Burnt pear lemon thyme olive oil cake

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Craisin apple olive oil cake

I am not sure why nowadays, my cake seems to have uneven tone, some part brown faster than the other. As far as I know I clean my oven every time I finished baking. Think my oven is getting old. Like human oven also can become worn out, rusty and had to push hard to make do with life cycle.

I know its not presentable, as you can see it is dark brown at the top as well as the side. In this cake, I have something borrowed: green apples from my sister’s tree, something dry and long life: craisin from my pantry and something cold in the fridge: tarragon.

I thought I have sour cream, but instead I have ricotta cheese. So, I said to myself why not use ricotta cheese rather than going to the supermarket for one box of sour cream. Got to be creative, experiment and explore where the journey of baking is taking me.

The cake is moist, crunchy and not to sweet. The texture is smooth and fragrant with tarragon. The outcome is the taste and deliciousness have been the main thing about baking cake. Close my eyes to the dark brown part and enjoyed the cake. I might need to get the oven doctor to check or perhaps gives it another extra cleaning before my next cake goes into the oven.

Happy Baking!!!!


280 g plain flour, sifted
2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp Pink Himalayan salt
200 g Greek natural yogurt
375 ml ricotta cheese
215 g castor sugar
3 extra-large eggs
1/2 lemon, grated zest
1 Tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup olive oil
3 green apple, cored and sliced wedges
255 g craisin
3-4 sprigs tarragon, cut thinly
4 Tbs Apricot jam mix in 2 Tbs hot water, spread on top of cake


Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease and lined 9″ spring form pan.Then set aside. Next sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, using electric blender, blend together yogurt, ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, and oil until incorporated.

Then slowly blend the dry ingredients in 3 batches into the wet ingredients. Add 200 g craisin, and tarragon in the batter; fold them very gently into the batter. Make sure the are coated and mixed well.

Now scatter the remaining craisin on to the pan. Next spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan and gently press apple wedges all around in the batter. Then spoon remaining batter on top of apple.

Tilt pan a bit to try even out batter. Then smooth the top and give a gentle knock on the bench top. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center comes out clean.

When the cake is done, switch off oven leave in the oven with door close for 35 minutes. Then removed from oven and allow it to cool further in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the pan. Carefully place on a plate. Spread apricot jam on top of cake and let it set and cool.

Note: You may need less or more time. Oven temperature vary. If its brown too fast cover with foil. I had to cover mine after 45 minutes as the top and side start to brown quickly.

You may put any fruits you like. You may use sour cream instead of ricotta cheese.


Nyonya chicken curry, tomato rice and fried drumettes

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Berries clafoutis

French dessert anyone? Of course I learned from June Darville. The first time I re-lab from June Darville called Blueberries, pear and safron clafoutis it on 16/10/2015.

As I refused to throw away expired cake flour; about 140g left. I think as hard as I could. And Ah hah!!! Clafoutis only require 70 g. So I made it again to be on save side; I had added cornflour to it as I read on google how to make cake flour with all purpose flour and cornflour. Its still nothing as near as June’s.

Well, the more practice the more better its get. Or perhaps with fresh cake flour would have help its rise not too flat. Perhaps I should add some baking powder or bicarb soda so it won’t be flat. Next time will do that: cooking and baking needed some experimenting, exploring and creative too apart from just presenting picture on photo and eating well.

Taste wise its delicious, there’s also antioxidant as I had use blueberries and raspberries. There is some thing of me in it too. If you aren’t a sweet tooth like me reduce your sugar!!!

Enjoyed the lovely French dessert.


150 g blueberries
100 g raspberries
100 g castor sugar
70 g cake flour, sifted
2 Tbs cornflour, sifted
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
160 ml milk, lukewarm
2 large eggs
pinch of Himalaya Pink grinned salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of paprika
a few shakes of vanilla grinder
Butter to grease tart pan


Preheat 180 degrees C. Grease tart pan with Wash and dry berries. Break eggs into mixing bowl and add sugar in. Beat together until pale and foamy. Pour milk that I have microwave and set aside till its lukewarm and add vanilla extract. Beat to mix well again.

Using my sift equipment, I sift the flour, cornflour, salt, nutmeg and paprika. Beat until I get silky running and smooth batter. Let it stand for 10 minutes to thicken slightly then carefully spoon batter into prepared pan.

Gently push in blueberries all around to make a large circle. Then raspberries in to form a second circle and followed by blueberries to make another circle. Then raspberries. Repeat till circles are close. Shakes a few shakes vanilla grinder all over.

Bake it 40- 50 minutes until lightly golden and center is cooked. Clafoutis will puff up a little and then drop back when its cool completely when removed from oven.

Serve it cool with more berries and ice cream.

Check out June original recipe: https://www.junedarville.com/pear-clafoutis.html

Check out my Blueberries, pear and saffron clafoutis recipe: https://helenscchin.com/2015/10/16/blueberries-pear-and-saffron-clafoutis/

Macaroni chicken and chickpeas pie cooked in risotto style

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Roast beef and vegetables paella

Here’s my meal for one on Valentine’s Day that’s not of chocolate, heart and bright sparkling scenery or flowers. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I had have and I am sharing it with you.

Something that you really love to eat and most of the ingredients are at hand reached. This is one of my favourite meal; after I finished eating I can burp out aloud and there’s no one to offend.

It’s simple, quick, and easy under 30 minutes. There’s no hassle to get a hearty meal for one and yet enjoyable pleasing.


