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.

 

Cherry Cream Cheese Danishes

This, friends, is the moment we’ve been waiting for- spring is finally here! Beach vacation, sunshine, and sandal season are right around the corner. As the day gets longer, it’s the time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather (instead of working in the kitchen). For a quick springtime snack, light and easy is the name of the game. With this recipe, you can pull off some bakery-worthy pastries at home in just 30 minutes. Perfect for any time of the year, but I swear: they just taste better in spring!

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Ingredients

1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)

1 pack Cream Cheese (8 ounces), softened

4 Tbsp Sugar

1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

1 cup canned Cherry Pie Filling

Icing sugar for garnishing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Take out a sheet of puff pastry and thaw for 10min.
  3. Cut the sheet into 6 equal pieces.
  4. With a knife, score ½” border around the edge of each piece of puff pastry. Use a fork to make five or six pricks into the area within the border (this will stop the center of the dough from rising).
  5. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
  6. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into the middle of each piece of dough and spread around evenly.
  7. Add about 6 cherries into the middle of the cream cheese.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

 

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!!).

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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.

Rustic New York Style Cheesecake

 

Phew! I survived another V-day! Never have been a big fan of this “Hallmark holiday”, I sometimes like to think of myself as a Valentine’s day scrooge with a secret desire to ruin everyone else’s best laid plans (like booking every other seat in the cinema so couples can’t sit together!!). That being said, I think romance and love and caring and all those gushy sweet feelings we have for others should be celebrated every day… Why not start doing so by making this cheesecake for your loved ones?

Because a piece of classic New York cheesecake- likes any great love, never goes out of style. ❤

p.s. I like to have mine looking all rustic, cracked and glorious… but do feel free to add any toppings you like!

Yield an 8-inch cake (3 inches in height)

Ingredients:

Crust-

16 digestive crackers, crushed  

3 tablespoons butter, melted  

Filling-

3.5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese  

1 1/4 cups white sugar

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract  

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

1.      Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 8-inch pan.

2.      In a medium bowl, mix digestive cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of pan.

3.      In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar with hand mixer until smooth. Blend in milk, and then add in the eggs (one at a time), mix until just incorporated.

4.      Add in plain yogurt, vanilla and flour, mix until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

5.      Bake in preheated oven for 50min. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 2 hours to prevent cracking.

6.      Sprinkle icing sugar on top. Chill in refrigerator until serving.


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!

Dutch Baby with Blueberry Compote

I’ve always been amazed by how many different breakfast food you can create using just milk, eggs, and flour; here is one of the more interesting examples.

Oh, did i mention that everything comes together in about 30 blessed minutes?

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Ingredients:

Batter:

3 eggs

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup whole milk (warmed)

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Blueberry compote:

1.5 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

Grated zest and juice of a lemon

Powdered sugar,for dusting

Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Combine eggs, flour, milk, salt, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.
  3. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  4. Place butter in the skillet, as soon as the butter has melted, add batter to the pan.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the pre-heated oven.
  6. Bake pancake until puffed and golden brown all over, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Lower oven temperature to 150°C and bake five minutes longer. It will deflate as soon as it’s removed from the oven.
  8. Dust pancake generously with powdered sugar and top with 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Serve with blueberry compote.

For the blueberry compote: Combine the blueberries, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes.


Fettuccine with Black Truffle Cream Sauce

Still trying to process the shock, disgust, horror and anger I get from reading the news, both local and international.

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t updated my blog/ Facebook for some time. I was, in the past few months, taking some major moves in my career. And I have been working my butt off to adjust to the transitions. In difficult times like this, I am particularly grateful for all the men in my life, who treat women with respect. I grew up getting all the education I needed; my father often reassures me that it is okay for a girl to be smart and ambitious. When I was too tired to cook after work, my husband would just get us takeaways, without the slightest complaint. I have never felt duty-bound to complete all the household chores, I needn’t be the domestic goddess of the house or the new Martha Stewart – I can just be myself!

