desert

Christmas Baking: Strawberry Shortcake

Want to make a desert this festive season?

But you want it to be quick, simple, lacking any kind of technique?

And most importantly, need it to look rustically perfect?

Well, have I got all those criteria marked off, and more!

You see, my Strawberry Shortcakes not only make the best and most beautiful centrepiece to your table this festive season, but take literally no time to make, use fresh in season luscious strawberries and is topped off with vanilla bean infused whipped cream. How do you not salivate?! And with christmas around the corner, the redness of the strawberries make the desert look even more festive and inviting!

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Lemon Brown Butter Tart + My Latest Crush

As is typically the case when a brilliant new book hits the market (especially by some of my favoured sources of inspiration) I waste little time getting my hands on it. By some gross error, I landed up ordering this gem a tad behind schedule, but oh, it is so worth having in my arsenal! I’ll admit, a lot of the main meals are primarily not vegetarian, but the other chapters {Meatless Mains, Vegetables} quickly make up for that. What I love about this book is that it is an amalgamation of people’s favourites, by phenomenal chefs/bloggers/geniuses, and genuinely meant to be catered towards honest home cooking – none of that layered and complicated deconstructed stuff! Hence, I used two recipes from the book as inspiration for my Lemon Brown Butter Tart. The first is Paule Caillat’s Brown Butter Tart (which BTW is ridonkulously easy) and the second is Elizabeth Falkner’s Eggless Lemon Curd.

Right so in case you thought that this is my latest crush, it isn’t. I mean, I love recipe books and all, but this crush is totally legit. And Yellow too! It’s none other than the  Read more…

Pear & Vanilla Preserve Cake

I adore fruit cake and tea cake. I adore cake that doesn’t get lost or doused in layers of cream and sugar. But sometimes I like that too.

Ok fine.

I love cake.

ALL cake.

And this Pear & Vanilla Preserve Cake is no exception.

The standout ingredient is (most obviously) the pear and vanilla preserve, which honestly I don’t know if I would ever again waste on toast. Like ever. again. The entire bottleful went into this cake, and worked so wonderfully well with the crunchy walnuts and the spicy cinnamon and nutmeg. Almost like carrot cake meets orange marmalade cake!

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Spiked Chocolate Mousse

Spiked Chocolate Mousse. Pudding. Pots.

I GIVE UP.

Let’s just stick to Spiked Chocolate Mousse.

I hoard chocolate. Well, to be honest, I hoard a lot of things, chocolate being just one of them. What better way to reduce my inventory of chocolate than to use it up in the most fantastic way ever – an almost mousse consistency chocolate pot, spiked with a dash of amarula and some good old instant coffee. The recipe is inspired entirely by Donna Hay’s fast, fresh, simple. I still find this book extremely practical, and the recipes are a perfect balance of pushing one’s mundane cooking skills ever so slightly, but resulting in a hearty and beautiful end product.

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An Apple {Crumble} A Day

Boy, have I got the perfect mid-week pick me up for you! Its called, the Apple Crumble, and is bountiful in its use of apples. It’s so addictive, you’ll want to have an apple {crumble} a day!

My masi (mum’s sister, the youngest to be specific) always has one question to ask me whenever we chat about our routines and basic lifestyle – whether or not I consume a mandatory apple everyday. My answer every times revolves around the fact that I am not loyal to one single fruit (well, TBH I would be to berries, if they were perennial) and like to eat what’s in season. Her maternal response always goes back to the mighty power of the apple, and how despite sampling seasonal fare, I must must must eat an apple everyday.

While her version of ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ never envisaged an apple crumble, I feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever in following her orders, with a little tweaking from my side! 🙂 This fail-safe recipe works not only on apple, but on peaches, berries, and

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Double Chocolate Banana Bread with Fleur de Sel

I often find myself hoarding (and loving to hoard) certain specific baking ingredients, without which a deep sense of insecurity prevails. To counter that unnecessary emotion, and to feed my retail-therapy hormone, I obsessively purchase vats of different qualities and variations of chocolate chips, cocoa powder and vanilla. In each of these hoarded products, there is a specific appeal that calls out to me.

Let me elucidate.

For chocolate chips, I enjoy trying varied versions of white, milk and dark chocolate chips, the variety ranges from small packets of supermarket quality chocolate chips to couverture. I find that with every brand, comes a different flavour and texture – some are too dry and don’t melt kindly into a ganache or truffle that may be the requirement of the day. Some on the other hand, are too rich to go into a frosting – and need instead to be added to a banana bread or chocolate chip muffin, allowing their flavour and texture to truly shine through. And yes, size does matter. Too big a chip (like melting discs) will overpower a cupcake or muffin, and too small, won’t be felt on the tongue at all.
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