Thursday 30 April 2009

Roasted Tomato Salad with Herby Crumbs

Do you ever see a recipe and instantly think ‘I have to make that!’ Well, this happened to me when I came across this delicious recipe for baked tomatoes on Karina’s Kitchen. Karina is – by her own admission, a gluten free goddess. Seriously, if you ever thought gluten free food meant cutting back on appetizing meals then head over to her site and take a look. The minute I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it and a few days later I got the perfect opportunity when the family were hankering after a light summery lunch to enjoy in the sunshine. ‘Ah-har!’ I said ‘I’ve got just the thing.’ And by lunch time we were all tucking into these yummy baked tomatoes, licking the juices off our fingers.

I adapted the recipe slightly to fit what I had on hand. I replaced the cornbread crumbs with regular breadcrumbs and used fresh basil and lemon thyme to make a herby oil to coat them in. I had never baked with lemon thyme before, which is a milder version of regular thyme but with a lemony zesty overtone, it went wonderfully with the tomatoes.

The aroma as the dish baked in the oven was fantastic. As with most things, baking caused the tomatoes to intensify in flavour. It is the herby crumbs and garlic that take this dish to another level and when squished into fresh chewy bread with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a few torn basil leaves you are good to go. Half way through eating I added little blobs of mozzarella which made it the perfect Italian style lunch. When it gets a bit warmer, why not take a box of this along on a picnic to squish into fresh bread – much more interesting than sarnies.

Roasted Tomato Salad with Herby Crumbs
(Recipe adapted from Karina’s Kitchen blog)
For the tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
200g cherry or plum tomatoes
3 tbsp bread crumbs
10 fresh basil leaves
3 springs lemon thyme
1 tsp rock salt

To serve
Fresh crusty bread
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 200C.Cut the tomatoes in half, some horizontally, some vertically to create a different look. Place them in the bottom of a large ovenproof dish, cut side up.
Slice the garlic into small chunks and place in a pestle and mortar along with the fresh herbs and rock salt. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and crush everything together until you have a green herby oil. Add the final tbsp oil and mix well.
Add the breadcrumbs into the flavoured oil and mix well, ensuring all the crumbs are coated.
Sprinkle the herby breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the tomatoes.
Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and bubbling and the crumbs a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
To serve, cut a thick slice of a good crusty loaf – sourdough or ciabatta work well. Top with a generous spoonful of the baked tomatoes and crush them gently, to make the tomatoes spill their delicious juices, which are then caught and absorbed by the bread.
Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and a few torn basil leaves.
Eat with your fingers and enjoy. Makes a great summary starter or top with some sliced olives and a little crumbled feta or mozzarella for a more substantial meal.
Serves 4 – 6 depending on occasion.
Tastes great cold with cous cous, salad or yummy as a pizza topping.

Monday 27 April 2009

Daring Bakers April 2009 Challenge: Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

I was very excited when I saw this month’s challenge was cheesecake. I adore cheesecake but find ones you have out are often disappointing. Often they are not what I consider ‘proper’ cheesecakes. Many are just mascarpone mixed with sugar and shaped into a mould or even worse – set with gelatin. However, this cheesecake sounded perfect – lots of cream cheese, a proper biscuit base and baked in the oven – hurrah!

This recipe was given to Jenny by her friend Abbey T. Jenny says it is her favourite cheesecake and thought it would be the perfect recipe for this months Daring Bakers challenge and after making mine, I applaud Jenny for her choice – it’s fantastic!

We were given a lot of free reign on this challenge. All we had to do was follow the basic vanilla cheesecake recipe and modify it in any way we desired. The hardest part of this challenge was choosing what flavour to do, so many great ones kept popping into my head – apple, salted caramel, double chocolate, Amaretto, Coffee, fruity… you get the idea. In the end I decided to make a raspberry ripple cheesecake as I wanted to keep the smooth creamy flavour of the vanilla cheesecake but also include a vibrant fruity ripple of raspberry as a contrast.

