Auguest 2017: Simon Swadling

Blueberry Cheesecake Tarts (Gluten Free)

I met Allison 6 years ago in Sydney, Australia where we studied Design together at The College of Fine Arts. We both had a great passion for the chicken schnitzel sandwiches they sold across the road from COFA (with caramelised carrots of course) as well as food in general. Recently I’ve taken my passion for food and cooking to the next level by starting my own baking business “The Bearded Patissier” selling baked goods to people in my area, cakes, tarts, macarons, and desserts all give me an opportunity to combine my love for good design and art with good food.

June 2015: Graduation DayJune 2015: The Bearded Patissier & Amcarmen’s Kitchen on Graduation Day

Here’s my recipe for gluten free blueberry cheesecakes. Making them in a tart means you have a great ratio of biscuit to cheesecake and I would happily just eat the base by itself too – it makes a great (healthy) gluten free cookie!

Blueberry Cheesecake Tarts (Gluten Free)

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINS* | SERVES 12 TARTS

*Includes a minimum of 1 hour chilling time

INGREDIENTS

For the base

  • 150g almond meal
  • 75g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 40g raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup fine rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the blueberry and pomegranate jam

  • 2 x 125g punnets fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molases
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the cheesecake

  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1/2 cup syrup from jam (see recipe below)
  • 2 tsp gelatine powder, dissolved in 3 tsp of water
  • 1/4 caster sugar

METHOD

  1. Base: add all the ingredients for the base into a mixer with the paddle attachment.
  2. Mix on a low speed until fine crumbs start to form, and the butter is well combined into the mixture. Continue mixing until larger crumbs start to form, it should look similar to the size of granola, but don’t let it fully combine into a ball of dough.
  3. Press half a tablespoon of the mix into lose bottomed 3-inch tart shells making sure it is an even thickness across the whole tin. The mixture should cover 12 tins. Alternatively you can also make one large cheesecake in a big tin.
  4. Bake in a 160C fan-forced oven for 12-15 minutes until evenly golden in colour.
  5. Allow tarts to cool fully before removing them from their casing. You may have to press them flat a bit after they come out of the oven while they are still hot.
  6. Blueberry and Pomegranate Jam: add all the ingredients into a pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
  7. Strain out half a cup of the syrup while still warm and add in the gelatine mixture for the cheesecake. Allow to cool slightly and if you want the bits of blueberry in the cheese cake just measure out without straining. Reserve the rest for topping the cheesecake.
  8. Cheesecake: while the blueberry and gelatine mix is cooling, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until smooth, making sure no lumps are left on the sides of the bowl as these will not mix in later and leave you with lumps in your mix.
  9. Beat in the cream, and then gently fold through the cooled blueberry gelatine syrup.
  10. Spoon tablespoons of the filling into the tart shells and refrigerate for an hour minimum.
  11. Top the cheese cakes with reserved jam and fresh blueberries or flowers. Serve and enjoy!

Blueberry Cheesecake Tarts (Gluten Free)

Blueberry Cheesecake Tarts (Gluten Free)

Recipe Copyright © 2017 | thebeardedpatissier

BON APPÉTIT

– Simon Swadling aka The Bearded Patissier

myTaste.com

Advertisements
Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas

Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone in Brunei had a great long weekend, and enjoyed yesterday’s public holiday as well while I unfortunately had to work yesterday. Don’t worry, I was 80% rebellious today to compensate for the fact that we had work yesterday and decided to take the whole day to work on a small task haha. Anyway, for anyone not in Brunei, I still hope that you had a great weekend nonetheless.

Before I dive into tonight’s recipe, I just want to apologise for the post going up a day late and also for not getting this post up last week like it was scheduled to be. I had a ladies night out with two of my friends whom I’ve not seen since forever and I ended up getting home past my bed time, not having prepared this post beforehand. I had initially started off the post with some distressing news, but because I didn’t want to start off with a downer, I’ve saved what I have to say for last. So if you want to know what’s been happening, read until the end.

Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas

Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas

So let’s get cracking then shall we? I came across tonight’s recipe while I was browsing through Pinterest one night, searching up new and unique recipes to try out for myself, and I was particularly drawn to this recipe by Joanna from JoCooks of her Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas. I never thought about sweet empanadas before so I thought that this was a pretty unique recipe, and definitely something new to me and quite possibly to many others I know. I have no idea why but all my empanadas decided that they wanted to spew out their innards! Okay that sounded a bit gross, but I’m not going to lie, I laughed way too much at that sentence!

Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas Ingredients

PREP TIME 40 MINS* | COOKING TIME 15-18 MINS | SERVES 9-12 EMPANADAS

*includes chilling time in the fridge

INGREDIENTS

For the empanada dough

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup plain whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 20g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 large free range egg, yolk only
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the filling

  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash

METHOD

  1. In a small food processor, combine the plain flour, plain whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times until combined, then add in the butter and pulse for about 5 seconds. Add the egg yolk in together with the cold water and process until a soft dough is formed, a couple of minutes in total.
  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  4. In a small bowl, add the fresh blueberries, vanilla extract, plain flour, and sugar. Toss to combine. Set aside.
  5. Roll out the empanada dough so that it is about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Cut the dough into 4-inch rounds, using a cutter if you have one or a bowl/big mug to measure out the rounds, should make about 9-12 rounds depending on the size of each round.
  6. Spoon about half a tablespoon of goat cheese onto each round, and then about a tablespoon of the prepared blueberries onto the centre of each round. Fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Press the edges together to seal and crimp with either your fingers or a fork.
  7. Transfer the empanadas to the prepared baking tray and brush each empanada with the egg wash. Poke a few holes into each using a fork before baking for about 15 – 18 minutes or until the empanadas are golden brown in colour. Set aside to cool for a while then serve and enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas

Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas

Blueberry Goat Cheese Empanadas

BON APPÉTIT

For those of you who are just tuning into Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I sometimes like to treat my blog a like a journal where you get to read small snippets of my life from time to time – I feel that’s what makes this blog more human and that way you get to know who I am a little at a time.

Okay, for those of you who have managed to reach this point of tonight’s post, here we go… How do I begin to say this. If you could see me right now, I just spent a whole 10 minutes sighing heavily whilst fighting back the tears just thinking about how I am going to write this next sentence.

My Blacky, my bundle of joy who has been in the family since he was a little pup for just short of 7 years, passed away on Sunday afternoon. My Mom, sister, and I were out for not even 2 hours doing our usual Sunday groceries, and when we got back home, there we saw him, lifeless, on a bed of green grass under the lovely sun. I cried instantly, wanting to believe that what I was seeing was just a dream… But it wasn’t. He was gone. I immediately called up a colleague of mine, to ask if he had a shovel and a hoe so that we could dig a resting place for Blacky, and within less than half an hour, he was at my house, with his team members from work, there to help me dig and lay Blacky into the ground. I wasn’t expecting this at all – all I asked for was the tools so that I could do it myself, so I am thankful to have him as my colleague and my friend. Sorry to end the post on a downer, but like I said before, I didn’t want to start the post off with this. Goodbye Blacky. You will be missed oh so dearly.

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Hello Everyone! I apologise for posting a day late – I got home quite late last night. Actually that’s a lie, I got home at a decent hour but because I was super full from the Korean BBQ Buffet Dinner that I had with two of my colleagues, I just wanted to take a shower and then go to sleep. Even though we work together and basically see each other 6 days a week for 8 hours, we don’t really get to just chill and catch up with each other, be it talking about our personal life or just random office gossip. All in all a great night with great company over great food.

