Valentine's Day Hershey Bliss Ball Kisses



Hello Guys! Remember those Healthy Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Balls coated with dark chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of rose petals? I made another version specially for the upcoming Valentines’ Day!

I shaped them into “Hershey Kisses” and sprinkled some pink, red and white hearties on top of the dark chocolate coating. Don’t judge them by their size, they are absolutely delicious!  Raw, gluten free and vegan as well- what’s not to like!

Bliss Balls don’t always have to come in round shapes right? Feel free to work them out into cute little shapes for any occasion. A little creativity goes a long way! It’s really all about putting the word ‘fun” when  making your own desserts.


This version contains a mixture of coarse bits of whole almonds ( for texture) and ground almonds. It also contains dried cranberries which I soaked for 15mins to remove some of the sweetness from it, chia seeds, cocoa powder and a little honey.


Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Balls shaped into Hershey Kisses



Ingredients ( Makes around 20 small Hershey Kisses)


1/4 cup (40g) Dried Cranberries
50g almond flour
50g almond slices/ whole almonds
2 1/2 tbsp maple/Honey or agave syrup
10g cocoa powder
1 tsp chia seeds


Instructions


1) Soak dried cranberries in water and drain the excess to wash off extra sugar
2)  Place all the ingredients except cranberries in a food processor and mix until you get a sticky dough. ( I used 50g almond flour and 50g whole almonds as i wanted a little bigger pieces of almond in the ball for texture).
3) Add cranberries and pulse.
4) With your hands, roll them into balls first and then pinch the top of the ball to create that little sharp tip. ( You know what to do!! You know how a Hershey kiss looks like)
5) Let set in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. Store in a airtight container placed in the refrigerator for up to one week, or up to one month in the freezer.


These no bake snacks are definitely fun to make with your kids. Rolll roll roll.


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Orange Chiffon Cake with Orange Curd and Yuzu Glaze


Mothers Day is just round the corner. Every year, we will appreciate our Mummy by bring her out for a nice meal.  Not forgetting the tradition of baking her a cake. Alot of care and thought went into this as it is for a special someone.


Most of the time, the cake revolves around roughly the same flavors- Orange, Banana, Pandan or Lemon. Because that’s what Mummy loves best.



This year, I decided to make her an orange chiffon cake but present it in a different way. The technique of making the cake is the same just that instead of baking the cake in a chiffon pan ( The one with a hole in the middle), I baked it in a 6” round pan ( 3 pans to make 3 separate layers). The cake is then frosted with tangy orange curd alternate with a layer of sweet cream cheese.


Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mummies out there. Your love and sacrifice for the family is definitely worth mentioning.

Orange Chiffon Cake with Orange Curd and Cream Cheese Filling ( Makes 6" Cake)


To make cake: 


3/4 cups castor sugar 
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups cake flour 
1/2 cup oil 
2 large eggs ( Separate egg yolks from egg white) 
1 tbsp orange zest
2/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp cream of tar tar


1) Preheat oven to 175 deg cel ( 370 F). Grease and line 3 6" Round baking tins with baking paper. 
2)Sift cake flour, salt and baking powder. Set a side
3) Place egg yolks in one medium bowl and egg whites in another bowl 
4) Add 1/2 cup castor sugar, oil, orange zest and orange juice to the egg yolk bowl and beat until combined. 
5) Add in cake flour mixture and mix until just combined ( Dont overmix).
6) In a separate bowl, whip egg whites till foamy then add cream of tar tar.
7) Continue to whip egg whites until soft peaks then gradually add in the remaining 1/4 cup castor sugar in 3 additions.
8) Whip until stiff peaks 
9) Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture to loosen up the batter
10) Fold remaining egg white mixture until the batter has been well mixed.
11) Pour batter equally into the baking tins and bake for 20-25mins until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 


To make orange curd ( Makes enough to fill 2 layers of cake):


1/8 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest
21g butter
2 egg yolks
1/6 cup castor sugar


1) Heat saucepan of water till simmering 
2) Place a waterproof bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler
3) Add all the ingredients above and whisk until thicken ( Coats the back of a spoon) 
4) Remove from heat and cool till thicken. ( I usually refrigerate mine overnight) 

Cream Cheese Filling


125g cream cheese
60g unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

1) Whip everything together until smooth and fluffy 


Assembly of Cake: 


1) Slice of dome of cakes to create 3 even layers
2) Spread orange curd on one layer of cake followed by a layer of creamcheese
3) Repeat steps until you end up with the last layer of cake on top
4) Frost down the sides and top of the cake
5) Refrigerate until set! 


