Eggless & Vegan Banana Bread

Eggless and Vegan Banana Bread

Banana cake. Who doesn’t love a thick slice of warm banana goodness?? I could have it for breakfast, tea or dessert! Actually, I could have it at any time of the day. I have done my fair share of baking different kinds of banana bread. Looking back on what I’ve shared, I’ve done a walnut, chocolate and maple banana bread and a sour cream maple banana cake. One that I never thought I would try is a vegan version of banana cake!

Eggless & vegan banana bread

To be honest, I never thought of making a cake without eggs before! But after I saw the post on OvenHaven (super duper talented, check her blog out! hehe) I knew I had to give it a try! What more when it’s actually really healthy? hehe This would be perfect for your kids and children with or without allergies! hehe The cake came out so moist, soft and light! It was just filled with banana with every single bite! Absolutely divine!  Especially when it’s warm! I had mine with some butter and also I had it for dessert with a scoop of my homemade salted caramel ice cream! Yummi-li-cious!!! So give it a try if you’ve never made anything eggless or vegan like me, and be delightfully surprised! hehe

Eggless and vegan Banana Bread (Adapted from Veg Recipes of India)

4 ripe large bananas

1 1/2 cups plain flour

2/3 cups olive oil

1/2 cup fine brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease a bread/loaf tin with some olive oil.

2) Mash the bananas and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, vanilla bean paste and sugar  and blend till well combine.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add it into the mixing bowl, 1/2 cup at a time. Slowly mix them till well combined.

4) Pour the mixture into the prepared bread/loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the middle of the bread comes out clean.

5) Allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the bread/loaf tin before you turn it out onto a cooling rack. Slice and serve warm with butter or a scoop of ice cream. ENJOY! (: Cling wrap the rest of the bread and keep it in a tupperware in the fridge.

eggless and vegan banana bread with salted caramel ice cream

The next time I make these, I’m gonna put some walnuts, sunflower seeds and maybe some chocolate chips! hehe There’s nothing better than the combination of banana and chocolate! Do give this a try! I am very sure you will love it! Have a great and blessed Sunday! (:

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Fig Maple & Thyme Scones

Fig Maple & Thyme Scones

Figs. I just can’t get enough of them. Whether it’s the fresh or dried version, I love them all! I could have them everyday to be honest! Sometimes, I wish they weren’t seasonal. Thankfully, I’ve got two fig trees in my backyard that gives are beautiful juicy figs in Summer! Hooray! But since it’s Autumn now, I have to say, the dried figs are just as satisfying (:

Herb garden bed

I’ve always considered myself blessed. Even more so when I look at our bark yard, in particular our herb garden bed! The Mr has a green thumb! Wheeee! (: Everytime I look at how much it has grown and flourished, I will be filled with joy! hehe Basil, mint, coriander, rosemary and lemon thyme are some of the herbs we’ve grown. And since this recipe calls for some fresh thyme, I just went to the garden bed to pick some! Easy peasy! (:

fig, maple & thyme scones - before baking

Okie, back to the scones! (: My love for scones come from my mum, we would make scones whenever we have time on our hands and have it immediately for tea. Instant gratification! haha One of our favourite places to have scones is at Ms Marples Tea Room up at Mount Dandenong! Although some might say theirs is more like a dense cake, mum must have it every time she comes to Melbourne! hehe I was going through Tastespotting and chanced upon a recipe that instantly caught my attention. I made a variation of the recipe with the things I have in my pantry. These were SO GOOD. They were light and fluffy in the middle and just went so well with butter. I could have it for breakfast, tea and dessert! Definitely something I would make frequently now, plus it didn’t take much time at all!

scones with butter and homemade fig jam

I know there are many different ways to enjoy a scone, but my favourite way is with butter and jam. As I made fig jam a while back (recipe in the next post, so stay tuned cause it’s addictive!), I had my warm scone with some unsalted butter and homemade fig jam! YUMMO! As a dessert, I topped the scones with a quenel of macadamia ice cream and it was delicious too!

