Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Food Review: Crodoughs (Cronut) at Rinkoff Bakeries

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Ah, the cronut. A croissant-doughnut hybrid that's taken the baking world by storm and has earned itself a top spot in every pastry lover's wishlist. It's certainly something cheat treats (and dreams) are made of and if you know me in real life, you've most probably heard me go on and on and on about wanting to try one since I first heard about them in May.

It was first pioneered by the genius Dominique Ansel for his bakery in New York. The queues were long and with rumours of a single cronut selling for over $40 a piece, it only made me want to try it even MORE. My prayers were answered when I spotted a tweet about a bakery named Rinkoff Bakeries selling a variant of the fried good 'the crodough'. Hallelujah! Let me tell you, it's worth the extra hour workout just to indulge on these. I do not regret the calories (and that's saying a lot!) I convinced at least 10 of my work colleagues to try it and after organising a bulk order of 17 crodoughs last Friday, I can confirm that the staff (and owner) is just as sweet as the goods themselves. I had such a positive experience with their customer service and I thought I'd just highlight that fact as I think they deserve that extra bit of positive recognition! : ) 

Two visits later, I've finally tried all four of the flavours (all for the purpose of this review, ahem) and thought I'd run you through a brief description of them! Warning: grab a bowl, you'll be drooling. Scratch that, get your Oyster card/train tickets out and be ready to run out of the door for these after this post.
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[pictured above from t-b: toffee apple crumble and custard crodough]

Toffee Apple Crumble Crodough: £2.80
Rinkoff's description: filled with fresh apple and cinnamon, topped with crunchy crumble and drizzled with toffee.

I think that description alone has made a few tummies rumble. This is most probably my favourite flavour. If you're a lover of apple pie/crumble/cinnamon then feast your eyes (and stomach) on this. With your first bite, you're met with the soft sinking texture of a freshly fried doughnut. The aroma of the apple crumble filling inside then meets you and it tastes exactly like a just baked apple pie/turnover. It finishes off with the buttery layers and chewiness of a croissant. In other words, it's beautiful.

You want a close up shot? Of course you do.
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Custard Crodough: £3.00

Rinkoff's description: our custard crodough is filled with fresh custard with a layer on top for good measure

Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, this one's for you and will fulfil every dessert lover's needs. It's extremely indulgent (and the ultimate naughty treat) but you'll be licking your fingers and be craving another by the time you're done with this. The custard layer on top is sweet but not sickeningly so, the filling inside helps with the moisture between the dough and the croissant layers. It's darn addictive. I can imagine this to be the perfect companion after a hearty British dinner in front of a crackling fire. Now there's a thought. photo photo4_zps78d8fda2.jpg
[pictured above from l-r: toffee apple crumble and raspberry crodough]

Raspberry Crodough: £2.80

Rinkoff's description: the raspberry Crodough is filled with jam and dusted with sugar with a fresh raspberry

Think of the best jam doughnut that you've ever had and multiply it by 10. I thought I'd like this flavour the least but it's surprisingly battling for the winning flavour alongside the toffee apple crumble! I'm glad that raspberry was the reigning choice of jam over the traditional strawberry - it has the right balance of a sweet, sour and sharp tang against the sweet sugary dough. It's refreshing and would make the perfect guest with any lazy Sunday's breakfast in bed treat. As it's filled with jam inside, it can get a little messy but that's the fun of it, right?!
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Chocolate Fudge Crodough: £2.80

Rinkoff's Description: this Crodough is filled and topped with delicious chocolate fudge fondant


This would be a chocoholic's dream. The chocolate ganache has the right amount of creaminess and isn't overpowering 'chocolatey' thanks to the mix of fudge fondant included. The flakes on top adds a nice texture to the crodough and differs from your average generic sprinkled doughnut. It's a 'grown up' version of your favourite childhood treat! 

...and there we have it!

Are you now a drooling hungry mess?
I thought so.

As much as I love them, I find half of a crodough to be the perfect portion size. They're huge and I'm somewhat obsessed with having everything in half portions. It'll give you the chance to taste another half of another flavour though ;)

If you're interested in buying yourself one of these treasures, you can get it from:
224 Jubilee Street, E1 3BS or 79 Vallance Road, E1 5BS.

For more information about the crodoughs, visit
www.crodoughlondon.com or www.rinkoffbakery.co.uk

Several restaurants and cafes dotted around London now stock them too so it's worth checking online to see if there's one close to you! It's definitely worth the extra walk (and you'll be thankful for it after you've eaten one of these!)

