Monday, 23 October 2017

Maxibon Bundt Cake

Maxibon Bundt Cake
I'd never even heard of Maxibon bars. You all know I love a bundt shaped challenge, but when my friend Wayne suggested an ice cream bar themed birthday cake, I had to do a bit of research. This involved a trip to my local Tesco, purchasing a box, and eating two in my lab coat (read pyjamas) to check for flavour, consistency and aesthetic. I saw my challenge, and accepted it.

It comprises of rich vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips, half drenched in chocolate with hazelnuts, the other half with Maxibon biscuits. Easy gig. The melted ice cream bar will help transform your cake from a vanilla sponge, to actually tasting like the genuine article, so don't skip this. This is bundt alchemy, bakers. Embrace it, Snape would be so proud.

Needless to say that this cake got a bit of a laugh as well as destroyed. Mission accomplished!

Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 350g Homepride plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml vanilla yoghurt 
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 200g chocolate chips
  • Two Maxibon bars, biscuits removed and ice cream melted
To decorate:
  • 1 jar chocolate spread (not Hazelnut)
  • 100g finely chopped hazelnuts
  • Biscuits from your melted Maxibons (I used more...)

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release spray/melted butter, and dust with flour. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the yoghurt and vanilla extract into a jug.
  7. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined.
  8. Tip in the chocolate chips which are now covered in flour, which will stop them from sinking like stones!
  9. Stir in the melted Maxibons.
  10. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  11. Tip your batter into your prepared bundt tin.
  12. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  13. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  14. When the cake is fully cool, melt your chocolate spread in the microwave until it's quite runny.
  15. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts.
  16. Tip over the cake.
  17. Decorate with your Maxibon biscuits, and bits of the box if you so please!
Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Wedding Bundt Cake

Wedding Bundt Cake
When the going gets tough, some people turn out to be utter angels and restore your faith in humanity. Enter Nicola. I barely know her, yet her kind words have been a real comfort to me when I felt at my lowest. She's a little firecracker whose positivity is truly infectious. She reminded me that choosing happiness really is the best way, and that negativity has no place in my life.

Well she was getting hitched. There was only one thing for it. Nicola is a designer, a lover of hip hop, uses words I don't understand, and is generally down with the kids in every fashion. It had to be the naffest of all wedding inspired cakes; I'm talking feathers, fake rings, pearls, glitter, silver balls, a garter, and those God-awful kitsch decorations that can still be sourced in 70s friendly cake decorating shops. Unfortunately, most folk through it was pretty! Oh, and it was made using her favourite beer. Obvs.

I hatched a plan with my pals Katey and Rick to surprise little Noo on her last day in work before the big day. Needless to say she was over the moon with her cake, which made me a happy little bundt baker. Bundts happen to good people...
@Noo_Law
Pics shamelessly stolen from Instagram @Noo_Law

Ingredients
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 100g of vegetable fat 
  • 550g golden caster sugar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml Heart and Soul Session IPA (or lemonade, or anything else fizzy for that matter)
  • Still tropical water (not essential, but will bring out the tropical flavours in the hops)
  • 300g icing sugar
  • The naffest of sprinkles and decorations.

Method
  1. Grease and flour a regular sized bundt tin (2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch). 
  2. Soften the butter and vegetable fat and then cream in the sugar in stages.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time on a slow setting.
  4. Add all the remaining dry ingredients to a large bowl.
  5. Sift in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by 1/2 of the liquid. Repeat until all the flour and liquid is used up. Fold it in gently...
  6. Tip: at this stage it will look a horror. Do not worry... 
  7. Give the whole thing a quick mix for about 10 seconds or until well combined. Tah dah!
  8. Spoon the mix into the tin.
  9. Bake at gas 3/160 C for about an hour and a half. Just turn it after about an hour.
  10. It should be shrinking from the sides and a skewer should come out clean.
  11. Let it cool in the tin for ten minutes then turn it out. 
  12. Allow to cool fully before icing. 
  13. Mix the icing sugar with the flavoured water, so that it's a thick, yet pourable texture. 
  14. Tip it over the cake with the same frivolity as tossing a bouquet! Same goes - try not to hit anyone.
  15. Sprinkle with as much naffness as you can get your hands on.
Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Amaretto and Lemon Birthday Bundt

Amaretto and Lemon Bundt
The more posts I write about my friends, the more I realise that none of us are a full shilling, as my grandad would say.

