Announcing my first supper club of 2015!

Orthodox Greek Feasting Menu

Clapham, London

Sunday 25th January

I thought I was done with supper clubs but it turns out that all I needed was a little inspiration. Having nearly, but not quite, made it to Athens to see the January Christmas festivities (Orthodox Calendar etc), so instead, I would love to invite everyone back to Clapham for a Christmas Greek Orthodox Supperclub evening on Sunday January 25th .

The Menu will be based a traditional Greek Christmas Feasting Menu (yes I’m aware that January 25th is way after the Greek Orthodox Christmas but why let pedantry get in the way of a good idea).

Please come along with your best Christmas jumpers, an empty, freshly detoxed, stomach and, as always, a bottle of whatever tickles your fancy.

Proposed menu is below, and in keeping with tradition (mine, not Christmas), seats are still limited to twelve so let me know if you or any friends would like to come to:

Closer to the time I’ll send out details of the address in Clapham and the full menu with intermediary courses included. Doors open at 6pm with an aperitif and nibbles provided before dinner. Dinner starts at 6.30pm prompt and the suggested donation for the evening is £30. As ever, the emphasis is on good food and good company so please come along willing to make new friends, if only for the evening. It is Christmas, afterall :-)

Christmas in January
Sunday 25th January

Proposed menu is as follows:


Homemade saffron bread and pine nut pesto, topped with fresh cheese, honey and praline



7 hour stuffed lamb wrapped in grape leaves served lemon butter potato and spun aubergine


Goat’s curd filo, baked pearl onions and spiced aubergine crisps



Poached quince, cinnamon syrup, walnut ice-cream and a filo custard square

Additional intermediary courses will be served on the night, so please let me know about any dietary issues or allergies.

Places for 12

Places for 12

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Last Supperclub of 2013

It feels like a good time to have held the last supperclub. Not the last supperclub ever, obviously. Hopefully. But certainly for the year and with no future dates in the pipeline, it’s a nice chance to stretch my limbs (quite literally, 4 months of hectic cooking have left me with all kinds of aches and pains) and do a little cooking for myself and friends in the run-up to Christmas. Which allows me to think about what I would like to try to make instead of choosing dishes with a constant eye on the next supperclub’s theme (fun at first but it gets frustrating).

So this month’s last supperclub of 2013 was all about the USA, which I was pleased to do. So far most of my supperclubs have been European in focus with the Mexican supperclub being the only exception and while I’ve toyed with the idea of cooking something from further afield I simply don’t have a mental database of tried and tested recipes in the way that I do with European styles of cuisine. Doing “Thanksgiving themed” food was an enjoyable compromise which let me exploit the variety of produce and styles which are associated with the US while remaining rooted in  European culinary tradition. From corn to lime and coconut, onion rings to savoury mousses, doughnuts to soufflés.

I also had fun with this US bonanza because although the USA is full of deliciously tasty food, it was challenging to make all this deep fried gloriousness into something refined. I got to make marshmallows, fudge, peanut brittle, red velvet cake, fried turkey, turkey mousse, chilli cornbread. All the random stuff that I’ve always wanted to try. And try I did (and sometimes try again, and again).


I’m also glad it’s the last supperclub for a while because my photo taking has gotten progressively worse and worse. This month it got so bad, I didn’t even bring a camera and so the only photos to grace your eyes will be slightly blurry ones taken swiftly via a camaraphone while plating the food. However, as usual, my friends didn’t fail me – for this supperclub, I had help from my favourite supperclub regulars – Freddie and Gabriele as well as a new recruit, Terry. Everyone survived into the next day, all looking a little more haggard than before, but I’d put that down to the round of beers that finished off the evening.

First up was a selection of fresh baked buttermilk biscuits with 4 kinds of butter. I put my smoker to good use again and smoked some butter.

Smoking chocolate

I also made pecan nut butter, a honey butter and a chicken butter (made with my chicken stock which I reduced down to a lovely wobbly jelly). The nice thing about these butters is that I had to whip the flavour into the butters which gave also it a lovely airy consistency.  I also made two kinds of buttermilk biscuits – one looked quite scone-like and was made with half self-raising and half plain flour and the other was made with all plain flour and had the appearance of a rich savoury shortbread. Its astonishing the difference just the use of different flours make to the finished product.

