Chocolate Celebration Cake!

 

Chocolate Celebration CakeThis weekend I celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in my life. It’s not a typical British thing to do, but for my friend Shanni (who comes from across the pond) it’s a calendar must!

And what a fantastic evening it turned out to be. Shanni & her partner cooked literally the biggest turkey I have ever seen in my whole life and everyone else each brought something to add to the table. From mouth watering dauphinoise potatoes to sensational vegetarian bakes, literally everything I tried induced a combination of yummy noises, smiles & a happy tummy!

And what was my contribution? Pudding! I was under orders to make something chocolatey. But I didn’t want to make just any old chocolate cake, oh no. I wanted it to fit the theme! So using a recipe that I have made hundreds of times, I simply changed up the decoration & piping technique to turn a simple chocolate cake into a Thanksgiving showstopper. It’s amazing what gold shimmer spray can do! You should totally give this a try. I promise, it’s nowhere near as difficult as it looks.

Here is what you will need to make a 3  layer 20cm diameter cake.

For the Sponge

  • 160g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 560g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 400g Plain Flour
  • 100g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 480ml Whole Milk, Room Temp
  • 4 Eggs, Room Temp
  • 2 tsp Chocolate Extract (Optional)

For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 540g Icing Sugar
  • 100g Cocoa Powder
  • 300g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 1 tsp Chocolate Extract (Optional)
  • Splash of Milk

For the Sugar Decorations (To be Made 24 hrs in Advance)

Essential Equipment

  • 3 x 20cm Round Loose Bottomed Cake Tins

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have all your ingredients at the same temperature before starting to mix. It really helps them to blend together & dramatically improves the texture of the final cake. So if you have the time – take all those chilled items out the fridge and leave on the side for an hour or two before starting. 

Ok! Lightly grease the 3 baking tins & line the bottoms with baking paper.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C.

In either a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & salt until it forms a light sandy mixture.

Chocolate Celebration CakeBeat the milk, eggs & chocolate extract together in a jug using a fork. Then with the speed on low, gradually add two thirds of the liquid into the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and mix until it’s smooth, thick & shiny.

Chocolate Celebration CakeWith the speed on low again, add the remaining third of the liquid – then increase to medium and mix until smooth and shiny.

Chocolate Celebration CakeDivide the mixture evenly between the 3 prepared tins and bake in the lower section of the oven for 30-40 mins. To check if they’re cooked – insert a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked. If it has cake batter on it – it needs a little longer.

When cooked, allow to cool in the tins for about 30 minutes. Then take out the tins, peel off the baking paper & transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

Chocolate Celebration CakeOnto the buttercream.

Either in a stand mixer or a large glass bowl using an electric hand whisk, beat together the icing sugar, cocoa powder & butter until sandy in consistency.

Chocolate Celebration CakeWith the speed on low, add in the chocolate extract & small amounts of milk (a little at a time) to loosen the mixture. Remember, you can always add more in but you can’t take it out!

Once you see it turning darker in colour and smoother in texture – increase the speed to medium/high and beat until light and smooth. Leave to one side, or, if you want – you can make this up to a week in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Simply allow to come to room temperature & give it a good mix before using.

Chocolate Celebration CakeOnto the decoration.

There are several ways to tackle this. Either you can buy pre-coloured fondant icing OR you can buy plain white icing and colour it yourself using gel food colours. DO NOT use liquid food colouring as it will make the fondant way to soft to work with. Also remember to add a little colour at a time – again, you can always add more in but you can’t take it out.

Either way, all you need to do is roll out each colour (one at a time) on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and cut out an assortment of leaf shapes & sizes.

Want to make them curvy shaped like mine? You don’t need to go out and buy loads of fancy, expensive moulds! All you need is a couple of sheets of cardboard, a rolling pin & some blu-tack.

Chocolate Celebration CakeOnce you’ve cut out your shapes, simply lay them however you like on your make shift moulds and allow to dry at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure they keep their shape.

And that’s it!

Now for assembly.

If your cakes haven’t baked perfectly even (like mine never do!) carefully slice of the tops off to make each layer flat and the same size.

