Keto cherry clafoutis

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The hubby bought 3 kilos of cherries back from his trip to Germany last week. They are in season now in Europe and going for dirt cheap! Since then, we have been going berserk on fresh cherries – well, him and the kids to be precise. While cherries aren’t exactly keto-compliant (they are in the same league as blueberries – a little is okay, not too much), cheap and fresh cherries is just too much to resist

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Low fat banana cake

Low fat banana cake

In the quest of losing weight the healthy way, I have started to cut back on my diet, revamp my eating habits and regular exercise. The weight loss has been very slow – about 500 gms to 1 kg in three weeks – because I was still eating rather well. So I decided to get a little serious by doing some calorie counting. After just two days of counting calories, I must say that people really do overeat in terms of portions and the food itself. I found myself watching my portions when I cook and trying to stick within the 1200-calories-a-day limit with some success. It really isn’t all that difficult. The key is in finding substitutes and yes, portion control.

Since I have been developing a sweet tooth of lately – no thanks to my diet which has had me being restricted to no desserts and just fruits – I decided to find a low fat banana cake. I modified my own banana-based recipes with the general guidelines of substitution – applesauce for oil and whole wheat instead of bleached white flour. I wasn’t too sure how a 100% whole wheat cake would go down so I opted for the 50-50 approach.

The result is a approximately 130 calorie slice of banana cake – each slice is about 1 cm thick and oh so moist & delish! Noah loved it and kept crawling around the dining table as I was slicing the loaf up, begging for more – he got the crumbs because it was past his breakfast time and I don’t like the kids to eat continously all day long. I’ll give him half a slice for his snack later. I reckon this would go down quite well for breakfast – one or two slices would still leave me a good window for the remainder of the day plus the whole wheat element will keep me fuller.

Low fat banana cake

NOTE: If you’re after a richer indulgence, you can replace the applesauce with melted butter (or vegetable oil if you don’t want to live that dangerously). But that means a higher calorie count! Tehehehe.

Low fat banana cake

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cake flour
2 eggs
3 large bananas – mashed
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 applesauce
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp skimmed milk (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. In a bowl, mash the bananas before adding in the sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract. If you’re using milk, add this in as well. Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon gently – take care to not overbeat. If the mixture is lumpy, that’s okay.
  4. Pour into a loaf tin or any pan of your choice. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  5. Enjoy them fresh or store in an airtight container to keep.
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Banana Blueberry Minis

Banana Blueberry Minis

The other flavour for Eva’s Christmas party tomorrow (I managed to make time in between knitting and reviews on church chairs to churn out TWO flavours!). This muffin is gorgeously springy and moist plus the whole blueberries lend a lovely texture and gives you a pleasant surprise with each bite despite it oozing during the baking process. You could replace the blueberries with other type of berries but why change a lovely recipe like this? Tehehehe.

NOTE: You can replace the coconut milk and oil with butter and regular milk. The quantity of the sugar has been reduced by 25% from the original recipe but you can go down a little bit more – just not more than 35% (it’ll change the overall flavour and texture of the cake).

Banana Blueberry Minis

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole blueberries
1 1/2 whole bananas

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. In a bowl, mash the bananas before adding in the sugar, oil, egg & coconut milk. Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon gently and when it’s almost incorporated, fold in the blueberries – take care to not overbeat. The mixture should look lumpy.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the dough into a muffin tray until it’s about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  5. Enjoy them fresh or store in an airtight container to keep for later.
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Citrus Poppyseed Minis

Citrus Poppyseed Minis

We received word that there would be a Christmas party at Eva’s school in the afternoon and parents were asked if they could contribute either clementines, chocolates or cakes. On a whim, I picked cake and decided to churn out mini muffins in place of cakes to make it easier for the kids (and parents) to eat. Because Noah is sensitive to citrus, I made two flavours – citrus poppyseed and banana blueberry. You can substitute citrus with just lemon or orange or lime, poppyseed with some diced almonds.

While churning these muffins out, I discovered that the moulds I had were not enough and settled on a mini financier mould that I had purchased months earlier. Financier is a type of French cake that is similar to a sponge cake and usually baked in a rectangular mould, making it similar to petit fours in shape and size.

The result is a very cute and yummy cake that is not too sweet or overpowering. My mum – who is here for a visit – loved the strong orange flavour while I like the crunch. The hubby wolved down five at one go…a clear sign that he loves it!

NOTE: You can replace the coconut milk and oil with butter and regular milk. The quantity of the sugar has been reduced by 25% from the original recipe but you can go down a little bit more – just not more than 35% (it’ll change the overall flavour and texture of the cake).

Citrus Poppyseed Minis

Ingredients

2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup orange & lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 large eggs
Zest from 1 orange & 1 lemon
2 tbsp poppyseed
1/2 tsp baking soda

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar and baking soda together with the orange & lemon zest. Stir until well incorpoated.
  3. Add in the eggs and mix to break the yolks (but do not incorporate it fully into the flour) before adding in the juice, oil and coconut milk. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon gently and when it’s almost incorporated, fold in the poppyseed – take care to not overbeat. The mixture should look lumpy.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the dough into a muffin tray until it’s about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  5. Enjoy them fresh or store in an airtight container to keep for later.
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Lemon yogurt poppy seed cake

Lemon yogurt poppy seed cake

I’ve been making a lot of cakes this month to add some variety to Noah’s breakfast; on some days, he has cereal with fruit or yogurt with his cereal but I wanted to include something different in terms of texture into his meals. Hence the cake recipes thus far.

I chanced upon this while surfing the Internet (in between hunts for a stand with mount) for lemon poppy seed pound cakes and ended up making a variation of this instead. The poppy seeds gives the cake added crunch. The lemon flavour and taste is just nice and not too overpowering on the palate. Unlike my previous bakes, I used white sugar for this as I was trying to finish up whatever that I had left – I’m not very keen on using white sugar in baked goods as it doesn’t lend much flavour or moisture.

Do note that this is a dairy-free version – if dairy isn’t an issue, you can replace the margarine and soy yogurt with regular butter and cow’s milk yogurt. I reckon the cake would be even more fragrant! Tehehehe.

Lemon yogurt poppy seed cake
Adapted from Bake Your Day’s recipe here

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup margarine
Slightly less than 1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup soy yogurt
Zest & juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C and prepare a pan of your choice.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a another bowl, cream the margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until fully incorporated
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients, alternating with the yoghurt, to the creamed margarine, eggs and sugar. Mix just until incorporated – be careful not to overbeat. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest and poppy seeds, and stir until blended.
  5. When ready, pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10-15 mins before transferring to a wire rack.
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Banana & raisin bread

Banana & raisin bread

Because we’re in a need of some bread and the bananas were “dying”!

The original recipe called for 120 gms of sugar but I cut back on this as the bananas are already sweet plus I don’t like to use too much sugar in my baked goods. It can be overpowering! Raisins adds a nice, chewy texture to an otherwise light and fluffy bread that is still quite moist.

Banana & raisin bread
Adapted from Cooking Crave’s recipe here

Ingredients

3 large overripe bananas, mashed
50 g butter/margarine, melted
85 g brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda
200 g plain flour
1/2 cup raisins (I used golden, dark and sultanas)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C and prepare a grease pan of your choice.
  2. Add the melted butter/margarine into the mashed bananas and mix well before adding the sugar, vanilla essence and egg. Mix in well.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking soda and fold in until just incorporate. Add in the raisins and fold in. Be careful to not overmix.
  4. Pour into your pan of choice and bake for 50 minutes until golden brown. I like mine a little on the darker side but if you want yours to be light, cover the top with aluminium foil about 30 minutes after baking.
  5. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing. Stand on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy as it is or store in an airtight container in the fridge (to keep for a few days) or leave at room temperature (for 2-3 days).
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Lemon-Coconut Vegan Cake

Lemon-Coconut Vegan Cake

Surprisingly fluffy, this cake was quick to whip up – I did it in 10 minutes after a quick search on the Internet and in between hunting around for some flexible tubing (don’t ask) – and it uses just about everything I had in my pantry. The original recipe called for vegetable oil but I decided to use the organic sunflower oil. It has a certain flavour of its own. Either that or it has gone rancid on me without me knowing. Hahaha.

