Toddler Eats : Sugarless Carrot Banana Mini Loaves

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I’ve always wanted to bake something that Lochlan can enjoy for morning tea and I came across this recipe that was perfect. No sugar, and just the natural sweetness from the wholesome ingredients of the loaves!

Enjoying the loaf

I have to admit, I was a little nervous before giving the loaf to the little munchkin, cause I wasn’t sure if he would like it. But thankfully he quite enjoyed it and ate half go the loaf! (:

Cross section

I was really happy with the texture of the loaves too! It was fluffy and light but still moist! Just the way a good loaf should be. Perfect with a cup of hot tea, or a cup of warm milk (for the bub!) Of course if you had extra time and some cream cheese sitting in your fridge, you could always whip some cream cheese frosting for yourself and indulge! hehe

So here’s the recipe for these deliciousness! Hope you and your kiddos would enjoy it as much as we did!

Sugarless Carrot Banana Mini Loaves (Closely adapted to Easy Toddler Meals)

Ingredients :

1 large carrot, finely grated

2 large bananas (or 3 medium bananas), mashed

1 egg

3 tbs coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/4 cup greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Steps :

1) Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Spray some coconut oil/ olive oil into the mini loaf tin, to make sure it’s well coated. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, mix the grated carrot, mashed banana, greek yogurt, coconut oil, egg and vanilla bean paste till well combined.

3) In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

4) Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir till well combined. Scoop the mixture into the prepared mini loaf tin and bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.

Loaves all baked and ready!

5) Allow it to cool for 10 mins in the tin, then remove.

Lochlan analysing the loaf

Enjoy it with your kiddos!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

Brunch Treat : Three Bags Full

Three Bags Full

Good evening dear readers! I hope you had a good weekend! I sure did and I always wish it would last longer! Weekends are always really precious to me, especially when there are special events to attend. A couple of weeks back, I was lucky enough to win an instagram (follow me on @lianneelow) competition by Three Bags Full (@threebagsfullmelb) and won a free brunch for me and 3 friends! WHOOPEEDOO! I couldn’t quite believe it, in fact I didn’t know it until Ling P (@sixinchheel) texted me and told me I was one of the lucky winners!

Winning brunch at Three Bags FullI called up and booked a table for the approaching weekend and I knew who I would ask along. The Mr, without saying, and the Hum family! (: I had to see my munchkin at least once a week. haha I am obviously obsessed with that girl!

Paige and I

When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by all the staff and Sam, the manager, told us to go crazy! haha The interior was really warm and welcoming and I absolutely loved the decor.

where the coffee / drinks magic happens

We couldn’t stop smiling and just wanted to have everything on the menu, cause everything looked and sounded delicious! While deciding, we ordered our drinks!

chai soy latte

I couldn’t go pass having my chai soy latte, as I was really craving for some warmth and comfort.

The boys, who loves their coffee, were recommended to have the hot aeropress coffee (kenya blend) and while waiting for it to be ready, they made some cold drip coffee (same kenya blend) for us to try!

cold drip coffee

How pretty is the bottle that the cold drip was served in?? I wanted to steal it home! Don’t worry, I was good and I didn’t, my left hand smacked my right. haha

Cold drip

Served on a cube of ice, we could taste notes of rhubarb and blackcurrant. I actually really liked it! I was a little hesitant at first cause I didn’t know if it would be too sharp, tart or bitter for me. But it was actually really fruity on the palette. I wanted more! hehe

aeropress & cold drip coffee

The aeropress was a little more acidic cause it was hot and the fruity notes weren’t as prominent! But it was still good and a great recommendation!

The specials board

The Mr and I decided to order the specials of the day as they sounded absolutely mouth-watering! Plus I also had a sneak peek of how they looked that morning on instagram! haha So my mind was set even before I arrived!

braised white beans with porcini mushrooms

I was sold on the braised white beans with porcini mushrooms, grilled chorizo and poached eggs! Ever since I had braised white beans in Barcelona, I can’t get enough of them! These were mashed with porcini mushrooms and the flavours were just amazing! Everything went so well together, I just couldn’t stop eating and cleaned up the whole plate!

close up shot

The mr chose the other breakfast special : grilled barramundi with quinoa salad, sauce soubise, spinach puree and pickled chilli salsa! The salad was so refreshing and had so much bite to it! I was so inspired by the dish I actually went home to make my own version of it! The barramundi was grilled to golden brown, so fresh!

grilled barramundi and quinoa salad

The mr couldn’t help but order a side of istra bacon. The boy definitely needs his protein! hehe

Big breakfast

Paul & Peggy both ordered the big breakie that was like a breakfast platter of everything delicious! They love their hollandaise sauce so they decided to order a side of it. It was thick and luscious and one of the best hollandaise they’ve tasted! Ooh -la-la!

sweets corner

After the savouries, Sam was so generous to allow us to order some sweets as well! There were so many to choose from, but our eyes were set on the cupcakes : carrot cake and chocolate & salted caramel! How can it go wrong?

