Oh wow, I’ve just realised the last FTM post was more than a year ago! From then till now, I still have been receiving queries, but have opted to answer them directly via e-mail, etc. Having posted quite a bit of pancake photos on Instagram as of late had inevitably garnered pancake queries, mostly along the lines of “Why are my pancakes always dense?”, “I always burn my pancakes!”, and “My pancakes look cooked, but the insides are raw”. So, if any of the aforementioned statements sounds like you on a not-too-good day, here are some perfecting pancake pointers (yes, I do love my alliterations). If you’re a bona fide Pancake Master, just scroll all the way down for the recipe of these refined sugar-free fluffy wholewheat oat pancakes (yes, they’re wholewheat AND fluffy!). Suffice to say, my search for the perfect oat pancakes has ended here.
When Corsage, the blogger behind the inspiring lifestyle and parenting site, A Dollop of Me, approached me for a guest post on her Kitchen Exploits: Family Favourites series, I knew I wanted to share something simple, quick and versatile;- one that would take minutes to prepare, and just left to work its own magic in the oven;- yet look and taste like you’ve spent the whole morning working on it.
And that’s when this berry baked chocolate oatmeal comes in. A personal favourite of mine, throwing in whatever bits of fruits I see sitting lonely in the pantry, this is a breeze to work with, and perfect for rushed mornings (I plonk it into the oven right before I give A a bath, so it’ll be all nice and warm when we’re done). Don’t be deceived by the chocolate component though, with the low amount of (unrefined) sugar, and with all the oats, this one’s actually good for you!
Drop by here for my berry baked chocolate oatmeal recipe, and don’t forget to explore a series of food adventures called Kitchen Exploits on A Dollop of Me for ideas and inspirations too! Thank you again, Corsage, for having me over!
They say a picture paints a thousand words, but when nothing you do can possibly make it any easier to take a perfect picture of a wonderfully moist, yet non-camera-friendly dark-hued chocolate loaf cake, I guess you will have to type out the thousand words yourself. Now I know these aren’t exactly picture perfect, and it’s possibly against some food blogger ethics to post entries with unabashedly unappealing photos, but trust me when I say my search has come to an end with this, and it is my moral obligation to share a darn good cake, albeit virtually. With a tight crumb, a deep chocolate flavour enhanced with bursts of sweetness from the chocolate chips, and a rich and moist texture which becomes pronounced overnight, it would be almost impossible to guess that the secret ingredient here is avocado. That’s right; no butter, no eggs, no yoghurt, no buttermilk, but just simply mushy riped avocado.
The original recipe is very much like a wacky cake / crazy cake / depression cake (aside: if you don’t already know what I’m referring to, do your time-constrained baker self a favour and google this quick chocolate cake fix), which makes it a perfect vegan cake, but since I’m not a fan of vinegar in bakes, I decided to play around with the proportions instead, increasing the fat ratio. And if you’re still feeling kinda iffy about the whole avocado thing, let me assure you that you can’t taste it even a little. And just to convince you further, even the mister who doesn’t eat avocado / oats / ‘any of those funny healthy things you eat’, couldn’t resist enjoying a couple of slices (and even sighed when they were gone!). Now if that’s not a good cake, I don’t know what is.
Ever since I started baking, I’ve grown to realise that one of my favourite breakfasts and tea-time treats to eat and make are scones. Nothing quite hits the spot like a soft and tender bake enjoyed quietly alone on a lazy day, and to have this comfort food on your plate in under an hour, without the hassle of butter softening, or yeast proofing (yes, I’m looking at you, yummy-yet-time-consuming cinnamon rolls), is surely an added bonus, if not an impetus. Yet, each time I blog or tweet on scones;– I must admit I bake them more than I can blog;– I will almost always receive either laments on differing results, or questions on my ‘secrets’ to baking them. This post certainly is a long time coming, but here’s sharing some of my tips on baking perfect scones, and pssst, even if you’re not interested, there is a great recipe awaiting at the end of the post, in celebration of Nutella Day last Sunday.
Call me boring and unadventurous (though I’d much prefer somewhere along the lines of safe), but I am the sort who finds a great recipe, and sticks by it. In itself it might sound contradictory given that I’m a food blogger, and the very essence of a food blog pivots on the testing and sharing of a plethora of recipes. Well in case you’ve lost me, what I am more specifically referring to is the fact that I have my chosen repertoire of turn-to recipes I’ve been using as bases, or point of reference, for certain bakes. The way I see it, if a said recipe is tried and tested over countless of times, and have proven its worth amongst differing palates, it must surely has earned itself a spot for tweaking and variations.
A favourite base recipe I’ve used countless of times in experimenting new flavours and combinations has to be the much-loved and understated fudgy cocoa brownies, which has lent itself to some yummy peanut butter blondies, and snickerdoodle blondies, just to name a few. Then there is my most oft-used base muffin recipe, which I can never seem to get tired of, and have made variations with other ingredients such as different chips (butterscotch yum!), fruits (strawberries, blueberries) and spreads (Nutella, jam, peanut butter). Hence it would only seem natural that when I was craving for bread pudding the other morning, I turned to my favourite Nutella chocolate bread pudding recipe for a little tweaking.
I am well aware that it has been slightly over a month since my last post, and thanks to the kind thoughts and concern by some of my readers and blog friends who dropped me a note (you know you are), I reckon a slight nudge was all it took to get me off my rear and resume sharing my bakes. You could call it a long writer-cum-baker’s block of sorts, I guess. Anyway, adhering to the mantra ‘better late than never’, here’s wishing all my Muslim readers a blessed and joyous month of Ramadhan! It has already been well into the second week of the holy fasting month now here in Singapore, and if my Twitter timeline is anything to go by, it seems that more people are keen on baking their own sweet treats for Eid, and have already begun their own oven experiments.
It appears to be the most opportune time then to kickstart this year’s edition of Ramadhan Baking, where I share some of my own ‘Eid-bakes’ experiments, as well as household favourites.
‘Do you really have to turn everything into chocolate?’;– well, as a matter of fact, I don’t, but for all intents and purposes, I absolutely find it much too difficult to resist not to. Not that I had ever tried hard enough, I must accede. And having had worked on quite a bit of brownie orders over the past week (and not having any leftovers) certainly didn’t help with the chocolate craving, though it probably explains my bake-anything-chocolate-but-brownies specification. I wanted something with a deep chocolate flavour, yet light, and not overwhelmed by copious amount of chocolate filling or frosting. Most importantly, I wanted it fast.
And thus, my nifty and tiny 2-dollar madeleine pans (which I had purchased long ago, and completely forgotten about) came to the rescue that afternoon. Along with a recipe I had bookmarked even way before the madeleine pans came into the picture. Enthusiastic, yes?