3 Ways of Oatmeal for Autumn

As soon as the temperature drops, my breakfast habits change. Whereas in summer, my breakfast mostly consists of yoghurt & fruit bowls, in winter I like to start my day with warm comfort food. A steaming bowl of porridge is my go-to every day. It’s so easy and quick, yet delicious! However, sometimes I want to get a bit more creative with my oatmeal because it can get a bit boring otherwise. So I bring you my 3 favourite ways of preparing an oatmeal breakfast perfect for those cold autumn mornings!

1. Baked Banana Oatmeal

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Ingredients (for 2 portions)

  • 1 cup oats (90 gr)
  • 1 cup boiled water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla aroma
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Method

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Mix the oats and the water. While you wait for the oats to soak up the liquid, mash up half of the banana and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Then, add everything together and place in an oven dish. Pour the almond milk on top and spread the banana slices evenly on the oatmeal. Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve while hot!

2. Apple & Jam Oatmeal Cups

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Ingredients (for 4 oatmeal cups)

  • 1 cup oats (90 gr)
  • 1 cup warm almond milk
  • Non-stick baking spray
  • 1 grated apple
  • 4 tsp jam (I used blackberry)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp raisins (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Pour the almond milk on top of the oats and let that sit for a few minutes. While you wait, grate one large apple. Then stir in the apple and cinnamon and optionally add some raisins. Spray 4 cups in your muffin tin with some baking spray and scoop in the oats mixture. Put 1 tsp of jam on top of each cup. Bake the cups in your pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. If you let them cool off for a while, they will become more solid instead and you can remove them from your tray easily without them falling apart! The hot jam pouring out of these cups when you eat them is to die for. You also don’t need to add any sweetener because the jam is sweet enough of itself!

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3. Overnight Oats with Dates

Warning: this recipe takes a bit more time as you have to soak the oats overnight! This makes for an extra thick and smooth oatmeal.

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Ingredients (for 1 portion)

  • 1/2 cup oats (45 gr)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medjool dates
  • small handful of hazelnuts

Instructions

Take your breakfast bowl of preference and combine the oats, chia seeds and cinnamon in this bowl. Pour the almond milk on top and mix. Pit the medjool dates and chop them up finely. Stir in the date pieces. Put your bowl in the fridge overnight. If you feel like the mixture will be too thick, you can add an extra splash of milk. The next morning add some hazelnuts and dust the top of the overnight oats with some extra cinnamon. Enjoy this dish cold, but of course have a warm cup of coffee next to it! These overnight oats are also amazing with some fresh fruit on top.

 

So, those are my 3 ways of changing up my morning oatmeal. Of course, you can change up everything in these recipes. If you don’t have almond milk, any other type of milk will do just fine. And all the fruit (banana, apple) can be substituted for any other fruit you like. These are just my preferences. 🙂 And if you have more of a sweet tooth, feel free to add some honey or agave syrup to any of these recipes. Thanks for reading!

Stay warm,

Tori

 

 

 

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Flourless Dark Chocolate & Espresso Birthday Cake

Hi guys!

Hope you’re all doing great. I’m currently in my hometown Amsterdam because I planned a surprise visit for my brother’s 18th birthday. Fortunately, the surprise went really well (he had no idea that I was coming!) and we had a very nice family day with lots of food! My mom and I spent basically the whole day in the kitchen last Thursday (on my brother’s birthday) to bake two cakes and prepare an awesome bday dinner. It’s a bit of a tradition in our family that you can choose what you want to have for dinner on your bday. My brother is a big fan of my famous Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna (of which I will probably post a recipe sooner or later) so that’s what he requested. But what is a birthday without an awesome birthday cake?

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I actually decided on baking two cakes because I had two recipes in mind that I really wanted to try out, but I needed a hand mixer for those recipes. Now, I don’t own one back in London, but my mom’s kitchen is fully supplied so I figured I should take advantage of the opportunity! Note that it is possible to bake this cake without a hand mixer too, but you will get a sore arm from beating the egg white 😉

My family is one full of ever-caffeinated-chocoholics, so this first cake, an Espresso & Dark Chocolate Cake, seemed just perfect. To keep it low-carb (the other cake we were doing was heavily carb-loaded so yeah…) we decided on a flourless version. This makes for an extra dense & creamy chocolate cake, but you do want this to sit in your fridge for a few hours before indulging.