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Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Balls


Healthy Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Balls to celebrate Mid week! Couldn’t resist dressing them up with a coat of dark chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of Rose Petals. It’s raw, gluten-free and Vegan too. Yay


I've always wanted to make my own bliss balls. They are usually called no baked snacks. If you know me, I like to take the easy way out and no baked desserts are sometimes high on my list. These snacks are also called energy balls. Why? They provide the energy to keep you going for the day. One ball has less than 100 calories. The original recipe calls for Medjool dates but I didn't have any in my pantry. You can guess what happens next... Fridge Cleaning!! That's usually my favourite part when you raid the fridge or pantry cupboard for things you sometimes "never knew existed" and go HEYYY i could use this to make something really yummy. 


This version contains a mixture of coarse bits of whole almonds ( for texture) and ground almonds. It also contains dried cranberries which I soaked for 15mins to remove some of the sweetness from it, chia seeds, cocoa powder and a little honey. 


If this is not bliss, I don't know what is! 

Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Balls



Ingredients ( Makes around 10-12 balls)


1/4 cup (40g) Dried Cranberries
50g almond flour
50g almond slices/ whole almonds
2 1/2 tbsp maple/Honey or agave syrup
10g cocoa powder
1 tsp chia seeds

Instructions


1) Soak dried cranberries in water and drain the excess to wash off extra sugar

2)  Place all the ingredients except cranberries in a food processor and mix until you get a sticky dough. ( I used 50g almond flour and 50g whole almonds as i wanted a little bigger pieces of almond in the ball for texture).

3) Add cranberries and pulse.

4) With your hands, roll and shape the balls.

5) Let set in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. Store in a airtight container placed in the refrigerator for up to one week, or up to one month in the freezer.

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Lemon Curd and Cherry Tart


Two components to rave about in this one recipe- fresh cherries ( Whooohooo the season is finally here) and lemon curd ( tangy yummy curd). 
The last time I made a lemon tart, it received so much good feedback that I was amazed how a humble tart could actually please so many peeps ( Note: not really a fruit tart person but I could well do with it as long as it is a dessert) haha. 



Someone wanted it badly so I made it again. But this time round the curd was topped onto the tart and left to set in the fridge. If you like a more set lemon filling, you will love this version here where the entire filling and tart is baked together. For a more creamy custard like tart, the recipe below is perfect for you. 

Mummy bought a bag of cherries from the usual fruit seller. They were plump, sweet and had a bite to it. Oh how I love my cherries… especially when they are super fresh and cold. And because they look super bright and red, I felt it was a good addition to the lemon tart. So there you go a Cherry Lemon Curd Tart. 

Lemon Tart ( Makes 5" Round tart )


Ingredients for crust:

63g all purpose flour
17g icing sugar
31g butter, cold and cubed
1/2 egg yolk
1/4 tsp zest


1) In a food processor, pulse flour and icing sugar until well mixed
2) Add in cold butter and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly
3) Add in zest and egg yolks and pulse till mixture comes together. If mixture is too dry, add in a little water to bind the dough till it comes into a ball.
4) Flatten dough and wrap with cling wrap
5) Refrigerate for 30mins to 1hr to set the dough


Lemon curd


1/2 cup lemon juice
1 eggs
 1 1/2 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
50g butter, cubed


1) Combine all the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl and set it over a bowl of simmering water.
2) Stirring continuously, allow the butter to melt and the mixture to come together. At first the mixture is going to look strange and curdled but just continue stirring and when the butter is melted, switch to a whisk and whisk until the curd is thick and glossy.
3) Taste to ensure the curd is smooth and cooked through then remove from the heat.
4) Refrigerate until set or overnight 

