Category Archives: Breakfast

Walnut & Dark Chocolate Scones

One day I might get sick of Foster the People.

One day I will find the perfect chocolate cake recipe.

One day I’ll definitely have cereal for dinner.

One day I could get to see Orcas in real life.

One day I’m going to go shopping with wild abandonment.

One day I shall make my way to Vienna and Germany.

One day I hope to take my mom on a holiday.

Today though, I shall smell like walnut and dark chocolate scones, have lunch with some of my favourite people, then dinner with more favourite people, talk about everything over brownies, listen to more Foster the People, figure out how to do my hair and then change my mind all over again.

It’s really a lot easier focusing on all the things that keep you happy. Some days, the annoyingly optimistic kid in me reminds me that the best things about a crummy day is that it’ll eventually end. And when it does, you better be prepared to embrace the good stuff. There’s no waiting around for it to come back again; think about it…would you sit around while some random stranger comes and takes away the perfect dress?! Thought so.

Wait, is this me being smarter than usual?

I kid. The truth of the matter is, my dad came home for a surprise visit yesterday. My man bought me a cookbook just because. The cutest little boy loved the cake I baked so much that he gave me two thumbs up; twice, and wouldn’t share it with anyone else. My mom did a massive grocery shop up for me. My sister’s coming to dinner tonight. The other one’s thinking about us all the way in London.

It’s all love here!

Walnut and Dark Chocolate Scones [adapted from Gluten-free Gourmand]

1 3/4 cups GF flour blend
1/4 cup oat/sorghum flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
90g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g dark chocolate, chopped
50g walnuts, roughly chopped

1) Preheat oven to 210°C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or Silpat mat.

2) Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

3) Whisk the cream, vanilla and egg together.

4) Cut the butter into the flour mix, either by hand, food processor or stand mixer until it resembles breadcrumbs.

5) Mix in the liquids until combined. Stir in the chocolate and walnuts.

6) Tip the scone batter onto the prepared tray and shape into a large rectangle, about 1.5 inches tall. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently cut into 9 pieces. Bake for a further 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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Filed under Breakfast, Chocolate, Nuts, Recipes

[Love Letter] Pancakes

Dear Pancakes,

I love it when you’re fluffy

I love it when your edges are slightly brown

I love the way butter melts over you

I love how maple syrup always complements you

I love pairing you with caramelized bananas

I love it when you’re dotted with blueberries

I love how you’re always a part of slow mornings, newspapers and dreamy skies

I love how I get get a whole stack of you all to myself

I love the million ways to eat you

Mostly, I love how you always start my day off right

It’s rather crazy to imagine how something as humble as a pancake has sparked countless conversations between me and the people around. There’s been times where we’ve been so disappointed with a certain spot’s pancakes that the whole group has decided to boycott the establishment. Then there has been the debate on which joint serves up a better pancake. And how do you even decide what makes a pancake better than another? Do box mixes count? Is it really a crime that the hotcakes from Maccas is up on my list of good pancakes? What the hell is a flapjack? Can we even include crepes in our pancake hunt?

Fluffy, lightly golden, unsalted butter, hint of vanilla, real maple syrup. Fulfill that; and I don’t really care where you got your pancakes from.

Yet, I haven’t met a gluten free pancake out there. Much less meet one that I like. And for the sake of my sanity, I decided to make my own. Lucky I had company to help consume some of the pancakes. This recipe makes…a lot of pancakes.

Clinton St Baking Company Cookbook Pancakes (adapted to gluten free)

2 cups GF flour blend
1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
blueberries, chocolate chips, sliced bananas optional

1) Measure and sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl; flour, baking powder, sugar and salt

2) In another bowl, whisk together the yolks,milk, melted butter and vanilla, until combined. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

3) Whip egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form (soft in the middle). Carefully fold half the egg whites into the batter, before folding in the remaining whites. It should look like whitecaps in the ocean with foam on top.

4) Heat a griddle (I use a non-stick frying pan) until hot. Grease with unsalted butter (I used an oil spray). Drop 1/4 cup of pancake batter on the frying pan and cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface. If using, add the toppings to the pancakes now before flipping over.

5) When pancake is golden brown on both side, remove with a spatula. Repeat with remaining batter and filling.

