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Hi to you all! Im back from my awesome trip to China and Hong Kong last week, unfortunately got sick the next day and have been in bed for 5 days with a very bad flu and virus 😦 but i am on the road of recovery, feeling much better today! So I thought I would share this apricot oat slice that i made few months ago with you 🙂

This slice will top any health bars that you will ever get from the supermarket! This slice is packed with good stuff: wholemeal flour, oats, apricot, honey, desiccated coconut! You will actually get a decent size of apricot bite in this slice, not those tiny mini cube super dry apricot in those store bought breakfast bar! Yuk! This is healthy and taste great, best for morning or after snack! Have I mentioned how super easy this is to make??

Cooking Summary : Pretty much chunk all the ingredients in one bowl, mix til combine, spread across on baking tray, bake for 25min = Done and Done!

Apricot oat slice

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour (I used wholemeal plain flour instead)
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dried apricots diced, soaked in water for an hr then drained
  • extra desiccated coconut for coating

Methods:

  1. Sift and mix plain flour with baking powder, sugar, coconut and oats.
  2. Combine with egg, honey and apricots. Mix.
  3. Place all of the mixture in a lined slice pan and then sprinkle the top with coconut.
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and bake at 170C in a preheated oven for 15mins.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool. (While still warm, slice to pieces into slices)

NOTES:

  1. Make sure you do soak the dried apricots, I was gonna skip this step because I couldnt be bothered, but I am so glad i did soak them at the end. Soaking them help re-inject some liquid into the apricot and made them puffier and juicer!
  2. Save some water from the soaking and add about 2 tbsp of the water to wet the mixture a bit more.
  3. Next time I will take out the sugar, the honey and apricot is sweet enough for this slice.

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do do do do, banana bread, do do do do…. here i am humming away after baking this beautiful banana bread, the whole kitchen smells so homey, as if  I went far far away and living in a little cottage. Well, I bet this is exactly how Andy felt when he got up this morning with this yummy smell. Let me take you back 9 hrs ago before I transformed his apartment into a cosy country side cottage…..Just before I was heading to bed on Friday night, I shared with him my discovery on Tessy’s Banana Bread recipe on Shutterbean, I was so excited and I really felt like baking that in the morning so we can have fresh baked banana bread for breakfast. Although that is only if i can get up early, I do love my sleep in on Saturday and no one – NO ONE is gonna take that away from me! Fast forward 7 hrs on, I was still asleep enjoying just lying in bed, I started feeling this push and kicks from Andy, I asked ‘Whats wrong?’ He simply replied ‘Go on, go make banana bread’ and he wouldn’t stop poking and pushing me  until I finally had enough and got up. That’s right, he kicked me out of bed, so he could have fresh baked banana bread for breakfast!!! Man, I gonna have to start charging him with all my baked goods! Especially on Saturday morning, I should get triple paid!!

Anywhooooo, back to the banana bread! This bread is ever so moist! Pack of goodness of banana flavour, its fluffy with big moist crumbs! And the cinnamon crumble topping really made this a special recipe!

I used wholemeal flour instead of plain flour and the result was excellent! It gives the bread a more wholesome and rustic feel to it, you will feel indeed  homey and cosy when you are eating it!

Tessy’s Banana Bread

(recipe from Shutterbean)

  • 1 cup plus all-purpose flour (I used wholemeal plain flour)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • coarse salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large banana, mashed ( Mine is a bit more than 1/2 cup -see picture)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • salt

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.  Butter a loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3. Stir in the melted butter and the buttermilk or yogurt. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute. Add the banana and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

4. Make a topping by mashing together the tablespoon of cold butter with the tablespoon of flour, the brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Distribute the topping evening over the batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake tester or toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Cut and serve from the pan.

NOTES:

1. Best serve Warm! 🙂

Yahhhhh!! I did it!! It PUFFED and didn’t collapse!! It was a proud moment of mine! Ever since the whole madness of croquembouche from the first series of masterchef, I have been wanting to make profiteroles (or cream puff).Though I don’t think I have the patient and the size of a kitchen to make a proper croquembouche.. I tried making profiteroles two times before, both times failed…collapsed….flatten…I didn’t know what I was doing wrong! I followed the recipe to the exact, measure all the ingredients properly but then I realised my oven wasn’t hot enough and that’s why the pastry didn’t cook through and as soon as it left the oven, it deflated.  Once I fixed up that problem, my choux pastry rose beautifully! And it is actually very easy to make! All you need is butter, flour, eggs and water (and the right temperature of your oven)! Everything you already have in your pantry!

Choux Pastry

Makes 10 large puff (or 20 medium, or 4 dozen mini cream puffs)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

3. Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the butter.  When the butter has melted, add the flour mixture all at once and stir vigorously.  Cook and stir until the mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate.

4. Remove from the heat and cool slightly (about 1 minute).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one until the dough is smooth. (beat vigorously after each additional – it is a pretty tiring job so that could be your exercise for the day! ;p)

5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough about 2-inches apart onto a greased baking sheet.  (Or transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a round tip and pipe circles about 2-inches in diameter and about 1-inch apart onto greased baking sheets.)

6. Bake the puffs for about 30 minutes until they are golden brown and puffy.  If the puffs are medium-size, bake for about 22 — 25 minutes, and if the puffs are mini-size, bake for about 17 — 20 minutes.

