Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lake District Dairy Co Quark Cooking Sauces - Review

Huge hamper courtesy of The Lake District Dairy Co
I have been kindly sent a huge hamper of fresh produce and the new quark cooking sauce range from The Lake District Dairy Co along with some recipes, to try my hand making a few delicious evening meals.

The sauces are made by British Farmers and have just won 'Best Brand Extension' at the World Dairy Innovation Awards.

Quark is a naturally fat free soft cheese and after launching British Quark to the UK in 2013 they have now introduced creamy quark based stir-in sauces.

I've road tested a few of the sauces in my kitchen, and if I did a 'blindfold' test,  I wouldn't know they were being marketed as a healthy alternative to sauces containing double cream or creme fraiche because they really do taste quite indulgent. The sauces contain no preservatives or artificial flavours.

I made Chicken Tikka & Quark Rice......

We loved this sauce and recipe, it's a winner
A pot of Chicken Tikka Sauce contains only 75 calories, 4.5g sugar,2.6g Fat, 0.6g Saturates, 0.74g salt.

Gnocchi with Spinach and Tomato & Basil Quark Sauce............

Our second favourite sauce and recipe
Other than the fact that we aren't really fans of gnocchi, and to be fair we could have exchanged this for pasta, we really enjoyed this meal.  The sauce was bursting with flavour and who would know that there are 79 Calories,  6.3g Sugar, 2.8g Fat and 0.6g Saturates, 0.83g Salt in a tub.

Spaghetti Quarkonara..........made with Garlic & Herb Cooking Sauce

Our least favourite sauce
This sauce is described as smooth and indulgent with a deliciously fresh garlic taste.  We like a hint of garlic in our food and unfortunately found this overpowering.

76 calories, 5.6g Sugar, 1.5g Fat, 0.4g Saturates, 0.74g Salt in a pot.

Tried and Tested:
The cooking sauces are very versatile and can be used in a number of dishes.  They are surprisingly indulgent and very tasty.  Meals can be made in minutes using fresh ingredients.

For more information please visit - RRP £1.75 per 200g pot

Disclaimer:  I was sent the above products for review purposes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mary Berry's Spiced Dorset Apple Traybake - Recipe

The traybake is spiced with cinnamon
This is a cake-cum-pudding - according to my hubby it needs a large bowl of 'Birds Custard' - there isn't a cure for his love of Bird's Custard, it comes from his school days. In fact he often boasts that he introduced an American businessman to custard and told him that English puddings have to be served with the pudding floating in custard!

Yes, I did give him a chunk of the cake with his beloved custard - I had a piece with a dollop of cream but creme fraiche would cut through the sweetness of the cake and for me it would be the best choice.

Mary Berry is the queen of the traybake and I don't think I had ever heard of a 'traybake' until many, many years ago when I bought her Ultimate Cake Book.  This book is very well thumbed and is getting a bit tatty but it is a turn to book when I'm in need of baking inspiration.

Part of my collection of Mary Berry cookery books
Adapted recipe and method:

You will need: 30cm x 23cm x 4cm greased and lined with baking parchment.

225g butter softened
550g Bramley cooking apples
1 tbsp bottled lemon juice
225g light brown sugar
300g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples, place them into a dish. Pour the lemon juice over the apples and toss gently together.
3. Put the butter, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, eggs and milk into a large bowl. Beat with a hand held electric whisk for 2 minutes.
4. Dollop half the cake batter into the tin and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Place half the apple slices on top and sprinkle over the remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Spoon the remaining cake batter on top in blobs and level the surface. Scatter the rest of the apple slices over the cake mixture and press them lightly into the surface.
5. Bake for 40 minutes until golden. Test the cake is cooked through with a skewer and the apples are soft and cooked. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Remove the cake using the lining paper.

The original recipe, method and video how to make the cake is on the Daily Mail website.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Prince Albert, Notting Hill, London - Review

Kitchen Delights London Reporter @PaulFoodie enjoys the late summer sun and classic American food at The Prince Albert....

Notting Hill in London is famous! Whether it's for the eclectic carnival in August, the uber-cool vibe of Portobello street market or even the film which goes by the same name - Notting Hill is well and truly on the map!

The Prince Albert is bang in the heart of Notting Hill. It has a reputation for being loud and popular with the after work crowd and when I visited, it was certainly that!

As you walk in, you'll notice weathered looking shutters in various shades of pastel and high seating near to the main bar.

Interior view 
If you venture to the back of the pub, you'll also come across the not so secret garden where you can sit and relax.....

The secret garden
The Prince Albert is pushing out classic American food, so think fried chicken and an abundance of burgers and you're there.

Vegetarian Sharing Platter
For starters we chose the vegetarian sharing platter. It consisted of 3 mini burgers (or sliders as they're called). I wasn't really fussed about these, unfortunately the veggie pate was bland and fell apart before it even reached my mouth. There were also tempura vegetables such as mushrooms and peppers which were okay but the giant tempura cauliflower would have been far better if it had been broken down into small florets. The quantity of food was generous however, and we had to move on to leave space for the star of the show - the burger.

Burger and fries anyone?
I had a beef burger with avocado, bacon and blue cheese served with a side portion of double cooked chips. It was nice but it didn't feel particularly special. I think I should have opted for the make your own option where you choose the base and then add your toppings and sauces, building it up to your hearts content.

When we looked at the menu for dessert there were a couple of corkers. The chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream was unfortunately sold out and so we shared the choc chip cookie and ice cream sandwich.
The choc chip cookie and ice cream sandwich
is certainly a conversation stopper
Overall, if you are after a drink and a bite to eat in lively surroundings, this place will tick the rock'n'roll box.

The Prince Albert, 11 Pembridge Road,
Notting Hill, London, W11 3HQ

Disclaimer:  I was invited to review The Prince Albert, all thoughts are my own.

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