Still, it makes for a good cake, especially when drizzled…or rather swimming in plenty of lemon glaze. I love the moist fluffy inside with the crunch on the skin, sides and tops. On hindsight, thirty minutes at 200°C is too much. I’d probably bake it for 20-25 minutes instead.

I also added some dessicated coconut to cut back on the flavour of the oil. There is something about eggs that makes baked goods taste ultra rich and yummy. Without it, baked desserts are definitely not the same but you can get a little bit more flavour by adding in things like nuts and dried fruit. If I do make this again, I’ll be adding coconut directly into the batter and spread it around instead of just the top portion.

Lemon-Coconut Vegan Cake
From The Ethical Chef’s Vegan Lemon Cake recipe here

Ingredients

275 gms self-raising flour
100 gms brown sugar
60 gms castor sugar
100 ml vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
170 ml cold water
1 tsp baking powder
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
A handful of dessicated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 200°C and prepare a loaf pan.
  2. Put flour, baking powder, sugar and zest into a bowl and mix well before adding the oil, juice and the water.
  3. Mix thoroughly by hand – there is no need for an electric mixer – to make sure all is combined well.
  4. Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 30 minutes until fully cooked. For an added tang, drizzle the top of the cake (once it has cooled) with a simple lemon glaze made with lemon juice and caster sugar.

Lemon-Coconut Vegan Cake: The ultra fluffy texture

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Lemony Madeleines

Lemony Madeleines

I haven’t baked in a long time. Being on a no-dairy and no-egg diet makes it such that desserts are, well, very limiting. A few days ago, I started testing the no-dairy waters by trying yogurt made from goat’s milk. Surprisingly, Noah showed no reaction so it does look like it’ll be a keeper for me. Trouble is that goat’s cheese is common, goat’s milk and goat’s milk yogurt isn’t. I have to look in the organic section at hypermarkets and am limited to one or two choices. The other option would be to go to the organic store in town but again, it’s limited to just a brand or an item. Still, at least I can have some dairy in my diet! I miss it too much!

Since I’m the primary cook in the house, the hubs and Eva has gone without baked goods for a while. As Nil was on leave today, I thought it would be nice to pass the kids to him to manage while I whip up something yummy instead of settling for my assignments on sterkly videos. Originally, I wanted to cook up a lemon tart since we have three to four organic lemons sitting in the fridge but after much thought, I decided to try something which I haven’t made in a while – madeleines!

These turned out yummy – light, lemony and just sweet enough. I double up on the recipe below and cut back on the sugar by about 25-30 gms. I used a mix of unrefined cane sugar and castor sugar – the ratio is probably 1:2. The hubs, being a madeleine fan (my mother-in-law makes them ALL the time for him), finds it to be just perfect. The lemon flavour is there and it’s not too sweet. Eva loved it too! She couldn’t stop asking for seconds and thirds. My first batch of 12 disappeared in under 15 minutes! For a moment, Nil was worried that we would never be able to fill the container I took out with madeleines because Eva kept pinching one for herself and one for him!

Lemony Madeleines

Ingredients

150 gms castor sugar
150 gms self-raising flour, sifted
2 eggs
125 gms margarine/butter
Rind and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 170°C and prepare a madeleine tray by oiling or buttering it (if you’re using a metal tray).
  2. Beat the sugar and eggs with the vanilla extract & lemon juice until the mixture is pale and thick. A drip test will give you thick ribbons of batter.
  3. Add the rind before adding in the flour and margarine. Alternate between the flour and margarine. Fold until well-incorporated.
  4. Spoon into the mould and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, remove from the mould and cool before storing in an air tight container. Enjoy fresh with a glass of tea or coffee!

NOTE: You can leave the batter to chill for at least 1 hour or overnight but it’s not a must – it’ll give you a more “fat or bulging” Madeleine which I’m not a fan of.

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