By my very nature, I am a planner. I consider myself to be very organised and this seeps into most (all!) parts of my life. So when I learnt we were going to be heading to Manchester for my Birthday, I immediately headed to my good friend google to discover what the city had to offer in the way of food. Or to be more specific – dessert! I came across two delights that were not to be missed. Before our journey into Manchester city centre, our hotel kindly laid out a little spread for my Birthday. It certainly started our break on the right note!
The first, I didn’t actually think we would get the chance to fit into our trip. We’d gone out to dinner on my actual Birthday to a BBQ Smokehouse and after finishing up a lot of meat, I remember thinking how something sweet would finish the meal quite nicely. I did a quick google (friends for life, me and G!) and found Hawksmoor was just round the corner. It was already 9:30pm and with the restaurant closing at 10pm, we dashed there and were welcome to a table, declaring we only wanted dessert. And they knew exactly what we were after – the Ambassador’s Reception. While they can’t name it as such for legal reasons, it’s essentially a giant Ferrero Roche. A chocolate shell with ganache, hazelnuts, Nutella, the creamiest ice cream and a Nutella cream, topped with edible gold leaf, this was seriously luxurious dessert. We were supposed to be sharing but I think Matt saw how much I was enjoying it and he backed off fairly soon, insisting he was “quite fully already.” I wasn’t surprised to see that most diners opted for the Ambassador’s Reception, it certainly wasn’t cheap at £8.75 (although 50p going to Action Against Hunger) but it was one of those puddings that you simply don’t forget and remains a benchmark for all other desserts.
The second sin was always going to have to happen. I worked out we’d have time to visit Black Milk* before we left to go home. I’ll admit we didn’t find it straight away as it was tucked in a building full of lots of lovely unique shops but we soon found ourselves in the right place where every cereal you could think of lined the walls.
We were welcomed to our table by a really lovely waitress whose name I didn’t catch. Realistically, the place is all about two main components. The chocolate bowls and the milkshakes. Naturally, I’d already perused the menu online so I was very confident with my order. I chose a chocolate bowl in milk (there was white and dark too) and went for the Om Nom Nom which contained Cookie Crisp, Hershey’s Cookies n Creme, Krave Cereal with Oreos, a giant cookie, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a bottle of fudge milk. Matt chose a Triple Salted Caramel Cheesecake stack where the base was caramel butter and Bischoff crush, the filling was Lotus Bischoff, cream wafer, salted caramel and whole milk. The High Rise (essentially the massive topping) was supposed to be Salted Caramel cheesecake but they were all out so instead he went with a chocolate brownie.
It’s safe to say your eyes grow wide when your food is brought out to you, it has to be seen to be truly appreciated. Black Milk dances seductively between breakfast and dessert, both of which happen to be my favourite meals! My chocolate bowl was wonderfully crafted and several times I had to remind myself it was actually chocolate by snapping a bit off here and there. I busied myself with the contents of the bowl so much so that I didn’t actually end up eating a huge amount of the bowl itself! It doesn’t feel strange eating cereal fused with chocolate sauce and cream, as quite simply, it just worked. Matt too relished his high raise shake, commenting that it was filling enough to be a meal all on its own. And having seen the size of the thing, I’m not surprised!
Our foodie fun drew to a close with a visit to my Mums where she had prepared a Birthday Cake! I was actually a bit worried I wouldn’t be able to eat any after Black Milk Cereal but the cake was so incredible I practically inhaled it! The cake was layered with Kinder Bueno Icing (from my recipe here) and covered in a creamy chocolate frosting, topped and decorated with various chocolate delights. My mum is fantastic at making cakes and makes a real effort for our birthdays and I can confirm that the cake didn’t last long! Matt and I actually ended up eating the slices meant for my in-laws, oops!
I hope I haven’t made you too hungry with this weeks post! I promise we didn’t just eat while in Manchester – we enjoyed the spa and a spot of shopping too. I appreciate this is all very bad stuff and had it not been for my birthday, we certainly wouldn’t have over indulged as we did. In fact, as I write, I am currently on my first week of my new ‘healthy’ food plan, which I probably need after this lot. Wish me luck!
*Meal at Black Milk provided free of charge in return for this review.