1 c medium grain rice washed in cool water

10 small slices roast beef ( bought)

2 c beef stock ( bought)

2 1/2 c water

1 medium carrot cut to bite size

1 handful baby spinach washed and dried

1 Tsp ginger powder

1 Tsp paprika powder

1 Tsp garlic powder

1 Tsp oregano dried

1/2 Tsp nutmeg powder

1/2 Tsp turmeric powder

Drizzle olive oil

Drizzle lemon juice

A pinch or two of chilli flakes

Salt and black pepper to taste


Bring rice, stock and water to boil over medium high heat for 15 minutes covered. Stir occasionally.

Once boiled reduce heat to medium low. Then add garlic, ginger, paprika, oregano, turmeric, and nutmeg uncovered. Stir again to mix well.

Next add carrots, spinach and roast beef. Stir to combined well with oil and lemon juice.

Switch off heat and let it rest further 15 minutes to absorb a little bit more liquid.

Spoon rice to bowl. Sprinkle chilli flakes and lightly drizzle oil a bit. Serve with sweet white wine.

Note: you can use all water instead of half water and stock. You can have any ingredients like seafood. Or add other herbs.





Roast chicken with turkey rice stuffing and warm cauliflowers, cherries and mushrooms salad in Moroccan vinaigrette

Continue reading “Roast chicken with turkey rice stuffing and warm cauliflowers, cherries and mushrooms salad in Moroccan vinaigrette”

Citrus Coconut Christmas Cake

I found Christmas cake recipe from sunbeam mixed fruits. So I decided to test out. I change the pistachio to cherries glazed to gives a  extra moist look. I didn’t put icing sugar to garnish as I don’t like it too sweet.

The recipe is easy to make and its yummy. For recipe look for sunbeam products.


150 g unsalted butter
3/4 c caster sugar
1 Tsp vanilla extract 
5 eggs
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and juice
3/4 c  coconut meal
500 g  mixed fruits
80 g  cherries glazed


Preheat oven to 150°C.  Grease  with butter and line a 23 cm round spring form pan with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

Stir in zests, juices, coconut meal, mixed fruit and cherries.Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Note: You can add pistachios if you like as the original recipe. I prefer cherries glazed. Oven temperature vary, you might need less or more time. You may sprinkle your cake with icing sugar. I didn’t use icing sugar.


Chicken kofta masala and vegetables curry

Chicken kofta masala and vegetables curry

Recreated kofta curry from +maria nasir. I use bought chicken meatballs from IKEA to make this a delicious curry, I cook the chicken meatballs and vegetables in a rich, creamy and extra spicy curry.

I prefer my curry to be creamy and extra spicy to my palate and satisfied. Being creative I have also added Hen of the woods (fungus/mushrooms) to “gives it’s a distinct citrus flavour, and its a robust appetising citrus finish to the palate. It’s meaty, with a soft floral nose look, thus it’s more intense then the cultivated, as a result of it growing wild”.



20 chicken meatballs (bought)

2 medium size carrots, cut into bite size

2-3 kumato (green tomatoes), cut into wedges

1 medium eggplant, cut into bite size

1 small green capsicum, cut into bite size

1 small bunch of Hen of the woods (Fungus/ mushrooms)- given by friend (opt)

8 Tbs olive oil

2-4 Tbs XO chilli sauce, (given by friend)

2-3 star anise seed

1 Spanish onion medium, sliced

2 Tbs cayenne powder

1 Tbs garlic finely chopped

1 Tbs garam masala and mint powder

1 Tbs sweet Hungarian paprika

1 Tbs ginger powder

1/2 Tbs cumin powder

2 Tsp salt (adjust per taste)

1 Tsp coriander powder

1 Tsp cardamom powder

1 Tsp chilli flakes

1 can (400 g) diced tomatoes

1 small can 165 ml coconut milk

1 1/4 cup chicken stock

ground white pepper

Continental parsley for garnish


Heat oil in a cast iron over medium heat. Add onions and saute until golden brown. Then ginger and garlic; stir about 2 minutes. Next garam masala-mint, paprika, cardamom, cayenne,cumin, coriander, salt and mix well.

Once fragrance smell, add ground white pepper, XO chilli sauce, chilli flakes; stir 2 minutes. Next add carrots cook 3 minutes. Now add eggplants, chicken meatballs, green capsicum, diced tomatoes, green tomatoes,and make sure its cooked through.

Once meatballs and vegetables softened and cooked; add coconut milk and stir thoroughly. Add hen of the woods, which give a distinctive taste to this dish.

Last, add chicken stock and stir (adjust stock as needed). Let it simmer about 25 minutes; curry thicken and reduced a bit. Adjust seasoning and curry consistency as needed. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

Sprinkle continental parsley leaves on the top. Serve with rice and a glass of red wine.


Note: I cut hen of the woods into bite size. You may want drizzle cream or whipped yogurt on top. You may use brown, basmati rice or tandoori naan (Indian flat bread). You may place chicken meatballs in oven to cooked then transfer to curry. I decided to cook my chicken meatballs with the curry. Its gives a soft bite to the crispy meatballs if put in oven.

Search the meaning of hen of the woods on google for more information.

Maria Nasir original recipe:https://www.foodaholic.biz/koftay-ka-salan-simple-meatball-…/

There is another blog if you are inspired to cook curry: https://www.thedeliciouscrescent.com/kofta-kebab-masala/


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