Scones- baked

Fig, Maple & Thyme Scones (adapted from Le Pirate Life)

3 cups self-raising flour, sifted

80g unsalted butter, cold & cubed

1 cup of milk (might need a couple of tsp if dough looks too dry)

2 heap tbs of pure maple syrup

250g dried figs, chopped into quarters

A handful of thyme (leaves removed from stalks, a few sprigs for garnishing)

Ingredients for the scones

Ingredients

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius and lined a baking tray with baking paper.

2) In a large bowl, place the self-raising flour and butter. Using your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the milk and maple syrup into the well. Gently mix the dough till it all comes together. Add more milk (a tsp at a time) if the dough feels and looks a bit too dry. The dough should feel soft and a little sticky.

Flour, butter, milk & maple syrup

3) Fold in the figs and thyme leaves into the dough. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and knead it slightly, careful not to overwork the dough. Using a rolling pin (or just your palms), flatten it out till it is about 3 cm thick.

the dough

4) Using a scone cutter, cut out the scones and place them on the baking tray. Garnish the scones with more thyme leaves or sprigs of thyme if you’ve some.

All ready to be baked

5) Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes. You can either leave it to cool and store in a air-tight container, or enjoy it hot with some butter, cream and jam.

Scone with butter and homemade fig jam

ENJOY! (:

So dear readers, what is your favourite way of having your scones? Please share as I would love to hear from you! (: Have a great weekend and remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Weekend Baking : Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Raspberries

chocolate olive oil cake with fresh raspberries

It’s been a while since I’ve baked something and I was really craving for some olive oil cake. Since it’s the weekend, and it’s been pouring, I decided to stay in and bake! (: Which was a perfect idea, if I can’t say so myself. hehe I was searching around for a recipe, and thankfully, Miss D  shared with me Nigella Lawson’s chocolate olive oil cake. The best of my two worlds : olive oil & chocolate. Who wouldn’t like chocolate yes? Plus, it is actually good for you!

chocolate olive oil cake with fresh raspberries

I was a little worried about making it as I haven’t really made any cake with completely no flour. But it came out beautifully and was rich but surprisingly not too dense! It was still crumbly and actually pretty light. Was a hit with the mr from the first bite! (I sounded like I was rhyming there haha) Love the intensely deep colour of the cake in contrast with the white icing sugar. For some reason, icing sugar reminds me of snow. And it’s really magical, it makes every cake prettier! (:

Chocolate olive oil cake sliced and topped with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream

The original recipe of the cake is really quite healthy; no flour, no butter and not quite as much sugar as well. Just olive oil which is good for you and the chocolate component only consist of cocoa powder and water! How good is that? To make it a little healthier, I added fresh raspberries which added a little zing to the cake! And not to mention how pretty it looks with the specks on red when cut! (: Plus it’s gluten free! Wheeee!

chocolate olive oil cake with raspberries

Do note though that if you do put fresh raspberries in, you might have to finish it in a day or two if you leave it out. Probably can only be kept for up to a week in the fridge. But it probably won’t last longer than that anyways! hehe

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Raspberries (adapted from Nigella Lawson)

150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)

50 grams cocoa powder (good quality, sifted)

125 ml boiling water

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

150 grams ground almond

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

170 grams caster sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1 small punnet of fresh raspberries

freshly whipped vanilla bean cream, to garnish (or ice cream)

Steps :

1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Grease your springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment. Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.

2. In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.

3. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream. Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond mixture.

4. Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula,and add the fresh raspberries. Give it a gentle stir until the raspberries are well mixed in. Pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.

5. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some freshly whipped vanilla bean cream or some ice cream.

pacman

Couldn’t help myself but had to take a shot of the cake when it looks like pacman! hehe (: Have a good week ahead everyone!

Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Kale Chips Two Ways

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Sorry for the long pause dearest readers! I’ve been away in Singapore spending time with my family and friends so didn’t really have the time to post the delicious food I’ve been having! But I promise that I will be sharing with you my food adventure in my next few posts! But before I do that, I want to share with you a super snack : kale chips !
Kale is not something I’ve eaten often. But the few moments that I had the chance to have it, I absolutely loved it. I had them as a side to my mains but never had it as a snack before. Some time last year, I’ve seen people making kale chips and I really wanted to make some myself. So when I saw some at Dandenong Markets this morning, I had to get a packet.
Kale
When I got home I couldn’t wait to get started! Just the idea of having a healthier snack option was enough to make my belly happy! hehe Especially since I’m trying to get back into a healthier lifestyle. That’s my goal set for this year (: So if you’re like me, and would like to have an option of a healthy snack. Do give this a go! The hubs and I are totally addicted to it now and it’s barely been 12 hours since I’ve made it!
So be warn, cause these are definitely addictive! hehe
Cayenne & Sesame kale chips
Cayenne & Sesame Kale Chips (A Food Made With Love original recipe)
1/2 a packet of kale
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper  powder
1 1/2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tbs olive oil
Steps : 
1) Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Trim the tough stems from the kale and discard. Cut the larger leaves into smaller pieces (about 2 inches); leave the small pieces whole.
2) Place the leaves in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Give it a good toss. Season with salt, cayenne pepper and toasted sesame seeds. Give it another good toss, to make sure the leaves are well coated.
3) Arrange the kale on the baking sheets in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes before rotating and bake for another 5 minutes until crispy. Remove the trays from the oven and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Single layer kale leaves placed on baking tray ready to be baked!
Chilli & Parmesan Kale Chips (Adapted from Whole Foods Market)
1/2 a packet of kale
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs grated parmesan
Steps :
1) Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Trim the tough stems from the kale and discard. Cut the larger leaves into smaller pieces (about 2 inches); leave the small pieces whole.
2) Place the leaves in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Give it a good toss. Season with garlic salt, chilli powder and the grated parmesan. Give it another good toss, to make sure the leaves are well coated.
3) Arrange the kale on the baking sheets in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes before rotating and bake for another 5 minutes until crispy. Remove the trays from the oven and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Chilli & Parmesan Kale Chips
Super kale indeed! Definitely something everyone would enjoy!
Ps : Remember to always cook and bake with love! (:

A Season of Giving

Sour cream, pear & raspberry cake

Time really flies! It’s December already and this month only means one thing – Christmas is near! Christmas is no doubt my favourite festive season (and Chinese New Year of course) and I’m already counting down to the 25th! As school has ended for me a couple of days back, I decided to make something for some of my colleagues as a thank you + christmas gift. Nothing is more meaningful than a homemade present yes? hehe

As I was searching through what I wanted to make, I thought of making the ricotta pound cake I made a couple of weeks ago, and just add mixed berries into the batter to make it look a bit more festive. But I’ve ben hearing lots about the Bourke Street Bakery sour cream pear cake from the food blogger community who were lucky enough to try some that was made by Mich, The Bakeanista, at the blogger’s picnic recently. Miss D also made it recently and said that I should definitely give it a go cause it was really delicious! With so many raving reviews, I couldn’t not give it a try (: So glad I did though, cause it was so good! Super moist and Mich suggested adding fresh raspberries, which I did, and it made the cake look really pretty! So thank you! (:

Cut rounds out of the cake

And instead of slicing it up into the normal wedge, I decided to use a scone cutter to cut them into rounds instead before placing them into the plastic wrappers. Although I made a mess, it was all worth it, and might I add, fun! haha

Sour cream pound cake in a jar

And what did I do with the left over pieces and crumbs? What I love to do : put them into jars and layer them with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream and added more fresh raspberries! A combination I could easily (and happily) have every night if my waistline permits me to. 😛 Oh well! hehe Thank you again Mich for sharing the recipe! All my colleagues enjoyed the cake very much! YAY!

BSB Sour Cream Pear & Raspberry Cake (Adapted from The Bakeanista)

250g unsalted butter

250g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

4 eggs, room temperature

200g sour cream

300g self-raising flour, sifted

1 3/4 pears (about 400g, tinned), sliced into quarters

18-20 fresh raspberries

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line baking paper at the base of a 28cm baking tin, and spray the sides with olive oil evenly.

