Buko Salad Crumble

Buko Salad Crumble

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a smooth-running first week of the New Year and resolutions haven’t been broken yet. I stopped making resolutions a very long time ago because I never follow them anyway. Instead, I always like to set an intention for the New Year. Read further after the recipe to find out more.

Last week we (as in my family and I) hosted a potluck lunch on New Years Day. Our relative brought over a TON of food. Even though I asked them in advance what they would be bringing so that we wouldn’t double up on the same dishes, it was the quantity of each dish that went beyond my expectations. Amongst the dishes that they brought over was Buko Salad.

Buko Salad

Buko Salad, or in English, Sweet Young Coconut Salad, is a mainstay dessert dish served in every, or any special occasions such as fiestas or birthday parties. The main ingredient of this dessert is definitely freshly shredded young coconut meat, accompanies by fruit cocktail from a can, sugar palm fruit, coconut gel (nata de coco), condensed milk, and fresh cream. Some (i.e. me) like to add little chunks of cheese into it as well.

With an abundance of it from our potluck party, I could do two things:

Continue eating it as it is, or

Make another dessert out of it.

Which did I choose? Well both obviously! I continued to eat it as it is, and also shook things up with it. I already had the intention of making a Buko Pie Crumble for my series of Coconut Recipes for this month, and when I was eating a bowl of this Buko Salad while watching a teleseyre the day after the potluck, a light bulb flashed. I could totally use this Buko Slad mixture for my crumble instead!

Buko Salad Crumble

So just to let you know, my measuring cups and spoons were nowhere to be found. I mean, they are probably in a box that I have yet to unpack since moving back to the Philippines – but I wasn’t about to go look for them when I had the oven already preheating and the Buko Salad already in their cocottes. I followed my Peach Crumble recipe to make the crumble, but I ended up just eyeballing all the measurements. Still turned out good though! If not, even better than the one I made for my Peach Crumble.

I ended up having about half of the crumble mixture left over *cheeky grin* so I placed the extra mixture into the freezer and then made another crumble the next day with the apples we had sitting on our table from our 12 Round Fruits for the New Year.

Buko Salad Crumble Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the crumble topping

  • 100g salted butter (cold), cut into little cubes
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Ube Ice cream, optional

*Or you can always make a fresh batch to make this crumble.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5).
  2. Divide the buko salad equally into 4 mini-cocottes, filling about half or three-quarters of the way. Set aside.
  3. Add the sugar together with the butter, flour, and walnuts in a medium sized mixing bowl that has been chilled in the freezer for about 10 minutes (this is to help keep the butter chilled when making the crumbled).
  4. With your fingertips, quickly mix the ingredients together until looks like rough breadcrumbs. If your mixture is too warm, put the bowl into the refrigerator for 15 minutes and start again when it has chilled.
  5. Top the buko salad with about 2-3 tablespoons of the crumble mixture.
  6. Place the mini cocottes on a baking tray and into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  7. If your crumble topping is still towards the blonde side, turn the grill on and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the crumble starts to brown.
  8. Serve hot out of the oven or at room temperature with ube ice cream (optional).

Buko Salad Crumble

Buko Salad Crumble


So, I initially wrote the following up at the beginning of the post, not knowing that I would be getting personal with two long paragraphs. I didn’t want to start my post of with this so I moved it for after the recipe for those who want to read on.

I mentioned in the beginning that I’m not one to make resolutions. Instead, I set an intention. Last year I tackled things with a “there is a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough” mindset and it definitely worked. The two things that bothered me when I entered the New Year last year were:

My Job, and

A Man/Men in general.

I hit a low point with my job. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore and to make things even worse, the environment and the toxicity of the people that surrounded me really affected my work and the way I worked. It also affected the way I interacted with my family and friends outside of the workplace – I was always grumpy and always avoided socialising with my friends. For 3 years I put up with this environment, and I let it consume me because I didn’t want to show others that I was weak for letting the people at work get to me. I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to fight. I reminded myself that: there is a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough. I didn’t give up. I knew that I definitely had enough. I put my foot down and filed for resignation early that year and I’ve never looked back.

Towards the second half of 2017, I met a man and we both fell in love with each other. It was a bit difficult seeing as he was all the way in the States and I was still working in Brunei at that time. We talked everyday. Made future plans together. Heck even made a bucket-list of things we’d do together. Shortly after, things started to die down. He started talking to me less and less each day even though I still tried just to keep things going. Eventually he stopped. He disappeared. He ghosted me as if I never existed at all. I stopped trying. I realised in time that we never really loved each other; we both just fell in love with the idea of falling in love. Did I give up on him? No. I just knew that I had enough trying to convince him and myself that it was love. After him, I had enough with men in general. I stopped looking for love and reminded myself that it’ll come when it comes.

So what is my intention for 2019? To be honest I haven’t thought much about it, but I looked at myself and where I am in life right now. What do I want to achieve by the end of the year? And this is it:

Go with the flow. Force Nothing. Let it happen.

Trusting that whichever way it goes, it’s for the best.

Happy New Year once again to all!

Buko Salad Crumble

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

… on a bed of Pistachio Crumble with a Quenelle of Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream drizzled with a Red Wine & Orange Reduction *drools*

Hello Everyone! I’m really bad at this, and I sincerely apologise. I know I said that I would get back on track with Amcarmen’s Kitchen until the end of the year but once again I have fallen slack and behind for God knows how many weeks now. The truth is that I have been super busy towards the end of last month and into early November with a hectic and stressful event that definitely took a toll on my high blood pressure for sure. Though the past 2 weeks have been quiet, I spent most of it recovering and relaxing from that hell of an event.  I worked at least 15 hours a day from 8am until almost midnight on most nights. I’m just glad that it’s all over… For now.

But anyway, the recipe that I will be sharing tonight is one that I actually made waaaaaay back somewhere in June when I was left home alone (my mom and my sister flew out to Singapore to visit my other sister), during a long weekend too, and I had no plans of stepping out of the house unless I had to *cheeky grin*. So why didn’t I upload the recipe for this back then? Simple – it didn’t comply with the theme I had set out to accomplish for this year on Amcarmen’s Kitchen. So then why now? It’s still 2017. Stop asking so many questions! Haha! I amuse myself sometimes. Well, this is actually part of a special recipe that I will be posting (hopefully) next week, which will also most likely be the last recipe for the year unfortunately. I’m going to use the rest of my time before the year ends to plan and prepare recipes for the upcoming year. I already have a theme in mind to tackle for the whole year and I’m already excited for it!

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

Moving on, sorry that introduction went on way longer that I thought it would (as always though right?). If I can recall, I decided that I wanted to practice my dessert-making skills, you know to a MasterChef quality level worthy of a place in the competition ONE DAY. I have to say that I’m quite impressed with how this dessert played out in my head, to paper, and to the actual deal. The pears were soft on the outside, but still had a nice bite and a bit of crunch to it on the inside; beautifully spiced and contrasted well to the mild sweetness of the vanilla bean ice cream. And everyone loves pistachios, or at least I hope they do so throw that onto the plate for another added texture to the overall dessert dish.

You may want to get a head start on the ice cream so that it’ll have time to set in the freezer. You can either make it the day before, or early in the morning so that it’s ready for dessert time after a hearty dinner.

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears Ingredients

PREP TIME 4 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 25-35 MINS | SERVES 6

*Includes the minimum freeze time for the no churn vanilla bean ice cream; see below for the freeze time range

INGREDIENTS

For the spiced red wine poached pears

  • 6 large pears, peeled and keeping the stems intact**
  • 1 bottle (750ml) red wine
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 10 cloves
  • 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange

For the no churn vanilla bean ice cream

  • 2 cups thickened cream
  • 1 can (300g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the pistachio crumble

  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

**Make sure that you use fairly large pears for this recipe. I found that using smaller pears overcook easily as they need a while to absorb that beautiful red wine colour as well as the flavours.

METHOD

  1. No Churn Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Using a mixer, beat the thickened cream on medium speed until heavy peaks start to form. Add the can of sweetened condensed milk and beat further. Be careful as to not over whip the mixture. Add the vanilla beans into the mixture along with the pure vanilla extract and gently stir it into the ice cream mixture. Place the ice cream mixture into a container and freeze for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears: Add all the ingredients for the poached pears into a large pot or any that’s a suitable size. Cut out a piece of parchment paper and place it directly on the pears so they remain submerged in the liquid, or alternatively you could also use a small plate.
  3. Bring the wine mixture to boil and then turn it down to a simmer and cook until the pears are soft on the outside are still a little crisp in the middle instead of soft all the way through (about 25 minutes); cooking time will however depend on the size of the pears. For softer pears, cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Once the pears are cooked through, use a slotted spoon remove the pears and set aside to cool. Keep cooking the liquid until it reduces to a syrup. Then, strain the wine reduction and discard the spices and zest. If you find the sauce too sweet, add some lemon juice to it to cut through some of that sweetness.
  5. Pistachio Crumble: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper. Process the pistachios in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add the flour, sugar, and salt; processing further just until combined. Add the unsalted butter, and continue processing until the mixture is thoroughly combined and forms pea-size crumbs.
  6. Spread the pistachio crumble mixture on the prepared baking tray. Press gently with damp hands, flattening the crumble to about 1/2 inch thick and bake in the preheated oven until the crumble starts to brown at the edges, about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, and, using a flat spatula to lightly crumble the mixture. Return to oven, and bake until the crumble is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes further. Once done, transfer to a wire rack, and set aside to cool on the baking tray completely, about 20 minutes, before roughly crumbling.
  8. Assemble your dessert by spreading the crumble onto the middle of each individual serving plates. Place one pear on top of the crumble and drizzle with the orange and wine reduction syrup. Quenelle the vanilla bean ice cream and place atop the crumble on the side of the pear.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears

BON APPÉTIT

Ps: speaking of desserts – this is completely unrelated by the way, but I just thought I’d share this because it’s hilarious! A week ago or so, my friend asked a question on our whatsapp group chat and the question was: if you were a dessert, what would you be? Without hesitation, my other friend quickly replied “cactus” and to her hasty realisation, she retracted and said “oh I thought you meant desert” and everyone went spiralling down into a pit of undignified laughters – well I couldn’t stop laughing out loud and looking like an insane freak in front of my colleagues at work during that time. God bless her.

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

Hello Everyone! I know the last two posts have been a bit of a downer; let’s just say I’m starting to feel a little bit better and more of myself this week so I hope that I will be back to my chirpy self soon. That aside, tonight’s recipe is actually one that I made just almost 2 months ago for a very special occasion; my sister’s 23rd birthday last August 23rd! We celebrated her birthday with a yummy all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ dinner at Seoul Garden followed by a surprise visit from a family friend which at that time we had offered to look after their two little boys for a week since their helper had to go back to the Philippines and they couldn’t find anyone else under short notice. Overall it was a fun evening spent with lots of food, cake, and little, but great company!

Happy 23rd Birthday Angela!

The cake that I decided to make for my sister was inspired by a recipe that I found online when I was researching ways that I could incorporate some of the ingredients from my blood pressure friendly list that I compiled at the beginning of the year. This recipe, from that list, features kiwis, strawberries, bananas, and fat-free yoghurt, all of which help lower your blood pressure. This cake is simple and easy to put together, yet is still delicious and guilt-free for when you reach out for a second heap of serving or three (or four)… Or you know the whole cake *cheeky grin* Not that I have done this myself before, you know, have a whole cake for no one else but just me, myself, and I. Anyway, onward with the recipe shall we? But before that, just a quick mention that the original recipe can be found over on SkinnyMs.

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | FREEZING TIME 3 HOURS | SERVES 10-12

INGREDIENTS

For the base

  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Honey graham crackers (enough to make about 1 cup of crumbs)

For the filling

  • 2 punnets (2 x 250g) fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
  • 1 tub (500g) fat free all natural yoghurt
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey

For the topping

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into thin circles
  • Sliced strawberries (about 2-3 from the punnet)
  • Extra honey graham cracker crumbs (optional)

PS: Please ignore the egg in the ingredient shot, I actually didn’t use it at all even though it was in the original recipe. I decided to go with a no-bake base and therefore omitted the egg from my recipe.

METHOD

  1. Prepare an 8.5-inch springform pan by lining the bases with baking paper and greasing the edges with a little bit of butter. Add all of the base ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Press half of the mixture over the base of the prepared pan and set aside in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes or until firm.
  2. In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana, yoghurt, honey, and lime juice, whisking well until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Arrange half of the strawberry slices on top of the cooled crust then pour over half of the yoghurt mixture on top of the strawberries in an even layer.
  4. Repeat by adding the remaining half of the base over the top of the yoghurt mixture, arranging the strawberries slices, and the pouring the remaining half of the yoghurt mixture.
  5. Top the cake with the kiwi slices and strawberries slices before placing in freezer for about 3 hours or until completely frozen.
  6. Serve and enjoy! Tip: to cut, hold a knife under hot water for 10 seconds, dry and cut the frozen cake wile the knife is still warm!

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Hello Everyone! Firstly, I’d like to apologise to the moon and back to all my friends and followers for not posting in what seems like (or quite frankly has been) forever! A lot of things have been going on for the past few months, both in my personal and work life that I found it difficult to balance alongside with keeping up with Amcarmen’s Kitchen. The truth is, I haven’t had the time to write, or let’s just say that I did have the time, but I was either using my time unproductively or for something else instead of sitting down and getting back on track with posting. So yes, I am very sorry for the lack of consistency of posting on the blog in the recent months, but I’m planning on getting back on board with this for the remaining 3 months of 2017 (hopefully). It will however be a little scattered in a sense that you won’t see a set theme for the month just because I still have an archive of recipes that never got posted from the previous months.

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Back in July I started to hero beetroot in my cooking, and I shall continue that for the next two weeks (I think) before I share other recipes that still stick with the theme for 2017 which is Blood Pressure Friendly foods. Before I jump onto the recipe, I’d like to thank my friends Simon Swadling and Jialing Mew for contributing their recipes for this year’s Auguest – and yes, another thing that I did not plan properly for with everything going on so I apologise that I could only round up these amazing two friends for you!

Anyway, so somewhere down the path of whipping up this batch of beetroot brownies, which by the way includes Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Kaitaia Fire Chili Pepper Spice Dark Chocolate, I made the realisation that I basically just made red velvet brownies *cheeky grin* but of course, what makes a nice warm slice of heaven without ice cream? Specifically Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream? Even MORE specifically, chunks of chocolate from Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Hawke’s Bay Black Doris Plum and Roasted Almonds Dark Chocolate? I think I just drooled. Cold ice cream with a kick of spice in it to really heighten the flavours atop a chocolatey, chewy, and moist brownie drizzled with a vibrant beetroot icing glaze? I’ll have the whole batch please thank you very much.

The original recipe to the brownies can be found over on BBC Good Food, and the original recipe to the beetroot ice cream can be found on Vegan Heaven.

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 12 SLICES

Note: Make the ice cream either the day before or a few hours (4-5 hours) to allow for freezing time before baking your brownies.

INGREDIENTS

Beetroot Brownies Ingredients

For the brownies

  • 500g whole raw beetroot, washed
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped*
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the beetroot icing glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp beetroot juice

Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream Ingredients

For the ice cream

  • 500g whole raw beetroot, washed
  • 1 cup thick full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate (Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Hawke’s Bay Black Doris Plum and Roasted Almonds)
  • 1 piece thumb-sized ginger, grated

*As mentioned earlier, I used Whittaker’s (New Zealand) Kaitaia Fire Chili Pepper Spice Dark Chocolate. But since I only had 100g of this, I used regular dark chocolate for the brownies and added half of the Whittaker’s chocolate to the mix, while the other half sprinkled on top of the baked brownies.

METHOD

  1. Boil the beetroots for both for the brownies and ice cream, in a pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 mins or until tender. Drain and leave to cool before peeling (wear clean rubber gloves to peel if you want to avoid beet-stained hands).
  2. Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream: Roughly chop the cooked beets into small chunks and place them together with the coconut milk, honey, and the grated ginger in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer the beetroot-coconut mixture in a freezer-safe container, stir in the chococalte chunks and freeze for about 4-5 hours, whisking slightly every 20-30 minutes to avoid it getting too icy.
  4. Beetroot Brownies: Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and grease a 10cm x 25cm baking dish. Chop a third of the cooked beetroots into small cubes and blitz the remainder in a blender or food processor to a paste. Sit the paste in a sieve over a bowl – just until you have collected 1-2 tbsp juice. Save the juice for the icing, and mix the olive oil into the beetroot paste. Set both aside.
  5. Bring a pan of water to a bare simmer and place a heatproof bowl with the chopped chocolate. Lightly stir until the chocolate had melted then set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Use an electric whisk to beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl until light, fluffy, and tripled in size. Carefully fold the eggs into the beetroot and olive oil mixture, followed by the melted chocolate. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, then add macadamia nuts and the chopped beetroot.
  7. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 mins. The brownies should still be slightly gooey in the middle. Set aside to allow to cool slightly. While cooling, you can thaw your beetroot ice cream for 5-10 minutes before scooping and serving
  8. Mix enough reserved beetroot juice with the icing sugar to get a runny icing – dilute with water if you need. Remove brownies from the tin, drizzle with the icing and cut into squares.
  9. Enjoy a sinful slice or two, or more (who’s gonna stop you?) with family and/or friends, or you know, just by yourself *cheeky grin*.

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

Beetroot Brownies with Chocolate Chunk Beet Ice Cream

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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

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

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

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

Hello Everyone! Today is a very special day, and for two reasons too! Today is special because God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal live (John 3:16 ESV). A very Happy Easter to all who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Besides today being Easter Sunday, today is also special because Amcarmen’s Kitchen turns 3! On this day 3 years ago I was sitting in my room, quite possibly still in my pyjamas at that time, blankly starting at my list of assignments to complete before the end of the Easter mid-semester break on my second-last semester of my degree. Knowing that I had so much to do in so little given time, I thought the only right thing to do at that moment was to take a nap and hopefully, magically, all my assignments would have been completed by the time I woke up from my nap… Well, that wasn’t what happened, but instead I decided to spontaneously delve into the world of WordPress, and *poof!* Kitchen Headquarters was born. Yes, Amcarmen’s Kitchen was previously known as Kitchen Headquarters in 2014 for a good year and a half before I did a whole rebranding in mid-2015.

As it has been for the past 2 years, I decided to make, not bake, a cake for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, and basically for my family and I to enjoy on behalf of my blog haha. I decided to try something new, while of course still sticking to the theme of using avocado in all my recipes for the month of April. Before we dive into today’s recipe, please do check the original by Sheilla on Chef Sheilla.

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | SETTING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the avocado lime cheesecake mixture

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 300ml crème fraîche
  • 1 large avocado, mashed
  • 1 sachet (7g) clear gelatin or agar-agar powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 cup ground digestive cookies
  • 1 lime, for garnishing

METHOD

  1. Combine the ground digestive cookies and melted butter in a medium-sized bowl and mix until moist crumbs form. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 10″ springform pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes to set.
  2. Take 100ml of the crème fraîche and combine it with the gelatin or agar-agar powder in a small saucepan. Stir for about 2 minutes until all the gelatin granules has dissolved. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring for a few minutes until the gelatin has completely melted. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Set aside.
  3. Add the mashed avocado, cream cheese, sugar, the remaining 200ml of crème fraîche, lime juice, and lime zest to a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix everything together until smooth and well-combined. Pour in the gelatin-cream mixture and continue to mix until creamy and smooth in texture.
  4. Pour the avocado lime cheesecake mixture into the prepared springform pan and smoothen the top. Chill in the freezer for at least two hours for it to set.
  5. Release the cheesecake from the springform pan and serve right away! Garnish the top with some lime slices and zest. Enjoy!

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

The taste: amazing! The flavour of the avocado definitely shone through, and the hint of tangy flavour from the lime made the whole dessert refreshing in taste. The texture… Well let’s just say that it is supposed to be creamy and smooth, mine wasn’t as smooth as it could be. It has nothing to do with the original recipe; I think that I may have slipped up somewhere along the way. The obvious was probably that I was on the verge of over whipping the cheesecake mixture that the fresh cream started forming little clumps – I stopped before it severely over whipped. Also, I probably didn’t add enough gelatin to the cheesecake mixture so it didn’t quite set right. I only added half of the sachet in even though the original said ‘1 sachet’ – in my defense I didn’t know if Sheilla’s 1 sachet was the same quantity-wise as my 1 sachet. Oh well, I’ve adjusted the quantity of the gelatin in this recipe so hopefully the one listed above works!

Before I end tonight’s post, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank first and foremost, my Mom who taught me how to cook. I also thank my other family members and friends who encouraged me to start up my blog because if it weren’t for them, Amcarmen’s Kitchen wouldn’t be here today, and I probably wouldn’t have continued pursuing my passion for cooking at home. Let’s face it, when I cook, I cook for my blog, and my family just so happens to be around to eat it after haha! Finally, to those who think I am just wasting my time on this, or assume that I work in a restaurant as a waitress because I didn’t actually go to culinary school to be able to work in a commercial/professional kitchen, take your negativity elsewhere. I have a degree in Design and I am working in the country’s leading Advertising Agency as a Creative Design and Events Management Executive, as well as a Copywriter. Thank you very much.

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Banana Cheesecake Rollups

Banana Cheesecake Rollups

Hello Everyone! Yes, I’m still trying to play catch up here and hoping to get everything back to order by the time April sneaks up on us. I’ve been trying very hard to get recipes up on the blog for the past week, but I just never got around to because of, well, I was going to say several factors, but after running them by my head just a second ago, there were really only two factors that affected my mood to write. The first being unnecessary workplace drama that put me in such a mood for the past week, and second, it’s that time of month. You can imagine the rollercoaster of emotions I went through – I was just glad the the working week was over by the time it was Saturday, but it doesn’t help that I’ll be back to work again tomorrow. Seriously, a one-day weekend definitely NOT enough.

All that aside though, I watched Beauty and the Beast on Thursday night with my Mom and my sister. Belle could not have been played any better than Emma Watson; she was just an absolute fit for that role. Not only was she the definition of “Belle”, her singing was also on point. The movie just brought back many childhood memories, and I may have shredded a few tears here and there throughout the movie, and sung along to the songs while I saw people just snapchatting or Instagram storying the sh*t out of the movie – like put your phones away you uncultured and uneducated youngsters!

Anyway, tonight’s recipe is the last of the banana recipes that was supposed to be covered last month, and one that I stumbled upon through my research when I was planning for Amcarmen’s Kitchen early on the year. I did’t want to make a whole batch of these, so I only made 4 rollups. Unfortunately for me, out of the 4 only one didn’t burst open so I do apologise if the photographs for this recipe look a bit… Lonely. Hahaha! You can find the original recipe for these Banana Cheesecake Rollups over on The Cards We Drew. Also, just something to note, I tried this recipe out using puff pastry instead of crescent roll dough like in the original recipe. The reason? Nothing in particular actually aside from the fact that remade crescent roll doughs aren’t available here in Brunei and therefore I made the decision to use puff pastry instead. I also didn’t add the toppings to the rollups as I assumed that the dessert would already be too sweet for me to handle and with extra sweetness on top would probably be overkill for me. Feel free to top yours though if you’re a sweet tooth.

Banana Cheesecake Rollups Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-18 MINS | SERVES 12 ROLLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large bananas, cut into 6 pieces each
  • 1 packet (500g) puff pasty block, defrosted
  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Lightly flour both the work surface and the pastry before rolling out to your required thickness. Allow for the pastry to stand for a few minutes to help reduce shrinkage.
  3. While the pastry is left to stand, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl and using a handheld electrical mixer, beat the ingredients together on high. Set aside.
  4. Roll out the puff pastry dough to about 3mm thick and cut into 12 long triangles. Starting at the largest end, add a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture, a pinch of brown sugar, then a piece of banana on top.
  5. Tuck the edges over top of the banana, roll up, and place onto the prepared baking tray. Repeat this until you’ve made all 12 rollups.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Once baked, sprinkle some powdered sugar over top and serve warm with a cup of coffee. Enjoy!

Banana Cheesecake Rollups

Banana Cheesecake Rollups

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Upside-down Banana Cake

Upside-down Banana Cake

Hello Everyone! So I don’t think I’ve shared this little piece of information on the blog before – I’m going on holiday starting this coming Friday! I’ll be in Singapore for a 10-hour layover (yay me) before finally setting off to my final destination. I won’t share where I’ll be going as I’ve been trying so hard to keep this a secret from a few people – but you’ll definitely know in next week’s post. I’ve got everything planned out and prepared for the blog for this month so you guys don’t have to worry about me being gone from Amcarmen’s Kitchen for another 3 weeks (yeap, that’s how long I’ll be on holiday for) seeing as I just returned for 2017.

Anyway, that aside, today’s recipe has been made multiple times before back when I was still studying in Sydney. My then housemate and I would whip this cake up whenever we’d see our fruit bowl of bananas start to get all spotty and soft. This is definitely a recipe you should consider when you find yourself in a similar situation – instead of throwing those bruised bananas, which are actually still pretty mint, mash them up and make an upside-down banana cake! You definitely won’t regret it.

This is an incredibly moist and flavourful dessert, but it could be great for breakfast or as a morning/afternoon snack too. You can take it a step further as well by topping it all off with some toasted pecans, a generous amount of caramel sauce, and topped with a scoop or two of creamy vanilla ice cream. I decided to keep mine simple without all the extra and unnecessary sugars on top since I’m not a big fan of too much sugar, and the fact that my Mom is a diabetic is an enough reason to hold back on the sugar since she’ll definitely be having a slice or two… Or even the whole cake to herself.

Upside-down Banana Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 55-65 MINS | SERVES 10-12

INGREDIENTS

  • 65g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 large bananas, 1/3″ rounds
For the cake batter
  • 70g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 & 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup overripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Grease a 9″ x 2″ round cake pan, or an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ square cake pan. Spread the 2/3 cup of brown sugar on the bottom of the pan and scatter the pieces of cubed butter on top.
  2. Place the pan in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes until the butter has completely melted. Remove the cake pan from the oven and give the butter and brown sugar a stir, spreading evenly on the bottom. Arrange the sliced bananas to cover the caramel bottom then set aside.
  3. For the batter, add the dry ingredients – plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt – to a medium sized bowl and stir together until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, cream the softened butter granulated sugar together until pale in colour. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well to combine. Then add in the plain yoghurt and mashed bananas, again mixing well to combine.
  5. Turn the speed of your mixer on low and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix just enough to combine.
  6. Pour the batter over bananas, smoothing the top and then place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes at 180C. After half an hour, reduce the heat to 170C (325F or gas mark 3) and bake for additional 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out completely clean.
  7. Once down, remove form the oven and let it cool in the pan completely, or at least until the bottom is barely warm before inverting onto a plate. Use a knife to loosen the edges from the pan then place a plate upside-down on top of the pan, then invert cake.
  8. At this point you can make a caramel sauce to top off the cake and add a handful of toasted, roughly chopped pecans to your dessert/breakfast/snack. Otherwise, enjoy the cake as it is!

Upside-down Banana Cake

Upside-down Banana Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com