Mini Baked Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

Mini Baked Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

Hello Everyone and Happy Independence Day Philippines! So to begin with a ‘long story short’ scenario, I initially made this cake for my Mom’s birthday last month and let’s just say things did not go according to plan. It was a total kitchen disaster. I beat myself up quite harshly for it, because it meant that my Mom never got cake made by me for her birthday. I compensated though and got her a limited time only Ube Custard Cake from Conti’s Restaurant and Bakeshop when we celebrated Mother’s Day last month. That cake by the way – the bomb dot com. Anyway, I’ve saved the disaster details for last, so feel free to read the short summary of what went down at the end of the recipe.

Mini Baked Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

Please bear with me for I’m currently having a bit of a writer’s block at the moment, and I’ve been sitting on this for more than an hour now thinking of what I can write. I don’t really have much, or anything for that matter, to say about the dish/recipe other than it tastes AMAZING – so I’ll just feed your knowledge on some (fun) facts on dragon fruits!

Fact #1: Dragon fruit is also known as a Strawberry Pear.

Fact #2: Eating too much red-fleshed dragon fruit can give rise to a harmless condition called pseudohematuria, which can turn urine reddish in colour.

(Fun) Fact #3: A concoction made of dragon fruit, honey, and cucumber juice can moisturize and soothe sunburned skin.

Mini Baked Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

Fact #4: The cactus flower that produces dragon fruits only survives a single night. It blooms in the evening, ready for pollination, and then wilts the very next day. However, the very brief pollination period is sufficient for the plant to bear fruits.

Fact #5: The best time to pick dragon fruits are when they are mature as they are at their height of their sweetness. Mature fruits that are not harvested will continue to grow larger, but not sweeter.

And there you have it. There are plenty more (fun) facts about dragon fruits, especially where health benefits are concerned, but these are the ones that I didn’t know about and found most interesting!

Mini Baked Dragon Fruit Cheesecake Ingredients

PREP TIME 15-20 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | MAKES 2 MINI CAKES

INGREDIENTS

For the cheesecake mixture

  • 1 small red dragon fruit, mashed*
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 100ml cream
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar

For the crumb base

  • 150g Digestive Biscuits, crushed
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt

*As I mentioned in last week’s post, the grocer that I bought them from only had gigantic dragon fruits, where the one I bought and pictured for this recipe was about 800g! In this case, I only used half of the fruit for the recipe.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 130C (250F or gas mark 1).
  2. Crumb Base: Add the crushed digestive biscuits, salt, and melted butter together in a small mixing bowl. Mix together until well combined.
  3. Grease two mini spring-form pans (about 4” in diameter) and line it with parchment paper. Cover the outside of the pan with tin foil. Press the crumb into the base of the cake pan. Set aside in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set.
  4. Cheesecake Mixture: Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat, on medium speed, the cream cheese and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl until smooth.
  5. With the mixer running, add in the egg and cream, mixing for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared spring-form cake pan, evenly covering the biscuit base, and then add about a tablespoon of the mashed dragon fruit atop. Use a skewer to gently swirl the mashed dragon fruit through the cheesecake mixture.
  7. Place the cake pan in a water bath and bake for 1 hour, or until just set.
  8. Allow to cool down to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for about half an hour before serving.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

You may top the cheesecake with extra mashed dragon fruit if you still have some lying around.

Mini Baked Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

So in all honesty, I initially made a cake-sized (8.5” round) version of this dragon fruit cheesecake. It was a no-bake cheesecake and all the things that could go wrong with it, went absolutely wrong *facepalm*.

Firstly, I bought unflavoured gelatin to incorporate into the cheesecake mixture to help it set in the fridge since it is a no-bake cheesecake. The supposedly ‘unflavoured’ gelatin advertised on the package had a certain flavour to it that I could not put my finger on. In addition, it was diabetically sweet. Not only did it ruin the taste of the cheesecake, it also caused the cheesecake mixture to split when added, causing little white specks to appear. So instead of having a smooth pink colour to the dragon fruit cheesecake, it looked like it had little white lice eggs in it – *barfs* Okay that description definitely went too far, but that’s what it looked like to me!

I didn’t know how I could salvage this cake, so I ended up chucking it in the bin. I don’t like chucking food into the bin because not only is it such a waste of beautiful ingredients, they’re also expensive ingredients. There was no point trying to salvage it though, because it honestly tasted gross because of the gelatin that I used.

After the mishap, I went back and tried the recipe again, but this time followed the recipe I tackled for a baked cheesecake from April – Spice-roasted Pineapple Cheesecake. As you can see, the end result was so much better! I was over the moon with the turn out and from now on, I’m never EVER going back to no-bake cheesecakes.