Carrot cake

Paul and Peggy are huge fans of carrot cake. This one was to-die-for! The cake was so moist and had just the right amount of spices, and the cream cheese frosting was rich and delish! After every fork-ful, Peggy and I just looked at each other and kept saying “Wow! So good!” haha

Chocolate & salted caramel

This, however, was AMAZEBALLS! Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! And there was a surprise in the middle. Could you guess what?

liquid salted caramel middle

A liquidy salted caramel middle!! The moment you slide your fork through, you have liquid gold flowing out! So rich, so darn good! Definitely made me think of Miss D! The desserts were so good that we both bought each cupcake home to have again for dinner that night!

Thank you Three Bags Full!

Thank you Three Bags Full for the generous prize and the awesome hospitality! The food was delicious and we will definitely be back again for more!

Paige enjoying the food

Even little Paige enjoyed the food and had a great time! (:

Have a good rest of the week everyone! Can’t quite believe it’s September already, but so glad it’s Spring! Till the next post, remember to always bake and cook with love! xx

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Purple Carrot Cake & Sweet High Tea

Purple carrot cake

Good Sunday afternoon dear readers! I hope you’ve had a great weekend so far! (: I’m about to head to the airport to embark on my adventure to Europe! But before I do, I wanted to share a Sweet High Tea organised by Miss D, at her place, a few weeks ago! We each had to bring a thing or two to share. Oh boy were there heaps of delicious yummies, bother sweet and savoury!

Here’s a quick glimpse of the spread we had!

Freshly baked scones and Momofuku's Bagel Bomb

First up : Daisy’s Country Women’s scones and Julie’s Momofuku Milk Bar bagel bombs! Before I go into details, how cute is the bag? It keeps the yummies warm too! So need to get one. hehe Anyway, back to the food! The scones were freshly baked and so so good with cream and homemade strawberry and fig jam! hehe Julie’s bagel bombs were TO DIE FOR. Omgness. Biting into the bagel bomb was just heavenly. It’s filled with cream cheese, bacon (YES BACON) and spring onion.

The inside of the bagel bomb

How good does that look? I wanted more! hehe

Smoked salmon sandwiches

Next up : Smoked salmon sandwiches with cream cheese and capers. These were made by Ling and the smoked salmon were so so good and fresh! She also made some caramel slice! A good match of savoury and sweet! hehe

caramel slice

Broccoli and cheese muffins

Last of the savoury : My broccoli and cheese muffins! I haven’t made this for ages and I’m so glad there was an occasion to make them! Mums who want their children to have veggies should make these! Cheesy goodness and you can barely taste the broccoli! hehe So glad the girls liked them too! hehe

Kuehs by Cltyw

Then came the sweets! hehe My eyes were fixated on these the moment it came through the door! Liz made my two favourite kuehs : kueh dadar and kueh sarlat! Kueh dadar is a thin pandan crepe that is filled with a mixture of gula meleka and coconut! If I haven’t already said this, I am OBSESSED with gula melaka! haha Love it more than normal sugar. hehe If I could flavour everything with it, I would! Kueh sarlat consists of two layers : the bottom is glutinous rice, and the top is a thick pandan custard! It was perfect! I wanted to steal the whole plate back! hehe

Peanut butter cupcakes

In true Sweet Queen fashion, Daisy made something sweet of course! hehe Peanut butter cupcakes with a surprise mini Reese’s peanut butter cup at the bottom! hehe Nothing could be better than the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. It was delish! hehe

Guinness ginger bread

Michele came with two beautiful sweets : a guinness ginger bread that’s so so moist and soft! hehe The ginger taste was subtle and just went perfectly with a cuppa tea! hehe

Eton Mess Cake

She also made a pretty eton mess cake! hehe It’s topped with strawberries and merigue nests and of course, we had it with a dollop (or two) of double cream. Mmmmmm (: That’s the sound we were all making when we had it. haha

