Sunday, December 27

Christmas Meringues

I love meringues and my mother loves christmas so i thought i could whip up a batch of chocolate and orange covered meringues. Yum. This recipe is straight forward and simple. I am sure you'll love it!


  • 5 egg whites
  • 350g of caster sugar
  • parchment paper
  • 250g of milk chocolate
  • Candied oranges
  1. Preheat oven at 120 degrees Celsius
  2. In a mixer beat egg whites and half of the sugar. Once it becomes like a sticky mixture add the remaining of the sugar. You will know when to stop if your mixture forms peaks. 
  3. In a piping bag, pipe the meringue onto the parchment paper in small circles and put in the oven for 45 minutes. 
  4. Open the oven door and keep it slightly open with a wooden spoon and continue cooking for another two hours at 100 degrees Celsius. 
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  6. Melt the chocolate and cover each meringue with it and add the orange pieces on top! 
  7. Eat!

I didn't cover every meringue and kept a few without chocolate. Both batches are so delicious and christmas-y. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, December 19

Christmas Black Cocoa Cookies

Last night, Anne-Claire (who was hyper as ever) and I were hanging out and I decided to whip up these delicious cooking. Unfortunately half way through I realized we didn't have enough eggs (we had eggs about 5 hours prior so I just assumed they would still be there!). Anne-Claire decided to go knock on the neighbours door... but they didn't have any either. Luckily for us, Charles brought us some and saved the day! The cookies are delicious... I absolutely love love love love them!! I decided to ice them. Some with mint icing, others with vanilla icing. It was a very fun evening.

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder - preferably unsweetened
  • 1/2 baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Have a cooking sheet prepared. 
  3. Place the butter and the sugar in a bowl and mix until smooth. Then add the eggs and the vanilla and mix until well combined. 
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and mix until everything is well incorporated. 
  5. Place teaspoonfuls on the cookie sheet and put in the oven. 
  6. Bake for about 12-13 minutes. 
  7. Ice the cookies with either homemade icing or Betty Crocker icing and decorate. 
  8. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16

Tomato Mozzarella Tart

I absolutely love anything remotely similar to caprese salad - it goes without saying it is the best thing in the world! My mom makes the best tomato mozzarella tart - let me tell you it is just divine! I give her all the props to raising me with great food! Her tart is to die for, and thank god for me she gave me the recipe. Since then I have adapted it a little but right now i will share her recipe because it is a good starting point and starting base. Thanks mom for feeding me oh so well!

  • 3-4 big tomatoes
  • mozzarella cheese grated
  • salt
  • pepper
  • italian herbs if you want some
  • 250g flour
  • 80g warm water
  • 80g oil
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  1. Put your tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Take them out and put them under fresh water and peel off the skin. Once the skin is peeled, slice the tomatoes and salt them. Put them in a dish so their water can drain. 
  2. In the mean time do your crust. Put the flour + baking powder + salt together. Add the oil and water and with a spoon mix it all together. Don't work your dough too much. Leave it out for about 10 minutes and then roll out in a thin crust. 
  3. Put the crust in a pie dish. Alternate between one tomato slice and one mozzarella slice. 
  4. Salt and pepper the tart. If you wish you may add some italian herbs. 
  5. Put in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes or until golden. 
  6. Enjoy!

* You should eat it hot its delicious.
* You can freeze slices and pop them in the microwave at a later date.

Tuesday, December 15

Fabulous Green Apple Crumble

A bad day often calls for delicious comfort food. Let's just say that in my case, the delicious comfort food came before i realized i was having a bad day - needless to say it helped making this day slightly better. I love apple crumbles and I love green apples, yet more often than not, these two don't go together. Having lots of green apples in the fridge that I wanted to get rid off, I decided to give it a go. My god was it delicious, I got compliments from Anne-Claire and Charles who both said it was the best apple crumble I ever made - and i have to admit it truly was amazing. The texture was perfect, not too sour and not too sweet. I can't wait to make this crumble again.
You'll notice that once again, Anne-Claire was unavailable and I was left alone to do all the photographing... epic fail.
  • 6-7 green apples
  • 130g of caster sugar
  • 50g of almond powder
  • 130g of flour
  • 75g of butter
  • 1tsp of vanilla essence
  1. Use a shredder to shred the apples into thin thin bits (much like when you are making potatoe pancakes). 
  2. Put the shredded apples into a pan, add the vanilla and sprinkle some sugar. 
  3. To make the crust combine, sugar + butter + flour + almond powder until you reach a crumbly/ sand-like texture. 
  4. Sprinkle on top of the apples making sure you cover everything. 
  5. Put in the oven at 200 degrees celsius until the crust is golden brown (roughly 25-30 minutes). 
  6. Enjoy and EAT! 

* Always plan for extra sugar, you do not want the crumble to be too sour.
* This crumble doesn't last long!