Assembly of Tart


1) Preheat oven to 160C. 
2) Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface. I like to roll them between 2 pieces of cling wrap. 
3) Press gently into tin and trim off excess pastry. 
4) Use a fork to prick bottom of pastry with holes and return to fridge to set another 30 mins.
5) When dough is set, line the tart with foil and fill with rice or weights and bake for 15 mins
6) Remove tart from oven and remove the foil and bake for another 25 mins until lightly golden. 
7) Let tart cool completely before filling with the lemon curd
8) Decorate with fresh cherries :) 

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Pistachio Macarons with Chocolate Ganache ( Italian Meringue Method)


It has been a good 3-4 years?? Since I last made macarons. Did about 50 batches before I decided that it was indeed too much. Macarons have loads of sugar in them. But the good thing is you’re probably only going to eat 1-2 ( or perhaps 3-4 or maybe 5-6 ) macarons at a go before you find yourself reaching for something savory to counteract the sweetness in your mouth.


Sweetness aside, this “cookie” is actually very attractive for door gifts, wedding / birthday parties. They can be baked in an assortment of colors, shapes and sizes. After a long hiatus and probably a few failed attempts at French macarons, I got pretty upset and decided it was time to take a break from them. That explains the good 3 yrs. 


I guess whatever goes down must eventually come up again. My interest for macarons is back! Today, I churned my 1st 2 batches of Italian Meringue macarons. Macarons made by the Italian method involves boiling a sugar syrup to reach a certain temperature before mixing with the meringue. You have to multi task on this one. But if you have a stand mixer, it will make your job much easier. After doing both the French and Italian macaron methods, I find that the Italian method gives more room for error. And the best thing is you don’t have to age the eggs. ( Defo a plus point considering it rains pretty often in Singapore and the weather can sometimes be really humid – enemy for macarons). 


The 1st batch of macarons came out with protruding feet ( OMG) a disaster. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself as I was too lazy to throw away the batch of meringue that was contaminated with a little egg yolk. Sometimes shortcuts bring you to dead ends so try to minimize them if your instincts tells you that you are heading in the direction of disaster. 

My second batch of macarons turned out perfect. Smooth tops, nice feet and pretty colors. Pink sweet pink. How not to resist. Many more batches to come.. Watch this space ;) If you have any flavors to recommend please do so in the comment box. 


Italian Meringue Macarons ( Makes about 60 macaron shell or 30 completed Macarons)

Ingredients:

-150g superfine ground almonds ( I use Phoon Huat's superfine almonds)
-150g powdered sugar
-50g egg whites
-Gel food coloring (optional)

Italian Meringue:

-110g granulated sugar ( For boiling) + 10g (For beating with egg whites first)
-55g egg whites
-40g water

1. Sift together ground almonds, powdered sugar into a bowl. If your almonds are not fine enough, you can pulse it in a food processor for a few seconds.

2. Add in 50g of egg whites and mix until well combined. Add in gel coloring of your choice.

3. Place water and 110g sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat and attach a thermometer to it. Boil the sugar mixture.

4. Halfway through boiling the mixture, place 55g of egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat till frothy. Add in 10g of sugar and continue to beat on low until soft peaks form. If it reaches soft peaks before the sugar mixture reaches 240F, switch off the mixer.

5. When the sugar mixture reaches 240F, take the sugar syrup off the heat and slowly pour it into the egg whites. Continue to beat on medium high for 5-7 mins until the meringue is not hot to touch and the meringue is shiny with stiff peaks.

6. Add in 1/3 of the meringue to the ground almond mixture and mix it to lighten the mixture up.

7. Add in the rest of the meringue and fold until batter falls from spatula and forms a ribbon like pattern. Consistency should be like lava.

8. Pipe circles onto a non stick baking sheet of Silpat. Tap baking pan on the table top to get rid of air bubbles and flatten the peaks on the macarons. Use a toothpick to burst air bubbles that might form on the piped circle.

9. Let macarons rest and dry for 20-30mins until the macarons are dry to the touch.

10. Preheat oven to 150deg celcius or 300F. Bake for 12-13 minutes.

11. Let macarons cool completely before removing them from the baking paper.

12. If not piping immediately, store macarons in an airtight container at RT until ready to pipe. If you are piping the filling, pipe a portion of ganache (or your fav frosting) into the centre of the macarons. Sandwich the macarons and let the flavors age in the fridge overnight. Macarons taste best the very next day.


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Thai Milk Tea Baked Doughnuts ( Gluten Free)



How many of you are doughnut fans? Haha I have to admit, I truly am 7 years back!! When the donut craze hit our country, I actually queued close to 4 hours for 2 dozen doughnuts! Incredible right? After that, I never touched donuts again.

Not because of my fear of queuing but after I read somewhere that a single donut had the same amount of calories as a meal. Shocking to some but it is actually true. This year, I decided to make some homemade donuts so I can actually control what went in it. These donuts were baked so non of that greasy fried stuff. I baked these mini doughnuts in my handy 8 cavity Silicon Doughnut pan Unmolding the donuts from the pan was a breeze. Thank Gawd for the non stick silicon that pops these little cuties right out.



As for donuts, I opted for a Thai Tea Flavor Doughnut! I'm such a big fan of Thai tea these few days that incorporating them into my bakes was one of my New Year Goals and so here we go!! Recipe is adapted from BobsRedMillThe only change to the recipe was to infuse the milk with some Thai Tea leaves. These doughnuts were baked using Bob's Gluten Free 1-1 Baking flour  ( I swear i love this flour more than anything). The doughnut turned out beautifully. Fluffy, Soft and moist.


Gluten Free Thai Tea Doughnuts


Ingredients for doughnut


1/2 Cup Bob's Gluten Free 1-1 Baking flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk + 1/4 Teaspoon Vinegar
1 Sachet of Thai Milk Tea  ( This brand is best. Tea is so fragrant)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Egg


Ingredients for Glaze


1.5 tbsp of Thai infused milk ( The reserves leftover from the doughnut) 
7 tbsp icing sugar

1) Mix milk with icing sugar and stir until smooth. 

Steps 


1) The night before or 2 hours before, boil milk with 1 sachet of Thai Milk Tea to infuse the milk
2) Let milk cool in fridge overnight for flavors to infuse.
3) Preheat oven to 350F or 175C
4) Add 1/4 tsp vinegar to the milk mixture and set aside
5) In a medium bowl, combine baking flour, baking powder, coconut sugar and salt. Stir until well combined.
6) In another bowl, whisk together 1/4 milk mixture and the egg until well combined. ( The rest of the milk mixture is used for the glaze)
7) Slowly pour in the oil and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
8) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
9) Carefully spoon the batter into the doughnut pan.
10) Bake at 350F for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
11) Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before unmoulding.
12) Dip cooled doughnuts into glaze. Flip over and let dry. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.

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Paleo Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies


Holy Moly Mother of Brownies. These are RICH Decadent Brownies. The moment you sink your teeth into one of them, I guarantee you will be hooked. Lick your fingers, Lick the plate, Smack those lips of yours, Bite, Gobble. I promise I won't judge. These Dark Chocolate Brownies have a homemade raspberry filling mixed together in the batter and baked. It is Gluten free, Grain free, Dairy free and Paleo. 


I chanced upon these while doing my daily gawking routine. They were inspired by Michele's Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies.  They are rather gooey when first taken out of the oven. If you want a neat looking piece of brownie, do refrigerate them for a few hours before slicing. Judging from the loopsided brownies, you can tell that my mouth was the dictator.  It's fudgey, moist and a little tangy from the raspberry swirl. Ultimately, these are the bomb and I will definitely be whipping more of these up. Christmas gifts anyone? 


Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Brownies {Paleo}


Ingredients for the Raspberry Sauce

190g fresh raspberries
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp organic coconut sugar

1)  In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the raspberries and water and stir until softened.
2) Add the coconut sugar and stir until a sauce forms (about 15 minutes)
3) When the mixture thickens and begins to simmer, remove from heat and set aside to allow to cool.

Ingredients for brownie batter


3 eggs
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil melted and cooled
3/4 cup organic coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 350F or 175DegC.
2) Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with baking paper and spray the sides on the pan with non stick cooking spray.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla.
4) In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
5) Carefully stir the dry mixture into the wet until fully combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.
6) Pour about 3/4 of the brownie batter into the baking pan, then pour all the raspberry sauce over the batter.
7) Pour the remaining brownie batter over the raspberry sauce.
8) Use a knife and swirl the brownie batter with the raspberry sauce.
9) Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the center is just set.
10) Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours before slicing to get a neat cut.

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