Purple carrot cake

Last but not least, it’s my humble purple carrot cake! hehe I love love love carrot cake but I probably haven’t made one in almost close to 5 years now. haha I have to say I’m really brave by baking cakes that I’ve not done in a while. I was soooo relieved when it was moist and crumbly. Instead of the usual orange carrots, I decided to give it a small twist by using purple carrots! hehe The colour turned out purplish blue! To top it, I decided to use the Hummingbird Bakery’s cream cheese icing. It’s one of the best ones I’ve had! Creamy and not too heavy. hehe I have to say I was really happy with it! 🙂

So I just want to share the recipe with you! Do give it a try if you love carrot cake like I do! (I know it seems I love everything, but I really do. haha)

Purple carrot cake

Purple Carrot Cake (adapted from The Cake Mistress)

2-3 large purple carrots, finely grated

I cup packed brown sugar

1 cup olive oil

3 large eggs

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, extra to garnish

1/2 cup raisins

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting (From the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

300g icing sugar

125g cream cheese

50g unsalted butter, soften

finely grated purple carrot

Steps : 

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

2) Beat brown sugar and olive oil until it gets to a thicker consistency. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined.

3) Add salt, bicarb soda, carrots, flour, walnuts, raisins and spices. Mix it on slow speed until everything is well combined.

all scooped and ready to go into the oven

4) Put batter into a well greased baking tray (I used a 12-square loaf tin) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until its lightly golden and the toothpick comes out clean after inserting it into the middle.

All baked

5) For the frosting : Beat the icing sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until well combined. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium high, and beat until it’s light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Do not over beat as it will turn runny. Pipe onto the cakes (when they are cooled) and top with a small piece of walnut.

ENJOY! (:

Purple Carrot Cake

Hope you’ll give this a try and do let me know what you think when you do! hehe Have a good week ahead everyone! Just letting you know I will be away for the next 3 weeks as I will be in the UK! But I will come back with lots of good food and pictures to share, I promise! So till then, remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

XO Fried Carrot Cake

I have to admit, when I’m in Singapore, I never really ordered the white version of the fried carrot cake. The black version was always my favourite and is still is! Just something about the sweetness of the dish that draws me in and I am totally addicted to it! But since my last post I did on the chai tow kway, I had half of the steamed carrot cake left and wanted to try something different! So I spoke to my dearest mum and she suggested frying it with some XO sauce and that thought and idea was in my head ever since. So off to the supermarket I went to get some XO sauce.

   But being me, I couldn’t just use only the sauce that came out of the bottle, I had to amp it up! heh A pity I wasn’t brave enough to make it from scratch. But this was, honestly, really good! And all it needs is the addition of a few things : dried scallop, dried shrimps, shallot oil and garlic !

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VIOLA! Super delicious XO sauce! The best thing is, you can make alot of this and just store it in a airtight container and use it for anything – noodles, fried rice and just about anything! When I used this for the fried carrot cake, it was really good. I actually liked it better than my black one (and that’s a big call for me! haha). The XO sauce definitely added a punch to the kinda ordinary carrot cake, and I could just keep eating it all day! NOMS!

So do give this a try cause I’m very sure you will love it! (:

Amped Up XO Sauce

2 tsp shallot oil

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

25g dried scallop, soaked and drained, reserving water

25g dried shrimp, soaked and drained, reserving water

4 heap tbs of XO sauce, from the bottle

Steps :

1) Finely chop the dried shrimp and set aside. Pour the water that was reserved from soaking both the dried scallops and shrimp in a measuring cup, and top it up to the 1 cup mark.

2) In a small saucepan, heat the shallot oil on medium heat and add the garlic, dried shrimp and scallop and fry till fragrant and the garlic is slightly golden. Add the XO sauce and water and bring it to a boil before turning the heat down to low, and allow the sauce to simmer until it reduces and thickens. This will take about 30-45 minutes. Do not rush this process, in case you burn the bottom. Stir it every now and then.

3) Once it has thickened, put it aside to let it cool down. Store in an airtight container and would be able to keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.

