Category Archives: Fruit

These are a few of my favourite things…

Hello all!

Since the year is coming to a close, I thought I’d write a post on some of my favourite foods I have eaten over the past year (of course you will only see photos of sweet desserts or breakfast foods i.e. non-savoury foods ;P).

I honestly feel like this year has flown by really quickly and it’s nearly 2013! Where did 2012 disappear to? It feels like this year has already gone within a blink of an eye and while I’m one year older, somehow I feel like all the goals and resolutions that I set out to achieve at the start of the year have still not been fulfilled. Perhaps 2013 will be the year where all my plans, goals and dreams come to fruition…one can only hope!

But back to my favourite things…

My favourite foods of 2012 are as follows:

Pyrama’s Ricotta Pancakes served with Maple Syrup and Berries – Pancakes + Ricotta + Maple Syrup = heaven on a plate! These pancakes are so so good but quite on the heavy and rich side due to the use of ricotta so definitely a dish that you would want to order if you are feeling extra hungry or just feeling like being a bit naughty which is usually what I always say to justify eating them ;P

Chef Gallery’s Piggy Buns filled with Sesame Paste – nothing better than a soft delicate bun with sesame paste oozing out of it as you bite into it and there is the added cute factor to these buns…always too cute to eat but yet somehow always ends up in my tummy!

The Sweet Spot’s Mango & White Chocolate Mousse Cake – Layers of sliced Mango with white chocolate…so more-ish! You may even want to buy another slice because it’s just that good! ;P This place in Randwick has many other wonderful cakes to admire and indulge in ;P

Lynn Shanghai’s Steamed Pumpkin Glutinous Balls – Steamed Glutinous Rice Flour moulded in the shape of a pumpkin with golden lotus seed paste…I love all desserts with lotus seed paste (did I mention I also love mooncakes) …quite filling even though they look quite small in size. I literally could eat a few of these in one sitting (*insert guilty face*)

Birthday Peach Buns – something I need to order every year for my birthday…once again white lotus seed paste in a steamed bun…yummmmm! I’ll never get sick of this!

 

Frozen Yoghurt aka Froyo – still loving froyo especially from Noggi (Strathfield) for their green tea froyo and from Cacao Green (Swanston St, Melbourne) for their original flavoured froyo, wow cow for their black sesame and original flavoured froyo, Azuma for their green tea frozen yoghurt and recently loving taro flavoured froyo…who knew such flavours could work so well…

Anmitsu – Mochi glutinous dumplings served with seasonal fruits, sweet bean paste, clear jelly and green tea ice-cream with homemade brown sugar syrup – nothing better than green tea ice cream and mochi dumplings – soft and chewy and oh so delicious…if only they gave more mochi with the ice cream but I think that’s just me being greedy! This is my go-to dessert at most Japanese restaurants and I will usually always eat lighter so that I can indulge in desserts like this after my meal ;P

Homemade low-fat spelt buttermilk pancakes served with pure maple syrup and berriesalthough I like ordering pancakes as my choice of food when I go to breakfast/brunch, nothing beats homemade pancakes made just the way you like it and with the good wholesome ingredients…Mr Muscles made the ones pictured above…not a bad job and they tasted yummy too!

Cafe XXii’s Strawberry Crunch – Layers of Natural Yoghurt flavoured with Strawberries and toasted muesli…yoghurt and toasted muesli…can’t really go wrong with this combination!

Bread & Circus’s Buckwheat & Quinoa Pancakes served with biodynamic yoghurt and orange maple syrup – as seen in my previous post, these pancakes are so addictive, contain great natural ingredients, so more-ish and definitely something I will always order if I go to Bread & Circus for breakfast/brunch.

Sake’s Buttermilk Pannacotta with Berry Coulis – one of the best pannacottas I have eaten…so smooth and delicate just the way a pannacotta should be…I definitely could have two of these!

Sokyo’s Goma Street – A dessert definitely worth trying consisting of caramelised white chocolate mousse, sesame candies, thin paper-like chocolate and sesame ice-cream on top of some biscuit crumbs – if you love all things sesame and black sesame then you will love this dessert!