2) In a mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix till well combined.

3) Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated before each addition.

4) Alternate the flour and sour cream and mix it on low speed till well combined. Use a spatula to scoop the batter into the tin, and spread it out until the top is smooth. Arrange the pear quarters evenly around the tin, and place the raspberries in the spaces between them.

5) Bake for 40 mins, then cover the baking tin with foil and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

All baked and being cooled on the rack

6) Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in the baking tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. If you intend to cut rounds out of the cake, do make sure the cake is completely cooled before doing so, or it would crumble! Sprinkle icing sugar on top before serving! Enjoy!

All wrapped up!

Remember to always cook and bake with love ! (:

Ricotta Pound Cake

Have you ever craved for something and you just had to get down and messy in the kitchen and make it? This was exactly what happened to me this weekend! I have been craving for some pound cake for the longest time and even though I could easily buy one from Woolies or Coles, there is nothing more satisfying than making something from scratch and indulging after! When I was a kid, mum use to get those Sara Lee pound cakes from the chilled section of the supermarket as a treat for us in the weekend! That was exactly what I was craving for last week.

Traditionally, pound cakes are made with a pound of each ingredient : eggs, flour, butter and sugar. But of late, people adjust according to their preference and come up with some really yummy (and slightly healthier) versions. One recipe which I was drawn to was one that used ricotta in replace of some of the butter content.  Perfect with a dollop of freshly whipped vanilla bean cream, some fresh fruit (mangos are perfect especially cause they are in season) and a hot cuppa for afternoon tea! (: My cravings were satisfied with my first bite! I love love love how the cake looks really dense but is actually not that heavy.

You never really know how the cake has turned out till you cut a slice out and see the inside of it. I was pleasantly surprised with how fine-textured the cake was. The crumbs were really fine and as Ju from Little Teochew calls it – microcrumbs! hehe I remember  reading one of the post from Ju (and she is AMAZING!) on her honey castella cake and was in awe! They look so perfect, fluffy and I just wanted to sink my teeth into them! She generously shared her tips of having microcrumbs in cakes – beating your eggs on low speed for a longer period of time, as compared to high speed. I tried it this time, and it worked! WOOO! (: Couldn’t be happier!

The recipe uses cake flour instead of plain flour and for some reason I couldn’t find cake flour in the local supermarkets. But Joy the Baker has a simple way of making your own cake flour! And trust me, it’s worth the extra steps! I think it makes the cake less dense as well, so do give it a shot if you can’t get any.

Steps to Making Cake Flour (from Joy the Baker, makes 2 1/2 cups)

 1. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of plain flour into a bowl.

2. Scoop out 5 tbs of the plain flour and place it back into the flour container.

3. Add 5 tbs of corn flour to the rest of the plain flour and sift the mixture 3 times.

{ The rule of the thumb is, for every cup of flour, you replace 2 tbs of flour with corn flour. }

Ricotta Pound Cake (adapted from Cakeb00k)

2 1/4 cups of cake flour (recipe above)

1 tbs + 3/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

250g unsalted butter, room temperature

500g ricotta (you could use light ricotta)

1 3/4 cup caster sugar

5 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Icing sugar and lemon zest (to garnish, optional)

Steps :

1) Spray a bundt cake pan with olive oil making sure it is well coated and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

2) In a large bowl, sift the cake flour, salt and baking powder.

3) Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta and mix on medium speed until well incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

4) Turn the speed down to low and add the eggs one at the time. Make sure to scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times. Once the eggs are well combined, add the vanilla bean paste.

5) Add the dry ingredients 1/4 cup at a time and mix until the mixture is just combined. Make sure this is done on a low speed as well.

6) Place the mixture into the bundt pan and smoothen the top out using a spatula. Tap it gently on the work surface to release any air bubbles.