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Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

[You’re My Favourite] Carrot Cake

You know he’s a keeper when he sees a bakery and thinks of you.

or cake.

or unicorns.

But mostly, you know he’s a keeper when he always lets you have the first bite of dessert. It’s almost better than opening doors and pulling out chairs. And not noticing (or maybe he does, but decides to let you get away with it anyway) you always choose to start eating a cake from the sides because there’s always more frosting there.

Today’s one of those rare days I’m home alone. No one’s doing anything else while I bask in the fact that it’s only Saturday afternoon and already I feel productive. There isn’t anyone on the phone, no one doing the ironing. It’s just me, pigtails, Chrysanthemums in a vase, carrot cake in the oven the murmuring of the fan.

Wait, we were talking about boys. Actually, let’s narrow it down to one specific one. The one who knows movie lines better than I do, writes postcards and thank you notes and understands me even when I’m speaking faster than a train. He sounds better behaved than I do. I can never find my keys, always blast my music way too loud and write letters but never post them. Do you have any idea how many unposted letters I have found in my drawers and bags!? The good news is that so far all the letters to him have made it.

At least I bake. People tend to be more forgiving when you have something sweet to offer. It’s a good decoy. “Hi officer, was I speeding? Wait, here’s some carrot cake, it’s even got frosting!”[cue: innocent smile]

Let me know if it works.

Try it out with this cake recipe. If the line doesn’t work, it’s probably you, definitely not the cake. Or maybe he hates carrots.

Carrot Cake (adapted from Dean Brettschneider)

250g GF flour blend
10g baking soda
10g ground cinnamon
4 eggs
150g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
370ml canola oil (or vegetable oil)
5ml vanilla extract
200g carrots, shredded
135g crushed pineapple, well drained

1) Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease and line a 9-inch round baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the eggs and sugars together until light in color and double in volume. Add in the oil and whisk to emulsify.

3) Whisk in the flour in 2 additions until there are no floury streaks. Remove bowl from mixer and using a spatula, fold in the carrots and pineapple until you get an even mixture. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 2-2.5 hours.

4) Remove from oven to cool and frost. Keep refrigerated.

Cream Cheese Frosting

115g cream cheese, softened
65g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
200g icing sugar

1) Mix all together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add more icing sugar for a sweeter frosting or more zest/juice for a tarter one. Note that frosting will be more viscous with extra lemon juice.

Tadah- Now you can bake a Get Out of Jail Free card!

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Filed under Breakfast, Cakes, Frostings, Recipes

{Way Too Pink} Strawberry Yoghurt Muffins

I’ve battled with this for ages and as much as I hate to admit it sometimes, the people around me have got it right all along.

I’m a girly girl.

Yeah, I don’t stress too much when I break a nail or if my hair gets unruly but take me to a store and I make a beeline for anything pink, glittery and cute. My compass is dead set on this as a criteria for anything that catches my eye. Rock chick was so 6 years ago, when I was 17 I believe.

So imagine how difficult it was not to have anything too pink in my newly decorated room. I caved, bought myself a set of Lilo and Sitch sheets and another set that’s white with a reversible option of pink. All that girly goodness hidden under a snow white duvet; wait til they lift the covers! But I swear I sleep better on pink, really.

And to explain my recent disappearance (12 days!), I’ve been away in Australia to visit Fred. Last minute decisions are rather exciting, especially when you book your tickets the day before you intend to fly. I may love pink but I’m borderline danger-lover. I arrived home early this morning to discover there was no food for my empty stomach. So I baked, and one hour later, had tall muffins in pink glaze to soothe my sore butt and jet lagged brain. I’ll make it through the day just fine.

Strawberry Yoghurt Muffins (adapted loosely from The Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook)
Makes 6 muffins

60g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup GF oat flour (or use buckwheat, sorghum or millet)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
100g (a little less than 1/2 cup) plain yoghurt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp strawberry jam

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a 6-cavity muffin tin with paper liners.

2) Cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract together in a stand mixer until fluffy. Mix the flours, baking soda and baking powder together.

3) Add the egg into the butter and beat well. It will look rather watery but will come together after you add in 1/4 cup of the flour mix.

