Ever since I left Paris, I have had a choux pastry withdrawal symptom. Don’t worry, nothing too drastic has come out of that except the constant need to make choux buns and éclairs!
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.
So, we've all been following Jamie Oliver's campaign for a sugar tax on sugary drinks for a while.
A new article in the Evening Standard written by Rosund Urwin on 22 October outlined, very rightly, how the nation is addicted to sugar. In "A tax alone won't curb the nation's sugar addiction" Urwin highlights how the sheer amount of promotions on sweets and chocolate makes anyone tempted to overload. She's right, it's a lot cheaper to eat Maltesers for breakfast than fruit salad and nourishing yourself on Drumsticks and Double Lollies has never been so easy. For a kid who gets a fiver pocket money a week and does maths at school knows that a bag of Flakes a day can get you through the week Monday- Friday until your parents give you some more nutritional snacks on the weekend. (Or not.)