Made this cake a few days ago for a best friend’s BIG 3-0 birthday! 🥳🥳 Had so much that evening at the bowling alley, and now I am enjoying the glorious sunshine ☀️ at Folkestone for Jubilee weekend. Really don’t want to go back to work on Monday… 😪😅
Just Want to Quickly Say…
Happy Easter! 🐣🐥🐣🐥
The following is a mango 🥭 and coconut 🥥 cake surrounded by white chocolate feathers- a technique I also used to my mum’s 60th birthday cake. (Very easy to do! 🪶 All you need to do is melt and temper some white chocolate, then take a spoon and scrape the chocolate over baking paper. Once they are cooled and dried, they should peel off very easily. Give it a try! 😉)
Whose Birthday Is It Tomorrow? 🤔🎉🎊
Getting ready for the party! 😉😏 (Not!) 😂
A State of Limbo…
Happy Friday! 🎉 🎉 For me, this past week felt oddly anticlimactic (perhaps with the Tokyo Olympics finished last week, I felt a little like I don’t know what to do with my life anymore! 😂😅) Between alternating spouts of sunshines and miserable weather this week, I mainly stayed homebound and lazed around on my bed catching up on sleep 😴 (except for a couple of lunches outside with my mum.)
Following Tokyo 2020, this week I took a bit of inspirations from some of my family’s favourite Japanese ingredients. 😋 Chestnuts and sweet potatoes were some of the hot ticket items among my family growing up in Hong Kong!
After a week of slight limbo, it felt like it will be a nice change of scene as I am heading to the Scottish Highlands tomorrow. Fingers crossed 🤞 for nice weather and plenty of pleasant surprises ahead! 😆
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! 😂💪 (How does professional do it?? 😆)
Which one do you like the look of? 😉
Storm Is Coming, Eat Cake First
After a very long period of heatwave and sunshine, it looks like a storm has finally arrived! ☔️☔️☔️🌧🌧 But most importantly, we got to stuff ourselves with cake first before this happened! 😂😂 #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. 👌👌 (Some plans for this week ahead so will keep you all posted! 😉) Not only did I manage to organise a mini celebration for a colleague’s (belated) birthday at work today 🥳🎉 , but also went out for a top dinner with friends in the central area. 😋 Life is doing good right now! 😆
What are you up to this weekend? 🙂
Birthday Picnic! 🥳🥳🎉🎉🎉
Happy birthday to my dear friend @wellnessbyyana! We were truly blessed with glorious weather ☀️ ☀️ this weekend in the U.K., which made it perfect for a birthday picnic in the park! 😉🙌🙌
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! 💃 💃 🎉🎉🎉🎊🎊🎊 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! 🥳🥳
Dairy-free refined sugar-free rum and berries trifle
For the jelly:
250g mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries)
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
15g plain flour
For the whipped cream:
Any dairy free double or whipping cream
For the fruits:
Mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries) to your likening
For the decorations:
Toasted almond flakes (optional)
Goji berries (optional)
1. Start with the jelly by making a fruit purée. Heat the berries, honey, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Crush/blend the fruits as you are cooking.
2. Pass the purée through a sieve to get a smooth purée and place it back into a clean saucepan.
3. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.
3. Add the rum and heat the purée gently.
4. Squeeze the water out of the soaked gelatine and add it to the purée. Stir under heat until the gelatine is fully dissolved.
5. Pour the purée 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 doesn’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.
As Long As There’s Christmas
Happy Christmas Eve! 🎄☃️🌟 Almost a week into tier 4, but funnily enough I am still enjoying my time away from work and being left to my own devices. 😌 Obviously this Christmas is a lot quieter than previous years, but I think it’s good to find some peace in these uncertain times.
Continuing my spree of festive baking, I decided to make a traditional Yule Log today. The filling is a whipped cream with raspberries, wrapped in a chocolate sponge coated in dark chocolate ganache and decorated with tempered chocolates. 😋 It’s very straightforward, and I had such a fun time making it because I just love doing tempered chocolate work. 😁👌 And to finish, all it needs a little dust of icing sugar to bring it to life! ❄️❄️
Looking for Alaska
It’s obviously no secret that I love baking. One of the greatest joys I get from baking is allowing myself to being in the moment and feel accomplished in my finished product. Of course, sometimes things don’t always go to plan. (And that’s when my perfectionist self can get really disheartened and frustrated…) But I always remind myself that, ultimately like many things, it is a process of learning. ☺️
As my visit to family in Scotland is almost coming to an end (time really does fly), I thought I will make another ice cream dessert before returning to London! 😋🍨 Yesterday, I had my second attempt at making at a baked Alaska (after the big mess that was the first go. 😅) I made some adjustments this time including using a bowl and cling film to set and shape the ice cream beforehand, before covering it in an Italian meringue (not sure what I was thinking when I used the less stable French meringue last time… 🤦🏻♂️) The final result was a lot better than what I had last time! 😁
Hope everyone enjoy their final week of the holiday! 😉❤️