Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

Moist, flavorful and delicious- a classic combo that everyone loves!

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Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs (at room temperature)

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature

lemon zest and juice from 1 lemon

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Lemon glaze

•2 Tablespoons butter, melted

•1/2 cup powdered sugar

•2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180deg C and slightly grease a 9″x 5″ loaf pan with butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients using a spatula just until smooth. Be careful not to over-mix.
  4. Toss fresh blueberries together with one tablespoon of flour.  This flour coating will help prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your loaf while baking.
  5. Add the flour coated berries to the batter and fold gently to combine.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Cool bread in the pan for about 20 minutes, then move to a wire cooling rack with a baking sheet below (to catch the glaze you’re about to add).
  8. Prepare glaze by simply whisking together the melted butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla; then pour glaze over the loaf.  Allow to set a few minutes.

 

Crumbliest Scones

These are essentially British, delicious and simple to make… Get baking and fill your home with the smell of freshly baked scones!

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It is no secret that I have always wanted to open my own cafe. And this is the sign that I will put up at the storefront when a batch of scones are hot and ready (Yes! I stole the idea from Kripsy Kreme’s neon sign!!).

scones

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Ingredients (serves 8):

Plain flour, for dusting

1.5 cups self-raising flour

40g butter, softened and cubed

3/4 cups milk

1 cup dried fruit, e.g. cranberries/ raisins (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Sift self-raising flour into a large bowl.
  2. Rub butter into flour using your fingertips, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Make a well in the centre. Add milk and mix until mixture forms a soft dough. Add in dried fruit if any.
  4. Knead gently until smooth (don’t overwork the dough or scones will be tough).
  5. Pat dough into 2cm-thick. Cut out 8 rounds using a 5cm round cutter.
  6. Place scones onto baking tray, 1cm apart. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen.
  8. Serve warm with jam and cream.

No-peel Apple Cream Cheese Tart

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am a BIG sucker for apple tarts. Indeed, I like all sorts of apple desserts- apple turnover, tarte tartin, apple strudel, etc etc… As much as I like these aromatic pastries filled with the unmistakable scent of cinnamon, I seldom make them on my own because I hate peeling apples!!! So you can probably imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this no-peel apple tart recipe. ♥

Happy baking everyone!


Pastry:

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

70g icing sugar

125g unsalted butter, cubed

1 egg yolk

Beans for baking

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon

Topping:

3 apples (cut into 8 -12 slices each)

4 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C fan.
  2. To make the pastry, mix the flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until crumbly.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks, roll into a ball. If the pastry is still too dry, add 1-2 tbsp water until it comes together.
  4. Place the pastry in your tart pan and, using your fingertips; evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of your pan. Gently pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.)
  5. When ready, place the tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
  6. Beat cream cheese using a hand mixer until smooth. Add sugar gradually until incorporated. Add eggs (one at a time) until thoroughly combined.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well blended and smooth.
  8. Carefully pour the filling into the pre-baked tart shell and then bake the tart for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the filling is set. Transfer tart to wire rack to cool and start making the topping.
  9. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoon brown sugar. Sauté the apples, frequently stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes until they just begin to turn tender. (Be careful not to overcook at this stage as the apples may become puree!)
  10. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining sugar and add cinnamon. Toss the mixture gently and cook over medium heat for an additional 1-2 minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize, and the apples are crisp-tender.
  11. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping spiral pattern. Pour the remaining caramel sauce on top of the apples.
  12. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving!

Strawberry and Nutella Swirl Bread

Happy Sunday! It’s always tempting to head out for brunch on the weekend, but why not stay in and try these? Coffee refills are free and brunch at home means you don’t have to get changed or put on any make-up.

And if someone ever tells you that you put too much Nutella on your bread, stop talking to them… You don’t need that negativity in your life!


Ingredients

For the dough:

2⁄3 cup lukewarm whole milk

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

0.25-ounce active dry yeast

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

1/2 cup of Nutella or any other chocolate sauce

2 cups fresh berries (sliced fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries)

1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm milk, granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup flour, beating at low speed to combine.
  2. Add melted butter and 1⁄2 cup flour, beating until combined. Add eggs, beating to combine. Gradually add salt and remaining 1.5 cups flour, knead to form a soft dough.
  3. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Grease a cast-iron skillet with butter.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18×16-inch rectangle. Spread with Nutella, leaving a 1⁄2 inch border. Sprinkle generously with berries.
  6. Starting at one long side, roll up dough, pressing seam to seal.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half length-wise, leave 1-inch of the edge uncut at the top. The doughy halves are then flipped upward.
  8. Start braiding the two pieces, by carefully lifting the left strand over the right strand. Repeat this motion until you reach the bottom of the dough. Press together to seal.
  9. Join the two ends, creating a circle with the dough and press together.
  10. Transfer the dough ring to the prepared cast iron skillet. Brush the wreath with the beaten egg.
  11. Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for around 30 minutes (loosely cover with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary), or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband, like many other men, was not a big fan of desserts. He’d always said to people that he didn’t have a sweet tooth, but a salt tooth. Given the choice between a decadent chocolate cake and a simple pack of potato chips, it would be the savory latter every time. But then he discovered something better than sweet, something better than salty, which was the two of them combined together – salted caramel. Everything has changed since then… From Pierre Hermes macarons to Häagen-Dazs ice-cream, he orders everything with salted caramel. The salt-sweet combo is somehow so surprising and compelling; two very opposite flavors, instead of overshadowing one and other, tingle away in conjunction…

It’s his birthday today so I’ve made him these salted caramel cookies to celebrate!

