- A scrapbook of memories and thoughts.
The Whim Wham Cafe is a delightful little gin saloon tucked away in plain sight. Their food is a couple of steps above bar food while not being at all fussy, but the main attraction is the gin cocktail list (which my work companion and I managed to tick off a considerable number of). The staff were wonderfully attentive and have a cracking knowledge of their cocktails – ideal for people like me who don’t know their Bombay Sapphire from their Hendricks!
The food fitted the bill perfectly – tasty and inviting while not be a distraction from our cocktail goodness. It was great to see a simple, yet creative, selection of local grub while browsing the menu and both of us were more than happy with the pies we selected. And with regard to nibbles…I would most certainly opt for the deep fried Cheshire cheese and beetroot chutney again- yum, yum, yum!
This place has a great atmosphere and I’d recommended it to anyone looking for a few quiet drinks in a relaxed environment. I’ll certainly be returning, but this time I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a night where I can also be entertained by some of the great live artists that frequent this establishment!
Can I call myself a domestic goddess after knocking up some vanilla cupcakes without an outing to the shops?…If so, I promise to wear the title with pride after throwing together these bad-boys on a whim:
After investing the time in making a couple of Key Lime Pies earlier in the week I had some left over home-made lime and lemon curd, which I have been indulging in at every opportunity – breakfast, lunch and tea! In a moment of adventure I decided to put a curd surprise in vanilla cupcakes to spread the zesty-love. The zesty-love was well received and the whole batch (delivered to 5 mouths around Manchester) failed to last more than 24 hours!
2. Once cooked and fully cooled I cut a well into each cupcake and added a generous teaspoon of curd before replacing the removed sponge (as you can see in the back ground of the photo I was a bit of a spoil-sport and lined up my ‘middles’ in order to ensure a perfect fit when replaced)
3. I then used a standard vanilla butter cream recipe adding a couple of drops of red food colouring and a few squeezes of lime juice to icing sugar and butter (previously combined) to achieve the colour and taste I wanted before adding milk drop-by-drop to achieve the desired consistency. Oh and not forgetting a little sprinkle of edible glitter to give them that something special!
Adapted from The Humming Bird: Cupcakes and Muffins.
[for 12 cakes…]
120g Plain flour
140g Caster sugar
1.5tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Salt
40g Unsalted butter [room temp]
120ml semi-skimmed milk (including 3tsps of natural yoghurt)
0.5tsp Vanilla extract
[…and for the frosting]
250g Icing sugar
80g Unsalted butter [room temp]
A few drops of Vanilla extract
A couple of drops of red food colouring
Squeeze of Lime juice
A few splashed of semi-skimmed milk
Cake batter: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking power and butter to give a grainy consistency before adding half the milk and yoghurt mixture. Mix the reaming wet ingredients in another bowl, then add them to the above mixture and beat together until just combined – careful not to over mix! Bake at 170°C until a knife can be removed clean [20-25mins].
After having a healthy week I felt more than motivated to hunt out an alternative to the cheese and carb’ filled meals which the lovely Miss K and I frequently pull together for each other. In the end I managed to conjure up quite an eclectic feast which left us both stuffed and satisfied.
I followed (to a degree) two pretty simple recipes for falafel and tzatziki. I went for the ease of a throw-it-all-together meal with the help of a few chapatis (which I’d warmed in the oven), some fresh salad leaves and a dollop of sweet chilli sauce making the whole thing a pleasure to eat.
I do enjoy good falafel, but I had no idea just how easy it was to make until now! Something can definitely be said for knowing what goes into your food and how satisfying even the healthiest of meals can be when you’ve made them from scratch. The only change I’d make next time I rustle up this beauty would be to leave my falafel mix a little more chunky so it has a bit of bite…