In other news, I hope everyone had a great weekend, celebrating with their Mom’s on Mother’s Day. Ours didn’t quite go as planned, or well it did but we all ended up disappointment so to say. We, or my Mom actually, wanted to try out a restaurant that she had been eyeing for a while now for their breakfast buffet. We got there all excited and everything only to be disappointed with the buffet itself – or should I even call it a buffet really? To me, there wasn’t a substantial amount of food to call it a buffet, and hello?! What breakfast buffet doesn’t have an egg station?! I was immensely frustrated that I could not have sunny side up eggs, or scrambled eggs to go with my… Soggy hash browns and non-existent beef rashers, but instead had to suffice to cold pancakes and waffles. Outrageous. They had fried noodles though, which at first I thought was probably the only thing that could save me from further dissatisfaction – but I most definitely regretted taking a plate full of it. The noodles were subpar but paired with the most bitter vegetables ever which was enough for me to just push the plate away. A waste I know, but I couldn’t risk an upset tummy at that point. So what did I actually eat? Their assortment of breads and under-seasoned prawn noodle soup – a lot of it just to get my money’s worth. My Brunei friends/followers, if you’re wondering what restaurant I’m talking about, it’s Anjung Saujana at the International Airport. Their al a cart menu looked comparatively better, but meh, still not enticing enough for me to ever step foot in there again to be brutally honest. Sorry!

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Blueberry Bread Pudding

That aside, I was able to save Mother’s Day by putting together a lovely Blueberry Bread Pudding, filling it up with basically anything and everything I had left lying around from the previous blueberry recipes I have whipped up for Amcarmen’s Kitchen. I had some leftover white chocolate chips from my Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones, leftover ricotta cheese from last week’s recipe of Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups, and the most important leftover ever – the bread crusts from last week’s recipe as well (remember I said not to discard the bread crusts in that post? This is why).

So back when I was still living in Sydney, I think at that time I was just starting my final year of university, I hosted a little flowery tea party for 4 lovely friends of mine one fine weekend afternoon. One of the eats on the menu was finger sandwiches, and to be completely honest, I forgot what we actually put in them. I have a feeling it was tuna or egg sandwiches, but I really cannot remember. Anyway, that’s not the point, the point is that finger sandwiches usually have the crusts cut off and I distinctly remember that time saying that I was going to keep the crusts and make something out of them. If I remember correctly, I did make an all-crust bread pudding out of them, and this was the caption to the end result when I posted a photo of it on Instagram:

Any normal person would’ve either thrown them away or fed them to the pigeons – I am not a normal person. So instead of throwing leftover bread crusts from the tea party, I went on and made a bread pudding with almond flakes and dates out of it #freshfromtheoven #someonecomeoverandeatitwithme #foodporn #foodgasms — click here to see the full image of my Date & Almond Flakes Bread Pudding from way back in 2014.

Blueberry Bread Pudding Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g ricotta cheese
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • Granulated sugar (optional)
  • Leftover bread crusts + half a loaf of white bread
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing

METHOD

  1. Grease a rectangular baking dish, mine was about 7.5″ x 11″ in size, with the unsalted butter.
  2. Cut the crusts off the remaining half loaf and lay the bottom of the baking dish with the crusts, making sure to cover as much of the bottom as you can.
  3. Spread all of the ricotta cheese on top of the bread crusts and top with half of the blueberries and half of the white chocolate chips.
  4. Cut the crustless slices of bread diagonally in half and arrange to cover the layer of ricotta cheese, blueberries, and white chocolate chips. Set aside.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg until well combined. Pour over the bread, making sure to press the bread down to absorb the egg mixture.
  6. Top with the remaining blueberries, white chocolate chips, and flaked almonds. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of granulated sugar on top if you wish. Cover with aluminium foil and let it sit for about an hour before baking.
  7. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) about 45 minutes into its sitting time. Baked, covered for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for another 30 minutes or until lightly browned and set.
  8. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Blueberry Bread Pudding

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend – or at least better than my week/weekend. We just wrapped up two back-to-back events that was ideally supposed to be a 3-month preparation scale type of event, but because of the last minute go signal from the client, a 3-month preparation schedule became the impossible of a 6-day preparation schedule. This meant a lot of late nights in the office and onsite for our team, losing our sanity, and on the verge of mental breakdowns… But we survived and delivered. It was indeed an intense week, everything had to be perfect down to the very last detail as our Guest of Honour for the first event was the Governor of China and for the second event was the Crown Prince of Brunei. Despite the intensity and late nights, I have fully recovered from being sick from the last two weeks – slowly but surely!