Mini Baked Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com</p

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Spice-roasted Pineapple Cheesecake

Spice-roasted Pineapple Cheesecake

Hello Everyone! Firstly, I would like to apologise if this ends up all over the place in terms of the written content, and if there will be a lot of typos and grammatical errors. I was up at 3:45am this morning to get ready to be out of the house at 5:30am for an early Visita Iglesia Pilgrimage with the ladies from our neighbourhood association. Visita Iglesia, or known as the Seven Churches Visitation is a pious Roman Catholic Lenten tradition to visit seven churches on the evening of Maundy Thursday or Good Friday and recite the Stations of the Cross. Until the 1970s, pilgrims recited all fourteen stations in every church, but the more recent form is to pay two stations per church visited. We visited seven churches in the province of Batangas and Tagaytay. This was the very first time I’ve ever been on a Visita Iglesia Pilgrimage and the beautiful churches that we have in the Philippines astounded me.

Moving forwards, yes I am well aware that it is only a Tuesday but today is a very special day for Amcarmen’s Kitchen! I asked my followers over on Instagram to guess why it is a special day, and shared some throwback pictures that were posted on this day from the past as clues. Unfortunately, no one took part in guessing what day it is today *sad face*

Spice-roasted Pineapple Cheesecake

AMCARMEN’S KITCHEN TURNS 5 TODAY!

I say this every year, but I will forever be thankful for all the support from my family and friends. Thank you to the friends who have encouraged and praised my dishes ever since before Amcarmen’s Kitchen was born. Thank you to that one specific person who gave me that push I needed to actually start up my own blog. We don’t talk anymore just because we saw too many things differently, and thus unfortunately are not friends anymore. Thank you to my family and friends who have been there to gobble up the results of my cooking adventures. Of course, a very big thank you to my Mom as well for many things. The main being for teaching me how to cook the basics; it was from here that I developed my skills and techniques in cooking, and expanding my knowledge of various cuisines across the globe. And of course, for (sometimes) being the one that actually preps and cooks the food!

One day, can’t remember when anymore, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across this recipe for a Pineapple & Passionfruit Cheesecake by Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz on SBS Food. I immediately knew that this was the cake that I was going to whip up for the 5th anniversary of Amcarmen’s Kitchen. I changed the recipe up a bit, firstly by incorporating the spice-roasted pineapples that I experimented with at the beginning of the month for my nice cream. I really loved the flavour profile of it and so I decided to use that into the cheesecake. I’ve left the passionfruit out only because I could not find any at the markets or supermarkets around my area. If you have passionfruit on hand then by all means add it to the recipe. For the base, I’ve swapped out the Anzac mix and just crushed up some ginger nut biscuits. The fiery, gingery flavour works super well with the spice-roasted pineapple.

Spice-roasted Pineapple Cheesecake Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINS | SERVES 8-12

INGREDIENTS

For the spice-roasted pineapple

  • 1 large pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 5 pcs whole cloves
  • 3 pcs star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp Tequila or Vodka (optional)

For the crumb base

  • 300g Ginger Nut Biscuits, crushed
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt

For the cheesecake mixture

  • Spice-roasted pineapple purée
  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 200ml cream
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon

METHOD

  1. Spice-roasted Pineapple: Preheat oven to 220C (425F or gas mark 7).
  2. Toss the pineapple, sugar, spices, and everything nice (liquor) in an oven-safe baking dish. Sorry, I could not resist not say that!
  3. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once done, set aside to completely cool down before puréeing the pineapple. Set some pineapple chunks aside for decoration later.
  4. Crumb Base: Meanwhile, add the crushed ginger nut biscuits, salt, and melted butter together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix together until well combined.
  5. Grease an 8-inch spring-form cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Cover the outside of the pan with tin foil. Press the crumb into the base of the cake pan. Set aside in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set.
  6. Turn the oven temperature down to 130C (250F or gas mark 1).
  7. Cheesecake Mixture: Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat, on medium speed, the cream cheese and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  8. With the mixer running, add in the eggs and cream, mixing for a further 2 minutes.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared spring-form cake pan, evenly covering the biscuit base, then drizzle over the spice-roasted pineapple purée. Use a skewer to gently swirl the purée through the cheesecake mixture.
  10. Place the cake pan in a water bath and bake for 1 hour, or until just set. Allow to cool down to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving.
  11. Decorate: Just before serving, top the cheesecake with the crown of a pineapple, and with the remaining spice-roasted pineapple chunks.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Spice-roasted Pineapple Cheesecake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Chunky Apple Cake

Chunky Apple Cake

Hello Everyone! So I probably didn’t think this through when I was planning for my recipes for the month of March. As I’ve said many times before, yes we are definitely in the middle of summer right now here in the Philippines, and having a warm Apple Cake just doesn’t seem to fit with the temperatures that we’re currently experiencing this summer.

Not to worry though, when I caught on with the dishes that I’ve been cooking for this month, I went back and had to change some of my recipes for next month. I won’t reveal it to you guys yet so you’ll just have to wait for next Wednesday for it!

Chunky Apple Cake

Nonetheless, you can have this Chunky Apple Cake with some ice cream for a cooling element. I would’ve much preferred a simple vanilla ice cream but I had come cookies and cream flavoured ice cream sitting in the freezer that I could use to go with my cake.