7) Bake the cake for 15 minutes, before turning the oven down to 160 degrees celcius and continue cooking for a further 40 minutes. It is done with the sides are starting to come away from the pan; the cake springs back when pressed and the skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it onto a cooling rack.

8) Sprinkle some icing sugar and grate some lemon zest over it for additional flavour! To serve, make sure the cake has completely cooled, then top with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream and fresh fruits!

Remember to always cook and bake with love ! 

Oven-fried Chicken

Fried chicken. How could you not like fried chicken? I would happily chow down two without much thought! haha But what could be better than fried chicken? Oven-fried chicken of course! Anything to make it feel a little less sinful than the oil-fried version. Just so you could enjoy it guilt-free. Definitely a win-win, if you ask me! (:

I chanced upon this recipe on Everyday Maven, and was coincidentally craving for something fried. It’s really quick and easy as well! Even though it’s baked, the chicken is so crunchy with every bite! The mr and I are addicted to it! We had it twice in a week. Definitely gonna make this for my family at the end of the year.

The chicken pieces were coated with crushed melba toast. I have to admit, I’ve heard of melba toast a number of times, but never really tried it or used it to cook. These were mini toasts that were baked and they were really amazing! Unlike normal bread crumbs, these ensures that the coating remains crunchy and not get soggy even after being baked. Would definitely not hesitate to use melba toast in the future! hehe

And what goes well with fried chicken? A side of kipfler and broccolini salad of course! Of course if you want to keep to the healthy-theme, you could always have it with a side of salad. Your tummies will still be satisfied. (: So I urge you to give this a try, you will never need to feel bad about have fried chicken ever again! hehe

Oven-fried Chicken (adapted from Everyday Maven)

800g chicken pieces (skin removed)

1 box of Melba toast (5-ounce/142g), crushed

1/2 tsp garlic salt

3/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp hot paprika

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup kewpie mayonnaise

1 tbs Dijon mustard

Steps :

1) Place the melba toasts in a zip lock bag. Using a rolling pin, crush them till they are relatively fine, leaving some little pebbles for texture and maximum crunchiness. You could also place them in a food processor, but be careful not too completely pulverize them.

2) Add the garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and dried oregano into the zip lock bag and give it a good shake. Pour the seasoned crumbs into a plate.

3) In a separate bowl, mix the kewpie with the dijon mustard and mix till well combined.

4) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Coat each piece of chicken with the mayo mixture (just enough to lightly coat) and roll it in the melba toast crumbs. Make sure the chicken pieces are covered well and evenly.

5) Place the chicken pieces on a cooking rack and place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.

Enjoy it with a side of your choice! (: Don’t worry, I didn’t only have one piece. hehe I couldn’t resist another (or two)! Have a great weekend everyone!

Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Banana-rama

There is just something magical about banana bread. By now, you would know that I am obsessed with banana anything. So far, I’ve made them in a few forms – muffins & cakes. So now it’s time to add on to the list! Recently, Miss D posted her 100th post that had 2 banana bread recipes. I was lucky enough to taste test one of them and got hooked to it ever since!

So when I had time on a Saturday morning and some very ripe bananas lying around in the fruit basket, I decided to get my bum out of the sofa and get the baking going. I was so glad I did! The house was filled with the yummy smell of baked banana bread and it’s the best smell in the world! Can’t have enough of it!

Though I was having hayfever, it just felt good being able to be in the kitchen and think about nothing but bake! The kitchen is definitely my remedy. hehe The Mr absolutely loved it! Cause I gave 3/4 of the first one to the weightlifters, the mr only had a small piece to himself. He asked me to make another for him. So I made it twice over the weekend. It was really moist and fluffy. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea (: Will definitely perk me up in the afternoons!

Walnut, Chocolate and Maple Banana Bread (Adapted from Never Too Sweet For Me & Taste)

125g unsalted butter, room temperature

115g caster sugar

2 tbs maple syrup

2 eggs, room temperature

3 large bananas (about 1 cup), mashed

70g chopped walnuts

50g dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup plain flour

3/4 cup self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bi-carbonate of soda

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease the loaf pan well with butter.