Understated, shy, quiet, beige... said nobody ever about Anna. She's my kind of odd lad; she has lilac hair, a plethora of brightly coloured tattoos, and she's probably the most enthusiastic Zumba teacher you will ever meet. Oh, and I really like the way she says fluf-eee in a Swedish accent. She's actually Swedish, not a weirdo. Well, she is a weirdo, but for totally different reasons.

It was her birthday recently. She's been a bloody diamond with me recently, and always seems to know the appropriate action to take; sometimes it's an emergency kitten GIF at 11:30pm, or a slab of cake delivered to my desk, with no words, just a look*.

Partial to a splash of Amaretto, I decided to do an almond and lemon flavoured cake, laced with Anna's favourite tipple. Any cake where you add ground almonds ends up being moist and slightly heavy in weight, yet strangely light in texture. I needed something a bit sturdy to hold the weight of all the glittery, sugary stuff I topped it with!

Not cutting the cake at work made Anna the most unpopular person since the fool who 'parked in the god damn barrier' incident of 2015. Does Anna strike you as someone who cares? Absolutely not. She skipped out of that office, and even managed not to get the kids drunk off icing. Winning.
Anna - reserved type
Stole this right of her Facebook, I did.
Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 330g Homepride plain flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml lemon yoghurt 
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp Amaretto
To decorate:
  • Everything.

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  • Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release spray/melted butter, and dust with flour. 
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  • In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  • Pour the yoghurt, vanilla extract and Amaretto into a jug.
  • Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined.
  • Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  • Tip your batter into your prepared bundt tin.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  • Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  • When the cake is fully cool, decorate however pleases you. I made my icing out of icing sugar mixed with Amaretto, and threw the party aisle of Tesco at it... 

* The look meaning, I couldn't give three shits about your gym plan, you need cake. Eat it. Now.

Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Belgian Waffle Bundt Cake

Belgian Waffle Bundt Cake
It's a bundt cake, but it actually tastes like a caramelised, toasted waffle. If that wasn't enough, it's then topped with more waffles. Waffles, waffles everywhere. Wafflesville, Waffle County.

I was walking round Sainsbury's when this idea hit. I bloody love a good waffle. I was buying some boring chicken before a particularly heinous gym session, and I was craving them more than anything on Earth. And there she blows. Never one for a boring bundt, I was dreaming of stacking it sky high, drowning it in caramel then drizzling with more syrup. It was happening.

I feel I need to warn you though, this is not for the faint hearted, and only serious sugar eaters need apply. This has to hold one of the quickest 'desk to demolished' times we have so far. This one was snaffled pretty quickly, perhaps on a par with the Salted Caramel and Peanut, and Malted Milk creations.

Quite a few of you asked for this recipe ASAP, so please accept my apologies for the delay, but expect a flurry of bundt recipes over the next few weeks as I catch up!

Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 350g Homepride plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml toffee yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 toasted waffles
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
To decorate:
  • 1 tin of Carnation Caramel
  • 4 more toasted waffles
  • Berries
  • Sugar pearls

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release spray/melted butter, and dust with flour. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  6. Pour the yoghurt and vanilla extract into a jug.
  7. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined.
  8. Whizz up 2 of your waffls in a food processor, until they are large crumbs. Tear the others into 1cm squares - ish. 
  9. Stir the obliterated waffles into the cake mix with the golden syrup.
  10. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  11. Tip your batter into your prepared bundt tin.
  12. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  13. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  14. When the cake is fully cool, warm the caramel in the microwave until it's a runny texture, then tip over the cake in a fanciful fashion.
  15. Decorate with more toasted waffles, a drizzle of golden syrup, berries and sugar pearls. Understated, you know.


Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

El Taquero, Manchester

El Taquero, Manchester
I was fifteen when I went watching Bush. Gavin Rossdale... he of the shaggy hair and gravelly voice, and then boyfriend of my idol, Gwen Stefani. I was the biggest Gwennabe in town (not literally). I emerged from the Labatt's Apollo a sweaty mess, with a crushed ribcage, covered in bruises, stinking of smoke, and with a beaming smile because I got to touch his hair as he crowdsurfed. It was magical. My poor parents were waiting outside. I wouldn't have let me in the car!

I proudly wore a t-shirt with 'Bush' emblazoned across the chest to my school non-uniform day, like a badge of honour. Kieran Morris and Gareth Hopkins laughed at it during science, then I realised for them it had a very different meaning. Sherpherd's Bush lads, Shepherd's!

Fast forward almost exactly twenty years. I am the age my mum was when she waited in the car for me, and although this realisation makes me feel old as hell, the prospect of seeing Gavin made me feel fifteen again. It hammered it down twenty years ago too, which turned my perm a little wild. The main concern of my hair in 2017 is my pink dye running, but I think you will agree that this is testament to my refusal to grow old gracefully, and should be fully embraced. Still goes frizzy.
Ticket collection
What culinary merriment could befit such an exciting evening? Mexican food of course. It was the perfect time to sample the new kid on the block El Taquero. Brainchild of Franco and Simon of Solita fame, they have the Midas touch when it comes to feeding the masses of Manchester. Would it be authentic though?

Before I excite you with pictures of food, I'm going to run through the cocktail offerings. I had four in quick succession, and rabbited constantly about my joy at seeing my favourite Cazcabel Honey tequila on the menu.
Clockwise:
Frozen strawberry Margarita with Cazcabel
Tommy’s Margarita - Cazcabel reposado, Cointreau, lime and agave syrup
Honey Margarita - Cazcabel honey, mango puree, strawberry syrup, Cointreau and lime
Frozen mango margarita with Cazcabel
El Taquero, Manchester - cocktails
Not on the menu yet... cactus fungus and cheese: Looks like hell. Sounds like hell. Tastes like heaven. When have I ever lied to you? Simon insisted there was 'too much cheese' on this. Can't believe he actually uttered the words. Perhaps he was unwell or something. So cactus fungus, unsurprisingly, tastes a bit like mushroom. Get past the word fungus please, let it go. Can't recommend these enough.
El Taquero, Manchester
Al Pastor - spit roasted, marinated pork with pineapple: If you're one of these who can't abide warm pineapple, forget everything you've ever known about the stuff. These sweet little nuggets are the ideal bedfellow for that tasty pork.
El Taquero, Manchester
Queso Fundido - Mexican cheese fondue with Chorizo, Pico de Gallo and tortilla chips: Behold for a moment the pot of melted cheese, which comes with the warning 'make sure you eat it quickly, otherwise it solidifies back to cheese'. Never worry about my speed when it comes to eating cheese.
El Taquero, Manchester
Birria - Slow cooked beef brisket served in a rich gravy, with green chilli and warm tortillas on the side: This is so so rich. If it was dish number one, I'd have scoffed the lot, but I was already flagging. As you can see from the pictures below, we probably weren't even half way! This is the equivalent of someone stroking your face while you stuff it with quesedillas. Blissful.
El Taquero, Manchester
El Taquero, Manchester
Tacos Dorados - Deep fried crispy taco, filled with potato, topped with guacamole and salsa: Fill my carbs with carbs please. Then deep fry it. Then top it with stuff. This is why we get on so well, El Taquero and I. But five minutes before, I was 'stuffed', yet here I am, eating this like a total warrior. Note - you'll be needing more tequila at this point.
El Taquero, Manchester
Chargrilled chicken thigh pieces in a spicy lime marinade with avocado: When your carb eating days are done (for now), do the right thing... opt for chicken. Look at those crispy charred bits.
El Taquero, Manchester
Churros: Never have I been too full for churros with experimental dips. 'We want to know which you prefer'... challenged accepted like a soldier ready to commence battle. First up, chocolate. A staple and standard accompaniment to the wonder that is the deep fried tubular doughnut, and excellent it was too. The next one threw me off my even keel. It was packaged as 'salted caramel', but I knew there was something lurking in there which wasn't normal. Turns out they use goat's milk, which is never, ever for me. Goat juice can do one, however, I'm sure those of you who love a bit of goat's cheese will adore this.
El Taquero, Manchester
If I'm being honest, I really did not know what to expect from El Taquero. After speaking to the lovely Mexican chef, I'm confident that they're doing everything right here, hell, they aren't afraid to serve cactus fungus in a taco, because they know damn well that it's brilliant. What I loved about this place was the speed and quality of service that accompanies the experience. Our waitresses excitedly recommended cocktails, and seemed genuinely excited about the food.