Next course was the official starter, a medley of sweet potato dishes.  Sweet potato in the USA is often called yam but changes it after having to “correct” people on numerous prior occasions to explain that I didn’t mean the fibrous African white root but the yummy orange potato served as wedges in gastropubs throughout the kingdom.  The selection of sweet potato served was: a maple syrup and pecan sweet potato gratin, a sweet potato cinnamon tarte fine, a choux doughnut with a sweet potato cream cheese filling, garnished with some gigantic onion and sweet potato rings… A lot on the plate. Thankfully one can never have too much sweet potato.

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The next course was the pre-main and a sweet corn chowder.  Sweet corn has a wonderfully sweet flavour and has a lovely fragrance if you don’t cook it too much. The trick is to avoid that unpleasant starchiness that can come through from undercooking it (like you might have from raw potato). This chowder was indirectly heated through a bain-marie to warm it through and prevent its more starchy qualities. It’s a thin line but the soup is worth the trouble to make I think – a lovely sweet subtle flavour – garnished with some chilli cornbread croutons  to give it that much needed kick.

Onto the main. In terms of timing, the main course verged on disaster. For me anyway. It was a friendly crowd that evening and people were pretty sated after three courses and happy to chat so either through politeness or genuinely unconcerned, nobody seemed to notice the passing of over 40 minutes between the collecting the third course and serving the main. I, on the other-hand, was poking my head in the oven on an almost constant basis so I’m surprised my hairline didn’t cook through faster than the damn turkey mousses.  Everyone helping out with service was wonderful in remaining nonplussed/unbothered throughout and just getting on with the tasks at hand. So when the main course finally made its way to the table, I was puffed up with relief and pride. The vegetarian pumpkin soufflés lagged even further behind, requiring rather selfishly, sole use of the oven to bake and while I was anxiously eyeballing the oven door at this point, they rose and had a lovely custardy middle so all is forgiven.

Then it was a race to the end. Or at least it should be. Format of the supperclub always seems to be that frantic tension culminates at service of the main course and after that there’s a moment of calm because at least with desserts, nothing is made just for service. The tart had been made earlier that morning, the ice-creams the day before, marshmallows and lime sweets has been made the weekend before. So it should be simple matter of plating and serving.

And in fact that’s all it was. Red-velvet ice-cream, scooped and served without issue. Beers were already out in the kitchen, dessert plates in the fridge.

In fact the kitchen was so chilled that I got Gabriele and Freddie to start plating the million components to the “lime and coconut” salad: coconut marshmallow, confit lime rind, confit lime syrup, peanut brittle, crystallised mint leaves, preserved coconut, shavings of fresh coconut, fresh raspberries and coconut tuille. I have to say they made it look beautiful, they were vehicles of incredible precision that I’ve never attributed to them in real non-kitchen life. It looked like they’ve been waiting their whole lives to plate a dessert salad and now they had 12 to plate, it was Art on a plate.

To do justice to this salad, I planned to add a slice of coconut tart topped with a wobbly just set curd. If “wobbly just set” didn’t sound like a dangerous ambition to  me at the time (and it didn’t), it sure does now. Because the lime curd, as lovely as it tasted, collapsed on slicing and sauced itself around the tart and on the plate and edged messily close to Gabriele’s and Freddie’s plate art. Perfectly acceptable if the tart had been of the “self-saucing” variety (which is all the rage now, possibly) but inexcusable for those of the “wobbly , just set” category. Anyway, it does make me think I should write the menu in chalk not ink?

And so it ended. But not quite on that abysmal note. The petit fours came out and this month I made an effort to temper the chocolate which coated the truffles so that people could take them away with them if they were too full. Except this time I must have portioned better because most guests were happy enough off the petit fours there and then.