2) In an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and maple syrup until light and fluffy. (Don’t rush this step to ensure a smooth batter)

3) Add eggs, one at a time until just combined. Then add the mashed bananas and slowly add the flours and bicarbonate of soda. Mix until just combined, be careful not to over mix it or it will not be fluffy.

4) Spoon mixture into the buttered loaf pan and smooth the top. Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out on a cooling rack.

Serve warm and enjoy with a hot cuppa and if you want to be more indulgent, drizzle it with more maple syrup and with a small piece of butter (:

PS : For step to step pictures, head over to Miss D’s post! Thanks dearie for sharing the recipe! 

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Baked Eggs With Homemade Baked Beans

Really sorry for the inactivity for the past two weeks! We had my mr’s family over for a holiday and I took the chance to have a break and just spend quality time with the family. (: But I’m back and this time with a brunch recipe as a form of my apology to share with everyone!

So it’s the weekend! One thing we love to do is have brunch. Be it having it out or home. A dish that I love to order when I head out for brunch with the mr is no doubt baked eggs. The best thing about it is when the yolk is still runny and combines with the tomatoey baked beans to become the perfect sauce for me to dip my bread into it and enjoy every single bite. mmmm! So I decided to try and make it for the mr (and more recently, his family) for brunch at home.

And to be a little over indulgent (as I always like to go all out with my meals haha) I love topping the baked eggs with some sauteed chanterelles, with a side of buttery croissant and some crispy bacon! PERFECT! (: I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Although I have to say, I always tend to get the eggs a bit overdone and only got it done perfectly once! So I have alot of respect for the cafes that always get it spot on! *bows*

I also got a bit adventurous and decided to make my own baked beans from scratch and it turned out easier than I thought! And trust me, once you try making them from scratch, you won’t really buy the tin ones anymore. Definitely worth the extra 20 mins! Also, you can layer your baked eggs with your favourite ingredients. The first time I made it, I added capsicum. The second time I made it, I added corn and spinach!

I found these beautiful baking dish that was perfect for making individual portions of baked eggs! But of course, you could always just bake them in any suitable baking dish. I used a 10″ quiche baking dish for the family and it looked really pretty too! (: So regardless of the size, I’m sure it will still satisfy your tummy! hehe

So here’s the basic recipe of the baked beans as well as the baked eggs. I will be sharing the recipe that will fill a 10″ quiche baking dish. For big eaters like the mr and I, we could polish that off quite quickly, but it could comfortable feed 3-4 people as well! Do remember that the recipe is really versatile, so you could add your favourite ingredients and it will be super yums!

Baked Eggs with Homemade Baked Beans (a FoodMadeWithLove original recipe)

For the baked beans :

50g speck, diced into cubes (or bacon)

1/2 large onion, finely diced

1 tin diced tomatoes

1 tbs tomato paste

1 tin cannellini beans, drained

1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

1 ts olive oil

1/2 tsp sugar

salt & pepper, season

For baked eggs :

4 eggs

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

3 tbs shaved parmesan

1 tsp dried parsley, for garnish

For the chanterelles : 

5g dried chanterelles*

10g salted butter

50ml hot water

1 tsp thickened cream

Garlic salt  & pepper, to season

Steps :

1) Place the chanterelles in a small bowl, and pour the hot water over it allowing it to re-hydrate while cooking the baked beans.

2) For the baked beans : In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat and fry the speck till all sides are golden brown. Add the onions and fry till fragrant, continuously stirring it. Add the tomato paste and stir till combined with the onions. Add the tin diced tomatoes and allow it to come to a boil. Lower the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 10 mins. Add the cannellini beans, sugar and chilli flakes. Stir and allow it to simmer for another 5 mins. Pour the beans into the baking dish and set aside.

3) For the chanterelles (garnish) : Drain the chanterelles, reserving the water. Squeeze the chanterelles to make sure it’s dry. In another small saucepan, melt the butter and add the chanterelles. Fry till fragrant, then add the reserved water and thickened cream and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. Season with a pinch of salt (or garlic salt) and pepper.

