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Tiramisu Crepe Cake cross section
Presenting, a romantic twist on a classic dessert –  tiramisu crepe cake. It’s a work of patience, patience, and more patience. Making this cake was a huge pleasure for me though; by flipping over layer after layer of crepes, I had lots of alone time in the kitchen to ponder on life (lol, jk, or not).  Take this as a chance to think about all the little things and perhaps your own dessert dreams. Maybe you won’t believe it, but I wasn’t always a big fan of desserts. Yet, Tiramisu gets me nostalgic in the best ways, because it was one of my fav childhood treats when dining out with family. Slice of Tiramisu Crepe CakeThis recipe is inspired by a recipe from Tatyana’s Everyday Food, but a lot of changes have been made to ensure the crepe cake fits my own baking style. Tatyana, again, is a beloved Youtuber whose desserts never fail to amaze me. I’m so thankful that she actually was the one who pushed me to try making multi-layer cake in the first place. Tiramisu Crepe Cake cross section

Instead of ladyfingers soaked in coffee in the traditional Italian Tiramisu, there are now coffee-flavoured crepes wonderfully layered with a rich, sweet mascarpone cheese cream filling. If you don’t readily have coffee liqueur at home, feel free to substitute another liquor, such as dark rum, amaretto or the most conventionally used Marsala. Honestly, whatever alcohol you use, it’s going to elevate the flavours and bring your crepe cake to another level. What can I say, it’s the two most iconically romantic western cultures working together to melt hearts. 😉

close up of Tiramisu Crepe Cake

flat lay of Tiramisu Crepe Cake

Ingredients:

For the crepes:

  • 150g (1 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 25g white granulated sugar
  • 480ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder melted in 60ml water
  • 60ml melted butter
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 1 tsp  vanilla

For the filling:

  • 400ml heavy cream, chilled
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur

Instructions:

Components

  1. Prepare the filling before creating any crepes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat them on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add heavy cream, salt, vanilla, and coffee liqueur. Continue mixing on medium speed until light and fluffy. Don’t overmix, otherwise the over-whipped cream will be grainy and stiff. Refrigerate for later use.
  3. In a second large mixing bowl prepare the crepe batter. Whisk eggs, sugar, and flour until smooth. Add coffee mixture (make sure it has already cooled down to room temperature), milk, butter, sugar, coffee liqueur, and vanilla. Combine well until no lumps can be seen.
  4. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Pour 1/4 cup batter into center of the pan; swirl pan to evenly coat the entire base with batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the edge can be easily lifted with a spatula. Flip crepe; cook for another 20 seconds. Transfer to a large plate to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. The batter should be enough to make 18-20 crepes. Remember to cool the crepes completely before assembling the cake.

When both the filling and crepes are completely cooled, prepare components for assembly.

Assembly

  1. Place a crepe onto a flat surface as your crepe cake base. Drop 1/4 cup filling onto this base and spread the filling evenly to almost the edges. Continue this process with remaining crepes and filling, leaving the last crepe with no filling.
  2. Sprinkle cocoa powder on top of the cake. Cover the crepe cake with plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight to let the cake set nicely. Enjoy! 




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Charcoal Black Sesame Cake Roll side view
There are zillions (emphasis on the z) of desserts that I haven’t tried making yet. But I am proud to say I unlocked another achievement today – a soft, fluffy cake roll. And this is a special one. The old saying goes there is light without dark, this dessert embraces this very notion – with its dark outer layers contrasted by its sweet, white whipped cream centre.Charcoal Black Sesame Cake RollHow is it so black though? A blend of two intriguing Asian staples – charcoal and sesame powder. Each of them adds a level of shade to the colour, while the sesame acts as a major source of that nutty, roasted flavour. Also, as I want my cake to be delicately sweet, I simply used whipped cream as my filling. Charcoal Black Sesame Cake Roll side viewNote that a cake roll can be a bit tricky to handle for the first time; but once you got the techniques right, it’s not that hard at all to make. Anna Olson’s tutorial of Jelly Roll Cakes on Youtube was a big help for this. Although I didn’t exactly follow her instructions in preparing the cake batter, I highly recommend that you closely watch how she handles the cake roll when out of the oven, creates the cake roll memories, and then roll it back with fillings. However, please mind that instead of dusting icing sugar onto the towel, I used charcoal powder as I wanted to retain the black exterior of the cake roll. Slice of Charcoal Black Sesame Cake Roll If you want to learn all the basic techniques of baking, do check out her channel. Trust me, Anna is no doubt the best baking teacher. She clearly explains how and why she does what she does in each video. Every time I learn so much from her.Charcoal Black Sesame Cake Roll slice top view Hope you’ll have a great weekend ahead!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 40ml milk
  • 40ml vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 50g cake flour 
  • 8g charcoal powder
  • 8g sesame powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 50g icing sugar, sifted

Filling:

  • 180ml (¾ cup) heavy cream

For dusting:

  • 2-3 tbsp extra charcoal powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Line a rectangular cake tin (25cm x 30cm x 1.5cm) with parchment paper. Slight grease the parchment paper with oil to avoid sticking.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add egg yolks, milk and oil. Mix well – this is your wet ingredients.
  4. In a second mixing bowl, sift in and combine well flour, charcoal powder, sesame powder, baking powder and salt. This mix is your dry ingredients.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 in three stages while mixing. Combine well but don’t overmix.
  6. In a third bowl (make sure it’s oil free), add egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sifted icing sugar using a tablespoon, and beat until soft peak forms. This will take about 5 mins. Gently fold the meringue into the cake batter in 3 additions.
    (For the parts below, instructions are copied from the Food Network’s Classic Raspberry Jelly Roll recipe with some changes.) 
  7. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin.
  8. Bake the cake for 11-12 minutes, until the cake springs back when gently pressed in the centre. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 2 minutes on a cooling rack before loosening sides with a spatula.
  9. Sift a layer of charcoal powder over the surface of the cake and cover with a clean tea towel. Place a second cake pan over the towel and quickly invert the cake, removing the pan it was baked in. Peel off the parchment paper and dust this surface with icing sugar. Roll the cake up from the 10-inch side with the towel and let it cool completely for about 45 mins (cooling it rolled sets its “memory” so the cake won’t crack once filled). 
  10. 5 mins before the cake is completely cool, prepare the whipped cream. Pour chilled heavy whipping cream into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream on slow speed for about 2 mins, then increase the speed gradually until it reaches a soft, creamy texture.
  11. Unroll the cake carefully and spread an even layer of cream over the cake. Gently roll the cake back up again before dusting the top with charcoal powder. Refrigerate for 30 mins to let the cream set. Enjoy!
7 comments
Hojicha Chiffon Cake with Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Whiskey Ganache
I’m not gonna lie; a fluffy chiffon cake had been on my to-make list for ages, so I’m so thrilled that I finally made it happen! I think some of you might be able to relate – when you’re truly into something, you simply want to do it however you feel that day. Take myself as an example, I think about food almost every waking moment and would use baking as an excuse for EVERYTHING. Like today, feeling beaten up physically after a rough night, I decided to bake off some of the tiredness with this superb recipe👌🏻. Side view of Hojicha Chiffon Cake with Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Whiskey GanacheSo, for this chiffon cake, I went against the normally lighter approach to chiffon cake, and used a combination of Hojicha (aka roasted green tea), dark chocolate and whiskey. They’re three flavours that are equally bitter and complex, instantly invoking a feeling of maturity. What’s more, I only realised later that they’re all elements deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. From the cold tip of Hokkaido down to the summery bays of Okinawa, the core of such tastes is tied to the purity of nature. Doesn’t that sound amazing? 😉

Hojicha Chiffon Cake with Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Whiskey Ganache

As this is my first attempt of making a chiffon cake, I adapted the recipe of Green Tea Chiffon Cake by Just One CookBook. I am a big fan of the author, as she explains everything slowly and clearly, and I LOVE authentic home-style Japanese food. Feel free to pair the cake with fresh cream or fruits; but I wouldn’t mind having it on its own. Make this delicious treat for yourself and let me know how it goes!!

