Italy or Eat-aly .. can’t decide!


Hiya! (been a few years since I shifted from London, but somehow the habit of saying ‘hiya’ remains) … In case you’re wondering where I had disappeared off to, was away on holiday in Italy – a dream destination for foodies like myself .. To give you a short recap, breakfast every morning was a delight for anyone with a sweet tooth as the Italians are quite big on desserts for breakfast. Unfortunately I only made use of that on the last day, as otherwise I just can’t get myself to eat so much sweet in the morning!! But don’t you worry, I was far from being ‘good’ on holiday as their gelato ice cream was impossible to resist (and everywhere you turned around to look!) As for the pizza’s, not only was I impressed with the texture of their thin crust pizza’s, but in love with the square pizza’s they serve! The fact one can choose the size of their own pizza slice, meant being able to taste more flavours without going overboard … My absolute favourite had to be the ‘potato pizza’ (which we had at an amazing place called ‘Alice’) and the ‘chicken kebab pizza’ (which was at a Halal place I managed to forget the name of, but promise to google it later!). Booked a ‘food tour’ as well which involved a pizza making class in a wooden burner (it only takes 3 minutes to bake a pizza in that!) which was loads of fun, particularly watching Mr. Bakealogue make his very first pizza <3 … Tasting different kinds of bread as well as cheese (omg, the variety!) was also part of the tour which was a learning experience. So that was the food side of things in a nutshell.. I’m actually laughing to myself right now, as I re-read the post and feel like I did nothing but eat in Italy .. haha! It would only be fair to mention, given the great weather there, we walked to most places making sure those calories were burnt! ;) Obviously there is a lot more to Italy than just the food, but won’t touch on that, as it is a food blog after all. :)

Walnut Coffee Cake

Walnut Coffee Cake

Coming back to today’s dessert, baked a ‘Walnut Coffee Cake with Coffee Buttercream Icing’. Got the cake recipe from a book called ‘A World of Cakes’ that was gifted to me by a friend. However, I have tweaked it a little bit to suit my own taste. The Coffee Buttercream Frosting is also entirely optional and was not mentioned as part of the original recipe. I personally thought it added a lot more flavour to the cake.

Ingredients for the cake:
All-Purpose Flour: 2 1/2 cups
Vegetable Oil: 1/2 cup
Unsalted Butter (melted): 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Packed Brown Sugar: 1 cup
Eggs: 2
Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
Baking Soda: 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 1 tsp
Buttermilk: 1 cup
Chopped Walnuts: 1 cup Read the rest of this entry

Is that tempting enough?


I always find it amusing how different times of the day can actually effect the way you feel about certain things. In fact, it’s even more challenging as a blogger to find that ‘right time’ to get a good response as everyone follows their own world clock. Lets take todays dessert as an example … Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes with Nutella frosting. When I was icing these cupcakes this morning, they seemed the least bit tempting, coz that’s when my mind is automatically thinking about healthier alternatives. That was a few hours ago though … it’s lunch time now, and as I pack these cupcakes away for a friend I’m meeting for lunch, all I can think about is can’t wait to get back and have these with a cup of tea … Mmmmm!!! To be honest, the more I look at these cupcakes, the more I feel like cancelling lunch … haha! Well, I certainly hope this pic is going to reach you at the ‘right time’ … so please do comment on what time of the day it was when you viewed this pic and whether or not you found it tempting enough … that would make an interesting experiment!  By the way, in case you’re wondering where the Ferrero Rocher actually is, it’s hidden inside the cupcake batter … surprise! :)

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

The original recipe is by Cupcakes, Cookies & Cardio. But I have tweaked it a little bit to suit my own taste buds! Suggest you do the same :)

Ingredients for the cupcake: 
All Purpose Flour: 1 and 1/2 cups
Caster Sugar: 1/2 cup (original recipe said 1 and 1/2 cups but I thought the ferrero rocher and nutella frosting would make it sweet enough)
Cocoa Powder (unsweetened): 3/4 cups
Baking Powder: 1 and 1/2 tsp
Bicarbonate Soda: 3/4 tsp
Vegetable Oil: 3 tbsp
Almond Milk: 3/4 cup (original recipe used same amount of buttermilk instead)
Water: 3/4 cup
Eggs: 2
Vanilla Essence: 1 tsp
Ferrero Rocher chocolates: one for each cupcake
Read the rest of this entry

Cake that can be called ‘food’ ;)


And here it is .. my first-ever ‘Healthy Chocolate Cake’! Healthy baking is something I’ve been asked about a lot but never quite got around to doing, until my friend challenged me to bake a healthy cake for her birthday. Those who know me will know the word ‘challenge’ was enough to get me going! Luckily for me, my Niece is obsessed with making ‘healthy desserts’ and she introduced me to this whole new world of healthy ingredient substitutes that I never even knew existed! After being given strict instructions to ‘make sure it says 100% pure with no sugar added’, I set off to Waitrose to shop for the ingredients and was surprised to see the variety that was available. There is clearly a demand for healthy baking out there! Not tasted it yet as need to wait for the birthday girl to cut it first to see how it tastes. But the best part about these vegan desserts is because there is no egg involved, so you can always taste a bit of the batter to make sure it is according to your taste, and tweak if necessary. That’s what I did too, and have made a few changes to the original cake recipe posted by Papaya_Sunshine… So by all means, follow your own taste buds. I’m still fairly new to this whole healthy concept, so will share more tips learnt through trial-and-error as I go along ….