Go here for a quick bite with friends, and down a few cocktails while you're there. I really must insist that you sample something with Cazcabel Honey in it though, or at the very least have a quick shot. It really is a game changer.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Alchemist, Media City

The Alchemist, Media City
Here I go again, fresh out of my gym gear and perving over pictures of food I ate ages ago. What have I become at all? Hungry, that's what. My natural state is stuffing my face with carbs and sugar, not stretching into lycra (granted, my lycra is covered in pictures of food). 

I'm a big fan of the Alchemist in Spinningfields, so when a new one opened at Media City, I was dying to go. Plus, their sharing platters and desserts were very much fresh in my mind. Although it's a few weeks back, I had started my crackers gym routine, and picked this as my treat day. 

So let's start with the cocktails. The Alchemist are the Nicolas Flamel of the cocktail world; fizzing, bubbling, colour changing, and monogrammed hip flasks to take home, are all standard shenanigans here. 

Clockwise:
3.5oz of Happiness - Portobello gin, Chambord raspberry, vermouth, citrus: Very much a fan of choosing happiness at the moment, so it seemed the obvious cocktail to start with. It did indeed make me happy, because it tasted very much like heaven, and I got another flask for my collection. My mate Tricky tells me there's always time and reason for a hip flask.
Key lime pie - Bacardi Carta Blanca, Midori melon, Koko Kanu, apple, lime and vanilla meringue foam: The spoon sits on top of the meringue. Cocktails you can eat are high on my 'Rach could drink herself to death with this' list.
Rhubarb and custard - Chase rhubarb, Licor 43 vanilla, lemon, egg whites: Another cocktail masquerading as a dessert. I remember the days where the thought of egg whites in a cocktail made me think of bodybuilders, then I realised they were more towards cake on the egg spectrum. 
Bubblebath - Tanqueray gin, Aperol, Chambord, lemon and apple: Had to have at least one that bubbled! It literally goes wild before your very eyes. Straight out of Potions class. Snape would be so proud, always. 
Penicilin - Ardbeg 10 year, Chase marmelade vodka, lemon, ginger, burnt cinnamon: Wow wee this was a strong lad! A bit like Autumnal arson on the nose, but with a very smooth taste. The lemon and spices encourage a sweet rather than bitter taste. 
Solero - Ketel One vodka, Passoa, mango, apple, orange, citrus, white chocolate cream foam: This one is a little bit special. That cream is so thick, it's genuinely like eating a Solero lolly, King of summer coolers. 
Cocktails
The Alchemist is by no means just a cocktail bar, the food is pretty good too. Last time I went, I tried the vegetarian sharing platter, so it seemed only right to sample the meat one this time round.

