[Blurry pic taken after a few pints of beer at The Rake. I realised I came in from the back entrance and missed this shot. It looked okay after I snapped it. LOL]
Click all images to Enlarge.
It has taken me awhile to come back and tend to my blog. My deepest apologies for that. But with this post, it should more than make up for the hiatus.
While traveling in London, England, we were told by several friends and locals to make sure we stop by the Borough Market by the London Bridge. The London Bridge is not the iconic image that you normally see. That is called the Tower Bridge. It's down the street a bit from the London Bridge area.
We knew we were headed to a food market, but didn't expect the wonders that lay ahead with cheeses, meats, breads, sandwiches, and candies. This place is a foodies dream. Tons of good local products. We were there on a winters day and it was absolutely packed. Apparently, it gets much more crowded and more vendors are usually available in warmer months.
Upon arriving, we came across the glorious cheese section. First up Is Gorwydd Caerphilly Cheese from Wales. A raw cow's milk cheese. And Marcel Petit Comte from France. An aged Gruyere, cow's milk cheese. Both of these are world class, amazing cheeses.
Up next is Ubriaco from Italy. A.K.A. Drunk Cheese. A cow's milk cheese and covered in crushed grape skins or grape pomace. And Borenkaas. Big bold dutch cheese. A raw cow's milk gouda.
Fresh meats. Although check out the slab of meat in the center left. Looks a little aged. Also I snapped a shot of some chocolate bars. Notice the Skulls on the Mole Poblano.
Fresh cold water oysters. Along with my husband Todd Alstrom, who loves them and couldn't resist a quick shot of one with some mignonette.
Fresh breads and more cheeses. H.S. Bourne Cheshire cheeses. Very nice cheeses. The smoked cheese looks so awesome. I just want to make a smoked cheese soup out that wheel. And the chive cheese, cow's milk, the one in the last pic with the green flecks in it was really tasty.
Organic meats and Stichleton a raw cow's milk stilton.
Whose bright idea was it to tempt us all with chocolate truffles in giant piles and mounds. And candies as far as the eye can see?
And last but not least, some more meats, sandwiches and a sign that pretty much says it all as far as temptation goes.
So this concludes part one of the Borough Market. There is much more to come. Stay tuned.
I am sorry for no recent updates lately. I am planning a trip to London. I leave this Thursday, so there is a lot to be done. I will update if and when I can while in London. I will take loads of pictures of pubs and restaurants. I will make sure I am taking a lot of notes so I can give a reasonable recommendation to anyone who cares to read my opinions here. Stay tuned for updates.
Cheers for reading my blog and following the good word on beer and food!
Yeah you heard me right. Chocolate truffle pie. I have been promising the good people following me on Twitter that I would put this recipe up. I got sick and had to take a few days off. This is not my recipe, but I think I did it some justice. I served this pie at Christmas.
*Note that this is their recipe with my own images mixed in.
12 ounces bitter sweet or semi sweet chocolate 1-1/2 sticks butter 6 large egg whites 4 large egg yolks 3 tablespoons cocoa 1/3 cup sugar pinch of salt pinch cream of tartar pre-baked pie crust
a double boiler by bringing a half pan of water to a boil, turning the
heat to low, and setting a large stainless bowl over it.
Even if you
already have a double boiler, do it this way. You'll be able to mix
everything in this one bowl and save on clean-up.
Put the butter in the bowl, and once it's melted add the chocolate, cocoa, sugar and salt.
Ingredient notes: I used half bittersweet and half semi-sweet
chips, both Ghirardelli. You can find them in the baking section at
some grocery stores. They're the best domestic chocolate I've tried.
(And I'm not saying that just because I'm a chocolate snob. Try them
And for the sugar, I decided to use raw instead
of white. Just because I saw it in the cupboard and decided to give it
a shot. More on this below.
(Candice: I used regular white sugar and the pie turned out fine.)
While the chocolate melts, separate the eggs (see here
for tips). If you're thinking ahead, you'll set aside the two extra
yolks to make mayonnaise once you're done with this. If you're
distracted, or just don't feel like it, don't feel bad about dumping
them. Eggs are cheap. They'll make more.
(Candice: I separated the egg whites at the beginning. You want your egg whites to be at room temperature for beating them or they won't peak.)
Start mixing the chocolate and butter together as soon as you see the chips start to melt.
If you've never
melted chocolate before, you might want to separate the eggs first so
you aren't distracted. When the chocolate is completely melted, and the
sugar and cocoa are incorporated, remove it from the heat and mix the
yolks in one at a time.
chocolate mixture aside and let it cool to room temperature. While it's
cooling, add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until it
forms stiff peaks.