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Let’s get to it!

Flourless Espresso & Dark Chocolate Cake

Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 35-40 mins – Yield: 16 pcs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 250 gr dark chocolate (I used around 70-80% cacao but you can use whatever you prefer. If you use more than that, consider adding a bit more sugar)
  • ¼ cup of boiling water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 fresh single espresso (or 1 tsp instant espresso powder)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Powdered sugar & fruits for decorating

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius and boil some water in your kettle. Break up your chocolate in small pieces and pour 1/4 cup (60ml) of boiling water over the chocolate. Add one cup of fresh espresso. You can also use instant espresso powder (1tsp) or both for extra coffee flavour. While you let that sit, separate the eggs in two large bowls. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg white until it’s very firm. Give your chocolate mixture a stir every now and then so that the chocolate completely melts and incorporates into the espresso and hot water.

Add your softened butter, sugar, salt, cacao powder and vanilla extract to the egg yolks and cream together with your hand mixer or spatula, whichever you prefer. Once the chocolate has fully melted, add the mixture to your egg yolks & butter. Now take a look at your egg white. If it has started to separate a bit, just quickly beat it again so that all the egg white is nice and fluffy. Scoop in the egg whites with a spatula, folding it in carefully to preserve as much air & fluffiness in your batter.

Poor the mixture into your cake form. You can use anything you like. I went for a larger diameter because I like this cake to be thin (you could use a brownie tin too), but if you want a thicker cake, use a cake form with a smaller diameter. Note that this will add ±5 mins to your baking time and your might want to let the cake set in the fridge a bit longer.

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My cake baked for 35 minutes. I let it cool on the counter for an hour. You could eat it straight away, although I like this cake better when it’s completely cooled and has set in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. This will make the cake extra dense and chewy. Whatever you prefer! Top the cake with some powdered sugar. You can also add any fruit you like. I chose raspberries and blackberries because I think they’re sweet yet sour taste goes well with the very dark chocolate. Strawberries would work really well too!

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Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for the recipe of the second birthday cake I made: a pear cheesecake with crumbly topping. I promise it will be an absolute hit this fall with your family & friends!

Best,

Tori

Autumny Pumpkin Muffins with Spelt & Oats

Hi guys!

I’m back with another recipe. I cannot describe how much in love I am with these healthy-ish pumpkin muffins. They make me so excited about autumn.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I went to Borough Market last weekend. Borough Market, a fresh local food market just south of the Thames, has got to be my new favourite place on earth. The products on sale there are just so gorgeous. I bought the most beautiful graffiti aubergine and rainbow chard, just because I couldn’t resist the look of them. When I tasted them, I couldn’t believe how sweet and juicy the veggies were. Because autumn is definitely on its way, pumpkins are hard to miss these days too.

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I just knew I had to bake something with pumpkin upon seeing them. And who doesn’t love a gorgeous fall-inspired pumpkin muffin? I attended an event by my university’s baking society last week, and a girl had made de-li-cious pumpkin muffins. So I figured I’d give it a go myself! My recipe is an adaption of her recipe & two other recipes I found online. It was kind of a gamble, because I wanted to find a way to make these babies a bit more healthy than normally. I wanted to be able to eat these for breakfast, so I decided to work with wholemeal spelt flour and wholemeal oats instead of 100% plain flour. That would make them more filling & suitable for an actual meal instead of just a snack!

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Now, I think it’s fair to say they turned out pretty well. They were a bit more dense than purely flour-based muffins, but they were soooo moist and fluffy at the same time. I also found that the sweetness of these was just perfect. They just taste like autumn. Let’s get to talking about how to achieve that!

