Friday, January 3, 2014

Konditor and Cook - London Bakeries - Field Trip!

A series of posts from visiting interesting little (and large) cafes, food-related establishments and other places of inspiration.

Purveyors of the "best mince pies in Britain" (as judged by the Telegraph in 2009), I'd wanted to visit the original Konditor and Cook shop in Waterloo after seeing their impressive spread at Curzon Soho Cinema last year.

It's a very attractive shop, with the Konditor purple on the window frames and wrapping ribbons, and it was still full of cakes and goodies just before closing time.

If you follow the display window along the outside of the store you can see through to the actual kitchens at the back where the magic happens every day. I believe they also have some eat-in space inside the bakery, but this was closed at the time I arrived.

The Konditor mince pies were indeed lovely, and that wasn't just because I was eating it on the bus home, starving. They are nicely homemade in appearance, not too perfect with charming cracks and leaks here and there. When we compared them to actually homemade versions later on, I liked how particularly juicy the Konditor and Cook filling was, although the freshly baked, crisp homemade pastry won out over the long shelf life Konditor casing. Anyway, lots of ideas to improve my mince pies for next year :)

Very pretty packaging

I also got one of the large and excitingly packaged stollen loaves to try back at home with the family. They are a bit expensive (I think it was about 15 pounds) but would make an impressive gift and go a long way when shared. It was my favourite type of stollen too, with marzipan through the centre. It was interesting to see that the sugar coating was made of caster sugar, as many recipes list icing sugar and I find that 'melts' within a couple of days to a sticky mess and doesn't keep that well.

The festive and cosy-looking window of Waterloo branch of Konditor and Cook, just before closing on a December evening.

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