wordless Wednesday

February 6, 2013 § 2 Comments

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chocolate beetroot muffin

May 17, 2012 § 6 Comments

perhaps, the combination might throw one away, but it is much similar to carrots in a wholesome carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting. I’d always been fond of beets for their juicy sweetness, earthy flavours, smooth texture and vibrant red colour. Their lovely colours, in particular, add a certain peppiness to a regular pan of roasted vegetables or bowl of green salad.

These muffins are more moist, less sugary and packed with magnesium. It calls for cocoa powder but feel free to melt a decent bar of dark chocolate instead. I got too greedy one evening and cleared the dark chocolate stash. An additional robust touch of hot coffee is added, as it goes so lovingly with chocolate, I always believe that at some point (well,centuries ago), coffee and cacao shared the same bean.

recipe adapted from Zizi’s

makes about 6-8 muffins

1 cup beets, steamed, skinned, cubed & pureed
1 cup whole meal flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy milk
100g dark chocolate or 45g cocoa powder
1/3 cup of freshly brewed coffee
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp mixed cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare muffin pans by lightly greasing paper cups with oil spray.

2. In a food processor, puree soft beetroots. Gradually add soy milk and vanilla extract until it looks like baby food, and set it aside.

3. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a dry bowl.

4. In a mixing bowl, add melted chocolate or cocoa powder with hot coffee and whisk well, until there are no lumps. Add in the oil, vinegar and beet puree, continue evenly mixed.

5. Add dry ingredients into the wet mixture, until there are no more white mixture to be seen. The batter is now smooth and silky,and ready to be scooped.

6. In greased & lined muffin pan, fill cups until 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted. Allow them to cool, don’t fret when it sinks, and sprinkle with some icing sugar, if desire.

berry crumble

February 3, 2012 § 7 Comments

Because it was late and the air was lovely, I went for a short walk in the middle of the night and came back with a jubilant amount of energy. Perhaps it was the two cups of coffee consumed in the afternoon, leaving caffeine lingering in my blood cells till the-almost-full moon came out to play. I took off my coat, put an apron on and under the bright moonlight, started baking.

Adapted from jolly Jamie Oliver

serve 4 or 2 hungry people
For the filling:
400g frozen mixed berries
50g sugar, to sweeten
1 tablespoon water or red wine

For the crumble:
35g rolled oats
35g whole wheat flour
20g brown sugar
35g smart balance, vegan butter
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Place out 4 ramekins or one deep baking dish.

Put the berries into a pan with the sugar and water. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes and once down, pour into ramekins or baking dish.

Place the flour and oats in a bowl and mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add this to the oats and flour. Mix with your fingertips until it resembles an even crumb texture. Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix through.

Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until the crumble is golden brown delicious. Add a scoop of ice cream for an elegant indulgence.

banana chocolate cake

December 28, 2011 § 8 Comments

A cross between a bread and cake. There are some who likes a banana loaf and some who adores it as a cake. I stand in between where it can be both. A streusel topping for breakfast; a rich dark chocolate icing for tea time; a drop of coconut ice cream for dessert; smeared with organic peanut butter for snack. It should compliment the moist texture and humble flavors.

I hardly pull a Nigella-Lawson recipe but this worked so brilliantly, there was a need to share and scream: yes, you are the banana chocolate cake I’ve been searching for!

No frills. Just a simple cake.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
pinch of salt
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup crème fraîche/sour cream
4 large bananas (1 1/2 cups), mashed
1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 325F & grease a loaf pan or 8 inch cake pan. In an electrical mixing bowl with a paddle, cream sugar & butter along with salt and vanilla extract together. Then add the eggs, one by one and stop the mixer.

2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & cinnamon until evenly combined. In another separate bowl, smashed banana and add crème fraîche or sour cream (depending on what you can find in the local grocery store).

3. On a low speed, fold in dry mix and scrap the sides & bottoms until completely creamed. Then add in banana-cream mixture and chocolate.

4. Pour mixture in prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Don’t look for golden brown here. It won’t happen. It will only burn. Use a knife or a cake tester, if it comes out clean, it’s done.

raspberry orange coffee cake

December 4, 2011 § 4 Comments

Is it really December? I cannot remember October/November but only long hours of rolling pie dough for Thanksgivings. After that, the wind took speed, literally. Thousands had their power cut and trees fallen. Walking out to the streets the next day, palm tree fronds laid lifelessly. Looking up, the sky was so blue and clear glimpse of sunlight forced through my fingers as I placed my left hand against the sun.

Soaking up the sun when the days are getting shorter is getting difficult. When I have the chance to capture lovely serene moments, I take it in more than I usually do. I’m not one who likes hibernating!

One warm afternoon, I made a raspberry orange coffee cake. Though we all know the season is over, I rummaged my freezer and found half a bag of frozen raspberries. This cake is perhaps half coffee/upside down cake. It has ingredients of a streusel topping but I thought why not make it more lighthearted?

Please feel free to use any berries you enjoy. Though some berries require more sugar depending on their tartness. I like the combination of orange/raspberry; blueberry/lemon; cranberry/mint (quite like Christmas).

This post is also submitted to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot. She’s a great baker/cake decorator/food blogger. I’ve been reading her site for many years now and mostly connected because we share the same sweet tooth and take delight in Ferran Adria’s The Family Meal!

The world is not as small when you bring foodies together.

Recipe

streusel topping
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (optional)
1/4 cup earth/smart balance
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
a pinch of salt

cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup soy milk or any dairy alternative
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled vinegar
1 orange zest

Place the butter in an cast iron skillet on low heat until melted. Add in sugar and stir slowly until it is completely dissolved. Add in the rest of the ingredients and turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and in a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Then combine both and whisk it well. Lightly grease an 8 inch cake pan. Place a parchment paper and lightly grease it again,if you are not confident with flipping the cake. This step will make it easier to remove the cake.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Once done, let it sit for five minutes. Then place a plate or wooden board on the cake and flip it, upside down.

Indulge.

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