I’ve spotted a trend. People love pavlovas. Crispy meringue with marshmallow-y center, garnished with soft plumes of unsweetened whipped cream and seasonal fruit. It strikes a heavenly balance of textures and flavours. Another thing they’ve got going is their dramatic presentation. This is why they’re so impressive for dinner parties and one of my go-to’s. As you can tell, I am a fan and this is the third pavlova recipe on my blog. But hey, this pav is not like the others! For one, this delectable Boozy Cherry Pavlova is deliberately scaled down to a less intimidating size, so we needn’t wait for a dinner party to make one. It’s an “anytime” size. A HALF PAV. Wondering if this name can catch on?! Second, this pavlova is dotted with homemade maraschino cherries. Pause. I know you automatically thought of neon-red, cloying orbs of chemical nastiness normally in Shirley Temples or canned fruit salad. Erase that. Those are a bastardized version of the real deal.Read More
You may have noticed my love affair with cake. I’m not too selective when it comes to flavour. I have no prejudices and have enough love (and sweet tooth) in me to love them all! Unless they are excessively sweet. If you’ve baked any of my cake or loaf recipes, you may have noticed that my palate prefers just-sweet-enough desserts that don’t ache my teeth or leaves me feeling ill after eating it. Carrot cakes, in particular, seem to be guilty of being cloyingly sweet. Is it the sweetness of the carrots? The cream cheese frosting? Perhaps both. In any case, if you love carrot cakes, you will love this perfectly sweet, perfectly moist, slightly better-for-you Gluten Free Carrot Cake with an amazing tangy, “no-cream-cheese” frosting that might blow your mind like it did mine.Read More
I’ve baked enough gluten-free cakes to confidently say that despite its bad rap, gluten-free cakes need not to be dry or dense or sandy in texture. They can be moist, light and often times in my opinion, more flavourful than wheat flour cakes depending on the ingredients used. In this case, I use a mix of almond flour (see - flavour boost right there) and gluten-free flour blend. Egg yolks provide richness and egg whites (whipped) provide airiness to lighten the denser nature of gluten-free flours.Read More
SPOILER ALERT: This dairy-free and vegan chocolate mousse involves NO tofu, NO avocado, NO aquafaba and NO praying that the coconut cream will whip up properly. It is luxuriously rich with that dreamy fluffiness of traditional mousse. It is SUBLIME.
When I set out to make a dairy-free and vegan chocolate mousse, I deep-dived Google and Pinterest and came across a multitude of recipes using one of the four aforementioned ingredients: avocado, silken tofu, aquafaba (brine from canned chickpeas) and whipped up coconut cream. But I really, really wanted to create a version that steered clear of all of them. I wanted a recipe that uses more conventional dessert ingredients AND a fool-proof method, while still achieving a mousse that delivers the same intense chocolate flavor with a billowy texture that slightly melts on the tongue. No compromise.Read More
When talented baker, mama, and fellow Canadian blogger Fanny sent me a copy of her new debut cookbook Oh Sweet Day! A Celebration Cookbook of Edible Gifts, Party Treats and Festive Desserts to review, I could not have been more delighted! Fanny and I have been following each other on Instagram for a few years. Her IG posts torture me (in the best way hehe) with elegantly executed desserts that inevitably awaken the dessert monster inside me! So much so, I have already made two of Fanny’s recipes, not including this delectable meringue treat (which we will get to in a beat, I promise). One such recipe was her Pecan Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies which was published in the 2017 Holiday issue of the Bake From Scratch Cookie Magazine, an issue full of featured recipes from a handful of the most elite baking bloggers. I made the Pecan Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies to include in my annual holiday cookie boxes for giving away, and hers turned out to be my personal favorite (by far) of the season. I was tempted to keep them all for myself.Read More
This cake is studded throughout with bits of soft apples and flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and allspice - aka all the distinctive notes of Fall. Moreover, it has such a wonderfully light and tender crumb! As someone who bakes gluten-free regularly, texture is a major measure of success. And everyone who had a piece of this cake said it didn’t taste like a gluten-free cake at all. Woot! It always feels like a bit of wizardry to get results as good as, or even better, than conventional cakes made with all-purpose flour. Even for people who are not gluten-sensitive, this cake is a win-win because it is lower in carbs and higher in nutrition (especially protein) than cakes made with all-purpose flour. I think everyone will enjoy it. Let me know if you agree!Read More
Without a question, a pavlova always makes a grand impression. Although some approach it with trepidation (I’ve definitely been there), all you need is to be acquainted with a handful of tips - which of course I have shared below - and you will have success. Sublime success.Read More
Whenever stone fruit season rolls around, Marian Burro's infamous plum torte seems to pop up everywhere on my Instagram feed. You may have missed it ... if you live under a rock ;) She wrote this iconic recipe for the New York Times in the 80s and they claim it is one of their most requested recipes. I never did get around to making her original recipe but this grain-free adaptation of her plum torte is so dang good I don't think I ever actually will!?Read More
Hot on the heels of my last post for Perfect Gluten-Free Choux Puffs, I now give you this most essential follow-up recipe: Profiteroles with Lilac-Vanilla Lemon Curd Ripple Ice Cream. Basically, the most refreshing, tart and creamy dessert perfect for the summer months ahead.Read More
I'll just come right out and say it. These gluten-free choux puffs are legit. Very legit. The kind of legit when someone may not even notice they are gluten-free! And with a few tips and loads of images for visual cues I share in this post, they're quite easy to make.Read More
Years ago, a friend gave me a jar of Rooibos loose leaf tea to try. She told me it is an non-caffeinated tea with health benefits aplenty. I later read that Rooibos is high in antioxidants, helps lower high blood pressure, aids in cancer-prevention and digestion health, bone health and more. Seems like I should be drinking this stuff like water! Instead, it sat in my pantry untouched for months, or closer to a year. When it comes to hot beveraging, I can't help but choose an Americano, a matcha latte or for so many years, my top choice was English Breakfast tea with a splash of milk (a reflection of my British-influenced Hong Kong ties).
