Monday, December 18, 2006

Sweet!

Seems like you can’t go anywhere in London without being reminded how the Americans have taken over. The last time I was in London, everyone had gone crazy over Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I remember going to the one in Harrods and the queue went around the food hall. The smell is really enticing and the plain glazed ones are still warm. My favourite is the chocolate glazed sprinkles. This trip, I made a stop at Harrods for one. Still good but not as warm. After stuffing ourselves with duck rice in Bayswater, we wandered over to Westbourne Grove in search of something coffee and dessert. We ended up in Ottolenghi - a small, pretentious looking café that obviously caters to the yummy mummies in the area. The front area is piled with pretty looking tarts, cakes and savoury treats and the counter is manned by good looking staff. Go down the stairs and there is a big white table that fills up the room. It only sits 10 people so I wonder how they make money. Hunky ordered a potent chocolate cake for us to share but my hot chocolate was so damn rich, I was on the verge of being nauseous. I did have a bite of the cake and it was seriously intense. The texture was velvety but on the tongue it would melt and your mouth would then be enveloped by a wave of potent chocolate. Bloody hell!
In my last week, we managed to get to Hummingbird. I wanted to give the red velvet cake another chance. My sister is completely head-over-heels for this cake. It’s an American concoction that hails from the South apparently. The thrill of eating this cake comes from the visual impact when you first see it. First of all, it’s a three-tiered sponge. Secondly, it is deep, blood red with white frosting. The colour is quite shocking but beautiful at the same time. It’s even brighter than it looks in the photograph. The taste is like a vanilla sponge with a very subtle hint of cocoa. I’m still not converted. It took me four sittings to finish it. Hunky refused to eat it on principle because he thought Hummingbird was a complete bollocks of a bakery that survives on rich people with no taste. Er… Well, I do think the cupcakes are freaking ridiculous at £1.25 each. And they really are no big deal. It’s the whole packaging of the place I suppose. It’s in Portobello, the shop is charming and the trays and trays of cupcakes are so preeeetty. Hey, kudos to them for finding their niche right?

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