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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Great Irish Bake Off Week 3 - Treacle Tart

Following on from last week's Great Irish Bake off (which I won, hehe) this week's challenge was to bake either a Treacle Tart or Apple Tart Tatin.

I chose to do a treacle tart, which I had never tasted before. It ended up being quite easy to make and was quite yummy.

Judge for yourself on how well I did and as always you can follow the Great Irish Bake Off on twitter by using the hashtag #GIrishBO or on Caítríona's blog Wholesome Ireland.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Great Irish Bake Off Entry

If you're following me on twitter you will have noticed myself and a few fellow foodies posting numerous pictures of bread this week.

Caítríona over on Wholesome Ireland came up with the great idea of doing a twitter/blogging competition modelled on the technical challenge in Great British Bake Off.

Last week it was Rum Babas and Karen O'Connell from Follow the Food Link won.
This week it is the intricate 8 strand plaited loaf and Dr Oetker Baking have kindly given prizes for this competition so you have more to gain than just yummy bread.

Anyone can enter and for more information on how to enter this week here is Caítríona's post.

Here is my entry for this week.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fenn's Quay, Cork

A few weeks ago, we finally got down to Fenn's Quay in Cork for a bite to eat. I had been following Kate Lawlor, head chef, on Twitter for quite a while and worked alongside her for Chef du Jour but hadn't gotten around to enjoying her cooking. This long awaited visit was not a disappointment.

So to start we ordered Warm Chicken Salad with crispy potato skins & a sweet chilli dressing and Kate's current version of 'Surf n Turf' which was Rump Steak with Langoustines and Sea Samphire. Hubs had the chicken salad which he loved and he especially enjoyed the crispy potato skins. I had the rump steak and langoustines which were gorgeous. The steak was medium rare and really tender which complimented the juicy langoustines perfectly. Two empty plates were returned to the kitchen.


In between our starters and mains we decided to try Kate's fudge which features on her new Punt Saver menu. We got 8 delicious pieces of black pepper fudge and beetroot fudge for €2 or £1. Which was fantastic value and a nice little break between courses. I also sipped away on the days special cocktail which was a Passionfruit bellini, which was gorgeously refreshing and a perfect palate cleanser.


After that little break our mains arrived, which were the Rib-eye steak with Chunky Chips and Baked Monkfish with Sea Vegetables and Basil Oil. Hubs had the steak with lovely crunchy, crispy chips. And my little pet hate of rib-eye being cooked unevenly wasn't an issue as it was perfectly medium rare throughout with a nice char on the outside. Now, after I stole a few bites of his, I did devour mine. We normally don't eat a lot of fish as himself isn't keen, so when we are out I always try to 'splash out'. This was perfect to satisfy my cravings. The monkfish was beautifully juicy and fresh and blended perfectly with the sea vegetable risotto, followed by a tasty kick of basil oil.

Thankfully we just about squeezed in desert, or else I would have missed the glorious Brown Bread & Baileys parfait. I normally steer clear of deserts that claim to have alcohol in them as the alcohol rarely contributes anything. However this desert, had the wow factor. The little bits of brown bread crumbled throughout gave a lovely contrast to the powerful, smooth Bailey's creaminess. Of course, hubs also devoured his Chocolate Pudding with the gorgeous Baldwin's Caramel Fudge Ice cream.


We had a fantastic meal and I cannot but recommend Kate and Fenn's Quay to everyone. The reason? I may have featured the dearer dishes here, but there is something for everyone in Fenn's Quay. Whether you want to pop in for brunch, lunch, gourmet dinner or a few quickie selections from the Punt Saver menu Kate has you covered. A short walk from all the hot spots in town...what more could you ask for??

Will we eat there again? Hell, yeah.
Cost? €90.85 for 2 Starters, 2 Mains, 2deserts, fudge, cocktail, glass of wine and 2 cokes.

You can follow Kate and Fenn's Quay on twitter @FQchefess @FennsQuay and also on their Facebook page

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Cupcake Bakery, Galway

The Cupcake Bakery, based in Galway, has now opened a baking kitchen and store in Liosbán Industrial Estate on the Tuam Road in Galway city.

As well as the opening the new shop,  Jennie Browne, owner of The Cupcake Bakery has launched a new range  to cater to the dietary needs of Diabetics, Vegans and Coeliacs. Importantly, The Cupcake Bakery boasts a ‘Gluten Free Room’  where all cupcakes for coeliac sufferers are produced in this isolated area.
And for those minding their figures,  The Cupcake Bakery will also be offering a low calorie cupcake! This new diet-friendly cupcake can be included in daily dietary programmes regardless of what plan you are following.
The cupcakes are available in over 30 flavours, including the classic Red Velvet, Galaxy Carmel and Banoffee Pie and are made using only locally-sourced, organic ingredients. As well as the standard cupcakes Jennie also offers a wide range of custom designed cakes, whether it’s for a girly night in, a birthday party, a wedding, graduation, christening or a communion.
The Cupcake Bakery is open from 11am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. 
For more information check out or search ‘The Cupcake Bakery’ on Facebook.
If you would like to place an order email

, call 091 396329 or pop into their new shop located at Unit 8 in Liosbán Business Park (across from the car wash) on the Tuam Road and give your palette a taste-swirling experience with every bite.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lobster Lovin' in Bite Dublin

"It must be love, love, love"

So we have all seen and heard the excitement that's been on twitter about Bite's Head Chef Malcolm Starmer's new creation the 'lobster burger'. So with trepidation I made a reservation, could this masterpiece live up to the hype?
As I'm sure you have guessed by the lyrics above, it more than lived up to the hype and surpassed every expectation I had. I literally started singing along to Madness 'It must be love' in my head once I took a bite.
It is fresh, buttery, luscious and light somehow in one mouthful. Everything from the fresh lobster, crispy pancetta and raclette cheese(yes, cheese and lobster works!) down to the truffle aioli and crispy onions came together in one perfect bite. It was served with cheesy truffle skinny fries which were, like the burger, to die for. 
Lobster Burger with Truffle Aioli and Parmesan Cheese Fries

And it's not all about just the burger in Bite, every other dish we had was pure perfection. We were brought to our table and given some chilli popcorn which kept us nibbling away happily while reading the menu.
For starter hubs had the baby squid which was cooked flawlessly, while I had the best prawn pil pil I have ever tasted. 
We also ventured and tried the deserts which brought the meal to a sweet close. We were too eager to taste, hence the lack of photos. Hubs had the chocolate brownie, which was lovely but he felt it seemed more of a cake than a brownie. I had the raspberry and lemon pot which was pure heaven, a fantastic light finish to the meal.
The 2 cocktails which we tried were the Stephens Green and Raspberry Collins, both tasted very nice and refreshing but a little tame on the alcohol side.

Baby Squid
Chilli Popcorn
Stephens Green

Overall, I fell in love with Bite, not just the burger. Along with the amazing food we had we were served by fantastic, friendly and unobtrusive staff and for a change to eating out in Dublin we had a pleasant surprise when the bill came.


Will we eat there again? Already planning my next visit.
Cost? Just under €90 for 2 starters, 2 mains, 2 deserts, 2 cocktails, a beer and tip. Amazing value.

You can follow Bite on Twitter @BITEdublin or on their Facebook page