As I'm feelin' extra cruel today, I'll leave you with a final image of the crodoughs.

Have you tried a cronut/crodough?
What are your thoughts on it? :)
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Note: This post isn't sponsored by Rinkoff Bakeries. I just love anything to do with croissants/doughnuts and much like Pokemon, I gotta catch 'em all. I loved my experience with Rinkoff's crodoughs and customer service so much that this post was inevitable :)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Outfit: Tartan Tales

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Hands up if you still like to dress up like a school girl... at the sweet ol' age of 21? 
*raises hand*

Throw in a tartan print, a peter pan collar and it's a no brainer. Please jump into my shopping basket, make yourself at home in my wardrobe and marry me. The final reason why I fell in love with this? It reminded me of the Constance Billard uniform from Gossip Girl... forever wishing that I'm an Upper East Side teen in New York. le sigh.

This charming Primark number has certainly made the most of its round trip ticket around the blogosphere and it's an item worth jumping on the cliché fashion bandwagon for. It's form fitting, extremely flattering and cuts off just above the knee - always a plus to avoid looking like a scandalous student with the majority of your behind showing.

I tried to inject it with a dose of maturity with my contrast leather sleeve coat from Zara, opaque thick tights and brown lace up brogues. It all went well until I spotted my Hallowe'en socks and well, I just couldn't resist... the pumpkins all smile up at you! I think you understand why I was only too happy to pull them up over my ankles to flaunt to anyone who'd care to look.

They haven't seen my Christmas Rudolph socks yet... his nose is glittery red.
I rest my case.

[green/blue tartan dress -primark, tights - new look, brogues - simmi shoes*, pumpkin socks - new look, leather sleeve coat - zara]

Monday, 28 October 2013

Weekend Round Up #5: IKEA, we meet again


Happy Monday!

For those based in the UK (and live in areas with the storm alerts), I hope you're all keeping yourselves safe from this crazy weather! I'm sure we may seem so silly to others who live overseas at our immediate reactions to cancel trains and planes to prepare for the storm but it's better to be safe than sorry, ey?! I think it's another excuse for the whole nation to delight ourselves in involving weather within our conversation topics even more... I'm a classic example of that stereotype. When in doubt, bust the weather talk out.


Short an' sweet weekend round up, this time round! I may as well start renaming them 'Food Round Ups' as my meal pictures seem to dominate these posts, woops. A habit that I still haven't weaned myself off yet!


SATURDAY:

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Hands up if anyone else gets stupidly excited over a trip to IKEA?

I even decided against a day of shopping at Birmingham Bullring in order to spend hours at showrooms and Swedish meatballs. I do have a good excuse though, I'll be moving house these next few months and needed furniture inspiration for my plans of creating the ultimate cosy bedroom... but first, the food. It's becoming a tradition for me to use the bright coloured children's cutlery at the restaurant...
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Hi, perfect bed set-up and wallpaper. Will you come home with me?
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Judging from my frequent junk food pictures in every weekend round-up (and recent Instagram snaps), it may look like I've fallen off my healthy bandwagon. Eek, I haven't, don't worry! I eat very, very clean during the week and I'm still very strict (but still really enjoy/prefer this lifestyle). I have recently introduced a 'cheat day' into my week as eating clean had started to affect me quite seriously both physically and mentally. I won't go into it too much but doing so has made me feel so much better... I can finally enjoy eating food again without having it take the number one priority spot in my life and it feels great not to panic/punish myself after every bite!

Behold, s'mores makin' after spending the weekend watching films together on Netflix. Just Go With It, Bedtime Stories, 21 Jump Street and Superbad. Ahh-mazing. This was before Jordan decided to join in with my quick workouts... 40 mins of Ballet Beautiful and Abominable Adominals later - I think he regretted this decision. His housemate walked in whilst we were doing a bridge with one leg extensions and just had ?!?!?!! written all over his face. Gotta love dodgy looking moves with 'abs flat and keep squeezing your butt cheeks' blaring out from your laptop. They'll grow to be used to it.

SUNDAY:
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It was the most amazing feeling waking up at 9:30am and realising that it was actually 8:30am. Hurray for the clocks turning back!

I filmed two 15-min videos and shortly realised that I had muted the sound on my camera the whole time. I wanted the ground to swallow me up and I think Jordan agreed with me after completing his hour long cameraman duty and video prep for nuffin... another hour later, they were filmed again. Phew! Two videos comin' your way this week... and I win a platinum 'klutz of the century' award. The things that boy puts up with - patience of a saint.

I've been on a 'microwave mugcake' phase recently - the whole concept fascinates me and if you know me, you know that I have an out of control obsession with oatmeal. I also hunt down recipes of dishes that I can make out of the stuff like a crazy stamps collector. Tada! My latest creation: 3 min banana and raisins oatmeal cake. Jordan gave his approval and requested me to make a separate one for him after lunch - success. Healthy, low fat and super easy to make... if you'd like a post/video on this, let me know! : )

I'm now back in London ready for another week... Really hoping that the weather improves!

I hope you've all had a great start to the week so far,

Stay safe! x

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

On Wednesdays, we wear pink

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...I couldn't resist the Mean Girls quote.

Now that autumn has made itself right at home with its trail of golden leaves, I've quite happily traded in my summer crops for knitted jumpers and a granny wardrobe. There's something very endearing about wearing a modern take of a trend that my mother and grandmother were fond of themselves when they were my age. I like to imagine my mum prancing around in the 70s with a Peter Pan collar dress (that had probably cost her 5p) and for her to see the same style on me 40 years later. It must be so strange for her! I hope it continues onto another generation (hoping the 'wear leggings as trousers' trend doesn't catch the 2050s shuttle bus though)

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This outfit would definitely qualify as 'off duty' attire - I'm a huge fan of wearing clothes that feel like I'm still in my PJs. You can only imagine how happy I was when the 'pyjamas' trend came about two seasons ago! The soft pink knit is very on trend but doesn't compromise with the levels of comfort. I always find scallop edged collars, lace and pearls all to be very charming/enchanting in their own right so when you combine all three of them in one item of clothing...?! Heaven. Although it pays an ode to its vintage past, it still has its own sense of a child-like innocence about it. Throw in some pig printed socks with a side order of plaits and I'm all ready to be channeling my 5-year-old self again.
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First mince pie of the season and a catch up with my pal Bud. If you'd like to see me prancing around in this outfit combined with some mince pie action (where I failed to eat it in an elegant manner), I uploaded an 'Outfit of the Day: Cosy Autumn's Day In) video on my channel. I've embedded the video below if you'd like to have a peek!

[pink pearl collar jumper - primark, crochet shorts - eBay, piggy socks - new look]

What's your go-to lazy day outfit?

I hope you're all having a great day so far! :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Weekend Round Up #4


Hello!

Happy Monday!

I definitely store my extroverted side away for the arrival of autumn/winter and admit defeat to the cold weather. I'm only too happy to change into my PJs after work, put on my most comfortable pair of socks and have a hot cup of tea instead of frolicking outside in the rain. I'm definitely turning more and more into a granny with each day that passes. My round up this week is therefore a 'cosy weekend in' edition! Whilst it's great to discover new places and go on adventures on my days off, sometimes it's the little things that means the most :)

Friday was a quiet series of event (Miss Wild over here.) I was, however, greeted with banana pancakes and baked cinnamon apple slices for dinner. It sounds like a cheat meal but it was 100% healthy with my trusty 2 ingredient recipe, hurrah. 

Saturday:

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We had grand plans to pop into Brighton for a wardrobe update, dim sum and the monthly farmer's market but the rain had other ideas. We swapped the train for our slippers, popped on a jumper and decided to stay in to relax instead.

A giant mug of cappuccino and our first mince pie of the season later... all stress was released and we were completely refreshed. I know people complain that it's too early to feel festive but for me, there isn't a set date on feeling warm and excited for the holiday season! I was super productive and filmed two videos too. Expect a post on them this week :)
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When the sun decided to pay us a visit, we popped over to Next for Starbucks and home ware gazing. I'm definitely getting old... All the living rooms and bedrooms were decorated for winter so everything was super cosy and I couldn't help but squeal in excitement at the Christmas trees and fairy lights. One pumpkin spice latte later... we were ready to relax in front of the fireplace and a good film!
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Sunday:
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Sundays are meant for 9am lie ins and an afternoon in frog printed pyjamas.  I spent some much needed time with my sisters! I then popped over to Jordan's house to find his mum and papa making some homemade blackberry jam and scones! We had them after our hearty beef and dumplings stew whilst watching Matilda. If that isn't the most perfect Sunday autumn's evening...

Monday:
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Back on the train and tube for work!

