Hello Again!

Hello there,

As you can see it’s been a while; my last post was Jan 2016, almost two years ago. Since then I have finished my university degree and spent six months traveling Europe and Asia. I am fueled with ideas and I intend to keep posting as much as possible!

The theme of the blog may change a little but the recipes and dedication to sweets will keep coming.

Love,

Sami

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes

Did you ever eat gingerbread men as a child, the ones with the chocolate coated hands and feet? Maybe that was just a New Zealand thing…. my friends and I would always save the chocolate pieces for last, prizing the sprinkle-coated pieces of chocolate which were already melting in ours hands….!

Anyway, I made cupcakes which remind me of those glory days:

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They look just like gingernut biscuits (which for those of you who don’t have these in your home country, are these). They look even more delicious when topped with a dark chocolate ganache πŸ˜€

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I decorated them with an almond sliver (you should avoid this if you have nut allergies to cater for!) and a sprinkle of cinnamon which just happened to be in a shaker at work πŸ™‚

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
One batch of these cupcakes made without the nutmeg and cloves, half the cinnamon and twice the ginger!
For the ganache:
200g dark dairy free chocolate
150g coconut cream
To decorate (optional):
Almond slivers
Ground cinnamon

Instructions:
Bake the cupcakes and while they cool, work on the ganache.

Chop the chocolate finely and heat the coconut cream in a bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds on high, then repeat until warm but not boiled. Tip in the chocolate and whisk until combined. Heat for 10 seconds if all the chocolate doesn’t melt. Cool then chill until spreadable.

Ice the cupcakes however you wish (I didn’t have my piping bag at work so I just flat-top iced them) and decorate with the almond sliver and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.

Makes 12 and they are still delicious 2 days later. I kept mine chilled so the ganache didn’t melt and then let them come to room temperature before serving.

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Pumpkin and Blueberry Tart

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Yet another tart from my kitchen combining the autumnal goodness of cinnamon, oats and pumpkin πŸ˜€ (the other one is here)

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The addition of blueberries made a nice fruity match, and I’m sure cranberries or boysenberries would do just the same πŸ™‚ The texture of the filling is quite thick and almost fudgy; I haven’t had an authentic pumpkin pie yet so I’m still learning. I made my own ground oats for the tart crust using the food processor; I don’t think you could just substitute oat flour as it wasn’t quite fine enough. It doesn’t take too long anyway, and then you just add all the rest of the crust ingredients into the processor after! It’s amazing served with yogurt, but cream or ice cream would do the trick too.

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Pumpkin and Blueberry Tart
Ingredients:
Crust:
3 cups oats (2 cups oat flour in the end)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cardamom
100g butter, cold
Filling:
1 cup blueberries
1/2 tin condensed milk
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 eggs
2 cups plain pumpkin puree

Instructions:
In a food processor, whizz up the oats until quite fine, like ground almonds. Measure out two cups of it and pulse with the brown sugar and spices to combine. Chop the butter into little cubes and pulse with the oats until the butter is dispersed and the mixture begins to clump. Press the mixture into a 30x10cm tart tin, and freeze for about 20 minutes.

Heat the blueberries until they are thick and syrupy, then chill until cool completely.Β Preheat the oven in the meanwhile, to 170 degrees Celsius. Whisk together the filling ingredients apart from the blueberries. Spread most of the blueberry mixture into the bottom of the tart crust. Spread the pumpkin filling on top and then drizzle some blueberry compote on top and swirl. Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool in the tin. Serve with some blueberry compote and yogurt.

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Purple Ombre Vanilla Donuts

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Ombre Vanilla Donuts
Ingredients:
Donuts:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
50 grams butter, melted
1 egg
250mls milk
+a little extra milk
Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
Hot water
Blue and red food colouring
To decorate:
Sprinkles!

Instructions:
If you are using the oven to bake these babies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease your donut tin. This recipe makes about 30 little donuts, so you may have to cook them in batches.

Meaaaanwhile, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, mix together the vanilla, butter, egg and 250mls milk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients until combined. The mixture should be thick enough to spoon into the donut molds. If it’s too thick, add a but more milk. Preheat the donut maker, if using. Fill the donut holes about 3/4 full and cook until golden and spring back when lightly touched (About 10 minutes in the oven if you are using that method). Cool on wire racks.