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups

Continuing on with the theme of Blueberries for the month of May on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, tonight I will be sharing with you a recipe that I have seen lurking around the Internet for quite some time now – well, the one’s I’ve been seeing are the Strawberry and Nutella French Toast Roll Ups, but since we’re working with blueberries, here’s a recipe for Blueberry and Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups! This might just be the perfect Mother’s Day brekkie recipe for your Mom this upcoming Sunday! Feel free to change it up a bit to add her favourite fruits into the roll ups.

The original recipe by Chung-Ah over on DAMN Delicious uses cream cheese instead of ricotta cheese, but to my luck, the grocers I went to over the weekend didn’t have any in stock. Well, actually they did but it was a giant 2kg block of cream cheese and I thought to myself, what am I going to do with 2kgs of cream cheese?! I guess I could’ve made a cheesecake, but I think I’ve had too many cheesecakes already for the past month *cheeky grin*.

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 slices of white bread, crusts removed*
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 100g ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

*Do not discard your crusts! You will soon find out in next week’s post 🙂

METHOD

  1. In a large deep dish, beat the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and ground nutmeg together until well combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon powder. Set aside.
  3. Use a rolling pin the flatten the bread slices to about 1/4-inch thick and spread the ricotta cheese on the bottom of each slice of bread. Top each with a row of blueberries.
  4. Bring the bottom edge of the slice of bread tightly over the filling, rolling form the bottom to the top until the top of the slice of bread is reached. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread. Dip the bread rolls into the egg mixture.
  5. Melt the unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the bread rolls to the skillet, 3 to 4 at a time and cook until evenly golden brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Once done, immediately dredge the bread rolls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing down to coat.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups

Alright, so I may have overcooked the roll ups a bit as they were pretty brown when I flip them over – and this was only because I frantically searched the kitchen for tongs to use to flip them over. In the time span of looking for them, the roll ups went pretty brown *oops!* Note to self – make sure I have all the essential equipment ready before cooking!

These roll ups are such a fun twist to the traditional french toast. Like Chung-Ah says “who wants to go back to a slice of bread when you can have them rolled up?” I totally agree with her, however, I do think that my Cornflake-crusted French Toast and Milo French Toast in the form of a piece or two of sliced bread is also a fun twist to the traditional french toast. Check them out if you haven’t already done so!

Blueberry & Ricotta French Toast Roll Ups

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones

Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones

Hello Everyone! I’ll make tonight’s post quick only because I am mentally and physically exhausted from both being sick and basically juggling so many projects simultaneously today. I managed to tick at least 70% of my list of things to do for work so I’m pretty happy about that, but it’s going to be a busy weekend!

Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones

Anyway, tonight’s recipe is one of my favourite go-to-brekkie when I was still living in Sydney for my university studies. When I lived up in the lower North Shore, I’d always walk about 15 minutes from home to catch the train to the city, and then a bus to campus. Along the way, I’d stop at Baker’s Delight and pick up a freshly baked Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scone before hopping onto the train. I’d then have my scone on campus in the lecture hall, or tutorial rooms while waiting for class/lecture to start. It would alway make my mornings a little bit better especially when I’d have to be on campus by 8 or 9 in the morning.

So since the theme for the month of May on Amcarmen’s Kitchen is Blueberries, I decided to whip up my own batch of Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones to get into the nostalgic zone. I followed my own recipe for Basic Scones which I posted way back in mid-2014, and added blueberries, lemon juice and zest, and white chocolate chips into the mix.

Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | SERVES 12 SCONES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 80g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Sift the self-raising flour into a large bowl and add the cubed butter together with the lemon zest. Rub the butter into flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles a breadcrumb texture.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the milk, lemon juice, and blueberries in. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until the mixture forms a soft dough. If the mixture is a bit dry and crumbly, add more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth (don’t knead the dough too much though or your scones will be quite tough).
  4. Pat the dough into a 2cm-thick round, and cut into 12 equal logs.
  5. Place scones onto a tray lined with baking paper, 1cm apart from each other. Lightly sprinkle the tops with a little flour and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen. Serve warm with a nice cup of tea!

Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones

Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones

Blueberry Lemon & White Chocolate Scones

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Vegan No-bake Blueberry & Lemon 'Cheesecake'

Vegan No-bake Blueberry & Lemon ‘Cheesecake’

Hello Everyone and a very happy first day of May! For those of you celebrating Labour Day, I hope you’re having a blast with your long weekend! Unfortunately, Labour Day isn’t celebrated in Brunei, so yes, I worked today *sad face*. Well, I’m actually not here out of my usual posting schedule to talk about Labour Day, in fact, I’m here for a completely different, and special occasion!

Happy Birthday Mom!
Everyday I wake up, I always have you to thank. I have your guidance, your food, your warmth, your love, and your heart: someone who loves me (and the other 2 troublemakers as well) unconditionally. I promise I’m not just saying this because it’s your birthday haha! Happiest of Birthdays Mom!

This year for my Mom’s birthday, I decided to whip up a Vegan No-bake Blueberry & Lemon ‘Cheesecake’ after my huge success with my sister’s vegan ‘cheesecake’ back in August 2016. I’ve been wanting to try out more vegan ‘cheesecakes’ since then and now the opportunity has surfaced once again. This ‘cheesecake’ is completely gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. Before we move on to the recipe, please check out the original over on Call Me Cupcake by Linda. Please take note that I have adjusted the quantities below to make an 8.5-inch round cake.

Vegan No-bake Blueberry & Lemon 'Cheesecake' Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | CHILL TIME min. 6 HOURS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the base

  • 1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling

  • 1 & 1/2 cups cashew nuts, soaked in water overnight then drained*
  • 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (50g) fresh or frozen (but thawed) blueberries
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, to taste
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the topping

  • Edible flowers**
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Shredded coconut

*Or soaked in very hot water for an hour if pressed for time

**To my Brunei followers if you could help me out, I don’t know where to find edible flowers here so what I usually do is just pick non-edible flowers from my garden, make sure they get a good wash and then use them only for photographic purposes.

METHOD

  1. Soak the roughly chopped dates in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl combined with the finely chopped almonds and salt. Using the back of a fork, mash and mix the ingredients together until a paste forms.
  2. Press the mixture into an 8-8.5 inch springform pan (and if you don’t have one, you may use a regular pie/cake tin covered with parchment paper). Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the ‘cheesecake’ filling.
  3. Put al the ingredients for the the filling in a blender and blend on low until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Pour the filling onto the crust, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.
  4. Remove the cake from the pan and top with extra fresh blueberries, shredded coconut, and edible flowers. Leave to thaw in room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into it; you may run your knife under warm water and dry off to make a cleaner cut. Let each slice of cake thaw for a few more minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Vegan No-bake Blueberry & Lemon 'Cheesecake'

Vegan No-bake Blueberry & Lemon 'Cheesecake'

So usually, it is a habit of mine to read through the recipe first either a few days before, or the night before just so that I have proper planning when it come to buying the ingredients needed to proceed with the recipe. This time around, I completely forgot about doing this – I already had the recipe bookmarked from probably the beginning of the year so I guess this is probably one of the reasons why it completely slipped my mind. Why is it important to read a recipe ahead of time? Well for starters, the cashew nuts in this recipe require to be soaked in water overnight. Did I soak mine overnight? Nope I didn’t. Luckily, this can be rectified as it does say in the original recipe that if you’re in a hurry, you can soak the cashew nuts in very hot water for an hour (which is what I did) hehe.

