Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Foodie London Walks

Ann’s on the Foodie march again this Saturday. This week (Saturday, July 17th) it's Epicurean, Gourmets', Foodies' London. It goes at 10.00 am from Monument Tube, the Fish Street Hill exit.

“So never mind the economy, and world debt. What foodies want to know is what they ate at the G20 dinner in Toronto. Here, I reveal the menu, and a new recipe for you (new unless, of course, you’re Canadian).

First, an appetizer of fresh Atlantic seafood. Then, ‘custom-aged filet mignon’ from the Spring Creek Ranch in Alberta, flown in especially for the occasion. (And I don’t want any comments from you about food miles.) Vegetarian option - Portobello mushroom stuffed with cheese.

Next, a selection of Canadian cheeses, including a blue Juliette from Saltspring Island, B.C., a Toscano from Ontario’s Monforte Dairy, and two Quebec artisan offerings – Le Belle de Jersey from Les Bergeries du Fjord and La Fleurmier from Laiterie Charlevoix.

Each course was paired with red and white Canadian wines, and the food was served on white bone china from Villeroy & Boch. (A nice detail, this – we don’t usually hear what diners actually eat off.) You may not have drunk Canadian wine – Jancis Robinson, invited to a tasting of Canadian wines, reported that some 17 of the 70 she tried were ‘world class’.

Finally, a dessert buffet of Nanaimo bars and the work of two Toronto chocolatiers.

I lived in Canada but never tasted a Nanaimo bar, so I was keen to find out more about them. They have a crumb base, like a cheesecake, then a thick layer of butter cream icing, and finally a topping of melted chocolate. Nanaimo is a city on Vancouver Island British Columbia, and the bars apparently first appeared in a local WI cookbook in the 1950’s, from where they spread across Canada.
Here’s the official recipe from the Nanaimo website:

Bottom Layer
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 5 tablespoons cocoa
* 1 egg beaten
* 1 1/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
* 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
* 1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Second Layer

* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons cream PLUS 2 teaspoons cream
* 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
* 2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer

Third Layer

* 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.”

For a preview of Ann’s walk, click HERE.

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