Lemon drizzle cake

Now this one is from Tana Ramsay… Gordon Ramsay’s wife. And it was such a perfect cake. Well I did hear that her recipes are delicious and she has a book out too.  I made this as a sudden after thought on a Saturday morning, wondering if it would bake in time for my morning picnic.  But yes it did and it was perfect. This shot was taken at the picnic table while we were hungrily attacking the cake! Please go ahead and try it out. 🙂

Recipe ( by Tana Ramsay, and adapted from the BBC Goodfood magazine)

  • 225g unsalted butter,softened
  • 4 regular sized eggs
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Lemon drizzle

  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 85g castor sugar

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Cream the butter and sugar till soft and creamy. Then add one egg at a time mixing well to make sure well incorporated. Add the lemon zest and mix well. Now sift in the self raising flour and mix till just combined. Line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and pour in the mixture.  Level the top with a spoon and bake for about 45 -50 min till a skewer comes out clean when tested.

While you wait for the cake to cool, prepare the lemon drizzle.  Mix the juice with the castor sugar till the sugar dissolves partly. Pierce the warm cake with a skewer or fork and then drizzle lemon juice all over till the juice has sunk in. And now time to enjoy your easy peasy lemon drizzle cake ..But it tastes even better after an hour or so.  Enjoy! 🙂

Note: I didn’t use all of the lemon syrup on the cake and it turned out pretty good, see what you think is the right amount.

Prep time 15min

Cook time 45mins

Caponata with ciabatta

I should have married an Italian..! hahahah cos I love Italian food…hmmmmm anyway! 🙂

I got this recipe from the BBC Goodfood magazine and the colours were so pretty and the recipe was SO SIMPLE! I love these kind of simple and delicious recipes.

Recipe: (adapted from BBC Goodfood)

  • loaf of ciabatta – sliced thick and sautéed in a pan with some olive oil
  • 1 large aubergine, sliced thick in 2 cm cubes
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 25g raisins
  • 3 sticks of celery sliced about 5mm thick
  • handful of toasted pine nuts and some basil leaves for garnish

Get a deep pot, add some olive oil, about 50ml and throw in the chopped aubergine. Cook on medium heat till slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Take it out and add the sliced onions, cook till softened and slightly caramelised.

Now in goes the chopped tomatoes, cook till softened and well incorporated with the onions. Add 3/4 of the sliced celery, capers, raisins and the red wine vinegar. Now add the aubergine back into the pot. Season well.

Cook on low heat  for about 25 to 30 minutes, mixing gently in between. About 5 minutes before you take it off the heat, add the remaining sliced celery for the crunch. Check seasoning again and serve garnished with pine nuts and basil leaves.

Serve with ciabatta. Super yumm!

 

Smoky Tofu Tortillas

I’m Indian and I love Indian food. Should I cook more Indian food…well I can if I had more time on my hands. These recipes are so easy to make and hassle free that I just love the simplicity of it. And the ‘ Clean eating’ concept I was talking about previously fits perfectly with my time schedule. 🙂 and so much healthier too…luv it! Go ahead and try it.

 

Recipe: ( adapted from BBC Goodfood magazine)

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 big onion cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 green pepper cut into medium sized strips
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp hot paprika
  • small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stems chopped fine
  • 200g smoked tofu ( I used regular firm tofu) cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can of kidney beans , 400g, drained and rinsed
  • 40g can cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. dark brown soft sugar

For serving

  • 8 corn/ wheat tortillas
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  •  large ripe avocado, cut into wedges
  • shredded lettuce
  • thick yoghurt or sour cream
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Heat oil in a large pan, add onions and peppers. Season and cook on medium high heat till just tender and starting to char. Add coriander stems, stir for a minute then add spices. Keep stirring for about 2 mins till fragrant. Add some water if too dry.

Tip in the tofu, kidney beans, tomatoes and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes on medium high heat till sauce is quite dry and tofu is heated through. Taste sauce for seasoning and add coriander leaves and some lime juice as needed. Taste again and adjust seasoning if needed.

Warm tortillas following pack instructions. Serve with some yoghurt or sour cream, lettuce and avocado wedges.

Enjoy!

Serves 4, prep 10 mins, cook 15 mins.

Aubergine with prawns in oyster sauce

Make this tonight! It’s just too easy and still mouthwatering.  Made it in about 25 minutes after coming home from work and the kids loved it!

Recipe: (Adapted from BBC Goodfood magazine)

  • 3 tbsp. sunflower oil, plus 2 tsp
  • 1 aubergine, cut into rounds , then 3 cm batons
  • 1 red/yellow pepper cut into strips
  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 3 cm
  • ginger 3cm, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves , finely sliced
  • 200g large prawns
  • 3 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • cooked rice, egg noodles to serve

1. Heat the 3 tbsp oil in a wok or large, non stick pan frying pan. Toss in the aubergine and cook for abour 7-8 mins till starting to soften. Add the pepper and a splash of water and cook for another 3 mins or so. Remove from pan and set aside.

2.  Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the pan, add the ginger and garlic , cook for about 1 minute, constantly stirring. Add the prawns and stir fry until pink and half cooked.

3. Now tip in the aubergine and peppers back into the pan and add the oyster sauce, plus 5 tbsp of water. Add most of the spring onions. Simmer until slightly thickened and then scatter the remaining spring onions.