Cooking has always been a meditating process for me; I feel a sense of tranquility and peace whenever I cook. Tonight, I felt something more – while I cooked, I thought of all the strong women in my life, starting with my mother, all my girlfriends… colleagues… Susan B Anthony… Claudette Colvin… Instead of feeling confined in a box, like many women before my time did, kitchen is a place where my dreams flourish. To me, food is the key to different cultures… Through all the kitchen experiments, I learn to be a person with an open mind.

So, I feel it really personally when I see how women are being demeaned, devalued and degraded publicly, how some leaders rule by intimidation, how they stifle opposing voices and diminish the potential of their citizens… it is just saddening to see how the world is moving backward…

I guess we all need a hearty truffle pasta like this to heal our souls.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoons minced garlic

8 ounces fresh fettucine

1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons truffle paste

Truffle shavings

1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions

  1. Add salt and olive oil to water, bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile cook garlic in butter over low heat.
  3. Add heavy cream and simmer until thickened.
  4. Cook pasta until al dente and add to cream; toss to coat.
  5. Whisk in truffle paste into pasta and remove from heat.
  6. Season with salt and serve with truffle shavings or fresh truffle.

An Edible Roadtrip in California Part II- SF and its excursions

Set along the ocean, with compact network of steep rolling hills and the iconic cable cars, San Francisco is one the most beautiful cities in the United States and the jewel of Northern California. The city is full of history, hip neighbourhoods and a whole lot of eateries…

My heart swoons every time when I see this photo ♥

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San Francisco has long been famous for its sourdough bread, but in the past few years, the city’s more innovative and eclectic bakeries have stolen the spotlight…The trendy white-tiled sweet shop serves up traditional pastries with a twist. They have recently opened their second location in Seoul.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: 1042 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

The restaurant offers amazing view of the Bay Bridge but most importantly the food and service do not disappoint too. The sides (mac and cheese!!) are good and not of the usual Titanic size that you encounter at other American steakhouses.

EPIC Steak: 369 The Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94105

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The food truck is very easy to miss and trust me, you don’t want to miss this! Hilarious name and even better food. Yum!

The Codmother Fish and Chips: 496 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Sausalito

Half an hour’s ferry trip from San Francisco, just over the Golden Gate Bridge, is the quiet, scenic city of Sausalito. A popular residential area, this waterside city famously has a large number of striking houseboats.

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Founded in 1937 by Valeriano Jacuzzi, patriarch of the famous hot tub and spa manufacturing family, the winery is one of the largest in the Sonoma Valley, covering several hundred acres. Remember to stop by the Olive Press at the grounds of the vineyard, where you can sample locally pressed oil in interesting flavours, from lime to jalapeño.

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards: 24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476

 

A grape that produces one of my favoritefood-friendly wines.

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Californians’ favorite burger. One of the fun things about eating there is that you get to order custom-made food, often at no additional cost! Try out the fries in animal style and the neapolitan shake (mixture of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavored shakes)!

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California is home to some of the most protected, untouched coastlines in America. Pacific Coast Highway is rated as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.


 

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.

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

The dish sounds like something you can find in the menu of some fancy restaurants. By deglazing the pan with a combination of chicken stock, cream and a little bit of whisky… everyone can turn those pan drippings into a fantastic sauce, no culinary school degree required!

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Ingredients
2 bone-in pork chops (1 1/4 inches thick)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 apples and onions, cut into wedges
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whisky
8 small fresh thyme sprigs

Methods:
1. Preheat oven to 240°C. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook in hot oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from skillet.
2. Add apples and onion to skillet; cook until browned. Remove from skillet
3. Add broth to skillet, stir to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Whisk together cream and mustard; add to skillet, cook and stir constantly, cook for 2 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in bourbon. Add pork, turning to coat, and top with apples, onions, and thyme.
6. Bake at 240°C for 15 minutes or until liquid is just beginning to bubble. Let stand in skillet 5 minutes before serving.