Monday, May 14, 2012

Scrambled Eggs with Feta and Tomatoes

Bread and eggs is a standard breakfast at our house. Everyone makes eggs differently, but believe me, you haven't lived till you've tried scrambled eggs with Feta cheese.

What I used:
2 Eggs
1 tsp Butter
Half an Onion, chopped
Half a Tomato, chopped
1 tbsp dried Oregano
3-4 tbsp Feta cheese, crumbled (or as much as you want)

[I didn't actually measure anything while cooking - these are approximate values]

In a non-stick pan, melt butter. Add a few drops of oil, so that the butter does not burn (Nigella tip! :D )
Gently cook the chopped onions in the butter. When they turn translucent, add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle in the oregano, saute for a few seconds and crack the eggs into the pan. Scramble as usual. When the eggs are almost cooked to your liking, add the feta cheese and mix everything together till done.

You don't need any salt in this - the oregano and feta are enough.

Serve with toasted whole wheat bread and a glass of orange juice for a really happy breakfast :)

Health Fix: Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

Sure, you can buy this as pre-packaged namkeen, but I like making it at home. Its easy, addictive, extremely healthy (only protein) and I can play around with the seasonings :)

What you need:
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) - soaked overnight, or if you forget, like I often do, soaked in hot water for about 2 hours
Salt, Chilli powder, seasoning of your choice - I used Oregano and some Garlic powder
About 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Cook the chickpeas in a pressure cooker, with enough water to cover them, till they're fully cooked. Drain out, pat dry with a paper towel.
Mix in oil, and spices of your choice, to evenly coat them all. 
Spread on a baking tray and bake at a pretty high temperature, about 200 Celsius, till they start browning. Keep an eye on this, it burns pretty quickly!

Coconut Macarons, Sandwiched with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe for Macarons borrowed from : 

This is one of the easiest snack/dessert recipes EVER. I've modified it a little bit, and sandwiched the macarons with creamy icing instead of ice-cream :)

For the Coconut Macarons:

2 cups Dessicated Coconut
1/2 cup Caster (superfine) Sugar
2 Egg Whites


Preheat oven to 160 Celsius.
Combine the egg whites, coconut and sugar in a bowl till it all comes together. Line a baking tray with greased paper. Make round biscuit-shapes on the tray, can use a cookie cutter for this. Bake for around 10 minutes or until light golden in colour. Cool on trays.

To serve:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Olive & Feta Bread

There's nothing more comforting than the smell of freshly baked bread in the house. I've always used a breadmaker that my Uncle gave me when I was 15, but that.. Broke :(

I have a love-hate relationship with bread. While I love to bake it, I love the different varieties of it, I don't actually eat much of it. 

Here is my Green Olive & Feta Bread recipe:

4 cups plain Flour
2 tbsps Olive Oil
1 cup warm Water
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Sugar
1 tbsp dry Yeast

About 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 - 1/2 cup sliced Green Olives

In a bowl, add the yeast to warm water and wait for about 5 minutes, till it bubbles. Slowly combine the flour, salt and sugar into the yeast, kneading and adding oil as necessary. When the dough combines into a smooth ball, add the feta and olives and knead well.
Arrange on a baking sheet (I used my extra-large cake tin, making sure the dough did not touch the sides). Decorate as you wish with extra olives. Bake in a hot oven - about 200 Celsius - till done. Cool on a wire rack so that the bottom does not go soggy.

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

My mom has a very old recipe for a chocolate cake that I remember her making when I was a little girl. I modified it a little bit to make these cupcakes. For me, a chocolate cake recipe will always be this one - therefore the "classic". :)

For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups Flour (Can use whole-wheat instead of Maida)
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Oil or Butter
2 Eggs
2 tsp heaped Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
3/4 cup Water
1 tsp Coffee Powder
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder


1. Heat water, add the coffee and cocoa powders. Wait for it to cool.
2. Cream fat and sugar, add eggs and beat.
3. Add (flour, baking powder, salt) and liquid chocolate mixture alternately.
4. Bake at 150-180 Celsius till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the icing:

4 tbsp Butter
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
3 tbsp Milk
1 tbsp Vanilla essence

Melt butter, stir in the Cocoa till smooth. Alternate sugar and milk, add the vanilla. Keep stirring till mixture comes together as a smooth icing. Spoon onto cooled cupcakes and top with colourful candy or chopped walnuts.

Bournvita Cupcakes

One of the biggest troubles with packing up and shifting house is finding a way to use up all the random things in the kitchen cupboards. Found a packet of Bournvita, had no idea what to do with it. Figured, its just malt chocolate powder, so tossed it into a standard cupcake recipe. This is eggless, and the neighbourhood kids loved it :D


2 tbsp heaped - whole wheat flour
2 tbsp - muscovado sugar (more or less)
1 1/2 tbsp - bournvita powder
1/2 tsp - cocoa powder
1/8 tsp - baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp - sunflower oil
4 tbsp - low fat milk

Bournvita cream

3 tbsp - cream
1/2 tsp - bournvita
1/4 tsp - castor sugar 
mix everything together and beat until thick

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C and grease 7 mini bundt cake pans.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, sugar, bournvita powder, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl, mix well the oil and milk.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix lightly.
  5. Spoon the batter in to the greased bundt cake pans and place them in the center of the preheated oven and bake for approx 7-8 minutes.
  6. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack completely before decorating them with the bournvita cream. 