4. Amazing one pot meal ready in 20 mins and serve it with brown/white rice or noodles.

Date and buckwheat granola with pecan and seeds

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This is so yumms that you’re gonna love it! It’s part of my ‘Eating clean’ concept.

When BBC Goodfood sent me this recipe, I literally jumped up and went to the kitchen to make it. It didn’t take much time except for the tossing and turning the granola in the oven from time to time. End result…yummilicious homemade granola!

 

 

Recipe:

  • 85g buckwheat ( I used bulgur wheat)
  • 4  medjool dates -stoned ( 1/4 cup raisins is all I had)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100 g rolled oats
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 25g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 50g pecans, broken into bits
  • 50g sultanas

Soak buckwheat overnight in cold water. (I actually used bulgur wheat and soaked for just an hour) .The next day, drain and rinse it. Put the dates in a small pot with 300ml of water and the ground cinnamon and blitz with a hand held blender or just put in into a blender and blitz it till smooth. Then add the buckwheat (or bulgur wheat ) and cook it for about 10 minutes till pulpy. At the same time, preheat the oven to 150deg C/ gas 2/130C fan . Take 2 trays and line with baking parchment paper.

Stir the oil and oats into the buckwheat mixture and mix well. Now take spoonfuls and spread onto the baking trays in clumps.

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven, slowly turn it over and bake for another 15 mins. Keep doing this till it becomes golden and firm. I did this for about another 20 minutes, turning and mixing in between.

Then take out of the oven, let it cool and fill it into a clean, dry jar. Mix into it the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, pecans and sultanas. Wallah homemade granola!

Serve it with milk and some fruits, or some greek yoghurt and fruits. Delish!!

Enjoy! 🙂

Salmon with corn and red pepper salsa

Clean eating! Have you thought about eating clean? It’s the latest buzzword on healthy eating. Eating clean means eating fresh produce, grains to supercharge your body, fruits detox your body and the end product you are gonna feel like a million dollars! I am trying to follow BBC Goodfood magazine’s Healthy eating habits for 7 days.. haven’t been able to do it completely but the recipes I’ve tried so far are Yumms! Here’s one of them. Enjoy!

Just a short note on the principles for ‘clean eating’ .

Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.

  1. Choose whole natural foods, avoid or eliminate processed foods. Processed foods are those that come in boxes or cans. Try buying fresh produce as much as you can.
  2. Choose unrefined over refined. Eat more grains, legumes, couscous, brown rice, millet etc.
  3. Include a little of carbohydrate, protein and fat at each meal.
  4. Watch out for salt, sugar and fats in your diet. All canned food have hidden high sodium content, and this is seen in all the soy sauces too.
  5. Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to keep you from getting too hungry and maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
  6. Don’t drink your calories! Most specialty coffees are high in calories and the same goes for isotonic drinks and soft drinks.
  7. Finally Get moving !  🙂

 

Recipe: ( serves 2 ) Adapted from the Goodfood magazine

For the spicy salmon

  • 2 salmon fillets about 500g in total
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 lime, grated zest and juice, plus wedges to serve ( feel free to use lemons)
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil

For the salsa salad

  • 1 corn on the hob, husk removed if attached
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 avocado , stoned, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
  • small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

1. Finely grate the garlic into a bowl, add the spices, 1 tbsp lime juice ( or lemon juice)  and olive oil to make the marinade. Coat salmon fillets with the marinade and leave it in the fridge while you make the salsa.

2. Take the corn and steam it till cooked, about 15 minutes, then remove the kernels with a sharp knife and put it into a bowl. Add the chopped red pepper, onions, avocado, lime zest ,1 tbsp lime juice and 1 tbsp olive oil , mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

3. Heat a frying pan on medium high heat and cook the salmon fillets for about 3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

4. Serve with the salsa , with extra lime or lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Total cost: RM 32

Semolina Almond Cake

This has to be one of the best cakes I’ve tasted so far. For those who prefer a buttery..nutty..no chocolate flavoured cake , this is the one! And when it’s so easy to put together ( It’s crazy simple!) , it will you be your go to cake recipe when time is not on your side. I would serve it as a lovely desert after an Indian meal or just serve it at tea time with some lovely masala chai ..simply superb! 🙂  🙂

Recipe ( adapted from Sinfully spicy)

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk ( 14 oz )
  • 10 tbsp. melted butter, more for the cake pan
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature + 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1+ 1/3 cup semolina ( not the fine variety )
  • 1+ 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds for garnish ( on top)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder ( from 5 pods – just grind or powder the seeds)

For the sugar syrup

  • 10 -12 crystal sugar cubes ( I used the ‘kalkand’)
  • 6 tbsp. water
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods ( smashed)

Preheat oven to 175 deg C

Get a large bowl, add to it the condensed milk, melted butter and milk. Mix well till well combined. Now add the semolina and the almond meal. Mix well then add the baking powder dissolved in the 1 tbsp. of milk that we kept aside earlier. Give it a few stirs and don’t over mix.

Get a 9″ x 2″ cake pan, butter and flour it. Line the base with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Scatter the top with the raw almonds and bake for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean.

In the mean time , get a non stick pan and medium-low heat dissolve the crystal sugar and water. I just throw in the bruised cardamom pods and remove it at the end.

Once your cake is out of the oven, drizzle it with the sugar syrup and let it sit. Let it cool completely before you cut cos it will keep breaking if you cut it while it’s hot.

Serve it with some masala chai and you’ll be in heaven! Enjoy!