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Jackies Blog

Foodie Paradise

Published 22.10.14 · Foodie ·

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Hands up who’s going to the NI Food & Drink show this weekend? Meeeeee!!!!!! And it promises to be the biggest and best yet. Building on the success of last year’s show, the NI Food & Drink show will be returning to The Kings Hall Pavilion from Friday 24th – Sunday 26th October. 

A packed programme showcasing some of NI’s most talented foodie and artisan producers.  Promoting local farmers, delis, retailers, chocolatiers, cheese makers and distillers. You’ll get to meet the passionate producers behind the brands. There’ll be shopping, sampling, an artisan village, street food stands, live baking demonstrations from top bakers and pastry chefs – Can we really fit this into a weekend?

Rachel Allen

And that’s not all…. This year they’ve got a dazzling array of celebrity chefs including James Martin (eeekk), Rachel Allen, John Torode and Simon Rimmer (wow). And while your waiting for your celebrity demo there’ll be plenty of seating areas perfect for people watching and posing, serving teas, coffee, wine and champagne (did someone say champers?), as well as a special focus on NI Craft Beers, Ales and Cider. #LeaveTheCarAtHome.

Simon Rimmer 

But it’s not just the show that’s had us all a twitter; it’s the little spin off events that took place in the run up. Take for instance The Big Weekend Baking Challenge. To celebrate the new Phoenix Natural Gas Baking Stage Food & Drink Show NI set a challenge to local home bakers to create their favourite cake, bun, biscuit or pastry then photograph and send in the results. 3 (very) lucky winners each picked up a pair of VIP tickets to the Show on the day of their choice (James Martin, James Martin!) and get to meet with both the chefs performing that day (seriously). They’ll also receive a personally autographed cookbook from both chefs (now that’s a competition worth entering). Baakkkee!

And the winners are ……………..(Please check back on Friday when I’ll post the winning pics). 


So…….. In an attempt to get into the spirit of the show I thought I’d choose a recipe from one of the celebrity chef’s cookery books and cook/bake/boil it myself. I make no apology for my crush on James Martin so of course I chose his, and picked the simplest recipe I could find. The Ice Box Cake is made from just 3 simple ingredients. James says “This is my favourite pudding in the book.  I first tried it at the Magnolia Bakery in New York City (made famous by Sex and the City), and loved it so much I now make it at home.” So with a nod to SATC (one of my fav shows of ALL time), tonight I’m going to pop my SATC box on, I’ll choose appropriately stylish baking attire (Okaaaay), I’ll pour a cheeky glass of bubbly (or two), put on my cutest pink pinny and have fun baking my cake. As for the Manolo’s? I think best we leave them in the box. 


 To get regular updates on The Food and Drink Show NI click here

 To book tickets (but you better hurry)…… Call 0844 338 0338 or click here

 Ice Box Cake Recipe

“This is my favourite pudding in the book.  I first tried it at the Magnolia Bakery in New York City (made famous by Sex and the City), and loved it so much I now make it at home.  I hide the biscuit packet, though! The show’s not really my thing (no cars or guns), but the cakes are great.  The idea is that New York ladies are short on time, so they make this with a few ingredients, then put it in the ice box (in other words, the fridge) for a while to soften the biscuits into a cake texture – hence the name.  I sometimes like to use soft fruit in the cream, but a coffee cream also works well with ginger biscuits”. – James Martin.

 Serves 10-14

 400g raspberries (optional)

2 litres double cream

70 chocolate biscuits

 1)        Crush the raspberries, if using, through a sieve to make a smooth purée.

2)        Whip the cream to loose, soft peaks and fold through the raspberry purée to create a marbled effect.

3)        Place 7 biscuits in a circle formation on a cake stand, cover in a layer of the raspberry cream, making sure the biscuits are still visible at the sides.  Top with another layer of biscuits.

4)        Repeat the process until you have used up all the biscuits, and finish with a layer of cream.  Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge for a few hours and serve very cold.

See you at the show x


Ice Box Cake Recipe

Thanks for reading, Jackie.

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