I skipped the butterscotch sauce for this recipe as I still had some leftover apple pie filling sitting in the fridge from when I made my Apple Danish recipe. I used that instead to drizzle over the cakes. In addition, I also used the leftover crumb topping from that recipe to top my cake for another layer of texture.

Before we jump onto the recipe, do check out the original over on Taste of Home. Also, please read some very important comments below after the recipe before the end of tonight’s post!

Chunky Apple Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the chunky apple cake

  • 110g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 2 medium-sized (or 1 large) Red Delicious Apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the butterscotch sauce

  • 57g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

METHOD

  1. Chunky Apple Cake: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Grease a 13in x 9in baking dish with a bit of butter and set aside.
  2. Combine the plain flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, white sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well. The batter will be stiff. Stir in the apples until well combined. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking dish and (optional) top the batter with the crumb topping.
  5. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched. Once done, cool for 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Butterscotch Sauce: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and butter. Cook over medium heat until the butter has melted. Gradually add the cream and bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  7. Serving: Once the cake has cooled down, cut them into slices and serve in individual serving plates. Top with the butterscotch sauce and ice cream flavour of your choice. Enjoy!

Chunky Apple Cake

Now, I’ll be honest, the cake turned out to be quite dry, and you can probably tell from the photographs. Here are several reasons on why your cakes turn out dry and crumbly:

  1. Using too much flour. When measuring dry ingredients, gently spoon the flour mixture into a measuring cup for dry ingredients and level off with a flat spatula.
  2. Adding too little shortening/liquid. Measure liquids in a liquid-measuring cup placed on a level surface. Read the liquid measurement at eye level.
  3. Improperly mixed or undermixed. Careful mixing to evenly distribute the ingredients throughout the cake batter will give it a uniform consistency. Be careful not to overmix once the flour is added as this can cause the cake to be tough.
  4. Overbeating or using too many egg whites. Egg whites act as a drying agent. Try using less egg whites if you want to avoid a dry cake.
  5. Too much or too little sugar. Too much sugar can cause a cake to crumble when cut, while too little sugar can make a cake tough. The best cake recipes have a good balance of ingredients.
  6. Pan too big for the amount of batter. Using a pan that is too big for the amount of batter you have can cause it to overbake and become dry. The pan should be filled from half to three-fourths full.
  7. Oven temperature too high. If the temperature is to high, your cake could turn out dry. Overbaking could also be a culprit so check your cake for doneness at the lower end of the baking range.

– from Taste of Home.

I’m most definitely guilty of numbers 3, 5 and 6. I probably undermixed my batter as I creamed the butter and sugar by hand instead of using an electrical mixer (because I still have not bought one)! I also most definitely used too little sugar. I halved the portion of sugar because 2 cups scared me a lot. My Mom’s a diabetic, and because of that we’ve grown up in a household where our intolerance to sugar is quite low due to the fact that we don’t have a lot of sweet things lying around the house. When I read 2 cups of sugar from the original recipe, I felt my non-existent (yet) diabetes rise up. In addition, I definitely used a cake pan too big for the amount of batter I had, and thus lead to overbaking since I did not adjust the time it needed to bake in the oven. Silly rookie mistakes.

Chunky Apple Cake

I did end up with some leftovers, and what my Mom did was steam the cakes the next day for our mid-afternoon snack. The cakes turned out soft and moist, kind of like the texture of a sponge cake.

Anyway, I’ve kept the recipe as is, without adjusting the quantities of sugar just so that I hope for anyone who does try out this recipe, that it won’t be a flop like mine. I’m still posting this recipe anyway for me to learn from it. But to be honest, even one cup of sugar that I used for this recipe was on the verge of being too sweet for me.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Apple Danish

Apple Danish

Hello Everyone! My sincere apologies for last week’s post being very bland and uninformative like my recent posts from the beginning of this year. Those who have read my post last week will know the reason for the lack of depth. But moving on, I am hopfully back on track and will not disappoint for tonight’s post. I do have a little bit to say at the end of this post so make sure you read all the way to the end, for those interested/curious that is.

So I did mention in last week’s post that I’d be specifically working with Red Delicious Apples for the month because they were on sale at Rustan’s Supermarket. After doing some research, I realised that these apples are not at all recommended for the way I’m working with them, whoops!

Red Delicious Apples are crunchy in texture and mildly sweet in taste. It is apparently the world’s favourite snacking apple and shines through in cool, crisp salads. They are in season basically all year round and no suggested for pies, sauces, baking, and freezing – oops. I totally used them for baking in last week’s recipe and technically tonight’s recipe. I will use them for a sauce and for baking again for the coming recipes as well *face palm* Oh well, but to be honest, I haven’t come across any dire problems with baking or saucing Red Delicious Apples. After doing some research, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious Apples are the best for pies, baking, and making a sauce out of them. I’ll remember this for next time!

Apple Danish Process

I probably made too much filling and crumb topping for this recipe, even though I had initially halved the recipe that I followed by Melanie Dueck over on The Recipe Critic. If you do end up with leftovers, use another pastry sheet to make more Danishes, which was what I should have done but was too impatient to thaw another sheet, or make mini Apple Crumbles out of them! I would have done the latter, but then I still have another sweet apple recipe to do to complete my month of apple for recipes and I can totally use the leftovers for it!

The only reason why I have opted for the glaze to be optional in this recipe is because I don’t have any confectioners’ sugar lying around in my pantry. If you have read my previous post (can’t remember which specific one it was), I mentioned that I have this habit of buying ingredients that I rarely use. Eventually those ingredients end up sitting on the pantry shelf until its expiration date. The same applies to confectioners’ sugar. I rarely bake nowadays, or when I do bake, I never really need to use confectioners’ sugar regularly, and so if I am just going to use it for this recipe, I have decided to leave it out for mine, but if you do happen to have it lying around, go for it! It tastes good with or without anyway! What I did instead was drizzled a bit of the juices from the apple filling on top of the baked Danishes.

Apple Danish Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 8 DANISHES

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 puff pastry sheets, thawed

For the apple filling

  • 1 large Red Delicious apples, peeled and diced
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 3 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

For the crumb topping

  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 25g unsalted butter (cold), cut into little cubes
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Handful of roughly chopped walnuts

For the egg wash

  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 tbsp water

Optional: for the glaze

  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream or milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Apple Filling: Combine all the apple filling ingredients together, except for the apples, in a medium-sized saucepan. Melt altogether over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the peeled and diced apples into the saucepan and bring back to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the apples have softened, but still holds it shape.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
    Crumb Topping: Meanwhile, mix all the crumb topping ingredients in a small mixing bowl that has been chilled in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  4. With your fingertips, quickly mix the ingredients together until it looks like rough breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Tip: Pre-chilling your mixing bowl in the freezer helps keep the butter chilled when making the crumb topping. Likewise, if your mixture is too warm, put the bowl into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes and start again when it has chilled.

  1. Apple Danish: Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used foil for mine because I only realised just as I was about to prepare my sheet that I had none left!).
  2. Unfold one thawed puff pastry sheet at a time and roll it out to about 10”x10” sheet. Use a pizza cutter to cut 16 even strips. Connect four strips together by overlapping about a half-inch and pressing it down together. Twist the strip into a ribbon and snail it around itself to create a rose-shaped pastry. Press the end down to the rest of the dough. Repeat for the remaining dough, should make at least 8 pastries.

Apple Danish Process

  1. Place the prepared pastry dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet and press the middle down. Place a spoonful of apple filling in the wells of the pastry.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the egg and water together and brush it over the pastry dough. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the tops of each Danish and then bake for about 16 to 18 minutes or until the edges are golden.
  3. Remove from the oven and leave aside to cool before glazing.
  4. Glaze (Optional): Mix all the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl then drizzle over the warm apple Danishes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Apple Danish

This is probably not the best time to have a warm dessert in the Philippines as it’s getting hotter by the minute as the Summer season rolls in. But hey! It’s getting cooler in some parts of the world right? So this would be the perfect snack/dessert for it!

I could have probably plated these delicious Danishes a little better – but I promise that they taste absolutely amazing! Better than they actually look! The flaky and crisp pastry crust, apple pie filling, and crumb topping make them irresistible. In seconds upon placing them on the dining table for our mid-afternoon snack, they were all gone! The three of us (my Mom, my sister, and myself) even fought over who wouldn’t get a third piece since there were only 8 Danishes.

Apple Danish

Before I end tonight’s post I would also just like to say a few things. I didn’t want to say this at the beginning of this post because I didn’t want to start off negatively. I have recovered from my irritable bowel syndrome, but despite that, I haven’t been feeling in the mood to work on my blog since my recovery.

I mean it’s practically normal to have off days – we’re all human after all – but I just can’t shake off the feeling of letting my followers down and letting myself down when it comes to Amcarmen’s Kitchen. I don’t get paid for running this blog, so everything that I do for Amcarmen’s Kitchen is purely for my passion and love for food, and to be able to share it with the few followers I have is just enough for me to continue doing what I love to do.

This is a very reason why I try so hard to stay on top of everything and make sure that I have dishes and recipes lined up in advance so that I can just hit the publish button every Wednesday night without having to stress about editing photographs and writing everything up all on the upload day itself. I probably put too much pressure on myself for this, hence why the sudden lack of determination for the past week.

I know deep down that no one really cares about all this – but I just needed to get this off my chest, even if it just means that I am talking to my blog.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Apple Chicken Bake

Apple Chicken Bake

Hello Everyone! March is here which can only mean one thing for Amcarmen’s Kitchen. That’s right! A new month means a new fruit to play with and we’re all about Apples this March! More specifically we’re going to be playing around with Red Washington Apples only because they were on sale at Rustan’s Supermarket for only P28 apiece! I think they were originally priced at like P35 or something. I know it’s not much of a difference but other supermarkets have them priced at P230 or something per kilo, which is crazy!