Close detail of Hojicha Chiffon Cake with Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Whiskey Ganache

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp (40ml) canola oil
  • 4 tbsp (60ml) milk
  • 75 g (⅔ cup) cake flour
  • 1 tbsp (10g) hojicha powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the meringue:

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 60g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the ganache:

  • 100g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g heavy cream
  • 20g butter
  • 2 tbsp whiskey

For the toppings:

  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Instructions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 340F (170C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and caster sugar (30g) until light and pale. Add canola oil, milk and vanilla, and whisk until well combined.
  3. Sift in cake flour, hojicha powder, and baking powder to the egg yolk mixture. Mix until totally incorporated.
  4. In another bowl (make sure it’s oil free), add egg whites and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the caster sugar (60g) using a tablespoon, and beat until all sugar dissolves and soft peak forms. This will take about 5 mins. Gently fold the meringue into the cake mixture in 3 additions.
  5. Pour the mixture into the ungreased 17cm chiffon cake pan (please do NOT grease your pan or otherwise your chiffon cake won’t stick to the pan and therefore collapse while baking). Tap the pan a few times to release air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. The cake must be cooled upside down; balance the chiffon pan on a tall heavy bottle using the pan indent. Leave until the cake is completely cool before removing it.
  8. To remove cleanly, keeping the pan upside down and use a thin sharp knife or thin offset spatula, running it gently around the cake.
  9. Place the serving plate on top of the cake (which will now become the base of the cake) and flip over. The cake should pop out easily.

For the ganache:

  1. Add the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, add cream, butter, and salt. Bring it just to boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat.
  3. Pour the cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand for 10 mins and don’t stir to prevent it from going grainy.
  4. Stir the mixture with a whisk until smooth and shiny. Add whiskey and mix well.
  5. Pour over the chiffon cake and top it with chopped hazelnuts.
6 comments
The Ultimate Dream – Raw Pistachio Avocado Coconut Ice-cream Cake
I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier, but what happens when all of my favourite ingredients, i.e. pistachio, avocado, and coconut, are put in one single cake? A DREAM COME TRUE. I just finished 75% of my ielts test this morning, so I feel like I have to write about food to celebrate life a bit. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd although it is slowly reaching Autumn here in Hong Kong, whenever I step outside, I literally melt into pieces. Even still, I can’t always resort to bubble tea to cool myself down right? Well, can I?!?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think people who love pistachios would understand how hard it can be to enjoy these tiny yet unbelievably expensive nuts; every one of them counts. I always wanted to save money by getting those with shells, and one time while I was shelling them at home for over an hour and was caught by my brother, and he laughed at my lonely solitude time. Whoops.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This cake is inspired by the PISTACHIO & ORANGE BLOSSOM RAW AVOCADO CAKE by Unconventional Baker – someone who creates tons of beautiful, raw and healthy desserts. Being as greedy as always, I threw in a dash of coconut goodness, i.e. dessicated coconut and coconut milk, into the cake base and cake filling respectively. In both the original and my own take, every mouthful It is all about freshness brought by the cake’s natural, raw components. With that said, how can I honestly make it sound even better? How about by telling you that  this cake is a frozen ice-cream cake? This way, every mouthful feels both icy and creamy in texture, and entirely nourishing and satisfying in feel. In other words, this is the perfect treat for a sunny, warm day when you just want to hide inside a fridge that’s probably too small for you.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • ½ cup raw pistachios (~55g), pre-soaked and drained
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (~50g)
  • 5 soft medjool dates, pitted (~95g)
  • 1 ½  tbsp maple syrup
  • ⅛ tsp salt

Filling:

  • 2 medium size avocados, peeled and pitted (~230g)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) maple syrup
  • 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup raw pistachios
  • tsp vanilla

Optional Toppings: 

  • Raspberries and chopped pistachios

Instructions:

For the base:

  1. Line an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, ground the crust ingredients into a semi-fine texture with some crunch left.
  3. Evenly distribute the mixture on the bottom of the pan and press with a spoon until the base is even and firm.

