Taking care of a newborn means I have less and limited time to spend on other stuff including baking treats. However I still wanted to make something special for Christmas. And this recipe is just what I need to celebrate the season. The spices, the cranberries, the clementines, everything about these muffins screams Christmas.
The original recipe calls for demerara sugar for the topping, but I made streusel instead coz I always think streusel-topped muffins are extra special, and Christmas is just the occasion for special treats.
Christmas Morning Muffins
250 grams plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100 gr caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 clementines, zested and juiced
approx. 125 ml milk
75 ml vegetable oil
1 large egg
150 gr dried cranberries
40 gr butter
50 gr plain flour
45 gr caster sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1. Make the crumble topping by mixing flour and sugar together then rubbing in the butter with your fingers until it has a crumb like texture.
2. Preheat oven to 180′ C.
3. Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, except sugar and dried cranberries.
4. In another bowl, beat sugar and wet ingredients until sugar has dissolved.
5. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and roughly combine them. Add dried cranberries and mix in very carefully so as not to break up the fruit.
6. Fill in paper cases 2/3 full then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
This granola is my latest addiction. Lovely golden brown, crisp and sweet-but-not-too-sweet granola, with the addition of coconut chips which I’m also crazy about lately. I love having it with a cup of milk, topping it some dried cranberries. Morning, made.
Almond Coconut Granola
4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
a handful of sliced almonds
a handful of roasted coconut chips
dried fruit, optional
- Mix rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla extract. Fold the mixture together with a rubber spatula until all of the oats and almonds are thoroughly coated.
- Turn the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer.
- Bake until the top is lightly browned – about 30 minutes, stirring the oats halfway through. Add sliced almonds and coconut chips, bake for another 15-30 minutes until crisp.
- Cool, add dried fruit and store in an airtight container.
Summer is just ’round the corner and though I’m not a huge fan of the hot weather, I love the plentiful seasonal fruit that starts popping out in the markets – stone fruits, mango, mandarins, oh I can’t wait until it’s lychee season! Recently I fall back in love with my juicer and blender in an attempt of a healthier lifestyle, and this peach mango smoothie is a great way to celebrate this awesome fruit season and makes for a refreshing and satisfying breakfast.
Nectarine Mango Smoothie
200 ml milk
100 gr vanilla yogurt
1 cup diced frozen mango
2 yellow nectarines
a dash of vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
Madeleine is a delicate little sponge cakes originating from France. It has a soft and light texture and makes perfect accompaniment for an afternoon tea. I’ve researched a lot of recipes and finally combined a few to make these, and I’m happy to report it successfully rises to create a hump, which apparently is the distinctive characteristic of a perfect madeleine. It has a unique shape of sea-shells so a special mold is a must. Considering how easy it is to make these delicious cakes, it is a such a great investment. Definitely going to bake more and play with different flavors.
Green Tea Madeleines
85 gr butter
1 tbs milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs matcha powder
1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, set aside to cool.
2. Beat eggs, milk and sugar until pale yellow.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and matcha powder, whisk all together to combine.
4. Fold dry ingredients gently until just combined. Add the melted butter and fold until well incorporated.
5. Refrigerate batter for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
6. Coat madeleine pan with butter, and dust with flour.
7. With a cookie scoop or 1 tbs measuring spoon, scoop batter into the center of each mold, do not smooth out the batter – it will spread out by itself in the oven.
8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges and centers look set and slight hump has appeared. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack.
9. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Everyone has their own preference of the perfect brownies. You may like it cakey or fudgy. For me, the best brownies are the rich, chocolatey, fudgy kind. And this ticks all the right boxes. So good and such a guilt pleasure! It’s hard to stop at one slice!
Fudgy Double Chocolate Brownies
160 gr dark cooking chocolate, chopped
115 gr butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tbs coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 170 degree Celcius.
2. Melt the chopped chocolate and butter with a double boiler method. Remove from the heat.
3. Whisk in the granulated sugar into the chocolate mixture, add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.
4. Whisk in cocoa powder, coffee, and vanilla extract.
5. Gently fold in the flour. Pour into greased and lined baking pan, then bake for 40-45 minutes.
6. Let it cool, and dust with cocoa powder.
Utterly divine. That’s how I would describe these cookies. What I love most about them is the rich, deep, dark chocolate taste. If you’re a big fan of chocolate, you might like this. Be warned though, these are very addictive.
This is one of my favorite recipe of all time. When I think of chocolate cookies, I’d think of these guys right here. I learned to make these cookies many years ago and have been making these a lot ever since. I haven’t made these in a while coz I didn’t have my own cookie press, but I finally caved in and decided to get one for myself. And you know what, surprisingly it’s not easy to find something when you actually need / want them! It took me a while to finally found one but I’m so glad I finally did. Keep your eyes peeled for more spritz cookie galore, I think I will be making lots more of them in the near future!
The Ultimate Chocolate Cookies
150 gr butter
100 gr confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanillin crystals
125 gr plain flour
25 gr powdered milk
50 gr Dutch-processed cacao powder
1. Preheat oven at 150 degree Celcius.
2. In a bowl, combine flour, milk and cocoa. Sift.
3. In a separate bow, beat butter, sugar, vanillin crystals and egg with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in flour mixture and fold until well combined.
4. Fill cookie press with dough and with desired disks, press cookies onto greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake cookies for about 25-30 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.
It’s getting closer to summer and even though some days are still cold, some others are unbearably warm. Which calls for an afternoon of cool, refreshing drink. Knowing what goes into my bubble tea and having control over how much sugar to put in my drink is really comforting. And it sort of makes me wonder how much sugar those tea shops put in your drinks, I usually go for half or even 1/3 sugar and they are still very sweet.
Anyway, I digress. For today’s bubble tea I used Japanese-style royal milk tea. I really like the extra milky taste it has, and it is delicious hot or cold. This is the only tea I enjoy drinking to substitute coffee. It is that good!
Bubble Milk Tea
2 black tea bags
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tbs sugar, or according to taste
1. To prepare the bubble / boba, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the tapioca pearls and stir gently until they begin floating to the top of the water. Turn the heat to medium and cook the boba for 12-15 minutes. Immerse tapioca pearls in a simple sugar syrup to sweeten and preserve the boba. Set aside to cool.
2. In a milk pan, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Add tea bags, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Add milk and slowly bring to a simmer. When the tea is about to boil, remove from heat and stir in sugar.
5. Chill tea in the fridge for a few hours. Spoon a few tablespoons of boba, pour in tea, and serve.