Apple Chicken Bake

I’ll keep my introduction short tonight, as I am not feeling well today – the creative writing juices aren’t flowing at the moment, apologies for that. I didn’t want to start off my post in saying what happened, but you can read more about it at the end of the post.

Before we dive right into the recipe, please head on over to Taste of Home for the original recipe where I drew my inspiration.

Apple Chicken Bake Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS* | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 3

*Allow for up to 4-6 hours to marinate the chicken, or even better, overnight in the fridge. Remove from the fridge about an hour before baking to bring the meat back to room temperature.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 whole chicken legs (about 1/2 kg)
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and wedged
  • 1 large Red Washington Apple, washed and wedged
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the marinade

  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • 1/3 cup Hickory BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns

Apple Chicken Bake Process

METHOD

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Dip the chicken whole legs into the marinade and then place skin side down into an oven-safe Pyrex dish.
  2. Pour the remaining marinade into the Pyrex dish, cover with cling wrap and then set aside in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours or overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, remove from the fridge and turn the chicken legs over skin side up. Leave aside to bring to room temperature, about an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Scatter the wedged apples and onions onto the Pyrex dish, and season with a touch of freshly cracked black pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Once done, turn the heat off. Drain the sauce into a small saucepan and place the chicken back into the oven to keep warm.
  6. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, add slurry of cornstarch to the sauce to thicken it. Once thickened, turn the heat off.
  7. Serve with any sides of your choice. I served mine with a side of salad with cherry tomatoes and French beans, and corn on a cob.

Apple Chicken Bake Process

Apple Chicken Bake

Before I end tonight’s post, I would just like to say that it’s been one heck of a crazy week! So busy that I haven’t even had the time to plan and cook my dishes for this month ahead of time, which is what I usually do to stay on top of things. This is one of the reasons why tonight’s post isn’t as informative as my previous posts. The reason for that being is that I’m also suffering from piercing stomach pains and an irritable bowel syndrome, quite possibly due to food poisoning. I’m confined at home and hydrating lots. Hopefully I’ll be all good in the coming days and I can get back on track with my cooking and writing by the weekend or early next week!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Hello Everyone! I hope the week has been good to all. Tonight will be the last of my Muffin Making Monday series on Amcarmen’s Kitchen and I will be back to sharing recipes with y’all on my usual Wednesday night uploads. I’ll still be continuing the overall theme for the year of Breakfast Foods, but next week I’ll be sharing a completely new sub-theme on the blog so stay tuned for that!

Yesterday was such a tiring day overall that I think I crashed in bed right after dinner and probably had one of the best sleeps that night – it would’ve been even better if I hadn’t had to wake up so early for work. We held a garage sale yesterday morning from 7am to (officially) 10am, but people still kept coming by the house past 11am that morning. The night before we invited our close friends to the house so that they could have the first choice in picking out what they wanted before we sold our stuff to others the following morning. We made almost $500 that night and morning for all our small items such as clothes, jewellery, bags, accessories, toys, etc. and about $1000 more on our large furnitures. After a tiring morning of turning our unwanted things into money, I spent the afternoon catching up with friends and food at one of our friend’s open house. That was my day in a nutshell.

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Moving on, plums are extremely nutritious, offering a wide variety of health benefits. They contain over 15 different vitamins and minerals, and in addition, fibre and antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. To have a further read on the health benefits of Plums (and Prunes), head on over to Health Line. Moving on, in addition to the many vitamins and minerals packed into these breakfast muffins, quinoa also gives them a major protein boost. Check out the original recipe from The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen.

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS | SERVES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup raw white quinoa
  • 113g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 plums, 1 roughly chopped and 1 sliced, thinly
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk the flours, quinoa, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt together.
    In another mixing bowl, medium-sized, whisk the eggs, yoghurt, melted butter, and honey together. Gently fold the egg mixture into flour mixture until just combined; then stir in the chopped plum.
  3. Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cases (about 1/4 cup each) and top each with a couple of plum slices.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centres of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool down completely.
  5. Drizzle with honey, if desired, before serving and enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

Breakfast Muffins: Spiced Plum & Quinoa

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend and are all pumped for another week ahead! I may have been a little unmotivated today though seeing as it is a Monday after a long weekend. Friday was the first day of Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr) here in Brunei and we got that Friday and Saturday off from work. To my surprise, the long weekend has been quite uneventful and quiet for Hari Raya.

