Monday, 12 March 2012

One of our kitchen bibles

I know we have a lot of cookbooks, and being truthful many don't get a look in, but this is one that is frequented often.

The cookbook is Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi. If I need to bake something, this will be one of the four books that I will flick through for its great Baking section.  Caroline has had the pleasure of making everything from the pastry section which is amazing.  I know it's easy to discard the salad section when the pastry is this tempting however, we can highly recommend this as well.

It seems like a bit of a cheat using this cookbook for our challenge as we've already made so many of the dishes.   A visit to London last year saw us visiting the Ottolenghi in Islington.  It was great to see in the flesh.  Giant counters full of tasty cakes and salads - a real feast for the eyes!  We have a bit of an inability to hold back, so we got an array of salads and sweets to try.  This bounty would have in essence feed us for 2 days, we instead choose to eat it in one sitting.  Later that evening we found ourselves wandering past Nopi. We were of course very satisfied from our lunch bonanza but eager to try the restaurant version of Ottolenghi.  We wander in.   Delicious.  Slow service - but we weren't in a rush (and who really cares when it's that mouth wateringly good?).

Anyway, back to the task at hand. We were invited around to our friends Myles and Amy's for dinner, and asked to bring a dessert.  First stop - our dessert list.  Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Syrup Icing - BOOM!

The cake added the finishing touch to an array of seafood that was put on by our gracious hosts: Mussels in a creamy white wine sauce followed by  Ocean Trout on a salad of asparagus and smashed peas with some crispy prosciutto.

Verdict: Pretty, pretty good (to borrow the words of Larry David). The maple syrup frosting put us all in heaven. Everyone should have this cookbook on their bookshelf, even if it's a little more curated than ours.
Would we make this again?: Yes.  We even feel the need to have some maple syrup frosting pre-made at all times.. just in case.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Butcher, Baker and Tea Towel Maker

    This is a email sent in response to your blogging, (which I have to say I am
    incredibly impressed with). I do look forward to regularly being updated,
    tempted, and basically blown away by your culinary experiences and
    incredible attention to detail, and do wonder why you are not out in the
    real world providing these masterpieces for the inexperienced and under
    confident cooks.

    Anyway, the reason I wanted to send you this email is outlined below.

    I was hosting a very posh dinner party on Saturday evening, and was
    struggling to find something stunning for dessert, that was until I read
    your blog on the Apple and Olive oil cake, drenched with maple syrup and
    cream cheese icing, recipe from the Ottolenghi cookbook (which incidentally
    enough, my daughter had sent me this very cookbook 2 weeks ago).

    I thought I could recreate one of your masterpieces, and I did (photo
    attached). It was an amazing success, so just wanted to pass onto you all
    my thanks for providing inspiration for us busy professionals.

    My very best wishes for your ongoing success with your cooking and recipe
    selection. You are an inspiration to us all.

    Yours sincerely

    JP Bennett