I’ve been known of late to use and abuse the word ‘awesome’, though once I would have shunned it. But ‘awesome’ is the only word to describe the fantastic ‘surprise course’ at Trail of Our Bread on Saturday. A work of sugarcraft art – but how did it taste?
We saw some familiar faces when we arrived and I’ll bet they’ll write more complete accounts of what we ate – it was my night-before birthday celebration so I was glad to have any photos come out at all. We started with chestnut and chorizo soup, laden with caramelised onions. I could have eaten bucketloads (classy, me). Seconds were offered but previous supperclub experience finally came to bear and I (uncharacteristically) restrained myself, ostensibly in order to enjoy each and every course. Realistically, so that I wouldn’t need to be rolled out.
:: Fideo* pasta with garlic butter ::
:: Rabbit with petit pois, lettuce, cider and spiced glazed chicory ::
:: Rhubarb Fool with ginger shorbread ::
The main course was (Easter) bunny which again was something I’ve never cooked – or eaten for that matter. I was treated to two saddles, though I was assured that the meat on the bone was just as flavoursome. Thanks to a surprisingly good bottle of Chapel Down and a decent Cabernet Sauvignon that we were making our way through, I’m a touch cloudy about the exact order in which the next courses arrived.
There was the wibbly but tasty experimental citrus jelly, the set and ludicrously moreish Absinthe jelly, and then Jim, our host, made an announcement.
For the duration of the evening, a surprise had been hidden in plain view, right beside me. Jim knew that it was my birthday and he suggested making a cake – which Anna baked and decorated from scratch (she asked the boyfriend “What does she like?” “Meringues.” “Sod that, I’m not making a meringue”). It was a layered sponge with buttercream, jam and fondant. The sugarcrafted poppy was fab, and the touch of genius was using crushed Oreos for the soil. You paused before taking a mouthful, it was so fantastically realistic.
You never know quite what you’ll get at a supper club. This time around we had lots of new things to try (for me, rabbit and absinthe included) and shared our table with a great bunch of girls and the odd wildcard. Group photos aren’t the norm but we had those too. The set dressing – including Alice in Wonderland style TOOB goodiebags – was imaginative and sparked conversation, including whether we really should ‘Drink Me’ or not, when faced with little cork-stoppered bottles filled with what might have been absinthe or Fairy Liquid (vodka with colouring).
Thank you so much to Jim and Anna for making it such a fun night, and especially for the awesome flower pot – and yes, it did taste as good as it looked! That’s definitely out of the ordinary for novelty cakes – and hell, anyone who knows me know how fussy I am about baked goods. Anyone need a bespoke cake for an event? I recommend you contact and try to cajole her.
*I think that’s what the pasta was… and more photos are here