7. Remove the puffs from the oven and split them a little with a sharp knife to let the hot steam out. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Topping

  • 250 g Melted Dark Chocolate

Filling – Whipped Cream

  • 500 ml  thicken cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoon white sugar
  1. In a large mixing bowl place the thicken cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Whip the mixture with a electronic mixture until soft peaks form.

To Assemble

  • Dip pastry shells in melted chocolate.
  • Split them in half and fill (or pipe) with whipped cream.

Haven’t made mini cupcakes for a while now, I am a big fan of them, but due to peer pressure (mainly from Andy) I always ended up baking standard size cupcakes. But this week, mini cupcakes are coming back!

I wanted to bake something fairly simple just using whatever I have got in the pantry (cant be bothered doing shopping this weekend!) and I thought what’s more simple than making a caramel sauce and turn it into a caramel buttercream frosting! Sugar and water, that’s it! And it is so yummy!! I think this caramel frosting goes really well on mini cupcakes, because they are fairly rich in flavour, using it to frost a whole standard cupcake could result in being a bit too sweet. But with these mini babies, they just go perfectly together!

Vanilla cupcakes (Make 48)

(recipe based on my Lemon Curd Cupcakes post click there to check out of step by step images and see how light and fluffy the inside of the cupcake is!)

  • 2 large eggs (minimum weight of 59g)
  • 188ml (3/4 cup) sunflower oil (or any mild-flavoured oil could be used)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line 2 mini muffin trays with paper liners.
  2. Place eggs, oil, sour cream and caster sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Sift about 2/3 cup (100g) of the self-raising flour onto the wet ingredients and whisk until the flour is incorporated and the mixture is free of lumps. Repeat this procedure two more times, until all of the flour has been incorporated.
  4. Divide batter evenly into prepared mini muffin cups, filling each approx 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 10-15  minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To Make Frosting:

Caramel sauce

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 100g butter

Method

  1. Melt butter in sauce pan.
  2. Add brown sugar and milk
  3. Boil over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture start to thicken a little
  4. Cool to lukewarm. Add in icing sugar, whisk until combine (Note :it looks a bit lumpy right now but it will all smooth out once mixture with butter and icing sugar)

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cup icing sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoon of caramel sauce

Method

  1. Beat together butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add in caramel sauce, continue to beat until well combined.

Now enjoy these minis!

Jam drop biscuits was one of the first thing I baked when I first started baking. Its because of how easy it is to make, really helped me grew confident and developed my love of baking! Although you will have to excuse the look of this batch! I usually make really nice looking jam drops and just when I want to bake a batch to put on the blog, I stuffed it! This time I used the kind of jam that is a bit more runny than the one I usually use (a thicker and firmer consistency) so it spread a bit too much than it should after being baked……not very happy with their looks but they still taste good! They are crisp on the outside, soft and buttery in the inside!

A really quick and easy recipe to rip up some tasty biscuits! Best Serve on the day with a couple of tea! (or a glass of milk, but I dont really drink milk by itself so i will go the tea but milk is good too! haha)

Ingredients (Makes about 25 cookies)

  • 130g butter, softened
  • 112g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla essence)
  • 1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
  • 24g (2 tablespoons) cornflour
  • 36g (3 tablespoons) self-raising flour
  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • About 105g (1/3 cup) jam

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 degrees fan-forced).
    Using an electric mixer or electric hand-beaters, beat butter , sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.
  2. Add egg and beat until combined.
  3. Sift in combined flours. Using a spoon, stir until all ingredients are combined. The dough will be very soft at this stage. Refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. Make a deep indentation in the centre of each ball (use the end of a spatula handle and dip it in flour before making each indentation.). Fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Don’t overfill the cavities or the jam will overflow during baking.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until biscuits are pale golden.
  6. Allow to cool on trays or a wire rack (beware of eating straight from the oven as the jam is extremely hot).
  7. Store cooled biscuits in an airtight container.

Lovely! Dan brought home this massive box of hand picked fresh oranges and lemons from the weekend, I think I am pretty set with my vitamin C intake for the next couple of months! I am excited about these little yellow babies, you can do so much with them!  And straight away, I remember this creamy lemon bar post I saw on Pioneer Woman a while ago and has been on my mind ever since! With these fresh lemons I have no excuse not to give that recipe a try!

I love all kind of lemony desserts, they always taste so fresh and light and I could eat on and on and never feel sick afterwards! Plus its lemon! its good for u! In fact, I should eat up!

Anywhoooo, this slice is absolutely beautiful!

Its creamy,

Its lemony,

Its crumbly!

Just gorgeous!

I have only recently learnt how to make crumble and it is THE EASIEST thing to make!! You just cant stuff it up and taste fantastic! I just love them and it gives such a great texture to the creamy filling in this slice.

Try this recipe out! Its super easy to make, you cant stuff it! I promise!

Cooking Summary: Mix together butter, sugar, flour and oats. Press half the mixture into a tray to form the base. Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon zest, spread this mixture on top of the base. Sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top. Bake for 20-25mins Chill in the fridge for 2 hrs. Serve Cool! YUM!


Ingredients

  • 1-⅓ cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Slightly Softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 1 can (14 Ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ½ cups Lemon Juice
  • Zest Of 1 Lemon

Methods

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.
  3. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  5. Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch pan.
  6. Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don’t press.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.
  9. Serve cool.