Hazelnut & Cherry Loaf

Nutella is fascinatingly one of the most successful brands in the world. It’s so universal that it has been the happy part of the childhoods of people from all angles of the world (or at least in the West). It is so universal that the brand is responsible for forming the association between hazelnut and chocolate. That’s my theory, at least. People say hazelnuts are reminiscent of chocolate, that when roasted, contain deep notes of cocoa. I say bullsh*t. You’re used to the two being together because of Nutella. When you have roasted hazelnuts on its own, you think it’s missing something – its long term partner chocolate.
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St Lucia Buns (Saffron Buns)

There are admittedly days when I feel like kneading a bread dough for 10, 20, 30 minutes.  The rhythm motion of pushing and stretching the soft yeast-scented dough is as therapeutic an activity as it gets for me.  However, if you present me with the alternative of letting a machine do it in five minutes whilst I make myself a cup of coffee…Maybe that’s even more therapeutic. And since I’ve acquired Heston, my beloved stand mixer, I’ve made more bread and rolls and buns.
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White Chocolate & Cardamom Mousse Cake

Urgh. I’ve been on an energy-sapping holiday in Italy. The combination of the scorching sun and unlimited food is putting me in a constant state of lethargy. Everything’s so much effort: stairs, cooking, even lifting fingers to type. Maybe my muscles are finding it difficult to move around the fat that have recently surrounded them… So here’s an old recipe back from culinary school.
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Asian Chicken Salad

“You know, I’ve never spoken with an Asian before.”

I was perplexed more than anything. The statement was from a colleague. A colleague whom I didn’t know well, a colleague whom I had just met and whom I was engaged in rather pleasant small talk with prior to his sudden proclamation that I was the first Asian he had ever spoken with.

I was perplexed. Yes, I was offended because I’m not a different species, dude, so how has this experience been for you? But more than anything I was perplexed because we are literally everywhere, where do you live such that there is no Asian shop or restaurant in the vicinity?!
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Chocolate-Covered Almonds

I’ve been trying to practice mindful eating. It’s what would prevent me from devouring an entire bowl of these almonds in two minutes. I’m still learning. So far my strategy of refraining from mindless eating is to simply avoid all foods that trigger that primal side of me. It’s chocolate-covered coffee beans, bread sticks, chips: anything with that right combination of sweet or salty along with that satisfying crunch.
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Bombay Potatoes

Curry recipes are often a bit of a hit-and-miss. It’s difficult to make a good one that balances all the spices, achieving a symphony of flavors rather than a just generic “hot”. I’m not saying that I’ve got curries covered, and that I’ve slaved over this recipe with trial and error, adjusting the proportions of the ingredients time after time. I don’t really improvise with curries, I look for curry recipes, follow them down to a tee, and share the ones that are good with you, like this one.
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Spiced Corn & Pea Fritters

I used to make pancakes with my mom. Other than that, the only times I’d really pass by the kitchen would be when she was baking so I could lick the batter off the spoons and the beaters. But pancakes we did together, because it was always my initiative. We had this vintage Cook’s Illustrated that was clumsily held together by rolls and rolls of tape, and the page with the pancake recipe was detached from the rest of the book. I’d take it to the kitchen to my mother, and I’m sure I must have helped out with the measuring and the mixing… But I have no recollection of that. I just remember sitting on the high chair next to the stove, and eating the pancake one by one as they got out of the pan.
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Homemade Oreos

I was disgusted at the launch of Oreo Double Stuf.  For me, the best bit was always the cookie, and I always made an effort to open them up gently and delicately scrape away that white frosting with a knife. And it made me realize that not everyone is like me, which I often forget. I look at certain food launches in the world and their successes baffle me because I personally wouldn’t consume them.

Orange neither complements or contrasts chocolate and I find the pairing groundless. Infusing anything with rose makes it reminiscent of soap. Licorice should just be pulled out of the market, because it is actually one of the few things that I refuse to eat. And why hasn’t Oreo launched Oreo No Stuf?
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Chocolate & Hazelnut Quinoa Granola

During exam period in university I survived on nothing but granola and coffee. With food being strictly forbidden in our libraries, granola was the perfect library-friendly food to sneak in. See, your crudites and hummus made too much sound. As would a pack of crisps (imagine the glares as you open the pack).  Anything warm or capable of emitting odors was a strict no-no as well. And anything involving utensils will just decrease your productivity. On a nutritional level you need a healthy kick of sugar and carbs. My granola habit was however, boarding on unhealthy.  I could still munch on dry granola like there was no tomorrow, which is why I rarely buy or make it – no matter what healthy, organic refined sugar-free wholegrain granola made with extra virgin coconut oil and studded with a range of superfoods – 400g of it as an after lunch snack is still not good for you.
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Bread by Bike (London)

I am on a constant quest to find good bread – good sourdough, in particular. The ones with a good crust – the kind that crackles and sings when a knife saws through it; with a moist, elastic and stretchy interior, like a sponge featuring holes large and small; and importantly, a deep earthy flavor with a slight sour edge. To ensure one ticks all the boxes, one needs to really understand the science of it all, and really devote their heart and soul into it. I was therefore thrilled at the news that Andy Strang, the man behind the new bakery Bread by Bike in Kentish Town, is a physicist.
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