Onto the icing! Mix together the icing sugar, butter and a bit of hot water until you have a thick icing. Add some red food colouring and only the tiniest dab of blue. Mix and ice a handful of donuts before adding a little more blue colouringΒ (don’t forget to add on the sprinkles now, before the icing sets. Β Ice some more and keep repeating until you have used up all the donuts/icing.

Enjoy! Makes about 30x5cm diameter donuts.

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Honey Tea Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Flaked Almonds

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What happens when you have 10kg of honey that’s too grainy and bitter to use for smoothies?
You try to use it up…. in as many ways as possible. Hence, honey tea cake time πŸ™‚ I gave them cute little crowns of flaked almonds because, well… it’s cute. And delicious!

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This is a melt and mix style of recipe, which makes six pretty large individual cakes. They didn’t even last until the next day, so I’m not sure if they are just as delicious the next day, but keep them in an airtight container and they should be fine πŸ™‚

Honey Tea Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Flaked Almonds
Ingredients:
Cakes:
150g butter
370g honey
3 eggs
245g flour
2 tsp baking powder
Frosting:
30g butter, softened
60g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:
Melt the butter and honey over very low heat until the butter is melted. Leave to cool for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a 6-hole Texas-muffin pan.

Beat the eggs lightly and mix into the butter and honey mixture, followed by the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined and pour into the tray. Bake for 35 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the tins for a bit and then unmold and cool completely.

To frost, beat the frosting ingredients together until light and fluffy. Spread on top of the cakes and arrange the the flaked almonds around the edges.

Makes 6.

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Cinnamon Cookies Two Ways: Belgium or Chocolate-Chai Sandwich Cookies

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I love sandwich cookies. You can do so much with them. So many flavours. Maybe that’s why I love macarons…. on that note, if you can make macarons, I salute you. In my eyes, you are a kitchen master.

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Chocolate-chai may seem like an interesting combination, but it’s glorious. You may have tried ‘dirty-chai’ which is chai with coffee, and I will go a step further to say that chocolate-coffee-chai would probably taste great too… Looks like that’s a new project πŸ™‚

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You could easily use these cookies without any filling but why would you not add butter and sugar if you have the time? As long as you are allowed to eat those things, full respect if you can’t πŸ™‚

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Cinnamon Cookies Two Ways
Ingredients:
Cookies:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 egg
100g butter
1 (huge) Tbsp honey, melted
Dash of milk
Icing:
50g butter
1 cup icing sugar
For chocolate-chai option:
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Pinch cardamom
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch black pepper
Dash milk
For the Belgium biscuit option:
Vanilla essence
Pink food colouring
Raspberry jam

Instructions:
Mix together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and coconut sugar until combined. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs. In another bowl, whisk the egg until broken up, then whisk in the honey. Add the egg-honey mix into the dry mixture and knead to combine gently, adding some milk if needed to bring the dough together. Knead very lightly then flatten into a disk and chill for about 10 minutes, until roll-able.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays. (Or just grease them if you are lazy)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about 3-4mm thick. Cut out into rounds using your desired cutter (mine was 4cm dimeter fluted circle cutter). Transfer to the trays and bake for about 10 minutes, until slightly golden and the cookies move when budged slightly. Cool on a wire rack. Depending on the size of your tray, you make have to bake them in batches.

For the icing, you have two courses of action! Both begin with softening the butter and beating the icing sugar until super light and fluffy.
For the chocolate-chai version, add the spices and NOT the cocoa to the icing and mix. Spoon half into a piping bag and pipe into the center of HALF of the cookies, on the not-so-pretty undersides. Don’t pipe right to the edges; that comes now. Add the cocoa to the rest of the icing and pipe the chocolate-chai around the edges, being pretty if you like. Now top with another cookie to complete the sandwich.
For the Belgium biscuit version, divide the icing in half. Add the vanilla to one half and the pink food colouring (tinted to your desire) to the other half. Spoon each colour into a piping bag and on the bottom half of a cookie, pipe alternating dots of icing around the edge. Fill the centre with jam and sandwich another cookie on top.

Makes about 40 cookies all up, and they last well for a few days πŸ™‚


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Have the most wonderful week everyone! πŸ™‚ xx

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Pre-sandwich-ing!

Lemon, Olive Oil and Blueberry Muffins

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Let’s just ignore how inconsistent my oven is for a moment, and enjoy the idea of fresh muffins! For breakfast is the best.

