Cheesecake for breakfast? Hell yes.

This recipe is going to change your life. Trust me. This cheesecake is so healthy, you can actually eat this for breakfast and not feel bad about it. You don’t believe me? Just keep on reading and find out for yourself.

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I had a dilemma, which was the following. I love to bake, but I also love to stay healthy. These two are of course easily compatible, unless your name is Tori. Hello, my name is Tori & I am addicted to sugar, fat, and everything that’s bad for you. Forgive me for over-exaggerating a little here. Anyways: I decided it was time for me to start making my bakes more healthy and nutritious, since I am baking so much lately. If you make something every now and then, it’s perfectly fine to use all the sugar and butter you want. But it started to become a daily thing for me and I actually gained some pounds because of it. Which is totally okay in winter, but it did get me thinking: can I find ways in which I can continue to bake all the things I love, but make them nutritious enough to serve as a proper meal? 

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So there was my challenge! I wanted to bake a pie that could serve as breakfast, and as I normally eat some homemade granola with Greek yoghurt for breakfast, I figured: why not bake a cake that is just granola & yoghurt in disguise?! And that’s how this lovely cottage cheesecake with granola crust was born. The crust is made of the ingredients I typically use for my granola: oatmeal, nuts, dates and coconut oil. The filling is made of cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt and eggs. Honestly, I didn’t even miss the cream cheese! If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this was an actual cheesecake made with cream cheese.

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Using cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt made this cheesecake so incredible fresh, making it even more perfect for a breakfast dish. There was literally no unnecessary sweetness in it. The dates in the bottom provided all the sweetness you need together with the lovely blueberries and blackberries on the top. