***We interrupt this string of birthday-themed posts to bring you a special report from the frontline of Pud-Hoggery***
Forgive me, Ogglers. I know I hinted yesterday at a post about more birthday puddings for the Man, but something has distracted me. Don’t be alarmed – the birthday post will arrive tomorrow.
Today is a day for the new.
Before we go on, I should admit that – so far – I have not been the greatest fan of the London Olympics. Why a city that’s normally fairly indifferent to the sporting world should grind to a halt for several weeks to smear millions of monies all over it is beyond me (especially when we can’t even afford public libraries – or so Mr Cameron tells us).
Anyway, that’s by the by. Because what I can get in to are all the Olympic-themed foodie events that keep popping up in the city.
Global Feast is a particularly thrilling one: running in Stratford from tonight until 13 August, it involves a team of chefs and supper club cooks, who will take it in turns to concoct a different country’s cuisine every night, serving it all on a massive world-shaped table.
You know what that means, don’t you? LOADS OF DELICIOUS PUDDINGS.
We got to try a few of them yesterday – there was plenty to excite a Hog like me.
First off were the smallest pastries I had ever seen: Baddam Buri, a delicacy from South Russia (and made by the ladies at Russian Revels). It might have looked like a croissant you’d give to a doll, but packed a hefty punch of walnut and cardamom. An excellent accompaniment to a noon-time cup of tea…
Next was another unusual treat, again from the Slavic neck of the woods.
These Truffles on sticks were made from a roasted grain called Kama – which, as Wikipedia kindly informs me, is a mix of roasted barley, oat, pea and rye flours. Rolled with hazelnuts, curd cheese, liqueur and mascarpone (in the vein of Estonian cooking), they were lovely and soft – and not too unlike a booze-soaked ball of Weetabix.
A new breakfast treat, perhaps – maybe with chunks of milk chocolate…?
We hopped countries after that one, moving to Persian-style Gooey Ban Dates, creamy with Arabic cheese.
I enjoyed the moistness and walnutty centres, but found them a wee bit too light for the mood I was in.
Thank goodness, then, for the welcome sight of a tray of miniature Key Lime Pies.
These were truly exciting – more so when I learned they were a Kooky Bakes creation (i.e. made by those who produce the notorious brick of joy that is the Kooky Slice).
I mean, look at them. Don’t you just want to shove your face in there? They tasted pretty lovely too: super crunchy crumb base, zingy lime centre and plenty of thick creamy topping.
But wait! What’s that over there?
GLOBAL CAKE POPS?!
OK. So they’re not an intriguing offering from exotic far-flung places, but these white chocolate-covered cake balls made by Kerstin (she of The Underground Restaurant fame) were seriously scrumptious.
Super thick chocolate, super moist filling. I’d travel far and wide to get another.
Perhaps not quite as far as I’d go for these though…
These stunning mini tarts were bigging it up for the Indian massive: they were (from left to right) Dark Chocolate and Chai, White Chocolate with Sweet Fennel, and Milk Chocolate with Chilli and Nutmeg.
I tell you Ogglers, I was so overwhelmed I almost fell to the floor in a swoon. All three of the tarts were exquisite – the pastry – the pastry! – so crisp and sweet and delicate. As for the fillings: the milk and dark chocolate in particular were so thick they were almost solid.
A triumph of epic proportions.
Apparently the lady who makes them also does a mean chocolate naan, which I personally cannot wait to hunt down and devour. Her company’s called Pistachio Rose, so keep your beady eyes out for it on the streets of London town…
Honest to goodness. With twenty nights of these marvellous treats, Lord knows how anyone will choose which evening to go to. At upwards of £55 a head per night, I don’t suppose most folks could afford to do all of them.
If I were flush, I’d probably opt for the North American night on 9 August: Kooky Bakes is heading up the whole darn thing, which has got to be good for a Hog like me.
Mind you, that would mean missing the Indian meal, with Pistachio Rose’s amazing desserts…
And what about Eastern European night? There’ll be Cherry Soup and Polish Cheesecake (*sigh*).
You know, I never thought I’d say it, but when it comes to things like this, I almost wish the Games were lasting longer.
If only they’d make eating puds an Olympic sport…