On a cake board or large serving plate, centrally place the bottom layer. I use this one cut side up to make sure you get a flat foundation.

Load a piping bag with a large round nozzle and fill with some buttercream frosting. Start by piping blobs around the edge.

Chocolate Celebration CakeContinue by piping a spiral within the ‘blobbed’ edge – from the outside in. (Thanks to John Whaite for this Tip!)

Chocolate Celebration CakePop the next layer on top, cut side down – see how pretty it looks? No one will ever know it doesn’t look the same in the middle as they’re only going to shovel it in their mouth anyway! Repeat the piping process on this layer.

Chocolate Celebration CakeThen add on your final layer. (Again, cut side down.) This time, we’re going to pipe blobs all over. So, starting from the outside and working your way to the middle, start blobbing!

Chocolate Celebration CakeNow all that remains is to lay on your leaf decorations however you like and spray all over with some gold shimmer spray. If your board looks a bit empty like mine did, simply pipe a border of blobs around the bottom of the cake.

Chocolate Celebration CakeI told you it wasn’t as difficult as it looked! I love this cake recipe as it’s pretty much just a case of chuck it all in, mix it, bake it, done. No faffing around for ages – just pile it all in! You could very easily adapt the decorations to suit any occasion too. For example, get some green, white & red fondant – cut out Christmas shapes (trees, presents, snowmen etc) & make exactly the same as above, maybe with some silver shimmer spray to add that extra ‘wow’.

All that remains for me to say is a huge thank you to Shanni & David for hosting such an enjoyable Thanksgiving feast for us all. And to all you lovely lot in the USA – Happy Thanksgiving for Thursday!

Hope you all enjoyed the post, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies (Resize to fit)-3With all the beautiful colours of Autumn surrounding us at the moment, I wanted a bake that would reflect that for this week’s post. These beautifully eye catching stained glass biscuits do just that! And not only are they delightfully delicious,  they are also stunning to look at too, don’t you agree?

So without further ado, here is what you will need to make approx 24 cookies.

  • 125g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 100g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Beaten Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 1 Bag Boiled Sweets (assorted colours)

Essential Equipment

  • 6cm Round Cookie Cutter
  • Any Leaf Shaped Cutter (approx 4cm)

This week, I have also created another step by step video tutorial for you to enjoy.

And here is the usual step by step guide:

To make the dough, cream together the butter & sugar in either a stand mixer or a large glass bowl using an electric hand whisk. Mix until light & fluffy.

Add in the egg & vanilla extract and mix until smooth & light.

In thirds, sift in the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together to form a crumbly dough.

Flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film & refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, sort the boiled sweets into colours then blitz each colour individually in a food processor until almost powder. (Small ‘crystals’ are fine.) Set to one side until needed.

Remove the dough from the fridge & roll out to approx 3-4mm thick in-between 2 sheets of baking paper. Using the 6cm round cutter, cut out discs and place them onto a baking tray. Refrigerate for a further 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 180°C.

Place 12 of the dough discs evenly apart on a lined baking tray. Then, using a leaf shaped cutter of your choosing, cut out the centre of each disc. (Don’t throw these away, either roll them up and reuse the dough or bake them as they are – they’re so cute!)

Carefully fill the centres with the powdered sweets. Use whatever colours you like but try not to get any on the actual dough itself. (Don’t throw any leftovers away! See end of post for why.)

Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them. The biscuit should be just browning on the edges & the centres should have melted and will likely be bubbling.

Allow to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes until the centres have gone hard. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat the process for the remaining discs.

Store in a metal tin. (Metal tin’s ensure they keep their crunch whereas a plastic tub will make them go soft.)

Stained Glass CookiesAnd there you have it! Aren’t they just beautiful? I think they look so effective and you could easily adapt them (using different cutters) to suit any occasion or season. For example, why not swap the leaves for Christmas trees & snowflakes? Then add a hole in the top, thread through a pretty ribbon and BOOM! Gorgeous Christmas tree decorations! Another great thing is that you will likely have quite a bit of powdered boiled sweets left over. Simply transfer these to food bags & store in an airtight container ready for you to use on your next stained glass creation.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next week.

