20.08

Cider-with-Rosie-homemade-cinnamon-sugar-doughnuts-Rosie-Chappel

D O U G H N U T S   F O R   M O N D A Y S.

Sometimes, Mondays can only be made better by the addition of doughnuts.

I mean, it’s not as though there’s ever a bad time to eat a doughnut. What could ever be wrong about taking a round of soft, sweet dough, frying it until it’s crisp and golden outside and fluffy within, coating it in one form or other of sugary coating, and then settling down to eat it with a cup of rich, strong coffee on the side? It’s a blissful experience, and if you ask me, one that can’t be topped. I just feel sure though that if there ever was a *right* day to eat a day a doughnut, it’s a Monday.

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I’m not quite sure why, but up until recently, I’d always been too daunted by the idea of deep frying to have a go at making my own doughnuts. True, I’d dabbled in churro-making a couple of years ago (I can’t quite believe that was actually more than 2 years ago! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?), but something about the idea of plunging bread dough into hot oil made me nervous. Not to mention the fact that I lose all self control around doughnuts, and can put away a frightening number in the shortest amount of time. I mean, I once at 8 Krispy Kremes in a day when I was at school.

In my defence I was 16, had the metabolism to match, and used to take about 15 hours of dance classes a week, but still. EIGHT. I had a three hour dance class that same evening, and remember feeling so sick and full of sugar I was certain I had Original Glaze seeping out of my pores. It most certainly wasn’t my finest hour.

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I like to think that now though, I’ve got a little more restraint than my 16 year old self. Doughnut consumption is limited to maybe two at most…though all bets are off if they come hot, fresh, dredged in sugar, and served in a paper bag from a fair or market. (Aren’t they always the best?)

Perhaps it still is best to eat them on a Monday, though. Why? Well, the promises I usually make myself on Monday mornings, about ‘hashtag clean eating’ and all that kind of jazz, help fortify my resolve and keep me from polishing off the entirety of the batch before Jason gets so much as a look in…

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I found the base for this recipe whilst browsing through Paul Hollywood’s British Baking cookbook. In the book, he shares a recipe for ‘Isle of Wight Doughnuts’, which, so says Paul, contain a small handful of citrus peel and raisins in their centres instead of the usual jam or, indeed, a hole. But since if you ask me at least there’s no quicker way to ruin a baked good than by adding dried peel (I LOATHE the stuff), I’ve tinkered with the recipe just a little. You’re on board, right?

Makes 12 small doughnuts. Adapted minimally.

Ingredients ::
300g strong white bread flour
1/2tsp fine sea salt
50g caster sugar
7g fast action dried yeast
50g room temperature unsalted butter
150-175ml milk

To glaze ::
2 cups icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
5tbsp semi skimmed milk

OR caster sugar + cinnamon

- Put the flour in a large bowl, then add the yeast to one side of the bowl, and the salt and sugar to the other. Add the butter and roughly two thirds of the milk to the centre of the bowl, then begin to slowly knead the mixture together.

- Add the remaining milk a little at a time, stopping as soon as a soft and slightly sticky dough has formed. Knead it for at least 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until the dough has smoothed out and is no longer sticky.

- Lightly oil the bowl, place the dough into it and cover over with cling film, then leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size (at least 1 hour).

- Gently knock back the dough, then divide it into 12 small pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, then space evenly across two parchment paper-lined baking trays. Place each tray into a clean plastic bag or cover over with clingfilm, and leave to prove for 45 minutes.

- Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, and heat to a temperature of 185 degrees celsius. Fry the doughnuts in batches of two for 3 minutes per side, 6 minutes total.

- When cooked, allow to cool completely (if dipping in glaze) or for a minute or two if dredging in cinnamon sugar.

- For the glaze, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a shallow bowl, and then turn the doughnuts over in the glaze before allowing to drain on a wire rack. If you’d rather use sugar, mix cinnamon into caster sugar to taste, then roll the still warm doughnuts in the mixture until entirely coated, and set aside.

Cider-with-Rosie-homemade-cinnamon-sugar-doughnuts  

^^ Unbeatable.^^

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Posted in BAKING, FOOD, FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, RECIPE, SWEET

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31.05

Cider-with-Rosie-York-BrewandBrownie4

Since our route back home from Yorkshire last weekend skirted us round the outside of York, we decided to take the opportunity to head into the city. When we arrived I asked for recommendations on Twitter for where we should go to eat, drink, and sightsee, and immediately started making an agenda based on all the suggestions. A tour of the cathedral! Lunch at The Star! And Betty’s Betty’s Betty’s!

Turns out though, my plans were to be thwarted by time. We couldn’t really spend any longer than two or three hours in the city without getting caught in the mad end of Bank Holiday traffic, and also only had enough change on us to feed the meter to the tune of a couple of short hours.