Pumpkin Muffins with Spelt Flour & Wholemeal Oats

Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 24 mins – Total time: ±40 mins – Yield: 12 large muffins – Calories per serving: 180 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 banana, overripe for extra sweetness
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) vegetable shortening or vegetable oil (I used Trex)
  • 1 tin (425 grams) pure pumpkin puree, no additives
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) almond milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup wholegrain oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

First, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature as this will make it easier to blend everything together without getting any lumps. You want the smoothest batter you can get! You can use a mixer if you like, as this will definitely make this easier, but I don’t have a mixer so I just went for it using a whisk until my arms hurt like hell. Another note before you get started: if you are having trouble getting your hands on pure pumpkin puree, you can order it online or you can make some yourself. Just bake a sugar pumpkin (other kinds won’t get the same result), cut in two halves & deseeded, in a 220 degrees Celcius oven for 40 minutes. Peel off the skin and mash it up to get a puree and you’re all done!

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

In a large bowl, mash together the eggs and the banana to make a soft puree. Then, add all of the other wet ingredients and stir for ±2 minutes to combine everything. If you’re not using a mixer, it might be easier to add the ingredients bit by bit, so you can blend everything more easily. Once all your wet ingredients have combined nicely, combine all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Give it a quick stir to combine the different kinds of flour. You should have around 2 1/2 cup of flour in this bowl. Now, start adding the flour mixture to your wet ingredients, mixing well as you go along. Please note that I ended up only adding 2 cups of my flour mixture, as I wanted my muffins to be dense and moist. But feel free to add all of the flour mixture to your wet ingredients. It just depends on what you want! Next time, I might add 2 1/2 cups to try the difference.

Line a muffin tin with muffin cups, or just spray the tin with any oil you like. Scoop in the batter way up to the edge of the paper liner to create lovely huge muffins. If you want smaller muffins, this recipe should be enough for 16 small ones instead of 12 big ones.

Bake the muffins in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, just stick in a fork to check on them. If the fork comes out dry, the muffins are done. At 20 mins, there was still some batter stuck to my fork, so I put them back in for another couple of minutes, checking them at each 2 minute interval. My muffins were in the oven for exactly 24 minutes! Let your muffins cool in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes, then move them to a rack to cool for another 5-10 minutes before indulging in them.

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I hope you liked this recipe and please let me know if you do try these out yourself!

Best, Cheftori

Fluffy American Coconut Pancakes with Chunky Apple & Caramel Sauce

Hi guys!

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday. This week went so fast! What better way to relax than to have an amazing Sunday brunch? One of my favourite things to eat when I want to have something special, is pancakes. As a little kid, my mum would make Dutch pancakes sometimes for dinner. The best part was that we could eat the left-over pancakes for breakfast the next morning. 😉 Although I’m a big fan of the Dutch style really big but thin pancakes, I prefer the fluffy American pancakes for brunch. They just look so cute stacked on top of each other. I like mine even better with coconut flour because it adds so much flavour AND it’s a lot healthier than eating plain flour all the time!

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Now, I don’t want to brag, but let me tell you: these pancakes taste just as good as they look. And they’re so incredibly easy to make! Let’s get to the recipe shall we?

Coconut Pancakes topped with Apple & Caramel Sauce

Total prep. time: 20 minutes – Yield: 1 portion as shown on the picture – 500 kcal total

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 apple
  • 20 grams of butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon almond flakes

Instructions

Remove the skin of one apple and cut the apple into chunks. Set aside for later use.

Separate the egg white and yolk. Beat the egg white until firm. In a different bowl, mix the egg yolk with the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir in the coconut flour and baking powder. Then, using a spatula, fold in the fluffy egg white. If your egg white has started to separate again, give it a few extra beats before mixing it in. This will make your pancakes extra fluffy!

Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan. If you want to, you can also add 2 teaspoons of extra coconut oil to your pancake batter for extra moist, but if you don’t want the extra calories it works just fine without. When the oil is hot, bake 3 to 4 (depending on the size of your pan) small pancakes at a time. I use one 1 tablespoon of pancake batter for each pancake. Bake for 3 minutes on each side. You know the pancake is ready to flip when it starts to get bubbly on top. Transfer your pancakes to a plate and stack them on top of each other. Not only does this look pretty, it also helps to keep them warm.

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While your pancakes are baking, you can prepare your sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; you don’t want the butter to turn brown. When it’s fully melted, add the chunks of apple. Then add the cinnamon and sugar and stir. Let the sauce boil for a few minutes while you keep stirring to make sure nothing burns at the bottom of your sauce pan. When the sauce comes together and it is a sticky caramel substance, it’s all done!