Homemade Vegan Coconut Creme Brulee – so decadent and rich that you only need a few bites yet very addictive that you feel you want to eat more at the same time…definitely a dessert I will be making again and again when I’m feeling in the mood for something a bit richer ;P

Luke Nguyen’s Red Lantern Pumpkin Cheesecake – a really wonderful dessert combination of pumpkin, cinnamon and cream cheese with vanilla bean ice-cream however I don’t think it is on the menu anymore but since it was such a memorable dessert, I had to post a picture of it for all of you to see.

Kawa’s Toasted Muesli with Yoghurt and Poached Fruit – I am quite addicted to this breakfast item and often order this when I go to Kawa (see previous post) when I’m feeling like something light.

My most favourite of cupcakes at Ghermz: Strawberry Cupcake with Strawberry icing…the cupcake itself is moist and not dry like most cupcakes I have tasted and the icing isn’t the usual buttercream but reminiscent of the icing on cupcakes I had when I was a kid. Remember Dobinsons anyone? It really reminds me of these cupcakes from my childhood.

Homemade Steamed Sponge Cakes – Over the year I have made many variations of steamed sponge cakes and I love the fact that they are very light and airy, they are very simple to make and don’t take long to steam…the variations I have made over the year consist of: brown sugar & coconut, pandan, chocolate/vanilla marble, green tea and dark chocolate. You can store them in the freezer and steam them when you want to eat them for breakfast or as a snack.

Homemade baked donuts – these are so easy to make and don’t take long to bake. I like to make them in small donut pans and regular sized donut pans. I have made many variations of donuts over the year consisting of banana, vegan Krispy Kremes, chocolate using applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon and blueberry.

High Tea – I have been to a few high teas over the year and some of my favourites are: The Westin Hotel, QVB Tea Room and Victoria Tea Salon in Westfield (pictured above). Nothing better than little finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and a plentiful array of sweet treats and desserts.

Boiled Glutinous Rice Balls in a sweet ginger soup (read previous post) – nothing better than having this on a cold and dreary day or when you are feeling slightly under the weather! The ginger gives a much added kick to the dessert…yum! ;P

Homemade muffins: I have literally made numerous muffin recipes over the year experimenting with different flavours. Some of my favourites have included: cinnamon sugar donut muffin (pictured above), green tea banana muffins, almond and honey muffins, banana and date wholemeal spelt muffins, strawberry buckwheat & spelt muffins, mango & macadamia muffins…the list goes on…what I love about homemade muffins are that they are so versatile and you can make them sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free and add whatever ingredients you like in them…I have even made many successful batches of protein muffins…the possibilities are really endless!

I’m definitely sure the list could go on of all my favourite foods but I figure I should stop at some point…

Hope you are all enjoying your week so far! Nearly the weekend! It’s about time!

Till next time

x

Jackie

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Filed under Asian, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Frozen Yoghurt, Fruit, Lunch, Pancakes, Snacks, Toasted Muesli, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT makes: Chewy Cranberry & Pecan Spelt Cookies

Hello dear readers!

I hope you all have had a good weekend! My weekend consisted of baking, eating and then more baking and eating. I’m glad I played a lot of sport this weekend as now I feel a little less guilty for indulging in so much food over the past few days ;P.

On Saturday morning, I was in the mood to make some cookies. I’m always making numerous amounts of muffins and cakes on a frequent basis and as I was seeing Miss S that night, I wanted to bring her some freshly baked goods as gift so it provided me with the perfect opportunity to bake. Mr M bought me a recipe book for my birthday recently called “The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur” by Kelly Peloza, so I couldn’t help but browse through the recipe book to get some good ideas. After much thought, I decided to make an oatmeal type cookie. On my recent trip down to Melbourne, I purchased some cranberry and pecan spelt cookies from Phillippa’s which I really liked as the taste and texture was just how I like my cookies. I thought I would replicate these cookies based on what I remember them to taste like but with my own added healthy twist to them. I took a basic oatmeal cookie recipe I found in the book and tweaked it to recreate the taste and texture of the cookies that I was so fond of eating.

