Showing posts tagged cake

Very excited

After many, many years of searching, I’ve finally found somewhere that serves bienenstich.

That’s beesting cake, a german sponge with cream or custard and honeyed almonds.

I grew up in Chester in the 70s and 80s. The true star of the city, for me, was not its Roman walls, famous racecourse or the Rows, but its Weinholts bakery, owned by a family of German heritage. Their bienenstich had the softest brioche and a filling of vanilla custard AND cream. It comforted me through my teenage years and I’ve been looking for it ever since leaving home.

Well now I’ve found it. At the new Beyond Retro in Dalston, of all places.

The cavernous shop has a cafe that manages to be cosy despite its industrial setting, with friendly helpful staff who are very good at persuading you to have cake, especially when you’re staring at it as if it’s a long lost love. Coffee’s good too, but I don’t like the fact they only have disposable cups. Hmmm. There are cutesy kitschy cups dotted around filled with sugar and twizzle sticks, so how about putting coffee in them?

Beyond Retro Café

92 -100 Stoke Newington Road
London , N16 7XB


Mon-Wed 10:00 - 19:00 
Thurs 10:00 - 20:00 
Fri-Sat 10:00 - 19:00
Sun 11:30 - 18:00

A farmers’ market bargain?!

Who ever heard of such a thing.

Well hold onto your fascinators, babies, because I’m about to blow your minds.

I think I have found the philosopher’s stone of the farmers’ market - a bargain!

The Location: Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market, St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington High St, N16

The Time: 10am-2.30pm,every Saturday

The Holy Grail: Moist, delicious cake-bread in an array of fruity, spicy and boozy flavours

The Source: Global Fusion Creole Vegan bakery. (I know, it sounds like something Charlie Brooker would invent to snark at, but it’s true! Deliciously deliciously true!)

The Price: £4 for a sizeable loaf (I reckon about 10 good portions).

For some reason, I didn’t want such a good bargain so I bought half a mango and linseed loaf for £3. Still a great price for a moist cake with an intriguing and irresistible tangy/sweet-savoury flavour. It would go brilliantly with homemade cocount icecream, if anyone wants to bring me some.

Afternoon tea fans! Do you want to indulge in some of the finest cakes known to London, served by lovely ladies in beautiful vintage gowns, all for the amazing price of £5!

You do? Of course you do. Well, head over to…

…hand over as much dosh as your heart and purse will allow and reward yourself with the lightest scones, the moistest sponge and the daintiest cucumber sandwiches.

Afternoon tea in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care
3-5pm, Sat 30 July
Avo Hotel, 82 Dalston Lane, London E8
020 3490 5061

Violet Cakes

Claire Ptak, a talented baker who used to work at the famous Chez Panisse, sells out her range of American-style cupcakes at Broadway Market every Sunday. So a few months ago she opened a little bakery/cakeshop/coffeeshop on Wilton Way near(ish) London Fields.

I stumbled across it today and nearly kept going, making a mental note to try it another time, but couldn’t break through the buttercream icing forcefield. It’s quite sticky, as forcefields go.

In the interests of science I had to take a representative sample, but reined it in a bit with a couple of minis - a mini salted caramel cupcake, and mini whoopie pie, both of which just made the polenta and almond cupcake with lemon icing look even more decadently large.

I fell in love with salted caramel in Paris, and the pink sugar ball in the centre of Violet’s salted caramel cupcake seemed to add a bit of gay Paree sophistication to this divine salt-sweet-buttery bite. 

After this wee amuse bouche, I investigated what was to be my first Whoopie Pie (I know, I’m in the slow stream at cake school). I think I’m a convert. It offers greater variety of flavour and texture and greater ease of eating than the cupcake. This version had pistachio nubbins in its sponge and on the icing, along with intense candied rose petals. 

The lemon iced cupcake, with grainy polenta sponge was delicious and intriguing, but the polenta gave too much of a gritty texture for my liking. But this won’t be enough to stop Violet being an obligatory stop on the way to and from London Fields - I’ll just have to add a few lengths at the Lido.