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So a rollercoaster ride through four supperclubs which has seen my pacing and portioning get better. It’s seen me get calmer and , while I’ve always over-prepared for these evenings, I do prepare with less stress and anxiety with each new supperclub that rolls round. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about how to operate something on a slightly  bigger scale and given me a taste of “service” (which is hard to experience if you don’t work in a restaurant). But I think next year, if I come back, I’ll come back with something slightly different.

Ed (who’s flat I hold the supperclub in) and I were discussing whether the scale of the flat would be suitable for a pop-up restaurant. Set menu of three courses and 30 covers. And something that attempts to financially viable. Now that sounds like a new challenge :-)

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Finalised Thanksgiving Menu for 24 November

Sorry for the late posting. For posterity then:


24 November 2013


Buttermilk Biscuits with a selection of smoked, honey, pecan and chicken butters


Medley of Sweet Potato

Maple Syrup Gratin, Tarte Fine, Doughnut and Onion/Sweet Potato Rings


Corn Chowder with Chilli Cornbread Croutons


Confit Fried Turkey and Mousse OR  Lousianna Pumpkin Soufflé

served cranberry chutney, mac n’ cheese, and green collard


Red Velvet Cake Ice-cream


Key Lime and Coconut Pie served with a Peanut Ice-cream and a Lime Coconut Salad


Peanut Butter Truffle, Grapefruit Truffle, Terry’s Malt Fudge, Californian Raisin Fudge

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Thanksgiving Menu for 24 November Supperclub (moved from 17 November)

The next supperclub will be on Sunday 24 November starting at 6pm. I had previously advertised the date as 17 November but the date didn’t work out so the supperclub will be held a week later instead.


There are just 10 spaces available and a maximum allocation of three tickets per person! There is a suggested donation £30 and BYO (I’m more than happy as always, to give suggestions for those that care about what wine to pair up the food with).

 Please contact me on to make any reservations.

Proposed Thanksgiving Menu is as follows:


Three Ways Yam


Confit Turkey Leg  – or –  Louisiana Pumpkin Souffle

served with mac ‘n cheese, spicy collard greens and cranberry jus


Coconut Lime Tart, Peanut ice-cream, Coconut and Lime Salad

Extra intermediary courses will be served on the night, so please let me know about any dietary issues or allergies.

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October Supperclub – Done and Dusted

I’ve been so looking forward to and dreading an Italian themed supperclub. It was an evening that I had planned from the beginning and even my inability to come up with a snappy title to the October supperclub (Autumn in Italy) had no power to deter me. And so indeed, for most of September all my life skills were put to use to engage in the skilful uncertain art of macaron mastery, pasta making and artichoke preparation.


With the October supperclub over, I’m still learning so much!  I’ve learnt that there is no amount sinfully ugly pasta that can’t be made right with a heavy covering of crispy sage leaves and Parma ham, and that nobody expects risotto to look like a work of art (which is good because it does have poor asthetic qualities – although excellent qualities in the eating :-)).

Preparations started early for this supperclub because preparation included practice. Ill-advised friends came over to my once a lifetime Pasta Party, where I was planning on making three kind of filled pasta but by the end of the evening I had to send them away having only had a mere three raviolis per person. Well, I’d cut up some spaghetti as a fallback so it wasn’t quite that bad…


Macarons were the next hurdle. What a hurdle, I’ve made French macarons before but never made them using the Italian meringue method which seemed more appropriate for this supperclub. Four batches of baked macaron were baked before any standard of competence was attained. Its somewhat typical that having gone to extraordinary efforts to get the perfect macaron, I didn’t actually take a photo of the macaron filled and trembling on a plate in its chocolate chestnut glory.



My happy self-satisfaction is expressed with the proviso that I haven’t read the feedback forms yet… Bad I know, but for some reason, this month I’m extra nervous, probably because this was the calmest and least stressful month of preparation.  I had a better idea of how to approach it with two supperclubs already done and I knew that I could make the pasta and the gnocci and freeze it. I made my petit fours in advance, the sweet pastry was made the week before, the tart lined and frozen, the ice-cream similarly made the week before. The pork cheeks slow cooked and nestling in its gravy by Saturday morning so come Saturday evening, with the mountain of artichokes having been just overcome, it might have been 2am at that point but I felt ready! And the Sundaybevening seemed to go smoothly. We served dessert at 10pm which was bang on schedule!

We had an earlier start time of 6pm with Rosemary Bellini with caponata gnocchi nibbles on the roof terrace.


The first sit down course was an amuse buche (served closer to 7 to be honest…) was crispy artichoke stuffed with mint and dill fava beans. I garnished this with an orange zest mayonnaise and some crispy garlic. I didn’t salt the artichoke before placing on the plate and although nobody mentioned this on the evening, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few people picked up on that in the feedback forms. I’ll let you know!


The pasta course was sweet potato agnolotti with sage butter. Sage butter is a classic accompaniment and it was a good companion to the sweetness of the filling. Topped with Parma Ham and crispy sage, I can only point to the extraordinary opaque virtues of these toppings which prevented anyone from noticing the raggediness of the pasta submerged within.

Cauliflower risotto was next on the menu and my least pretty plate. Slop in a bowl and covered in breadcrumbs just about covers it but it got some excellent reviews. Which left me wondering if the substantial time and effort spent on ganishing and beautifying the plates of my other dishes was entirely unnecessary? A conundrum…

Main was pig’s cheeks with Tuscan bean stew, Cavolo Nero and Mushroom Ragu. I was torn between giving one cheek or two but caved in and served two cheeks. I was glad to see that the mains were polished off but I think the full tummies took their toll by the time dessert was served…



Oreo cookies were next and again no pictures of the finished article. But they were cute although not like Oreos at all. It was Thomas Keller’s recipe which basically sandwiches chocolate shortbread together with a white chocolate ganache.

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Dessert was a chestnut and quince tart with the chestnut macaron and a chocolate hazelnut ice-cream. I was already confident with the macarons and the ice-cream. You know a good thing when you’ve made it and I was simply glad to have extra stashes of the stuff in the freezer at home, and everyone did perk up with the ice-cream with nobody thankfully saying that it tasted like Nutella (which is good because it doesn’t!).


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Get those petit fours out was a good moment. Official finish time of…uhm 10.15pm say? Approximately anyway.

October Petit Fours

I could say Freddie and Gabriele were model waiters but in fact they were entirely unlike model waiters but more like eccentric hard working friends doing me a favour for the evening, and all the guests commented on how lovely and friendly they were. They were super helpful in the kitchen and I suppose some part of my new found timeliness might be due to their efforts too… Certainly they were a good part of the reason that I felt so relaxed that evening.


So thanks to them and Ed, and everyone else for coming!

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Announcing Final Supperclub Menu for 6 October Supperclub!


6 October 2013



Rosemary Bellini with Pan Fried Gnocchi and a Sticky Fig and Pepper Caponata


Stuffed Artichoke Heart


Sweet Potato Agnolotti with Sage


Cauliflower Risotto served with Parmesan Crumbs


Braised Pig’s Cheek in Masala OR  Aubergine Stack

 served Mushroom Ragu, Cavolo Nero and, Peasant Bean Stew and garnished with a crisp of Pig’s Ear or Aubergine


November American taster: French Laundry Oreos Cookies


Chestnut and Quince Tart served with a Chocolate Praline Ice-cream and a Chestnut Hazelnut Macaron garnished with a Marron Glacé


Walnut and Sour Cherry Nougatine,  Black Grape and White Peach Pastille, Balsamic Vinegar Chocolate Truffle



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Announcing Italian Supperclub for Sunday 6 October

The next supperclub will be on Sunday 6 October. A frequent comment that I got on the feedback forms that I gave out at the end of the September supperclub was that ideally the evening should be held on a Saturday.  Unfortunately at this point I can’t practically hold the evening on a Saturday because I need the Saturday for the food preparations. However I will continue to consider whether it might at some point be feasible to hold the event on a Saturday. In the meantime, the supperclub will continue to be held on a Sunday with an earlier start time of 6pm.


There are just 10 spaces available and a maximum allocation of three tickets per person! There is a suggested donation £30 and BYO (I’m more than happy as always, to give suggestions for those that care about what wine to pair up the food with).

 Please contact me on to make any reservations.