For the first
minute the egg whites will just foam up a little. Then all at once
they'll turn pure white and look like a whole different food.
you just made meringue. Add about a third of the meringue to the
chocolate and mix it in. Then add the rest and fold it in gently.
Try not to deflate the eggs while folding. Once the meringue is completely incorporated, pour the mixture into a pre-baked pie crust.
Spread the chocolate evenly. If you're fussy about this stuff (like I am), make sure the top looks nice.
Remember when I mentioned the raw sugar?
You can see a little bit of a speckled texture on the surface. Because
raw sugar isn't ground as fine as refined white, it didn't completely
dissolve in the melted chocolate. Once it's frozen, you'll barely
notice the difference. As it thaws you'll notice a slight crispy
granularity. Personally, I liked it, but if you're expecting
silky-smoothness you'd be better off using powdered sugar. I heard in a
comment below that even refined white sugar still left a bit of
Freeze for at least two hours, four would be
better. Cut with a very sharp knife, not a pie spatula. Serve with
fresh whipped cream.
(Candice: Don't serve this pie right out of the freezer. Some of you may think that that would make perfect sense, but the recipe doesn't say that. If you serve it right out of the freezer, it's impossible to cut, serve, and eat. This pie does fine once it's set, in the refrigerator.)
my honest opinion, one of the best and most underrated stouts, or in
this case Imperial Stouts is from Berkshire Brewing Company. This stout
is nearly perfect for it's definition of style. Balance is the key to
this beer. It's not too bitter or robust, it's not too weak or too thin
either. It is one of my favorite beers and as this blog progesses you
will notice me talk about it frequently. Especially with chocolate.
This the beer that I think will compliment this pie the best.
This is a sweet chocolate pie, but the chocolate is still very robust. Be careful when pairing big stouts with this pie. Beers like Southern Tier's Choklat, Great Divide's Yeti, Rogue's Chocolate Stout are all very bitter and robust Stout's. For me personally I think they may be too big. But that's not to say it would be a wrong pairing. I just find it might be too bitter. But if you really appreciate a strong bitter flavors, these beers could be right on track for you. Sometimes it's okay to pair similar flavors. A really sweet stout and a sweet dessert have this effect of canceling each other out. The sugars at like interference and when they are slapped with another similar element, it allows the other flavors to come out and shine. I don't always rely on that tactic for marrying flavors. I used to be strongly against it.
I recently paired Southern Tier's Creme Brulee (Milk Stout) with a buttery, bourbon pecan pie. Anyone familiar with this beer, knows how big and sweet it is. It's almost hard to drink because it's that sweet, but it does taste exactly like creme brulee. The pecan pie is nothing but sugar, and as per requested, it was made with so much butter, it nearly disintegrated upon serving. Not in a gross way, but in a decadent, there-is-so-much-butter-it's-sinful-to-eat-this kind of way. The sugars knocked each other out and allowed the vanilla burnt sugar tastes to marry in to the bourbon and pecan flavors. It was absolutely tremendous. That is one of the better examples I have of pitting similar flavors against one and other to get the less dominant flavors of a pairing to come out and play.
[That's so not me in the pic, but I liked the thumbs up. I am congratulating myself here.]
I just got invited to be on a panel of speakers at the up and coming Craft Brewers Conference that will be in Boston this year on April 21-24.
I am very excited. It is my first panel to speak on and for this event, it's kind of a big deal.
"I don't know how to put this... but, I'm kind of a big deal... people
know me... I'm very important... I have many leather-bound books... and
my apartment smells of rich mahogany." Ron Burgundy, Anchorman.
The topic is:
Beer according to Women: How women brew, present, pair, and sell beer (yes, gender matters!)
To be moderated by Sebbie Buhler of Rogue Ales.
This is very exciting news for me. I will be there not only representing Beer Advocate, but women as well.
This is taken from the CBC website for any of you who are interested in what the CBC is.
What is the Craft Brewers Conference?
This is the only industry event that serves both brewpubs and breweries.
professional brewers, the Craft Brewers Conference is the number one
environment in North America for concentrated, affordable brewing
education and idea sharing to improve brewery quality and performance.
The conference is also a great social event with over 2,600 beerfolk
enjoying craft brews together. BrewExpo America® allows exhibitors and
buyers to develop profitable business relationships and helps brewing
and brewery restaurant professionals encounter the latest and the best
that industry vendors have to offer.
Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to be a part of the conference and trade show for the brewing and brewpub industry!
Who organizes the Craft Brewers Conference?
The Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America® is presented by the Brewers Association, a recognized leader in the national and international brewing arena.