Borough Market – the place for foodies

Borough market is fantastic… There is so much on offer, all beautifully arranged. The mind boggles as to how food can be presented so well with each item being such a high standard. Many of the stalls are organic too. The market first traded in the 11th Century and now with over a 100 stalls of fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, meats, cheeses and a plethora of things to eat for lunch, it’s my number one place to spend a morning.

Borough market vegetablesThe full market is open Thursday to Saturday each week although Saturday is extremely busy but that adds to the charm! There is a HUGE selection of British and French cheeses and a few stalls away will be chutney’s, lovingly made to accompany your cheese. It’s a place to browse, savour the delights of top-notch produce and try things you have never had before.

Rubies in the Rubble deserves a particular mention because they make great conserves and chutney but they use discarded fruit and vegetables from growers and distributors who would otherwise throw it part of their produce away. Rubies in the Rubble are savvy. Also they recruit their workforce from people who are struggling to get back into work,
 investing time and talent in training them to be connoisseurs.

Luckily, they are not just exclusive to Borough market but can be found across Britain and in some Waitrose shops. Check their website for more information and support a great cause by buying some of their handmade products.




I’m back after several very busy months but most importantly, I’ve been writing a canapé book with all my favourite mini morsels. Some are remakes of the classics and others are just appetizers that I LOVE so I am looking forward to sharing them with you.

Big news – good news, does come in small sizes!

How fruity are you?

Only 25% of us eat the required amount of fruit and veg per day. I recently overheard someone on the train chatting to his mother and insisting that the two slivers of cucumber in his tuna mayo sandwich was ‘at least’ a portion of vegetables. Luckily his mum had more sense.

So, how can we eat more fruit and vegetables?
It’s not as tricky as you might think. Firstly, spice up your intake – literally. Using more spices and being creative will make a seemingly bland dish incredibly tasty – look at the humble chickpea. Add Tahini, lemon and seasoning and hey presto, it’s the creamy, yummy humous that you can find everywhere. I also make a big point of adding vegetables to my poached eggs on toast combo. Try eating it with sliced avocado. It’s delicious. As for fruit – add sliced apples and pears to your porridge.


Drawing your favourite food lifts your mood….

Junk food

Junk food

Did you know that drawing your favourite food can lift your mood, as featured in Delicious Magazine.

In a study published in the Journal of Behavioural and Brain Science, 28 per cent of participants who drew a pizza experienced a boost in their mood compared to just one per cent of people who drew a red pepper. Perhaps we should all draw food on the way to work on a Monday morning?

Welsh Cakes


Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakes

Tonight Wales are playing France in the Six Nations and I found my mind turning to Welsh Cakes. Have you ever had one? They are little bitesize portions of heaven. They are sweet but not too sweet, more than moorish, easy to munch and are usually consumed on top of a mountain (or is that just me?!) but I think they should just be eaten when you feel GOOD! Guess what, they only take 15 minutes to make and that includes cleaning up after yourself in the kitchen too!

The first time I ever had a Welsh Cake was on Hadrian’s Wall and the second time – a few weeks ago, I was in Wales near Barafundle Bay feeling windswept but so very very happy and hey presto, these little fella’s were brought out of a backpack and munched looking at a magnificent coastal view.

You will love these because they are so easy to make and you can experiment with flavours, or just keep it traditional. I made a Manuka honey and ginger, a dark chocolate batch and also a traditional version too.

350g self raising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
175g butter
100g good quality chocolate (broken into small pieces)
125g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon of milk

To finish
Caster sugar for sprinkling

1. Use a griddle or heavy-based frying pan, grease lightly with oil and heat gently.
2. Measure the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and chocolate pieces.
3. Beat the egg with the milk, then add this to the mixture and mix to a firm dough. If you need to add a splash more of milk, do so but don’t add too much.
4. Roll out the dough on to a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 5mm (1/4 inch) then cut into rounds with a 3 inch round cutter.
5. Cook the Welsh Cakes on the hot griddle on a low heat for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Cook gently otherwise the sides will burn and the middle will be uncooked.
6. Cool on a wire rack, then sprinkle with caster sugar. Consume in the next 24 hours.

Welsh cakes - gift

Welsh cakes – gift

For the Manuka honey and ginger version – omit the chocolate and add a teaspoon of ground ginger and a generous teaspoon of Manuka Honey before adding the egg and milk. You might need to add less milk because the honey does a good job of binding all the ingredients together.

Traditional version – replace the 100g of chocolate with 100g currants and also add 3/4 level teaspoon ground mixed spice at this stage.

I’ve bagged mine all up and will be giving them as gifts. Fingers crossed Wales win the Rugby!












Just when you thought Christmas was over

I love Christmas and this year, I was working for a lovely family in Central London up until Christmas day, so the season started on the 25th December! Still, this weekend was a festive one and these little fella’s were made as a team effort. I hadn’t realised quite how time consuming it could be – mostly because brown icing sugar was nowhere to be found but I think these look wonderful. They just make me smile! Forget leaving carrots and mince pies for Santa and his reindeer, leave these instead.

Happy New Year! May 2014 be full of happiness and little reindeers with cinnamon pretzel ears to make you smile.

Christmas Rudolph cupcakes

                             Christmas Rudolph cupcakes

Lovely to meet you

Chantal cooking

Chantal cooking

Welcome to my kitchen.
It’s a homely place with brimming cupboards and a constant source of freshly brewed tea in oversized mugs, that can only be held with two hands. I love food. I enjoy thinking about it, preparing it and eating with loved ones. I’ll happily share the good times, the triumphs, the tasty tit-bits and the adventure of my alchemy on this blog. Hopefully it will inspire you to explore the culinary world within our reach.

From city banker to cook
I’ll tell you something few people know – I’m fairly new to this cooking mischief. Five years ago, when I worked in the City, I would avoid the kitchen at all costs. I LOVED food but cooking it – well, let’s just say there were always other people close to hand who seemed better, faster and had a natural flair. The turning point came silently and like a thunderbolt, it transformed my way of thinking and prompted me to train formally and set up my own catering company. Nothing is more exciting than a new recipe or a different way of thinking about ingredients.

Put your apron on
I’m hooked. I’m sold. I’m all-in! There is room for all of us out there – from the Michelin starred chef, to the novice cook. So, now that we have the formalities out the way and ‘yes, it is lovely to meet you…’ we  had better get cracking, we have a blog to cook!