Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl

Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! So my allergies have been acting up all day and usually dust triggers my constant sneezing, but I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary today to inhale a load of dust for this to happen. While I’m left clueless, I’m also left with a slight headache, fatigue, and quite possibly (but hopefully not) might end up with the flu when I wake up tomorrow morning, followed by a chain of bugs – a fever, a sore throat, and a terrible cough. On the other hand, sometimes I wake up feeling 120% better as if nothing happened. So I HOPE for the latter.

To be completely honest with everyone – I’ve never had a smoothie bowl until I started this series of mine. I’ve seen it all over social media back when it was the new ‘foodie’ trend and it always looked aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but I was a bit skeptic on the idea of using a spoon to eat my smoothie rather than using a conventional straw to drink it. I tried to wrap my head around the idea to imagine as if I was having a bowl of thick soup, but the thought of having cold soup soon consumed my mind and I didn’t like that thought. I just thought that it was weird for some reason, until I decided to try one out for my breakfast series on Amcarmen’s Kitchen and feel completely in love with them.

They are super EASY to make, as you may have seen in my previous posts, the take about a minimum of 5 minutes to put together. It allows you to get creative with your favourite toppings and this not only adds colour to your mornings or makes it look pretty, but it also adds texture to your smoothie. Furthermore, it’s a great way to slowly use up those chia seeds and pepitas lying on your pantry shelf just waiting to go out of date because you don’t know where else you can use them!

Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Toppings

  • Bananas – loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6
  • Blackberriesrich in vitamin A, B, C, E, K, as well as antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and minerals such as sodium, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid
  • 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
  • Pumpkin Seeds – contains magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc

METHOD

  1. Blend the frozen blackberries, yoghurt, milk, banana, honey, and chia seeds until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with sliced bananas, blackberries, chia seeds, goji berries, and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl

If you have yet to try out a smoothie bowl, then you should definitely try out this recipe for a Banana and Blackberry Smoothie Bowl. The great thing about this bowl was that I had everything on hand and didn’t need to buy extra ingredients for this bowl – except for the blackberries of course. We always have a bunch of bananas lying around in the kitchen, and well, we’ve had the chia seeds, pepitas, and goji berries lying around for a bit now.

Don’t forget that you are not limited to the choice of toppings mentioned above. Use whatever you have lying around so that you don’t have to go and spend extra money on the things that you don’t have. I’ve basically been doing the same thing since I started my Smoothie Bowl series at the beginning of the month!

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

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! First of all I would like to wish all my friends and followers of Amcarmen’s Kitchen a very belated New Years as this is the very first post that I am writing since 2018 started. Yes, I am aware that I have been MIA for the past few months, and I do apologise for that. I’ve just had a lot to juggle for the past month – mainly work life took over, mixed with a bucketload of emotional rollercoaster rides, and procrastination that led me to neglect Amcarmen’s Kitchen. But I’ve finally gotten back into my cooking and I’ve never been happier to do what I love doing best, and that is making a mess in the kitchen to come up with amazing eats!

The theme for this year revolves around what I foresee my future boutique café menu to carry – which is Breakfast… ALL DAY – Breakfast for Breakfast, Breakfast for Lunch, and of course the best part, Breakfast for Dinner. I was inspired by a restaurant called Wild Honey if I’m not mistaken, that I went to in Singapore a few years back, where they served an All Day Breakfast menu. My friend and I went there for dinner and I cannot express how much I enjoyed a Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny for dinner. I mean, it wasn’t the first time I had breakfast for dinner; in fact, I’ve had my fair share of them at home during my uni days where I had nothing in the fridge but breakfast ingredients which always usually resulted in a plate of buttered toast, sautéed spinach, sunny side up eggs, fried bacon, and on the rare occasion, that is if there were any leftovers in the fridge from the previous day(s), some sweet potato mash. Yes, this is taking me back to a specific night (possibly 6 years ago OH MY), that I spent at home all alone, going through a Big Bang Theory marathon, and having my breakfast for dinner. Those were the days.

So yes, the theme for Amcarmen’s Kitchen this year will be all about Breakfast or Brunch eats as both are my favourite parts of the day and I honestly think that they should be eaten all day everyday! For the month of March and April, I’ll be tackling some healthy smoothie bowls for a quick-and-easy go-to breakfast or afternoon snack packed with nutrients that will keep you energized all day long. They have the taste and texture of a smoothie, but with health-boosting, super-satisfying toppings such as granola, flaxseed, chia seeds, fresh berries, coconut, or even a little bit of dark chocolate to turn them into a heartier meal. Aside from being delicious, whipping up a smoothie bowl is a great opportunity to get creative. The possibilities are endless!

Tonight, I will be sharing with you a ‘Strawberries & Cream’ inspired Smoothie Bowl. Double the ingredients if you wish to make a smoothie bowl for two.

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Toppings

  • Blueberriescontains vitamin C & K, fibre, manganese, and other antioxidants
  • Chia Seeds – contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
  • Cornflakes – contains vitamins, folate, minerals, dietary fibre, proteins, and also carbohydrates
  • Fresh Strawberries – contains vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fibre, magnesium, antioxidants, and polyphenols
  • Honey-roasted Almonds – contains healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E
  • Pumpkin Seeds – contains magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc

METHOD

  1. Blend the strawberries, yoghurt, milk, honey, and chia seeds together until smoothie.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with the cornflakes, fresh sliced strawberries, blueberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey.

If you don’t have all these toppings on hand, then don’t fret! Just use what you have on hand. Like I said before, whipping up a smoothie bowl is an opportunity to get creative and top them with your favourite fruits, seeds, nuts, and grains!

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl

Pro-tip: If you want to make a pretty design, add the heaviest topping ingredients last (don’t be like me and add them first haha).

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Smashed Avo Toast (9 ways)

Hello Everyone! Finally I am back on track with my posts and the theme for the month of April is Avocado! All you need is about half a medium-sized avocado everyday as it provides 1% of the calcium, 5% of the magnesium, and 10% of the potassium that you need daily. Avocados are a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, and in addition, the dark green flesh just under an avocado’s brittle skin contains large amounts of disease-fighting compounds. Though avocados are proven to help lower blood pressure and an abundance of health benefits, we have to be weary of how much we intake daily as they are also high in calories.

Tonight, I will be sharing 9 different ways you can start your mornings with a smile on your face with 9 different smashed avocado toasts! Of course, don’t limit yourselves to just these 9 recipes; I encourage you to get creative with your smashed avo toasts and share your creations with me on Instagram using the hashtag #amcarmenskitchen

1. Five Pepper Smoked Salmon with Red Onions, Capers & Chilli Flakes

Five Pepper Smoked Salmon with Red Onions, Capers & Chilli Flakes

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 small red onion, cut into rings
  • 2 tsp capers
  • Smoked salmon slices with five peppers

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with smoked salmon, red onion rings, and capers. Sprinkle with a touch of chilli flakes for an added kick (optional).
  3. Enjoy!

2. Medley of Grape Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Medley of Grape Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 punnet (250g) grape tomato medley, halved
  • 4 cherry bocconcini cheese, sliced
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Sweet basil leaves

METHOD

  1. Combine the grape tomatoes, bocconcini slices, and sweet basil leaves in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a touch of ground sea salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside and leave to macerate.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, continuously stirring to check on the consistency of the glaze, until the vinegar reduces to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down for a bit.
  3. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the tomato cappers salad, and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the salad.
  5. Enjoy!

3. Sliced Banana & Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with Honey

Sliced Banana & Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with Honey

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • Honey
  • Pumpkin seeds

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with banana slices and pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with honey.
  3. Enjoy!

4. Soft-boiled Egg with Chilli Flakes & Parsley

Soft-boiled Egg with Chilli Flakes & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 6 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce the water to a rapid simmer before gently lowering the eggs one by one into the pot. Cook for 5 minutes for a runny yolk, or 7 minutes for a barely set yolk. Once done, remove from the heat and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, peel the shell off and slice.
  2. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the sliced eggs, and sprinkle with a touch of chilli flakes, and parsley.
  4. Enjoy!

5. Sliced Strawberries & Crumbled Goat’s Cheese with Balsamic Reduction and Peppermint Leaves

Sliced Strawberries & Crumbled Goat's Cheese with Balsamic Reduction and Peppermint Leaves

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Goat’s cheese, crumbled

METHOD

  1. Heat the balsamic vinegar in a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, continuously stirring to check on the consistency of the glaze, until the vinegar reduces to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down for a bit.
  2. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the sliced strawberries, crumbled goat’s cheese, and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the strawberries.
  4. Enjoy!

6. Sautéd Brown & Shimeji Mushrooms topped with Fried Enoki & Parsley

Sautéd Brown & Shimeji Mushrooms topped with Fried Enoki & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 4 large brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch (100g) shimeji mushrooms
  • 1/2 bunch (50g) enoki mushrooms
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Melt the unsalted butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add about a teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. Sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add in the sliced brown mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Season with pinch of ground sea salt and black pepper. Once tender, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, heat about 3 tbsp of olive oil over high heat until slightly smoking. Add the enoki mushrooms in and fry until golden brown in colour, about 2-3 minutes. Once done, transfer to a small plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the sautéd garlic mushrooms and the fried enoki mushrooms. Garnish with a touch of ground black pepper and parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

7. Diced Mango with Chilli Powder & Peppermint

Diced Mango with Chilli Powder & Peppermint

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 small mango, diced
  • Chilli powder
  • Peppermint leaves

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the diced mangoes, chilli powder, and peppermint leaves.
  3. Enjoy!

8. Roasted Chickpeas & Parsley

Roasted Chickpeas & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 can (200g) chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Set aside.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas in a small bowl together with the ground smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat.
  3. Spread the chickpeas onto the prepared baking tray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven.
  4. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the roasted chickpeas and parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

9. Chorizo Sausage & Sweet Corn

Chorizo Sausage & Sweet Corn

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 4-6 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1 can (200g) sweet corn kernels, drained
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high. Pan-fry the chorizo slices until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch the sweet corn kernels for about a minute or two. Drain and set aside to cool down for a bit.
  3. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the pan-fried chorizo sausages and sweet corn kernels, and drizzle with a bit of the chorizo oil (optional).
  5. Enjoy!

Just a little side note before I end tonight’s post, I spent the whole day amending quite possibly the same artwork because their comments/amendments were all on an installation basis. Such completely waste of time which then prevented me from actually completing the work I had set to do today because I had to keep going back and forth to the same bloody artwork.

​BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Strawberry & Watermelon Cake

Strawberry & Watermelon Cake

Strawberry & Watermelon Cake

Hello Everyone! If you’ve been following my blog from the very beginning, then you’ll know that today is a very special day indeed! My blog officially turns 2 years old today! My how time has flown by so quickly! I’m sure most of you know the story of how I came around to starting up my blog – but for those new comers out there, here is the story again:

I started up this food blog exactly two years ago during spring break, and instead of slaving away on the many assignments/projects I had at that time, I decided to spontaneously start up a blog, out of pure procrastination really. I wasn’t sure of how long I’d be able to keep up with this blog (because I have tried many times and failed), but I am happy that I am able to finally keep one up and running, even though I’m only posting once a week instead of 3 times a week like before I started working. on several occasions, I’d ask my Mom, “What would happen if I didn’t have a food blog?” And she would always reply the same way every time I asked her, “You’d be the most boring person ever.” Haha. Thanks. I definitely have her to thank for teaching me how to cook; well actually I’d like to say thanks to the fact that I got into a university away from home and family as it not only taught me how to be independent, it also showed me how bad I was at cooking for myself during my first year at uni.

Like last year, to celebrate my blog turning 2 today, I decided to bake a cake for this occasion. I actually did a test bake two weeks ago since this is the first time I was following this recipe – I didn’t want to fail miserably and have nothing to post for this special occasion. I’m glad I did that test bake because there was a major backfire *oops*. Well, it wasn’t such a huge backfire, but it was because it was a significant part of what binds the cake together so without it, the cake would’ve been pretty dry. I’m talking about the rose-scented cream here. The first try, I actually bought the wrong type of thickened cream – I bought the light thickened cream only because that’s what I saw on the shelf. So I whipped it for a good, I don’t know, probably a total of 15-20 minutes or so and it what not whipping at all. Then I realised it was because it was light cream which does have enough fat content to fully whip. So that was a fail, and by that time I was quite tired and frustrated over the cream that I decided to just leave it and try again the following week.

The second time around, I bought regular thickened cream and it whipped fine – too fine that I had over-whipped it and it became quite clumpy. You can actually rescue over-whipped cream by adding more cream, but at that time, I had poured the whole bottle of cream into the mixer. So what did I do? I had to ask my mom to drive me to the grocers again to buy more cream, and finally after the third attempt with this rose-scented cream, I managed to get it right! I didn’t want to waste the other batch of over-whipped cream and so I kept whipping it until it started to come together as homemade butter. After I had whipped it into butter, I had a taste of it and then realised that I had just made sweet rose-scented butter – which in my opinion was a bit ew since I’ve never tasted sweet butter with a hint of rose flavour in it. Haha! So yeah.

Strawberry & Watermelon Cake

Anyway, I took inspiration to bake this cake from one that I tried from Black Star Pastry when I was still living in Sydney. Since it’s debut into the world of pastries, it is known to be the most Instagrammed cake.  Also, the original recipes uses silvered pistachios, but I used pepitas instead. The only reason was that pistachios here for some reason are always brown, like not even green, and I didn’t want to put something brown to top of my beautiful cake so I went for green pepitas instead. Another thing, I couldn’t find rose petals anywhere here in Brunei. So, I decided to go through boxes of teas to read their labels, looking for any that had rose petals in them. I was lucky that one of the teas that I brought home from Sydney last year had rose petals in them!

Don’t forget to check out the recipe that I followed to make this cake over on Gourmet Traveller. You can get creative and make a cake in any shape you want. When I had this at Black Star Pastry, it was square in shape and probably no bigger than about 8cm x 8cm x 8cm in size (maybe). I made mine into round cakes (about 3 in total with this recipe) with a diameter of about 7.5cm.

Strawberry & Watermelon Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 3

*plus 1-2 hours of chilling time

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 seedless red grapes, sliced thinly
  • 250g seedless watermelon, about 0.5cm thick slices
  • 1 punnet (125g) strawberries, halved
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup rosewater
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp pepitas
  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals

For the Almond Dacquoise

  • egg whites
  • 2/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar

For the Rose-scented Cream

  • 100ml thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp rosewater

METHOD

  1. For the almond dacquoise: Preheat oven to 200C. Process almonds in a food processor until finely ground, then combine in a bowl with icing sugar. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), then gradually add caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form (1-2 minutes). Gently fold through almond mixture, spread on a 30cm x 40cm oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool on tray, and then using a round cutter, cut the dacquoise into 6 circles.
  2. For the watermelon layer: Cut the watermelon into half a centimetre thick rounds using the same cutter used to cut the dacquoise. Arrange watermelon rounds in a single layer on a wire rack. Sprinkle with 20ml rosewater, then scatter with 2 tbsp sugar. Stand to macerate (30 minutes), then pat dry with absorbent paper.
  3. For the rose-scented cream: Whisk cream and sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, gradually add rosewater and whisk until stiff peaks form (do not over-whisk!!!).
  4. Assembly: Staring with a watermelon slice as your base, spread about a tablespoon and a half of rose cream evenly over  it and then top with a layer of dacquoise. Scatter a pinch of almond meal and then top with more cream. Repeat, and then top of the last dacquoise layer with a bit of cream to hold the strawberry chunks, slices of grapes, and other toppings. Refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
  5. Serve and enjoy chilled!

Strawberry & Watermelon Cake

Strawberry & Watermelon Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe we’ve come to an end to Breakfast/Brunch Month, which also means that it’s almost the end of October! Once again, where did the days go? Time flies too quickly. Luckily for you guys, today will not be the last post for October for I have a recipe going up on the 31st for a Halloween Special. I won’t say much about it now but the only thing I will say about it is that it’s gonna get bloody!

So anyway, since today will be my last post for Breakfast/Brunch Month, I’m going to end it with a recipe that is sure to knock you socks off! I’ve not tried this recipe before earlier on this week, but I can assure you that for those of you who like a little bit of spice in your life, these muffins pack a good kick! I had actually planned to bake some Chorizo, Corn, and Chilli Streusel muffins two weeks ago to post for today, but we could not find any chorizo at all that week. So I told my mom that I’ll hold off making the muffins since they weren’t going up on the blog for another week or so during that time, but as the days drew closer and chorizo still could not be found – so maybe I will hold off this recipe for another time when chorizo is available.

Thus, I decided to change my recipe – Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli Muffins! I kind of like how it is sort of in theme with fall (for the Northern Hemisphere), and Halloween – the pumpkin aspect of today’s recipe that is. The original recipe for these muffins can be found over on Taste;I didn’t really do anything to alter the recipe, only that I added half of the pepitas into the muffin batter mixture. Other than that, I pretty much just followed this quick and easy recipe.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 22-25 MINS | SERVES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup coarse polenta
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Softened butter, to serve

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Grease a 12 hole muffin pan with either cooking spray or with butter.
  2. Place the pumpkin chunks on a baking tray lined with foil and season with a bit of salt, pepper, and coat with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Once done, remove from the oven and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Using a fork, mash the pumpkin and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the self-raising flour, sugar, polenta, chilli flakes, coriander, and half of the pepitas in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined and then make a well in the centre.
  4. Add the milk, egg, vegetable oil, and pumpkin into the well and then mix until just combined. Your batter will be very thick which is exactly what you want! Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and the spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Top with the remaining pepitas.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and stand in muffin pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool down completely.
  6. Serve and enjoy warm or cold with softened butter!

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.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

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