Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Category Archives: Golden spoon

One Mile Bakery- Great Concept With Food To Match

I try no end of good food thanks to Your Last Mouthful and it is not unusual for me to have a delivery of some kind of delicious produce, but I have never been delivered bread before and I am yet to come across a concept as brilliant as One Mile Bakery.

The brain-child of Elisabeth Mahoney, One Mile Bakery was born after two years of preparation and stems from a genuine passion for good, simple food made with local or homegrown, quality ingredients. The concept is simple, The One Mile Bakery delivers handmade bread, soups and preserves within a one-mile radius of its kitchen in Cardiff.  Everything is made using seasonal produce and traditionally milled organic flour, and delivered to local addresses in Pontcanna, Llandaff and Canton on foot or by bike.

Elisabeth arrived at my door with a rustic basket housing two loaves of bread, a jar of jam and a large container of soup, all bearing the One Mile Bakery logo. As we chatted and unpacked the goods, Elisabeth explained that instead of buying individual items, customers pay for a monthly subscription and receive a weekly delivery providing they are in the one mile proximity of her kitchen. There are many subscriptions to choose from but I was trying the bread, soup and jam subscription at £23.50 per month. This would mean a delivery of two loaves of bread and a container of soup per week and a jar of jam with the first batch of the month.

Now you should know that bread and butter is my weakness. I suffer from IBS so as I rule I avoid bread and try not to buy it but looking at the loaves on my kitchen table, this was going to be worth the pain!

Each week, customers receive a different type of loaf and soup depending on the produce available. My delivery consisted of Harira Soup, a Rye, Wheat and White Sourdough and a Multi-seeded and Honey Loaf with a jar Rhubarb, Strawberry, Vanilla and Elderflower Jam.

I’m ashamed to say that the minute Elisabeth walked out of the door I tucked into the bread. Starting with the sourdough, I covered it in lashings of butter and sank into my armchair while I drifted into my bread and butter heaven. The sourdough was beautifully soft inside with a lovely crunchy crust. The contrast between the bread and the crust was just right and I throughly enjoyed it. This lasted very well too. I still have some left 5 days later and it is still delicious toasted.

With dinner simmering away on the hob, I intended to just have a small piece of the Multi-seeded and Honey Loaf with some of the jam. Ten minutes later I had eaten half the loaf! I can honestly say this is some of the nicest bread I have ever tasted. It was just so deliciously soft and sweet. It had a real dense, spongy texture with a beautiful soft crust. I could eat it without butter and if you knew the extent of my bread and butter addiction that is saying something!

Not only was the bread delicious but it didn’t actually make me ill. Elisabeth said that it because everything is natural  and fermented for such a long time, it is easier to break down and digest. You don’t know how happy this makes me.

Not to be out done by the bread, the jam was also fantastic. I do love jam but it’s something I never really get around to finishing but on this occasion, it is nearly gone. This is definitely not your average strawberry jam. Strawberry was the dominant flavour in my jar but there were clear and complimentary undertones of rhubarb and vanilla. I’m afraid the elderflower was a bit lost but it was still beautiful nonetheless.

For me, the best thing about the jam was the texture. It was very thick and quite jelly-like which I really enjoyed although Mr V said that he would have prefered it to be softer. He didn’t dispute the delicious flavour though.

I managed to control myself and save the soup for lunch the next day. The container of soup provided two very generous helpings. If you’re not a big eater, I think it would have done three days with bread. The Harira soup came with herbs and lemon and some rose harissa that could be added according to taste. Packed full of noodles, chick peas and lentils, this was a very filling chunky soup, perfect on a rainy day.

I haven’t got a bad word to say about One Mile Bakery. The food is fantastic, the price is right and the concept is brilliant. The only problem is, I don’t live within the one mile radius. My house is on the market though and this could well become a deciding factor when choosing our new house!

Even though I totally buy into this concept, I think that what really sold it to me and would keep me coming back for more if I lived in the area is Elisabeth. One of the great things about having my website and blog is that I get to meet people who are so passionate about what they do and it is just so inspiring. One Mile Bakery has only been up and running a few weeks and already Elisabeth has been inundated with orders and I fully believe that it is not all about the food (although it is fantastic). For me the personal touch and the love that goes into something like this is just so important and Elisabeth certainly has this.

Elisabeth told me stories about her childhood and how she enjoyed cooking with her Mum who grew everything herself and the love for Italian food she developed from a childhood friend. Many of Elisabeth’s recipes have been handed down from her Mum and I love this as it is something that is so often lost these days as people stop cooking for themselves. Elisabeth has been able to take her Mum’s recipes and others that she has found along the way and tweak them to make them her own, creating simple but beautiful food.

Elisabeth doesn’t believe she is very creative when it comes to cooking but recognises the importance of good quality ingredients and wants people to experience the food she loves. Her creatively comes through with her business model. Creative or not, she certainly knows her stuff. Elisabeth is a food and travel writer when she isn’t baking and has even been a food critic in her time. With an extensive career in food, this seems like a logical step and one that I hope continues to develop as Elisabeth has lots of ideas for extending the product range and for cookery classes. I wish her every success.

