Restaurant Review: Handmade Burger Co., Hull

Handmade Burger Co., St. Stephen's Shopping Centre, Hull

I love a good veggie burger. Unfortunately, the majority of veggie burgers I get served when eating out are not exactly what I’d call good. A bland vegetable patty, usually overloaded with mushy sweetcorn, served on a limp bread bun with a meagre sprinkling of salad. It’s uninspired, dull, and so not what vegetarian food is all about!

Thankfully, the Handmade Burger Co. know what they’re doing when it comes to proper vegetarian burgers. They have seven different vegetarian burger options, four of which are vegan, and two of which I can reliably confirm are absolutely delicious.

The veggie burgers are normally priced between £6.95 and £7.65 in Hull, making them pretty reasonable value for money. However, the Handmade Burger Co. are currently offering 50% off vegan food until January 31st, in aid of Veganuary. That knocks the prices of the four vegan burgers down to less than £4 each. I felt obliged to indulge!

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The Bolton Food & Drink Festival 2015

The Bolton Food & Drink Festival 2015

If you don’t have any plans for Bank Holiday Monday and you’re in the Greater Manchester/Lancashire area, you have the perfect opportunity to spend your day surrounded by delicious smelling street food, artisan treats, live music, entertainment and more – that’s right, the Bolton Food & Drink Festival is back and it’s better than ever!

With even more stalls than last year and guest appearances from celebrity chefs including John Torode, James Martin and Lisa Faulkner, the Bolton Food & Drink Festival is in full swing and it’s absolutely brilliant. I was lucky enough to visit today and sample the fine food and drink on offer in Bolton, and it was the perfect way to spend a weekend – it was so fun in fact that I’ll be returning tomorrow to enjoy the final day!

So, now to answer the question I’m sure you’re all asking… “What did you eat?”

Well, please allow me to show you!

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The Cake Diaries: Black Forest Gateau

The Blogger Bake Off: Black Forest Gateau by Poppy alla Norma

As soon as I saw the first episode of the Great British Bake Off this year, I knew I was going to make my own version of the Black Forest Gateau Showstopper. Cherry and chocolate is always a winning combination, and being a relatively simple cake to make there are plenty of options for customisation.

I started off with a Nigella recipe for Black Forest Cake, and as part of that recipe she includes instructions for making chocolate ganache. I chose to add raspberries to my gateau because I love the combination of cherry and raspberry, and I added Chambord instead of the traditional Kirsch to intensify the raspberry flavour.

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Introducing The Blogger Bake Off!

Blogger Bake Off

You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet over here on Poppy alla Norma recently, but now I can finally reveal what has been keeping me so busy!

After a discussion with Jasmine, the lovely blogger behind Jasmine-Alexa, we have come up with the idea of creating a Blogger Bake Off. Each week, bloggers will be asked to create their own interpretation of the Showstopper challenge from The Great British Bake Off, posting photos and recipes on their blogs. Tweet the links to @BloggerBakeOff and they will be retweeted; through Twitter we are hoping to create a community of baking enthusiasts, and perhaps even start a #bakechat if there is enough interest! At the end of the Great British Bake Off we will compile a list of all entries on our blogs and open a poll to decide the best bake.

Sounds interesting, right? Read on to find out more! View Full Post

Best-ever Brownies: Four Ways

Best-ever Brownies: Four Ways

So, this week was RAG (Raising & Giving) week at university. Everyone has been doing their part to raise money for our university charity, St Andrew’s Children’s Hospice. Events have ranged from a RAG night out at a local nightclub to swing dance-a-thon – it’s been a busy week! I decided to bake some brownies to sell at the RAG bake sale, but I wanted to try something a little different than my usual recipe.

My usual recipe is from BBC GoodFood, simply entitled Best-ever brownies and I have to say, they are truly special. Rich, gooey and oh-so-chocolatey, it is by far the best brownie recipe I’ve ever encountered. It’s basic, but as a result there’s plenty of room for adaptation. I omitted the 50g white chocolate and 50g milk chocolate from all four of the recipes, and used different ingredients to create four different, but equally delicious, types of brownie. I hope you find something to try!

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