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Being a passionate foodie, but not only from a consumers point but as someone one who has been on both sides of the pass I believe that I have something to share so..

Welcome world, to my soap box to tell you, the reader about my experience  in food, pass on my knowledge and understanding of an industry that is close to my heart to review and compliment those who deserve it but also to condemn those who really haven’t been doing our industry justice 

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Gluten free again

Once again I’ve been trying different baking ideas, to come up with a better gluten free bread so try this,

Now whilst it does have that sinking feeling, it retains an amazing flavour.

Gluten free seeded loaf

Ingredients

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp unrefined sugar

1 tsp marmite

2 egg whites

1 tsp white wine vinegar

200 ml warm water

200 ml milk

8 Tbsp vegetable

2 tsp roasted sesame oil

50 g cornflour

100 g brown GF bread flour

100 g rice flour

100 g self-raising GF flour

150 g white GF bread flour

4 Tbsp mixed seeds

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tsp yeast ecstatic

1/2 Tbsp

Method

Set oven at 200 degrees C for about 10 minutes

1 put the wet ingredients, along with the salt, sugar and marmite and only half the vegetable oil into your mixer bowl and mix well.

2 change from whisk to a dough hook.

3 add the dry ingredients and mix for about 2 minutes

4 using a spatula scrape the flour from the side of the bowl, and mix for a further minute

5 add remaining oil and fold in

Transfer dough into a greased 3lb loaf tin, cover with oiled clingfilm place tin on a baking tray and then into the warmed oven for 30 minutes.

6 remove clingfilm, turn oven to 200 degrees C and bake for one hour

7 remove from oven and tin and allow to cool

Disappointing 

Tonight we went to the ‘Ben Tunicliffe’ at Sennen Cove for my birthday meal and by enlarge the food was good, however there were one or two issues that are worth mentioning. 

We arrived and were seated reasonably quickly, the restaurant was not very busy (that will become relevant later) the menu was interesting as vegetarian dishes are beginning to be more than just an afterthought.

My wife and her friends ordered the butternut squash soup, that had the texture of a veloute and it’s fair to say a fantastic flavour and was complimented by a house baked walnut bread.

 I ordered the Wild mushroom bruschetta, crispy egg, truffle oil. Now as you can see from the picture it was a bit of a mixed bag, it was by the looks of it well proportioned but alas the bruschetta was a thick over fried piece of walnut bread that wasn’t overly flavoursome and didn’t do anything for the dish, the mushrooms were ok but wouldn’t have been without the truffle oil, finally the egg (in my humble opinion the best part of the dish) was cooked to perfection.

Following our starter I think things got steadily worse. 

We then had a good 45 minutes wait for our main, which given that it wasn’t busy was annoying. My wife then felt that she needed to complain saying that it was my birthday and that we had a taxi booked and I would quite like a Pudding, another 10 minutes went by and our mains arrived I ordered Roasted Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, cavolo nero, 

raisin & thyme onions, red wine shallots, the dish was very dark and the flavours competed with each other, the cavolo Nero and artichokes lacked seasoning and the sweetness of both the parsnips and shallots just fought making it far to sweet the overall effect was sickly sweet earthy flavours that just didn’t work.

My wife and one of our friends ordered Parmesan gnocchi, roasted beetroot, cauliflower and leeks. This was a very flavoursome dish, however what it lacked was portion size, Nuevo cuisine is very much in the past I thought.

Now gnocchi is by enlarge a peasant dish but can be so much more and this was a very beautiful dish but it just doesn’t represent value for money a token amount of leeks probably one beetroot and 5 pieces of gnocchi making each piece £2.60 not any kind of value, in fact my wife commented on it to the waiter and his reply was “yes I thought it should be bigger ”

Our other friend ordered an adult portion of the child’s pesto penne and to be fair in my view one of the best dishes, it really was full of taste a good amount of pine nuts adding texture.

Now given that our mains where late I had to order and rush my Pudding I had a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream and my friend had Poached pear, mulled cider jelly, almond milk panna cotta 

I can’t really comment about them because I had to rush. They felt that to not charge for my Pudding would make up for the disappointment. How wrong they were, in the last two years we have given this restaurant many chances and it has been very hit and miss so we will never go there again and I won’t be encouraging others to go there either. It is a shame that a great day was spoiled by its ending.

Hidden jewel 

Since making, what I feel is the best decision in our lives by becoming vegetarian, it has been a fantastic learning experience, to make exciting vegetarian & vegan dishes, but let’s be honest any dish can be just as good without meat.

It also does however limit your choices when you go out.

Well on my wife’s birthday we discovered in Sennen near lands end the ‘Apple Tree Cafe’ a true revaluation for the vegetarian & vegan dinner, this small & unassuming venue, catered for all our needs, Steve the chef patron was more than happy to accommodate us and the promised breakfast we had was both sumptuous and excellent, no one comes out feeling hungry, you would think that is a given (but it’s not always the case) they also offered an extensive range of gluten free cakes ( not just a Brownie) and my mother in-law had a piece of courgette cake and said it was yummy.

