Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake Again!

img_8128Chocolate and Vanilla Cheesecake with a layer of Chocolate Ganache without using heavy cream, say what?!?

img_8131Made this Chocolate and Vanilla literally few hours ago and it’s currently chilling overnight so that I can share this with my family and eat cake for my breakfast tomorrow! 🙂 You can find this recipe here which I made it last year. I am excited to try it and will keep you posted on how it taste ! Have a good night if you’re reading this at 11:07pm!

  •  Adding the white sugar to the cream cheese reminds me of frosty snow!
  • Melting the chocolate pieces
  • Cream cheese mixture resembles like actual frosting, yummy!
  • Knobs of butter floating in the milk mixture
  • Egg and vanilla extract in the batter
  • Adding egg one at a time
  • The vanilla mixture (About 10 heap tbsps of cake batter)
  • The chocolate mixture, added the melted chocolate to it
  • Added the homemade sour cream to both flavours
  • Pour in the chocolate mixture followed by adding dollops of vanilla and then chocolate after that
  • Reminds me of Jackson Pollack’s art anyone? 🙂
  • Bake it at 180 degrees celcius for 1hr 30mins
  • Chocolate ganache: 5 tbsps of butter + 1/3 cup of milk + 1/4 bar chocolate pieces. Heat it up in a pot on medium heat till it thickens. Pour over the cooled cake.

img_8044Let the cake chill overnight because it tastes seriously amazing when it is best eaten cold!

Only the first morning and look how much is left!

img_8137After the cake has been cooled overnight! Dense, creamy chocolatey goodness!

I am quite a perfectionist and I’ll admit that the cake tasted a bit grainy as I must have cooked it a bit longer. Next time, bake it less than 1hr 45mins and instead to 1hr 30mins at 170 degrees celcius instead of 180 degrees? I guess the homemade sour cream was not so successful. Will buy a cup of sour cream next time!

 

Double Chocolate Banana Cake

IMG_7796.jpgLook at how ridiculously fluffy the cake is with bits of melted chocolate embedded in it ?!

IMG_7775.jpg     Brownie-like texture cake anyone?

When you have plenty of bananas that has been lying around for days, what do you do? Make banana cake of course! Adding cocoa powder and chocolate just makes it even more decadent.

Here is a ridiculously easy and yet foolproof recipe for just that. Baked it two days ago and my family absolutely loved it! Adapted from this recipe but added my own special twist to it. Try it and your whole house will smell like warm banana goodness – currently my house smells like that as I am typing away.

Adding a pinch of cinnamon powder and cinnamon sugar, gives a subtle warmth to the banana cake like what you would find in a gingerbread cake. You know what’s even better? Adding a tablespoon or two of rum to the cake intensifies the flavour of the cake further which is what I would do the next time. A little bit of booze just elevates this cake to a whole new level of excitement.

Ingredients

  • 3 large bananas
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of cinnamon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 bar of chopped chocolate
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • A handful of raisins
  • A handful of walnuts

Preparation

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a bowl. Add in the salt and cinnamon sugar, mixing it well.
  2. Chop the chocolate bar into small pieces and leave it in the fridge.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas using a fork. Add in the white sugar and cinnamon powder.
  4. Crack an egg into the wet mixture, mix in the vanilla and pour in the coconut oil. Use a whisk to mix it till well combine.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  6. Fold in slowly and gently add the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Add in the raisins and chopped chocolate. Put it in the oven and bake it for 30 mins or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients

Mix it all up when you put it all together

img_7770Very moist and very good

Healthier Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

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This is my healthier version of my Nutty Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting. I substituted 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil (8 tablespoons) of coconut oil to make it much more healthier and palatable. The coconut oil gave a warm and fragrant aroma to the cake even after it has been baked!

img_4065The carrot cake batter

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The brand that I’ve used

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In all making this carrot cake was a huge success! I halved the cream cheese packet to make a thinner frosting and layered it on top of the cake. Look at that moist and fluffy goodness! You can see specks of spices and traces of dried fruit and nuts!

BIRDY Live Concert 2016

I had the most absolute luck to have attended my first ever concert. It was the Birdy concert on the 2nd of August, 8pm and watched her perform live infront of me! I have waited for 5 years and was just amazed that she came to Asia for her tour ‘Beautiful Lies” to perform! I was like all the way at the front just two people away. I was literally awe struck and blown away by her vocals and by her band! Just unbelievable, one of the best highlights of 2016! These were some of the photos that I took!

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A few of my favourite songs has to be Growing Pains, Give Up On Me, Wings, Wild Horses and Keeping Your Head Up! Still remember vividly when Wings was sung, everyone was raising their hands and clapping to the beat! She also sang Young Blood and Words As A Weapon from her first and second album. Going to a concert is so much fun and I had an amazing time and experience.