On the eve of Raya, my mom, sister, and I went to watch the premier of The Incredibles 2! My inner 12-year-old was screaming for joy as the long wait for a sequel finally came into fruition. I remember when I was at the snacks counter, they had these character cups for the drinks. I was asked by the guy at the counter which character would I like, and with probably too much amusement for a 26-year-old in my tone, I squealed, Jack Jack! Thank God the guy did not ask me who Jack Jack was, I would’ve shamed him *shame shame shame* After I got the popcorn and drinks, I stood aside to wait for my hotdog (don’t judge, we were watching the film during our normal dinner time), and the next lady came up to the counter. I wasn’t even listening to the exchange of words between her and the snacks counter guy, but I was in such disbelief when I heard her utter the words “I want the baby.” My eyes widened and in my head I said, how dare you, you uncultured swine. You don’t deserve to watch the movie if you don’t even know the character’s name! Anyway, the film was WORTH THE WAIT. I was laughing non-stop throughout the film, and the people seated beside us were probably thinking, what is this girl on – LET ME HAVE MY MOMENT. My favourite line from the movie? “Num Num Cookie!”

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Anyway, that aside for some more side-tracking – if you want to skip ahead to the recipe, just continuing scrolling. I basically spent the rest of my long weekend at home sorting out stuff that I want to get rid of – we’re having a garage sale at home this coming Sunday – and spent the remaining of the long weekend in the kitchen cooking up a storm both good and bad *cheeky grin* I had a bit a failed attempt at a recipe I was so eager to tackle, which made me feel a little deflated after, but I did also have a successful cook the following day for a different recipe though, so all is well. I also went over to a friend’s, had lots of food, dirty talks that involved Urban Dictionary, and of course insanely MASSIVE laughs that turned into silent and out of breath laughs with tears involved for a good 5 minutes. Those are the best kind of laughters, especially between people who get the joke, or get what it is that needs to be laughed at without having to explain further.

Okay, I guess with the long-winded introduction to this post, my long weekend doesn’t seem to be THAT uneventful at all. But moving on, the adventures of Muffin Making Monday continues for its third week and I’ve got, let’s see… Blue Cheese? AND Mushies?! YAAASSS! These delightfully savoury blue cheese and mushroom muffins are delicious for ANY time of day with a hot bevvy (no, not alcohol). I know, I know, some are not very fond of the pungent taste and smell of blue cheese, but trust me when I say that these muffins smell nothing but amazing when freshly baked and the taste and the taste of the blue cheese only just subtly shines through. Check out the original recipe over on All Recipes.

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom Ingredients

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 16 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 punnet (125g) brown mushrooms, roughly chopped*
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3 & 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme**
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

*Reserved a few mushies to slice thinly, to decorate on top of the muffins (optional).
**Or you may use 2 tsp of herbes de Provence if available which is basically a combination of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line one 12 hole and one 6 hole muffin pan with paper cases. Set aside.
  2. Add the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool down a bit.
  3. Melt a knob of butter in a medium-size pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until half done, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from the pan. Add the roughly chopped mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with the herbs and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, and then stir in the melted butter.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the egg mixture until well combined.
  6. Add the sautéd mushrooms and crumbled blue cheese into the flour mixture and gently mix. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and no more than up to 3/4 full (this allows room for the muffins to rise). Top each muffin with a sliced mushie.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a nice cup of coffee. Enjoy!

You can store the muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Heat them back up in a steamer before serving.

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

Before I wrap things up here, I just thought I’d share this weird little fascination of mine with these muffins. While I was having them for an afternoon snack, I was fascinated by the speckles of mold present in the muffins in such a way that I really sat there and observed the muffin for a good five minutes before biting into it. I even raised it up to my Mom saying, “look at all the mold in these muffins!” with an obvious hint of excitement in my tone. To which my Mom replied, “if I didn’t know you bought blue cheese for this recipe, I would’ve thrown it out because I thought it went bad since it was moldy and smelled like feet!” *cheeky grin*

Breakfast Muffins: Blue Cheese & Mushroom

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Hello Everyone! The title of this post already sounds super enticing doesn’t it? Well brace yourselves, for tonight I will be sharing a cheekily sweet breakfast muffin that borderlines dessert. Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast though? If anyone says that you can’t, unfriend them because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life EVER. For those of you that are just tuning in, I usually upload a recipe to Amcarmen’s Kitchen on Wednesday nights. However, yes I am aware that it is a Monday night (in Brunei that is, for some it may be just the morning of), and the reason for the switch up for this month only is because Muffin Making Monday has returned!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this in a post before, but I’ll say it again anyway, I am NOT a huge fan of chocolate. I can already see a few jaws dropping upon reading the previous sentence in pure disbelief. But yes it’s true. I can’t sit down and eat a whole bar of chocolate even if I wanted to. I’d probably get sick after just one bite. Don’t fret guys for there is a however – a slice (or two, maybe more) of a dark, rich, dense, and fudgy with a deep to-die-for chocolate flavour brownie is my exception. Oh and of course, how could I forget my love for the beautiful marriage between dark chocolate and avocado!

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Therefore behold the Brownie Muffin – combining my Breakfast Muffin series with a favourite dessert of mine! I was going to call this hybrid a ‘Bruffin’ like how Brookies are for Brownie Cookies. Alas, I was disappointed to find that the term Bruffin has already been registered and trademarked for a light and flaky, brioche-like pastry in the form of a muffin! So should I call these Broffins? Sounds less cool than Bruffin *sad face* so I guess I’ll just stick with Brownie Muffins instead of a portmanteau of the two. Check out the original recipe by Shiran over on Pretty. Simple. Sweet.