With our time restraints in mind, we got moving…

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York turned out to be even more adorable than I’d imagined- full of narrow, cobbled lanes and leaning buildings and tiny, beautifully-dressed shopfronts. The cathedral above doesn’t even look real, does it?

We wandered through the Shambles, quickly gave up trying to compete for photo-taking space with every other tourist in York that day, and then headed out in the direction of Betty’s. Betty’s is, as it turns out, the most famous tearoom and bakery in the North of England. I’d only heard of it once before via my lovely friend Kat, but when we said we’d be in York for the day, countless people recommended we go! Sara (another Y.shire-based blogger friend!) had mentioned that the queue for Betty’s might be long, and I’ll admit scoffed at the idea initially. A queue? To get into a bakery? Do me a favour, was precisely what I thought to myself.

HA. How wrong I was! By the time we got there, the queue was right out of the door and wrapped round the first corner of the building! It must be *seriously* good cake! With such a short time in the city, we decided to pass up the experience and turned to Twitter for a recommendation of where else to go instead.

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To the rescue came Becky, blogger behind the beautiful Poppy and Pickle! She recommended that we head to a cafe called Brew + Brownie, promising that they serve really great coffee and cake. And you know what? She couldn’t have been more right!

Brew + Brownie was a total photographer’s dream- beautiful filament lightbulbs and natural wood surfaces everywhere, with the counter covered in rows of the most tempting cakes imaginable. It was pretty busy, but we managed to nab a couple of seats at the bar. Good job too, because the hanger was setting in *fast* ;) The menu was pretty simple (whopper sandwiches, toasties, all-day pancakes, and just one lone salad thrown in for good measure), and everything looked so tempting we easily could’ve ordered one of everything and been done with it. In the end though, Jason chose the pulled pork ciabatta, whilst I went for a toasted brie and bacon sandwich that turned out to be the very best decision I’d made all weekend.
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I mean, just *look* at it. Have you ever seen a more beautiful sandwich in all your life? The brie was toasted to perfection (soft and oozy!), the bacon was thick cut and delicious, and the bread? Oh, that bread. Sourdough, crisp on the outside and soft within, with plenty of little golden cheesy crunchy bits clinging to the crust. As a rule I try not to eat wheat too often (meaning that I’ll pass up heavy, twice-weekly bowls of pasta in favour of a once a fortnight burger or pizza blow out ;), and so having a toasted sandwich like that was a total treat.

If picking out that sandwich from the menu was the best decision I made all weekend, the next best was only eating 2/3rds of it, so that I could save space for a slice of the toffee apple cake. Because I’m being serious now, that cake might be the best of its kind I’ve ever had. Rich and cinnamony, peppered with slices of soft cooked apple, and a layer of sticky, treacly toffee sauce on top. I ate it halfway down the M1 during our drive home back down to Surrey, with my feet up on the dashboard and an expression of total bliss on my face. I did share the slice with Jason and am not at all ashamed to say that the sharing was somewhat begrudging, because a cake that good is bound to bring out someone’s selfish side. Right?

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So really, with cake that divine, who needs Betty’s? Okay okay, I do, but I’m determined to head back North sometime soon and stick it out in the queue for a table!

And that, as they say, was that! Whistlestop three-day tour of Yorkshire? Done!

P.s. I just shared a video from our trip on my YouTube channel! Click through to have a nosy! It contains the words ‘oh my god the wedding’s off’, just FYI ;)

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Posted in CITY, DAY TRIPS, FOOD, JASON, RESTAURANT, TRAVEL, WEEKEND BREAK

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10.05

Cider-with-Rosie-Boden-London

After several days of Biblical rain storms, the unseasonable cold, and a sun so pathetic the newly-appearing freckles on my face all but jumped ship and disappeared, spending the whole of Thursday in a bright and (mostly) warm London was total bliss. I always forget quite how glorious London becomes when the sun shines, even when said sunshine is a touch on the intermittent side.

Thursday was a busy old day. It was a day for ditching the tube and walking round Soho, for meeting friends (both old ones and new), and eating. Always, always eating, because what else is a girl to do when in London? The day began bright and early- brighter and earlier even than was necessary for catching my train, because I had errands to run before heading into town. Turns out though, running errands whilst wearing a pencil skirt is more like…’trotting errands’. Running (or even walking fast) with knees that are tied to one another is a total no-go, and it made trying to dash across the village high street whilst carrying the pair of heavy curtains I’d just collected from the dry cleaners a pretty memorable experience…

But, to the exciting things! First on the London-agenda was…Boden! Boden’s twice-yearly press days (one for Spring/Summer, the other Autumn/Winter) are fast becoming one of my favourite blog-related events to attend. Not only is it always a treat to get chance to preview all the beautiful pieces that’ll be being released over the coming months (check out the handbag below- isn’t it a total dream?), but they’re always the most sociable of days too! Kat, Natasha and I were introduced to one another via the lovely folks at Boden (on that most fabulous of trips down to Dorset last July!), and now take the chance to meet and catch up every few months at press days. A few months ago was a S/S preview followed by afternoon tea at The Berkeley, and this Thursday was AW15 and then a whole afternoon of treats!