The first time I came to know her was when I was scrolling through channels on the television, and I accidentally pressed the MTV channel. And there was the screen playing Birdy’s music video ‘People Help The People’. Back then, I was around 16 years old. From there I went on YouTube to discover all of her other songs. I was really impressed by her vocals when I listened to her one take cover on’ Skinny Love’. She even commented a drawing I did of her on Facebook! She commented, “Did you draw that? It is so wonderful! I replied, “Glad you like it! 🙂 on the 22 of June 2013.

Outfit details: Dress from Zara, bracelets – Aldo, rings – H&M, necklace – Sister, shoes –  Converse

I have found 3 new songs that has been my recent favourites. I have been listening for quite a while and kept on replaying those songs. So without further due, these songs are

  1. Bridget Mendler – Atlantis
  2. Sigma – Find Me featuring Birdy
  3. Leighton Meester – Heartstrings

 

Nutty Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

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The moment when the whole kitchen smelled like warm cinnamon goodness, I knew that I was in for a treat. I was deciding on what to bake and in a whim, I thought of why not make a carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting? And so my search began, scrolling and typing words such as ‘moist carrot cake’ or googling images of it that had only one layer. Majority were images of layered carrot cakes with a generous amount of frosting and looked absolutely divine. However, I was on the mission to find a single layer carrot cake that could fit my 8 inch by 8inch cake pan and I think may have just found the one!

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A generous layer of cream cheese frosting, what’s not to love?

I’ve modified the recipe by converting the measurements into cups because I find it much more easier and convenient. I already had 5 blocks of cream cheese in my refrigerator, a staple in my family household. So what better way to use it as frosting instead? I’ve also added a variety of nuts and dried fruits as I had some left. But feel free to add whatever your heart desires! Why not add chocolate chips for a touch of decadence? Or even lemon or orange zest to add another depth of flavour?

After grating the carrots, you will notice that it leaves quite an amount of juice, I removed about 3 tablespoons full and drank it – because free natural carrot juice anyone? I decided to leave the remaining juice to incorporate into the cake batter. To plump up your dried raisins, you could leave it in a bowl of hot water till it just submerge or you could replace it with rum or prehaps orange juice.

After grating the carrots, you will notice that quite an amount of juice is left. I’ve removed about 3 tablespoons full and drank it – cause natural carrot juice anyone? 🙂 I decided to leave the remaining juice to incorporate into the cake batter.

Optional: why not plump up your raisins by soaking it in a bowl with rum until just submerge or perhaps even using orange juice?

img_3571My working bench!

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                                            Almonds, raisins, walnuts and cranberries!

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A warm golden top with traces of fruits and nuts

Making the cream cheese frosting in progress!

Dollop spoonfuls of that thing of a beauty!

   Add walnuts for that extra crunch!

This is by far the most absolute carrot cake EVER

Recipe for Nutty Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

(Carrot Cake)

  • 1 cup of carrots, grated (2 medium size)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (note to self: try to use coconut oil instead, healthier)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of white sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon + 1 tsp of cinnamon sugar (1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon + 1/2 tsp of white sugar)
  • 1/4 cup ( a handful each) of – almonds, dried cranberries, dried raisins and walnuts

(Frosting) 

  • 7 tbsp of softened butter
  • 3/4 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 packet of softened cream cheese (250g)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of milk

Directions

( Nutty Carrot Cake)

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 celcius and prepare your cake pan by buttering it.
  2. Grate you carrots in a bowl and remove most of the juice and leave it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift your flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Add in your cinnamon sugar if you have. Mix it well altogether.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk in the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and oil until homogenous.
  5. Chop your almonds, crush your walnuts and mix it into a bowl with your other dried fruits of you choice.
  6. Pour your dry flour mixture into the wet batter and fold it well. Add in the carrots and lastly the nuts. Mix it using a spatula until just combine. Limit your strokes.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Let it bake for 40mins till a toothpick inserted comes out clean and after 25mins or so place an aluminium sheet over the surface to prevent it from browning too much.
  9. Let the cake completely on a wire rack before applying the frosting.

(Frosting)   

  1. Whisk the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl till smooth. Add in the softened butter and continue to whisk. Sift the icing sugar and gently fold it in. Add the vanilla extract and milk, stirring it continuously until it forms a thick cream consistency.
  2. Dollop and spread that over the cooled cake using a spoon. Crush or place some walnuts for decoration and a layer of crunch.  Enjoy!

Do let me know what you think about it! 🙂


Simply Homemade Garlic Bread

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A secret ingredient is used to get that oh so perfect golden hue

A household staple when it comes to having Western food for a dinner night has to be garlic bread!  It’s loved by my whole family. Eat it on its own or even soaking it in onion soup. It just proves to be an absolute comfort food! I love a bread where it has really deep strong flavours and I owe that to herbs especially dried herbs in bottles. I just simply adore it, flecks of dried herbs scattered all over the bread. You can always feel free to dash more over your bread to make it extra flavourful. You bake it in the oven however you could always eat it straight for that extra garlic-ky kick!