Pour the sauce on top of your pancakes and sprinkle some almond flakes on top for an extra crunch.

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Just look at that.

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You know why I love these pancakes, besides the fact that they’re obviously from heaven? You can top them with basically anything you like. The possibilities are endless, you will never be bored. A week or so ago I served these with some fresh berries and golden syrup. But you could even eat them just as they are as a snack. Anything will do! I am definitely doing a Pumpkin Version soon, because I saw the most delicious pumpkins at Borough Market last weekend. Be sure to keep an eye out for those on my Instagram!

Thanks for reading guys and I hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Best, cheftori

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Hi guys what is up! I’m back with another favourite. I took some of these bars with me to uni this week and people were going crazy over them (OK it was just one guy that’s really into peanut butter, he told me he DREAMED about these bars… shout out to you Ryan!). So I thought I’d share the recipe with you 🙂 Let’s do it!

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Preparation time: 15mins – Baking time: 15 mins – Total time: 30 mins – Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup pecan nuts
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey/agave syrup/any sweetening syrup you prefer
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup medjool dates

Instructions

Combine the oats and nuts on a baking tray and place in a pre-heated oven of 170 degrees Celcius for about 15 minutes to roast. This step is not necessary but if you roast your oats and nuts this will definitely give a more rich flavour! Be sure to check on them a lot because they burn quickly. Sometimes a little burnt flavour is nice, but not in this recipe, trust me.

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While your oats are roasting, take a small pan to your stove and melt together the butter, brown sugar and honey. Once this has all blended, add the peanut butter and cacao powder. Cook for a minute until everything is incorporated and remove from the stove. Take the oats from the oven and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add your mixture from your pan. Also add the medjool dates (I chopped mine not too fine so you can taste those nice big chunks!). Transfer everything to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and smoothen it out. Be sure to really press the mixture together so everything sticks really well & your bars won’t fall apart. Place the tray in the fridge for at least two hours before cutting it up into bars.

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Hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s so convenient to have these bars in your fridge because you can grab them any time for a quick snack.

Love, Cheftori!

Savoury Cheddar Pumpkin Scones

Hi guys, I’m back with another scone recipe. I just can’t stop making them and I keep getting ideas in my head of ingredients to use in my scones. Even though I love sweet scones with cream and jam, this time I felt like having something more salty. I had some leftover pumpkin from my dinner last night, so I figured I could use that and some cheddar. Believe me… these scones are SO. GOOD. They’re more bread-like in structure because they contain no sugar. Definitely worth giving this a go yourself!

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Savoury Cheddar & Pumpkin Scones

Preparation time: 80mins – Baking time: 13 mins – Total time: 93 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup cubed cold butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • ½ cup grated matured chedder
  • 1 pumpkin to make pumpkin puree (or ½ cup store-bought pumpkin puree)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut the pumpkin in large cubes and bake them in the oven for at least 45 minutes (I let them sit for an hour). Let the pumpkin cool off. Now, peel off the pumpkin skin. This should be fairly easy if your pumpkin cubes are soft enough! Mash the pumpkin with a fork until a puree starts to form or use a blender or kitchen processor if you prefer. Set aside ½ cup of your fresh pumpkin puree for later use. Alternatively, just use ½ cup store-bought pumpkin puree, but make sure it is not too sugary and sweet as we’re making savoury scones.

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Get a large bowl and mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the cubed butter and work the cubes into the flour mixture using your hands until you get coarse crumbs. Then add 1 cup of buttermilk (save just a tiny bit for glazing the scones) and 2 tbsp of milk and mix that in with a fork, but be careful not to overmix! It’s no problem if your mixture is not smooth, those lumpy bits will make the scones even better and it makes them look more artisan 😉 Now add the pumpkin puree and cheddar cheese and work that into your dough with your hands. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 3cm thick.

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This is what the dough looks like!

Using a round cookie cutter (I just use my measuring cup turned upside-down, works just fine too!), divide the dough in circles. Lightly glaze the scones using your left-over buttermilk. Bake for 13mins in the oven on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, or use a muffin tray like me if you have one. Let the scones cool for 5 mins before transferring them to a cooling rack for another 5 mins.

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Let me know which one you prefer: sweet or savoury scones? Comment down below 😀

Best, cheftori