Coconut and lemon drizzle cake

I had another recipe prepared for today, thinking that I baked Victoria sponge for GBBO. After I saw the show I realized the challenge wasn’t any British cake, but a drizzle cake. My husband said I have to bake again and I had to agree. I have no idea why there weren’t more details about the challenges on the website, but now as the show started, I will know what it follow. Next week is Biscuit, not my favourite, but that is the point, trying things I wouldn’t necessarily bake by myself. Because I wanted to be careful with our calories intake, I made only 2 servings. If you fancy more, double the ingredients (or multiply by 4 :D, that will work too).

Coconut and lemon drizzle cake

Ingredients for 2 servings/4 mini-cakes:
– 50g soft butter
– 50g self-raising white flour
– 60g sugar
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 10g desiccated coconut
– 1 egg
– a few drops of coconut flavouring (optional)
– 2-3 spoons of icing sugar
– 1 lemon

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Classic Victoria sponge

The Great British Bake Off starts today. As last year, I’m going to bake at least one of the challenges each week. The show starts with Cake Week and the three challenges are: British classic cake as a signature, the technical challenge is a fatless sponge and chocolate work. There aren’t more details about the showstopper, but we’ll see them tonight.

Last series ended with a classic British cake and I’ve made a carrot cake, it wasn’t the best looking carrot cake, but it tasted delicious. This time I made a Classic Victoria Sponge as it can’t get more classic than that. I loved the cake, it’s delicious.

01 Classic Victoria sponge

I also made a little mistake, that was annoying. Instead of baking the sponge in two baking trays, I’ve baked them in a big one. As the recipe stated the temperature and baking time for one, I had to “wing-it”. The cake has risen, but I took it off the oven a minute or two faster than I should have and the middle sink a little. Next time I’m baking in two trays or I would leave it a little bit longer in the oven.

Ingredients for a cake with 8 servings:
– 225g soften butter
– 225g self-raising white flour
– 275g sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 300ml whipping cream
– 20g icing sugar + 1 spoon of icing sugar to decorate
– 400g fresh strawberries

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Plantain oven baked chips

I bought a couple of plantains when I went to a local oriental shop. I’ve wanted to try plantain for a while, so I took advantage when I saw them now. After searching online, I’ve decided to prepare them as chips, they can also be used in curries, grilled or mashed.
As I try to cook as healthy as possible, I’ve baked them in the oven instead of deep frying. The plantain chips are a side dish, of course, so I paired them with grilled Oyster mushrooms. This dish is part of my Taste the World challenge.

The dish is easy to make. It tastes different than potatoes, the plantain has a slightly floury texture. It was a bit strange to see something to similar to bananas as a savoury side dish. I liked the taste, is mild, and I will use it again in other recipes.

01 Plantain oven baked chips recipe

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 2 plantains
– oil
– salt, pepper
– 4 big Oyster mushrooms

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Gözleme

Gözleme is a Turkish comfort food and it’s a flatbread filled with different types of veggies and cheese. I saw this recipe at a TV show 6 years ago and I loved it, I’ve made it again and again. I use what I have at home, as it’s such a versatile recipe. This time I’ve used Kaskaval, it’s a type of cheese that can be easily found in oriental or Polish shops. It’s a cheese made with rennet, if you are vegetarian make sure it has the logo or at least that it mentions “microbial rennet”. Kaskaval has a different texture to cheedar, is closer to a hard mozzarella and it’s less salty. The cheese can be swapped with hard mozzarella or if you use a salty cheese like cheddar or feta, don’t add extra salt in the spinach.
I brushed the gozleme with cold pressed rapeseed oil that has a bright colour as I wanted it to have extra shine.

Gozleme

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 250g wholemeal plain flour
– 150ml water
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
– salt
– 200g fresh spinach
– 100g kaskaval
– dried parsley
– dried dill
– pepper
– salt
– oil
– tomatoes for a salad

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Bok Choi with tofu

My newest recipe is Bok Choi with tofu. I loved it, the tofu is smooth inside and crunchy outside and the bok choi are full of flavour. I passed by a local Chinese supermarket many times, but only recently I went in to see what they have on offer. I was surprised by the amount of produce they stock. The shelves were fully packed with interesting ingredients and almost all of them had been translated in English. It’s nice to be able to understand what I want to buy, as some of these speciality shops don’t bother translating the labels in English. I was so delighted with them that I bought more than I’ve intended. I found beautiful looking Bok Choi and I decided to pair it up with tofu.

01 Bok Choi with tofu

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 200g firm tofu
– 2 big bok choi or 3 smaller ones
– sesame seeds
– 1 spoon of sesame oil
– 1-2 spoons of rapeseed oil (or sunflower oil)
– light soy sauce (or any kind you like)
– 1 spoon of golden syrup
– 2-3 spoons of corn meal
– cumin
– garlic powder
– paprika or chilli
– white pepper

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Halloumi, rice and green beans

I wanted to use things I had laying around in the fridge, so I’ve made this dish: fried halloumi, rice, green beans and yogurt sauce. It’s easy to make, but the green beans can take a long time to boil, so do allow plenty of time for them.
The yogurt sauce is made with garlic and parsley. I used lots and lots of condiments to flavour the rice and it turned out lovely.

01 Halloumi, rice and green beans

Ingredients for 4 servings:
– 250g halloumi
– 150g rice
– 6 spoons of yogurt
– 400g green beans
– 2 spoons of tahini
– 4 spoons of oil
– 1 spoon of chilli oil
– garlic powder
– dried parsley
– paprika

02 Halloumi, rice and green beans

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Chocolate and strawberries cupcakes

This is the last recipe from the afternoon tea I’ve prepared. I used to bake cupcakes a few times a week, but now it seemed I don’t think of them. When I was making the menu, the cupcakes were of course high on the list. After pondering, I’ve decided to make Chocolate and strawberries cupcakes. They are easy to make and delicious. This recipe is for 12 mini-cupcakes or 6 regular-size ones.

Chocolate and strawberries cupcakes recipe

Ingredients for 12 mini-cupcakes:
– 115g wholemeal flour
– 60g unrefined sugar
– 1 spoon of cocoa powder
– 120 ml milk
– 1 egg
– 4 spoons of oil
– 1/2 tsp of baking powder
For the icing:
– 100g soft cheese
– 35-40g icing sugar
– a few drops of strawberry flavouring
– beetroot powder (or red food colouring)
For decor:
– 12 small strawberries

Pre-heat the oven at 200C or 180C fan.

First of all, in a medium size bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Second, in another bowl beat the egg, add the milk and the oil and incorporate it. Tip the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix by hand or with a mixer until the batter is smooth.

Spoon in the batter into the oiled baking tray. Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes. When they are baked, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for a couple of minutes. Remove them from the baking tray and let them to cool on a wire rack.

Make the icing by mixing the soft cheese with the sugar and the beetroot powder. Add the strawberry flavouring and incorporate it. Spread the icing on the cold cupcakes and decorate with a strawberry.

The cupcakes are ready to be served.

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Matcha pie

I mentioned in my lime pie recipe that I had for an afternoon tea at home. As for the lime pie, I made the matcha pie with a baked pie dough as I’m not too keen on the biscuits&butter base. You can make them with the base you like best.

Matcha pie

For 2 small pies:
– 80g white plain flour
– 40g butter at room temperature
– 200ml light condensed milk
– 2 free range egg yolks
– 1 tsp of matcha powder
– 50 ml milk

Make the dough by mixing the flour with the soften butter. Try not to handle the dough a lot as it gets harder to work with. Knead the dough very quickly on the worktop. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes if it’s too soft.

Preheat the oven to 150C or 130C fan.

Roll the dough and put it in the baking trays. Make the filling by mixing the condensed milk along with the egg yolks. After the yolks are incorporated, add the matcha powder dissolved in the milk and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture and bake it for 25 minutes. Set the oven at 200C or 180C fan and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Check if the filling is set and take it out of the oven. Leave it to cool for a few minutes, then take it out of the baking tray.

Do you like making desserts with matcha?

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Lime pie

A few days ago I’ve made Afternoon tea at home, you can read more about it on my lifestyle blog. I made 3 sandwiches. For dessert I’ve obviously made scones, ones with raisins and others with chocolate chips. For patisserie I made chestnut mousse, but without the apple, chocolate cupcakes with strawberries, lime pie and matcha pie.

I made the pies with a baked pie dough as I’m not too keen on the biscuits&butter base. You can make them with the base you like best.

Lime pie

For 2 small pies:
– 80g white plain flour
– 40g butter at room temperature
– 200ml light condensed milk
– 2 free range egg yolks
– lime from 2 medium limes

Make the dough by mixing the flour with the soften butter. Try not to handle the dough a lot as it gets harder to work with. Knead the dough very quickly on the worktop. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes if it’s too soft.

Preheat the oven to 150C or 130C fan.

Roll the dough and put it in the baking trays. Make the filling by mixing the condensed milk with the egg yolks. After the yolks are incorporated, add the lime juice and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes. Check if the filling is set and take it out of the oven. Leave it to cool for a few minutes, then take it out of the baking tray.

Do you like lime pie?

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Naan pizza

My husband loves pizza, so we have it regularly. I usually make the dough, but this time we wanted something different and much faster. It was the first time I’ve made Naan pizza. There are a lot of options for toppings to choose from and this time I’ve made it with veggie salami, cheese and mushrooms.

01 Naan pizza

Ingredients for 2 pizza:
– 2 Naan breads
– 1 can of plum tomatoes
– 1 small can of tomato paste
– salt, pepper, basil, oregano
– 3 garlic cloves
– cheddar cheese
– mushrooms
– vegetarian salami

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