Healthy Chocolate Cake

Right, time to have a look at the ingredients now, and then you can decide for yourself if it’s healthy enough or not? ;) But not before saying a big fat (calorie free) thank you to Noreen for all her help with the research (I haven’t forgotten what I promised you in return ;)), and Tania for the challenge.

*Few hours later*
Ok, finally had the cake, and it tasted quite nice. Was not as bitter as I expected it to be. It was very moist with a mild hint of banana flavour. The frosting went well with it, and is best served cold. Would definitely make it again.

Ingredients for the Cake: 

Spelt Flour: 1 cup
Hersheys unsweetened Cacao (not cocoa) Powder: 1/3rd cup
Banana (mashed): 1
Apple sauce (chop 1 apple into small cubes, cook in 1/4 cup of water and blend all together): 1/2 cup
Maple Syrup (100% pure with no sugar added): 4 tbsp
Almond Milk: 1/2 cup
Ground Almonds: 1/3 cup
Baking Powder: 1 tbsp
Vanilla Essence: 1 tbsp Read the rest of this entry

Time to burn those calories … again!


And this, friends is my idea of a reward for going to the gym for a week! Haha .. It was sadly not followed by any dessert later though .. *sniff sniff* .. Jokes aside, tried a new recipe for fried chicken last night which both, my husband and I really liked, so thought it was worth a share! Loved the fact that the chicken was skinless yet still full of flavour … Plus, the recipe actually asked for the chicken to be deep fried but I chose to shallow fry and it did not affect the result. A must try, if you haven’t decided what to cook for dinner tonight …

Fried Chicken


Chicken (without skin): 1 kilo cut into 16 pieces
Salt: 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder: 1 and 1/2 tsp (you can add a bit more if you want to make it more spicy)
Ginger & Garlic Paste: 1 tsp
Vinegar: 2 tbsp
Crushed corriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Crushed cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Gram Flour: 5 tbsp
Water: 1 cup
Egg: 1
Bread crumbs: as required

Boil the chicken in 1 cup of water and set aside. Do not throw away the water as it can be used in making the paste.
In a separate bowl, add and mix the salt, red chilli powder, ginger & garlic paste, vinegar, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, gram flour and egg. You can add a little water if necessary to make a smooth paste.
Marinate the boiled chicken pieces in the paste for at least 30 minutes or longer.
Dip the chicken pieces in bread crumbs and fry until a nice golden brown in colour.


Weekend treat!


Blueberry Almond Cake fresh from the oven just in time for tea in Dubai! Now that’s the easy part done … the hard part will be to wait for my husband to get home before I can have some! Shouldn’t be too long now … Have a great weekend everyone :)

Blueberry Almond Cake

Thank you ‘Entertaining with Beth’ for this wonderful recipe!  Read the rest of this entry

Sweet cravings!


What you’re staring at right now is a chocolate chip cookie that was ready in less than 1 minute! I kid you not, this is one of those microwavable chocolate chip cookie desserts that seems to be the latest trend in the world of baking these days. Although I have never been a fan of cooking/baking in a microwave, but I was willing to make an exception after watching it on the Cupcakes, Cookies & Cardio channel on youtube as it just looked so easy yet divine! Result? Not only is this recipe the perfect quick fix for those dessert cravings at odd hours, but the fact it is a single serving seems like the perfect solution for someone like me who can’t keep too much of junk food around the house as I end up eating it all! There are a lot of variations one can make with this, such as using m&m’s (as was done in the original recipe), or if you’re feeling really naughty, maybe you can even top it up with a scoop of ice-cream too! By the way, this dessert is best eaten right away to enjoy the chewy texture of the cookie, as it would only harden over time! So I would not recommend you to make this in advance. There can’t possibly be a better way to satisfy those sweet cravings …. so far! Might have to make myself another one as I watch the Season 2 finale of Silicon Valley tonight … anyone else addicted to it like me?

Microwave Chocolate Cookie dessert

Recipe as follows: 

Unsalted butter (at room temperature): 1 tbsp
Caster Sugar: 1 tbsp
Dark Brown Sugar: 1 tbsp
Egg Yolk: 1
Vanilla Essence: 1 tsp
All Purpose Flour: 3 tbsp
Chocolate chips: 1 tbsp or as required
– In a mug or small microwavable bowl (the cookie dough will rise slightly during baking so make sure there is enough space on top of the bowl), cream together the unsalted butter, caster sugar, and dark brown sugar.
– Add the egg yolk, followed by vanilla essence.
– Add the all purpose flour one tablespoon at a time.
– Stir in the chocolate chips.
– Microwave the chocolate chip cookie, for approximately 30 seconds. If it still looks slightly wobbly, then microwave it for 10 more seconds. Remember not to overcook, as that would only dry out the cookie a lot more.
– Pour some more chocolate chips over the cookie while it is still hot so the chocolate melts a little making it even more delicious!