The (not particularly appetising, admittedly) picture of blueberry cake that you can see below sparked this week’s post. It was delicious – a huge portion size for a really good price, soft sponge, sweet frosting and tangy blueberry compote. The only problem is that I can’t remember where it was from. I know where the café is, and I know how to get there, but I can’t remember the name of it, so I can’t really tell anyone about it.
Now, as I know that I can visit this place again, then if I want to write a post on it it’s not actually that much of a problem, but it got me thinking about the dilemma I have nearly every time I eat out anywhere: am I going to blog about this or not? It’s a decision that has to be made before I order, let alone before I’ve started eating, because it often affects whether I stick to tried and tested foods or order a bit more adventurously.
I’ve had times when I’ve decided to just enjoy myself and not think about the blog, which has usually resulted in me having some amazing food that I’ve then wanted to share with everyone. Subsequently I regret not taking any photos, or making any notes, or even writing down the name of the place I went to. On the other hand, I’ve been to some mediocre places where my visit’s been made worse by trying to take a good picture of poorly presented food, or by making notes on food that didn’t taste as good as I was hoping for, or by trying to think of something – anything – nice to say (because at the end of the day this blog is largely about desserts, and surely there’s always something good to say about dessert?).
In general, then, this post may be a little frustrating because it’s all about the places I’ve been to that I no longer know the name of, or that I don’t have photos from.
Blueberry & Lemon Cake, and Carrot Cake: Somewhere in Sheffield
On the way home from a an unsuccessful blackberry hunt Mat and I tried out a café in the Kelham Island area of Sheffield that’s quite close to where we live. We’d wanted to go for quite a while but as we usually walked past it in the evenings, it was generally closed.
The blueberry and lemon cake there was delicious; soft sponge (always a key factor with me), and a perfect balance between the lemon and the blueberries. I remember asking for some water as well as my latte and cake and loving that it came in a Kitchencraft-style flip top glass bottle. After the obvious quality and price, it’s little touches like that that make me really fall in love with a place to be honest.
Mat had the carrot cake, which I seem to like more and more each time I try it and this one was no exception.
The only vaguely bad point that I can remember was that this place was a little bit on the pricey side, but it wasn’t too expensive and the quality was fantastic. Overall, this was a great little place and definitely somewhere I’ll be visiting again. Maybe next time I’ll take my notebook and actually write down the name of the place…
Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart: Somewhere in Essex
When I went to visit my parents for a while in the summer we tried to visit some places that we hadn’t been to in a while (or ever, in some cases). On of my last days there we went to an unusual place that had a homeware shop downstairs, an indoor craft and photography ‘market’ upstairs, and a café off to one side. I spent a long time mentally spending a small fortune on all of the beautiful things for sale but the best purchases were definitely to be found in the café.
I could have kicked myself for not writing down the name of this place, as I think it was in Dedham but I’d have no chance of finding it again myself. I was lucky enough to get the last slice of what turned out to be one of my favourite ever desserts: chocolate and hazelnut tart.
The pastry was perfectly cooked and not too thick, there was a base layer of hazelnut filling, a gorgeous layer of dark chocolate ganache, and the whole thing was topped with white chocolate shavings. The slice was huge so everyone I was eating with had a taste and we all thought it was fantastic. One day I’ll find the recipe for this and give it a go myself. I can only hope that it’ll turn out half as well!
Coffee Cake: The Mill Race Teashop, North Yorkshire
A few months ago I went for a walk from Redmire to Aysgarth with Mat and his parents, and was lucky enough to be treated to tea and cake at The Mill Race Teashop along the way. This example is a bit different to the other two as I know the name of the place, I vaguely know where it is (but have a terrible sense of direction so I wouldn’t be able to find it myself), but I have no photos of any of the food or drink that we had.
I had a pot of Teapigs Rooibos Crème Caramel tea, which was delicious and a treat in itself. I also had a piece of coffee cake that was served with whipped double cream. As we all know by now, I’m a stickler for thin pastry and soft sponge. This coffee cake was actually a little dry, which initially put me off. However I tried a bit with some of the whipped cream and it was perfect. This was one of those times where it was nice to just sit and enjoy what I’d ordered without thinking about what I was going to write later and in that sense I don’t regret taking no notes or photographs. However it was such a fantastic place that I’ll have to go again and get a post out of it.
Ultimately, if the ‘problem’ here centres around ‘to eat and blog or just to eat?’ it’s not really much of a problem is it? Either way, I’m lucky enough to enjoy lots of very nice food on a regular basis!