York is the kind of city that I recommend every time some friend comes from Brazil to visit me in Nottingham. The city is lovely, the streets are picturesque, the walk in the walls is very pleasant, the minster is impressive and there are a range of goods museums available (even though I did not like the rail museum - I apparently am not a train person).
If you are going there, I strongly recommend a visit to Shambles Kitchen, a local independent small "restaurant" located at the end of the famous Shambles street. The menu is reduced, but the two sandwiches I tried there (pulled pork and home-made pastrami) were really good!
The place is small, so not much seats available and do not expect anything special or fantastic, just very good sandwiches for a quick and relatively cheap bite.
This weekend I discovered Boavista, a portuguese restaurant in Nottingham.
It is a pretty simple place, with a portuguese ambiance (much louder than a British restaurant, with TVs showing portuguese shows, and people talking in portuguese) and very good options. I tried the bacalhau a Gomes Sá, a traditional Portuguese dish with salted cod, potatoes, onion, eggs and lots of olive oil. My girlfriend tried spare ribs. Both dishes were very well done and following the Portuguese style of cooking (no sauce on the ribs, for instance).
But the real climax were the dessert: Portuguese custard tart (I cringe just by using custard to describe the filling of these tarts... it is much more than custard!). It was absolutely delicious.
And, to crown the visit, a very good espresso. I would not say it is the best coffee in town (as they state in the front show windows), but it is very very good.
Bakewell tart can be seen as a cake on a tart base or as a tart with a topping that looks like a cake. Anyway, it is delicious. Maybe too heavy for a desert, but perfect to accompany coffee or tea.
Ingredients for the Shortbread Base:
170 grams plain flour
60 grams sugar
Pinch sea salt
100 grams cold unsalted butter, cubed
6 tbsp raspberry jam (Dalfour is my favourite)
Ingredients for the Topping:
120 grams unsalted butter, melted
120 grams caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75 grams ground almonds
75 grams plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
30 grams flaked almonds
1 tbsp of vanilla paste (easily exchangeable for vanilla pods)
Pre-heat your oven to 175° C. Butter and line a 18cm x 20cm x 5cm baking pan with baking parchment.
For the shortbread base: combine all the ingredients, except the jams, in a food processor and blitz until the mixture has just come together into a ball. Press (do not exaggerate) the pastry evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven.
Turn the temperature down to 165° C. Let the base cool for 10 minutes. Gently spread the jam over the pastry. Stop before the edges, so the jam does not come off when you put the topping.
For the topping: beat the butter and sugar with a electric mixer. Once creamy, add the eggs and beat well. Mix the ground almonds, flour and baking powder in a bowl and then fold in the mixture in the liquid mixture. Add the vanilla paste and mix. Spread this over the jam evenly and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Return to the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and set.
Cool before slicing and serving. It serves 5 people for a afternoon tea (2 fingers, as in the photo above, each).
The recipe above was adapted (reduced and slightly changed for my taste) from kitchenlioness.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/bakewell-tart-fingers-by-londons.html and it was originally published in a book by Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Bakery in London. I had the chance of eating her bakewell tart fingers at the street market in London and that is the reason I tried this recipe for the first time. It was delicious! I do recommend it.
Doughnut, as simple as that.
Although they do not sell the delicious freshly baked doughnut typically found in street festivals, they still do a great job with regular doughnut. And they are not pretentious. Among the options, you can find flavours that could be considered at least questionable, such as Creamy Egg (a chocolate doughnut with a creamy egg hidden in it). However, they really do a great job with the basic and, as a result, the end product are usually very good.
My favourite flavours are Death by Chocolate and Salted Caramel (they have version with and without filling).
It definitively worth a visit! (even though the coffee is not good)