Sharing platter - wings, nachos, falafel, beer battered prawns, pork bon bons and dips: It really did not disappoint. Highlights included cheese smothered nachos and falafel dipped in sweet chilli sauce.
Sharing platter
Padron peppers with salt flakes and crispy shallots: These little blighters have become somewhat of a fave, and have to be ordered if they are on the menu, for comparison purposes, naturally. Sweet yet perfectly salty. A great accompaniment to cocktails.
Padron peppers
Salt beef tacos with salt and pepper fries: Now this is the kind of thing I had in mind for cheat day. The fries that are as addictive as crack, and soft tacos rammed with salt beef, cheese and salad. This very much did the trick. I just had to address the sweet/savoury divide...
Salt beef tacos
Katsu chicken curry with panko breadcrumbs and coriander rice: And very pretty this was too. My dining partner in crime fancied something a little spicy, and the 'Chinese chippy' style curry sauce did not let us down. Note - my fries dipped in this sauce was perfection!
Katsu chicken curry
Belgian waffles: Did someone say sweet/savoury divide? Waffles to the rescue! I could eat them every day of my life. Fresh waffles dipped in sugar and cinnamon with a good dollop of ice cream ensured that I could barely move for around fifteen minutes.
Belgian waffles
Sticky toffee pudding: Oh how it glistens so... I have tried so many good ones recently. Gone are the days of the claggy sponge which you could weigh down your Sunday papers with. This was light, fluffy, and drowning in sauce. Good sauce to pudding ratio guys.
Sticky toffee pudding
Another brilliant trip to the Alchemist really does add fuel to the fire that this place certainly is not all hip flasks and no substance. Living Ventures do detail well, and that monogrammed hip flask on the sideboard acts as a constant reminder of the brilliant time you had, and how much you want to go back for another. 

Fox, Hale Barns

So life has been a bit upside down of late, so I'm playing catch up. While this in itself is a lovely task because I get to look at some mouth watering photos and recall happy memories, it's also meant that I've spent the last few evenings being very hungry indeed.

First, to Fox in Hale Barns. I decided to start with this one because it has to be the best meal I have had in a long time. That's correct, I'm getting it out there, right here, right now. Fox can do no wrong in my eyes; from the location in pretty Hale Barns, the people who work there, the decor, the outstanding food, and the Jo Malone influenced products in the toilets. Everything about this place oozes unctuous luxury, but in a refreshingly relaxed environment. This makes no sense unless you have been.

I felt so strongly about this that I pretty much wrote my conclusion in my introduction. I suppose I had better show you what all the fuss is about with the actual food.

Let me set the scene... The day is cold, bright and sunny, and my dining companion and I are headed on a scenic 'A road' tour through Altrincham, and into the leafy suburb of Hale Barns. They have a Booths... you know where I'm headed. I'm a big fan of a weekend road trip, so this made the excursion doubly exciting. After an initial kerfuffle with finding the car park, getting overly excited about the aforementioned Booths, and cooing over the beautiful exterior, we were greeted, seated and drinks were in our hands in record time. 

Sourdough garlic bread - half cheese, half tomato: I was hungrier than I had ever been in my entire life, and also a tad melodramatic, whilst perusing the menu. Our utterly delightful waitress (whose name escapes me, annoyingly), quickly suggested sourdough garlic bread whilst we decided. Unable to agree on our preferred flavour, half and half was ordered - perfect.
Sourdough garlic bread - half cheese, half tomato
Owner Danny Fox came for a chat whilst we were mid starter based conundrum, so we let him pick his favourites for us. Oh Danny, you picked two little belters.