All in all a great start to our day

The Apple tree is somewhere I will definitely recommend and I shall be going again. Sometimes you have to look as the best things are hidden.

(Sorry no pictures😔)

Big talent at Little Bo’s

In Sennen Cove, in far south West of Cornwall there is a small unassuming cafe called little Bo’s. It has a reasonable reputation, as it does have some lovely cakes, catering for gluten free dinners too.My wife and I went there for a rare day off for breakfast, being Vegetarian it’s a given that menus tend to present token vegetarian meals, so I have come not to expect too much.

On this occasion I was pleasantly surprised; we both had the Vegetarian breakfast, and didn’t just get egg, beans and the underwhelming cardboard sausage (how things have moved on), for a start vegetarian sausages are no longer arid and dry like cardboard, but if cooked probably (and these were) are juicy succulent and flavoursome. In addition the sausages were accompanied by a beautifully cooked fried egg (something that can easily be cooked badly) baked beans, hash browns, grilled tomato and Halloumi, mushrooms and Avocado, served With toast.

Well the meal was a fantastic start to the day. We also took some cake away my wife enjoyed a lemon and almond gluten free cake and I had biscotti cake, both had fantastic flavour and if I hadn’t known I would not have thought my wife’s cake was gluten free, quite a culinary talent. I would not hesitate to recommend Little Bo’s as a breakfast or lunch time venue great food and a great view of the Cove too.

Gluten free Vegan Bread 🍞 

Unfortunately as with most middle aged men I have developed an intolerance to wheat. There are a fairly good range of gluten free breads on the market, but in fairness they are either too bland or too expensive and some contain eggs.

Not so good for Vegans so I started to investigate.

Now I don’t have a loaf tin so I used a cake tin, but the results were fantastic.

Above Gluten Free Vegan Bread 

Ingredients :-

1 t’spoon Marmite 

1 T’spoon unrefined caster sugar 

1 T’spoon white wine vinegar 

20g chickpea flour

60ml warm water 

1 t’spoon salt

8 T’spoon vegetable oil 

425ml almond milk

4 t’spoon quick yeast 

100g rice four 

100g corn flour 

100g self raising gluten free flour 

200g brown gluten free bread flour 

1 t’spoon gluten free baking powder 

2 T’spoon dry fried mixed seeds 

Method :-

1. Mix the marmite and water together 

3. add all the wet ingredients along with the chickpea flour and half the oil and mix well on medium speed using a whisk attachment.

4. Change attachments for a dough hook and add all the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes .

5. Fold in remaining oil keeping a little back to grease your tin.

6. Using a high sided loaf tin poor in your mix, cover with oiled cling film and prove for 30 minutes in a warm oven.

7. Remove cling film and bake at 220C, 200C fan gas mark 6 for 60 minutes.



Not so successful 

Old Success at Sennen cove

My wife and I have been dining here for the past 7 years, first as holiday makers and now as our local go to pub restaurant. We have always given the Old Success glowing reports to all our friends and customers that come into our shop, and I have to say that has always been easy, until now.

We took our sons in as they were visiting, we had been in the previous month ordered for us the same thing as it was lovely.

After 10 minutes The landlord came over and asked us if we had ordered, we said yes.

When our food did arrive my wife and I ordered the Halloumi stack having had this before we felt that we were on to a winner, oh dear how wrong,

Above a Halloumi Stack without the bun.

the overall meal was meagre in comparison to one, we had, had here in the past, also the difference between my wifes and mine was marked, mine was small and not overly impressive looking, but my wife’s was none existent, small with no lettuce and tomatoes with only a hint of grilled halumi cheese, we raised a complaint with our server, he agreed with us and took it away to replace it.

And it went from the sublime to the ridiculous, the Portobello mushroom used as the base of the ‘stack’ was huge in proportion to the Halloumi which was over cooked apposed to the mushroom that wasn’t cooked enough and the absence of lettuce and tomato meant that there was no consistency, and with a smaller portion of chips than on previous visits along with a measly token side of coleslaw, it really didn’t represent value for money.

Above the huge under cooked Portabello Mushroom 

My sons both had burgers, one the cajon chicken burger and he said it Very uninspiring, it was dry and lacked seasoning,the bun was soggy with a small bit of tomato and no lettuce which I think a burger should have and a very small bit of coleslaw!

Above cajon burger I think 🤔

My other son had a house burger (and how can you do that badly, I hear) well his honest feedback and I quote:-My burger was distinctly average. I’ve had better, I’ve had worse. Maybe slightly overdone for my taste but it didn’t taste bad.

Above the Old Success House Burger 

Now that’s kinda ok you say but this is a house burger so it should always be consistent and good.

It was a Sunday and mid season so it was busy, but in my view these factors are irrelevant for any hospitality business to have a mediocre review such as this should cause concern. But for a business with a very good reputation it would make me ask serious questions of my team if it were mine. Overall the meal did not represent value for money, despite the assistant manager not charging us for the Halloumi stacks.

Now I am the first to say that sometimes off days happen, so I will go back again but my visit will be guarded. And a very detailed review will follow.