Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Talking 'dirty' hot dogs with the Silver fox!!

As part of the BBC Good Food Show blogging community I was invited to attend the recent show at the NEC. It was a fun filled day of meeting some lovely artisan producers and sampling their wares. Some well known, some that soon will be... 

We watched Mary and Paul 'do lunch' in the SuperTheatre then had a chance to meet the (in)famous pair and ask Paul a few questions. I couldn't resist, I had to know what Paul's 'dirty food' was... he chuckled and admitted he was partial to the odd hot dog. Yum, who isn't!? We chatted about the Great British Bake Off and his input into the show, until this latest series both Mary and Paul still had a vote for the final contestants. 

I have visited the BBC Good Food Show for several years now, attending both the winter and summer events at the NEC. It's an indulgent day for any foodie and a chance to get up close with some amazing producers and maybe try something new.

A London-based family-run business built around bringing a carefully selected range of artisan produce from the Abruzzo region of Central Italy. Working closely with local producers who take pride in crafting fine, authentic produce in traditional ways. These products have only ever been sold in the region and now they are here in the UK to be shared with everyone.
Di Simone pastes are made with fresh, locally grown vegetables blended with the same premium extra virgin olive oil. They are available in a range of nine amazingly scrumptious flavours.

Swifts Bakery creates its doughs from scratch, which means they take basic ingredients and produce the most amazing doughs from there

Purely Pickled Eggs - A world of pickled eggs amazingness!
With flavours including chilli, horseradish, beetroot, garlic and my favourite, fruity balsamic

Great British Sauce Company are passionate about creating delicious, 
properly made sauces and condiments.
Their delicious range includes proper tomato, brown, tomato and mustard, tomato and habanero chilli, sweet curry and hot and sweet chilli.

Food Discovery
The only food delivery box where you get to choose from a range of hard to source gourmet food finds

The Preservation Society produces a delicious selection of award winning chutneys, sirops and preserves, all packed with flavour and made in small batches at home in Chepstow

As well as goodies purchased from the producers mentioned above, I went home arms laden with bulging bags. Some other mentions; 
Knife 05
My "sexy" oriental slicer from I.O. Shen Knives!!
BiscuitButter Smooth 350 gr
Belgian speculoos paste from Biscuit Butter... take spoon. Scoop. Eat!!
Paul Hollywood telling me about his love of a 'dirty' hotdog!!
An unexpected surprise... meeting the Queen of baking herself, Mary Berry
The lovely Mat Follas takes a break from prep in the MasterChef kitchen

My parting shot, and what has become a bit of a tradition...
Strawberry and marshmallow chocolate fountain

Happy baking xx

As a member of the BBC Good Food Show blogging community I was given free admission to the show and invited to meet and sample products from bursary award winners.
A selection of goods were bought personally and reviewed above.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Banana and walnut bread

Don't know about you but I always seem to end up with the odd black banana that is less than appetising... Instead of making muffins this time, I decided to make a deliciously light banana bread instead. One of my boys doesn't like bananas in their raw state, this is one way I find he is more than happy to devour them. Here's the recipe;


150g caster sugar
360g plain flour
15g baking powder
2.5g bicarbonate of soda
5g salt
360g ripe bananas
3 medium eggs
120ml vegetable or sunflower oil
90g roughly chopped walnuts (optional - you could use chocolate chips)


  • Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C
  • Butter and flour a bread loaf pan
  • Sift together the sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt
  • In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas, mix in the eggs and oil until well combined
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture, combine together then add the walnuts. 
  • Stir until the mix is just combined
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before turning out of the tin and cooling completely on a wire rack.

 Happy baking xx

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show launches campaign to find London’s Best Bakery 2014

The BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show team have launched a campaign to find and crown London’s 'Best'Bakery' 2014 and are asking the public along with a panel of expert judges to choose the winner. 

Coinciding with the launch of the first BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show, and in conjunction with BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Magazine, the show team are scouring London to find the very best bakeries. Combining public voting, mystery shopping and a panel of expert judges the show will crown one exceptional bakery as London’s best.

Katy Truss, artisan food expert, who is managing the competition on behalf of the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show says about the campaign…

“London is full of amazing bakeries, and with ‘real bread’ and artisan producers more popular than ever, I'm sure that with the help of London’s food lovers we’ll uncover some real gems. It’s a fabulous way of giving recognition to those going the extra mile, mindfully sourcing their ingredients, engaging with their community, and above all selling high quality bakes and cakes.”

Nominations from the general public, customers, suppliers and the bakeries themselves will be taken on the show website ( Public voting will then take place online, resulting in a shortlist of the 10 most popular bakeries. This shortlist will be mystery shopped by a panel of baking bloggers and visited and reviewed by experts and the show team. Judges will then agree on the final three bakeries, and the winner will be announced and presented with their trophy at the show.

Judges will include:

• Helen Barker-Benfield - BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Editor
• Tim Kinnaird – MasterChef UK Finalist and chef owner of the award winning Macarons and More
• Katy Truss - Fabulous Food Finds
• Members of the BBC Good Food editorial team
• Members of the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show team  

The BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show team will also consult an advisory panel which will include experts such as Chris Young of The Real Bread Campaign.

Judging Criteria
Bakeries will be judged on the following aspects of their business:

• Customer Service
• Community Involvement and Interaction
• Quality and Range of Produce
• Location and Accessibility
• Atmosphere, Layout and Shopping Experience
• Ingredients – Quality and Sourcing Policy

Nominations can be made at