To take it to the next level, I’ve filled these Brownie Muffins with a sticky and salty caramel sauce so that you’re hit with an oozy gooey treat when you bite (or cut) into them! And of course, you need to complete this breakfast (dessert) with a generous serving of avocado gelato! I sourced mine from my favourite gelato place in Brunei known as Rumah Gelato! Whenever I want my fix of dark chocolate AND avocado gelato, this is where I’m at. I bought a large tub of just the avocado gelato to pair with this recipe, and of course extra to just indulge in happily for the next couple of days.

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato Ingredients

Rumah Gelato's Bravo Avocado

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 6 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the brownie muffin batter

  • 113g (4oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 113g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup double cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp sea salt rocks
  • Avocado Gelato or any of your favourite flavours that tickle your tastebuds

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Grease a 6 hole muffin pan with butter. Set aside.
  2. Brownie Muffin Batter: Place the chopped chocolate and unsalted butter cubes into a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Heat in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, salt, and set aside.
  4. Using an electric handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed down to low and slowly add in chocolate and butter mixture, whisking until just incorporated.
  5. Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan, filling each case to about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out with moist crumbs and not dry.
  7. Once done, transfer to a wire rack and let them cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow muffins to cool completely on the wire rack.
  8. Salted Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the sugar over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Once all the sugar has melted, watch your caramel carefully, swirling the pan occasionally.
  9. As soon as the sugar turns amber in colour add the butter and whisk vigorously until all the butter has melted.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream while whisking vigorously until the cream is incorporated well, and then whisk in the sea salt rocks.
  11. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small decorating tip with the caramel sauce. Insert the tip into the top of the muffin, pushing about an inch into the muffin. Squeeze the filling into the muffin. If the filling starts to leak outside of the hole, stop.
  12. Serve with ice-cream or gelato with the flavour of your choice, and drizzle more of the salted caramel sauce atop. Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

You can store these Brownie Muffins in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Make sure to let them reach back to room temperature before serving. I personally would prefer to warm them up in a steamer (the oven or microwave usually dries it out even more) because I’d rather have a warm, fudgy, and gooey muffin than a room temperature one *cheeky grin* but like I said, it’s just my personal preference.

Before I wrap up tonight’s recipe, here’s a key extract from Shiran:

Timing is everything: The right baking time is always the most crucial part of making brownies. It only takes a couple of minutes to turn them from rich fudge brownies to a dry chocolate cake. When done, brownies should appear baked on the outside, but the center should still be soft. You’ll need to bake them only until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with very moist crumbs, not dry.
— Shiran from Pretty. Simple. Sweet.

Breakfast Muffins: Brownie, Salted Caramel & Avocado Gelato

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Feta Cheese, Onion & Rosemary

Breakfast Muffins: Feta Cheese, Onion & Rosemary

Hello Everyone and a happy first Monday for the month of June! Hope the Monday blues didn’t hit you guys hard, especially to my friends/followers in Brunei – unlike me, I know some of you guys have had a super long weekend with all the public holidays we’ve been having. We, as in my office, didn’t get to have one of the public holiday off so it was a normal working day for us on Thursday while most likely 80% of the working population was off. Thank goodness Saturday was public holiday that applied to us so yay for the long weekend (normal weekend anyway for some)! If you guys don’t already know from my constant mentions on several posts, and on the ‘about’ section of my blog, I work SIX full days a week. So getting to have a Saturday off (which is quite rare) because of a public holiday is pure bliss.

Moving on from that… mini rant? I mentioned in one of my posts last week that I’ll be switching up my post schedule just for this month – and yes it does have something to do with the theme for June. The title of this post may have already given it away for some of my loyal and consistent followers. Drumroll please! So I may have taken it to Google and searched ‘how to type out a drumroll sound’ – gives up 30 minutes later.

Breakfast Muffins: Feta Cheese, Onion & Rosemary

MUFFIN MAKING MONDAY IS BACK ON AMCARMEN’S KITCHEN! Muffin Making Mondays started about 4 years ago now I think, where Jialing would come back to my place after our Monday morning lecture together on main campus. We’d bake muffins together for our on-the-go work brekkie for that week. Well, we’d bake together but we’d both have our own recipes, i.e. she’d make sweet muffins for herself while I’d make savoury ones – we still share 1 or 2 though after we’ve baked them. I also remember how we’d both have a 1-on-1 Cards Against Humanity game where we’d both just unanimously vote which was the best (dirtiest) answer while our muffins were baking in the oven. Those were the days.

Anyway, it’s probably going to get lonely in the kitchen as it’ll just be me, myself, and I without Jialing, but I’m bringing back Muffin Making Mondays for the month of June! And to kick things off, I’ve got a delicious Feta, Onion, and Rosemary Savoury Muffin to start your mornings with a bang! Check out the original recipe over on Genius Kitchen.

