpful). That was a mistake. I loooove rum but that shiz tastes like rank tequila and will never pass my lips again. I’m assured its much better as a shot. I’m not convinced.

What was not a mistake however, was ordering a portion of Beef Dripping Foccaccia and Yeasted Butter. And a Sausage Roll from the bar snack menu. Super munchy goodness. A portion of the sage and onion crispy pig ears also found its way onto our table and whilst the concept horrifies me, once I tucked in I got over it quite quickly – they’re essentially super crispy pork scratchings.


Evening A La Carte

Four or five of us arrived on a Saturday evening only a couple of weeks into the kitchen being open for some light eating. We’ll ignore the obscene amount I ended up spending on poncey craft beers and focus on the food! The upstairs restaurant is casual but with more formal service than I’d been anticipating – the staff were as always super friendly and didn’t mind that we weren’t wholly focused on the food offering that evening which was great. Full waiter service for a well priced bar is a win for me.

The ‘small plate’ pork belly with olive oil mash was smooth, crispy and delicious with a good meat to fat ratio. The cheeseboard isn’t to my taste as I’m super picky with cheeses but it gave the vegetarian amongst us a nice evening snack.  I sadly didn’t get snaps of any of the other things we tried.  The menu was a bit of an issue for my wheatarded friend as everything is made on site and they don’t have a great gf offering at present. The unicorn sundae, was oddly, for a non -ice cream fanatic, one of my highlights- in particular a ‘cornflake’ flavoured ice cream. It tasted like frosties milk – amazing.

I’ll certainly be going back for more evening meals but this is slightly on the pricey side for me in an it-adds-up-rather-quickly-when-you’re-a-food-fiend sort of way (it’s more than worth it but I live on a budget so have to choose wisely!).


Brunch

The next exciting announcement I gleaned from my heavy Instagram and Twitter stalking of all involved in JTU was that brunch was now being served – in particular, fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup, fried egg and hot sauce. I was in. Literally, the first weekend I was in London at the weekend, I was in and eating.

I’m pleased I checked, as they don’t open until 12 noon so whether this was really brunch could be debated but I’ll eat breakfast/brunch foods at any time of the day or night so it’s  quite frankly irrelevant. To fully set the scene, I love waffles, I love fried chicken (although I can only manage a KFC once or twice a year because it’s so sickly), my love of eggs could support a chicken farm of my own and I’ll happily pour maple syrup on basically anything. I was also, until this point, yet to have an even remotely edible version of this dish in the UK. I’ve used the word a lot already but I’ll use it again to sum up this dish- it was A.Mazing.

The waffle was soft, the egg was runny and the chicken was plentiful and super juicy/super crispy in the right ratios. I’m not a hot sauce fanatic and ketchup near eggs makes me feel a bit queasy as a concept but I ploughed through and the hot sauce here helped to elevate the dish. The little bit of microsalad was a nice touch to freshen it all up and the maple syrup appeared to have actually once been near a maple tree (‘maple flavoured’ syrup passed off as actual maple syrup is a bain of my existence). All in all, I wanted to eat the whole thing again but I couldn’t possibly as I was stuffed. And all for a tenner. Winner winner chicken and waffles dinner.


An American Supperclub – July 2016

Another Instagram/Twitter notification that I’m was all over. JTU held a special supper club evening with all of the food inspired by US soul food around Independence Day. Due to the prevalence of my friends being wheatarded/veggie/really picky, I thought I was going to be heading there on my todd but luckily my friends Jo and Matt headed over from Bromley to help me out (I don’t think they had any regrets!)

The room was arranged in two long tables and proper effort had been made to decorate the room and provide themed props. (Dining with Trump is a scary prospect, that mask nearly put me off my food!).  Food was served with 2 pre starters, a palette cleanser and the advertised 5 courses. Each course was introduced by Ben, the Head Chef.  Some of the food was brought out sharing style; causing me (and I think probably Jo) some anxiety that we’d get short changed, especially being the party of 3 on the end of the table. No fear however, we had to be rolled out the door by the end.  Matt and I also went for the beer pairing option which probably turned out to be a bit too much on a Wednesday night but was a great accompaniment to the food.