When I bought the raspberries they looked so plump and had such a wonderful aroma that I bought two packs and stirred one pack through the cheesecake batter just before placing in the tin, meaning it baked with little pockets of juicy raspberries hidden inside. I am so pleased I did this, as they intensified in flavour and looked so pretty when the slices were cut.

For the ripple effect I pureed the remaining pack of raspberries and sieved out the seeds as I wanted a smooth coulis. I then boiled it with some sugar to make it thick and jammy before swirling it over the top of the cheesecake. The colour of the coulis dulled a little on baking, but the flavour intensified and it tasted wonderful.

The texture of the cheesecake itself was heavenly. With 750g of cream cheese I thought it was bound to be a bit heavy and dense, but it turned out amazingly light and creamy whilst still retaining the body of a baked cheesecake. It was also fantastically deep – just look at how high and creamy it is! It sort of melted on your tongue, coating your whole mouth with vanilla and raspberry flavours. Mmm just divine. The worst part about it was that it tasted so light that it meant you could eat more of it without any trouble – pleasurable but rather detrimental to the figure. I made sure to divide it up amongst my family for fear of eating it all myself.

I served the cheesecake with some leftover raspberries and extra coulis which added a vibrant colour and zingy sweet flavours which went perfectly with the creamy cheesecake. I can’t wait for an excuse to make this cheesecake again and to experiment with other flavour variations. Check out the Blogroll to see what other Daring Bakers did with their cheesecakes. Thanks Jenny for such a divine recipe!

Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake
Ingredients – for the base
180g digestive biscuits
115g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients – for the cheesecake
750g cream cheese
210g caster sugar
225ml double cream
3 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
100g fresh raspberries

Ingredients – for the raspberry coulis
150g fresh raspberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
100g caster sugar
½ tsp raspberry extract

Method – for raspberry coulis
Place the raspberries in a microwaveable bowl and cook for 1 minute. The raspberries should not be soft and releasing juice. Crush them with a fork and then pass the liquid through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.
Place the raspberry juice, sugar and lemon juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until syrupy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the raspberry extract if using.
Allow to cool and thicken before using.

For the cheesecake
Preheat the oven to 180C.
To start, make the base. Place the biscuits into a strong plastic bag and crush into fine crumbs using your fingers. Melt the butter, stir in the vanilla and pour over the biscuit crumbs.
Mix well to ensure all the biscuit crumbs are evenly coated in butter and press firmly into the base of a deep 8inch/20cm springform tin.
In a very large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until soft and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one.
Pour over the vanilla, lemon juice and cream and mix well.
Gently fold in the fresh raspberries and pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base, smoothing down the top. Tap the tin a few times on a work surface to remove any trapped air.
Drizzle half of the raspberry coulis over the top of the cheesecake and swirl in into the mixture using a skewer or small knife. Don’t mix too much as you want a rippled effect to remain.
Wrap the base and sides of the tin in foil, making sure to use one large sheet rather than lots of little ones, as you want it to be water tight.
Place the wrapped tin into a deep baking tray and half fill with boiling water from the kettle. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven and top up with a little extra water is necessary.
Bake for 60-70 minutes until the outside is set and the middle remains fairly wobbly. Give it a small jiggle to test it. Once ready, turn off the heat but leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool down gradually. It will continue to firm up during this time.
After an hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and from its water bath. Leave to cool to room temperature before refrigerating overnight.
The next day, run a thin hot knife around the edge of the cheesecake and release it from the tin.
Serve in generous slices with extra coulis and fresh raspberries.
Indulge and enjoy. Makes 1 very deep 8inch/20cm cheesecake.

Friday 24 April 2009

Panettone Bread Pudding & the Beginning of the End

As this week draws to a close it marks the beginning of the end of a momentous period in my life. Earlier this week I handed in my final year dissertation that I have been working on for the past 5 months. What a rollercoaster of a ride that piece of work turned out to be – interesting, stressful, fun and a few sleepless nights but in the end a piece of work I feel proud of. Then today is my very last lecture at uni EVER! By tonight I will only have a month of exams left, after which my 4 years of uni will be finished for good. Not only that, but today also happens to be my birthday! My friends and I are going out for lunch for a triple celebration.

So where does panettone bread pudding come into all this? Well, it doesn’t really. I made it this week to use up some leftover panettone and very tasty it was too. I adapted a recipe for normal bread pudding by removing the sugar and currants from the recipe as panettone has enough of those already. Bread pudding is denser and stodgier than the better known bread and butter pudding, which is softer and contains more custard. Bread pudding is the traditional way of using up stale bread and tastes great cut into thick slices and served hot or cold. Using panettone in place of normal bread added a wonderful citrusy flavour and made it that little bit more indulgent.

Panettone Bread Pudding

200g stale panettone
200ml milk
2 tsp mixed spice
50g butter
1 egg
25g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder

Tear the panettone into small chunks and place in a bowl with the mixed spice.
Pour over the milk and push the pieces of panettone into the liquid. Allow the bread to absorb all the milk for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease the sides of a 1lb/400g loaf tin.
When the panettone has absorbed the milk and gone soggy, sift over the flour and baking powder and mix together well.
Melt the butter and beat in the egg. Pour the mixture over the bread and stir together ensuring everything is evenly coated. Press the soggy bread mixture into the loaf tin and press down lightly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until crisp and browned on top. Leave to cool for an hours before serving in thick slices.
Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Serves 4-6

Monday 20 April 2009

The Cake Slice April 09: Chai Cake with Honey & Ginger Cream

Wow! This cake is A-MAZ-ING! Regular readers will know I love my cakes and desserts with a bit of spice, well this cake definitely ticked that box. The cake layers were light and fluffy with a strong warming spiciness thanks to the use of a generous amount of Chia tea infused milk as well as some added cinnamon and ground cardamom. It’s a spicy taste sensation! If that wasn’t enough the cake is filled and topped with a sweet and creamy cream cheese frosting flavoured with sweet honey and freshly grated ginger. This may sound like a lot of flavours, but they all worked together in harmony. The spiciness coming in first, followed by the honey and ginger swooping in and cleansing your palate, ready for another bite. It’s truly fantastic.

I used blossom honey which added a nice subtle floral sweetness and went with the fresh ginger perfectly. I was really surprised how much the small amount of ginger shone through. I plan to use fresh ginger in icing again; I bet it would be wonderful in the frosting for a carrot or chocolate cake.

The only changes I made to this cake were to reduce the amount of sugar in the cake batter from 500g to 350g as I thought 500g was a bit excessive. The resulting cake was still perfectly sweet. I might try reducing the icing sugar in the cream next time too as the honey made it more than sweet enough. The only problem I encountered was when making the honey and ginger cream. The resulting cream was quite thin and oozy, even after an hour in the fridge so unfortunately the sides of my cake look a little patchy – didn’t stop it tasting amazing though!
I loved how tall the cake turned out and the contrast between the pale creamy icing and the dark spicy cake within. Click here to view the blogroll for the other Cake Slice Bakers cakes.

For those who don’t know, Chai tea is an Indian spiced tea comprising of strong Black Assam tea mixed with a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, citrus and cardamom. It is traditionally brewed with milk and served strong.

Chai Cake with Honey & Ginger Cream
For the Chai cake
300ml milk
6 Chai tea bags
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
330g American cake flour OR 270g plain flour with 50g cornflour
500g caster sugar (I only used 350g)
4½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp salt
220g butter

For the honey & ginger cream
310g icing sugar
175g cream cheese
75g butter, softened
175g runny honey
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

Method – cake layers
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the base of three 8inch/20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.
Heat the milk until just hot, either in a saucepan or the microwave, add the tea bags and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in a large bowl.
Remove the tea bags from the milk, squeezing out all the moisture.
Place the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and 75ml of the milk into a jug and beat together until combined.
Add the remaining milk and the butter to the flour and beat well until a smooth batter is created.
Add the egg mixture, in thirds, beating well between each addition.
Divide the batter between the three cake tins and bake for 26-28 minutes until risen and springy to the touch.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tins and leaving to cool completely before filling and covering with the honey and ginger cream.

