Simple Alternatives

Staying at home during the holidays means I have more time experimenting with bakes and trying something new for a change! Which of these do you like the look of? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happy to share any recipes or ideas!

Vegan mango โ€˜milkโ€™ puddings with muesli (made from almond milk and vege-gel)
Wholemeal savoury choux ring with roasted mushrooms, turmeric cauliflower and chicken liver pรขtรฉ
Gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza with aubergines

Deep Frying Day ๐Ÿ”ฅ ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Itโ€™s always so much nicer to deep fry in a bigger kitchen! (And thank goodness itโ€™s not too hot here in Edinburgh!) I was oddly craving for some fried food this weekend, so I decided to make some simple veggie samosas today! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ‘Œ

The dough is very simple (so much so it doesnโ€™t even really needed a recipe haha!) – it is basically flour with a teaspoon of olive oil and a couple of spoonfuls of water until the dough comes together after some kneading. (I used wholemeal plain flour.) Most of the fillings came from scraps I could find in my familyโ€™s fridge/freezer – butternut squash, broccoli, fried tofu, garlic, coriander and spring onions seasoned with some spices including turmeric and chilli powder.

I went for a very simple triangular โ€˜pyramidโ€™ fold, which is basically folding the three corners over the filling and sealing it with a โ€˜glueโ€™ made from flour and water.

I then served these with a dipping sauce made from cucumber, coriander, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil and fish sauce (plus salt and sugar.) It was a delicious Saturday snack! ๐Ÿ˜‹ ๐Ÿ˜‹

The Feeling of Being At Home

Itโ€™s been a few days since I have been back in Edinburgh – felt like I havenโ€™t been in my family home for so longโ€ฆ but itโ€™s so good to just sit down and be able to relax completely, thinking and worrying about nothing else in life right now! ๐Ÿ˜‚

One of my favourite things to do whilst here (especially in the summer if you have been following my past posts ๐Ÿคช) is to utilise the big freezer in my mumโ€™s house to make some homemade ice cream. ๐Ÿจ๐Ÿจ (The freezer at my London apartment is tiny and not really cold enough to freeze things.) And I decided to go full on restaurant-like this time ๐Ÿ˜›, also making a mango millefeuille with wholemeal filo pastry to accompany my mango ice cream! ๐Ÿฅญ๐Ÿฅญ๐Ÿฅญ (Who doesnโ€™t love mangoes lol?)

Listen to the crunch! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

I donโ€™t usually watch much sports, but for the past week I have been watching the Tokyo Olympics obsessively, staying up at night tuning into all the fixtures! (I am a big Olympics fan! ๐Ÿ˜) So glad to see it back on our screen again after the delay from last year. The last Olympics game in Rio was when I moved in to my first flat in London 5 years ago, and itโ€™s crazy to think how much has happened since then. I wonder where I will be when Paris 2024 happens? ๐Ÿค”

Also all these actions in Japan has made me really wanted to revisit the country again and craving Japanese food lol! ๐Ÿคค So, last night I made one of my childhood favourites – Chawanmushi, which is a savoury steamed Japanese egg custard. It was a little messy, but I jam-packed it with a lot of fillings and flavours (because I am greedy with fillings haha! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ) Even my mum likes it and she is normally VERY critical! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Who else has also been enjoying the games like me? ๐Ÿ˜

Double Trouble

To celebrate the beginning of a long holiday, I decided to go a bit all out and two cakes in one night for the first time! It was definitely quite a work out! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ช (How does professional do it?? ๐Ÿ˜†)

Which one do you like the look of? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pineapple, Lime and Mango โ€˜Mocktailโ€™ Cake ๐Ÿ–
Chocolate, cookie and caramel cake ๐ŸŒน

Itโ€™s Coming Home!

For those of you who enjoy baking/cooking as much as me, I am sure you will agree that it is fun to experiment every now and then and go outside the box. So, for todayโ€™s Sunday brunch, I decided to make some wholemeal muesli muffins with a blue cheese centre! ๐Ÿง€ ๐Ÿง€ (And with a bit of a patriotic theme for the Euro 2020 Final tonight! โšฝ๏ธ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ )

I do like playing with the idea of sweet with savoury, and took some inspirations from a cheese plate and the combination of cheese with dried fruits and nuts.

What do you think? Fancy giving them a try? ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚

Cloudy Sunday โ˜๏ธ = Lazy Sunday ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

As the cloudy days continued, I decided to enjoy a lazy Sunday this morning munching my pizza and staying firmly indoor! ๐Ÿ•

This pizza is made with wholemeal flour, and very simply topped with a tomato base, mozzarella, avocado and rocket (drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and honey! ๐Ÿ˜‰ FYI I love olive oil haha!) Lately, I have decided to be a bit more careful with what I am eating and have been using wholemeal flour as a substitute for refined white flour. And I can say the result is just as good, but more guilt-free at the same time haha! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ (And weight has definitely gone down as a positive result! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Sometimes, I think people are very quick to assume that healthy food is bland and not flavourful – but sometimes I think it just takes a little bit of โ€˜outside the boxโ€™ thinking. And I definitely enjoy being a little creative at times hehe! Itโ€™s a bit boring to stick to the same thing all the time, isnโ€™t it? ๐Ÿ˜

Storm Is Coming, Eat Cake First

After a very long period of heatwave and sunshine, it looks like a storm has finally arrived! โ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง But most importantly, we got to stuff ourselves with cake first before this happened! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ #happydays

