• Balls Balls Balls

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Austrian Winter Festival. Balls floating in soup, balls swamped by goulasch and balls swimming in custard. Everybody loves a dumpling and it was great to have a variety of textures, tastes and to compare.  The eating was great and it was great to catch up with old friends again after our break in January.


    Getting Started

    The moment we arrived we started shredding the bread, chopping the herbs and preparing the broth...

    Getting all the twigs out of the time always takes for ever! Here are Lars and Giorgio doing a very through job.


    This is me, Hannah, digging the marrow out of the bones- weirdly I found this tak totally satisfying- Amazing how much marrow we got too! This was then heated and mixed with egg, salt, nutmeg, parsley, and breadcrumbs to create amazing silken balls...

    Which Lars made all on his lonesome and absolutely beautifully.


    Semmelknoedel is made from stale bread crumbed and shredded to create texture mixed with egg, milk, herbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, onion. Below we are making some stale bread- ridiculous!

    and they're still going with the herbs... poor things!

    Look at that. They are so delicious- we had them again for lunch.



    This is made from halved plums which have been coated in vanilla sugar then wrapped in a semolina batter. They are then poached and served in custard.

    The End

    No one wanted to go home but in the end we had to- it was a school night after all. Thanks so much for coming everyone. We had such a great evening. See you all in March for a little taste of spring.

  • Christian makes Vegan

    Its unbelievable Christian cooked vegen food! After years of not knowing what the vegetables in the Bangladeshi Shops were or how to make them, Christian has tracked down a Bangladeshi Women's Group to help him learn about their absolutely amazing cuisine.

    He went and brought £30 worth of random vegetable and fruit and fruit along to one of their lunch time meetings. Main criteiria: Weirder the Better!

    Holsa: tangy and bitter and great for digestion. You on't use those amazing outer leaves.

    Kerala: also slightly tangy, can be unsed in curries or stuffed like an aubergine

    Red Saag: tastes like baby spinach with a similar texture. Not so earthy as spinach can smoetimes be (especially if Christian washes it!)

    Yam leaves: these dudes have a beautiful velvety texture but you have to be careful because they can make you itch if you don't wash them with hot water. And you don't cook them through and don't use lemon they can have the same effect on your throat... weird!

    Yam Stalk; we didn't get a chance to use these becuase appearntly they're a bit of a hassle. Next time!

    Chrsitian had such a fantastic time and he can't wait to cook more with these lovely Bangladeshi women! He learnt so much... which is fantastic for us because we get to eat his homework! Brilliant!!

  • Baking Bread

    I'm making bread today and I get asked how I do it so often that I'm making this little set of instructions... Hannah bread for all!


    400g Bread Flour/ Strong White Flour
    You can also use a different flour or mix flours but if you are added lots of rye put in 1/2 tsp extra of yeast.
    300g Water
    Giant Pinch of Salt
    1 Generous teaspoon of dried Yeast
    Anything else you feel like adding

    Part One:

    Weigh out your flour, the salt and then anything else you feel like adding.
    I always include sunflower seeds and seasame seed. With the seasame I tend to munch them up a bit before I add them so the flavour really comes through in the bread.

    In this batch I am also adding rolled oats, and red Quinoa becuase I saw them sitting around. Quinoa should also be munched up a bit before you add it. Pumpkin seeds would have been nice too but we just ran out.

    After you have combined all these dry things add the water and yeast and stir. Its quite a stiff consistancy but if you are using different flours you sometimes have to add a splash more water. Just experiement.

    Leave the bread in the bowl and cover it with a teatowel. Leave to to rise for 8-20 hours depending on how hot it is at your place and when you have spare time to bake it. Longer seems to be better but sometimes when I'm in a rush I just leave it to grow overnight and then cook it in the morning. It always seems to come out fine.

    Part Two:

    Once you have a bubbly light looking dough its ready to bake. This is my bread after 9 hours...

    When you have decided to bake it turn your over up to 200 degrees C or more if you over can. Place a heavy pot with a fitting lid in the oven so it warms to temperature. Once your oven and pot are super hot pull out the pot, sprinkle a little bit of flour in the bottom to stop it sticking, drag your bread mix into the pot, return the lid and then put everyting back in the oven for 30 minutes. 

    After 30 minutes remove the lid but leave the pot and bread in the oven for another 30-40 minutes, depending on how dense it it.

    To check that its cooked bring the bread out of the oven and knock on the base. If it sounds hollow its done. Leave the bread to cool and then eat it.



  • Gracious Appreciation to His Majesty from All

    His Majesty's Tavolone Feast; a supper of rabbit kidney and liver pate to start, wild rabbit ragout with parpadelle and juniper for first course, second course of stuffed rabbit with steamed seasonal greens, and a selection of cakes to finish up.

    Ready for action and having a sip of prossecco with the first guests after the initial, slightly frantic courtly activity. Here Giorgio and I are making the parpadelle...

    De-boning the wild rabbit was easy by rabbit number 10! Look at those beautifully clean bones!

    His Majesty all ready to roll...

    Tying up the rolled rabbit also got a bit easier with practice...

    Once the rabbits were tied and the ragout browned, it was just a matter of cooking the honorable rabbits slowly for a royal supper... 

    The parpadelle ragout plated up and looking amazing!

    How amazing?...

    Very!... the hint of juniper was subtley wonderous...