Proposed October menu is as follows:


Crisped Artichoke Heart filled with Broad Bean and Mint Stuffing


Suckling Pig’s Cheek, slow braised in Masala  – or –  Slow roasted Garden Tomato filled with a Sorrel and Breadcrumb Gratin

served with a soft Mushroom Polenta, Cavelo Nero and a Roast Garlic Puree


Quince and Chestnut Tart served with a Cobnut Praline Ice Cream garnished with homemade Marron Glacés

An aperitif and extra intermediary courses will be served on the night, so please let me know about any dietary issues or allergies.

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Final September Supperclub Menu


                               JOURNEY THROUGH MESOAMERICA                          

1 September 2013


Lime Sangria Aperitif and a Cashew Nut and Squash Muffin

Chickpea Soup and Coriander Doughnuts

Cerviche of Seasonal Vegetables – or – Cerviche of Vanilla Salmon

Chard Tamales served with Cashew Butter and Ginger Pumpkin

Lamb stuffed with a Spicy Chicken Mousse – or – Courgette and Soft Cheese Fritters

served with creamed sweetcorn, sweet potato and bread fruit dauphinoise, avocado fries, guacamole and chocolate mole

                                    October Supperclub Italian Taster: Melon and Rosemary Sorbet

Prickly Pear Ice-cream, Soursop Ice-cream, Cinnamon Rice Pudding on Dark Caramel, a Medley of Fresh and Roast Pineapple and a Tequila Snap

Café de Olla, Lime and Coffee  Water-based Ganache , Tequila and Salt Chocolate Fudge and Guava Paste and Cream-Cheese Chocolate


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Upcoming September Supperclub

Now that the first supperclub is out of the way, I can’t wait for my second! I have been ruminating over the menu and have decided to focus on a style of cuisine that I admire fantastically – ever since having been in Mexico a few years back. My menu is inspired by traditional Mayan and Aztec flavours of Mesoamerica. “Inspired” being the operative word as, although I adore the flavours and dishes I was lucky enough to taste in Mexico (mole, atole, pozole), I can’t help playing around with ideas. In fact its no fun if I can’t. Anyway, please see below for details and let me know if you can make it.




Hosted by Home from Home

September Theme: A Mesoamerican Journey through Mexico

It’s being kept intimate with just 10 spaces available and a maximum allocation of three tickets per person! There is a suggested donation £30 and BYO (I’m more than happy as always, to give suggestions for those that care about what wine to pair up the food with).

Proposed September menu is as follows:


Cerviche of salmon with pink peppercorn and vanilla

– or –

Cerviche of seasonal vegetables prepared in a ginger-citrus marinade (veg)


Slow cooked stuffed lamb with rich and spicy mole

– or –

Stuffed baby squash with a black bean chocolate mole (veg)

each served with quinoa salsa, tamarind guacamole and a coriander-courgette fritter


Prickly pear ice-cream served with a tequila snap basket and a cinnamon rice pudding mousse (veg)

An aperitif, extra courses and coffee will be served on the night, so please let me know about any dietary issues or allergies.


Venue is in Clapham on Sunday 1 September from 7pm to 10.30pm (dessert should be served around 9.45pm). Diners are seated around a large table so you should be comfortable, happy even, to chat and meet new people.

If you are interested then do contact me on to ask any questions or book places. There is a £10 deposit on reserving a place to contribute to the cost of ingredients although to the extent that you either give me 3 days’ notice or can’t make it but I find a replacement for the full cost, the deposit is refunded.

Very best, and I hope I see you soon


Home from Home


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July Supperclub has come and gone!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to my first ever supperclub. I had so much fun (although wow- am I glad its over!). Everyone came with such a positive attitude and determined to have fun and its so nice to hear at the end of the night that all the guests enjoyed the food and the evening!

For my part I made a decision to relax and not do the stressed, frantic thing. I was lucky because two of my friends, Helen and Gabriele helped out on the night and they were invaluable. Because I’d spent so much time making all the food myself at my own pace I hadn’t realised how much help I’d need actually serving the food quickly and efficiently and both Helen and Gabriele more than faced up to the challenge.