4) For the baked eggs : Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Create 4 holes in the baked beans using a wooden spoon, and crack an egg into each of them. Top the eggs with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for 10 mins, or until the egg white is cooked, remembering you would want the egg yolk to be runny!

5) Garnish with dried parsley and the chanterelles. Served with toast.

ENJOY! Have a great weekend!

*Note : Chanterelles could be purchased at Woolsworth in the fresh mushroom section! Of course, you could use other dried mushrooms, or the mixed forest mushrooms that you can purchase from specialty stores. 

Remember  to always cook with love (:

Salted Caramel Chocolate Lava Cake

So it was my mr’s birthday yesterday and I really wanted to make him a cake especially since it’s his birthday I’m celebrating with him as his wife! (: So I have been thinking and thinking what would he like as his cake. As he loves salted caramel, I was inspired by Ms D’s cake  (the queen of desserts hehe) that she made for her mr’s birthday! So after much research, I found a perfect cake that the mr would love!

I was really nervous with how it would turn out cause I havent baked a lava cake for the longest time. And I was quite stressed when making it cause there was no turning back. I had no back up cake plan at all. haha You could definitely see the relief in my face when the cake came out cleanly from the ramekins and I found out there was a gooey molten middle! SUCCESS!

And it was definitely a hit with the mr! He has requested that I make him this cake every year on his birthday! hehe I have to say, nothing is sexier than having the luscious salted caramel oozing out of the cake the moment you cut your fork through! It just puts a really big smile on my face! And I could just see how happy and satisfied the mr was. To me, that was the most important part of the day – that he enjoyed what I made him. hehe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Lava Cake (adapted from The Endless Meal)

For the chocolate salted caramel : 

142 g dark chocolate

1 cup caster sugar

28 g unsalted butter

1 tsp fleur de sel, plus a bit more when layering dessert

2 tbs water

1/2 cup thickened cream

For the lava cake :

284g dark chocolate

113 g unsalted butter

3 large eggs

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup icing sugar, and more for dusting

2 tbs cocoa powder

extra butter and cocoa powder for ramekins

Steps :

1) For chocolate salted caramel : Melt chocolate in a double boiler, over a small pot of boiling water.

2) In a large pot, add the sugar and water and heat over medium heat until sugar melts and turn dark amber. If you have a candy thermometer, it should reach 176 degrees celcius. Take it off the heat, and carefully add the thicken cream. (Do note that it will bubble vigorously, so do not stand too close.) Whisk the mixture until smooth, then add the melted chocolate. Once it’s mixed well, stir in the butter. Set aside.

3) For the cake : Prepare 6-8 ramekins (depending on the size), and butter them well before coating them with cocoa powder, turning them upside down to make sure there is no excess. Set aside.

4) Melt butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl, over a mall pot of boiling water. Once melted, set aside allowing it to cool a little.

5) In a mixer, whisk the eggs and egg yolks until well combined. Add the cooled melted chocolate and butter mixture, and stir well. Combine the flour and icing sugar, making sure there are no lumps, then slowly add to the mixture. Mix until smooth.

6) Fill each ramekin half way. Then place a big teaspoon of chocolate salted caramel in the middle and sprinkle a little bit more fleur de sel, before covering with more cake batter until it’s 3/4 filled. (At this stage, you can either bake it straight away or keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.)

7) Preheat oven to 210 degrees celcius for 10 minutes. Place the ramekins in the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes. If your ramekins are smaller, please reduce the baking time to ensure the gooey middle! Remove the ramekin from the oven, and run a palette knife through the sides to loosen the cake.

8) Carefully place a plate over the top of the ramekin and invert it. Carefully lift the ramekin up. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped vanilla bean cream if desired.

ENJOY! (:

So happy birthday my dearest hubs! So so glad you enjoyed the dinner after a 12 hours day at work! Thank you for working so so hard just to make sure we live comfortably. I couldn’t ask for more really. I love you! And I promise to make this for you every year on your birthday! hehe