Also, I missed out on a crucial bit of information which I only saw earlier on this afternoon when I was writing this post: “makes 1 tiny cheesecake (12cm/5-inches)” No wonder my cheesecake looked short and just barely had enough crust to cover the whole bottom. My springform pan is 8.5-inches in size which mean that I could’ve easily just doubled the recipe *face palm* but oh well, I would’ve have had enough ingredients to double the recipe if I had noticed it early and that’s only because I probably wouldn’t have been bothered to drive out to the grocers again to pick up a few more ingredients.

Vegan No-bake Blueberry & Lemon 'Cheesecake'

Happy Birthday Mom!

So what did I learn tonight? READ THE RECIPE FIRST A DAY OR TWO AHEAD OF TIME!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

Hello Everyone! I hope you guys had a good Easter weekend! Even though we don’t get a long Easter weekend here in Brunei, I did still manage to enjoy my Easter Sunday day off. I can’t believe that there’s only less than 2 weeks of April left and that May is just around the corner! Time sure flies by when you’re (not) having fun at work. Haha! I know I’ve mentioned this in previous posts about how everything is just becoming routinely for me and it’s actually becoming quite depressing. I’m in need for a little excitement in my life. I think my thoughts have been heard because I’m flying off tomorrow night for a little staycation in the Philippines! The company I’m working at is sending me and three other colleagues to the Philippines for a little work/play adventure, attending events and meetings on behalf of the company, and of course what’s a trip to the Philippines without a little summer fun in the sun? I mean, it’s pretty much our tagline – It’s More Fun In The Philippines!

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

On this note, I definitely won’t be uploading a post next week because I’ll be away from Thursday to Monday night. Since my Sunday, and the public holiday on Monday is taken up for this trip, I won’t have my dish prepared for a post. So this will be my last Avocado recipe for the month of April that I will be sharing with you guys! In fact, after I’ve posted this, I’ve got to get a head start on my packing because I still have to be at the office tomorrow up until 2 hours before my flight – what the heck right? Also, I was only told on Monday that I’d be flying off, and everything was only firmly confirmed yesterday afternoon. As usual, before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please check the original recipe out by Ali from Gimme Some Oven.

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 25-30 MINS | SERVES 16 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the avocado and blueberry muffins

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the streusel topping

  • 30g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases and set aside. Now since this recipes makes about 16 muffins, you can line another 6-hole muffin pan (if available), or if you only have one muffin pan, then bake in batches if needed.
  2. For the streusel topping, add all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined and crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, add the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (optional) and stir together to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, add the roughly chopped avocado and using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar in and beat until well blended. Follow with the yoghurt and pure vanilla extract, beating again until just combined.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Add in the other half of the flour mixture and beat until well combined.
  6. Gently fold the blueberries in using a rubber spatula, then spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle with the streusel topping and place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted to the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Set aside to cool in the muffin pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool down completely. Serve for breakfast or afternoon tea and enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Now, I know I have a couple of friends and colleagues who don’t particularly like the taste of avocado; don’t ask me why because I think that they’re just plain weird for not liking avocado (hehe!), but give them one of these beautiful green muffins and they’ll probably be hooked on it. The avocado flavour in these muffins are not overpowering or predominant, but there is a slight hint of it in each bite you take. These muffins are a classic twist to a classic blueberry muffin and are light, moist, and al the more healthy for you because of the avocado in place of all the other oils you’d otherwise use when making muffins. Top them off with a crumbly streusel to give it an “extra muffin-y sweetness” as Ali says.

