With the sheer size of the city and the amount of options available. Navigating through London's food scene can be quite the challenge. If it's dessert you are looking for, keep scrolling to find some of London's best.


Dominique Ansel

My favorite bakery in London. Stop by for lunch, free wifi, and the monthly cronut flavor! Also, the bakery has an impressive case filled with amazing "London exclusive" desserts.



What to get: cronut, eton mess lunchbox, cookie shots, and caramel peanut butter mousse cake 
Where: Victoria

 Harrods

The worlds first department store knows how to put up a bakery case. Be sure to take a few laps around the food room before you order; you won't want to miss anything. 


What to get: pastries, cupcakes, large cakes
Where: Knightsbridge

Gelateria 3BIS

While I'm keeping most of my top ice cream recommendations off this list in favor of bakeries and other desserts, I had to add my all time favorite spot. If you are looking for more amazing ice cream, I've got an entire post for it!


What to get: dark chocolate, stracciatella, custard
Where: Borough Market

Crosstown Doughnuts

I happened to wander into this fantastic coffee/doughnut shop in Shoreditch one morning and haven't been able to stop telling people about it. With sourdough donuts baked fresh daily, fantastic flavors, and a {slightly} healthier mini doughnut option, this place is one for the record books.



What to get: sea salt caramel banana, apricot & lavender (pictured), yuzu & passionfruit
Where: Shoreditch

Cutter and Squidge

The perfect little bakery to try something you've never had before. Try their specialty invention, the Biskie, a cookie/cake hybrid filled with buttercream and a variety confections. I highly recommend pairing it with their ice cream!


What to get: biskie with ice cream, huge cake slices
Where: Soho

Pastéis de Nata

Find Pasteis de Nata, Portuguese custard filled tarts, at one of London's many markets! One of my favorites can be found in Portobello Market but these little bites can be found all around the city.


Maitre Choux

One of London's bakery staples and eclair heaven. Almost too beautiful too eat, Maitre Choux is a must for any traveler or local.  


What to get: anything! my favorite was the blackberry (pictured above)
Where: South Kensington
With "dancing" buildings and bike lanes wider than roads, Amsterdam is a city you have to visit to believe. While I highly recommend spending more than one day in the canal filled capital, European vacations require some quick turnarounds. So to make the most out of your day in Amsterdam, here is our one day food guide.


Breakfast:

Bakers and Roasters

If you are looking for an amazing breakfast head on over to De Pip district for Bakers and Roasters. Owned by a Kiwi and a Brazilian, the menu is creative, new, and approachable for all diners. While the restaurant is walk-in only, your wait wont be long on a weekday and well worth it on the weekend.







On the Go Recommendation: Stach


To make the most out of your time in Amsterdam, you may want breakfast on the go. Head over to Stach by the Rijksmuseum for a wide selection of on the go products such as stroop waffles, bakery goods, chia bowls, fresh juices, and sandwiches








Lunch:

The Pantry

The Pantry offers a quiet and laid back setting within the busy city to enjoy hearty traditional Dutch dishes. 


Dinner:

Incanto


Before checking out the bustling bars and nightlife of Rembrant Square, head around the block to Incanto for an amazing Italian dinner with perfect second story views. Truly in the spirit of Amsterdam, the restaurant is located in an old home up a twisted staircase, making the dining experience both intimate and modern.




Dessert:

Van Ness Cupcakes

For the best cupcakes in Amsterdam check out Van Ness!





Extra Day?

Consider taking a short train trip to the Zandvoort Strand and having lunch on the beach. Here is a shot from our beach lunch at Tent 6.







Nutella filled chocolate layer cake with chocolate buttercream. Moving right to the "need" category.


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Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Yields one 9-inch cake with two layers
Servers 8-10

For the Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup milk, buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350º F. Cut two parchment rounds to fit 9 inch cake pans. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans, place the parchment paper in the bottom, and butter and lightly flour the parchment. 

Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and instant coffee powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.

Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely. Keeping the parchment paper on the cake, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and freeze for at least three hours up to five days.

For the Frosting:

2 cups sugar
6 egg whites, room temperature
3 cups (6 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium/high heat. Place a metal or glass bowl on top of the pan. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl and whisk constantly for several minutes, until the mixture is hot to the touch and sugar has completely dissolved. When you rub the mixture between your fingers it should be smooth, not grainy.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk on medium speed for several minutes. Once the mixture has cooled down completely, whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.
With the mixer running on medium speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, until all the butter has been added and mixture is thick and creamy. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix in until evenly distributed.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

¾ cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter

Place chocolate chips and butter in a small saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly once the chips begin to melt, until you have a smooth, pour-able mixture. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

For Assembly:

Cake turntable
1 9-inch cake board
Serrated knife
Nutella or other hazelnut spread
Piping bag
Star piping tip
Preferred hazelnut or chocolate truffle 

Affix the cake board to the turntable with small pieces of tape. Remove cake from freezer, unwrapping the plastic wrap. Place the cake, parchment side down on the counter and level off the top with the serrated knife, rotating the cake while slicing for the greatest accuracy. Repeat with other layer. 

Place one cake layer in the center of the turntable. Spread Nutella over the cake. Stack the second layer, trimmed side down, atop the first. Frost with chocolate frosting reserving approx. 1 cup for decoration. Pour slightly cooled chocolate ganache over the top of the cake until just reaching the edges. Smooth over the side for a two toned look, or allow ganache to drip over freely. 

Place reserved frosting in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe small swirls atop the cake. Place desired truffle atop the swirls. 


Allow the cake two hours to return to room temperature. After two days, store any unconsumed cake in the refrigerator. (If you have any that is.)

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While the cake does have a few components, it is not a difficult recipe and is well worth the effort. I highly recommend you do not skip freezing the cake as it makes frosting and assembly a thousand times easier!

Comment below with any questions or recipe photos!







With an ice cream shop on every corner, I went find the best of the best in London. Here are my top recommendations.

Yolkin Macaron Ice Cream


This small batch company certainly stepped up the ice cream sandwich game with a huge selection of rotating flavors, colors, and decorations. The name Yolkin comes from the fact that instead of discarding the egg yolks after using the whites for the macaron, they put the yolks back into the dessert through the ice cream.

What to get: cookies and cream (pictured), chocolate salted caramel
Where: only sold on Saturdays and Sundays 12:00pm-4:00pm at at the Siam Eatery or on Saturdays at the SFU Market from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm // Soho

Website

While they have limited availability, they are 100% worth an extra trip.

Milk Train


A sweet tooth's dream, Milk Train has many gorgeous sundae options as well as it's Instagram famous cotton candy cones. Beautiful interiors and ice cream to match it, it will make you happy.

What to Get: cotton candy cone, build your own waffle cone
Where: Covet Garden
Website

Tombo

An elegant and busy matcha bar in South Kensington. If you can get a table, they boast a wide variety savory sushi options and a matcha afternoon tea service. Otherwise, you can pop in and grab any number of beautiful matcha desserts to-go!

What to Get: matcha ice cream, poke bowl, matcha marble cheesecake
When/Where: South Kensington
Website

Miki's Paradise


With many places in London offering "freakshakes" Miki's Paradise tops them all. The menu boasts crepes, milkshakes, and juices, and guess what... we want them all.

What to Get: Freakshake
Where: Highbury
Website

Gelateria 3BIS


My personal favorite in all of London, 3BIS is everything you want in gelato. Perfectly smooth and flavorful, no gimmicks. Oh, and if you want it they'll put chocolate in the bottom.

What to Get: dark chocolate, Oreo, or custard
When/Where: Borough Market

Gelupo



A classic gelato shop from the restaurant Bocca di Lupo. Stop by after eating there, as it is one of the best Italian places in the city. The staff is incredibly friendly and the gelato is show stopping.

What to Get: chocolate 
Where: Soho
Website

The Sloan Bros.


While this photo is notably not the usual frozen yogurt look, The Sloane Bros is the best London has to offer. From simple flavors to crazy toppings, this healthy dessert is a go-to for any summer day.
  
What to Get: build your own
Where: Shoreditch
Website











Carmel Browned Butter Cake

Makes 1 9" cake
Adapted From: Tartlette

For the Caramel Cake:
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup caramel syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
Sift flour and baking powder. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients.
Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan. Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

For the Caramel Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelizing process)

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until dark amber.
When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.
Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}


For the Caramelized Butter Frosting:
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup


Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated.


For the Caramel Shards:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
3 tablespoon (45 ml water)
1 tablespoon (15 gr) corn syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and bring them to a boil. Monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer and bring the mixture to 300F and the color is slightly golden. While the caramel is reaching its desired temperature, take a sheet of parchment paper and crinkle it between your hands then flatten it out a bit. This will help with the forming of the bubbles. When the caramel is ready, slowly pour it over the parchment paper. You can lift the paper carefully to spread it around the surface if needed but watch out! I do this over a large sheet pan so all is required for clean up is hot water. Let cool completely before breaking into shards.






Because it is only one layer, decorating this cake is very simple. Feel free to add a second layer if you want.

Until next week!