First things first though, to The Old Vinyl Factory on Marshall St for Autumn Winter newness…

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^^ The collection is totally gorgeous. It’s called ‘The New British’, and has so many so many stand out pieces it was hard to pick my favourite! That denim dress is one of them though, for sure…^^

Comptoir-Libanais

After we’d taken a thousand photos and each bumped into so many bloggers and journalists we knew from other events (including my love Lucy, who I met in Cologne), we said our goodbyes (sadly to the clothes, whilst we’ll be waiting a few months for) and headed out in search of lunch. We decided to pace ourselves and go light for our midday meal, so nipped up the road from where the event was being held, and straight into Comptoir Libanais.

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I’ve only been to Comptoir Libanais twice, but both times have left me wondering why on earth I ever eat anything other than pickles and hummus. The pickles in Comptoir are out of this WORLD fantastic- so salty they’ll make your tongue tingle (which is exactly what I look for in a pickle, just in case you’d ever wondered), and the pickled jalapeños are just hot enough without being up there in blow-your-head-off territory. (How many times can a person write the word pickles in one paragraph without it being annoying? Pickles. There’s another one just for the sake of it.)

Kat and Natasha both pronounced the chicken wraps they’d ordered to be delicious, and the halloumi tortilla with chopped salad I ate was pretty delicious too, as was that frozen mint and orange blossom lemonade concoction in the photo above! I love how fresh and vibrant the food is, and it’s so very affordable for a quick lunch too. If you go, promise me you’ll order an extra side of pickles on my behalf, okay? (The lurid pink ones are the best…)

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What I’m wearing :: Sheer top || Navy pencil skirt || Nude flats || Trench || Bracelet

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Post-lunch, the three of us went in search of dessert and found our way over to The Parlour in Fortnum and Masons. I’d never been to Fortnums for anything other than a browse and a potter before, and now I’ve sampled the delights of The Parlour, I can’t think why on earth not. I mean, the tea and coffee cups come with miniature ice-cream cones on the sides, for crying out loud!

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Between us we sampled a flat white (mine, predictably), a couple of pots of Earl Grey tea, as well as pistachio, mint chocolate, raspberry, and salted caramel ice creams. Everything was just lovely, but those ice creams are what make the Parlour worth stopping by for, truly! The flavours are fantastic (the salted caramel rocked my world!), and sitting in the adorable cafe with its American diner-meets traditional British finery setting was a total treat. The prices are as dear as you’d expect from Fortnum and Mason, but for a little taste of dressed-down luxury, it was truly lovely.

And, what put the proverbial cherry on top of the ice-cream sundae was that after Natasha, Kat and I had sat and eaten our afternoon treats and put the world to rights for an hour or so, we were joined by Sara and Xanthe! We’d all known of one another for such a long time via Boden, and it was so fun to finally connect in person instead of just via Instagram! It was yet another of those moments that make me glad to have started this little blog almost three years ago to the day, because of how many connections it’s allowed me to make to people from all corners of the world.  lemon-meringue-tart-Fortnums- Fortnum-and-Mason-The-Parlour

^^ Don’t you just want to dive right on in to that bowl? ^^

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Summer? I’m ready for you now.

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Posted in BODEN, DAY TRIPS, FOOD, FRIENDS, LONDON

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07.05

Fire-pit-smores-Cider-with-Rosie-cover

Tania, Freya and I bonded over food. The first time we ever met was over drinks and French fries in a pub just off the King’s Road. The next time we met up was at Borough Market, which then turned into an evening of cheese fondue at Freya’s flat over in London Fields. Since then, every time we’ve seen one another, whether it’s been for birthdays, special occasions, or just a quick half hour catch up somewhere in town before we all scatter off to different appointments, there’s been food involved in some form or other.

A couple of months ago we hatched a plan to combine our favourite things- cheese, wine, chocolate and uhh…each other (have I made it sound like we’re dating? Because I kind of feel like I have…). We dubbed it ‘Cheese Night’, because we’re dead original like that. And this weekend, on a Sunday evening that stayed *just* dry and warm enough that eating outside didn’t feel like a punishment, our plans came together!

