Okra with miso glaze

I bought some lovely fresh Okra and I pondered how I should prepare it. Yesterday I’ve decided to try Okra with miso glaze and it turned out delicious. My husband loved it too. Next time I’m making a bigger portion and when I say next time I mean today, if I find fresh okra in my local shop.

It takes only 15 minutes to have the dish ready, so it’s perfect for dinner, if you are in a hurry. Also, if you are wondering, I did eat it with the chopsticks, as I try to eat as often as I can with them, to learn how to use them properly.

Okra with miso glaze

– 125g okra
– 2 spoons of sesame oil
– 1/2 tsp miso paste
– 1 tsp soy sauce
– lime powder

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Nutty caramel cake

I wondered how I should name the cake, flavours or decorations. I decided on Nutty caramel cake because Sheep Cake doesn’t sound as good. I will talk a bit more about the decorations at the end of the post.

 Nutty caramel cake

The cake has two fillings, one with cream and a creme patisserie with nutty flavour, peanut brittle and demerara sugar. The classic sponge is flavoured with buttery caramel and it also has peanut brittle.

 Nutty caramel cake

Ingredients for the sponge (8 slices):
– 225g white plain flour
– 150g oil
– 150g sugar
– 4 medium eggs
– 2 tsp of baking powder
– 1 tsp vanilla paste
– hazelnut flavouring
– 75g peanut brittle, grounded

Preheat the oven at 180C or 160C fan.

Using a stand mixer, mix the flour, the oil, the eggs, the baking powder, vanilla paste, hazelnut flavouring and the sugar. Mix it for a couple of minutes at slow speed, then increase the speed and mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the peanut brittle and mix for less than 1 minute, just so the brittle is incorporated in the mixture. Scoop the cake batter into the baking trays and bake until it springs back if touched, for around 40 minutes. When the sponge is baked, take it out of the oven. Leave it to cool for a couple of minutes in the tray, remove from tray and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
When the sponge is cold, cut it in 3 layers.

Ingredients for creme patisserie layer:
– 100g demerara sugar
– 50g plain flour
– 3 egg yolks
– 500ml milk
– buttery caramel flavouring
– 25g peanut brittle, grounded

Put the milk into a saucepan on the hub and bring to boil. In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the sifted flour.

When the milk is boiling, pour it over the egg mixture and mix it for 1 minute until the heat from the milk is transferred to the cream. Pour everything back into the pan and bring to hob on medium heat. Stir continuously for 3-4 minutes. Make sure the cream does not catch the bottom of the pan. When the mixture has thicken it’s ready, but keep in mind that once it’s cool it will thicken more.
Pour the cream into a cold container and cover with cling film, making sure that the film is in direct contact with the cream’s surface. This step is important to prevent the formation of a crust on its surface.

Ingredients for whipped cream layer:
– 300ml whipping cream
– 75g icing sugar

Just mix the whipping cream with the icing sugar with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until it’s firm.

To make the cake, put the first layer and spread generously creme patisserie on top. Place the second layer on top and pipe the whipped cream. Place the last tear, cover the top with nutty cream and pipe whipped cream on the sides. Sprinkle peanut brittle if you fancy. The cake is now ready to be decorated with cute sheep.

 Nutty caramel cake

I made these sheep with my husband and we had so much fun. We followed a video I found on youtube and it’s very easy. It does need a lot of fondant, a bit of time and lots of utensils too. We’ve enjoyed it a lot, so it was worth the effort. The video, this one, was made for polymer clay, that is a little different. To make the fleece I used a nozzle for pipping cream, as the method she used wasn’t suitable for fondant. I’m thinking of making a post on how to make sheep from fondant, but that means I will have to make them again as I didn’t take any pictures when I made these.
The fondant character can be used for a long time, as they naturally air-dry. I washed the sheep after we cut the cake and I can use them at least a couple of times. So, this Easter, we’ll have them on the table, as decor or maybe on another cake.

 Nutty caramel cake

Simnel cake

I have to say that this cake was made last year, for Easter. As I thought it would be strange to share a recipe of Simnel cake after Easter, I kept it for today.

Simnel cake is a fruit cake with a layer of marzipan in the middle. The tradition of the Simnel cake is a very long one, starting from medieval times, approximately 13th century. Conventionally eleven marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, the story is that the balls represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas or twelve marzipan balls might be used to represent Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas. This way of decorating started in Victorian times.


