May round-up

Hazelnut jam scones

Walnut jam scones

I made these slightly insane ‘scones’ from a recipe by Zoe Nathan at Lottie + Doof, a Los Angeles bakery. When we were in California last year, we visited another of her bakeries, Milo + Olive, and had a rather wonderful lunch. These scones are a long way from cream tea scones, having a ratio of about 1:1 of flour to butter, and including cornmeal and ground nuts. Delicious as they are, they are a bit too crumbly and fragile for me, so I’m going to try and adapt the recipe and reduce the butter somewhat. Watch this space for a recipe.


A plain chocolate cake

I was pointed to this lovely, straightforward chocolate cake by The Wednesday Chef (the same post that also links to the scones above). It behaves exactly as described – is subtlely chocolatey (I would consider increasing the cocoa next time) and needs to be a little underbaked (some ground almonds might help keep it moist).

Different sides of the Michael Pollan story

I picked up Michael Pollan’s ’’Cooked” last weekend, after reading a whole host of interviews and reviews. So far I’m enjoying it a lot. I like Pollan’s writing style, and he blends in the personal with interviews and authoritative references. This article, although the headline is clearly linkbait, is worth reading. I think there’s a useful debate to be had about whether everyone should cook, whether they enjoy it or not.

Amazing MRobin cake design

Via I-don’t-know-who, these cake designs are just beautiful. There’s a lovely video showing how she makes the cakes, which are entremets, a French style of layered mousses with thin layers of sponge. The fantastic exteriors are made by patterning and colouring a thin sponge cake which is wrapped around the outside of the cake. Stunning.

Heale House Gardens


Another beautiful thing – Heale House near Salisbury has an small but enchanting garden that is open to the public. We went at the perfect time, with cherry blossom, bluebells and tulips all out simultaneously. The website doesn’t even slightly do justice to this garden, which is tucked away in an isolated valley below the A303. If you’re off to the West Country this summer, this could be worth a diversion.

As you like it

We spend a weekend in May in Stratford, and although the skies were pretty much slate-grey throughout, there was considerable sunshine in the RSC’s production of ‘As You Like It’. Pippa Nixon as Rosalind was by turns heart-wrenchingly lovestruck, androgynously masculine and then full of sunshine and smiles at the end. There’s a little video that gives you a taste – sincerely hoping this transfers to London.

Cherry Bombe

Cherry bombe magazine
While on hospital-visiting duties, I picked up yet another new food magazine in Selfridges this week – ‘Cherry Bombe’. What’s unusual about this one (apart from it’s price and thick paper) is that the contributors and interviewees are all women. While I could probably do without the cover interview with model-turned-cookie maker Karlie Kloss, the Oma & Bella behind-the-book feature is very good.

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