Kicking Off the Long Week Off

Happy Friday, everyone! Just a short post today before I am heading into my week-long break from work. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ (Some plans for this week ahead so will keep you all posted! ๐Ÿ˜‰) Not only did I manage to organise a mini celebration for a colleagueโ€™s (belated) birthday at work today ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‰ , but also went out for a top dinner with friends in the central area. ๐Ÿ˜‹ Life is doing good right now! ๐Ÿ˜†

My chocolate cake for the birthday celebration! (My first time trying to make these white chocolate feathers and they turn out rather well!)
Drizzling gravy over my bunless fried chicken burger in MEATLiquor in Queensway
And gelato to finish! ๐Ÿจ

What are you up to this weekend? ๐Ÿ™‚

Birthday Picnic! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

Happy birthday to my dear friend @wellnessbyyana! We were truly blessed with glorious weather โ˜€๏ธ โ˜€๏ธ this weekend in the U.K., which made it perfect for a birthday picnic in the park! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

At the request of my dear friend, this trifle is dairy-free, refined sugar-free and loaded with extra shots of rum ready for the party! ๐Ÿ’ƒ ๐Ÿ’ƒ ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽŠ The trifle consists of a rum and berries jelly at the bottom, layered with a banana sponge cake (soaked with more rum!), strawberries, blueberries and raspberries- all covered with a soya milk custard with a plant-based whipped cream. What a perfect day to celebrate the end of lockdown! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ

Dairy-free refined sugar-free rum and berries trifle

Ingredients:

For the jelly:

250g mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries)

30g honey

25ml water

2 tsp lemon juice

3 shots of rum

2 1/2 gelatine leaves

For the banana cake:

190g self-raising flour

1 1/2 bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

2 ripen bananas, mashed

20g honey, plus extra to drizzle on the sponge

90ml vegetable/sunflower oil

60ml plant-based milk (e.g. soya/almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 shots of rum

For the custard:

350ml plant-based milk (e.g. soya/almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp elderflower/lemon extract (optional)

4 egg yolks

30g honey

15g plain flour

15g cornflour

For the whipped cream:

Any dairy free double or whipping cream

For the fruits:

Strawberries

Mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries) to your likening

For the decorations:

Toasted almond flakes (optional)

Goji berries (optional)

Method:

1. Start with the jelly by making a fruit purรฉe. Heat the berries, honey, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Crush/blend the fruits as you are cooking.

2. Pass the purรฉe through a sieve to get a smooth purรฉe and place it back into a clean saucepan.

3. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.

3. Add the rum and heat the purรฉe gently.

4. Squeeze the water out of the soaked gelatine and add it to the purรฉe. Stir under heat until the gelatine is fully dissolved.

5. Pour the purรฉe into a clean glass bowl. Let it cool before putting it in the fridge for several hours, or until the jelly is fully set.

6. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

7. Make the banana sponge cake by passing the flour through a sieve. Mix in bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon.

7. Mix the mashed bananas, honey, milk, oil and vanilla extract together until well-combined. Then fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well-combined.

8. Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined cake tray and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

9. Remove the cake from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

10. For the custard, heat the milk and extracts gently in a saucepan without it boiling.

11. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg yolks by hand with the honey until pale. Sieve the flours in and mix until well-combined.

12. Slowly pour about half of the heated milk into the yolk mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour. Then, pour the mixture back into the remaining milk in the saucepan.

13. Cook the custard gently over heat, whisking continuously as it cooks until you have a smooth, thickened mixture. (If it doesnโ€™t thicken, add about a tablespoon of cornflour.) Set aside and let the custard cool.

14. Slice the strawberries in halves to prepare for assembling.

15. Cut and layer the banana sponge over the set jelly in the bowl. Drizzle the sponge with more honey and soak with shots of rum.

16. Place the sliced strawberries over the sponge to surround the bowl. Add the remaining fruits in the centre. (You can add more rum at this stage if you want!)

17. Pour the cooled custard over the fruits and use a knife to spread it out evenly. Place back into the fridge to set.

18. Use an electric whisk to whip the cream until stiff.

19. Layer the cream over the set custard and again use a knife to spread it out evenly, filling to the top of the bowl.

20. Spread almond flakes and goji berries over the top to decorate the trifle before serving.

Sunday Brunch Time

Happy Sunday! For the first time in a very long time ๐Ÿ˜…, I woke up early this morning and went for a run ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ before making a trip to the supermarket. As a reward to myself, I decided to make some delicious healthy veggie fritters for brunch this morning! ๐Ÿ˜‹ (And they are so effortless to make!) Just perfect in this glorious weather! โ˜€๏ธ โ˜€๏ธ

Veggie Fritters

Quantity: 5-6 Fritters

Ingredients:

For the fritters:

75g wholemeal plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

60ml milk

1 egg

2 tbsp olive oil

50g sweetcorn kernels, drained

3 broccolini, chooped

1 spring onion, chooped

1 chilli, seeded and chopped

Coriander, chopped

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp chopped ginger

A pinch of salt

A pinch of black pepper

For the side dip:

170g fat-free Greek yogurt

1 tsp olive oik

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp garlic paste

Coriander, chopped

A pinch of salt

A pinch of black pepper

Method:

1. Sieve the flour and add in the baking powder.

2. Make a well with the flour and mix in the milk and egg.

4. Add all the other ingredients for the fritters and mix until well-combined.

5. Spoon the batter onto a heated frying pan with oil. Fry each side for a few minutes, or until golden. You may also bake them in the oven for a crispier texture.

6. Make the dip by combining all the ingredients together. Serve the fritters with the dip.