Dear C, you are the salt to my caramel, milk to my cookie, gin to my tonic… best to my friend and love of my life…Happy birthday! I can’t wait to grow old with you ❤


(Yield 2 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

1 stick butter, unsalted, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1/4 cup caramel sauce

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoons sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with hand mixer until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add in vanilla extract and egg, beat until incorporated, pour in caramel and beat until incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time.
  4. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Slowly add the sugary mixture to the dry ingredients.
  6. Add in chocolate chips. Stir until they are evenly mixed.
  7. Place dough in the refrigerator for an hour.
  8. Line baking sheet with silicone baking mat.
  9. Scoop dough into a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoop and place the dough onto the prepared cooking sheet.
  10. Place about 2 inches apart. Flatten the dough balls slightly.
  11. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes, until edges are slightly golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, and then transfer to a cookie cooling rack.

 

Pavlova with Strawberry Jam and Rosewater Chantilly Cream

Unlike its distant cousins macarons which have gained so much attention in the culinary world, pavlova- also a meringue based dessert, remains rather less known. The dessert was believed to be created by a hotel chef in the 1920s in honor of the beautiful Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova during one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand (thanks Wikipedia!). A pavlova is made with a French meringue which is cooked in the oven for a long time, about an hour, at a very low temperature to let it dry out. The outer shell of the meringue should be crisp, while the interior has a fluffy, marshmallowy texture. The cooled meringue is then topped with whipped cream and fruit right before being served. Nothing beats a good pavlova in springtime – light and airy, topped with seaonal berries, it feels a lot “healthier” than it really is!


6 servings
Pavlova
Ingredients:
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (can be substituted with white vinegar)
Pinch of salt
3/4 cups sugar

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 120 C.
2) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 4 4-inch circles on the parchment paper.
3) With an electric mixer set to medium, whisk together the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt for 3 minutes. Let the mixer keep running and add in the sugar, a spoonful at a time. Stop when the meringue is thick and can form stiff (around 6 minutes in total).
4) Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Start from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly, and leave a slight depression in the center.
5) Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. (Halfway through baking rotate the baking sheets so the meringues will cook as evenly as possible.)
6) Allow to cool in the oven before trying to remove them from the parchment paper (otherwise they may stick!).

Rosewater Whipped Cream
Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 drop of red coloring
a very small amount of rose water

Directions:
1) Add the cream to the bowl of an electric mixer.
2) Beat on high speed until it begins to thicken.
3) While the mixer is still running gradually add the sugar and coloring.
4) Once the whipped cream is ready turn off the mixer.
5) Add rosewater in small amount. Taste and see if you think the whipped cream has enough rose flavor, if not repeat the process. (Rose water can be quite potent so you don’t want to overdo it.)
6) Assemble the dessert by putting the whipped cream on top of the Pavlova, add strawberry jam and berries for garnishing.


Banana Bread

Finally lay my hands on this new member of my cookbook collection. Published by my alma mater for fund raising- this ultimate cookbook features a selection of recipes gathered by the Maryknoll Sisters through their years of missionary work over the world.

When it comes to cookbooks, everyone has a different opinion regarding the perfect one, to me, it is the total package: delicious recipes that work, beautiful photography, and most importantly, writing that inspires and intrigues. Half a century ago, when most people rarely travel far from their hometown, our Sisters had this pioneering idea of compiling a cookbook made with a vast collection of international cuisine. These recipes collected from over 40 countries, given by families oversea, were the testament of love via sharing of food. Browsing through all the strange names of dishes, from Cazuela Chilena of Chile to Kachambali of Tanzania, some of them even unpronounceable, I felt like going on a culinary journey with the Maryknoll sisters. While I may not be able to accomplish something so great like them- cooking around the globe and spreading the word of God. I enjoy cooking for my loved ones and doing all sorts of food experiment in my tiny kitchen, that what keeps me grounded.

This banana bread is by far my favorite recipe from the book; it is a very basic and very forgiving recipe that takes all of 10 minutes to whisk together. An hour of waiting while your house fills with tempting aromas and then you’ll be able to enjoy your very own slide of warm, moist banana bread! Oh…I just can’t wait to try the rest of the recipes! After all the best cookbooks are the ones that gain its stains through frequent use, and later, passed down from generation to generation like a legacy.

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Ingredients (for a 10x20cm loaf):
230 grams flour
2.5 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 overripe bananas
2 eggs
175 g sugar
60g canola oil
30g butter (melted)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 175∘C and adjust the oven rack to the center. Line a 10×20 cm loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Mash the bananas and mix in all the wet ingredients (eggs, sugar, canola oil, melted butter and vanilla) in another bowl. Fold the mixture into the dry ingredients to form a batter.
4. Pour batter to the lined pan and bake at 175∘C. Slit the center of batter after 15min for a better rise.
5. Continue to bake for another 35 min until a toothpick inserted to the center pulls out clean.