4) Add in half the yoghurt and  beat well. Mix in the remaining flour and yoghurt . Stir in the jam until mixed through. Using a spatula, gently fold in the berries. Divide batter evenly between the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Top with strawberry glaze.

Strawberry Glaze

2 tbsp strawberry jam
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp warm water, or more if needed

1) Mix the jam, icing sugar and 2 tsp of warm water together until you get a smooth glaze. If glaze is too stiff, add in 1 tsp of water at a time until you reach a slightly runny but still opaque glaze. Use immediately.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fruit, Muffins, Recipes

Hummingbird Cupcakes

I like Katy Perry and all the electric bubblegum pop magic she does. She makes me want to boogie.

Okay, she probably won’t say the word boogie. Maybe something a little more down like…party. Yes, that’s it. She makes me wish every night was Friday night.

I like Ke$ha too. Or as the principal in Glee says…. “K dollar sign HA”. Love.

Fred has basically lumped my song choices into the category of trashy pop. He’s just jealous I get to admit I’m the biggest Top 40 freak, grooving to Britney and Christina. Once, I even made a tee that said I heart Britney and Christina. Trust me, when you grow up having to pick a side, it was a big deal to blatantly say hot damn, I love ’em both.

I’m applying this to cream cheese frosting. You need to pick sides; sweet or sour. But do we really need to argue about this? Can’t we all just get along? I’m in Camp Sweet when it comes to my red velvets (no vanilla buttercream for me!) and then hop over to Camp Sour for carrot cake. Then, I’m definitely in Camp Sweet & Sour for banana cake and hummingbird cake. Are you as dead-set on this as I am?

So, two days ago, I was craving cream cheese frosting. And I needed a cake to go along with it. So I made Hummingbird Cupcakes. Only thing is that I think I should’ve added more pineapple because it’s more like a banana cupcake with pineapple. Hummingbird cake is essentially that but, the ratio was a little off. Bottomline: add more pineapple if you’re wanting more hummingbird than banana.

Hummingbird Cupcakes (adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

2 cups GF flour blend
1/2 cup GF oat flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup caster sugar
270g banana, mashed
100g pineapple rings, chopped into small chunks (add more if desired)
3 eggs
300ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 18 muffin holes with paper liners.

2) In a bowl, mix the flours and baking soda together.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar on medium-high until it’s thick and tripled in volume. Slowly add in the oil and vanilla extract, beat until emulsified.

4) Change the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment and beat in the flour in 3 additions. Add in the mashed banana and mix well. Add in the pineapple chunks, mix to combine.

5) Divide the batter between the muffin holes and bake for 20-23 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened slightly
80g butter, softened slightly
2-3 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 2 cups icing sugar together until creamy. Add in the cream cheese and lemon juice. Beat well. Keep adding in the icing sugar if the frosting is too soft. Frost cupcakes!

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Filed under Breakfast, Cupcakes, Frostings, Fruit, Recipes

Carrot Cupcakes with Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

Sorry, I’ve been a bad friend haven’t I. Abandoning you without any cake for such a long while. Things have been happening; I finally got my act together and cleared out the pig-sty of a room I live in and re-painted it a fresh white. I also managed to get myself an eye infection. It’s ugly; I forgot the name of the problem. It’s just…a big swollen eye, blocking half my vision. And I tear involuntarily. It’s bad. I don’t even bother dressing up – I want to blend in with the crowd so no one will notice me… I am invisible.

I did make it out of the house for Harry Potter though! Have you seen it? You should even if you’re not a huge fan (which I probably won’t be able to fathom why). It’s such a milestone!  Make sure you have popcorn! If you’re bringing your own, try this recipe out!

I had some trouble dealing with the fact that this is the last Harry Potter movie and was highly appreciative to have some some Carrot Cupcakes. But I was even happier to have them around after watching an episode of DC Cupcakes and then really, really having issues dealing with not being in the States anymore. I obviously have a hard time letting go of… things. I am a hoarder which I have also discovered through the amount of things I have collected in my room whilst clearing it out. Is this a sign that I’m turning into one of those women? I’m preparing for life with a mountain stack high of Tupperware.

Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from Miette Bakery Cookbook, which is gorgeous and scalloped-edged)

1 cup GF Flour blend (I would add 2 tbsp more if you’re in a humid country)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup peeled and finely grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins

1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 9 cupcake holes with paper liners.

2) Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon together in a bowl.

3) In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together until lighter in colour. Add in the oil and whisk until emulsified.

4)  Add in the flour mix, and mix until almost completely combined. Add in the carrots and raisins. Mix well and divide evenly into prepared tins.

5) Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely, remove from baking tin and frost.

Limoncello Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened
100g butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp limoncello liquor
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1) Beat the cream cheese, butter, 3 cups of icing sugar, limoncello, lemon zest and juice together. If icing if not thick enough, add in more icing sugar and beat until you reach your desired consistency.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cupcakes, Frostings, Recipes

Vegan Coconut Cupcakes

I caved. I let myself sink my teeth into warm cranberry scones slathered with mascarpone and apricot jam. And look what’s happened now- fuzzy head, my judgement’s all furry and not to mention the slightly ballooning tummy. Silly, silly and silly. What a good slap on the head to remind myself why I avoid it in the first place. Want proof? I knocked over a whole glass of water during dinner, shocking both the unsuspecting waitress and me, mid-chew.

My brain’s all over the place, my mind is as scattered as mad skittles falling to the ground. It’s like a crazy little hurricane building inside of me. I thought I might come online to rant but who’s really free to listen to someone else’s burden? You’ve probably got a pile of laundry that needs to be washed; the train never comes on time and everytime you’re late for work the boss always has something to say; the sandwich you paid good money for is cold and dry; the dress of your dreams never comes in your size; your new shoes are giving you blisters; you spilled wine down the front of your new shirt; your phone runs out of battery halfway through the day; the lady in front of you takes forever to decide what to order…you get the drift.

Let’s start a ‘Be Thankful Day’. I’m tired of listing all the rubbish we go through and feel each day. And listing all the things I want to do and achieve makes me feel mildly depressed. So I’ll write about the things I already have. You should grab a pen too, we’ll do it together alright?

1) I’m going to see Rachel Allen in less than a month.
2) My hair has finally almost grown past my shoulders… :)
3) Next week’s a 4 day work week!
4) A super sweet friend all the way in Melbourne sent me a notebook and a card just to put a smile on my face
5) I’m going to have coconut cupcakes for breakfast tomorrow and they’re gluten, egg, dairy and refined sugar free.

It’s not the biggest list, but it’s a start and I feel better already. Actually, I think I might have a cookie to cheer me up.

If your day looks like grey skies ahead, these cupcakes have a great fluffy texture and the aroma from the natural sweeteners and toasted coconut will take you somewhere else, away from crazy town. If you’re not dairy intolerant, a gorgeous swish of cream cheese would work like a charm.

April also marks the Springtime Brunches edition of Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free! hosted by Maggie at She Let Me Eat Cake. It’s going to be a good one, I know it; Easter’s in the air and brunch is the perfect meal for having the best of both worlds (pancakes for lunch…SWEET!). You need to check out her round up.

Vegan Coconut Cupcakes (adapted from The Flying Apron Bakery Book), makes 33 cupcakes

4 cups brown rice flour (I only had white rice flour on hand)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/3 cups canola oil (seems like alot but the cupcakes are generously sized)
3 cups water
1 tsp apple cider
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups palm sugar, (comes in a block; grate roughly and melt in a saucepan, measure)
1 cup agave syrup
3 cups shredded, toasted coconut

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 33 muffin holes (if you don’t have that many, I suggest halving the recipe or putting the batter in the fridge while the rest bake).

2) In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt and baking soda together.

3) In another large bowl, whisk the syrup, palm sugar, water, vanilla extract and oil together. Add in the flour mix in 3 turns, whisking well after each addition. Add in the toasted coconut, mix well and divide evenly into the muffin holes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes and remove from tin to cool completely.

To Finish:

Grate another 100g of palm sugar and melt with 2 tbsp of water. Use that as a glaze to allow mounds of shredded, toasted coconut to stick.Add a drizzle of dark chocolate for a cupcake akin to a bounty chocolate bar. :)

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Filed under Books, Breakfast, Cupcakes, Fruit