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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Bill's Restaurant Manchester

July has been a crazy month but food and drink will always make me happy :) so a trip to Bill's it was! Bill's have just opened up on John Dalton Street, literally next door to Byron burger so there might be a bit of competition there. Bill's replaced a old retail store and it's pretty impressive what they have done with the space. The decor is a little woody but its chilled and casual, the outdoor seating area is lovely. 

The menu offers a great selection of home comforts using the freshest ingredients, ranging from salads, burgers, steaks, sausages and so forth. 


Drinks: 

Aperol Spritz - £6.50 


Chocolate Brownie Milkshakes - £3.95

Starters: 
Selecting which starters to have was hard as we wanted to try everything as everything sounded so good! I way prefer starters to main for some reason, probably because you can try more smaller dishes as oppose to one main dish and you can share. But we knuckled it down to the three we wanted the most. 

Mini Cumberland Sausages with Honey and Grain Mustard - £4.25 

These small but scrummy sausages were on the while you wait menu but I'd rather have it as a starter as we prefer to share and sample as much as we can. Cumberland is one of my favourite sausages as its full of flavour compared to a standard pork sausage. These mini sausages definitely hit the spot, they were small but chunky, full of sausage meat and herbs and most of all the honey mustard was sticky and not too sweet. Perfect! 



Crab, Chilli and Prawn Cakes with Baby Gem, Mango and Spring Onion Salad - £5.85 

I chose this starter for its great combination of classic flavours but I was a bit disappointed to be fair as it was just okay, the chilli was not there! The crab was a bit too minced and mushy for my liking and the mango salsa lacked fresh mango flavour and was a bit sloppy. 


Crispy Lemon Squid with Garlic and Lemon Mayo - £5.95

My all time favourite crispy squid, this starter however did live up to its name and is probably one of the best I've had in a long time. The squid rings were cut to perfect proportions, the batter was crispy and the garlic mayo was delicious. 


Mains: 

Chipotle, Coriander and Lemon Marinated Half Chicken served with chilli buttered corn and sweet potato fries - £11.95

I chose this main as I thought it would be spicy grilled chicken but the chipotle, coriander or lemon flavour was not there at all, the only thing I could taste was the burnt parts of the chicken from the grill. The heat or spice definitely needs to be turned up a notch or maybe a sauce to go with it might be help. Other than that the corn and sweet potato fries were fine. 


Bill's Style BBQ Pork Ribs served with creamy slaw and skinny fries - £13.95

Ribs ribs ribs! Manchester serves up a lot of ribs if I must say but if you're after honest, meaty and juicy ribs Bill's have got it alright. My partner stated its was the best rack of ribs he had! 


Dessert:

Warm Mini Cinnamon Doughnuts served with strawberries and chocolate dipping sauce - £5.50

We don't usually make it to dessert as we get so stuffed from everything else but like the starters we (well just me apparently) also wanted everything from the dessert menu. But we opted for the warm cinnamon doughnuts on this occasion and (OMG) they are amazing. You get around four doughnuts, all still surprisingly warm, the dough is soft inside and slightly fried on the outside all coated in sugar and cinnamon. The chocolate dip is rich but very delightful when eaten with the doughnut. I could eat these all day long!




If you're looking for a casual dining experience then Bill's is the place to go and most of all it won't break the bank. However, it would be nice if there were a bigger selection of cocktails. Next time I go it would be for breakfast and I'm really excited!!!

Have you tried Bill's before?

C x

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Double chocolate Ferrero Rocher cake recipe

I love baking but I have never gone beyond baking a classic Victoria sponge or a lemon drizzle so as a challenge to myself and a surprise for someone I decided to bake a little something that would WOW everyone. As a lover of nuts, chocolate and all things sweet, what could possibly be better than a Ferrero Rocher cake!? The recipe is also quite simple, just as easy as baking a Victoria sponge. 

You will need. . . 
2x 20cm cake tins 
Large mixing bowl

Large sieve

Spatula

Electric whisk 
Greaseproof paper 
Extra butter to line the cake tins 

Scales
Measuring jug

Cake: 

175g self-raising flour 

50g cocoa powder
200g sugar 

100g butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of baking powder 

50ml milk 
6 tablespoons of hot water


Filling: 

200g Nutella 


Buttercream: 

225g butter

200g icing sugar 

100g Nutella 

125g dark chocolate (or 60g milk chocolate & 60g dark chocolate) 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Decoration: 

100g chopped hazelnuts 

8-10 Ferrero Rochers  


Directions: 

1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees 

2. Line cake tins with greaseproof paper and butter 

3. Sift cocoa powder in the mixing bowl and add 6 tablespoons of hot water until it forms into a paste 
4. Add eggs, butter and sugar to the mixture and whisk 
5. Slowly sift flour and baking powder to the mixture and whisk until a thick consistency is formed 
6. Pour equal amounts of mixture into the cake tins and bake for 25-35minutes 
7. Whilst the cake is baking, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water and leave to cool

8. Sift icing sugar and add butter in the mixing bowl and whisk until a paste is formed 

9. Add vanilla extract, melted chocolate and Nutella to the mixture until a smooth consistency is formed 

10. Using either a rolling pin or blender, chop up those hazelnuts if you have whole ones 
11. The cake should be nearly done by now, always check if its cooked right through by poking a skewer stick through the centre. If no mixture sticks to the stick then it's done but always leave to cool for a few hours before decorating 
12. To decorate simply fill one top of a cake with Nutella (cut the top off if you need to make it flat), place the other on top and start butter creaming all the way round and on top whilst carefully adding the hazelnuts on the side and sprinkle on top

13. Finish off with Ferrero Rochers around the cake and you are ready to enjoy a slice (or two!) 



(I have also added a spray of Dr. Oetker silver shimmer spray on top for extra effect) 



Happy Baking :) 

Clarissa x