We look at deep-fried cake, baking with alcohol and why the fish finger sandwich will never die in our tongue-in-cheek Stop the Week.
Embrace the delights of youth
You’re never too good for a fish finger sandwich. While not the pinnacle of culinary genius, they are rather tasty, and revered Masterchef judge Greg Wallace has announced himself a true fish finger sandwich advocate.
Despite having eaten some of the finest foods ever cooked, the chef told BANG Showbiz that he loves both fish finger sandwiches and McDonald’s Big Macs “just as much” as the meals he eats as a food critic.
He told the title: “What’s wrong with a Big Mac? Of course it’s delicious, otherwise there wouldn’t be hundreds of thousands of McDonald’s all over the world. Of course it’s delicious. It’s people who don’t know their food and say, ‘Oh I wouldn’t expect to see you in there’.
“It’s nonsense snobbery. A fish finger sandwich is a completely delicious thing. Everyone knows it. You can enjoy a roast quail and still enjoy a Big Mac and fish finger sandwich. You can really enjoy a £150 bottle of wine, and still like lager. I’ve never really understood.”
We wonder if any dish is beneath his notice – a chip butty or deep-fried Mars Bar perhaps?
Of course, music is inspiring in general, but we’re not clear on how specific tracks translate to food. Somebody has figured it out, though, because Bake in Black is a rock music-inspired baking book, featuring an eclectic collection of 58 rock music-inspired cake and dessert recipes to make at home.
It began life as a blog in authors’ Eve and Dave O’Sullivan’s East London flat. The couple, funnily enough, hail from backgrounds of journalism and food styling (Eve) and music (Dave) – so why not write a book on food and music?
Both hard rock and heavy metal fans, as well as being into baking, the pair wanted to show the “natural partnership” between food and music. Bake in Black (a pun on the classic AC/DC song ‘Back in Black’) is divided into six musical chapters, each featuring a different type of bake, each inspired by songs of classic rock and heavy metal brands.
Look out for signature bakes, including ‘Battenburg out of hell’ (Meatloaf), ‘God Save the Cream’ (Sex Pistols) and ‘Rock the Cake Bars’ (The Clash).
Could this be the start of a whole series, each dedicated to a different genre of music or style of cooking? There could be mileage in this.
Bake is Black is published by The Flood Gallery and distributed by Omnibus Press and available to purchase now from The Flood Gallery Publishing website and Amazon priced £14.99 (RRP).
Trendy Shoreditch’s trendy Boxpark area has welcomed a new wacky pop-up by the equally trendy hashtagged name of #FryHard. Chef Jim Thomlinson seems to like a bit of deep-fried food and there is no end to what he’ll pop in his fryer. The tried-and-tested include Cadbury Creme Eggs, cakes, pizza and cheese strings.
If that were not enough of a health scare, Thomlinson will also be selling something called the ‘Fully Fried Easter’. You’d be right to quiver in fear – it consists of a whole fried lamb joint, roast potatoes, rosemary, carrots and sprouts. It can serve up to six people and needs to be booked in advance.
The menu isn’t set and is on offer from 2 to 5 April. Customers can suggest items they’d like to see fried via Facebook and Twitter. Suggestions have included Gummy Bears, Jaffa Cakes and even haggis.
I think this is a case of ‘each to their own’.
Bake your shot of alcohol
We all know the negative health impact of alcohol, so The Daily Meal suggests baking with it instead of drinking it – get your hit of alcohol with less damaging consequences. While the logic may be flawed, the products are delicious.
Alcohol-soaked foods such as pickles, whipped cream and cupcakes are already in existence and means bakers can make things like ice cream sandwiches and alcoholic Oreos. The benefits of alcohol in bakery include lengthening the life of the cake and bringing out flavours. For example, coffee liqueur will being out the cocoa of chocolate cake.
It has been popular since the 19th century and they do say ‘listen to your elders’.
Bakers are encouraged to stay out of the kitchen while intoxicated, however.