Method – cream
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and chill for an hour before using to fill and cover the cake layers, allowing any excess to drizzle down the sides.
Decorate as desired.
Make one triple layer 8inch/20cm cake

Saturday 18 April 2009

Kellogg’s Nature’s Pleasure Baked Muesli

A few weeks ago I was asked by Kellogg’s if I would like to review some of their new baked muesli. I’m a big muesli lover and even eat it for lunch if I’m in a rush to get to Uni and so happily said yes. I was expecting maybe one or two sample packets to try, so I got a great surprise when a huge parcel turned up on the doorstep containing a lovely wooden chest containing a full sized box of each of the four new mueslis (two fruity ones and two nutty ones), complete with my own bowl and spoon with which to eat them with! I couldn’t wait to taste them and ended up opening all four boxes at once.

The muesli base is a mix of oats and barley, sweetened with honey and a little sugar and baked into small clusters. Baking toasts the grains making them taste wonderfully nutty with a good crunch that remains crisp even after a few minutes soaking in milk. The honey adds just the right amount of sweetness, making the baked muesli a sort of less sweet take on granola.

I was really impressed with the generous quality and quantity of the added fruits and nuts. They were in big chunks rather than little pieces and full of flavour. They have also been more adventurous than your standard muesli, including ingredients such as dried blackcurrants, freeze dried cherries and cashew nuts. There was also no small dusty bits lurking in the bottom of the packets as can sometimes happen with muesli.

The packaging also impressed me. The boxes are made of a sort of rough cardboard that gave them a wholesome natural appearance. The ingredients were also clearly displayed and I was pleased to see that the list was short and contained nothing I didn’t have in my kitchen cupboards. The colour is kept simple with the pictures on the front making it clear what each box contains. I couldn’t wait to get tasting, and my opinions are listed below.

Apple & Blackcurrant
The oats were golden in colour and stayed nicely crisp and crunchy in the milk. They had a nutty toasted flavour with sweet hints of honey and a generous sprinkling of mixed spice. As you chewed, the flavours developed filled your mouth with a wonderful spiciness that went perfectly with the apple. My idea of heaven! I loved how the dried apple slices were in nice big pieces and that the red skin had been left on which gave a very natural look. They softened in the milk and had a great sweet flavour while the occasionally dried blackcurrant added a good sharp fruity burst. I have never had dried blackcurrants before so they were a nice surprise. This one was by far my favourite. Whoever came up with this combination of fruits and spices for muesli is a genius, I couldn’t stop eating it.

Raspberry & Cherry
This one was nicely sweet with a strong toasted oat flavour. It had large pieces of freeze dried raspberry and cherry along with a few cranberries mixed in. The raspberries and cranberries were quite sharp and at first I was a little surprised by this, but the more I ate the more it grew on me and now I love it. I thought the addition of pumpkin seeds added a nice crunch and I loved how the milk turned a pretty shade of pink from the fruits.

Almond, Pecan & Cashew
The first thing I noticed was how nice and big the pieces of nut were. The cashews and pecans were in generous chunks and the almond cut into slivers. It all looked golden in colour and smelt nutty. This one was slightly less sweet than the other mueslis, as it had no added fruit, so would be a good choice for nut lovers. The nuts added a subtle creaminess as you chewed and a lingering nutty flavour. Despite this, I felt it needed another texture, as every mouthful ended up tasting the same. The nuts used are naturally softer nuts than say hazelnuts or bigger chunks of almonds and as this muesli is a fruit-free-zone there was no contrasting texture. It still tasted great but for me I felt it needed lifting, maybe with the addition of some flaked coconut, spice or even chocolate chips. But it’s bound to be a hit with purists.

Almond, Pecan & Raisin
I really enjoyed this one. It had the creamy nuttiness of the mixed nut one, but with the addition of some fat chewy raisins. Great flavour and a great take on the traditional classic muesli.

Overall I was very impressed and I am sure the boxes will be a regular feature on my shopping list, particularly that apple and blackcurrant one with the mixed spice – yum! Click here for more info.