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These ones have a crunchy topping and lots of blueberries to contrast the tangy lemon. This recipe is pretty much an adaptation of this one here. Olive oil adds a bit of richness to the flavour this time.

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These are what I would call proper muffins; I can get quite passionate about the differences about cupcakes and muffins. Bakeries are fooling you. But I won’t get into that today. Happy Friday, and I hope you have a weekend full of relaxation and maybe even a fresh batch of muffins!

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Lemon, Olive Oil and Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients:
Muffins:
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup any sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 egg
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup-ish milk
Topping:
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 12-hole muffin tray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and pour in the olive oil. Whisk the two together, thenΒ add half the milk. Start to gently fold the mixture. Add the blueberries and some more milk, as needed for the mixture to be wet but not runny. Keep gently folding until just combined. If there are a few lumps, it’s okay! {Trust me, my mum has told me time and time again that it’s fine, and she created this recipe from scratch and even made a recipe book purely devoted to muffins. She’s cute}. Spoon evenly into the muffin holes.

Mix the raw sugar and lemon zest and sprinkle on top of the muffins. Bake for 15 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool slightly, then unmold and eat warm! Or cold. But the best is warm.

Makes 12, and they are not quite as good but still delicious the next day.

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Cinnamon Sticky Date Bliss Balls

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Currently two weeks into my vegan month πŸ™‚ Here is a little snack that I whipped up for uni. So easy to make! I have a vegan ice cream sundae recipe coming too. Be sure to comment and link some of your own vegan recipes if you think I should try them!

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Cinnamon Sticky Date Bliss Balls
Ingredients:
1 part soaked dates (or medjool dates) (I would start with 1 cup)
1 part raw almonds (handful reserved)
1 tsp+ cinnamon

Instructions:
Whizz all the ingredients together until blended. Remember you can add the cinnamon to taste. Roll into balls. Chill. Chop up the almonds until fine and roll the bliss balls into it. Store in the fridge.

Using 1 cup= 1 part, makes about 12 πŸ™‚ Last well for a few days!

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Ginger Anzac Biscuits with Ginger Glaze

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Considering I missed Anzac day, here is a recipe to make up for it; a darker and richer version of Anzacs with less sugar and ginger spice. And icing πŸ™‚ Traditionally Anzac biscuits are un-iced, save for a bit of chocolate coating from time to time.

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The treacle is an alternative to golden syrup, but you can use either. As you can see on the un-baked cookies, it gives a rich dark colour.

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And that there brown mass is actually coconut sugar; my nana had some in her cupboard and hadn’t used it so I thought I;d give it a try. It smells a lot like coffee but tastes like caramel. Yum πŸ™‚

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If you don’t ice them, I would recommend doubling the sugar in the recipe.

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Anyway, please enjoy and have a nice week everyone πŸ™‚

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Ginger Anzac Biscuits
Ingredients:
Biscuits:
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp coconut threads
2 Tbsp rolled oats
35g butter
1 tbsp treacle
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 tsp water
Icing:
1 tsp butter
1 tsp HOT water
1/4 tsp ginger
3 Tbsp icing sugar
To top:
1 Tbsp chopped pistachio nuts

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease or line a cookie tray.

Mix together the flour, ginger, coconut threads and sugar and oats. Melt together the butter and treacle and cool sightly, then mix in the baking soda. Add to the dry ingredients along with the hot water and mix until combined. Roll into ten balls and flatten on the tray. Bake for 10 minutes until golden and the cookies move when slightly nudged. Cool on the tray.

Make the icing by melting the butter into the hot water and adding the ginger and icing sugar. Either spread onto the cookies or drizzle on top. Sprinkle with pistachios. Leave to set.

Lasts well for a few days πŸ™‚

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Pumpkin Custard Pie with Anzac-Oat Crust

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Finally, a version of pumpkin pie! A friend of mine from Canada have been talking about making one for over a year now.

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This one is from TheBojonGourmetΒ πŸ™‚ The only changes I made were in the the crust; instead of walnuts I added 3 Tbsp desiccated coconut and 1/4 cup hazelnuts.

 

 

 

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Instead of the cream on top, I made a vegan gelato which I will post the recipe for later on.

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In case I didn’t make it clear: this is delicious. I could eat slice after slice. I’m sure you could too.

Have a nice week!