Desserts

Easy Baklava

Inspired by a cooking programme on Nat Geo People, I decided to just do baklava on a whim. Why? Because I had all the ingredients ready!

No measurements because everything was by gut and feel (and what I have at hand).

Ingredients: Phyllo pastry, nuts (pistachio, walnuts), sugar, butter, cinnamon.

I am just so surprised at how easy it is to make baklava at home! It won’t be the same as store bought one, but that’s even better because I can make it less sweet!

First, I processed roughly pistachio and walnuts. And then place them in a bowl, added 1/2 cup sugar, and one tablespoon of powdered cinnamon
Next step is to layer the nut mixture with the phyllo pastry. You have to cut the pastries to fit the size of your tray. I used a Pyrex glass tray. Make sure to generously spread melted butter on each layer of phyllo pastry. Use up all the pastry and the nuts.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into squares first before baking.
Bake in a 180 Celcius oven until golden. Once it is out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup all over and let it sit.
If you can see from here, I have been very generous with the nut filling.
You can see this generosity clearer here! 🙂
I actually served this instead of the traditional birthday cake for my niece’s 20th year birthday! 🙂

Ingredients:

Phyllo pastry

Melted Butter

Pistacho nuts

Walnuts

Sugar

Cinnamon Powder

For the Sugar Syrup

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

1/2 cup honey

2 teaspoon lemon juice

Desserts

Lemon Loaf II

Ok, I’m experimenting. With lemon. Specifically lemon loaf recipes. I might want to start selling them. Over here, there’s a booming business for home bakers and home based sellers – from desserts to savoury snacks, masks and clothing. It’s incredible the plethora of things one can buy from home based sellers nowadays.

I intend to join the club this year-end and my food of choice – lemon loaves 😂 let’s see if it works. Don’t worry, I’m still the occasional cook because my full time job is important to the family. How else can the kids get all their extra classes and good food and holidays if I quit? 😅

This is recipe number 2. It starts off the same way but I’ve got to tweak some things.

Wet ingredients:

– 3 eggs

– 1 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup olive oil

– zest from two lemons

– 1 tbsp lemon juice

– I tsp lemon paste

– 1 cup Greek yogurt

Dry ingredients:

– 1.5 cups self-raising flour

– 1tsp salt

I finally got the glaze right

Looking moist. I’ll try another time with a very thick glaze and another recipe tweak.

Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Banana Walnut Muffin

I had bananas that were just begging to be baked. And so I made banana walnut muffin after last week’s trip to Starbucks made me eat one of their banana walnut muffins again.

My recipe:

1. 200 g salted butter

2. 3/4 cups brown sugar

3. 1 egg

4. 2 tsp vanilla essence

5. 2 cups self-raising flour

6. 3/4 cup walnuts

7. 3 large ripe bananas

And for the topping:

Mix 3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts with 2 tbsp sugar

Steps:

In a mixer, cream butter and then add sugar. Add egg. And then the vanilla.

Then slowly add the dry ingredients, just to mix.

Spoon into muffin liners and then top with the walnut mix and bake till brown

Too much sugar. Next time I’ll cut down on the sugar.
Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Lemon Loaf

I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time and today is finally the day.

For the lemon loaf today, I followed this recipe

I followed the recipe faithfully EXCEPT for the lemon extract. While the author recommended NOT to use lemon juice, I went ahead and used lemon juice and I think it makes little difference. Perhaps extract will have a more robust lemony flavour but lemon juice works just as well. My substitute was 3 tbsp of lemon juice.

Now, I wished I had lined the loaf tin instead of following the author in just greasing and flouring the tin well. I did, but half the bottom of the cake still stuck to the pan! My heart bled lemon juice seeing that. Sigh. Next time, line the tin with parchment paper, girl, I say to myself sourly.

Measure and organise ingredients.
First step: in a bowl add 3 large eggs, one cup of sour cream (I used a tin of 200g), and 1 cup of caster sugar. Whisk well till combined.
Once combined, drizzle in 1 cup of vegetable oil. I used sunflower. Add 3 tbsp of the lemon juice, and 2 tsp of lemon zest. And then add in the dry ingredients: 1.5 cups of plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt. Mix to combine but don’t overmix. You will see lumps but according to the author. Don’t over mix and try to smoothen it out.
Pour into greased and floured loaf tin, I really
recommend lining the bottom with parchment paper. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.
Bake in a 175 degree Celcius oven till cooked. It
should be nicely browned and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.
Transfer to a cooling rack with a pan at the bottom. Drizzle with the glaze. You should wait till it’s completely cooled but I couldn’t wait. It was fine. The glaze uplifted the cake because it’s made with 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 3 tbsp lemon juice.

This recipe is really delicious!
Look at how moist it is. And very lemony!

Try following this recipe for a wonderful weekend treat! 🍋🍋🍋

Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Victoria Sponge Sandwich

To celebrate the nation’s 55th birthday, I decided to make this red and white cake. It’s meaningful actually. It’s symbolic of the historical ties we had with the UK and it was also the first cake I learnt to bake! I was only a Sec 1 13 year old girl then, and they made us do this for our Home Econs practical test. I still remember this so vividly. I was so scared of the gas oven back then, and made my partner turn it on most times. For the exam, I remember asking my mom for a dollar so I could get a purple orchid to decorate my piece. I put my purple orchid in a small vase on the tray. I never knew how much I got but I will never forget baking this cake for the exam. 😂

And now decades later, I’m baking this again. I don’t have my Sec 1 Home Econs book anymore so I scoured the net and settled on Mary Berry’s recipe. How very British. 😄

However, after this was done, I must say this recipe is really good! The cake was very moist and very soft! I couldn’t bake it as long as suggested because mine was done ten minutes earlier. But the result was perfection! Another trick I got was to buy one of those cake liners with handles! I reckon I’ll be baking now more because of these liners I got from Amazon. They were amazing and come in various sizes. You can get them here: Cake Liners

Look how they fit so perfectly! This is the best thing I ever thought of buying!
The batter is so easy peasy! Just cream butter with sugar and then the eggs and flour. Oh, I did tweak a bit by adding a teaspoon of vanilla. I wonder why vanilla was not in the recipe.
Bake baby bake!
Not bad for a novice baker!
After that, I inverted one cake and placed it on a plate. Then I added whipped cream first then the strawberry jam (because of the national flag). And then put the second cake on and dusted powder sugar all over.
That beautiful plate? I got it from a UK seller on Etsy. So pretty, don’t you think?
Check out that lava filling! Now, one would think I was overzealous and slathered too much. And maybe I did but believe it or not, when we started eating, we wanted more cream and jam! 😂 There’s never a thing as too much.

I really recommend Mary Berry’s Recipe. And to my country, Majulah Singapura! 🇸🇬