Wednesday, 24 October 2018

MY TOP 5 LONDON SPOTS FOR BAKED GOODS

I have tried many, many London foodie spots since I started this blog - from the sublime to the mediocre to the downright overhyped, which is why I thought it was about time to compile some of my all-time favourites, presented to you in an easily digestible and concise manner, meant to encourage you to try them for yourself, particularly as friends and colleagues have increasingly been asking me for more specific tips such where to get the best Italian food in London, where I like to go for sweet treats or where I like to enjoy a great coffee. I hope you enjoy this new series and feel free to share if you agree with my top 5’s or if I missing the best spot London has to offer for each category yet! I for one am always on the lookout for the next number on the list!

Let’s start off proceedings with my favourite baked goods and where to find them in London because there is always time for something sweet, no matter what time of the day- especially when they are as good as these!


CARDAMOM BUN @ FABRIQUE 


Fabrique is a stone oven bakery that originally stems from Stockholm and now has a few cosy branches across London, all selling their outstanding selection of Scandinavian bread varieties and pastries. I love their London flagship, located in a converted railway arch by Hoxton station, where everything is freshly baked on the premises and where they sell their outstanding selection of sweet buns.

There are vanilla and cinnamon buns (which are also fantastic FYI) but my all-time favourite is their cardamom bun which has a delicately aromatic note and which works so wonderfully when combined with its moist interior and perfectly baked exterior. My tip: grab a few buns to take home and warm them up for a couple of seconds. You can’t get a much better sweet comfort food on a cold autumn day than this and they are a steal at around £2.5!


SOCIAL SLICE @ OLE AND STEEN

On to another Scandi chain that has recently arrived in our city and which brings to London more amazing baked goods that I am not sure how we ever lived without! Ole and Steen hails from Denmark where they have been serving Danes delicious breads and pastries, made by hand, for over 20 years, with recipes handed down from generations. They have quickly expanded in London with various locations and their cafes can have a little bit of a upscale canteen feel about them (very minimal, with an element of Ikea canteen) but what they produce is bloody brilliant, with one baked good in particular having very quickly acquired somewhat of an online cult following in the U.K.

I am talking about their cinnamon social slice, a slice of heavenly pastry you can get your hands on for £2.5 and which is filled with custard and a gooey cinnamon mixture, topped with icing sugar and no exaggeration is one of the most moorish and delicious things I have ever eaten. It is far from your standard bun but instead a heavenly combination of everything that is amazing when it comes to baking. Once you have tried one you won’t stop dreaming of your next slice and trust me it won’t be a “social” or sharing occasion when you get yours, you will want it ALL to yourself.


WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADEMIA NUT COOKIE @ BEN’S COOKIES 
What can I say, Ben’s Cookies are known to make the best cookies in town (if not the world) and I can’t disagree. I remember having my first one whilst visiting London with my dad on a day trip to go the National History museum and the sensation of biting into one of their freshly baked, still warm, slightly undercooked in the middle cookies will never get old. God knows how they make them because I have never gotten close to recreating them at home but maybe I wouldn’t want to anyway because to me Ben will forever be the king of cookies whoever he may be and seeing a red sign with his name at one of their many branches in London will always excite me even before I get a whiff of the gorgeous little things coming out of the oven. 

I don’t treat myself to them too often (when I do its usually as dinner party dessert when I go for a box of 7 for just under £8 which is reasonable) but when I do my favourite has to be the Macadamia nut and white chocolate cookie, sweet and creamy from the white chocolate yet with a slightly salty note and crunch from the nut, it’s pretty hard to beat and any Londoner should be ashamed if you have yet to make your way to a Ben’s! It’s a ride of passage that is also damn tasty!



ANZAK COOKIE @ FRIENDS OF OURS
This was a recent discovery as I sipped on a perfectly made cappuccino at my favourite local neighbourhood cafĂ©, Friends of Ours. They do a mean brunch here (review to follow) but as I hit a sugar low after a particularly draining week I saw a rather scrumptious looking cookie out on their display of baked goodies (all baked downstairs in their kitchen), so I went on to order what was labelled an ‘Anzac cookie’ not quite sure what to expect.

If you like me didn’t know an Anzac cookie is a sweet cookie, popular in Australia and New Zealand, made using rolled oats, flour, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda, boiling water, and desiccated coconut which makes sense as Friends of Ours has a Kiwi head chef and is firmly rooted in Antipodean coffee culture. It could have turned out a little bland or dry but oh this was like a long, wholesome hug in cookie form. Soft, yet with chewy edges, buttery and with a hint of coconut and so perfect with a cup of coffee that I had to stop myself from getting one every time I pop in for my daily caffeine fix. This little number is a dark horse in terms of its unassuming appearance but heck I think we should all be eating Anzak cookies if they taste as good as this one!


CINNAMON BUN @ BAGERIET 

Can you tell I like my cinnamon buns? Before you judge Bageriet's Swedish ‘kanebullar’ is totally different from the offerings at Fabrique or Ole and Steen and as bloody delicious so that I simply HAD to include it in my top 5.

The bun is made using a recipe that has been handed down the generation to pastry chef Daniel Karlsson, who started making pastries aged 20 in Gothenberg, and comprises of a heavenly mix of sweet dough rolled together with a sweet cinnamon filling, topped with sugar crystals for an added sweet crunch. They are utterly divine but that is not all, this tiny bakery and cafe (there are about 8 seats so be prepared to take away), hidden away from the crowds on a little side street in Covent Garden, also serves some other delicious Swedish baked specialities with another must try being the wonderfully named ‘prinsesstĂ„rta’ or Princess cake – a green and pink cake fit for a sweet toothed princess which is constructed of a light sponge filled with raspberry compote, vanilla custard, fresh cream and encased in colourful marzipan – indulgent yes, but royally worth it!

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