Despite my pickiness I ate everything (except the blue cheese dressing – I’m not a nutter) and it was, again, A.Mazing. Actually, also apart from the Moonshine and Smoked Bloody Mary shot. That was akin to licking the walls of the Fishing Heritage Centre! 😦

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The fried green beans with tuna-flavoured-mayo was I assume, a mild take on a nicoise salad, French in origin but super popular as a dish in the states. I’ve got some theories on how that mayo was created but however they did it, it was a super tasty and different to boot.

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The second pre starter was fried chicken (I think the same as what appears in the waffles dish) on a bed of cornbread with more maple syrup. As always the chicken was amazing and the cornbread was super moist, not an easy feat. The whole thing was topped with crispy chicken skin (which should be sold in bags like crisps) for a super savoury bite.

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The first starter proper was their take on devilled quails eggs with smoked chilli and cured pig’s cheek. I had at least 3 eggs (told you we weren’t short changed) and a good amount of pork. The whole dish together worked perfectly and I was disappointed there wasn’t more (this is a theme).

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Deep fried truffled macaroni and cheese was explained to have a ridiculous quantity of cheese to pasta ratio and this was evident in the super rich smooth interior. I’ve made deep fried mac’n’cheese before in slightly bigger chunks than this came in and in honesty, I’d have preferred a little less crispy coating to smooth pasta. However, if I’d stopped at two chunks and not ploughed through for three, that would also probably have helped! A small dollop of smooth onion jam on top also helped to cut through the richness.

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Next up was a fried shrimp cocktail served in individual portions.  A few tiny fried shrimp came on a bed of preserved peppers, white and red shredded cabbage and iceberg lettuce (for the classic touch). This was topped with two large shrimp, one with the head on and both deep fried.  I think there was also a little take on marie-rose sauce to bring the whole thing together. I hate prawn cocktail with its flaccid little cold prawns and naff salad but I used my fingers to make sure I got every last drop of this out of its glass.

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Next up was the ‘palette cleanser’ – a shot of moonshine topped with a smoked bloody mary granita. I appreciate the concept here but between a shot of hard liquor and smoky smoky crushed ice, this was not my favourite part of the meal! Luckily I had some of that ale on hand to help me out. We’ll call this an acquired taste!

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Finally we were at the main course and to be honest I was pretty full at this point! We had a smoked and glazed beef short rib with hush puppies and charred gem lettuce and blue cheese sauce. As I mentioned, I forewent the blue cheese sauce (because blue cheese is rank, I’m at least 30 years off of eating that stuff) which was a bit of a shame as I can appreciate how it would have been a nice addition to cut through the seriously smoky and tender beef and light corn batter hush puppies. I try the grilled lettuce but to be honest, it didn’t change my opinion on this being an unnecessary thing to do to a salad leaf.  Despite being incredibly full, I just about managed my allotted portion!

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To round off the evening was a peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwich which arrived as a massive and imposing slab which I didn’t think there was any chance of me finishing. Essentially an American flavoured artic roll, there is a reason that PB&J is such a popular flavour combo.  I am grateful they avoided the perennially popular in the States grape jelly however – grapes should be for flavouring wine and making raisins (to be covered in chocolate) only!  I don’t think you’ll be surprised to learn I managed to finish it. And could maybe have eaten another one. Well, maybe not, I do have a limit it turns out!

FYI, the whole shebang cost me £50 including the beer menu and service. Bargain. Roll on the next Supperclub, I heard a rumour it may be ‘pig’ themed. I’ll be there with bells on.


Sunday Lunch

My most recent eating foray was to take my Dad and his partner Jan who were visiting for the start of my thirtieth celebrations for an alternative Sunday Lunch. I was a bit worried that they’d find it a bit pricey and small portioned considering you can get a carvery near where they live for about £7 and roll home. I needn’t have worried – some savvy menu choosing later and we shared some Beef Dripping Focaccia, Crispy Pigs Ears, some wonderful chips and a plate of Buratta with Chilli’d Sprouting Broccoli. No pictures available sadly because we were too busy eating!

For the main course, we shared two plates of smoked beef short rib with kale and onions and roast potatoes with jus and a plate of the chicken and waffles (because I couldn’t not have them again!). The short rib was stunning, just as it had been at the supperclub event and the soft kale with onions was an excellent accompaniment and surprisingly spicy. The roast potatoes were also ridiculously crispy and tasty and a sticky meaty jus brought everything together. Another win.

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For desert we shared a couple of Unicorn Sundaes. I’m hoping at some point that some more desserts appear than the usual 2 or 3 offerings but we’re still on early days!