Ingredients I used:

  • 1 Cup of White Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Pecans (You can add more pecans if you like your cookies to be more nutty in texture)
  • 1 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup of Dried Cranberries (You can reduce this amount as I thought that 1 cup was too much. Next time I will reduce it to half a cup)
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/3 cup of soy milk
  • 1/4 Cup of melted Coconut Oil (you can add more if the batter is too dry)
  • 1/4 Cup of Dark Agave Nectar
  • 1.5 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (except for the dried cranberries) and then in a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Portion out the mixture onto a lined baking tray. I made big and small cookies but you can make uniform cookies to whatever size you prefer your cookies to be. In my mindset, smaller cookies meant more indulgment and feeling less guilty ;P. I rolled my mixture into a small ball then flattened it with a fork so that it would get a more even colour once baked.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes or more depending how crispy you like your cookie. If you like a chewier cookie, 10 minutes should be enough time in the oven to set the cookies. Once out of the oven, put them on a baking tray to cool. Ensure that you don’t eat them all in one go as tempting as it is!

What I like about these cookies is that there isn’t too much sweetness and that the sweetness comes from the agave and the dried cranberries. The cranberries and pecans give it more texture and crunch. Also, I liked the fact that these cookies don’t take long to make and that the baking time in the oven is only for a short amount of time to get that chewy texture. I was happy with the result of the cookie but next time I might flatten the cookie out a bit more as I wanted to obtain a more crisper edge to the cookies. They weren’t exactly like the cookies I purchased in Melbourne as they were a lot chewier but at least I didn’t feel too bad when eating them and Miss S seemed to like the cookies which was even better! I will have to try this recipe out again and see if I can make it even better next time. I’ll definitely be reducing the amount of cranberries as I think I went a little overboard when mixing in the cranberries into the mixture.

Photos:

Stay tuned for my next recipe: Vegan Mango & Macadamia Muffins ;P

“A recipe has no soul.  You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe. “
Thomas Keller

x

Jackie

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Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Dessert, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Nuts, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

Jackpot makes: Homemade Raspberry Frozen Yoghurt

Hello dear readers!

TGIF! Sorry for the delayed post but this week has felt like a constant pattern of exhaustion and to top things off I haven’t had a chance to bake anything as yet…perhaps I’ve got some baking block? But I hope to relax this weekend and start baking again. Thanks to my wonderful friends, I am the proud new owner of a red Kitchenaid so I cannot wait to try out new recipes with it.

So last night I looked inside my fridge and found I still had a tub of Country Valley Natural Yoghurt sitting there that had not been open and because of all the birthday festivities of late, I had completely forgotten about it. I was going to bake a french vanilla yoghurt cake or a steamed yoghurt cake but instead decided to do something completely different and make frozen yoghurt. I love froyo as mentioned in my previous post and while this homemade froyo does not compare at all to the likes of Moochi or Noggi, I was still quite happy with the results.

Once again I didn’t really follow a recipe and decided to wing it instead. I took out my trusty Vitamix which is a really great kitchen appliance. You can make ice creams, smoothies, soups etc with this appliance. I have even made raw brownie bites quite successfully in this Vitamix.

The ingredients I used were:

  • 1 tub of natural yoghurt – you can use greek yoghurt as well, or a flavoured yoghurt with vanilla or yoghurt for added flavour but I used a natural yoghurt so that I could add my own flavours and control the sugar content in the froyo
  • 1 cup of frozen raspberries – you can feel free to use any type of fruit. I chose raspberries as that was that I had in my freezer but feel free to try this with blueberries, mixed berries, strawberries, peach, mango
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of agave nectar – you can add more as I don’t like my froyo too sweet but since the raspberries are quite tart you may need to increase the amount. You could also substitute the agave for sugar or other types of sweetener. You can even try using Stevia but do not put too much as you do not want the taste of Stevia to overpower the taste of your frozen yoghurt.

I put all these ingredients into my mixer and blended for a minute on low-speed then put it to the highest speed for another minute or so.

Once the mixture was done, I poured it into a container and put it straight into my freezer to set further.

I was really happy with the taste of my froyo. I think I went a bit overboard with the raspberries though as my froyo mixture turned out to be quite a dark pink. If you want your froyo to be a bit lighter in colour and have less of a raspberry taste, you can reduce the amount of raspberries to 1/2 a cup. Also, my froyo was a bit on the icy side as my freezer is quite cold and because I didn’t make this froyo in an ice-cream maker to churn it, I think the texture was different to typical frozen yoghurt. Regardless, I like that I know what is in the frozen yoghurt and that the sweetness only comes from the agave nectar.

I am keen to try a mango or strawberry frozen yoghurt next =)

Pictures:

“Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”

Julia Child, My Life in France

x

Jackie

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Filed under Dessert, Frozen Yoghurt, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Recipes, Snacks, Western