Monday 13 April 2009

Chocolate Five Spice Cupcakes with Easter Egg Nests

We were having some family round for the afternoon and I wanted to make something fun and Easter themed for afternoon tea. Chocolate is always a sure fire hit with everyone and I initially thought of the chocolate rice krisipe nests I made last year, but I decided to make something different this year. I then thought of chocolate cupcakes but these felt a bit boring, so I hit upon the idea of combining the two – a chocolate cupcake topped with mini rice krisipe nests. As I was out shopping for ingredients, I discovered some adorable mini chocolate eggs, miniature mini eggs! They are about the size of a large pea and perfect for sitting in the mini chocolate nests.

As I was mixing together the cupcake batter I decided to add some cinnamon into the mix as a nod towards the traditional spicy hot cross bun, but on opening the spice cupboard my eyes lit on a jar of Chinese five spice. It smelt wonderful, warming and aniseedy so throwing caution to the wind I added some the cupcake mix. As they were baking in the oven, the five spice smelt really strong and I was a little concerned I may have overdone it and people wouldn’t like them, but I carried on anyway. I spread them with a little Nutella buttercream and topped them with the mini chocolate nests.
They went down well with all the family, the colourful cupcake cases and miniature nests and eggs giving them a fun and cheerful appearance and evoking fond memories of childhood Easters gone by. I didn’t mention about the added spice, some of my family aren’t too adventurous, but the cupcakes received mmm’s (whew) and arrrr’s as people tried to guess the secret ingredient. I was really pleased how they turned out and will definitely be experimenting with Chinese five spice again, but I’ve learnt its quite intense – a little goes a long way!

Chocolate Five Spice Cupcakes with Easter Egg Nests
Ingredients – for the cupcakes
110g self raising flour
120g caster sugar
120g softened butter
20g cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder

For the frosting
50g softened butter
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp milk

For the chocolate nests
135g plain chocolate
35g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
100g rice krispies
Miniature mini eggs for decorating

For the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Beat together the butter, sugar until smooth and then beat in the eggs.
Sift over the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and Chinese five spice and beat until well combined.
Add the milk to slacken the mixture before spooning into the muffin cases, using a tablespoon, filling each case half way.
Bake for 22-24 minutes until risen and springy.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire wrack to cool.
Makes 10-12 cupcakes

For the Nutella frosting
Beat the butter until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar, in two batches, and beat into the butter until well combined and fluffy.
Beat in the Nutella and thin down with a little milk.
Spread generously over the top of the cooled cupcakes.
Makes enough for one batch of cupcakes.

For the chocolate nests
Place 25 mini muffin cases on a baking tray and set to one side.
Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together in large saucepan, over a gentle heat.
Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the rice krispies, making sure they all get coated in the chocolate.
Quickly divide the krispie mix into the paper cases using a teaspoon. Top each mini nest with 3 miniature mini eggs.
Allow them to set at room temperature before removing the nests from the muffin cases and using to decorate the cupcakes. Store the extra nests in an airtight container.
Makes around 25 mini chocolate nests.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns

To me, hot cross buns are as much an integral part of the foodie festivities sounding Easter, as chocolate eggs are to other people. Shops are full of hot cross buns around this time of year but nothing beats the taste and enjoyment of making your own. This also means you can flavour them with whatever takes your fancy – chocolate chips instead of fruit – why not? Orange and cranberry combination – go ahead. For me, it has to be (unsurprisingly) apple and cinnamon hot cross buns.

This recipe started life as a normal hot cross but recipe and over the years I have adapted it into something I now believe to be my perfect hot cross bun. It’s packed with a generous amount of cinnamon and a grating of nutmeg for a lovely spicy note and contains a whole grated apple, skin and all for sweetness and flavour. I have also added some dried apricots into the fruit mix and substituted white sugar for light soft brown which gives the buns a real depth of flavour and seems to accentuate the subtle spiciness. This also makes the dough a lovely spicy brown colour, but as the buns bake and become bronzed and look the same as normal buns, until they are sliced which reveals their soft and spicy interior.