Cheese-board

Let me set the scene…

The night was to be held at the Chappel household (that’s ours), and Tania, Freya and her husband Adam, and Jason and I were each to purchase a couple of different types of cheese, some saucisson (Tania recently introduced me to the wonders of saucisson, and now I’m nothing short of obsessed), a bottle or two of something cold and crisp, and one essential component (you know, marshmallows, biscuits, chocolate) of the s’mores that I’ll get to talking about later on. The scheme was a good one, foolproof! Except that what we actually did was each buy loads of everything, so we ended up with basically an entire deli counter and fromagerie set out on a table in our back garden! Just as well that there’s no such thing as too much cheese, right?

^^ Up there we’ve got a creamy Stilton called ‘Cropwell Bishop Beauvale’, a cows cheese with a vein of ash, Compté, and three different types of saucisson (garlic, venison, and straight up). What you can’t see is all the bread, the three other types of cheese sitting just out of shot on the board, the caprese and green salads, smoked sunblush tomatoes, and olives to boot. And crackers too. Oh, and radishes. ^^

To go alongside our garden dinner party, Rekorderlig sent us over a few bottles of their beautiful fruit ciders as part of their #BrighterNights campaign! It couldn’t have been a more perfect opportunity for cider drinking to take place, and hey look! It’s cider, with Rosie! On Cider with Rosie! I think that’s the first time I’ve been able to do that in 3 years of blogging. (Totally worth the wait.)

Speaking of cider though, Rekorderlig is my hands down my favourite and has been for years. It’s sweet but not overly so, the flavours are divine (the strawberry and lime is the best if you ask me!), and poured out over a few ice cubes and some chopped fresh fruit, it makes the most perfectly effortless garden party drink going!

Rekorderlig-cider-CiderwithRosie Spring-garden-party-CiderwithRosie Rekorderlig-cider

^^ Mango & raspberry flavour is so good! And so is wearing Jason’s jumpers…^^

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Once the cheese feast was over and done with and we’d all eaten our fill (which took an embarrassingly short amount of time considering we all consider ourselves cheese eating pros and two of our number, Tania and Jason, have Gallic blood…), we moved onto the second course. S’mores!

Jason and I looked into hiring out a fire pit for the evening reception of our wedding a little while ago, but decided that since the hire price was barely less than purchase price, we’d go ahead and buy it instead of having it just as a one off. And considering that we’ve had it maybe three weeks tops and have already worked our way through several bags of marshmallows and two loads of firewood, I think it’s not been a bad investment!

Firepit-Cider-with-Rosie Freya-and-Adam-Cider-with-Rosie How-to-make-smores-in-the-UK

Since Adam is Canadian and Freya herself is basically Canadian too (it’s a long story, you’ll have to ask her for it…), I was under strict instructions not to buy any, and I quote, ‘horrible British marshmallows that always taste really bad’! Instead, Freya came armed with a suitcase-sized bag of giant American marshmallows (those things are like four regular sized mallows all in one), which, I have to say, were the absolute bomb. They toasted up a treat, and were so ginormous they basically were a meal in and of themselves.

We stuck them on skewers, held them over the burning logs until they turned golden and melting, then sandwiched them between chocolate digestives and sat back to enjoy the bliss. I”ll tell you though, I’d not realised until recently quite what a messy business s’more-eating is! Ted had a whale of a time hoovering up the crumbs beneath our feet…

Toasting-marshmallows Cider-with-Rosie-smores-Nishaantishu-photography Cider-with-Rosie-smores-Nishaantishu-TaniaJoyFelicityJane Toasting-marshmallows-by-the-fire

We stayed sitting by the fireside late into the night, toasting endless rounds of marshmallows (plus the odd piece of bread too, that got slathered in butter and topped with flaky salt- divine!) and soaking up the woodsmoke. In fact, we soaked up so much woodsmoke that I can still smell it on my hair, even though I’ve washed it since! I don’t mind a bit though, because really, who could complain about catching a scent every now and again that brings back memories of crackling firewood, warm hands and faces, belly laughing until my stomach aches, and dreams of cabin holidays in Canada with the very best friends a girl could ask for.
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* This post was sponsored by Rekorderlig as part of their #BrighterNights campaign, who asked if I’d like to include a feature of their ciders here on Cider with Rosie and since Cheese Night was already in the diary, it seemed the most perfect opportunity! As ever, my opinions are nothing but honest, and I’m so happy to be able to recommend a brand of cider I’ve loved for years :)

** Photo of Tania holding a flaming marshmallow, and me holding a corker of a s’more, by Freya!

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Posted in COUNTRYSIDE LIFE, FOOD, FRIENDS, HOME, JASON, SPRING

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