    That was gone in a jiffy... whats next?! This was next, mmmmmm....


    Disappearing fast...

    Unfortunately we were so pleased with ourselves and so busy chatting that we all forgot to take a photo of the delicious polenta orange cake and toasty banana bread that we had for dessert.

    We chatted until at least midnight all feeling very sated, replete and satisfied- those might look like synonyms  to you but we need all three to describe our pleasure. Really, it was a lovely night with so many return guests, a very familiar, family feeling. Thanks so much to all of our wonderful guests... lets see what we can do to rustle up some Christmas Cheer next month.

    Let us know if you're around waifs and strays- we'll be here!

  • English Extravaganza

    What a wonderful night for pies! Cold and rainy outside, snug and cozy inside, perfect pie weather. Our 50 special guests for the evening were the 17 winners of the British Council's Young Creative Entrepreneurs Award, our generous sponsors from British Council and some of our special friends from MiniBar. Here they are all arriving at the start of the evening.

    Chris and Micheal, from the Roebuck in Yorkshire were our special guest chefs and their pies were amazing. Here they are schucking oysters and cutting sausages while we were all in the main hall drinking prossecco! What luxury, it was easy as pie for Christian, Giorgio, WIllie and I.

    To go with our pies, our lovely chefs brought along a range of beers and ales brewed in Yorkshire, a perfect mix for the taste of England. We had a 3 Game Pie, with venison, partridge and rabbit, a Beef and Potato Pie and a Chicken Pie. Don't they look good!?

    They sure tasted good- no pie in the sky for us! We all sat down at one long table to meet and mingle- 25 people on each side. A Tavolone indeed!

    Thanks so much to Chris and Micheal for their wonderful cooking, to the British Council for sponsoring the dinner, to the Young Entrepreneurs and our friends from MiniBar for their wonderful company, to Mother for letting us use their main hall and to Willie, our very favourite Tavolone hero!

    See you all to eat some Royal Rabbit on the 7th of November!

  • Biscuits Anyone?

    Last week my sister and I decided to make some biscuits, me, because the lovely Giorgio was finally returning to London and I was rather pleased, and Fran, because she is so lovely to all of the very lucky people who work alongside her at her studio.

    We decided to make two kinds because one is never enough... and we decided to double the recipe because... well, we thought that one is never enough, but we might have got a bit carried away! So here come 140 biscuits,... 70 shortbread and 70 spicey ginger chocolate biscuits.

    Ginger Chocolate Biscuits
    Makes 50-70 biscuits

    2⅓ cups all purpose flour
    2-3 teaspoons ground ginger
    ½ teaspoon coco powder
    ½ teaspoon ground mace
    ½ teaspoon ground allspice
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    scant ¼ teaspoon salt
    pinch of freshly ground black pepper
    ½ cup raw sugar
    ½ cup packed muscovado sugar
    115g butter, softened but still cool
    1 large egg
    ⅓ cup molasses
    1 small strong espresso
    1 fresh chilli with seeds removed (depending how hot you like things)
    1 chunk of fresh ginger (2 thumbs worth depending how much you love ginger)

    1.    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, set rack in middle of oven, and line baking tray or two with parchment paper.
    2.    Make a shot of coffee and leave to cool.
    3.    In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, dry spices, baking soda, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
    4.    Pour molasses, chilli and ginger root into a blender and whizz until its munched into a relatively smooth consistency.
    5.     Using an electric mixer, beat ½ cup of the sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Add egg and beat well, about 20 seconds, then scrape down sides of bowl; add molasses mixture, mix well and scrape down sides of bowl again.
    6.    Add the dry ingredients, then mix until just incorporated.  Do not over mix. It will be very soft. Refrigerate dough for about one hour, or until firm.
    7.    Form the dough into small balls 1-inch balls.  Place balls on baking sheet about 2 inches apart (they will spread), then flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake for about 10-14 minutes, until set and golden on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. (As they bake, they will puff up and then flatten. Do not remove them from the oven until flat.) Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack with a wide spatula to cool completely.

    These cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container.

  • Preserving Session

    We just had a very exciting weekend making preserves... lots and lots of preserves. We made Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Pickled Dikon, Marmalade, Pickled Herring, Smoked Herring, Fish Stock, Crab Stock and ate some crab. It was fantastic.

    The preserving session started off with a 5:00am delivery of 6kg herring and 4 crabs from Markie Market and then a lot of gutting and scaling of fishes...

    ... which with Pudha's favourite bit becuase he got the scraps...

    Then we salted and smoked half of the fish and put the rest into a brine solution to be delt with the next day. And this brings us to day 2...

    Here is my trailer full of cabbages and dikon raddish, on our way home from the market.

    Time to get started... Here are the twins marking marmalade...

    then on to saurekraut while the marmalade cooked down... The equipment all looks so wholesome!

    ... cutting the cabbage for the sauerkraut...

    ... Kimchi paste and the chinese cabbage...

    ... pickling the vinegar...

    ...packing down the cabbage so the air bubles are gone... look at us go!...

    I can't wait to eat it all. We had the smoked fish for dinner last night, and the marmalade for breakfast this morning, we can eat the stock whenever we like, the kimchi from tomorrow and the herrings from next week, but we have to wait for at least 3 weeks for the sauerkraut. I'm really looking forward to it.