The smell as the hot cross buns baked was amazing; it filled the whole kitchen with a fruity spicy aroma that lingered on until the evening. They taste wonderful when still warm from the oven and spread with a little butter, soft, tender and full of flavour. They are not overly appley but I think the apple adds a moistness and sweetness to the buns and the little flecks of rosy red skin are always pleasing to see. They are also delicious slightly toasted and spread with a little jam. The perfect Easter treat.

Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients - For the Starter
1½ tsp dried yeast or 20g fresh yeast
1 tsp light soft brown sugar
100g white bread flour
200ml warm milk

For the Dough
400g white bread flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 red eating apple
50g butter, softened
50g soft light brown sugar
50g raisins
50g sultanas
75g dried apricots
1 egg

For the Crosses
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp water
½ tbsp runny honey for glazing

Make the starter: In a large bowl mix together the yeast, sugar and flour. Stir in the warm milk and mix to a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 20 minutes until the surface is covered with large bubbles. (You can prepare the rest of the ingredients in the meantime).
For the dough: Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the raisins and currants along with the dried apricots cut into small pieces. Core the apple, leaving the skin on and coarsely grate it into the mix. Add the sugar and the soft butter give it a gentle mix with your fingers.
Lightly beat the egg and add it to the starter along with the flour mixture once the 20minutes resting time is up. Mix everything together to a soft dough. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface; knead for five minutes until smooth and no longer sticky. Knead in more flour if it is still sticky after five minutes, as the type and size of your apple will add varying amounts of moisture.
Leave to prove in a greased bowl for 45minutes to 1hour until nearly doubled in size. Knock the dough back and divide it into 9-10 equal pieces and roll them between the palms of your hands into a ball. Lightly grease a baking tray and place the dough balls, a little apart, in a three by three formation. Oil a strip of clingfilm and gently lay it over the top of the buns and leave to rise for 1½ hours until they have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 210C.
To make the crosses, blend the flour with the cold water to make a paste. Put the paste in a small food bag and snip off one corner. Pipe a cross on the top of each bun. Bake the buns for 16-18 minutes until risen and golden brown.
Gently warm the honey until runny. Transfer the buns to a cooling rack and brush immediately with the honey glaze, then leave to cool.
Makes 9-10 hot cross buns. The buns also freeze well.

Friday 3 April 2009

A Sheffield Foodie Find – Creamy Coffee Chinese Bakery

At the weekend I suddenly got the urge to eat a sweet Chinese bun and decided to try and see if there were any Chinese bakeries in Sheffield. I found out there was one a few miles away, out the other side of the city from where I live. As it was a nice day I decided to go for an investigative walk and see what I could find. I managed to find quite easily and it’s amazing! It is run by a very friendly group of Chinese people and it only sells Chinese buns and pastries, of which they had a fantastic selection. I got there around 11am in the morning and they were just bringing fresh buns out from the back and the whole shop smelt amazing. I wanted to try them all, but managed to restrict myself to three!!

I got a cocktail bun: A long soft sweet bun filled with a creamy sweetened desiccated coconut mixture and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The flavour of this one was wonderful and very fresh tasting. It was warm when I got there and I could hardly wait to get it home and have a taster. I’ll be getting this one again.

Next I tried a sesame red bean ball: A glutinous rice ball with a filling of red bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds and lightly fried. This was tasty, especially the red bean filling but I found it was a bit sticky and dense for my liking. But this was the first time I had tried glutinous rice, so I’m not used to the texture, but I’m glad I tried it.

Finally I chose a custard and almond bun – A round sweet bun encasing a generous amount of crème patisserie and topped with flaked almonds. Wow this one was divine!!! The bun was soft and tender and the filling so creamy and luscious. I ate it and even thought I was full I wanted another one straight away. No, I didn’t eat all three at once, I just had tasters of each. I’m just so annoyed I had never found the bakery before. I have lived in Sheffield on and off for uni for 4 years and never knew of its existence. I only have two months left until I finish uni for good and than I'll be moving away. I’m going to be going back on a weekly basis at this rate! I love exploring and finding new foodie places. Address below if anyone else is in the area and fancies a few sweet treats. Anyone got any other Chinese pastries they recommend I try?

Creamy Coffee Chinese Bakery
151 London Road
South Yorkshire
S2 4LH