For the filling:

  1. Using a clean blender or food processor, blend all the filling ingredients in high speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
  3. Freeze the cake for at least 3 hours to let it set. 
  4. If preferred, decorate the cake with raspberries and chopped pistachio just like I did. Enjoy! 🙂

*To enjoy the ideal texture, please first leave the cake to soften a bit in room temperature for about 10 mins. 

3 comments
Four Lemon Curd Limoncello Meringue Éclairs
This post is my salute to the éclair  – the stunning, wicked treats found in most French pastry shops which by their very nature capture everyone’s steal hearts. By definition, an éclair is a finger-shaped pastry made with choux dough, filled with cream or custard and topped with icing. It’s no exaggeration to say that they look like art and taste like heaven – something achieved with patience, precision and care.Four Lemon Curd Limoncello Meringue Éclairs

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Vibrant lemon curd

Lemon curd is one of the greatest inventions on Earth. I love it because it’s refreshingly sweet & tart at the same time. Making it yourself may sound intimidating enough that you’d opt for store-bought ones in the supermarket. But let me get this straight – making lemon curd yourself only sounds sophisticated – it’s actually SO very easy. In fact, you might start thinking about giving away jars and jars of lemon curd to your friends, family or even your neighbours whenever the occasion calls for it LOL.

Full jar of Lemon Curd
This delicious and simple recipe is by Cupcake Jemma. I first came across her when I was searching for cupcake videos on YouTube. The cupcakes she made in her videos looked so good that I finally overcame my irrational fear of making them, and made my first round as soon as I could (but let’s leave that for next time). I absolutely admire her, for her unquestionable talent in baking, self-confidence, beauty, and tattoos. She has simplified the making process so much that I couldn’t wait to give it a go. And you know what? She didn’t lie; it’s just that simple.
Spoon of Lemon Curd
Once you have made a whole jar of lemon curd (applause!), there are limitless things you can do with it.  Stay tuned, as for the next few blog posts, I am going to share some of my fav lemon curd dessert recipes with you all!

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg yolks + 2 whole eggs
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 110 ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 60g cold chopped butter

Instructions:

  1. Prepare a double boiler. To do so, fill a saucepan with 1-1.5 inches high of water and bring it to simmer. Find a heatproof bowl that fits in the saucepan without directly touching the water.
  2. Put all ingredients except the butter into the heatproof bowl. Using a whisk, stir the mixture continuously but gently to slowly cook the eggs. The lemon curd is ready when it starts to thicken up. This process will take about 5-7 mins. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
  3. Stir in the cold chopped butter into the mixture. Mix until the butter completely melts.
  4. Put the lemon curd into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

*You may sieve the lemon curd if you want a creamier texture, just remember that you only add the lemon zest in the end. 

 

4 comments
Stack of Macadamia Nut Butter Avocado Brownies
In case you still don’t know, I LOVE avocado. The worldwide avocado obsession possibly started with the ridiculously endless yet highly addictive avocado toast pictures that flooded Instagram in recent years. But let’s not get too cynical about its fame and take the time to acknowledge the fact that avo is amazing (and nutritious, creamy, delicious, cute, natural). Three Macadamia Nut Butter Avocado BrowniesAs for the recipe, a friend of mine tried this brownie and she said it was a total bomb. Well, it is indeed. You might be worried about the end result when there’s no butter or any liquid oil added to the recipe; relax. The smoothness of macadamia nut butter blended with the creaminess of avocado keeps the final treat moist and gooey – just as how brownies should be.Tray of Macadamia Nut Butter Avocado Brownies

I also wanted this brownie to feel a little bit more “mature”, so I used coffee and good quality dark chocolate to provide a contrast to the sweetness of the white sugar. In the end, there’re so many different textures in every last little mouthful – creaminess from macadamia nut butter and avocado; crunchiness from chopped macadamia; and gooeyness thanks to half-melted dark chocolate. So, even IFFFF you don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, you’re gonna declare this brownie your new bae.