XO Fried Carrot Cake (a foodmadewithlove original, serves 2)

1/2 of the steamed carrot cake (refer to my other post)

3-4 tbs chye poh (preserved turnip)

1 tbs chopped dried shrimp

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp sambal chilli (more if you like it spicy)

2 tbs amped up XO sauce (recipe above)

1 tsp fish sauce

white pepper, to season

3 stalks of spring onion, slice finely for garnish

3 tbs shallot oil

Steps :

1) Cut the steamed carrot cake to small pieces. Again, I do prefer it a little smaller, so that it will crisp up more. In a non-stick pan, add the shallot oil and fry the carrot cake till golden brown and crispy. Have the heat on medium-high.

2) Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, dried shrimp and chye poh and fry till fragrant. Add more oil if needed.

3) Add the fish sauce, XO sauce, pepper and sambal. Fry till the carrot cake is well coated.

4) Pour the beaten eggs onto the carrot cake and allow it to set slightly before flipping over. Using the spatula, cut up the pieces into smaller chunks. Add the spring onion just before serving. Top with more XO sauce if desired!

ENJOY!

Fried Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway)

Fried carrot cake has always been my favourite breakfast back in Singapore since I was little! My parents would come across what they feel is the best one and either bring me there or buy me a packet to try! Because I use to live in the West, my favourite stall is at Bukit Timah Market and now that I live in the North, my favourite is no doubt the stall from Serangoon Gardens Market! (: In fact, I have a plate of fried carrot cake almost every Sunday after church! If you don’t know, fried carrot cake comes in black and white. My favourite is the black one. The blacker the better!

This is the one from Serangoon Gardens Market. It’s really amazing. Every single bite has got a balance of carrot cake, egg, chye poh, and sweet black sauce! Not too dry and just a tad moist the way I really like! And what’s more? It’s cheap! $2.50 and I will be happily stuffed! hehe

So it’s been on my agenda for almost a year to try and make from scratch, but just never got around to doing it. So since it’s the holidays, I decided to get down to getting it done! Truthfully, I was quite nervous, cause making kueh (of any kind) is not really my forte. That’s probably why it took me over a year to pluck up my courage to make it! But I’m so glad I did! This recipe from Bee @ Rasa Malaysia is delicious! The texture of the kueh is not too soft, so it’s really easy to fry without being all clumped up together!

It does take a little bit of time to get it done, and you have to wait overnight for the carrot cake to cool and chill in the fridge so that it’s much easier to handle and simpler to cut it into smaller pieces. So I recommend that you make the carrot cake a day in advance! It was perfect for me, cause I made it on a Saturday and fried it on Sunday so it just felt like being home and having a plate of delicious fried carrot cake at the markets. (:

 So do you have a favourite hawker food like I do?

Fried Carrot Cake (Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

For the Carrot Cake

2 medium radish (about 800g), grated finely

50ml water

200g rice flour

250ml water

1/4 tsp salt

Steps :

1) Over a very low flame, steam the grated radish and 50ml of water for about 30 minutes or until the radish turns translucent. Set aside and allow it to cool.

2) Mix the rice flour, water and salt until well combined, making sure there is no lumps.

3) Add the rice flour solution to the cooled grated radish. Stir and mix it well, then pour into a round metal cake tin. The mixture will look like a watery coleslaw. Steam the mixture for 45 minutes on high heat.

4) Leave the carrot cake to cool (best to leave it overnight in the fridge) so that it would firm up and would not stick to the knife when you’re cutting into it.

Fried (black) Carrot Cake (Serves 2)

Half of the steamed carrot cake

3 tbs shallot oil

3-4 tbs chye poh (preserved turnip)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

 1/2 tsp sambal chilli

2 tsp fish sauce (can add more if needed)

2 tbs thick sweet black sauce

white pepper, to season

2 stalk spring onion, sliced finely

Steps :

1) Cut the steamed carrot cake to small pieces. I do prefer it a little smaller, so that it will crisp up more. In a non-stick pan, add the shallot oil and fry the carrot cake till golden brown and crispy. Have the heat on medium-high.

2) Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and chye poh and fry till fragrant. Add more oil if needed.

3) Add the fish sauce, pepper and sambal. Fry till the carrot cake is well coated.

4) Pour the beaten eggs onto the carrot cake and allow it to set slightly before flipping over. Using the spatula, cut up the pieces and add the thickened sweet black sauce. Fry and mix it well. Add the spring onions and dish up into a bowl.

ENJOY! (:

Mine turned out a little drier than I hope, but was still really delicious! If you love fried carrot cake like I do, do give this a shot! (: If you prefer the white version, just omit the last step! So make the carrot cake today so that you can fry it tmr!