Valentine’s Day Cupcakes!!

So it happens to be Valentine’s day, and well I spent it shopping. Literally, shopped alone for a few hours… spent some moolah… and came home. Sounds sad? No it was actually really good. I got myself some new work clothes and shoes and some bits and bobs for The Miniature Kitchen ofc :P. Oh well, for those looking for a delicious and fun recipe to celebrate with your Valentine… here is a simple one 😀

So these are chocolate cupcakes, made with some yogurt for added amazingness, filled with some more chocolate and sweet raspberries. The frosting? How could I give up creamy and rich raspberry and cream cheese 😀 Yum yum yum yum yum.

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Now this recipe is tweaked from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/02/11/chocolate-cupcakes-creamy-raspberry-frosting/ – this site is definitely my inspiration when it comes to baking. The main changes? The frosting, the amount of oil used and instead of the buttermilk I made 1/4 of a coconut milk and yogurt mixture. I just love the flavours of coconut and chocolate together, and when combined with raspberry… I think it is just heaven!

TO Sally, thank you for being such an amazing inspiration when it comes to baking. I love each and every one of your recipes. I love trying them out and I love trying out something new each time with them.

Alright, so some key points here.

  1. the egg MUST be at room temperature!
  2. the milk MUST be at room temperature
  3. you CAN use both frozen or fresh raspberries 🙂

Now based off the quantities, you should make 6-8 big cupcakes

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Real talk – the first time I made this I messed them up pretty bad! I took the quantities down wrong *sigh*

Can you use strawberries instead? Ofc 😀

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So now to talk about the frosting.

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I didn’t use the recipe that Sally lists, and instead made my own version of a raspberry frosting using cream cheese (yumyum). The recipe is simple, and to be honest I usually taste and go when it comes to fresh fruit in frosting. This is mainly because the sweetness will always vary between fruit, season and batch! Now you can skip the milk in this recipe if your cream cheese is really soft and smooth, but if it’s fresh and thick then the milk will just help you achieve a silky consistency.

I used left over white chocolate ganache in this recipe to boost the creamy texture and add just a hint of luxury to this mixture. This is TOTALLY optional and if you want to add it you MUST add white chocolate ganache, otherwise you won’t end up with pretty pink frosting.

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And that is that!! This recipe doesn’t take long at all, there aren’t a million and one steps, and it’s pretty fool proof as long as you follow the recipe 🙂 I mean if I can do it, you can. Trust me. Baking and me are not good friends 😛

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Coconut and Lime Tapioca Pudding

Finallllly I am getting around to writing up this delicious recipe. The cold Sydney weather with the really late onset of autumn rains made for the perfect weather to whip up some of this stuff. I don’t make it often… but when I do, it doesn’t last for long at all. I guess I just love pudding, whether it’s tapioca or some spiced Indian kheer.

The recipe is super simple, and can be tweaked in so many ways. You can make it with whole milk, or cream sometimes, or coconut milk. It goes perfectly with whatever seasonal fruit you can get your hands on! But a point to remember is that tapioca is one of the purest forms of starch you can find. If you are trying to cut down that blood sugar then most definitely avoid this stuff at all costs!

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You might be wondering… well duh? Why make a dessert if you are trying to cut down on sugar intake? Well tapioca can be used to make savory food too . At home we make a spiced tapioca meal during fasting periods as an alternative to rice or breads. I’m moving way off track here.

Coconut and Lime pudding! How can anyone resist the combination? It’s fun and tropical and really refreshing. It’s the kind that works wonderfully well during the hotter months and cooler months too. Here’s that simple recipe

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Right? Simple. And it works a treat. It’s the easy dessert that you can whip up in no time. Perfect for those last minute dinner parties or a quick treat for an every day dinner.

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Coconut and Oreo Thickshake

Sydney heat has truly been awful this past week; way too hot for the last week of summer!

I came home the other day and honestly started to crave some sugar. Not just chocolate… I needed a cooling thickshake packed with oreos, and milk, and ice cream and delicious. This simple recipe is super easy and quick to make, and the best thing about it is that kids absolutely love it.

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My baby sister always asks me for this shake whenever our mom let’s her have a bit of a treat. You can make these incredibly fun with toppings, and I will detail just how you can do that 😛

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From another day

My favourite topping for a shake like this just include some melted chocolate, some sprinkles, an oreo, maybe some crushed pecan or pistachios, maybe some popcorn… the possibilities are endless! Head over to pinterest or instagram for some insane milkshake inspiration 😛

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See. I told you… simple. I made mine in one of my 15 dollar bottle blenders from Kmart. I love Kmart… the point of saying this is that the recipe is easy on the pocket and is really quite delicious. Have a go at experimenting with different flavours, or chocolates and share your recipes with me! I would love to try them out 🙂

Passionfruit Kulfi

Alas we have approached the last week of summer in Sydney and boy is it stinking hot!! There’s a heatwave along with bushfires and I’ve had orientation week responsibilities. Oh the fun. Sitting in the stall, all sweaty and stuffy, greeting everyone that walks by trying to entice them to join our  society. All the while eating plenty of junk food, drinking insane amounts of water and not needing to pee, handing out flyers and pamphlets and collecting money off people.

Okay enough about orientation.

I actually love the entire process. I mean it’s become a tradition to spend oweek with all my society people lugging around my now famous suitcase.

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Between all the fuss about O-week I decided to have a go at making Kulfi. It took two tries to perfect this recipe where the first try ended in a serious disaster with curdled milk. Yikes!

What is Kulfi?

Kulfi is an insanely delicious un-churned ice cream made from reduced creamy milk and flavours such as saffron, almond, pistachio or rose (traditionally). It’s a popular sweet across the Indian subcontinent and would be stored in a clay pot before serving it up. I have so many fond memories of travelling to India, going to the beach and buying an insanely tasty stick of Kulfi. It’s a bit of a tradition for my family.

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Now with passionfruit in season and the hot summer heat, I decided to have a go at this new flavour. I must say it turned out delicious. Honestly I really enjoyed it and so did mum and my sister. The recipe is fairly straightforward, you just have to be patient and really allow the milk to come together.

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Here’s the recipe

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Have a go at this crazy yum recipe. It’s easy and is so worth it. It’s one of those that will actually really impress your houseguests. If you enjoyed the recipe, do let me know! I am going to start experimenting with more fruit and flavours to develop more kulfi and sweet Indian fusion recipes.

Apple and Date Halwa

Halwa, or Indian pudding (I guess we could call it that) is a seriously delicious dessert with roots in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. It is typically served warm, but tastes wonderful cold too. It is truly a favourite in my house, and we make it as a treat for a celebration or festival.

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Now, my mother usually makes Halwa using semolina and banana, while back in India I have had it made with carrots and milk solids (mawa or khoya) OR believe it or not… bottle gourd. It’s fairly heavy on the sugar, which is obviously not so great for anyone trying to lose weight, or control their sugar.

This recipe is 100% inspired by the Happy Pear but it is most definitely a superbly different halwa recipe. Why? Because this one is 100% sugar FREE! Yup. That’s right.

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Now this halwa does turn out not so sweet, which I personally don’t mind, but as a note I think next time I will definitely add over some agave nectar or some rose syrup. Honey would work too, but really to each their own 🙂

Before starting this recipe, make sure your dates are really well soaked. This is where we get the sweetness in the halwa and it’s essential that these are softened prior to cooking. They should break apart wonderfully once in the pot and caramelize with the rest of the halwa.

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Now, I used semolina in my halwa because it is a great standard ingredient. Traditionally, ghee would be used to cook  the halwa and I do recommend using some. My first attempt, I went with all coconut oil and i found that most people didn’t enjoy the coconut undertones to the dessert. It would be better instead to use grapeseed oil as it’s flavour profile isn’t as deep as coconut.

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Oh and better yet… Diabetic Daddy Dearest actually ate thirds of this halwa. SCORE!!! The texture turned out really smooth and has a really nice apple flavour with hints of the sweetness from the dates… and that sweetness is like a really subtle and soft caramel 🙂

I would realllly love to hear what you think about this recipe, and I would love you to know what kind of recipes you want to see! 🙂

 

Spicy Glazed Fish

We all know that Basa is super cheap, and I’m pretty sure most people relate taste and quality straight to price. But did you know Basa is actually cheap because the costs involved in transport and care are less? Turns out that Basa is actually a sustainable fish that can be farmed close to processing factories that are inshore. This saves the costs involved in large fishing fleets entailing licensing, fuel prices, and travel. In addition to this, Basa is actually really easily harvested and the costs to raise them are less than any other fish.

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Okay enough of the serious talk. The point of my rant, Basa is actually wonderful! How do I know about this? It started from a healthy discussion regarding the cost of fish and its relation to quality and taste. We pondered why basa fillets were so affordable and whether it not it meant basa was actually unhealthy, as opposed to the usually pricey but very healthy salmon. On that note, this recipe… I think is perfect for Salmon and I am so freaking keen to try it.

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This recipe itself is sort of inspiration from those challenges you see on Masterchef and shows like Ten Dollar Dinners from Food Network. I thought I would create a recipe that was different, and used everything I already had at home – using everyday ingredients – to make something that is a little extra special. I think I managed to figure this one out spot on. For starters… there was no fish left for the day after, and it made the house smell so divine, my dog was crazily excited.

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Moving on. What makes this recipe spicy is the hot sauce. I used Sriracha because… well… who doesn’t love sriracha sauce? I added a little sweetness with honey, and some saltiness with soy. This really is an Asian influence recipe.  Here it is:

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See fairly easy right? I left my fish to marinade for 5 hours, and it made the fish sooooo incredibly tender. After cooking it the Basa was wonderfully flaky and honestly just melted in the mouth with that insane glaze. I served it up with a simple spinach and rocket (is that even how you spell it?) salad and a nice squeeze of lemon juice. Cut down the spicy flavour by serving with some fluffy rice (maybe infused with coconut), or just eat them away with some noodles.

Hope you liked it!!

The easiest coconut cake

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love coconut. I’ve even made a recipe for coconut fish already. It’s just so wonderful! It’s hearty and nutty and just so yummy.

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If you don’t like coconut, then be sure that I find you crazy 😛

This recipe has taken inspiration from the 1000’s of coconut cake recipes I found on pinterest (loveee). In the interest of making a cake that would be suitable for my parents to eat during religious festivals, where we don’t eat any meat or egg, I decided to make an eggless coconut cake that ends up fluffy and decadent and really yummy. To be honest though, you could make this as a nice loaf too, and serve it up with some tea. Actually, coconut and tea go nicely together. Or some coffee. Ever had a coconut coffee?? Maybe I should try…

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Moving on. This is by far the easiest recipe you will see. All the main ingredients are in equal portions, and the other bits and bobs, well… I’ve added them just like I would in any other cake recipe. Actually… I barely ever make any cakes. You get what I mean 😛

Here is the recipe!

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After resting it really well, the cake is delicious and moist. Yes I said it. Moist. I can’t help it… it just is that. I served this up with a spot of tea, and it actually makes for a really cute item to take over to a friends house or make for a tea party. Add a dollop of whipped cream, maybe a drizzle of simple syrup… maybe even some ice cream. The cake just works.

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