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 ❤ … 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
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
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
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 ….
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
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 …
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
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.