Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello Everyone!

AMCARMEN’S KITCHEN TURNS EIGHT TODAY!

And what a journey it has been indeed! So much has happened this year that it’s been extra difficult to keep up with the blog and my social media accounts associated with Amcarmen’s Kitchen. Just before my blog turned 7 last year, I started a foodie community group on Instagram together with a foodie friend of mine, Chamaine (she also participated in my Auguest 2021 series). From there, we started organising and hosting food collaborations amongst the IG foodie community, internationally. Aside from that, I also expanded my social media reach into the world of TikTok and started uploading video content there. It was also from TikTok where I placed third in a virtual cooking competition, and was invited to join in food campaigns where I won prizes weekly.

To be honest, with all that going on side-by-side with my work and social life, I actually didn’t prepare anything for my blog’s anniversary today. In fact, I was going back and forth with myself whether to whip up something or indulge in a lazy Easter long weekend. Prior to this weekend, I spent the last two weekends (Friday to Sunday) in a classroom from 9am – 7pm where I did a Premiere Pro and After Effects course. So yes, I totally deserve a do-nothing weekend after all that *cheeky grin*.

Luckily, because of my oh-so busy schedule, I had this recipe for a Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting that didn’t get posted towards the end of March. Still, it’s perfect for a celebration!

Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This carrot cake turned carrot cake loaf is dense, yet ultra soft, moist, and flavoured with fall-favourite spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. You can serve it plain, or spruce it up with your choice of nuts, dried fruit, and/or top with some cream cheese frosting. Now if you want to be a little bit extra, all you need is a pinch or two of cinnamon powder to take your frosting to another level. The delicious cinnamon-flavoured cream cheese frosting really heightens each slice of carrot cake loaf!

I’ve made this carrot cake loaf three times now, the first time was just because I wanted to bake something that was easy to take to work for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. The second time I baked this loaf was with my boyfriend when he visited for the weekend a few months back. The third time, I was searching for a recipe where I could feature Binda Valley’s Vanilla Bliss Natural Greek Style Yoghurt, which I received courtesy of Gourmet Direct PH a few months back. This is also one of my achievements from last year, to be recognised by a brand and create promotional content for them.

This recipe makes two carrot cake loaves, feel free to double or downsize the recipe, but trust me, you don’t want to be downsizing because one loaf disappears fast! If you can turn a cake into a loaf, you can most definitely turn this loaf into muffins as well!

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 55 – 65 MINS | MAKES 2 LOAVES

INGREDIENTS

Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf Ingredients

For the carrot cake loaf

Dry ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup roasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Wet ingredients

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting

  • 1 block (225g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and line two 9×5-inch loaf pans with parchment paper.
  2. Carrot Loaf: Whisk all the dry ingredients, except for the walnuts, together in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk together until just combined. The batter should be semi-thick in consistency. Fold the chopped walnuts into the batter.
  5. Equally divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean as baking times may vary.
  6. Remove from the oven once done and leave it to cool completely in its pan on a wire rack.
  7. Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting: Using a handheld (or stand) mixer, beat the cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
  8. Beat in the butter, and then followed by the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt over low speed until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  9. Once the carrot cake loaf has cooled, frost with the cinnamon cream cheese and top with roasted walnuts and shredded carrots.
  10. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf

Storage tip: Store your carrot cake loaf without the frosting! Cover and store leftover loaf/slices at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to about 10 days. Store the frosting separately in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Before I end tonight’s post, I just want to say a special thank you to my Mom. She was the one who patiently taught me how to cook my favourite dishes when I was growing up. She was my #1 supporter. Thank you Mama for passing down your knowledge and love for food on to me. I know you’re proudly watching from above. I love you.

Spiced Carrot Cake Loaf with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

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Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts)

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts)

Hello Everyone! As I mentioned in my post last week, East Timor was colonised by Portugal from the 16th century up until 1975, hence why East Timorese food even up to this day is heavily influenced by Portuguese cuisine. A favourite East Timor dessert snack that stuck around is Pastéis de Nata, or in English, Portuguese Egg Tarts. These egg tarts were originally created and made by Catholic nuns in Lisbon over 200 years ago. In East Timor, these tarts are a standard dessert found in fancy hotels, usually paired with a flavourful, aromatic, and organically grown East Timorese coffee.