Ingredients for a small cake, 8 servings:
– 175g soft butter (very soft)
– 175g muscovado sugar
– 85g white self-raising flour
– 90g wholemeal self-raising flour
– 3 eggs
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 50g ground almonds
– 3 spoons of milk
– 300g mix of dried fruits (I used sultanas, pineapple and apricots)
– 2-3 spoons of apricot jam to glaze the cake
– 450g golden marzipan

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Vegan peanut butter risotto

I made vegan risotto with coconut milk many times, but this it the first time I made vegan peanut butter risotto. Surely it will not be the last. I wanted to try something different and I thought of peanut butter. It was delicious, this is will be my new go-to recipe for a while. I also had firm tofu that I fried and I used two types of rice, one for risotto and Basmati. The Basmati rice should be cooked separately, so if you don’t want the hassle, use only rice for risotto. I used crunchy peanut butter and I think that it’s the better choice for this recipe as it adds an extra texture.
My husband loved the risotto and he wasn’t sure when I told him the ingredients. I was delighted to hear his praise. All the recipes I’m sharing after this will be Easter-themed, as Easter will be here in less than 2 weeks, that’s so exciting.

Vegan peanut butter risotto

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 100g white rice for risotto
– 40g Basmati rice
– 450 ml vegetable stock
– 4 tsp – 6 tsp soy sauce
– 40g peanut butter
– 200g firm tofu
– 2 spoons of oil
– garlic powder

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Mango yoghurt

Last evening I wanted a dessert that was easy to make, fast, with what I had available and with not a lot of calories. I made Mango yoghurt and I loved it so much I’ve decided to share the recipe on the blog.
I made the dessert with canned mango pulp, it’s like a mango puree, but a bit runny. I also had grounded peanut brittle for a cake. It’s smooth and sweet and the brittle adds the extra texture that makes the dessert really good. With the swirls on top it looks more like a restaurant dessert than something that can be done it a few minutes with only 4 ingredients. If you don’t have peanut brittle, you can change it with grounded peanuts, grated chocolate or a crushed biscuit. I used low fat yoghurt, but I will try it with Skyr too, as I imagine it will be just as delicious.
The yoghurt can be made in advance, but sprinkle the brittle on top only before serving.

Mango yoghurt

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 400g low-fat yoghurt
– 4 spoons of golden syrup
– 6 spoons and 2 tsp of mango pulp
– 4 tsp of grounded peanut brittle

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Ricotta and tomatoes pasta

I made this type of pasta with soft cheese many times. When my husband asked how do I think they would turn out with ricotta, I just had to try. They are delicious and I will make them again and this is why I’m sharing the recipe.
As I didn’t have any fresh mushrooms, I’ve used frozen ones, still as good. I usually use plum tomatoes in my recipes and this is what I used for this one.

Ricotta and tomatoes pasta recipe

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 160g dried wholewheat pasta
– 250g ricotta
– 250g frozen mushrooms
– 2 spoons of oil
– 1 can of plum tomatoes
– salt
– pepper
– 2 tsp dried basil
– 1 tsp dried parsley

Boil the pasta according to the instruction on the packaging. Rinse it with cold water as soon as it’s boiled, so it will not get overdone.
While the pasta is boiling, make the sauce by heating the oil in a big saucepan. Toss in the mushrooms and stir. Leave them on the hob and stir from time to time. Meanwhile, using a fork prick the plum tomatoes from the can. You can use chopped tomatoes, but I find that plum tomatoes are better quality than ready chopped ones.
Add the tomatoes over the mushrooms, the spices and herbs and stir. Leave on the hob for 5 minutes or so. Take off the heat. When the pasta is ready, add it to the tomato sauce along with the ricotta. Stir so all the ingredients are incorporated.
Now the pasta is ready to be served.

Ricotta and tomatoes pasta recipe

As you can see, it’s very easy to make and it has the creaminess of the cheese, two veggies and lots of fibers from the pasta. I use Organic wholewheat pasta as I really like the taste, I found one that it’s great value for money and it has around 7g of fibers per servings (28% of the recommended daily intake).

3 Spring Smoothies

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my smoothie recipes. I drink a smoothie almost every day, but I rarely take pictures of them. Although I do share them on Instagram, I usually post more about dishes and less about drinks. I thought about flavours and I made these 3 Spring Smoothies, fresh and delicious.

3 Spring Smoothie recipe

I thought about smoothie recipes and I came up with these three: Matcha & Apple; Carrot & Orange and Spinach & Banana. All the smoothies have bananas, as we like them a lot. I think almost all of our smoothies have a banana in them. Because it would have been too much to make 6 smoothies for the two of us, I made one of each and we shared. The ingredients for each smoothie are twice than what I’ve used.

Surprisingly, both my husband and I liked the carrot one, even though we don’t like carrots on their own. This means I will add carrots in our smoothies at least once a week. Because I used a lot of frozen carrots, banana and natural juice, it counts as 3 portions of fruit/veggies towards your 5-a-day. I would say that is impressive, in only a big glass of smoothie.
The Matcha and apple smoothie looks a bit strange, the lovely colour of the matcha became more like a military colour, most likely because it has banana in it. It was fab, I will add matcha more often to my smoothies. The Spinach and banana smoothie is the only one with milk in it, the other two are vegan. Of course it can be made vegan by changing the milk with water (it will also have less calories, if that is a concern) or with a vegan milk.

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