Friday, May 31, 2013

Oat Milk Chai Latte

We have winter comes in late this year and it seems that we get cold all of a sudden. This winter we have lots of clouds making it quite cold during day time. I have two sicks kids within a week.  We have been missing the sun from the sunny Queensland. All I want to have the whole day is hot drinks.  I have been on hot chocolate for a while and now I am into oat milk again.  Just because I have to watch out for my cholesterol, I make up this Chai Latte using oat milk.  It keeps me warm and make me healthy, yes it has only 1% of fat!

Oat Milk Chai Latte
(make 1 tall glass)

1 cup Vitasoy Oat milk
1 ceylon tea bag
2 teaspoons of sugar
ground cinnamon
extra froth oat milk or cow's milk

Pour the oat milk into a small saucepan, place a tea bag on the side and let it simmers for about 1 minute till the milk is hot and the tea infused into the milk.  Add the sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon powder.  Leave the heat and make froth milk.  Pour the milk into a tall glass and top with froth milk.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Not Quite High-Hat Cupcakes

I got this recipe from my daughter through an email with a title of "Make this".  We don't leave apart and in an actual fact, her room is right next to mine.  This is the modern way of talking to each other, I guess!

I made it for her 16th birthday, a very sweet cake for a sweet 16! It was a bit too sweet for everyone but just let it be sweet .... leaving us a sweet memory!

I should have watched the video on how to ice the chocolate icing beforehand because the high hat shrink and I much prefer icing with dark chocolate than milk chocolate! Overall, I am please with the result, at least it's edible! I think it's a beautiful cupcake, don't you?

There are two versions of the recipes from Martha Stewart's High-Hat Cupcakes, I use version 1, please check the recipe and video here, and version 2 uses commercial cake mix and the frosting don't use almond essence, whether it's better or not, I'd have to make it to find out. Please click here for version 2 recipe.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pumpkin and Ricotta Puffs with Avocado Green Salad

Mother's Day is one of the big promotion for retail stores and restaurants, you see the ads for gift ideas everywhere or ads for Mother's Day special at the local restaurants. We like to give kitchen appliances for my mother because she can use it to cook delicious food for us!  My husband bought me this Phillip's Air Flyer last year, although not a Mother's Day present but I just loved it!  It cooks wonderful crispy potatoes chips and chicken wings without using any oil.  It doesn't only fry food with less oil, you can also baked creamy potato gratin or pasta using its brownie pan.   It is a good kitchen helper that now sit permanently at my kitchen bench. The cooking time is shorter than a built in oven as it takes less time to heat up and the food get both sides cooked nicely.  The downside is that it only has a small cooking tray and the maximum temperature goes up to 200c.  However it's a great helper if you need an extra oven to cook up something small within a short time.

I roast the pumpkin using the Air Flyer and it takes only 12 minutes to get done.  Then I bake the puffs in the big oven.  The avocado salad goes well with the puffs, these day I just prefer something light liked this.  I'm expecting my kids to make me breakfast in bed, some raisin toast with a glass of oat milk would be nice!

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Pumpkin and Ricotta Puffs with Avocado Green Salad
(make 8)

350g pumpkin
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
40g cashew, toasted and grounded
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon light ricotta cheese
extra 1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of chilli powder
2 sheets of puff pastry
egg wash for glazing

Avocado Green Salad:
Leafy Mixed
1/4 of a whole avocado
lemon infused olive oil
white rice vinegar


  1. Cut off the skin and seed of the pumpkin and cut into cubes.  Season with salt and oil, toss through.  Then place into the cooking tray of the Air Flyer and cook for 12 minutes at 180c.
  2. Mesh the cooked pumpkin with the back of the fork, add in the cashew, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and season with the extra salt and chilli powder.
  3. Cut the puff pastry into quarter, brush the sides with egg.  Place a heap tablespoon of pumpkin mesh on a corner, seal.  Repeat for the rest of the pastry.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Bake in hot oven, 230c until it puffs up and starting to turn golden brown, turn down to 180c until the puffs turn all golden brown. 
  5. Rinse the leafy mix under the sink and drain, cut the avocado into cube, dress with the olive oil and vinegar.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hummingbird cupcakes with marmalade icing

I made these cupcakes due to two mistakes, first I bought the wrong type of tinned pineapple for making pizza, second I poured 5 times more crushed pineapple into the cake batter instead of the required amount.  These sound like a kitchen disaster was approaching.....

I used the pineapple for the pizza anyway and it was not too bad.  Then the rest of the tin had to be consumed and I remembered there was a recipe of hummingbird cupcake using it.  The last time I made this cake, it didn't really reach my expectation, it's probably the recipe's fault. It also need a lot of ingredients to make this cake that you really need a plan to shop all the things you need.  So here we go, I'm just lucky to have all the ingredients at home, including the ripe bananas.

With a high hope of having another round of a trial of the recipe, I ended up with a puddle of cake batter by adding too much pineapple.  Should I add more ingredients to make more cupcakes or should I add more flour to thicken the batter?  The later option was a good choice as the cupcakes came out moist with a good balance of flavour.  My husband loved it and asked me what's in the cake, he named a few but couldn't name them all... so I bet him and won the game of naming ingredients.

Most icing for hummingbird cake used cream cheese, this one used homemade marmalade with whipped butter cream and that was the killer part of this cake!  It would be a great cake to serve at a high tea on Mother's Day!

Have you ever make something amazing by mistake?

Hummingbird cupcakes with marmalade icing

125g plain flour
125g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
125g caster sugar
115ml sunflower oil
2 eggs
150g mashed banana
1 1/2 tablespoon grated orange zest
60g grated carrot
60g desiccated coconut
440g tin of crushed pineapple

For the icing:
58g unsalted butter, softened
75g icing sugar, sieved
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon marmalade


  1. Preheat the oven to 175c. Place the muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Beat the oil and sugar till creamy than add in one egg at a time and beat until well mixed.
  3. Add in sieved flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the egg mixture and stir.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients and stir till combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cases until 3/4 full.  Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked.  Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the cupcakes and cool the cake on a rack before icing.
  6. For the icing: beat butter and icing sugar till light and fluffy, add the orange juice and marmalade and stir.  Smear the icing onto the cupcakes before taking a big bite!