Miss KitchenMason.

Mango & White Chocolate Cheesecake!

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakeMy folks came round for Sunday dinner and I wanted to make a refreshing & light dessert to finish. This stunning cheesecake was just the ticket! It’s beautifully light & the perfect end to, what is usually, quite a heavy meal.

So! Here is what you will need to make about 8 fairly generous portions.

(Recipe adapted from Here.)

  • 150g Digestive Biscuits
  • 50g Unsalted Butter
  • 425g Tin Mango Slices
  • Zest & Juice of 1 Lime
  • 300g White Chocolate
  • 280g Philadelphia Original *
  • 150ml Double Cream

Essential Equipment

  • 22cm (8 1/2″) Springform Pan
  • Food Processor

* Do NOT substitute the full fat original cheese for a lighter version or it will not set.

Lightly grease and line the base of your tin, set to one side until needed.

Roughly break the biscuits into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low/medium heat.

Pour the butter into the biscuit crumbs and mix well, then press firmly into the base of the prepared tin. Place into the fridge whilst we make the filling.

Mango & White Chocolate Cheesecake

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakeDrain the mangoes and place the slices into a food processor along with the zest & juice of the lime.

Blitz until you get a nice smooth purée.

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakeGently melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.

In another bowl, lightly whip the double cream until soft peaks form.

Now to bring it all together!

In a large bowl, whisk the Philadelphia cream cheese until soft & smooth.

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakeCarefully beat in the melted white chocolate and the whipped cream until it’s all blended together.

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakePour in half the mango purée and stir together. Then pour the mixture over the biscuit base.

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakeDot the remaining mango purée on the surface and, using a skewer, swirl it around to create a hap-hazard pattern.

Mango & White Chocolate Cheesecake

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakePlace in the fridge to set for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably overnight before removing from the tin & serving.

Mango & White Chocolate Cheesecake

Mango & White Chocolate CheesecakeThis was a HUGE hit with both me and the parents! Logic says that with all that white chocolate, it’s going to be really sweet but the mango & lime purée cuts through it beautifully. It’s so refreshing and gorgeously light, definitely a recipe I will be making again in the future! Also helps that it’s a really easy, make ahead recipe. So perfect for dinner parties too.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Cinder Toffee

Chocolate Cinder ToffeeSo Halloween is over. Up next? Bonfire Night!

I know what you’re thinking… you want a super quick, super easy, naturally vegetarian AND gluten free recipe right? Give this chocolate cinder toffee a go and I promise, you won’t regret it! Alternatively referred to as hokey pokey or honeycomb, it’s like making your very own, home made Crunchie bars. Awesome right?

In other news this week, I’ve also tried something a little different for you lovely lot. It’s the first ever KitchenMason step by step video! I hope you like it.

Alternatively, here’s the usual guide you’ve come to know and love.

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 150 – 200g Milk Chocolate*

* for Gluten Free, check the wrapper as some are/some aren’t.

Line a 25cm square tin with baking paper and grease lightly with oil. Or, like me, just use a silicone tin as it won’t stick.

In a large pan, add the honey, golden syrup and sugar. Mix it all together now as it’s not wise to do so when over the heat.

Chocolate Cinder ToffeePlace the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil.

Bring the mixture to 145°C (it will take approx 2-3 minutes from boiling point – if you don’t have a thermometer, watch the video to see what it should look like.)

Now for the magic. Immediately turn off the heat, chuck in the bicarbonate of soda and give it a good whisk until you can’t see any more bicarb.

Quickly pour it into your prepared tin and leave to cool & set for 30 minutes.

When it’s hard, cut into large chunks.

Chocolate Cinder ToffeeEither in a microwave or a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, gradually melt the chocolate until smooth.

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper onto a baking sheet. Then dip each piece of cinder toffee into the chocolate, and allow to set on the sheet.

Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Cinder ToffeeSee, I told you it was quick and easy!

It’s gorgeous stuff, I absolutely love it. Like glistening gold dust smothered in a smooth, silky chocolate coat… drool. Yeah, they ain’t gonna last long that’s for sure!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post, until next time my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

 

 

Broken Glass Cupcakes!

Broken Glass CupcakesIt’s Halloween on Friday! I love this time of year. Ok, yes it’s a little colder and yes, it’s getting darker – but I don’t mind if it means I get to bake really fun, super awesome things like this! I think they’re SO eye-catching and would make a great addition to a Halloween party table.

Other recipes for these tend use a liquid food for the ‘blood’ but, the KitchenMason twist?  I use a smooth jam. When heated up, it’s runny & easy to use but then it solidifies back into jam! Making it ‘no mess’ when you come to display/eat them.

However, two important things to note before you embark upon your spooky, baking journey. 1. The caramel can be quite sharp so be careful if children are to eat them. 2. The caramel will only last a few hours before starting to go ‘frosty’ so decorate right before serving for optimum effect.

With that in mind, here is what you will need to make about 12 – 16 cakes.

For the Caramel

  • 340g Granulated Sugar
  • 180ml Water

For the Vanilla Sponge

  • 80g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 280g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 240g Plain Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 240ml Whole Milk, Room Temp
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs, Room Temp

 For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 400g Icing Sugar
  • 200g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp & Cubed
  • Splash of milk or cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

 For the Blood

  • approx 200g Smooth Jam (Any red coloured flavour)

To make the sponge, preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C and line a cupcake tin with foil cases. (You may need 2 tins if your mix makes more than 12 cakes.)

In either a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, beat together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder & salt until sandy in consistency.

Broken Glass CupcakesIn a jug, beat together the milk, vanilla extract & eggs. Add three quarters to the bowl and mix until really smooth.

Then add in the remaining quarter, mix until completely blended in and smooth.

Broken Glass CupcakesSpoon the mixture into the prepared cases. I only fill mine about halfway to allow plenty of room for rising.

Broken Glass CupcakesBake in the preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, allow to sit in the tin for a couple of minutes, then remove each cake and place on a wire rack to cool completely whilst we get on with the frosting.

To make the Buttercream Frosting:

In a stand mixer, add in the butter and the icing sugar and mix until smooth. (You may want to use the lid attachment to save yourself being covered in a mushroom cloud of icing sugar!)

OR

In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth then gradually add in the icing sugar and beat well in-between each addition until all the sugar is used up.

 

Then add in the vanilla extract and splashes of the milk/cream until you get the consistency you want. It needs to be smooth enough to pipe but thick enough to hold it’s shape.

Broken Glass CupcakesTo make the Caramel:

Take a large, rimmed baking tray and line with a silicone baking sheet.

To make the caramel, bring the sugar and water to a boil over a high heat in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Then reduce the heat to medium/high and cook until it just starts to turn golden. This should take approx 15-20 minutes but don’t step away from the pan. You can guarantee, as soon as you do – it will turn and you’ll have to start all over again!

Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Moving as quickly as you can, pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet & spread out as thinly as possible. The thinner the caramel, the clearer it will be. (As you can see from my results below – the thinner pieces are clearer whereas the thicker pieces are more ‘mottled’)

Allow to set hard and cool completely before breaking into shards. CAREFUL! They can be sharp.

Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Once your caramel shards are ready, load the frosting up into a large piping bag fitted with your nozzle of choice. (I used a 3M star nozzle.)

Pipe a swirl, covering all the sponge, on top of each cupcake.

Broken Glass CupcakesNext, push a couple of shards into each cake. Remember not to do this until just before serving.

In a small saucepan, warm up the jam until smooth and runny. Give it a good stir then, using a teaspoon, blob the jam onto each cupcake.

If it starts to solidify, simply put the pan back on the heat for 30 seconds to loosen it up again.

Repeat until all your cakes are covered in a spattering of blood!

Broken Glass CupcakesNow you have the creepiest, spookiest and coolest Halloween cupcakes in all the land! They’ll definitely make an impact at your Halloween party and you’re sure to be asked for the recipe as they taste SO good!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s spooky post, until next time lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Spaghetti Bolognese & SORTEDfood Giveaway!

