Friday, 2 March 2018

Vegan Blueberries Cheesecake

What do you do on a snowy day like this? Guess it's time to update another baking adventure

This is  a sweet, creamy vegan dessert that can fit in the palm of your hand. They are super cinch to make, but they look fancy. Just the right bite of sweetness with the blueberries tang. I made mine in a muffin cups but you can also just make one big cheesecake if you prefer.

They don't take much time to whip up at all. I also think any berry will work in this.

  • 1½ cup raw almonds
  • 8-10 medjool dates
  • water
  • 2 cups raw cashews nuts, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk, refrigerated
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Drain and rinse the cashew nuts 

In a food processor, combine the dates and almonds. Slowly a little at a time add water until you see the mixture clump together. Once it looks like it's holding together, press a little bit into the bottom of each muffin cup. I use silicone muffin liner for these but you can also use paper liners.

Once all the crust is pressed into the muffin cups, place them in the fridge while you make the cheesecake part.

In a the food processor, combine all the cheesecake ingredients and blend until  smooth. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into each muffin cup. Fill them up to the top. Once you are done, place them in the fridge to chill.  They need a good 6 hours or so to set up pretty well. You can speed up the process by placing them in the freezer for a bit though. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer, whichever you prefer. They should last a couple of weeks in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.

    Wednesday, 28 February 2018

    Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake

    Layered cake with a brownie base, topped with creamy strawberry cheesecake mousse and a strawberry gelée


    Brownie layer
    • 1 box of Betty Crocker brownie mix
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1/3 cup oil
    • 1 egg
    Strawberry Gelée
    • ½ cup water
    • 3 tsp powdered gelatin
    • 450g strawberries
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1½  tsp lemon juice
    Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse
    •  1 cup white chocolate chips
    • 225g cream cheese, softened
    • 2 cup cool whipped*

    Brownie layer: Line the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan with baking paper and cut a long rectangular to line the sides with. Preheat oven to 160°C.
    Mix together the brownie mix with  ¼ cup water, oil and egg. Pour into an even layer in the springform pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

    Strawberry Gelée: Pour  ½ cup water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top. Set aside until ready to use.
    Combine strawberries and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil.Remove from heat and purée strawberries using a blender.
    Press strawberry  purée through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, if you like to remove the seeds. Stir in gelatin and lemon juice.

    Strawberry Cheeecake Mousse: Pour white chocolate chips and 2/3 cup strawberry purée into a saucepan and heat over low until melted.
    Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Stir white chocolate mixture into cream cheese. Fold in the whipped topping*.

    Assemble cake: Pour strawberry cheesecake mousse over top of the brownie and smooth outthe top surface. Freeze for 30 minutes while strawberry gelée cools.
    Remove from the freezer and pour the strawberry gelée over top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

    Remove, unmold from pan, and cut into slices to serve

    * Homemade Cool Whipped:

    • 115g cream cheese, softened
    • 1/3 cup icing sugar
    • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup double cream
    Method: In a large bowl beat softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Set aside.
    Add one cup of double cream to a mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Add cream cheese mixture to the double cream  and beat just until stiff peaks form.

    Saturday, 3 February 2018

    Slow Cooker Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

    This creamy coconut curried stew is a perennial favourite in the house. It's full of tender vegetables and chickpeas, along with warming flavours of  ginger and garlic- and it's vegan !!!!

    • 1 tbsp cooking oil
    • 1 meduim onion, diced
    • 1 tbsp salt
    • 2 medium potatoes, diced
    • 1 tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, optional
    • 2 cups vegetable broth, divided
    • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
    • I can chopped tomatoes
    • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 bag (10 ounce) baby spinach
    • 1 can coconut milk

    Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with 1 tsp salt and sauté until translucent about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and 1 tsp salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.

    Stir in curry powder, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cayenne  (if using) and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds. Pour in ¼ cup of vegetable broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer this onion-potato mixture into the slow cooker.

    Add the remaining 1¾ cups vegetable broth, chickpeas, bell peppers, cauliflower, chopped tomatoes, pepper and remaining 1 tsp salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come about halfway up the sides of the bowl; add more vegetable broth when needed. Cover and cook for on HIGH setting for 4 hours.

    Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover and let sit for a few more minutes to allow the spinach to wilt. Taste and season with salt and other seasonings as needed. Serve on its own, or over cuscous or rice.

    **Smaller slow cooker: Cut this recipes in half for a smaller slow cooker

    Rich chocolate tart with salt flake

    A super simple chocolate pudding

    • 300 ml double cream
    • 2 tsp caster sugar
    • a pinch of fine sea salt
    • 50g unsalted butter, softened
    • 200g 70% cocoa cook's chocolated, broken into small pieces
    • 50 ml whole milk
    • 375g ready-made shortcrust pastry
    • sea salt flakes and creme fraíche or ice cream to serve

    You can make the pastry for this, if you like but ready-made is easier. 

