Apparently everyone wants to "eat clean" these days. By eating "clean", this means not getting it all over yourself.
Okay, I'm messing with you. Messy-ing with you.. Get it? Clean, Messy...
(Hem, not funny.)
I've had a little bit of trouble with these food fanatics who start eating really healthily and make everyone believe that flour makes you bloat, sugar makes you hyper, butter makes you fat and everything in between doesn't do you wonders for you either.
During Christmas, we were away in Vietnam and we had a lot of delicious coffee. The coffee in Vietnam has a deep chocolate flavour to it and it's ever so slightly sweet. Similarly to in Thailand and Indonesia, coffee is sweetened with condensed milk. The coffee I brought back to London from Vietnam was sweet and chocolatey without condensed milk. I am unsure whether the coffee is sweetened in another way or whether there is vanilla inside because I can't read the ingredients which are written in Vietnamese.
I have always been mesmerised by how high the service is in developing countries, especially in Asia. I am writing this blog post from Hoi An in the north of Vietnam, where you walk into any shop and they will greet you with extreme politeness, ask where you are from and be completely at your disposal to ensure you get what you walked in for.
I supposed, along with many potential ideas that the main reason behind this is that most people selling products (be it food, drink, clothes or other services) are also the owners of the business, whereas in Britain, the business owner and the sales person are very different entities and perhaps do not even know each other.
I'm using the word MOJO for this blog article, not only because it half rhymes with Soho, but to be able to try and convey the sense of magic and charm that I feel walking around the sweet spots in Soho.
I have found a place, which I didn't realise actually existed in reality because it is something that only existed in my mind. This place is called "Said" AKA chocolate heaven. It is the London branch of a well-established chocolate shop from Rome. "Said" which stands for Societa Azinoria Industria Dolciumi (the association of the confectionary industry) is a chocolate shop from Rome, dal 1923 Antica Fabbrica del Cioccolato (1923 Antique Chocolate Factory.) Thankfully for us, they have now got a shop in London.
As I've been away from London for so long, I have been following the cake trends from afar.
Last Sunday, I had a sleepover at my friend Joella's who lives in London Fields. The next morning, I woke up with this urge to discover Hackney and London Fields area. I had three early missions on my list: the E5 bakehouse, Violet Cakes and Lily Vanilli.
1) Be careful with recipes, many are incorrect. Just a few months ago, I picked up a recipe for meringue which called for 150g of egg whites to 125g of sugar and it made the most granulated meringue. I added a hundred grams of sugar and re-whisked it up.
I've arrived back in London and despite spending half the time panicking what-am-I-doing-with-my-life (please tell me I am not the only one) I have also spent a lot of time searching for the best pastry shops and bakeries in town, so thats great fun! Not just for me but for anyone who reads this blog.