Courgette cake with cream cheese and lime frosting

Another inspiration while dining at Kember and Jones cafe in Glasgow. I once tried a courgette cake and fell in love with it. Never did I thought that a courgette would make such a good combination with lime/lemon.

Decided to try baking it tonight and sure it was a hit! I love how moist the cake is. The cream cheese sure did work wonders on the taste buds as well. Courgette is not as wet as cucumber which probably explains why the recipe works.

Would definitely make this cake again for my work colleagues next!

Definitely a keeper! 

Courgette cake with cream cheese and lime frosting recipe: (Rephrased slightly from http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/33416/courgette-and-lime-cake.aspx)


  • For the Cake
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250g courgette, finely grated


  • For the icing
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 40g pistachio nuts (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

 

Method 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / 160 C fan / Gas 4. Grease and line two 9 inch springform cake tins.
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate soda and baking powder and beat well. Stir in the grated courgettes until well combined. Divide the mixture into the cake tins.
  3. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the cakes from the oven and carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the paper lining and leave to cool.
  5. For the icing, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in the lime juice.
  6. Use a bread knife to level one of the cakes if necessary. Use 2/3 of the icing to sandwich the 2 cakes together, the levelled one on the bottom, and use the remaining icing to cover the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts and lime zest.
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Tiramisu cheesecake recipe

I have a little story to tell..

A distant memory…

Happened when I was a year 2 medical student.

When the real baking first started…

It was because of somebody’s birthday, and through the massive encouragement from one of my housemates, I decided to bravely accept the challenge of baking my first ever cake which turned out to be successful. I only tried baking twice prior to this and both attempts were nothing but complete failure. The defeated me actually made a promise to myself that I will never ever bake again. I was baking only for the sake of baking. Why bake when cakes fail, ingredients wasted, and everything goes into the bin just because nobody wanted to eat the cakes.

I was extremely defeated..

until..

It was his birthday. One of my housemate, who is an excellent cook himself, told me that the best way to touch a person’s heart is to bake from the heart.

Hence, I baked my first ever cake – Tiramisu cheesecake.

Decided on this cheesecake because it wasn’t too technical.

and seem to be achievable.

and so I continued since, to bake and cook from the heart…before I realised that I was starting to get pretty good at it and enjoy it thoroughly!

The only thing I can say now to the person is, thank you very much for being there one chapter of my life, or I would never have gone this far and realise that I can achieve what I once thought was the impossible.

People come into your life, for a reason, a season.. to share, to grow, to learn. They give you an unbelievable amount of joy, but only for a season. The people you meet, help create who you are, teaching you how to love, opened your eyes to things, discover things that you never once knew. They guide you, support you emotionally, spiritually and physically. When they walked away, their work is done. We move on.

That’s my little story.

I will now share the recipe of the first cake I ever made, which to me, was delicious although simple.

Tiramisu cheesecake without the alcohol version:

Serves 6,

For the base:

85g butter, plus more for the pan

175g ginger biscuits, crushed

50g pecans, finely chopped

For the filling:

175g plain chocolate

150ml double cream

225g mascarpone cheese

1 tbsp cold strong black coffee

50g caster sugar

To decorate:

25g plain chocolate

225g mascarpone cheese

100g thick Greek yoghurt

25g pecans, roughly chopped

cocoa, for sprinkling

Steps:

1. Make the base: Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the crushed biscuits and pecans. Press into the base of a lightly greased 17.5cm/7 inch round fluted flan pan. Chill.

2. Make the filling: Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water; allow to cool slightly. Whip the cream until stiff. Beat the mascarpone in a bowl with the coffee, sugar and chocolate. Gently fold in the cream. Pour into the flan pan and smooth the top. Chill until firm.

3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate for decoration in a  bowl over a pan of simmering water; allow to cool.

4. Transfer the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Mix together the mascarpone and yoghurt and swirl over the top of the cheesecake. Drizzle over the chocolate and sprinkle liberally with the pecans and cocoa.

Marbled cheesecake recipe

Good times will always be remembered…..

The days in Leeds….

Just looking at the pictures makes me miss my beautiful apartment….the familiarity of Leeds….the people who made Leeds so memorable…and most importantly, where the cooking and baking first started…

I am missing my apartment sorely now…and of course my best friend too who has gone back to Malaysia.

Anyway, introducing my favourite cheesecake!

