Berry Cake

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Photography and Styling by myself

Original recipe from Clean Eating Goddess

A few weeks ago, as I was browsing through the recipe list from my favorite inventory searching for something sweet to bake, I came across a darling looking berry cake. It looked so refreshing and dainty I paused, despite the fact that it was not a cake I would usually eat or make, as I tend to favor rich flavors and sinful fillings when it comes to my desserts. However as I scrolled through the post, I noticed it was specifically a Mother’s Day cake, and it hit me that this cake was so representative of my mother, or mothers in general. It was naturally sweet, wholesome, healthy, and feminine, something my own mother would adore. Coincidentally, it was nearing her birthday in a week, and since we were throwing a huge celebration for her then I thought it would be nice to bake her her own birthday cake in advance for the very first time, for our own private celebration.

My mom had recently been recovering from a bout of food poisoning, so it was a relief the cake was light enough not to upset her stomach. I like that it had a rather thin layer, as I ordinarily prefer less flour in my cakes with my favorite part being the cream filling (although this one has none). Some of my friends actually described it as a giant pancake or fruit cookie because it looked so flat in the pictures I sent them.

When my mom realized this berry cake was originally meant for Mother’s Day, she requested it for the next few foreseeable Mother’s Day celebrations, so for future experimentation, I am thinking of stacking two cakes on top of each other and adding a layer of cream in between. Hopefully by then I would have also learned to make my own macarons, because I think they would make a wonderful topping…

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of fresh berries divided into 2 portions (I used raspberries, strawberries & blueberries)

1 1/2 cup whole grain amaranth flour (Bob’s Red Mill, also can be substituted with plain flour)

3/4 cup almond powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

pinch of salt

2 eggs lightly beaten

2/3 cup almond milk

1/3 cup coconut oil

Directions:

1. Line an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.

2. Arrange half the berries at the base of the pan.

3. In one mixing bowl stir together flour, almond powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

4. In another mixing bowl whisk eggs, vanilla essence, almond milk and coconut oil. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.

5. Pour the dough into the cake pan and spread evenly over the berries.

6. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius and bake for 40 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

7. Let cool for five minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Flip it over or leave it the right side up, depending on how you prefer it looks, and top with the remaining berries. Enjoy. šŸ™‚

Banana Cinnabun

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Jewellery: LTXLG Shine Bracelet

Photography and styling by myself

It did not start off as a good day for me when I set out to make this recipe. I had gotten into a small argument with my mom, and when the entire family (minus me) set off to do some really awesome shopping and I was left alone in the house to start whipping up this delicious dessert, I was seething. Thankfully, it probably was just a case of being too close to too many people on a typical Sunday. As soon as they cleared out I was able to reach a never before achieved state of inner peace while going about my usual Sunday ritual of cooking, styling and food photographing. It was bliss to bake in complete silence, and when the oven pinged, voila… to be left in more peace to style the food. Thanks to the space and quiet, I was able to devote a lot more time and effort than usual to creating these photographs today.

This was my first time making an actual loaf from Clean Eating Goddess’s recipe directory, and it was astoundingly easy. My favorite part is the cinnamon sugar middle. With my Sunday treats being so well received now, and individual family members demanding their favorite bakes and savory meals, I actually have my hands full planning a full dinner menu for a gathering on my mom’s birthday in two weeks… with six pizzas… The recipe for that will be up next week, also from CEG. šŸ˜‰

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup almond flour

3 ripe medium bananas

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup honey

4 eggs

1/2Ā  cup brown sugar

1 heaped tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

fresh strawberries (optional topping)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Line and grease a 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan (I used a Pyrex glass casserole with the same dimensions) with parchment paper.

2. Mix plain flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl until well combined.

3. In another mixing bowl, mash the bananas until as smooth as possible with a fork.

4. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, honey and vanilla extract until well combined. Add mixture to the mashed banana in the mixing bowl and mix well.

5. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar and mix well.

6. Pour the liquid ingredients in the mixing bowl to the first dry ingredient mixture. Mix well until combined. Add coconut oil and mix well.

7. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Coat the surface of the batter with the cinnamon sugar mixture, then cover with the remaining batter.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from a piercing in the center.

9. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving.

9. Top with fruit of choice. I went with fresh strawberries. Enjoy.

Pesto Pasta

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Photography and styling by myself

One of my recent food obsessions is pasta, and credit for my obsession goes to my awesome sister for talking about pasta all the time, although a lot of the blame also lies on Clean Eating Goddess who has an incredible variety of delicious pasta recipes up on her site! I simply can’t resist any of her vegetarian pasta options, so today I present to you the greenest pasta I’ve ever enjoyed, the Green Goddess Pasta.

Unfortunately I made a slip up with the amount of sea salt added to the pesto which resulted in a saltier version than I would have otherwise enjoyed. On the bright side however, I now understand what it means when they state “a pinch of salt” in a recipe. It’s literally a pinch. Thankfully it didn’t matter so much because with an awesome recipe and ingredients, the end result more than made up for it compared to my usual average pasta-sauce-straight-out-of-a-jar adventures.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups fresh basil leaves

3 heaped tbsp pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of1 lemon

a pinch of sea salt

500g spinach fettucine

4 tbsp frozen peas (divided in half)

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 ripe avocados

1 tbsp almond flour/powder (for garnish)

Serves 4

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bake the pine nuts at 150 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.

2. Add basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic cloves, lemon juice and salt into a blender. Blend on low speed, slowly incorporating all the olive oil. Blend until a smooth pesto paste is formed.

3. Boil pasta in highly salted water until al dente.

4. Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in the same way as above, and de-seed and mash the two avocados using a fork.

5. Combine pasta, half the pumpkin seeds, peas, pesto and mashed avocados in a pan on med-low heat. Toss until pasta is well coated.

6. Serve while hot. Garnish with the remaining pumpkin seeds and almond powder. Enjoy.

Breakfast Biscotti

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Photography & styling by myself

Breakfast Biscotti (with French Earl Grey) is a new sweet treat I made some weeks ago in a bid to please my coconut and banana hating sister, and so this dessert contains neither of those two ingredients. Taken from CEG’s Holiday Biscotti recipe, this biscotti delighted all my senses. It was perfectly crispy and sweet, just the way snacks are supposed to be, and if you aren’t careful you’ll find yourself reaching out for them the entire day non stop. My mom was guilty of that, which is why my grandma did not receive a batch this time. Be sure to cut them into smaller and thinner slices, they look prettier that way and are much easier to pack into airtight jars. I am thinking of making a batch for guests to enjoy during Chinese New Year here in Singapore, as this western dessert would be a refreshingĀ  change from the endless ba kua and pineapple tarts…

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond flour

2 cups glutinous rice flour

1/2 cup plain flour

1 tbsp arrowroot starch

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 100g bar 70% dark chocolate

1/2 cup shelled pistachios

DIRECTIONS

1. Line 2 small baking trays or one large baking tray with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

2. Combine almond flour, glutinous rice flour, plain flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda and salt in one mixing bowl.

3. In another mixing bowl, whisk eggs and brown sugar using an electric mixer or by hand until pale yellow and thick, then add in vanilla essence and coconut oil.

4. Beat in flour mixture from the first mixing bowl to the egg and sugar combo until well combined. If it is too runny, add 1/2 cup more plain flour.

5. Roughly chop dark chocolate bar into small pieces, and do the same to the shelled pistachios. Add them all into the dough together with cranberries. Mix well.

6. Divide dough into two portions and spread them out on each baking tray as a single rectangular-shaped sheet, about 10″ long an 1″ high.

7. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and bake for about 25 minutes until lightly browned.

8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10minutes.

9. Transfer dough to a cutting board and slice into roughly 1/2 inch wide strips, then place them on the trays again, cut sides up. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for an additional 5 minutes , then flip them over on the other side and bake again for 5 minutes until crispy and browned.

10. Transfer biscotti to wire racks and let cool. Serve with an cup of tea. Enjoy.

Vegan Veggie Pasta

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Photos by myself

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making fresh pasta sauce from scratch, and this Clean Eating Goddess recipe was perfect for me to start out with. It promised a genuine Italian treat, which is exactly what I had been looking for, tips to cook European dishes the traditional European way! As this was the first time I had cooked pasta since I converted to a vegetarian diet, I was honestly slightly worried it would not turn out as tasty as before without my usual minced meat and sausages. I am so happy that it turned out quite the opposite, it was the best pasta I had ever eaten my entire life, including the numerous times I’ve eaten at restaurants. I will never eat pasta sauce out of a jar again, this recipe is too good not to reuse, and not all that difficult to create. The meat eaters and vegetable haters in my family really enjoyed this and while my mom and sister said they had tasted better Italian pasta at authentic Italian restaurants, this did rank up there with the ones they had. My dad however declared it the best pasta of his life, and I take that as a sincere compliment from someone who loves meat.

INGREDIENTS:

1 package linguini pasta (or substitute with pasta choice of your preference)

2 cans plum tomatoes

2 heaped tbsp ketchup

4 tbsp olive oil (divided)

4 cloves garlic

2 small shallots

2 zucchini

2 red peppers

1 tsp red chilli flakes

a few dashes Tabasco

1/2 cup red wine

2 sprigs fresh basil

6 tbsp pine nuts

salt and pepper

Serves 4

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop the garlic and onions and set aside. Dice the zucchinis and julienne the red peppers and set aside.

2. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large and deep pan on low heat.

3. When the oil is hot, add the shallot and sautee for about 1-2 minutes until soft. Add garlic, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and sautee for another 30 seconds.

4. Add the canned tomatoes and crush them with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a boil and set the heat to low. Add ketchup and mix well. Let simmer for about 30 minutes until most of the water has evaporated.

5. While the sauce is simmering, heat another 2tbsp of oil in another pan on low heat. Add zucchini and red peppers, salt and pepper, cook for about 30 minutes or until tender and slightly brown.

6. Boil pasta according to directions on the box. Make sure the pasta is boiled in extremely salty water. I usually use 5 tsp of Himalayan salt. If you prefer your pasta al dente, minus off 2 minutes from the time stated on the box.

7. After the pasta sauce has thickened add red wine. Stir and taste. Add Tabasco, salt and pepper according to taste.

8. Bake pine nuts in a baking tray for about 5 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius or until slightly browned.

9. Add the zucchini and red peppers to the sauce and stir until well combined.

10. Serve with the pasta sauce atop the pasta, and top with pine nuts and fresh basil. Enjoy.

Banana Ice Cream Pie

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Photos by myself

This sweet treat is the second most popular of my bakes amongst my family members (after the avocado brownie cake), and I am really happy to share it with all of you. This pie contains a healthier alternative to classic ice cream! I am in love with the healthier version and have already made plans to concoct different flavors of ice cream using this delicious recipe. As can be seen in the pictures, this ice cream pie melts fast, hence the tiny puddle at the tip of the pie. In my opinion though, it makes it look all the more mouthwatering. The wonder pie recipe is from Clean Eating Goddess as per usual, her recipes are so easy to follow for an amateur like me, and most of everything I have made has not only been successful, but also incredibly well-received on the first try.

Ingredients:

CRUST

2 cups dessicated coconut/shredded coconut

2 egg whites

juice from half a lemon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

pinch of salt

ICE CREAM FILLING

4-5 very ripe bananas

1/2 cup coconut cream

1 cup greek yogurt

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla essence

pinch of salt

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon (divided)

TOPPINGS:

8 cherries (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a 9″ pie dish/cake pan with coconut oil. Mix all the crust ingredients together thoroughly in a mixing bowl, then pour into the pie dish. Press down hard with a spoon/fork to create the crust, lining the base and sides of the dish.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and bake the crust for 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.

3. Add all but one banana, coconut cream, maple syrup, yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, vanilla and salt into a blender and blend on high speed until well combined. Refrigerate mixture.

4. In a pan on medium heat, add coconut oil. Slice the remaining banana and place slices on the pan. Sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon while in the pan, and leave them to cook for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside.

5. Pour half the filling into the pie crust, then add the caramelized bananas, spacing them evenly. Pour the remaining pie mixture over them. If the banana slices float to the top, push them back down. Arrange cherries in a circle on the top of the pie. Freeze the pie overnight.

6. To serve, let it cool at room temperature for 5 minutes. Enjoy.

Blueberry & Peach Crumble

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Photos by myself

If you’re looking for something indulgent and yet perfectly healthy and nutritious, this is the perfect dessert. It’s so simple, yet incredibly enjoyable at the same time. The original recipe is from Clean Eating Goddess once again, and this is so easy to make, it’s perfect for baking amateurs, so I will be doing it repeatedly in the near foreseeable future. The granola layer at the top makes a filling breakfast and the peaches and blueberries are the most delicious accompaniments ever! I used a long casserole dish to cook this crumble, and simply scooped out the desired amount when hungry, but feel free do use any sized baking dishes/pans you have on hand! The crumble can be refrigerated, and before eating the next morning, simply heat it up for 3-5 minutes, and it will be perfectly sizzling hot and juicy.

Ingredients:

TOPPING

2 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)

1 stick of stevia powder/1 tsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup walnuts

1 tsp salt

1 heaped tbsp arrowroot starch

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp cinnamon

FILLING

2/3 cup maple syrup

1 stick stevia/1 tsp sugar

4 sliced ripe peaches

2 1/2 cups blueberries

2 heaped tbsp arrowroot starch

juice and zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well coated.

2. Add all the topping ingredients into a blender and blend on low speed until crumbly. The topping does not need to be blended finely, so large chunks are fine, as long as there is a lot of texture.

3. Pour the filling ingredients into a casserole dish (or any baking pan of your choice) and line the top with the blended topping using a spoon.

4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and bake for 1 hr until the fruit is bubbling and beginning to pour over. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.