    Preheat oven to 180℃/160℃ for fan oven. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23cm greased tart tin. Cover with baking paper, fill with dried beans or rice  and bake blind for 10-15 minutes until golden.

    Put the cream, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to boil. Remove as soon as the mixture boils up. Off the heat, add the butter and chocolate. Stir until blended.

    Take a couple of minutes for a breather, then stir in the milk. Keep stirring till shinny. Pout into the tart shell and leave at room temperature for 2 hours to set.

    Sprinkle salt flakes lightly all over, then serve with creme fraíche or ice cream

    Tuesday, 30 January 2018

    Mango & Passion fruit mess

    I came across this recipe recently and it's a nice twist to the more traditional rendition  of the Eaton Mess. This version is a quick way to enjoy dessert. Whip, crush, chop, purée and you have dessert 😃👍


    • 2 ripe mangoes
    • 300ml double cream
    • 1tsp vanilla extract 
    • 2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted 
    • 5 meringues- crushed
    • 4 passion fruits- pulp

    Peel and chop one mango and set aside. Perl and purée the other mango in a blender till smooth and set aside. 
    Whip cream with vanilla extract and icing sugar until thick and then add the crushed meringues. 

    To assemble: 

    Layer mango purée, crushed meringue and cream mixture and top with chopped mango and passion fruit pulp in a glass. Serve immediately. Serves 4. 

    Vegan Chocolate Mousse

    If you beat the liquid from a can of chickpeas (called aquafaba), then it will froth into a meringue. This sure is a breakthrough in vegan cuisine
    No eggs, No cream, No gelatin, No cholesterol, No soya, No gluten, No nuts, No avocado, No chai seeds, No coconut cream, No flaxseed, just the magic of commonly used brine, sweetener and dairy-free chocolate, few sprinkles of imagination, and viola-the most delicious airy chocolate mousse.

    • liquid of 1 can of chickpeas ( around 125ml)
    • 100g dark chocolate, melted
    • 1-2 tsp confectioner's or icing sugar
    • a pinch of salt

    Bain marie the chocolate, melt in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Take the pan off the heat but keep the bowl over the hot water then remove it. Allow it to cool down whilst you prepare the next stage

    Beat the chickpeas liquid with electric whisk until peaks form and you have a meringue, then add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate. Whisk for another 15 seconds.

    Now gently fold in the chocolate (make sure the chocolate has cool down) with a spatula until enough to incorporate. Spoon into a cup or mousse bowl.  Put into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Golf Ball Cake

    A cake a cake fit for an avid golfer 🏌⛳️

    The cake might look difficult to do but in actual fact it's really easy, if you have the right material. You can either do a cheating way by buying ready cake mix & frosting or make it yourself  from scratch. 


    For the golf ball
    • A box of chocolate cake mix and ingredients it requires
    • A can of frosting, you can make this if you like
    • Non-stick baking/cooking spray
    • Wilton sphere cake tin as picture below
    • Plastic chopstick or any round edge blunt object
    For the brownie base:
    • 3/4 cup flour, sifted
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 170g butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs

    For the golf ball

    Preheat oven according to the cake mix instructions. 

    Prepare the baking pans by spraying with non-stick baking/cooking spray.

    Combine cake mix ingredients together, as instructed in the box. Pour cake batter into balls pan and bake until a long toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Should take about 40-50 minutes to fully bake. Let it cool completely. Flatten the tops of each half-circle by cutting off the excess cake.

    Turn the cake pans over to release 2 half-circle cakes. I prefer  to cover and refrigerate the cake over night or for at least for a few hours. It helps "firm up" the cake and reduce the amount of crumbs while decorating it.

    For the brownie base:

    Preheat oven to 180℃/160℃for fan oven. Grease a 9 inch square baking pan.

    In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa and salt. Melt butter in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Quickly whisk in eggs, one at a time.

    Add butter mixture to flour mixture and stir until well blended. Spread brownie batter into prepared tin and bake for 20-30 minutes. Cool completely.

    Assemble the cake

    Place the brownie in a square cake base board that was cover with green ready roll icing. Make a shallow hole in the centre of the brownie to sit the golf balls so that it don't roll away.

    Make or buy buttercream icing and add green colour to the icing and mix well. Use a grass pipping nozzle then pipe all over the brownie except the hole that sits the golf balls.

    Place the golf balls in the hole. Use a clean, smooth knife, spread a thin layer of icing on the large, flat cake surface and place the other half of the golf ball on top of that. The cake should have a 3-D ball-shaped cake.