Spaghetti BologneseSpaghetti bolognese. We all love it but lets be honest, 9 times out of 10 – it comes out of a jar. And I must confess, I’m guilty too. So I went on a mission to find an easy solution, and there was only one place to look, SORTED food!

Over the years they have built up a HUGE recipe archive, a fantastically funny yet informative, step-by-step YouTube channel and even have their own kitchenware! So there was no question they would have an easy peasy & super delicious recipe for spag bol.

Without further ado, here is what you will need to serve 4.

  • 500g Minced Beef
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Stick Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • Handful of Mushrooms
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Squeeze of Tomato Puree
  • 1 Glass of Red Wine
  • 1 x 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 400ml Beef Stock
  • Splash of Milk
  • Splash of Worcester Sauce
  • 400g Spaghetti
  • 80g Parmesan Cheese to serve, Grated

Firstly, prepare your vegetables. Finely dice the onion, celery & carrot. Chop the mushrooms and crush the garlic.

Next, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and  season the beef with salt and pepper. (Before it goes in the pan.)

Add a little olive oil to the pan then fry the mince until browned. Transfer to a bowl and set to one side.

Spaghetti BologneseAdd the onion, celery, carrot & mushrooms to the same pan and fry for a few minutes.

Spaghetti BologneseThen add in the garlic, oregano, tomato puree and red wine. Stir to mix well and simmer for a few minutes to reduce.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti BologneseNext, add in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, milk and worcester sauce. Return the mince to the pan, season generously with salt & pepper and simmer over a low heat for a minimum of 1 hour – a few is better.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti BologneseWhen you are ready, cook the pasta in generously salted water according to the packet instructions.

Spaghetti BologneseDrain, toss with a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Spaghetti BologneseServe with a big dollop of bolognese and some grated parmesan.

Spaghetti BologneseAnd there you have it! Time, it would seem, does most of the hard work for you in this recipe. It’s not demanding in any way, in fact other than 10 minutes to get it going and cooking pasta at the end, it’s really not that taxing at all! And as for the taste? It’s gorgeous. The red wine adds a deep rich flavour to it and all that (now hidden) veg is great for you and your family! It’s a really good way to get some of the good stuff into those fussy eaters. (Trust me, I was one for years.)

Now, how do you fancy winning yourself some Sorted Food goodies?

I’ve teamed up with Premier Housewares who, alongside the great guys at Sorted Food, have developed a stylish, good quality range of cookware for the aspiring chef!

With everything from aprons to chopping boards, these guys have got all the basics you need for your kitchen.

Among them is a fabulous set of weighing scales…

Sorted FoodAfter using them, the first thing I noticed were that they react much quicker than other digital scales I have used, allowing you to be speedy AND accurate in your kitchen. Also, I like that it doesn’t come with the stereotypical bowl on top. I never use mine as I always just place the bowl or pan I’m using within a recipe on them, creating less pots for me to wash. This way, it also takes up less of your precious cupboard space too, bonus!

Also, a large lidded pan…

Sorted Food

These pans are great. Ceramic coated, aluminium pans that aren’t too heavy or too light – they’re just right. They can be used on all types of hob and have silicone coated handles giving you a good grip!

And lastly, a ‘pop up’ colander & steamer…

Sorted Food

This really is good! It goes completely flat for easy storage & simply pops up when you need to use it. It is great for draining pasta, potatoes or rice & works perfectly as an easy vegetable steamer by simply placing it into a pan, filling with water up to the base of the steamer and hey presto! Pop the lid on the pan – vegetable steamer.

Want to get your greedy mits on all 3 items? Well here’s your chance! The fabulous folks over at Premier Housewares have given me a set worth over £75 for one of you lucky blighters to win!

So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance? It’s simple – just one of the following 3 things:

 

1. Like the KitchenMason & Premier Housewares pages on Facebook then share the photo pinned to the top of my timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @PremierHousewrs on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #WinSortedKM

Not on social media? No problem!

3. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or WordPress  (on the right hand side of the page) and leave a comment on this post to say you’ve done so.

 

It really is that easy!

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Saturday 8th November at 1pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter afterwards.

Good luck lovelies!

Restaurant Review: Sat Bains

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewThis weekend me, the Mr & some close friends treated ourselves to a meal at my local 2 Michelin starred restaurant – Sat Bains. For a little bit extra, we had our own private room with it’s very own kitchen dubbed ‘The Kitchen Table.’ It was well worth the extra! It really made the experience much more personal & it was great having a chef (or 2) on hand to explain anything you were curious about.

To give you an idea of just how close we were to the food prep, take a look at this.

Sat Bains Restaurant Review

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewI was so close – I could touch it! All that separated us from the kitchen & the chef was the bar we were sat at. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going. Spend that little bit extra (and I do mean little – it’s like £4 more per diner) and make your experience even more memorable.

Right, onto the marvelous food!

First up we had Sat’s version of a kind of ‘miso soup’.

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewYou can’t really see them in the pic but there were these seriously tiny mushrooms – one of the cutest things I have ever seen lol!

Then we were given some home made sour dough bread & these cute little treacle bread ‘pots’.

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewThis might sound a little odd given all the food we ate, but those little treacle breads were honestly the highlight of my meal! I really wish you could buy those bad boys, I’d eat them ALL THE TIME!

Before you get stuck into your tasting menu, you are asked if you would like a choice of 2 egg dishes. These are extra to the cost of the meal but you’re not pressured into having them by any means. Some of my friends opted to try Sat’s infamous Great British Menu winning egg dish…

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewNot only was it insanely pretty but delicious too! I pinched a little of that green sorbet you can see and it was SO smooth! Lovely.

First item on the tasting menu was the “Scallop/tomato – aged garlic.”

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewSadly, as I’m pregnant, I couldn’t try this dish. Instead, I had the alternate menu. Mine started with the “Belly Pork/’piccalilli.”

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewIt was really delicious. The glaze on the pork was gorgeously sticky & the meat itself was really succulent. Everything on the plate seemed to work very well together – didn’t take me long to polish it off!

Next on the menu was the controversial Chicken ‘muesli’ 

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewSurprisingly it’s a cold dish that evoked lots of confused faces & ‘oh’s from the Mr & my friends. According to the chef, this one’s like marmite. You either love it or hate it. It was about 75/25 in our group!

As I wasn’t allowed that one, my next dish was “Grelots/wagyu beef – kombu braising liquor.”

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewI really enjoyed this one! The discs of Wagyu Beef at the bottom were like butter – they literally melted in your mouth! The onions were beautiful too, filled with a mustard type puree. (I think!) In my opinion it’s one of the prettiest dishes on the menu.

Next up for the rest was the “Aged Beef/mushroom – lichen”

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewFrom what I was told, the picture definitely doesn’t do this course justice! It was the Mr’s favourite by a country mile. Being a bit of a condiments connoisseur, he particularly loved the mushroom ketchup. (The little dark blobs you can see) He let me try a little and, to my surprise, (as I’m not a huge mushroom fan) I really liked it too!

My alternative was the “Ratatouille/aged garlic.”

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewThe thing I love most about restaurants like this is that it makes you realise there are tons of foods you actually like that you normally wouldn’t touch with a barge pole! This dish was one of those for me. I would never normally pick something like this but it really was delicious! Light, refreshing and topped off with that deeply intense and rich aged black garlic. Beautiful!

The next course was one of my favourites and one that I was allowed to have with everyone else. “Sharpe’s Express/soft cheese – smoked roe.”

Sat Bains Restaurant Review

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewIt’s basically a potato on a bed of cream cheese with chives topped with pickled onion and smoked roe. (Or fish eggs to you and me.)

I have never eaten fish eggs before and I honestly didn’t think I would like them. It’s usually the texture that puts me off a food over flavour, something I’ve only been able to partially get over since being a little ‘fussy eating’ child. But this was really, really yummy! I could honestly have just eaten a whole plate of these hahaha.

