Month: April 2009

Qype Whisky and Cake

A few weeks ago, the lovely TikiChris invited me to a tasting party that is pretty much what I’d expect the food in heaven to be like: all baked goods and whisky. Yes, lucky readers, you get to drool at my luck in attending the glorious taste partnership of London-based bakery Outsider Tart and Scotland-based distillery, Compass Box Whisky.

The only thing is that if it were really heaven, I wouldn’t have been left with a sugar overload that left my hands vibrating like a drug dealer’s pager in 1996.

I’ll admit it was a little painful. But you, know, in a good way.

Outsider Tart (follow them on Twitter here) is a company started by an American couple, “The Davids” (David Lesniak and David Muniz) from Mississippi. Shortly after they arrived in London, they began – like many of us – to miss some things from home, mainly the desserts. Instead of settling for sorry excuses for brownies (*cough* Pret *cough*) they decided to take things into their own hands, and start baking.

A year later, they have their own thriving business inthe London market scene (check out where they sell their goods here) and are opening up their own Outsider Tart bakery in Chiswick in a few week’s time. There are also plans to open up a Southern-style small plates restaurant at their kitchens on Bateman Street in Soho.

They bake just about anything, but their specialty is the pecan pie – something you’ll be hardpressed to find baked correctly in London Town. I tried a little – it has a lovely delicate crust, a very sweet bourbon-y molasses pecan filling. It almost borders on too sweet, so make sure to have just a bit. It’s definitely one for sharing!

They also bake scones, biscuits, muffins, morning breads, coffee cakes, layer cakes, cupcakes, brownies, pies and tarts. I got to try a little bit of everything:

  • Double chocolate brownies
  • White chocolate brownies
  • Raisin cake with marscapone cheese
  • Apple crumble cake
  • Pecan pie
  • Corn and blueberry muffins
  • Cinnamon Swirl Muffins
  • 4 different types of homemade marshmallows (peach, anise, cinammon, coffee)
  • chunky granola
  • And of course, Compass Box Whisky (more on that later)

I’ll admit that upon looking at the online store, the baked goods are a little (ok, a lot) pricey. Brownies, for example, are £2.50 each, minimum 12 per order. The small bag of granola I got to take home with me retails for £3.50. I believe you can buy individual things at all of their farmer’s markets though. that might seem a little more reasonable.


To accompany our desserts, we had Compass Box Whisky.

One of the reasons I’m such a fan of whisky is that it has so much depth. Caramel, vanilla, musk, wood, floral – it’s almost like wine. The spread from Compass Box was a fantastic way to show the variety and intensity that whisky has to offer. The spread:

  • Asyla: Sweeter, more delicate ‘whisky for beginners’. Aged for 10-12 years, so it’s still pretty light without being wimpy
  • The Peat Monster: Does what it says! If you like peaty whiskys you’ll like this. Chris had a glass and I could smell it across the room. Ha.
  • Orangerie: An orange-infused whisky blend. It has some nice clove notes as well. Fun fact: each bottle’s orange is hand-zested when orange is in-season, so this whisky is only available for a limited time during the year.
  • Hedonism: This was an amazingly intense blend of flavors. Lots of toffee and vanilla. Very long finish. It was definitely my favorite of the bunch, which is unsurprising. Given a choice, I usually tend to unwittingly pick the most expensive things, and this whisky is about £50 per bottle. (The rest are about £25)
  • Oak Cross: Second favourite of the night here. Oak cross is softer than Hedonism but has the same sort of vanilla accents. It’s a bit more smoky and has some nice clove going on as well. Easily drinkable.

So a fantastic night. Thanks to Qype and Chris for putting it all together and to Outsider Tart and Compass Box for adding on a few extra hours at the gym for me.

But, you know, in a good way.

Please feel free to check out or contribute consumer reviews of Outsider Tart on Qype here and read other blogger reviews here:

If you were there last night and wrote about it, just leave a comment and I’ll link to the post.

All my photos were graciously stolen from Qype’s Flickr page because I’ve yet to buy a new camera.