My Last Mouthful was: The multi-seeded and Honey Loaf

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And my first ever GOLDEN SPOON goes to…. The Flour Garden!

CUPCAKE WEEK: SATURDAY

In preparation for cupcake week, I have been sampling many cakes and it has been a great experience. I had no idea that Cardiff had so much baking and decorating talent and I have been impressed with all that I have tried!

However, my first delivery of cakes as part of my cupcake feature was extra special. I had never heard of the Flour Garden until I started planning my feature and I discovered them on Twitter. The Flour Garden were keen to be involved so I signed them up and they delivered me a box of cakes. I can honestly say, these are the best cupcakes I have ever tasted! The only negative thing I have to say is that as they were delivered to me at my office, I had to share them!

The Flour Garden was started by Dylan Aubrey Evans in 2008 as an alternative to shop bought supermarket cakes. Dylan is a self-taught baker and extremely talented.

The Flour Garden’s ethos is that baking can be both an art and a science.

“We believe that you have to taste everything that you produce and everything you put on the plate should be balanced both in flavour and texture.”

This is clearly evident when looking at and tasting the cakes. They are an absolutely perfect! The cakes are light and fluffy and the icing is so thick and creamy yet not at all sickly and they look fantastic. I could (and did!) eat many of these cakes without feeling too full or sick.

The reason that The Flour Garden deserve a Golden Spoon is because they offer a combination of originality, excellent presentation and exceptional tasting products. Dylan obviously extends his ethos beyond the cakes as they were delivered to me in a fabulously arty box. The inside of the box featured a collage style design complete with bunting, photos, sketches and the company logo. The box included a gift tag and another tag detailing the flavours of the cakes. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the overall presentation and I think it has a very positive impact.

By the time I had finished ‘ooing’ over the box, I was seriously excited to taste the cakes which were packed in amongst bright green shredded paper. They looked amazing! The designs are so quirky and fun! The flavours are very unique too. Most of them are takes on the standard flavours but with a delicious twist. Instead of strawberry, The Flour Garden do strawberry milkshake and instead of lemon, lemonade. Here is a run down of the cakes I tried:

Strawberry Milkshake

Decorated with pink icing and a single strawberry, this cake was one of my favourites. The icing was strawberry flavoured but with a milky taste too and had a layer of jam running through the sponge. It really did taste like a milkshake. Lovely!

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcake

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly

This was also one of my favourites. The cake was decorated with chocolate peanuts and a slice of a peanut and chocolate sweet. The peanut icing was lovely and creamy and complimented the cake base which had a layer of jam running through it which prevented it from being too cloying.

Oreo

I’ve had many Oreo cupcakes in my quest to find the best cupcakes in Cardiff and this one was by far the best I have tasted. The Oreos ran through the entire cake. The sponge was made with crunchy Oreo pieces so it had a real biscuit taste and the icing was also made with ground up Oreos and decorated with a half biscuit. It made for a great texture.

Lemonade

Another one of my favourites, (I know, I have too many favourites!) this cake took lemon cake to a new level. The icing was deliciously creamy and lemony but not too sweet and the cake had a layer of lemon curd running through the middle. This sweet, sticky flavour transformed the cake from lemon to lemonade. It was then decorated with lemonade Haribo sweets to give it the ‘fizz’.

White Chocolate Mud Cake

Decorated with white icing and chocolate sweets, this cake looked as though it might be sickly but it wasn’t at all. The flavours were lovely but not too overpowering and rich.

I’m not sure how the Flour Garden manage to make their cakes so beautifully sweet and full of flavour without making them at all sickly. The icing is so light and fluffy and at the same time, the cake is moist and light. The sponge isn’t just ordinary either, each cake has something different about it like the lemon curd layer and the layer of jam in the peanut butter cake. I don’t know how the Flour Garden manage to achieve this layer but it is extremely effective.

These cakes are seriously something special. Not only do they taste amazing but they look amazing along with their packaging and they so are imaginative and fun. A lot of love and attention has gone into the overall design and branding as well as the baking and it really shows. The Flour Garden describe their cakes as ‘pretentious’ but I would prefer to describe them as ‘quirky’ because to me pretentious has negative connotations and there is certainly nothing negative about these creations!

The Flour Garden cakes can be ordered via their website or you can get them from Fusion Cafe. Priced at £2 a cake, they are worth every penny. They would make a great gift presented in their fabulous boxes. I’m really happy to give The Flour Garden my first golden spoon and I wish them every success with their new venture with Fusion Cafe.

The Flour Garden had their debate in Fusion Cafe yesterday so get down there if you want to give them a try or order online. You can also follow them on Twitter.

My Last Mouthful was: The Strawberry Milkshake Cupcake

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