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe borrowed from:

I'm not a huge fan of coconut flavours.. But when I came across this recipe, I couldn't resist giving it a try. The addition of coconut milk to the batter really elevates it so beautifully.. And the frosting just adds to the coconut-tiness :)

For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sweetened dessicated coconut

1. Preheat the oven to about 180 C
2. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and again, cream until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides to ensure even mixing.
3. Add the eggs, one at a team, and beat each one in thoroughly for 30 seconds each.
4. In one bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. In another, mix the coconut milk and vanilla.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Keep alternating, ending with the dry ingredients. Stop beating as they incorporate - do NOT overbeat.
6. Fold in the coconut. Fill cupcake moulds halfway, and bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz of Philadelphia cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
1-2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup sweetened dessicated coconut

Cream the butter and cream cheese together for about 3 minutes. Slowly add the icing sugar, tasting as you go along to reach desired sweetness. Fold in the coconut. Pipe over cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle extra shredded coconut on top and serve.

Love at first try ;)


2 Minute Tomatoes & Feta

I love simple, classic flavours. And I cannot do without breakfast, but the same old cereal-and-milk or bread-and-eggs gets boring really fast. I came across Feta Cheese at a specialty store, and couldn't resist picking it up. Tomatoes, feta, olive oil, bread.. Really couldn't go wrong here, could I? :P

Simple Microwave Tomatoes and Feta Cheese with Olives and Bread

2 tomatoes
Feta cheese
Olive oil
Oregano/ Herbs of choice
A microwave safe bowl
Bread of choice. I suggest multigrain or whole wheat.

1. Slice the tomatoes thinly and arrange a layer in a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Thinly slice the feta cheese and arrange on top of the tomatoes. Room-temperature feta is very crumbly, so just strew the bits over the tomatoes. Don't go crazy and put too much.. Preserved feta usually has a very strong flavour.

3. Arrange another layer of thinly sliced tomatoes over the feta.

4. Top with more crumbly bits of feta.

5. Drizzle olive oil over it.

6. Sprinkle oregano or, if you're not too fond of it, your herb of choice. Italian seasoning would be good, too.

7. Microwave on HIGH (900 watt?) for 2 minutes.

8. Serve with olives and lightly toasted triangles of bread.

The tomatoes and feta will give off some water.. Don't be surprised. Depending on taste, the quantities of feta and tomatoes can be adjusted.

I strongly suggest serving this with bread, since the flavour is quite strong and on the salty side.

xoxo :)

Love is Chocolate : Double Chocolate Walnut Circle Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Yes, love IS chocolate.

I tweaked around the recipe for Donna Hay's Standby Brownies (which I love) to make a chocolate-chocolate-chocolate cake for my friend's birthday.

This layered chocolate walnut cake is filled AND frosted with chocolate ganache, one of my favourites. Step by step instructions here:

(Please don't get shocked by the pictures. I've described the base recipe, but in the pictures I've doubled it to fit my humongous 24 cm cake tin)

150 g butter
1.25 cups powdered sugar
0.50 cup cocoa powder (Chocolate - 1)
About 80 g chocolate - Or half of the 160 g Cadbury bar (Chocolate - 2)
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs
0.50 cup refined flour (maida)
handful of walnuts, chopped finely

1. Preheat oven to 160 C, butter a cake tin and keep aside.

2. In a saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate together till the butter melts. The chocolate should melt into the mixture.

3. Let the chocolate mixture cool and add the vanilla essence. Mix well.

4. Add eggs. Yes, 3 eggs seems like a lot, but trust me it makes all the difference. Mix everything together well.

5. Sift in the flour and lastly, fold in the chopped walnuts.

6. Pour into buttered cake tin and set in the oven. This cake cooks quite fast, keep an eye on it. Remove when skewer inserted close to middle comes out clean.

7. Let it cool. Remove from tin and layer into 2, using a string.

400 ml Cream
300 g or more chocolate (Chocolate - 3)

1. Heat the cream in a saucepan till it almost starts boiling.

2. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate into the cream. Using a whisk, mix well together. Let it cool.

Using the almost cooled ganache, sandwich the layers of cake together, leaving enough to cover the cake.

Once the ganache cools completely, whip a little more and spread all over the cake.

Lesson to be learnt: Don't be a fool like me and double the recipe. The beautiful cake just doesn't come out like its supposed to. Which is why I've hidden it under all that child-like decoration. :P