If you’ve ever had one of these egg tarts, you’ll know that they are one of the greatest pastries to binge-eat! It has a crisp, flaky crust that holds a rich and creamy custard center that is blistered on top from the high heat of an oven. It tastes like home, even if you aren’t from Portugal. They’re just as enchanting as a trip to Lisbon.

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts)

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original where I drew my inspiration from over on the Tasting Table. Now in the original recipe, they make their own puff pastry dough, which you can also do. If you want to save time and energy (like me), you can always use store-bought puff pastry. The results are pretty much the same for a quick, easy, and hassle-free Portuguese Egg Tart.

Now you may notice that the tops may not brown quite as much as the authentic pastéis when baking at home. In fact my oven only goes to a maximum of 250C (482F or gas mark 9) and commercial pastry shops that sell these tarts have oven temperatures that blast up to 430C (800F)!

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | MAKES 32 TARTS

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup & 6 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 free-range egg yolks
  • Puff pastry sheets
  • Ground cinnamon, to garnish (optional)

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts)

METHOD

  1. Cinnamon Sugar Syrup: Combine the sugar, water, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for about a minute or until all the sugar granules have dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it sit aside until ready to use.
  2. Egg Filling: Add one cup plus one tablespoon of the whole milk into a separate saucepan over medium heat, until bubbles begin to form around the edges, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. While the milk is heating up, whisk the flour and remaining five tablespoons of milk in a large mixing bowl. Continue to whisk while adding the hot milk in a slow and steady stream.
  4. Discard the cinnamon stick from the sugar syrup and slowly whisk it into the milk mixture in a steady steam.
  5. Return the milk and sugar mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat off and add in the yolks to the mixture. Whisk until well combined, and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a mixing bowl. Set aside to cool down slightly.
  7. Egg Tarts: Preheat oven to 260C (500F or gas mark 10).
  8. Prepare you muffin tins by lightly greasing them with a little butter.
  9. Roll out your store-bought puff pastry sheets and cut them depending on the size of your muffin tins. Ideally you’ll want them about 3/4 up the sides of each muffin mold. Evenly flatten the dough against the bottom and sides by pressing down on it.
  10. Pour about 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of the warm egg filling into each pastry shell.
  11. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the shells are golden brown and crisp, the custards are set, and the tops are blackened in spots.
  12. Let cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, and then remove them from the tin and onto the wire rack. Sprinkle with cinnamon, serve warm, and enjoy!

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

Hello Everyone! Pineapples are packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other helpful compounds, such as enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease. They are especially rich in vitamin C, which is essential for growth and development, a healthy immune system, and aiding the absorption of iron from the diet.

Firing up the barbie tonight? This may be one of the most delicious ways to eat a pineapple! Try this Grilled Pineapple Dessert for a healthy alternative that’s fast and tasty. The tequila adds a tart flavour to balance the natural sweetness of the pineapple, and the sugar from the caramel. You may also substitute the tequila out for rum instead, or whatever bevvy tickles your taste buds.

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

There was no doubt that I wanted to buy a whole tub of ice cream to pair with this dessert, especially after all the summer heat we’ve been experiencing. But given the circumstances of Enhanced Community Quarantine, my priorities were focused elsewhere. Considering the capacity of my freezer, I first made sure that it was full of seafood that would last us until our next grocery trip, which is every two weeks now to limit the time I spend outdoors amidst the on-going pandemic.

But by all means, feel free to get creative by serving it with ice cream for a warm (and cold at the same time), sweet, tart, and creamy dessert. Take it to another level by topping the dessert off with nuts or granola to add a fun crunch to it!

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

For the grilled pineapple

  • 1 medium-sized pineapple
  • 1 shot tequila (or rum)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg

Optional:

For the vegan caramel sauce

  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 60g unsalted margarine
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

To garnish/serve with

  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Handful of granola
  • Ice cream (flavour of choice)
  • Nuts of choice, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Prepare Pineapple: Remove the leafy crown with a sharp knife and cut a thin slice from the base. Slice the skin away from top to bottom, removing any brown eyes as you go.
  2. If you have a pineapple corer at home, use this before cutting your pineapple into rounds. Otherwise, cut the pineapple into 6-8 rounds, and like me, use a round cookie cutter to cut the cores out of each round.
  3. Set aside on a plate and coat with the ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Optional, spike the pineapple rounds with a shot of tequila.
  4. Vegan Caramel Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat, whisking constantly or until thickened and no longer watery, about 6 to 9 minutes. Keep in mind that the caramel thickens more as it cools.
  5. Grilled Pineapple: Preheat grill pan over high heat. Slightly oil the grill and then carefully place each round into the pan. Cook until grill marks form, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Once done, remove from the pan and transfer to a serving dish.
  6. Serve: Top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, drizzle with the vegan caramel sauce, and sprinkle with fresh mint. Serve with ice cream flavour of choice topped with some roughly chopped nuts for some crunch, if desired. Enjoy!

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

Notes:

  • You may also opt to drizzle the pineapple slices with homemade salted caramel sauce instead.
  • Any homemade caramel sauce can easily be made ahead; great served warm, at room temperature or chilled with refrigeration. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can warm it slightly to make it more drizzle-able before use.

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Vegan Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding)

Vegan Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding)

Hello Everyone! I’m about to switch things up a bit tonight and share with you a recipe from a country that I have yet to culinarily explore. Amcarmen’s Kitchen is afterall, a Third Culture Foodie! It’s a bright orange Indian carrot pudding that is absolutely decadent and is sure to please, not only yourself, but your guests as well.

Gajar Ka Halwa, is a delicious and rich carrot pudding that’s perfect for any celebration. In India, this dessert is enjoyed mainly on the occasion of Diwali, Holi, Eid al-Fitr, and Raksha Bandhan. It can be served hot or cold. The classic Indian dessert is traditionally made using ghee and full-fat milk, but of course, you can easily substitute those dairy products out for non-dairy products for a vegan option of this dish, but apparently it won’t taste as great. I can’t judge for myself as I haven’t tasted the traditional version.

Vegan Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding)

Also, I just want to add that I had a hard time sourcing cardamom in store here in the Philippines. Cardamom has a complex flavour of fruity, nutty, spicy, woody, and citrusy that’s hard to replicate with other spices. However, cardamom substitutes like ginger, nutmeg & cinnamon are the closest.

If you too have difficulty in sourcing cardamom, I found online that you can mix together equal parts ground cinnamon and nutmeg and use in place of the cardamom called for in your recipe – which I already conveniently had both lying around at home in the pantry. If you don’t have nutmeg, then try equal parts cinnamon and ground ginger or equal parts cinnamon and ground cloves instead.

Before we delve into tonight’s recipe, please do check out the original by Ashley of My Heart Beets.

Vegan Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5-10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and grated/shredded
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (or 1/16 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/16 tsp ground nutmeg)
  • Handful of chopped pistachios or other nuts, to garnish

METHOD

  1. Add the shredded carrots, coconut milk, and water to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Cover and bring to a rapid simmer.
  2. Once simmering, add the sugar and cook for a further 6 to 7 minutes, or until most of the liquid has reduced.
  3. Add the coconut oil and stir-fry the carrots for a further 6 to 7 minutes, or until the carrots become dry and the coconut oil separates from the mixture. The carrots should look dark orange or reddish in colour.
  4. Add the ground cardamom and mix well.
  5. Transfer to individual serving ramekins and top with the chopped pistachios. Enjoy!

Vegan Gajar Ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding)

Note: You can easily double or triple this recipe if you plan on making this dessert for a crowd.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream

Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream

Hello Everyone! April is here and those who have been following my blog, or even just my social media pages (Facebook & Instagram) will know that a new month means that I get to play around with new ingredients! As the overall theme for this year is a “fruitful” one, I’m playing around with different kinds of fruit each month for 2019! For January I went nuts for Coconuts! For February it was all about Mangoes. For March they say an Apple a day keeps the doctors away! I ran a poll on Instagram stories for my followers to guess between Pineapple, Banana, and Lemon based on the set of ingredients for tonight’s post.

Of course, based on the title of this post, we all know that April with be all about Pineapples! I did mention in my previous post that I had to change what I had initially planned for tonight. Basically, I had planned for a Grilled Pineapple Oat Crumble, but I slowly realised towards the middle of last month that we’re at the peak of summer here in the Philippines, and it just made no sense whatsoever to be featuring warm/baked desserts in the heat we’re having! Thus I decided to take a cooler route for this month and beat the summer heat with this amazing Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream!

Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream

So what exactly is Nice Cream? Unlike most ice cream recipes, this one doesn’t require an ice cream maker/churner. The trusty food processor can transform any frozen fruits into a whipped dessert in mere minutes. Nice creams are also vegan, dairy-free, and treat-free from artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, and added sugar. Well okay, there is sugar for this particular recipe of mine that I used when making the spice-roasted pineapples, but other than that, I did not add any extra sugar to the nice cream.

Banana-based ice cream may be the original nice cream, but there are endless ways to adapt the classic recipe. Take for example, tonight’s recipe for Spice-roasted Pineapples – bananas are only really added to ensure a creamy custard-like texture, but the other fruit is the star of the show. I didn’t just want to blitz up some frozen pineapples, which is why I went a little bit extra in roasting the pineapples first in a few spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and star anise before freezing them. The result? AMAZING!

Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 6

*Allow for the Spice-roasted Pineapple Chunks to freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight before making the nice cream.

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 nice cream

  • Frozen spiced-roasted pineapple
  • Frozen sliced bananas, about 2-3 large bananas
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ginger nut biscuits (optional)***

**Almost every brand of hard liquor – bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin and rum – is vegan. Nearly all distilled spirits are vegan except for cream-based liqueurs and products that mention honey on the label.

***I used Tesco ginger nut biscuits which are vegan.

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 placing them in a food-safe zip lock bag together with the peeled and sliced bananas, and into the freezer for at least 5 hours or overnight. Discard the spices! Save a couple of tablespoons of the spice-roasted pineapple in the fridge to serve together with the nice cream.

Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream Process

  1. Nice Cream: Place all the ingredients for the nice cream into a food processor and let it run on the highest speed for about a few minutes until the frozen fruit turns into a loose, crumbly mass.
  2. Stop the processor and push the fruits down. Turn the processor on to high speed once again and repeat this process until you have a very smooth and silky soft nice cream.
  3. You may serve it immediately or if you want a lovely scoop-able nice cream, transfer it into a freezer-friendly container and freeze it for another hour.
  4. Serve, topped with the spice-roasted pineapple, crushed ginger nut biscuits, and enjoy!

Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream

Spice-roasted Pineapple Nice Cream

By all means, feel free to get loose with this recipe and try out other fruits that you can play around with for a guilt-free vegan nice cream to stay cool this summer!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

Hello Everyone! We’re on our third Apple recipe for the month of March, which means that we’re close to yet another month flying by so quickly! I’ll keep tonight’s post short – and no it’s not because I’m pressed for time to get this post up for you guys by tonight, but rather, I believe I don’t have much of a back story to this post, nor do I have anything personal to share with you guys for this week.

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

With that being said, do check out the original recipe that I followed to make these juicylicious Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops from Taste of Home. It’s a very quick and easy autumn-inspired dish to put together for a delicious mid-week dinner! Yes I am aware that it is summer in the Philippines (where I am currently residing at), but like I’ve said in previous posts, it’s autumn somewhere around the world!

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 bone-in pork chops, about 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 large Red Delicious Apples, washed and wedged
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the pork chops and cook about 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. If your skillet isn’t large enough to fit all the chops at once, work in batches. Once done, remove and set aside in the oven (heat off) to keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet, add the remaining butter together with the brown sugar mixture, chopped walnuts, and wedged apples. Cook and stir until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with the chops along with some creamy mashed potatoes and blanched green French beans on the side to complete your meal. Enjoy!

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

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

Auguest 2018: Wendy Chok

Rustic Bread: PMS Toast

It’s me Wendy, back for another recipe to share! The last time I was on here I shared a recipe for homemade Rustic Bread and a savoury Pizza Toast brekkie with everyone. This time I will be sharing what I like to call ‘PMS Toast’ which I will explain further in a while. I also shared a little bit about myself, and my love for food, so now I will share about how I know Ally on a personal level.

I met and got to know Ally about 3 years ago through work. She was one of my team members in our Marketing team for an Advertising and Event Management firm that we both worked at. We became very close friends and still even so after having left the company because we have the same level of random craziness, vibe, and of course our love for all things food.

Amcarmen's Kitchen & Peek A Pastry
Peek A Pastry & Amcarmen’s Kitchen

We share a special kind of bond at work and it might be because we spend a lot of time together, at work of course, for a lot of event events, working late at night on occasions, have food together in the office whether breakfast, lunch, snack time or dinner time, and enjoy great food together in celebration for when we’ve successfully finished every event that we’ve worked on. I love our team because we always had each other’s backs and we just simply complement each other well.

I know that Ally wants to pursue her dream to participate in MasterChef Australia and I am using all my power on law of attraction to make it happen. I will see Ally in MasterChef Australia one day and tell my kids or grandkids that “that is my friend!”

Moving on – I am not a sweet tooth but when the time (PMS) comes, nothing is sweet, what is sweet? How do you spell sweet? C-A-L-M is how you spell sweet. When you are cranky and tired, you just crave for something sweet, something sugar loaded and warm. So here I present you two fast and sweet breakfast ideas to hit my spot, and hopefully yours too.

PMS Toast: Cinnamon Everything Toast

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices of homemade Rustic Bread
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (2 teaspoons for me, the cinnamon lover)

METHOD

  1. Place the butter in a small heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Make sure that it is not too liquidy as you want those buttery chunks on your toast. I like it rustic on this rustic bread.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and smother it all over the toast.
  3. You can either bake it or toast it on a pan. Bake it at 240C (475F or gas mark 9) for 10 minutes, just enough time for everything to crunch up. If you like it toasted in a pan, face the side, which is smothered by the cinnamon paste down on the pan, and sear it for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Serve and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast or even as a nice afternoon snack!

Rustic Bread: PMS Toast

PMS Toast: Butter & Sugar Toast

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices of homemade Rustic Bread
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp granulated white sugar

METHOD

  1. Smear the butter over the toast and sprinkle the top with white sugar.
  2. Bake it at 240C (475F or gas mark 9) for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee for sweet start to your morning!

Short and sweet, just nice for a woman who is PMS-ing. Men take note!

Rustic Bread: PMS Toast

Before I say goodbye to everyone on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I would like to thank Ally for giving me this opportunity to write on her well-established blog. I hope that my recipes are not too shabby and please dive in to my rustic way of cooking!

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2018 | peekapastry

– Wendy (Peek A Pastry)

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

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! It’s been a quiet and boring week to be honest, and I having a serious holiday withdrawal syndrome. I miss the lush greenery of Temburong, crystal clear waters, physical activities, and the sun piercing through your skin – giving you a tan that you’re proud to wear for the next couple of months because it reminds you of the fun times you had. But in all honesty, I just miss going on weekly adventures; a new hike trail every weekend to rejuvenate from the work week. It doesn’t even need to be a holiday, just a 2-day weekend where one of them can be spent going out and exploring, and the other to do chores, cook up a storm for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, and basically recover from the working week. Back in Australia, this was easy to do because there were plenty of trails to explore. Here in Brunei, not so much – and not much of great views too, and the fact that I only have a 1-day weekend.

All that aside, I have a bit of a unique smoothie bowl to share with you guys tonight; and I say unique because I’ve never thought of using these flavours (and spices) in a smoothie before. I mean, besides using spicy chai tea leaves and cinnamon in my Spicy Chai & Banana Cinnamon Smoothie from a while back, that’s pretty much the extent of me using spices in my smoothies.

The link to the original recipe can be found over on My Life Cookbook by Denise. She drew inspiration from ‘Golden Milk’ which, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a combination of turmeric, coconut milk (or oil), and black pepper. This Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl is an aromatic, flavour-popping combination of golden milk and chai tea – perfect for an immune system boost if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, but also a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast to go!

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated

Toppings

  • Chia Seeds – contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
  • Goji Berries – excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients that help boost the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation
  • Raspberriesgood source of vitamin C, E, K, manganese, dietary fibre, copper pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium
  • Desiccated Coconut

METHOD

  1. Blend the bananas, coconut milk, honey, ginger, and spices altogether until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with the raspberries, chia seeds, goji berries, and desiccated coconut. Enjoy for breakfast or an immune-boosting afternoon snack!

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com