Breakfast Muffins: Feta Cheese, Onion & Rosemary Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the muffin batter

  • 1 & 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the onion and cheese mixture

  • 100g feta cheese, crumbed
  • 1 medium-sized brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns
  • Knob of unsalted butter

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add in the chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Once the onions have cooled down, add in the crumbed feta cheese and chopped rosemary. Season with freshly ground black pepper and give it a good mix. There is no need for salt since the feta is quite salty by itself. Set aside.
  4. For the muffin batter, sift the plain flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
    In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg, followed by the milk and give it a good whisk to combine.
  5. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the flour, until well incorporated, using minimum number of folding movements. Ignore the lumps in the mixture and do not over-mix.
  6. Gently add the onion and cheese mixture into the batter mixture, folding in, as before, with as few strokes as possible. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Remove the muffins from the tins and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins: Feta Cheese, Onion & Rosemary

Breakfast Muffins: Feta Cheese, Onion & Rosemary

These muffins are perfect for sahur with a hot cup of teh tarik for my Muslim friends and followers. Well to be honest, it’s perfect for any time of the day with a nice hot cup of anything like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

Hello Everyone! I’ve got a special post for you this evening as today marks 4 years of Amcarmen’s Kitchen! Don’t worry, I’ll still post a Breakfast Smoothie Bowl up for you guys most probably towards the end of the week since I already had the post and pictures prepared for it.

Anyway, technically I started this blog on April 16th, but it wasn’t until 2 days after on the 18th that I posted my very first recipe! You can check it out here: Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach. Yes, you could say I was less talkative (wordy) for my first few posts, mainly because I had no clue on what else I could write about. When I started this blog out of pure procrastination way back in 2014 during my uni mid-semester break, I didn’t think I would be able to make it this far to be honest! I did slack behind a bit (a lot) towards the end of last year as it wasn’t easy juggling both a very demanding job, this blog, time for family and friends, and wanting some free time to myself as well. I have been doing a better job at keeping up so far, but it’s too early to tell to be honest, since I only just started getting back into this last month.

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

I want to say that I promise that I will try to do better this year, but even I know that that’s a promise that I won’t be able to keep, so bear with me my dear followers! I know it is not in any way an obligation for me to share with you guys every single week, but I feel a sense of accomplishment for when I do so, and I don’t ever want this blog to drift away. It’s the only passion that I have going on for me right now because of my busy work schedule, and I don’t want all the hard work I’ve put into this blog for the past now coming 4 years to just become all for nothing.

With that being said, tonight I will be sharing a recipe that I tackled last November actually… For my 26th birthday! I never got around to posting it, and since I literally just got back from Hong Kong last night and had to report straight to work this morning, I’ve had no time to bake a new cake to celebrate Amcarmen’s Kitchen turning 4. So here’s my Pear & Walnut Cake that I drew inspiration from Olivia over on Liv for Cake. The cake itself was moist, not too sweet and had a lovely texture from the soft pear chunks and crunchy toasted walnuts. The honey buttercream was light and fluffy, beautifully contrasted by the deep red pears sitting atop a white-frosted cake.

(Apologies for not having an ingredient shot like how I normally do for almost all my recipe posts, but the photo didn’t turn out so great so I just decided not to post it)

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the pear and walnut cake

  • 2 & 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (plus extra to top)
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely shredded
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the honey Swiss meringue buttercream

  • 4 large free range eggs, whites only
  • 360g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Optional: for the spiced red wine poached pears to top

METHOD

  1. Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears: Follow the recipe method provided in the link above.
  2. Pear and Walnut Cake: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Grease and flour two 8-inch cake rounds and line with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the plain flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Next, using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Reduce the speed and add the eggs in one at a time to allow to fully incorporate after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk altogether). Make sure to fully incorporate after each addition. Then, gently fold in the toasted walnuts and shredded pears, and divide the mixture evenly between the two pans.
  6. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of both cakes come out mostly clean. Place the cakes on wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto the wire rack to cool further.
  7. Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Place the egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk until combined.* Place the bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approximately 3 minutes), or until it registers 70C/160F on a candy thermometre.
  8. Place the bowl back on your stand mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until the meringue is stiff and has cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approximately 5 to 10 minutes).
  9. Switch to a paddle attachment and slowly add in the butter (cubed). Mix until smooth.** Add the honey and whip until smooth. Set aside.
  10. Assembly: Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with approximately 1 cup of the buttercream and repeat with the remaining layer. Crumb coat the cake and place in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.
  11. Continue to frost the top and sides of the cake in a rustic manner. If desired, add toasted walnuts along the bottom and top, and place the poached pears on top. Secure pears in place with toothpicks and drizzle with the poaching syrup.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

* Ensure that there are NO traces of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease free or your meringue won’t stiffen.

** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.

Pear & Walnut Cake with Spiced Red Wine Pears

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com