Prior to Wimbledon I took part in the Lavazza coffee recipe challenge all the recipes were amazing, and, although I thought that they were wonderful, my first round coffee candied almonds somehow did not appeal to the judges. However in a rare feat of planning ahead I had also made some cappuccino muffins and coffee curd.
The lovely Michelle at Utterly Scrummy was even more of a blogging whirling dervish than she usually is for the duration, and came up with about 30 amazing coffee recipes, as well as having a coffee themed dinner party whilst working nights and looking after her three girls. I am in awe. Her runners-up prize was to attend the press day at Wimbledon, and when she asked my to be her plus one I jumped at the chance.
I do have a small confession to make that I was not entirely sure that I like tennis. But Wimbledon is an experience and I was keen to go. And I really loved it. Watching live tennis is very very different to the television experience, and although I do not follow it, or watch on the telly I would jump at the change to go again. We met Goran Ivaniševic, who was serving the crowds cups of Lavazza (it has to be said that Michelle was rather more excited than I was, and it was her who made me take the photo of his buns!) . Ed tells me that we should not like Goran as he knocked out Tim Henman in a rain-soaked match in 2001 (had the Centre Court had a roof then the story might have been very different?)
I also won a fastest reply gets the goodies email from Lavazza, and was given some tickets to see Sting at the Henley Festival (which they also sponsor), which I had never been to either. I remember my late aunt saying that when she first went to Henley (some time just after WWII when she was in her early 20s) she thought she had died and gone to heaven.
The Henley Festival could only happen in England – picture a crowd dressed in black tie and wellies (it was muddy), entertained before the festival by such eccentricities as a brass quartet playing the Final Countdown – which has to be heard to be imagined – a wandering polar bear (like a pantomime horse but complete with growl) and a giant inflatable lobster! Only in England!
Sting was amazing, the best bit was the punt drifting along the river just as he started An Englishman in New York, rather memorable was an exceedingly inebriated Suggs from Madness storming the stage and needing two bouncers to remove him (top right photo).
Recipe: Cappuccino Muffins
125g / 4 ½oz plain flour
42g / 1 ½ oz caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
1 shot espresso
85g / 3oz milk (soy or dairy)
42g / 1½oz sunflower oil
1 heaped tbs mascarpone or cream cheese
1 tsp grated plain chocolate
Whisk the coffee, oil and milk mixture with a fork. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together (the batter should be lumpy and mixing should take no more than 15 folds). Mix the mascarpone and chocolate together. Dollop the mixture into your usual muffin pan. Drop a spoonful of the mascarpone and chocolate mixture onto each muffin and prod it so it partially sinks into the batter. Bake at GM5/190C/375F for 20 – 25 mins until risen.
Many many thanks to Lavazza for sending some of their sponsorship tickets my way.