For a really deep golden brown colour, the secret is to add a dash of paprika + chili powder to really enhance that golden colour. Here is foolproof recipe for an aromatic, garlic-y and golden garlic bread! It was dinner time and it totally slipped my mind to capture an after it has been cooked! But fret not as I will definitely have a chance to post it very soon!

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Garlic + butter + herbs = ultimate garlic butter

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Garlic bread + herbs w/0 secret ingredient (before it goes into the oven)

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Garlic bread + herbs  w/ paprika (before it goes into the oven)

 

Ingredients

  • Around 13 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 loaf of bread sliced into triangles/squares (palm size)
  • 1/4cup or 7 tbsp of softened butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsps of black pepper
  • 2 tsps of italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika powder
  • a handful of dried rosemary

 

Directions

  1. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Set aside in a bowl
  2. In the same bowl, add the softened butter, salt and sprinkle all the dried herbs to it. Mix it well till it forms a garlic butter paste.
  3. Slice your bread into even pieces and cut to desired shapes. Apply the garlic butter onto only one side of the bread.
  4. Preheat your oven to 180 celcius. Place the bread on an aluminium tray.
  5. Bake the bread for 10 to 15mins till its golden brown and flip it so that the underside browns as well.
  6. Serves well when its eaten hot!

 

My Trusty Cheesecake With Ganache Topping

My go to recipe for a classic cheesecake with a digestive biscuit base! Adapted from this particular Martha Stewart’s Classic Cheesecake. My slight tweak was to omit the lemon juice and zest, replacing it with a teaspoon or two of vanilla essence instead.

Not a single crack! Indeed, it is a foolproof recipe! But fear not, if a crack appears you could always cover it with a layer of chocolate ganache – 2 ingredients, fuss free and extremely easy.

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This is seriously my ideal kind of cheesecake! Homemade, cake, dense and ridiculously smooth! Imagine eating this the next day after it has been chilled in the fridge overnight! Oh boy!

Tips: – Baking this in a water bath is essential however you could also do it without (especially during those lazy days but mind you there may be cracks)

– The addition of sour cream really gives the rich, velvet texture of the cheesecake. Consider it as one of the supporting roles for taste. Which I may have accidentally left the cup of sour cream in the fridge before. Way back during my teen years. Woah, I sound so old now. Giggles.

– Really whisk the softened cream cheese with sugar as much as possible. Knew this from a Youtube video I watched on Gordan Ramsey’s Baked Raspberry and Lemon Cheesecake. Don’t you just want to try that out? I mean it is kind of cool, an advice for making a cheesecake from such a respected figure!

Do let me know how you’re cheesecake turns out!

Happy baking!!

 

 

Chocolate Bundt Cake With Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

I came across a recipe on Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake which can be found here. Immediately, when I saw it I knew I had to bake it. I adapted her version in which I made some adjustments to the recipe. Whereby, my Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake can sort of finally make a comeback in this recipe! Hooray!

You can see there’s three parts to this gorgeous bundt cake. The bottom layer would be the chocolate bundt cake. Followed by the chocolate cream cheese filling and then a generous amount of chocolate ganache with walnuts is poured over the top. I would suggest adding a couple of tablespoons of melted chocolate to the  bundt cake batter. This adds a depth of flavour and richness.

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A mixture of the wet and dry ingredients. The batter already smells so heavenly!
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Let the cake cool. Again, top it off with crushed walnuts on the ganache! Optional, however I highly recommend it!
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A slightly blurry/artsy image  – still one of my fav shots!
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Can you spot the swirl of the vanilla cheesecake peeking through the layers?
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The cream cheese filling settles in the middle of the batter!

Recipe For Chocolate Bundt Cake With Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

(Bakes in an 9-inch cake tin)

Ingredients

(Chocolate Bundt Cake)

  • 16 tbsp of softened butter
  • 1/3 cup of sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of strong coffee (add 1 tsp of coffee powder to a cup of hot water)
  • 1 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps of baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

(Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling)

  • 250g of softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 100g of chocolate
  • 3 tbsps of sour cream/ milk

(Chocolate Ganache)

  • 1 bar/ 200g of chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract/ rum
  • a handful of walnuts for garnish

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A Pat On The Back

Now currently as I am typing away, its already 6.25pm on a sunday evening. For the past few days, I’ve been wanting so long to create a blog where I could post what interest me from lifestyle to food recipes. After testing out on countless different themes on various websites. I am finally proud to say that I have officially created a food blog today. It is just such a surreal feeling for me when I posted my first blog post. I was always the one to look up on food recipes and websites but never the one to start it. Hence, a pat on a back, Gracelyn! I would like to say a huge thank you to those who stop by and liked my posts. I really appreciate it a lot and do feel free to comment down below! Ciao for now! 🙂