Marbled cheesecake recipe by Y3K cookbook on ‘delicious cakes’:

Ingredients:

For base:

200g digestive biscuits (milled)

50g ground almond (toasted)

120g butter (melted)

Filling:

750g cream cheese

120g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

120g white cooking chocolate (melted by double-boiling)

30g cornflour

300ml UHT whipping cream

3 eggs (beaten)

Topping:

50g dark cooking chocolate (melted by double-boiling)

Utensil needed:

9 inch loose-base cake tin

Method:

Base: Preheat oven at 140 celcius. Mix melted butter with dry ingredients until well-combined. Press onto a 9 inch loose-base cake tin. Refrigerate until set.

Filling: Beat cheese and sugar until creamy. Add in melted white chocolate. Add in cream, vanilla essence and cornflour. Lastly, add in eggs. Pour batter onto set base, drizzle with melted dark chocolate on top. Steam bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Leave cake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes but temperature turned off.

Remove cake from oven and let cake cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for 6 hours before serving.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

I went to London 2 weeks ago, and my friend brought me to Peyton and Byrne bakery at Covent Garden. Mouth watering cakes, pastries on display. Apparently famous for their victoria sponge cake.

My friend then said she has a Peyton and Byrne british baking book which was given to her for her birthday but she has not used it yet.

Flipping through the book, I was pretty impressed at how simple the recipes were. A part of me wondered if the recipes work….

So decided to take note of a few recipes and give them a go…

First on the list was the lemon drizzle cake.

The ‘skin’ of the lemon drizzle cake on the bottom front was accidentally ripped off by myself. This would have easily been avoided if I have not fell asleep during the cooling time and not to line the baking parchment in the lower end of the loaf tin. Guess there is also a reason as to why the cake should be removed from the tin to cool 10-15 after removing from the oven.

Apart from the slightly ‘shabby’ looking appearance, it actually taste amazing!!! And I really mean it!

SOOOO MOIST!!! I made 2 as I thought might as well since I bought 2 loaf tins…It was so good that both cakes were wiped clean off the plate by my colleagues so quickly that some of my colleagues did not manage to even try it..

It was so good that I would make it again and again….and I seriously think that it is far better than the carrot cake! Thanks to peyton and Byrne. Will consider getting my own cookbook.

Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe by Peyton and Byrne British baking.

Ingredients:

175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

175g caster sugar

pinch of salt

finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

2 eggs

75ml milk

175g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Glaze:

100g caster sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Makes 8-10 slices

Equipment: 900g loaf tin

Steps:

1) Preheat the oven to 170 celcius/ gas 3. Butter a 900g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper.

2) Beat the unsoftened butter and sugar and salt in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and whisk well until fully incorporated. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then mix in the milk. Sift the flour and baking powder together and gently fold into the mixture until well combined, but don’t over-mix.

3) Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level off the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

4) Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooking. When the cake is completely cool, transfer to a serving plate.

5) Make the drizzle for the glaze by heating the sugar and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed pan, stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid becomes syrupy (don’t let it boil or the sugar will crystallise).

6) Prick the top of the cake all over with a skewer and then pour the syrup over the top, letting it sink into the holes, to become absorbed by the cake, and drizzle down the sides. The cake will keep in an airtight tin for 3-5 days.

Buttermilk country cake recipe

Sorry for the long hiatus. The hiatus would probably get worse in the next two weeks as I just moved to a new flat and I don’t have internet in my new flat. Apparently, the engineers are still in the midst of trying to arrange for someone to climb the pole outside my flat to get my line sorted. It’s been nearly two weeks but I see no line.

Managed to get online today thanks to my ex-housemate who let me stayed in glasgow for a night and I could finally get online tonight! So will blog the recipes I have accumulated over the past one week while I still can!

Being in a new flat without internet and a TV can be really boring. My body clock has also become a bit  haywire as I now sleep in the evening for hours then getting up at like 10pm and baking at 2am in the morning. My neighbours must have mourned having me around working my kitchen mixer in the early hours of the morning.

Just started living in my new flat this week. Decided to try out how good is the oven.

I have to say I am actually quite impressed that the cake is pretty evenly cooked. Even more so impressed that a simple recipe such as a buttermilk country cake tasted really really awesome!

I decided to try a very simple recipe just so that if the oven doesn’t work well, I don’t mourn big time over wasted ingredients and time spent. To my surprise, a simple recipe as such yield such a good result that I am very motivated to bake this again. Moist and tasted similar to a Madeira cake. Definitely better than any waitrose or marks and spencers madeira cake though.