    Using a clean smooth knife, carefully take icing and smooth it over the entire cake. Stick it back to the fridge for 30 minutes or so, to help harden the icing.

    Then get a cup of cool water. Using a flat spatula, dip the spatula in the water and carefully smooth over the icing. This is a trick to help get as smooth an icing surface as possible. Continue to dip it in water and smooth the icing until you are happy.

    Put back in fridge for 10-15 minutes to hep harden the icing.

    Remove cake from the fridge. Dip the fat end of a plastic chopstick in a cup of water and make a shallow indentation in the icing. Continue the indentations in s straight line. You can make 5-8 indentations before you need to dip it in the water again ( the water keeps the chopstick from sticking to the icing). You may need to clean the chopstick every now and then with a paper towel, just to prevent icing sticking. You can also put the cake back in the fridge every 10 minutes or so....the harder the icing the easier this indentation process will be. Continue to make indentations until the cake is covered with dimple

    Monday, 1 January 2018

    Char Siew Pork (Chinese BBQ Pork)

    A delicious and simple recipe for a Chinese-restaurant classic which you can make at home.

    One thing that I miss about living in Malaysia is being able to nip to the wet market in the morning or  a kopitiam that selling ready make char siew that they will served with chicken rice.

    Usually the char siew pork you find often has a tinge of red in the meat as they either use red  food colouring  or red fermented beancurd. 

    I find that it is easier to prepare this dish a night before serving or make it first thing in the morning so that the meat has had some time to marinat before roasting. 

    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 3 tbsp runny honey and 2 tbsp for extra
    • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
    • 1 tbsp oyster sauce 
    • 1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce
    • 1 tbsp soya sauce
    • 1 1/2 tsp five spice powder
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
    • 1 inch garlic, finely grated 
    • 500g pork tenderloin 

    Place all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and whisk to combine.

    Place the pork into a large ziplock freezer bag and pour the marinade inside. Make sure the pork is well coated in the marinade. Place the bag into the fridge and leave it to marinade for 2-3 hours or preferably overnight.

    When you are ready to roast the pork, take it out of the fridge  and let it come to room temperature in the marinade. 

    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a roasting  rack inside a large baking tray and fill the tray with boiling water. The rack needs to be high enough so that when the meat is sitting on top of the rack, the meat should not touch the water. The water helps to create a steam in the oven to cook the pork and keep it moist.

    Place the pork on the roasting rack and roast for about 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes or so.

    Meanwhile, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and add the extra 2 tablespoons of honey. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer gently for a few minutes. Use this sauce to baste the pork. 

    After 30 minutes, turn the oven to grill mode on high heat, if possible, place the tray high as possible in the oven under the grill. Baste the pork generously every 3-5 minutes, making sure that it is browning nicely and doesn't burn. Once the pork has caramelised nicely, remove the tray from the oven.

    Let the park rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. 

    Saturday, 30 December 2017

    Kuih Kosui

    Penang has a very strong Nyonya presence and being a Penangite, Nyonya kuih always have a special place in my heart. One of my favourite  is kuih kosui. 

    A good kuih kosui is rich in pandan aroma and have a springy and soft texture. Best eaten with freshly grated coconut. 

    Ingredients :
    • 454ml water
    • 285g sugar
    Pandan juice
    • 12-15 pandan leaves
    • 620ml water
    • 1 tbsp alkaline water (lye water)
    • 150g rice flour
    • 50g tapioca flour

    To make the syrup: melt the sugar in water over low fire until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. 

    Cut pandan leaves into small pieces. Combine pandan leaves and water in an electric blender. Blend 1-2 minutes. Strain the pandan juice through a fine sieve. Add alkaline water into pandan juice. Set aside. 

    In another bowl, add rice flour and tapioca flour. Slowly pour in the pandan juice mixture while stirring it consistently till well blended. Add in syrup.

    Cook the flour mixture on low fire till slightly thickened. Remove from heat and pour into little teacups. Steam on oh high fire for 15 minutes. Take the kuih out immediately. Leave it cool for at least 6 hours before removing the kuih from the little teacups.

    Serve with fresh grated coconut. 

    Friday, 29 December 2017

    Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Brownies

    No more throwing away overripe bananas and make this chocolately Peanut Butter Banana Brownies.

    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 115g vegan butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

    Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C for fan oven. Grease a 9x9 inch baking tray and dust the side of the baking tray with cocoa powder.

    In a bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas. Add sugar, butter and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add flour, salt and cocoa powder and whisk until fully incorporated.

    Pour the batter into prepared baking dish.

    Use a spoon to add dollops of peanut butter on top of the batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter into the brownie batter.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes, until center no longer jiggles when pan is shaken. 

    Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting.