Tag Archives: food blogger

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake 

Baking is one of my favourite things to do. But when it’s so hot outside, even the most devoted baker needs a break ! So I made these no bake cheesecake jars the other day. They are creamy, chocolaty, yummy and super easy to do ! 

As a food blogger, I am constantly looking for props that I can use without spending too much. Plates, cups, cutlery, baking tools, towels, etc. So, kitchenware stores, thrift stores, dollar stores and garage sales have become my favourite places to hang out. And I get super excited when I can reuse or recycle ! It’s like doing a makeover ! These cute little jars were containers of some petit pot yoghurts that I bought. They are perfect for individual desserts ! My only complain…..they’re too petit ! Cause these cheesecakes are so delicious and one is not enough !  

Makes about 8 servings

  • 12-15 graham crackers (or other cookies of choice)
  • 45 g unsalted butter,melted 
  • 120 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate, plus more for garnish 
  • 200 g cream cheese 
  • 120 g icing sugar, sifted  
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 240 mL cold heavy whipping cream 
  1. Crush graham crackers into crumbs and mix in melted butter 
  2. Spoon into containers, press down gently and refrigerate for later use 
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave, cool slightly 
  4. Place one small mixing bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes (for making whipped cream)
  5. In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth
  6. Add in melted chocolate, set aside
  7. In the cold mixing bowl, beat 120 mL of the cream until medium peak 
  8. Gently fold into the chocolate cream cheese until just combined 
  9. Spoon or pipe on top of graham cracker base (refrigerate if not serving right away)
  10. Just before serving, whip remaining cream to garnish, top with chopped chocolate 

Blueberry Galette 

Can’t believe summer is half-way through already ! I have been really busy, driving the kids around to different activities, keeping them occupied. If you are a parent, you would know, summer is actually busier than school days ! But they are having so much fun…..swimming, trampoline park, bowling, sleep over…..Although I am exhausted at the end of the day, seeing their happy faces makes it all worth it. Hey, kids are supposed to sleep in, play lots and eat lots during the summer, right ? With all the activities, meal times for us may not always be as regular and as healthy as I’d like. To balance that out, I make sure I stock lots of fruits at home. Luckily my kids are not picky eaters and love the summer fruits…blueberries, cherries, watermelon, peaches, etc.  And of course I use them to make desserts, like this blueberry galette. It’s basically a rustic blueberry pie and you don’t need to worry about making the crust neat and tidy. It makes a perfect summer dessert with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream !

Makes one galette

For the crust 

  • 90 g unsalted butter (cut into small pieces and chilled)
  • 100 mL ice-cold water
  • 200 g cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 15 g granulated sugar
  • 2.5 g salt

For the filling 

  • 200 g fresh blueberries 
  • 30 g granulated sugar 
  • 7.5 mL lemon juice 
  • Zest of 1/2 small lemon 
  • 7.5 g cornstarch 
  • 10 g graham cracker crumbs 
  1. To make the crust, combine flour,sugar and salt
  2. Rub in chilled butter with hands until resemble coarse crumbs, there should be pea-sized lumps of butter
  3. Add cold water and mix until dough just starting to form
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and press dough together (Do not knead)
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight (I actually doubled the amount of ingredients and kept half of the dough in the freezer for later) 
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F 
  7. Gently mix blueberries with sugar,lemon juice, lemon zest and cornstarch 
  8. Let sit for about 10 minutes 
  9. Roll dough out to about 0.5 cm in thickness 
  10. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs in the middle leaving about 5 cm from the edge, the crumbs help to prevent a soggy crust 
  11. Spoon filling on top  
  12. Fold and pleat edges over part of the filling
  13. Brush edges with water and sprinkle with vanilla sugar or granulated sugar 
  14. Bake for about 60 minutes until golden and filling is bubbling (you can cover it with aluminium foil for the last 15 to 20 minutes to prevent crust from getting too brown)
  15. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream 

Classic Madeleines 

Madeleines are something that have been in my mind for a long time. These elegant looking mini cakes are so buttery and tasty. They are not difficult to make, you just need a little patience as both the batter and the molds have to be chilled before baking. And yes, you do have to buy the Madeleine pan to get that shell-liked shape, but for about $20-$30, it’s worth it. Well, I guess that’s from a baker’s point of view ! My kids often tell me I spend too much on my baking stuff, but hey, these are my toys, plus I don’t buy expensive clothes, handbags or jewellery like other people do ! Most importantly, I am doing something that makes me happy ! And when mom is happy, everyone’s happy ! 

Makes about 22-24 

  • 120 g unsalted butter + 30 g for greasing tray, melted 
  • 90 g all-purpose flour 
  • 90 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 3 g baking powder 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150 g vanilla sugar or granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • 15 mL lemon juice 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • Icing sugar for dusting 
  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan or microwave, cool slightly 
  2. Brush madeleine moulds with about 30 g of melted butter, coat with flour, tapping off excess
  3. Place coated pan in freezer for at least one hour 
  4. Sift together flours, baking powder and salt, mix in sugar, set aside 
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat together eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla until frothy, about 5 minutes 
  6. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture 
  7. Gently mix in 120 g of melted (and cooled) butter, 2-3 tablespoons at a time until just blended 
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight 
  9. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F
  10. Drop about 1 tablespoon of batter into each mould without spreading it out
  11. Place madeleine pan on another large baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes until edges are golden 
  12. Cool in moulds for a few minutes then completely on rack 
  13. Dust with icing sugar, best to eat within 2 days 

Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman, “How to Bake Everything” 

Tools and Books 


  
Chicago Metallic 26631 12-Cup Nonstick Madeleine Pan

How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking

You can get the Madeleine pan and the cookbook through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 

Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year was my favourite celebration when I was a kid in Hong Kong. I could visit and play with my cousins, get red envelopes and of course, eat lots and lots of good food ! My mom used to make all kinds of dishes and rice cakes, sweet and savoury. To be honest, I have never made them, because hers are always the best! But this year I thought…..hey, I am a baker, I should at least bake something to celebrate. Then, I remembered a recipe from my mom’s friend….Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake! I have modified her recipe to make it less greasy and added some shredded coconut on top. The glutinous rice flour and coconut milk should be available in any Asian market. Use the brands in the picture if you can find them, as according to the expert, aka my mom, they are better. (I am not sponsored by them, just personal preference) The cake will rise inside the oven, but then concave in a little when cooled and that’s ok. It doesn’t change the taste nor the texture of the cake. I used a round cake pan because but in Chinese, the word “round” has a meaning of being together. You can use a square pan, which probably will be easier to cut. 

Wishing everyone good health and a prosperous Year of the Rooster! Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake


Makes one 8 inch round cake 

  • 400 g glutinous rice flour, sifted  (1 package)
  • 200 g granulated sugar 
  • 5 eggs (lightly beaten) 
  • 400 mL canned coconut milk (1 can)
  • 60 mL coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 45 g unsweetened shredded coconut Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F 
  2. Line bottom of baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease bottom and sides 
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour and sugar
  4. Stir in eggs, coconut milk, oil and vanilla until smooth using a hand whisk 
  5. Strain batter through a mesh and pour into baking pan 
  6. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325ºF and bake for another 30 minutes (toothpick should come out clean when inserted into middle)
  8. Turn heat off, leave cake in oven with door ajar for about 20 minutes 
  9. Take it out, cool slightly and serve warm 
  10. You can store the cake in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat in oven before serving. Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake

White Chocolate and Lime Cookies 

I love citrus fruits ! The colours, the smell, the tanginess, they just brighten me up. I mostly bake with lemons or oranges and this is the first time I use lime. Normally I just use lime juice to make guacamole. The flavour of lime balances nicely with butter and white chocolate. This cookie dough is also very “unique” ! There are two kinds of flour, all-purpose and self-rising.  About 4 years ago, I tried to bake some shortbread cookies. The recipe called for cornstarch, but I accidentally put in self-rising flour ! To my surprise, they turned out really good ! Since then, I have used this combination many times with different variations and everyone likes it. Well, I guess I really have learned from my “mistake” …..but I don’t plan to correct it ! 🙂 Limes

Makes about 24 cookies 

  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 90 g icing sugar + more for dusting
  • 225 g all-purpose flour 
  • 45 g self-rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Zest of a small lime
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 50 g white chocolate chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F
  2. Sift together both flours and salt, set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  4. Add lime juice, zest and vanilla extract 
  5. Add flour mixture in 2 parts, mix until just blended
  6. Stir in white chocolate chips
  7. Refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours to prevent cookies from spreading too much
  8. Shape dough into one inch balls and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges just golden
  10. Cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes, then completely on rack
  11. Dust with icing sugarWhite Chocolate and Lime Cookies

 

Tools I used and you may like

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KitchenAid K45SSWH Classic 4.5-Quart Bowl Stand Mixer, White

 

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Microplane #40020 Classic Grater/Zester, Black

You can get these tools through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item.

Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds

After indulging myself over Christmas and New Year, I guess it’s time to make something a little healthier! Chia seed pudding has been on my “to make” list for quite a while, but I’ve been pushing it back. Somehow I associate the word “pudding” with something soft and creamy, not seedy and chewy.  So I ended up making this overnight oats.  It was really yummy, and to my surprise, my daughter loved it ! This is another recipe that can have so many variations. My ratio is roughly, 1 part oats, 2 parts milk and 1/4 part chia seeds, then add sweetener, and toppings.  It makes a great breakfast, or for me, a snack after my morning run !  

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened milk of choice (I used almond and coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • toppings of choice, e.g. banana, berries, shredded coconut, almond slices, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc
  1. Combine milk, oats, chia seeds and sweetener in a bowl or a mason jar  
  2. Stir well, cover and refrigerate overnight
  3. Add toppings when ready to serveOvernight Oats with Chia Seeds

 

 

 

Marzipan Cake

I never knew marzipan can be so tasty and so useful in baking ! My first encounter with it was eating some marzipan-filled chocolate. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it. Perhaps it was too sweet or perhaps I always prefer eating pure chocolate. But after I learned to make the Eisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies, I absolutely fell in love with it ! With high hopes for myself, I decided to make a cake this time…..but sadly…..I failed twice ! How frustrating ! The “failures” actually tasted pretty good. I realized the problem was the pans I used. For the first time, I used a 9 inch spring-form pan and the cake turned out too flat (It is a denser cake and it won’t rise very much). So I switched to a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan. But it took too long to bake through and the outside of the cake was dry and brown. So for the third time, I used an 8 inch cake ring and baked it in a hot water bath and…..Success finally ! I thought I would never make it !  Phew ! Now I get to sit down, relax and enjoy my cake after all that hard work !

Makes one 8 inch round cake 

  • 180 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g marzipan, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 60 ml milk
  • 60 g honey
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Icing sugar and almond slices for toppings
  1. Grease and flour an 8 inch cake ring  
  2. Wrap bottom with parchment paper, then 2 layers of aluminium foil and place on a rimmed baking trayCake RingCake Ring
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  5. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, marzipan and sugar 
  6. Add eggs, one at a time
  7. Mix in vanilla and almond extract, milk, honey and orange zest 
  8. Add flour mixture in two parts, mix until blended
  9. Pour batter into cake ring (it’s ok if batter is slightly gritty) 
  10. Pour about one inch of hot water in baking tray and bake cake in hot water bath for about 60 minutes  
  11. Cool and remove cake ring
  12. Top with icing sugar and almond slicesMarzipan CakeMarzipan Cake