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe the month is going by in the blink of an eye! It’s already the third week of Cooking with Quinoa and I’ve got another colourful recipe to share with y’all. I’ll keep tonight’s post short as I’ve got nothing much to tell really – other than the fact that it was a slow day at work today, and has been for the second half of last week up until today. Tomorrow may be another slow day and I guess it will be like this for a while until another event creeps up on me. Even though there’s not much to do, I’m still slowly preparing the things that I need to deliver for January’s event so that I won’t find myself stressing out and doing things last minute a month before the event. At least I can enjoy my Christmas and New Years when it comes.

All that aside, if you’re obsessed with fresh fruit, then this is a dish you’d want to whip up as an easy pre and/or post workout meal. This salad is also very versatile in a sense that you can easily mix and match fruit combinations depending on what you like and what fruits are in season. The original recipe can be found over on The Recipe Critic: Tried and True.

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the salad

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup tri-colour quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 large orange, peeled and segmented
  • 1 punnet (125g) blueberries
  • 1 punnet (125g) strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

For the honey lime glaze

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

METHOD

  1. Rinse the quinoa before combining it with 2 cups of room temperature water in a medium-sized pot. Turn the heat up to high and bring the quinoa to a boil. Once boiling, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and then set aside to cool. Note: Quinoa holds lots of water, so you have to make sure you drain it thoroughly after it’s cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the honey and lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add all the fruits into a large mixing bowl together with the cooked and cool quinoa. Mix until well combined.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish with the spinach leaves and then drizzled with the honey lime glaze. Serve as a healthy morning or afternoon snack, pre or post gym workout. Enjoy!

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit & Quinoa Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2016: Wong Miao Hui

Raw Nutty Orange & Blueberry Vegan ‘Cheesecake’

The perfect vegan dessert for your next dinner party.

Hey there! My name is Miao, pronounced “Meow” and I am currently located in Singapore. I’ve known the lovely Allison for a good 12 years now, perhaps for even longer! We attended the same high school back in Brunei. A few years went by before we recently got in contact again, and this time we had more in common than ever before­ – the both of us had branched from loving food, to loving to cook food during our years of studying abroad. Our enthusiasm was shared over social media and it was agreed that we had to, had to, collaborate in hosting a dinner party the very next time we stood on common soil.

Dinner parties are great! They indulge our senses through so many different factors; from the atmospheric music playing in the background, the vibrant and dramatic display of what’s being served, to the tantalising aroma of something sizzling, something roasted, something seasoned in the air. In every way, a dinner party is an experience of art, as a guest you are inclined to explore the texture of your dish and savour the flavours, forming an opinion that’ll later be added to the table’s conversation. For people who love to cook, a dinner party is an exciting show to curate.

I’ve hosted a few dinner parties since the start of my time in Singapore, and every time it’s been the perfect way to rekindle old friendships, create new memories, and to sprout conversations between acquaintances. Well what’s a dinner party without its guests? Allison and I rounded up a few other pals from our high-school days along with a few foodies I’ve grown to love in Singapore.

One seat at the table was reserved for our vegan friend, adding a little variety to the collective diet. Accommodating to a vegan was completely new to me, the savoury vegan recipes weren’t all that hard to comprehend, but because I specialise in baking cakes, deciding what to create for dessert took a little more time for consideration. We made an array of dishes for the mains, including both vegan approved recipes and recipes with meat, while trying as much as possible to have everyone enjoy similar flavours. The dessert was to mark the finale of the show, and it only seemed appropriate to have everyone leave with the same experience and same lingering flavour in their mouth.

Well, after some time browsing through recipes online, I realised just how darn easy vegan desserts are to make! And they can still be just as rich and indulgent as desserts with animal products – like the vegan ‘cheesecake’ I’m about to introduce. Now I sit here still thinking how I wasn’t introduced to vegan desserts any earlier; they’re healthier, somewhat more refreshing and require less cleaning up. So without further ado, here is the perfect dessert recipe for your next dinner party with or without your vegan buddies.

