It’s been a time of deep spring cleaning in the Hog-house – furniture erected and destroyed, dust obliterated, windows shined to perfection. Lessons have been learnt as well: namely, never put the Man in charge of sorting trash from treasure. In the space of a few short hours, I almost lost a memory card full of photos, and very much did lose an important lead for my digital camera – chucked down the rubbish chute, never to return.
What the Man has against my digital repertoire I have no idea. But in his favour, he does know how to make it up to me. In a word: cake.
I’ve been hearing about the charms of Konditor & Cook for a good few weeks now. With one of their six London stores based near to the Man’s office, it has swiftly become his favourite baking hang-out – but until last night, I had yet to see why.
Cue two bags of cakey goodness, brought fresh to me from Borough Market. The contents? A slice of Curly Whirly Cake, and two small fruit tartlets – one plum, one berry.
I had never heard of Curly Whirly Cake before, but as soon as I laid eyes on it, I knew we would be friends: after all, who could say no to an extremely smooth, dense and double-layered chocolate concoction, smeared with lashings of vanilla buttercream? Not I, dear Ogglers. Not I.
Before I got my chops around it, I was warned that even half a slice might floor me – the Man had bought one for a colleague’s birthday, so knew what he was getting into.
Of course, pud-expert that I am, I demolished my slice in moments – and got nowhere near the floor (unless you count the sofa, on which I was sat all along). The buttercream truly hogged the limelight: so tangy, so thick, so… phwoar. Apparently they use it in brownies too. YUM.
I could see why the Man felt the need for a warning though: the slice was small by my usual standards, but packed a hefty (and scrumptious) punch. Too rich to have too much of (but not too rich to put me off dreaming of seconds).
Still, as wonderfully moist as the chocolate cake was, the stars of the show were the little fruit tarts – or ‘Treats’ as the Man claims they’re called. The pastry was outstanding: not sweet, but buttery and crisp. And the filling – clouds of moist sweet sponge, dusted with icing sugar and a burst of fresh fruit. Like a frangipane’s little sister, but without the almond filling: gorgeous, light, and zingy.
If you’re looking for revolutionary recipes – crazy ingredients and never-before-tasted combos – then Konditor & Cook may not be quite what you’re after. But, as the Man was keen to point out, if you want a classic done magnificently well, you’d be hard-pressed to find somewhere better. They even use organic free-range eggs (a very major plus-point in this Hog’s book).
In short, if you hadn’t been able to guess it already, I think I am a convert. Now, if I can only secure my next hit without my belongings being binned, all will be right with the world…