Saturday, December 12

Chocolate Bowls and Vanilla Ice-Cream topped with Smarties

These are very very simple to make - you only need chocolate and balloons. Sadly, I didn't have any normal balloons..... So I used the long thin ones that clown shape things with. It was very fun to make. And the night was a success.

Photos here
  1. First blow up the balloon and fill it with a bit of water so it will hold down. 
  2. Dip it in chocolate a few times. 
  3. Put it on parchment paper. 
  4. Continue with other balloons until you do not have anymore chocolate. 
  5. Put in the fridge and let it set for about two hours. 
  1. Remove from fridge and blow up the balloons - you should do this over the sink so that the water doesn't go everywhere. 
  2. After this, fill your cups with whichever topping you may want. 
  3. We used vanilla ice cream and smarties. 

* Very stuffing so make small bowls.

Salmon and Veggies

Tonight was the last dinner with Clément. He is graduating this term, and going back to Europe. We won't have the opportunity to enjoy dinners with him for a while. As a goodbye dinner, I decided to make something a bit more refined than the old pasta/pizza combo we had in the past after our Enfants du Mekong meetings. For the main course I served Salmon on a bed of oven-grilled french beans accompanied by wheat, oven grilled potatoes and carrots. It was delicious as Anne-Claire put it.
Photos: Anne-Claire
  1. Put chopped up tomatoes on raw salmon, chop up some carrots (french fries style), potatoes and french beans. 
  2. Put olive oil.
  3. Put in oven at 220 degrees celsius for an hour. 
  4. Remove the salmon only and set aside.
  5. Continue cooking the rest at 400 degrees celsius for about 15-30 minutes. 
  6. Serve hot. 

Multi-Coloured Choc Chip Cupcakes

Between two study sessions for my upcoming exam... I decided to make multi-coloured cupcakes! It was rather fun! Anne-Claire got to have fun with the photos... whilst she was oh so procrastinating. The cupcakes are tasty and very very very cute!! I used so much food colouring, that some of my fingers are 'stained'! I got the recipe from here and adapted it to turn the cupcakes into psycho-delic colourful cupcakes!!
Photo Credits: Anne-Claire
  • 150g of butter
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 175g of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g of chocolate chips
  • Liquid food colouring ( I used green, blue and red)
  • 1tsp of baking powder 
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Put cases in a cupcake pan. 
  3. Crack the eggs in a large bowl and mix. 
  4. Add all the ingredients to the mix and beat with a mixer. 
  5. Divide the mixture in different bowls and add the food colorants. 
  6. Add the chocolate chips and mix. 
  7. Separate into each cupcake cases and put in the oven
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool and then ice as you wish. 
  10. EAT!

Salted Caramel and Apple Macarons

A few weeks back i stumbled upon this recipe by Pierre Hermé and decided to try it out. Needless to say I didn't know what i was embarking myself on.... 5 hours in my kitchen. The morning of, I had gotten my H1N1 flu shot... by the end of the cooking day, my arm was ready to fall off!
Photo by Anne-Claire

  • Same as the ones for the chocolate macarons minus the cocoa powder (+ yellow food colouring)
  • 4 to 5 apples
  • 330g of cooking cream
  • 60g salted butter
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 30g of lemon juice
  • 100g caster sugar
  1. Beging the caramel filling. Warm the cream and set it aside, be careful not to boil it. 
  2. Pour 50g of sugar into a pan and melt it. When melted add another 50g. Continue until all the sugar is melted. Allow it to caramelize to a very dark amber colour (this may take a while). 
  3. Add the salted butter and mix with a spatula. Then add the cream and cook until the caramel reached 108 degrees Celsius (very long process).  
  4. Pour in a baking dish and put a saran wrap over the surface and put in the fridge until it gets cold. 
  5. Beat the rest of the butter for about 8-10 minutes, and then add the caramel into two additions and beat until combined. 
  6. Assemble your macarons, put some caramel on one side and sprinkle with apple pieces and put a macaron top to finish off. Put in the fridge for 48 hours!
Serve with chocolate macarons if you wish to impress :)

* Do not eat them immediately, as they are quite heavy. 48 hours later they are much lighter and easier to eat!
* Be ready to spend hours in the kitchen!

Friday, December 11

Tarte Tatin

The boyfriend loves tarte tatin soooo much. Whilst we were in Paris this summer, he kept on having some and then got me into it. So it is only normal that I try and make it!! I used Cyril Lignac's recipe for the classic tarte tatin and changed it a bit to have a bit more caramel.
The pictures don't do the tart much justice, but unfortunately Anne-Claire was unavailable so I had to do the pictures myself... and let's just say photography isn't my forte.
  • 1kg red apples
  • 130g of butter
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 100g  lump sugar
  • 250g flour
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven at 210 degrees Celsius. 
  2. In a bowl, mix 200g of flour, 30g of sugar and salt. Add 100g of butter in pieces and mix with your hands (BEST PART!). Add 10cl of water and mix all this with a wooden spoon. Turn the dough into a ball. The dough shouldn't be too sticky. If it is the case, add more flour. Put the dough in saran wrap and stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  3. In the mean time, heat the lump sugar with 3 tbsp of water in a pan until the mix takes a caramel colour. Take it off immediately and put it in a non-stick pan. (i used a silicone one)
  4. Gently roll the dough into a circle the size of your pan. 
  5. Cut apples in eight, remove their skin. put them on top of the caramel in circles. Add 30g of sugar and the rest of the butter. Cover with the dough and make sure it goes in on the borders so that the caramel doesn't come out. 
  6. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. 
  7. Take out of the oven and turn around the pan in a plate and you have your tart tatin!

* Serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
* If you don't want to make your own dough, you can buy it in a supermarket. That's okay too!

Thursday, December 10

Choc Chip and Mint Cupcakes!

Soo... after a nice day of shopping, pampering myself (if you consider getting waxed - pampering yourself) I decided to bake these deliciously fluffy cupcakes. Now you need to know i'm not big on cupcakes, too much frosting, too sweet... blah blah blah. So it was a bit of a surprise when these babies came out a success. The flatmate and the boyfriend got to enjoy a few :) I found the recipe here but adapted it a little.

Copyright Anne-Claire

  • 225g flour
  • 4 tbsp of cocoa
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp mint essence
  • 100g plain choc chips
  • 300g of butter
  1. Preheat oven at 160 degrees Celsius
  2. Place cupcake cases in muffin tins (makes about 22 cupcakes)
  3. In a bowl, sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa. 
  4. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add the eggs one by one, and mix in between each egg. 
  5. Add the flour mixture gradually. Stir int he mint essence and choc chips. 
  6. Spoon in the mixture into cases and bake for about 15 minutes (if you want a melted center) or 25 minutes (for a completely baked cupcake). 
For the Icing:
  • Buy betty crocker vanilla icing, or any other kind. 
  • Have green food colouring.
  • 1 tsp mint essence. 
  1. Mix all this together and ice the cooled cupcakes and decorate with choc chips. 


* You can decide to make your own frosting but I find that to be a hassle and usually end up having a too butter-ey mixture.
* Try and make these when no one is around you... or else they might just take bites here and there!!! (thanks Anne-Claire)

 And eat them fast before everyone grabs them away from you! They're simply divine!

Chocolate Macarons

So, I love MACARONS.
Being french and all that, how can I not ey? Ladurée is my sanctuary... and Pierre Hermé is my God. So it is only obvious as to why I decided to try and make them...!

After reading many blogs, and many recipes I finally got it down! Brace yourselves!

Pretty :)

Ingredients: (makes about 25-30 macarons)

  • 2x 60g of egg whites (aged - leave them out 24 hours prior) 
  • 150g almond powder (get it really thin!)
  • 150g caster sugar + 35g caster sugar for the meringue
  • 150g icing sugar
  • lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g of water
  • food coloring (in this case, i used cocoa powder)
  1. Heat oven at 145 degrees Celsius. 
  2. Whip up 60g of egg whites and add 35g of sugar in three times. You should  get a meringue feel to the egg whites. 
  3. In the mean time, boil 150g caster sugar and 50g of water until thermometer reaches 110 degrees. 
  4. Once this done, add the sugar syrup to the eggwhite/meringue mixture on the sides of the bowl. 
  5. Mix until mixture cools down to 40 degrees Celsius. 
  6. In another bowl, add icing sugar, almond powder and the rest of the egg whites (the other 60g) and mix. (for chocolate macarons, add cocoa, if not add food coloring)
  7. Add the meringue mixture of the powder mix and fold. 
  8. Fold carefully as you do not want to over fold. It should take you about 45 folds in total. Don't worry about breaking the egg whites apart! 
  9. You should have a sticky texture by now. 
  10. Put it in a piping bag, and make small circles on a baking sheet. 
  11. Put in the oven for about 12 minutes. Let cool. 
  12. In the mean time, you can do whichever filling you may want to do. For chocolate ganache, I boiled 100g of dark chocolate and 100ml of liquid cream and put it in a piping bag.
  13. Pipe some ganache on one side of the macaron and add another shell to cover. 
  14. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours. 
  15. Enjoy! 
* extra tip: before putting in the oven, i find that letting the baking sheet with the uncooked macaron circles out for 10 minutes helps. 

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 9

Here we go!

Okay! Its nearly the end of the year, this calls for a new and exciting blog. Sorry I have failed miserably in the past with previous cooking blogs - but it seems that I now am back on a roll. So bare with me... and you'll get to enjoy delicious recipes and see pictures.

The beautiful pictures are from my special and awesome photographer (yes, i have a personal photographer)... my flatmate Anne-Claire. 99% of the pictures you will see on this blog will be from her... so be sure to check her out and please don't steal any :).

Anne-Claire's Blog

That's it folks. I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I hope I will enjoy writing it.



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