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Things were also made easier by the venue which was in Ed’s flat in Clapham and triggered some reverential silence from the guests upon entering the apartment and to be perfectly honest, probably contributed to all the positive comments at the end of the evening because who can fail to enjoy an aperitif on the roof terrace and dinner in the vast expanse of a fancy penthouse.

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After an elderflower cordial and sparkling wine aperitif and a selection of homemade pickles (carrot and mustard, radish and tarragon, and mushroom and juniper) everyone came down for diner. Cold starters functioned perfectly, maybe a little too smoothly. The first course, starter, and subsequent third course came out in quick succession. Three courses and we hadn’t even reached the main course! The first course was a smoked quails egg, wrapped in dry finely chopped mushroom and smoked breadcrumbs (what can I say I’m a fan of smoking) and then panned again in Panko.

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The tomato sorbet was a Thomas Keller recipe and I was really impressed by this sorbet. Not only did it taste fantastic (all of the supperclub guests agreed) but it was a wonderful soft set sorbet so there was no faffing around with taking it out of the fridge 10 minutes before. The velvety smooth texture meant that my total inability to quennel was, at that moment, overcome and I am now an accomplished two handed quenneler of soft set tomato sorbets. The sorbet came with a tomato confit, tomato salad, chive oil and garlic tuille.

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Skipping onto the pea soup, I made this the day before and froze it in a bid to preserve its freshness. I don’t think I quite managed to preserve it completely though as the texture wasn’t as velvety smooth as the day before although the flavour was still sweet and delicate. However, next time I think with a very fresh smooth soup like this, I will need to make it on the same day as serving. To accompany the soup, inspired by the flowerpot bread that we made at the cookery school, I made some garlic bread in a similar fashion. I mixed some roasted garlic into the dough and although it was wonderfully garlicky, the next time I might make it less garlicky and instead serve with garlic butter so that people can add or maintain the garlic flavour according to their tastes.

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Main was confit pork belly with pureed and roast honey beetroot with a reduced jus (let’s just call it “sauce” given that it was supposed to be an English themed supperclub). I brined my pork in the fridge for 5 days and then confited the pork belly for 11 hours in duck fat. It was so wonderfully soft that you could pull the rib bones off the belly like loose teeth  – I was super happy with the outcome. In fact it was only on seeing the confit belly that I finally began to relax about the supperclub. A lot of the supperclub guests commented on how lean the meat seemed on the plate and its true that the slow cooking in confit does render out a lot of the fat. I’m not sure that this exactly makes the meat leaner though – sorry guys… The vege alternative was an equally artery clogging herb crumbed round of goats cheese fried in a pan to get it crisp on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside. And Caramelised onion gravy on the side.

Actually, with so many pots and pans on the go, at this point my diligent photographing of each course fell though so if anyone out there had any photos of the evening that they could send me, especially the main course and dessert course then I would be hugely grateful.

Skipping straight to dessert (I’m tired, I want to sleep soon), I made a tower of meringue, hazelnut cream, raspberry sauce, minted mixed berries and chocolate sauce. All was going well until I lazily tried to pour the chocolate sauce straight from the bag I was storing it in instead of putting in a jug. Alas, with little control over a squidgy bag, the sauce shot out and covered my decorative artwork with a cascade of chocolate sauce…

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However to end the evening on a second sweet note (after a succession of savoury courses) I served up some smoked chocolate truffles, gin truffles and smoked raisin fudge. The fudge (after 4 attempts at making it) was really well received and so thankfully (just about) worth all the trouble it caused. The gin truffle and the smoked chocolate truffle divided opinion. It seems I’ve stumbled upon two chocolate versions  of Marmite all in one night. People either loved it and adamantly defended it or found the flavours too intense for their liking. Next time I might tone down the amount of smoked chocolate I use and the amount of gin I use in each truffle and try to find a happy medium – if it exists.

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Anyway, all in all a good night. Thanks again to everyone who made this night happen. And its happening again (Argh!) on Sunday 25 August. Theme: Mesoamerican Mexico (provisionally named until I think up a better one) and I will post a menu up soon.

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