Joel tried so hard so stop eating it….LOL…

Ok…I should have been more patient in taking the baking parchment off the cake than ripping it off the sides. Was kinda impatient as I wanted to start decorating the cake…

Decided to decorate it simple. Poured some bonne maman strawberry jam, dunked some strawberries at the top and sprinkled with some grated white chocolate.

Awesome combination.

Not too bad. I think I know how my oven works now…

Only thing is I have been reading reviews of my new oven Lamona brand provided by the landlord. Never heard of the brand before and decided to google….only to read horror stories by reviewers!

Some say:

‘Sudden pop the glass shattered into tiny shards all over the food.’

They are rubbish! I would never use one of these out of choice and would never recommend them.’

‘The inside glass has shattered twice with me now and for no obvious reason.’

‘The oven element broke after just 2 years.’

Horror of horrors!!! And to think I had a pretty good oven….actually NOT! In fact one of the lowest range of oven brands! 

Ok…don’t scare myself so sooooon! But I can’t help feeling scared reading all these reviews because I do use the oven big time!

I guess nothing can ever beat the Bosch oven I had in my flat in Huddersfield 2 years ago. That was probably the best oven I have ever worked with so far…and everything in my flat then were Bosch equipped (fridge, dishwasher etc…).. I definitely know now what to buy and what not to for my future house!

Aside the horror stories, I have been down to Glasgow today, to make a sushi party for a friend’s/cell member’s birthday! Now completely obsessed with my dragon roll, I have been making this for everyone I know…and practice definitely makes perfect! Getting better each time I make this. 

I left all my sesame seeds in Largs….so had to improvise with all my chives.

Love the smell of chives…

Quite impressed I managed to make all the sushi despite being down by a left thumb and left index finger. Was cleaning my chopping board and accidentally forcefully knocked my global knife with my right hand causing the knife to fly onto my left fingers. Left me with a stun before I saw blood. 2 immediate lacerations on both fingers of my left hand! NOOO! Disabling! But managed to struggle through and finished making all that sushi. Thanks to an amazing plaster which managed to forcefully hold the lacerated edges together after much pressure and waterproof as well… As good as steristrips.

At least I know now that Global knives are defo defo sharp! LOL…didn’t have to test the sharpness this way though…

Have not cut my fingers for years! Didn’t expect to slice my fingers this way…

Anyway,

Aunty Yochanna buttermilk country cake. 

http://auntyyochana.blogspot.co.uk/2007/06/buttermilk-country-cake.html

Ingredients:

80 gm. egg yolks

160 gm. buttermilk

5 gm. vanilla (1 tsp)

200 gm. sifted cake flour

200 gm. sugar

15 gm. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

120 gm. butter

Preheat oven to 170 celcius. (non-fan)

(1) In a bowl, lightly combine the yolks with 40 ml. of the buttermilk.

(2) In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 secs to blend.

(3) Add the butter and remaining buttermilk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 2 mins. to aerate and develop the cake’s stucture.

(4) Gradually add in the egg yolk mixture and beat for another min.

(5) Pour batter into an 8″ round pan and bake for about 50 to 60 mins. or till skewer inserted comes out clean.

(6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 mins then invert the cake onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

(7) Slice and serve.

White chocolate strawberry cream gateau recipe

Today, I will introduce to you the first ever gateau I made on the very first day I started learning to bake, dating all the way back to 2008. Back then, I thought to myself…. I was pretty fed up of baking cheesecakes. Why not try baking a gateau…

I just wanted to try baking something different..

The white chocolate strawberry gateau has come quite a long way….

It started by a desire to bake a cake for my cell leader’s birthday in June 2008.

I decided to bake a white chocolate strawberry gateau as above.

My housemate was baking a black forest at the same time as shown in the picture above.

I got a bit intrigued at how he was creaming his black forest cake so I decided to copy him! 

I started spreading cream around my cake and then thought to myself….oh wow….it actually looks very pretty!!

Back in June 2008, this creation was pretty to me! Now, it will be ‘classified’ as imperfect….LOL…

How have times changed…

I also had a Nikon DSLR back then, so my food photography kind of started from there…

I got more excited about baking….

The positive feedback I got from my cell members and friends kept me going..

and I never quite call it quit even if I fail…

The above pic isn’t a fail. This was made in march 2009 for a friend’s birthday as well.

