Well it is 1:30pm in London (5:30am in Seattle). Despite being here two nights, I'm still completely jet lagged. I'm managing, though the Little Humble is not, so we've been staying close to home (Greenwich) and trying to adjust before conquering central London next week.
The trip from Seattle was pretty uneventful. Apart from me splitting my trousers while attempting to assemble a stroller in Heathrow, which as far as air travel disasters go, I'll take it.
I'm blaming shoddy construction of course, as the pants didn't split, they disintegrated. Splitting completely from front waistband to back. Essentially creating black trouser chaps. Naturally it has nothing to do with the size of my bottom. Nothing! Though, after today's--and possibly tomorrow's--bakery raid… it very well might become an issue.
You see, I heard that a bakery in Greenwich possessed 'the worlds best brownies' with such a claim and being walking distance from our temporary London home, I had to go check it out.
The 'worlds best brownies' are sold at the Rhodes bakery, run by Paul Rhodes. I like this man, not because he has three Michelin stars to his name, but that his bakery serves up slices of princess cake the size of my daughters head. Rock on, Paul.
Some bakery photos:
So I loaded up at Rhodes, selecting as much as I could carrying home:
- Two sausage rolls
- One sourdough boule
- Two world's best brownies
- One hefty slice of princess cake
So Mr. Humble and I hiked back home with our loot and commenced with the eating.
First the sausage rolls, which had been beckoning me from the cooler cases at a couple grocery stores we toured today.
I've never had a British Sausage roll before, so this was supposed to be one of my foodie-tourist experiences. I have had the nearest U.S. equivalent, our '50s chic 'pigs in a blanket' which have nothing on these. The sausage rolls were delicious and substantial, consisting of flaky puff pastry wrapped around a mildly spiced sausage filling. Of course, the combination of buttery puff pastry with ground pork is the very essence of a cardiologist's nightmare. Nom.
Now usually I try to balance my dessert heavy diet with simple healthy food, but I'm on vacation, so bring on the fat-flagellation.
We followed our sausage rolls with the worlds best brownies:
I was a little concerned about these brownies being dry, as they didn't look terribly moist sitting there on the counter. However when I got them home I was happily surprised at the dense fudge-like texture. No, not fudgey, the ubiquitous descriptive term applied to almost all brownies. These were literally like fudge. The outside is a bit crisp, giving way with a delicate crackle to reveal the dense interior.
Mr. Humble and I agreed they were quite good. World's best though? I don't know… I would have liked a bolder chocolate flavor from them but I did adore the texture.
Next was the princess cake.
I love Swedish princess cake. Love it. It is my hands-down favorite cake. All that cream and marzipan, oh so good. In fact, it is the favorite cake of all the Humble women. It is a birthday staple for us and we don't like sharing. I remember as a kid, Mother Humble treating herself to this cake around her birthday and insisting that it was her cake and we--my three younger siblings and I--were to leave it alone.
Being wild, disobedient children, we never did.
This cake is a little different from the norm. For starters it is pink. Rather than containing a thin layer of jam, the cake had a layer of what I assume to be a diplomat cream flavored with strawberry. Also, the ratio of filling to cake is almost equal, where usually you see this cake loaded sky high with cream. In fact, that is what makes them so challenging to make, as layering marzipan over a high dome of creamy-goodness requires a bit of engineering.
It was so good. The sponge cake was so moist and despite loathing strawberries with every fiber of my being, the layer of flavored cream was delicious. Perhaps it's only flaw--and this is just my personal preference--is that it could of had a higher ratio of cream to cake.
I plan on trying to recreate a similar cake once I'm home for the blog. It must be done.
As for tomorrow... I might be popping into Rhodes' Bakery again. After all, I have three more pairs of pants to ruin.