Tag 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

{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

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

Swirly Cake

5 things I’d like to do in 2011

1) I’ve decided that I want to visit Auckland. It started with a travel story I was working on for work and now I’m totally psyching myself to go.

2) Learn to take better photos for the blog

3) See Rachel Allen when she comes to Singapore for the World Gourmet Summit!!!

4) Finally stop cutting my hair when I have every intention of growing it out

5) Get the milia under my eyes lasered off

That is all folks. I know it’s a little late in the year to be listings the things I’d like done in 2011 but better late than never. I would also like to say that it is an awesome thing my little sister is coming home soon for Easter break. I see truckloads of laughter and food involved. Also, have I mentioned that I feel utterly glad to have amazing people surrounding me; especially those who indulge me when I feel the need to have dessert for lunch and cereal for dinner. It doesn’t get any better than that.

I think we should have a party. I feel like wearing a dress and sharing cake. And maybe you’d like to come join me? We’ll have a great time, being mad, wearing hats and picking at swirly cake.Actually, the taste of this cake reminds me so much of being a kid that I might want to show up in my pigtails instead. The crumb of the cake is slightly dense and is best consumed on the day of baking. But if you, like me, can’t stomach a whole cake in a mere 8 hours, try reheating it gently in the microwave to moisten it right up.

Swirly Cake (adapted from All-occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake from The Cake Bible)

6 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups GF flour blend
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
12 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp chocolate chips, melted

1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 9-inch round baking tin with parchment paper.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together.

3) In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.

4) Add the butter to the flour and beat with a paddle attachment on low until it resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly add in the egg yolk mixture and beat on medium until fully incorporated. Add in the milk and beat to combine.

5) Remove half of the batter and mix with the melted chocolate until smooth. Alternate pouring the yellow batter and chocolate batter into the baking tin. Use a toothpick or knife to create swirly patterns. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean (I didn’t really check the timing of mine).

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Filed under Breakfast, Cakes, Chocolate, Inspired, Recipes

Half Naked Granola

I am in full on crushing mode. He’s a chef, he’s really, really fine, he’s a do-gooder, isn’t afraid to fight for his cause. Oh and have I mentioned that smile? Bradley Cooper.

Yes, Bradley Cooper. As the hot chef behind No Reservations (the comedy series) and the mega yum Face in The A Team.

YUP. This is what crushes are made of.

Speaking of The A Team, I’ve never seen the original series. But a friend tells me that it’s probably slightly dreadful to watch in this day and age. That’s ok- I’ll watch the version with Bradley Cooper in it.

And let me tell you, crushing makes you hungry. So image how famished I was when I spent the whole of last night’s movie just swooning. I figured Saturday was the perfect excuse to spend forever making breakfast and spend another 20 minutes eating it while still crushing.

Ok- you get it.

Since I can’t have half-clad Bradley Cooper serving me breakfast, I’ll just have half-naked granola. Half-naked only because it isn’t drenched in honey or oil. It’s a healthy lot until I decided to add white chocolate.


Half Naked Granola

4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup peanuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
6 tbsp aple juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup white couverture chocolate buttons

1) Preheat oven to 160 degreesC, fan forced. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

2) Mix all the ingredients except chocolate in a big bowl until well moistened.

3) Spread granola evenly onto the baking paper.

4) Bake for 40-45 minutes, turning often (about 8 minutes). Be careful of the edges, they are likely to darken faster.

5) Let the granola cool for 10 minutes before adding the white chocolate. Allow it to melt slightly and gently toss to distribute. You want the clumps so don’t do it too evenly. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container. I’m keeping mine in the fridge so the chocolate hardens back up.

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Filed under Breakfast, Chocolate, Recipes

A Fluffy Apple

I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms. It’s pretty obvious. I wore leggings to work today despite 33 degreeC weather. Clearly I’m still getting used to being back in Singapore.

You see, Melbourne was cold. Chilly, wet, frosty type of cold. And the only thing I wanted to do was to pull on my fleece-lined leggings and bury my face in chicken stew and hot chocolate. Now, isn’t that what winter is all about?

And in case you were wondering…it was great being close to the boy again. Everything is fun in Melbourne, but it’s even better when he’s around. Well, unless of course I’m in the mood for hardcore shopping, then I’d definitely pick my sisters over him.

I managed to pick up a bag of crystallised ginger from the supermarket so I was itching to bake with them with I got home. I was slightly short on baking supplies and really, after an 8 hour flight, I didn’t feel up to a thousand steps of baking. Here’s a super super easy muffin recipe. Feel free to add other lovelies like chopped pears, raisins, a pinch of cinnamon or some dark chocolate chunks.


Apple and Ginger Muffin by Sweets by Vicky
1 large/ 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
3/4 cup caster sugar*
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups GF flour blend
1/4 cup almond meal
5 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup milk + 1 tbsp
2 eggs
50g crystallised ginger, diced really finely
1/4 cup white chocolate chunks

1) Preheat oven to 180 degreesC. Line 12 muffin holes with liners.

2) In a large bowl, blend the flour, almond meal, baking powder and caster sugar together.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla until frothy.

4) Mix it into the flour mixture in 2 additions. When almost completely combined, add in the apples and ginger. Mix until just blended.

5) Divide evenly into muffin holes and top with chocolate chunks. The muffins will be big, fluffy and tall.

6) Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cakes, Chocolate, Fruit, Inspired, Recipes