I was starting to ‘exercise’ a bit more creativity….LOL..

Still quite imperfect back then…. but that was because I did not have my cake rotator…

Ever since my good friend bought me a cake rotator as a gift from USA….

life has never been easier..

More perfect-ish creaming effects…

and starting trying to look more ‘professional’…

I have now kind of got fed up baking the same cake again and again. Since 2009, I have started exploring baking other cakes…so this cake has kind of disappear from my library of recipes as I would choose to bake other cakes over this.

Even so, it is the very first cake I baked and it does bring back a lot of memories. It is also fairly easy and straightforward for the novice bakers to try out.

And now…

I shall share the recipe for the first gateau I have ever made…

White Chocolate Strawberry Cream Gateau

For the sponge:

1) 150g white chocolate

2) 200g unsalted butter, diced

3) 3 large eggs

4) 150g caster sugar

5) 200g self-raising flour

For the filling:

1) 500g ripe strawberries (250g for filling and 250g for topping)

2) juice of half an orange

3) 1 tablespoon of caster sugar

4) 100g white chocolate

5) 150ml double or whipping cream, whipped

Steps:

1) Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2) To make the sponge, break up the chocolate and melt very gently with the butter. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool until needed.

3) Break the eggs into a bowl. Add sugar. Whisk until the mixture is extremely thick and foamy. It’s ready when the whisk leaves a ribbon-like trail of mixture when you lift it out of the mixture. Gently stir the chocolate mixture then whisk it briefly into the egg mixture. A soon as it is combined, avoid over-mixing. Add the flour and gently fold in using a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture between two tins (9 inch springform cake tin), and spread evenly.

4) Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes until a light golden brown and the sponges spring back when gently pressed. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tins, just to loosen the sponges, turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

5) To make the filling, wipe the strawberries and save half of good-looking ones for decoration. Thinly slice the rest into a bowl. Add the orange juice and the sugar and mix gently. Leave for 10 minutes for the flavours to develop. Grate the white chocolate and gently fold half into the whipped cream. Save the rest for decoration.

6) To assemble, set one sponge on a serving plate and spoon on the strawberries and juice. Cover with the cream then top with the second sponge. Decorate.

Recipe taken from “Divine Heavenly chocolate recipes with a heart” by Linda Collister

Jason Atherton’s spiced chocolate cake with macerated raspberries recipe

I mentioned that I was going to share about Jason Atherton’s spiced chocolate cake recipe and here it is! 

The most simple yet lovely chocolate cake I have ever baked. Look at how flaky the crust is on the top and side of the cake. Moist on the inside. Absolutely phenomenal! Only thing is this cake should ideally be baked on the day you are intending to eat it. This is because the crust on the outside will turn soggy overnight and it will not taste as delicious then. 

I decided to bake this cake after returning from London and was very inspired by Jason Atherton after my visit to Pollen street social. I was so inspired that I whipped up a 3 course meal in within 2 hours. 

Aren’t my friends in Edinburgh lucky!

Starter: Baked mushrooms topped with garlic herb crust.

Main course: Sirloin steak (trying to imitate pollen street social’s steak presentation)

And finally the dessert! Jason atherton’s spiced chocolate cake with macerated raspberries.

The raspberries were so delicious and went so well with the lovely chocolate cake!

Spiced Chocolate Cake with Macerated Raspberries

Recipe by Jason Atherton

Makes 8 – 10 slices

200 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra to grease the dish

2 tbsp plain flour, plus extra to dust

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

200 g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped

150 g caster sugar

5 large eggs, separated

Macerated raspberries:

250 g raspberries

3 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra to dust

3 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves picked

First, prepare the macerated raspberries. In a bowl, whisk the icing sugar with 3 tbsp of warm water until dissolved, then add the raspberries and lemon thyme leaves and toss gently. Set aside to macerate for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease the base and sides of a 23 cm Pyrex flan dish, 4 cm deep, with butter and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

Sift the 2 tbsp flour with the spices and set aside. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and spiced flour. Let cool slightly then beat in the egg yolks until well combined.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold into the chocolate mixture, a third at a time.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 30 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out with some moist crumbs attached. Leave in the dish to firm up a little, the transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. The cake will rise and the top is likely to crack in the oven, then it will collapse slightly on cooling.

To plate: slice the cake with hot knife. Sift icing sugar over each slice before plating. Spoon some macerated raspberries on and around the cake and drizzle with some of the juice.