Next up was the Main Course (so to speak.)

The Mr & Pals had “Grouse Lammermuir hills/braised nuts – watercress – chocolate.”

This was how the grouse was cooked… Intriguing to say the least!

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewAnd here it is all beautifully plated up…

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewAccording to the Mr, this was really rich, gamey and had an almost ‘liver’ like texture.

My alternative was “Cornish plaice/beans – salsa verde.”

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewAgain, another course I wouldn’t usually choose but surprisingly light and incredibly juicy! Our chef, Dan, cooked the plaice in a steam oven which kept it so beautifully moist and soft. I was starting to get a little full at this point if I’m being honest so I was definitely grateful for the lighter of the two choices here.

At this point in the meal you get the option of having a cheese course. (Another that is charged on top of the meal price but again, no pressure.) We all decided against it as none of us wanted to be too full for pudding!

You start with these cute little ‘amuse bouches’

This was a vanilla fudge topped with tomato.

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewSounds odd, works well! Surprisingly well actually. But then, tomatoes are quite sweet so from a chef’s perspective I guess it’s not that strange.

Then we had these lime ice cream lollipops covered in liquorice and fennel seeds.

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewNot my favourite if I’m honest but then, I really don’t like liquorice! The others really enjoyed them though and I must confess, the lime ice cream in the middle was bloomin’ spectacular!

Next up was “Chocolate/cherry ?”

Sat Bains Restaurant Review

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewThe question mark was a little ominous but after the chef’s explanation, I now see why!

The block was like a salted milk chocolate Aero bar and topped with blobs of a cherry puree. The question mark was referring to a ‘secret ingredient’ which we had to guess. Turns out – it was tobacco! Yeah, none of us guessed it haha. Chef Dan told us they used to advertise it on the menu as tobacco chocolate and lots of people returned it to the kitchen asking for something else – saying the tobacco was too strong. So they removed the word tobacco from the menu and not one dish has been sent back since! It’s amazing how the mind can play tricks on you. As soon as he told us it was tobacco you could really taste it. But before I knew, I realised there was something strange but I had absolutely no idea.

The 8th and final course was hands down, my favourite! “Strawberry/vanilla – anise hyssop.”

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewIt consisted of fresh strawberries on a bed of Italian meringue. Topped with a strawberry & anise hyssop granita. None of us had ever heard of anise hyssop but Chef Dan explained it’s actually a plant they grow in their gardens. (Which are beautiful by the way!)

Long story short – it’s an elaborate interpretation of strawberries and cream. And a bloody good one at that!

It’s truly deceiving how such small amounts of food can seriously fill you up! On reflection, we did actually consume quite a lot overall. I thought I was going to pop by the end! In a good way though.

The last highlight of the night was when Chef Dan gave us a tour of the main kitchen.

The first thing that strikes you when you walk in is Sat’s agenda poster…

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewMakes you realise just how much passion and care he really puts into his work.

Best bit though? I got to meet the legend himself!

Sat Bains Restaurant ReviewWhat a dude.

I would seriously recommend this place to anyone who is even remotely curious about food. And to be honest, even if you’re not – you would still love it! It’s not just about the food, It’s about the experience as a whole. From start to finish the lovely front of house staff made us feel very welcome and Chef Dan (plus other chefs that came in to help from time to time) were really chatty & friendly, always on hand to answer any questions you might have. And let’s not forget our wonderful French (I think) Sommelier. I’m sad I didn’t catch his name as he was so full of character! We were joking about eating mayonnaise straight out the jar and the Mr asked him, “What wine would you pair with just Mayonnaise?” He replied that he would only have home made mayonnaise & smear it all over some toast. Then preceded to tell us the wine he would pair it with, what vineyard, what vintage and why! So funny. Can’t believe he actually had an answer hahaha.

To sum up, Restaurant Sat Bains is the complete package. What a wonderful experience we all had and the food was everything from the strange to the sublime. Exactly what you want from this type of establishment & an evening I will remember for the rest of my life.

10/10

Miss KitchenMason