Another perfect weekend and I'm already excited for the next one :)
I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Friday, 18 October 2013

OUTFIT: Dear October, I'm sorry for my Christmas elf get up

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Dear October,

Now, let me explain. It wasn't my intention to dress up like a Christmas elf that's very, very, very early to work. I didn't choose this outfit to impress your pal December either. I know we won't be seeing each other for another two months yet. I just can't help myself with feeling... well, festive. To be fair, giving us sunrises at 7:20am and sunsets at 6pm meant that I was reaching for my parka and thick tights quicker than you could tantalisingly whisper 'autumn' in my ears.

These are the colours that you're always telling us to embrace anyway, it's a very 'you' palette with rich burgundy tights and khaki greens. Granted, I could've substituted my Christmas tree get-up with mustard yellows or jewel toned blues but they were both new purchases and my impatience got the better of me. Did I really need to include the shearling fur lining with this attire too? Well, when in Rome...

The burgundy tights are a great way of 'jazzing' up my usual monochrome pairings. To spice things up, I really tried to play around with the textures too. The leather waistcoat sat alone on my clothing rail throughout summer so I thought it was finally time I invited it to play with the other pieces. I love the mix of leather, crochet and polka dot prints - it's girly but isn't sickly sweet either. To counteract the leather and bold colours, I softened it with these Mary Jane T-Bar geek shoes from Topshop.

To top it all off, I threw on my new Zara parka and you'll definitely be seeing this guy sticking around for the next few months... he's met the boyfriend, my parents and my sisters want to steal him. You'd better hold onto him tight. I've been told that you'll be expecting snow flurries in the next few weeks? What happened to giving that job to winter?

... And because of this, you can't really blame me for my early elf fancy dress costume. I'll think about dressing up as a pumpkin for your birthday on the 31st.

Love Shu :)

[polka dot shirt - river island, leather waistcoat - h&m, crochet shorts - eBay, burgundy tights, asos, t-bar geek shoes, topshop, khaki shearling lined parka jacket - zara, lips - rimmel kate moss 107 lipstick]

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Food Markets: Borough Market, London

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Hello!

If you know me in real life or follow me on Twitter/Instagram, it's not a secret that I'm a huge lover of street food and food markets/stalls. Growing up in numerous restaurants and takeaways as well as having Chinese parents who are MASSIVE foodies meant that it was inevitable that the appreciation would be passed on to my sisters and I. There isn't much that I wouldn't try at least once and I've eaten some pretty weird things which I'll refrain from sharing on here incase anyone is sensitive to it!

The love of street food was born from my first ever trip to China aged 15. My parents come from Guangzhou (Canton) which is hailed as the food capital of the country. The sheer amount of food stalls/dim sum restaurants on offer was incredible and the fact that everything can be freshly prepared and handed to you was unlike anything I'd ever experienced at home. It was heaven. Being from a smaller town in the UK meant that I had very little access to the markets here (aside from the naff Bank Holiday ones!)

Fast forward to Madrid this year and the love for street food 'rose from the ashes' again. From oyster bars, paella stalls to pastry stands... Jordan and I were spoilt for choice and we decided to make an effort to find more of these food markets in England! Thankfully, as I live in London full time now, this is MUCH easier! So after that long ramble, I present to you pictures of Borough Market!
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Amazing bratwurst hot dogs with sauerkraut (essentially sour cabbage)
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 photo IMG_9189_zps0e5b116b.jpgHUGE cookie for £2. Made with brown sugar and French dark chocolate! photo IMG_9184_zps4ec27eee.jpg  photo IMG_9187_zps8e367249.jpg
Obligatory cappuccino for Jordan.
"Take a picture of the coffee art on top!"
Yes sir.
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Ending it with the view of The Shard (which we actually went up for the tour earlier that day!)

If you're ever in London and stuck for where to visit for lunch - I really recommend popping over to Borough Market (by London Bridge station) for an endless choice of food, pastries, fresh produce and drinks! For fresh ingredients, you simply cannot beat the quality from the farmer's market in comparison to your local supermarket. It's a great place of finding things that would normally be difficult to track down too! The Christmas market will be on from December onwards so I'm looking forward to mulled wine and hot dinners :)!

According to the official website,
 It's open for lunch on Monday - Tuesday from 10am - 5pm
For the full market, it's open Wednesday - Thursday from 10am - 5pm, Friday from 10am - 6pm and 8am - 5pm on Saturdays.

I hope you enjoyed this random lifestyle/food post!
Winter is coming... so go grab yourself a hot brew and a pipin' hot stew!

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