Prawn pil pil - baked king prawns in olive oil, garlic, chilli, paprika, lemon, chopped parsley, served with crusty sourdough bread: For someone who used to have a pathological fear of eating prawns, I couldn't leave these alone. They weren't even my starter! Beautifully cooked in a rich and spicy sauce, mopped up with crusty bread. Not comfortable yet? You must be crackers. This dish is the equivalent of warm fluffy socks after a soak in a hot bubble bath. 
Prawn pil pil
Duck and pomegranate apple salad - mixed leaves, apple, pomegranate, toasted mixed seeds, balsamic and honey dressing: Forget everything you know about salad, immediately. This was so tasty! Warm duck, a tangy dressing, sweet fruit and those wonderfully nutty seeds. These are my kind of leaves.
Grilled hake - roasted cherry tomato, chorizo, puy lentil ragù, basil and a hint of chilli: Another recommendation from fantastic Mr Fox himself. I wish I could have captured the smell of this for you, and hasten the development of the technology which would allow me to do so. You will just have to trust me that this is Autumnal bliss.
Grilled hake
Roasted succulent sirloin of Red Hereford beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and steamed vegetables all finished with a rich red wine gravy: Warmed me right through this did. Behold. Already drenched in that glistening gravy, they give you more on the side; Fox and I are going to be friends. Anywhere that serves me parsnips when I'm already a little chilly will be forever in my good books. It even comes with a glass of free prosecco.
Sunday roast
We picked some skinny fries and grilled asparagus to have on the side of our lunches, the star of the show being the addition of sesame seeds to the asparagus.
Sides
Sticky toffee pudding with a rich butterscotch sauce and ice cream: There's a nip in the air and wind in my hair; pudding time is upon us. Looks as dense as a house brick with its saturated toffee sponge, but was genuinely as light as a feather.
Sticky toffee pudding
Crème brûlée - oven cooked cream with mixed berries: Good crack on that sugar crust, not too sweet and served with a lovely homemade compote.
Crème brûlée
Drinks: Lovely selection of drinks, ranging from decent beers (can highly recommend Lagunitas Day Time for those not wanting to be hammered at lunchtime), mocktails and cocktails, and an impressive wine list (finishing the bottle is highly recommended for those who do wish to be hammered at lunchtime).
Drinks
Drinks
We rounded the meal off with a rather civilized pot of tea, which came served in a very pleasing speckled duck egg blue teapot and cup. Even their tableware makes me smile.
Why am I writing this up whilst on a gym and meal programme? I pretty much summed up Fox at the start of this post, and I'm sure my pictures alone will have left you fancying a trip. Fox is everything I love about dining out; good company, wonderful food, a bit of friendly chat with our servers, comfortable surroundings, and those little extras which make the experience that bit special. Front of house and kitchen teams are together working in perfect harmony, which will make you want to stay all day.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Review: Hofmeister Helles Lager

Hofmeister Helles Lager
 Evening all. As some of you will already know, I am not great with beer. Strangely (mainly through association), I actually know quite a lot about the stuff, and can generally pick out quite specific smells from the malt and hops, but can I drink it? Not a chance. I do this ridiculous face that makes me look like I am having some sort of episode. It's a weakness in my food and drink game. Maybe it's like olives, and I'll become accustomed to it as I get older (the olive thing literally just hit!).

However, when the lovely folk at Hofmeister asked me to review their Helles Lager, I knew the chap for the job. My homie Phil took up the challenge like a true warrior. Here's what he had to say on the matter.
Evidence of my own poor form

“Hey, how do you fancy doing a guest review? It’s for a lager! Think it’s called Hofmeister…”

“Hofmeister? Seriously?” Immediately I’m transported back…. the year is 1996 and as alcohol driven students we need a cheap lager to support our Rugby union based drinking activities (you get allotted 5 players each and every time your player touched the ball you are required to have a swig). So as a willing volunteer I trudged down to Threshers and immediately spotted 2 crates of 24 cans of yellow nectar (with a strange German bear emblazoned on it), but they were only £9.99 and 3.2% ABV. So I immediately purchased them (along with numerous bags of Nik Naks, Skips and several Chicken and Mushroom pot noodles) and somehow carried them back like a beast of burden.

As you can imagine I don’t remember much of the rest of that weekend but the crux of the over-elaborate tale was that the perception of Hofmeister 20 years ago wasn’t one of alcoholic delight, but more of being cheap and available.

Fast forward to 2017 and hearing the word Hofmeister again… as an older, wiser lager drinker I was ready to take up the battle again but in significantly less quantity.

So after that potentially unnecessary preamble, what was it like?

Well in summary Hofmeister Helles Bavarian Lager is pretty good. The branding is modern and it comes in a crown cap bottle. At 5% ABV it’s considerably stronger than the original incarnation, and it definitely tastes more grown up and interesting. Its appearance is clear and golden in colour with a light, not overly carbonated taste which makes it very drinkable.

The whole drinking experience feels more mature, and you can tell effort has been made to develop the brand and taste to stand up to the ever strengthening competition in 2017. It’s great to have Hofmeister back and I’ll definitely ‘follow the bear’ to see where there journey goes from here.
Hofmeister Helles Lager
Everyone needs a drinking buddy
Buy Hofmeister Helles here
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...