Tea in desserts, on the other hand, I dig! A LOT. Like these earl grey cookies or the earl grey ice cream I made for pear frangipane tart. Heaven. So it is no surprise this Rooibos Chai Panna Cotta Tart with Honeyed Strawberry Rhubarb Compote is totally my jam. The only surprise is why I didn't think of it sooner. Everyone I served it to thoroughly enjoyed it too! Weeell if I'm being honest, everyone except my 4 year old who ate only the tart crust and "saved" the panna cotta part for her mama. But I can't blame her for loving the crust - it's so dope.Read More
To state that we are a granola-loving family would be an understatement. I have two Granola Monsters here. Apart from the year when we were following a modified Paleo diet where grains like oats and quinoa are disallowed, granola is a mainstay here because it is such a healthy and convenient option for breakfast. Not to mention totally addictive.Read More
Pavlovas don't normally come to mind in the winter since they are generally regarded as a summer dessert. I always questioned the sense in that though? High humidity is the serial murderer of pavlovas. Sure there are other factors that could undermine your pavlova, such as whites contaminated with yolks or grease / water in the mixing bowl, but I assert that weather is public enemy number one since it is not a factor you get to control.Read More
Does it seem like I went to crazy town with this one? Yes, I made a filling out of salt-cured egg yolks and peanut butter and sweetened it with maple syrup. I stuffed it inside a dough made with glutinous rice flour (aka 'sweet rice flour' not to be confused with 'rice flour'!), coated them in peanut crumble and pan-fried them. They turned out suuper addictive! We could not stop munching on this warm, chewy, salty-sweet snack! So the lunacy was justified...hence I urge you to continue reading. Plus also there's a giveaway I want you to know about :)Read More
WHUT. Christmas is less than a week away, and the year is done-zo in less than two! How are you feeling? Are you getting holiday stress? I had myself a panic moment a few days ago when Aubrie asked me why there are still no presents under our tree. I mumbled something about not wanting them to poke around the presents and wreck the wrapping like last year, instead of the truth, which is I was procrastinating the mundane task of wrapping them up. On the actual gift-buying side, I had 90% of gifts purchased by early December but the last 10% is by no coincidence, the most difficult. People like my dad, dad-in-law, etc are impossible to buy for. So I'm still working on that last 10% ... kiiiinda cutting it close, I reckon. Socks? Again?Read More
This season, Vitamix came up with this Winter Spice Seasoning of cinnamon sticks, crystallized ginger, cardamom, pink peppercorns, cloves, dried orange peel, salt and brown sugar (tip: sub coconut sugar for Paleo / refined sugar free version!) blended into a fragrant seasoning of warmth and WINTER MAGIC.
Vitamix and theFeedfeed partnered up to sponsor this post so that I can bring you this recipe I created using that heavenly seasoning mix. Can you smell it in your mind's eye...eerrr, nose? I want to put it in everything, both sweet and savory!Read More
I'm giddy with excitement this time of the year when holiday season is in full ramp-up mode! It's my favorite. I love that the season is about giving to others. While I don't condone frivolous over-consumption (which is admittedly a huge downside associated with the holidays), I really enjoy putting careful thought into the gifts that I am giving to the special people in my life. There's a dizzying joy and smug satisfaction when I just know I've found the perfect gift for someone.
I'm still giving myself pats on the back for the Aesop hydrating cream for my mom / sister, and the fold-able (brilliant!) vegetable spiralizer for my brother-in-law last year. We won't talk about the socks I gifted my dad tho - he's a hard one to buy for!Read More
This one is my favorite twist on banana muffins. I am a die-hard fan of the distinctive flavor of black sesame seeds. In these muffins, I especially love how its earthy nuttiness balances the sweetness of the bananas. A liberal sprinkling of extra black sesame seeds and coarse sugar give the muffins delightfully crunchy tops, making them extra special.Read More
The girls showered me with their praises when they tasted this loaf. And since I thrive off flattery and compliments (heehee), I made a second loaf immediately for next morning's breakfast which was greeted with the same gleeful enthusiasm.
Stroke stroke stroke. My ego.
Never you mind that the judging panel was comprised of a 6 year old and a 3 year old. I decided I would definitely share this recipe on the blog with you so you too can have your ego stroked. Or at the very least, have your breakfast sorted.Read More
I assume most people's mornings are just as hurried as ours. Mine goes like this: wake up, get self ready (aka barely splash some water on face and put a bra on), dress children, make breakfast, pack lunches and most importantly drink that coffee that's getting cold dammit. The saving grace of warmer mornings now is more simple options for breakfast, such as chilled overnight oats or overnight chia puddings. Lately the girls have been obsessed with chia pudding parfaits and they really get a kick out of choosing their own fixings and assembling their own little parfaits. Which is a complete score for me. I can sip my hot coffee while they take over that part of the morning routine.
Besides hurried mornings, this Do-It-Yourself concept translates really well for overnight guests or a weekend brunch gathering with friends too, as the main event (as it is definitely filling enough) or a hands-off component of a larger spread. The assortment of goodies is more or less the same, although you may add more options to make it extra special (see my suggestions further below). All you need to do is scale up in quantity. The best part is how it can be styled beautifully into an impressive spread, as I've done for this blog post. Isn't it pretty? As a mama of a daughter with food restrictions, it's bonus for me that it is suitable for both adults and children, as well as people with dietary constraints since the entire set up is dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar free, vegan and paleo-friendly (if the granola is omitted from the parfait for those individuals).Read More