Raw Nutty Orange & Blueberry Vegan 'Cheesecake'

PREP TIME 15-20 MINS | FREEZE TIME min. 12 HOURS | SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

For the nutty crust 

  • 2 cups raw nuts
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Pinch of salt

For the orange ‘cheesecake’

  • 3 cups cashews
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
  • Orange zest from all the juiced oranges
  • Pinch of salt

For the blueberry layer

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup of the orange ‘cheesecake’ mixture

METHOD

  1. To make the crust: Process all ingredients for the crust in a food processor, until the nuts become crumbs and the mixture sticks together when you press it. Press into the bottom of an 8 inch spring-form pan to form the first layer of your cake. Leave in the fridge to chill.
  2. To make the orange cheesecake layer: Excluding the orange zest, blend all other ingredients in your blender at high-speed until very smooth, then with a spoon add in the orange zest to taste. Take out 1/4 cup of the mixture for the blueberry layer, pour the remaining mixture onto the chilled crust and then leave it in the freezer.
  3. To make the blueberry layer: Simply blend the blueberries and the 1/4 cup of cheesecake mixture with your food processor. Spread this evenly over your cheesecake and keep it in the freezer or fridge overnight. I prefer keeping it in the freezer as I live in a tropical climate and it only takes 15 minutes for the cake to soften for serving.
  4. You can serve the cake with blueberries or sliced oranges for that additional wow factor.

Raw Nutty Orange & Blueberry Vegan 'Cheesecake'

Raw Nutty Orange & Blueberry Vegan 'Cheesecake'

Recipe Copyright © 2016 | misohui

Enjoy!

Miao.

myTaste.com

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

Hello Everyone! For this week of breakfast/brunch month, I have some simple brekky smoothies for you that you can easily prepare the night before, whizz it in the blender in the morning, and voilà; you’ve got a quick brekky that you can take with you to go if you really need to. I’ve never really been the type to make my own smoothies at home, not until my second year of uni back in 2012 when my flatmate at that time started making smoothies for the both of us on the weekends. She would always make the same banana and blueberry smoothie with full cream milk, old-fashioned rolled oats, and vanilla yoghurt. Ever since then, I would whip up this easy smoothie whenever I felt like it even after we went our separate ways. I’ve also made a strawberry smoothie with the same ingredients, just taking out the bananas and blueberries, and added mint into the mix; it was a really good smoothie too.

Anyway, I won’t be sharing those two recipes with you this week as I’ve got two completely different (maybe in some way a little bit similar) smoothies for today and Thursday. I decided try new smoothie recipes and for today’s post, I came across a recipe for a Blueberry and Oat Smoothie; now I know this is sounding a little similar to the smoothie that I mentioned above, and that I’m used to making, but what makes this different is the touch of ginger added. I don’t think I’ve had a smoothie with ginger in it before so I thought that I’d give this recipe a try; original recipe can be found over at Real Simple. All I’ve really done was change the quantities to serve 3-4 tall glasses, as well as reducing the amount of sugar.

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 & 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup creamy vanilla yoghurt
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated

METHOD

  1. Add the oats and water to a blender and leave to soak until the oats have softened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the ice, blueberries, yoghurt, brown sugar, and ginger to the blender. Blend until smooth and frothy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

I’ve read a few of the comments on the site where the original recipe was uploaded, and some said that the oats had a weird texture and made the smoothie grainy and starchy. Some didn’t like the addition of the ginger and made their stomachs upset. So I guess this smoothie is not for everyone, but if you think you’d enjoy all these flavour into one drink, then go ahead and give it a try because it’s definitely delicious! I personally thought that the oats were fine and still gave the smoothie a nice flavour and texture to it; I feel that without it, the smoothie would be quite loose. The ginger, though quite a strong flavour, paired well with the sweet blueberries and helped cut down the sweetness of the smoothie from the added sugar.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com