Ingredients:

  • 95g all purpose flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 avocado
  • 60g homemade macadamia nut butter *See Note
  • 120g white sugar
  • 2 eggs  
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder melted in 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 50g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g macadamia, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line a square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, sift in and combine well flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mash the avocado until smooth with a fork or masher. Add macadamia nut butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, coffee mixture, almond milk. Mix well.
  4. Pour the dry flour mixture into the wet ingredients in three batches. Stir the batter gently with a spatula until everything is just incorporated.
  5. Stir in the chopped dark chocolate and macadamia.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared square tin.
  7. Bake the brownie for 18 minutes (don’t overcook brownies!). Take the brownie out from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before any handling.

*Note for macadamia nut butter

Macadamia nut butter is very easy to make as long as you have a blender or preferably food processor.

Instructions:

  • Roast 200g raw macadamia in an oven at 350F (175C) for 8 mins. Blend or process the roasted macadamia until completely smooth and creamy. Store the excess in an airtight jar and put in the fridge.
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Tea-rific Tofu Treat – Tofu Matcha Cheesecake with Coconut Nutty Base

 

Side view of Tofu Matcha Cheesecake with Coconut Nutty BaseIf you are Asian or familiar with Asian cuisine, “matcha and tofu” may seem pretty normal for you, but in the west, they are quite literally the flavour of the month. After multiple attempts, I am so glad that I have finally come up with the perfect recipe to share with you all. This is a no-bake dessert, so even if you don’t have an oven at home, it’s no problem at all.

4 comments
Fresh baked Zucchini Maple Yogurt Pecan Bread
Let’s keep the loaf cake/bread train going, shall we? The idea of putting zucchini into desserts sounded absolutely strange to me last year; I mean, why would you do it? It’s a vegetable! If you are having the same doubts now, do read on, I assure you you’ll be convinced.

Freshly sliced Zucchini Maple Yogurt Pecan BreadBecause of the ingredient substitutions (i.e. coconut oil, maple syrup and yogurt etc), I would say this bread is on the devilish side of healthy – something just sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, and you’d be dying to devour in the morning (without feeling TOO guilty). Truth be told, you can’t really taste the zucchini much in this bread, but what it does here is to add enough moisture and, of course, loads of nutrients to the final dish. What you get is the right balance of dry and wet, making it moist but not overly gooey. When you add pecans, it creates a nutty crunch that renders the bread a textural feast.
Slice of Zucchini Maple Yogurt Pecan Bread
Is that it? Well, one unmissable element of this bread is orange zest. A bit of this sweet-scented goodness in the cake batter brings about a refreshing aroma, leading you on a journey to a secret citrus patch. Easily whipped up in less than 20 mins and ready to eat an hour later, this bread is a sure win.Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Salt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • one orange, zest of
  • 1 cup pecan (~125g), chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, or grease it with butter or oil; set aside.
  2. Shred a medium size zucchini until you get a cup of shredded zucchini. Squeeze shredded pieces with your hand to get rid of excessive water content; set aside.
  3. In a bowl, sift in and combine well the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, yogurt, egg, vanilla, zucchini, orange zest and pecan until smooth.
  5. Pour the dry flour mixture into the wet ingredients in three batches, stirring continuously. Stir the batter gently with a spatula until everything is just incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap the pan several times to break any air bubbles. Bake the cake for 50-55 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake’s centre comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. When the cake is cool enough to handle, remove it from the pan and let it continue to cool on the wire rack before serving. 
3 comments
Be Cool as a Coconut – Raspberry Triple Coconut Loaf Cake
As featured in my amazing friend’s the Liberty Mag – https://thelibertymag.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/be-cool-as-a-coconut-raspberry-triple-coconut-loaf-cake/*Do check out the above uni student-run independent online magazine for more fun & inspiring articles about a wide range of topics!

This cake is a sensational celebration of one of the most versatile ingredients on Earth, coconut. It’s great in savory as well as sweets dishes, aka my absolute weakness with which you can bribe me into doing anything (okay, that may or may not be an exaggeration but I dare you to try it). Triple Coconut Raspberry Cake with Lemon Glaze. Why Triple? Well, coconut milk, coconut oil, and desiccated coconut are all in the batter, with an added touch of shredded coconut on top. When you taste this cake, you’re literally embracing the many sides, textures, and tastes of the humble little coconut.Raspberries on Raspberry Triple Coconut Loaf Cake

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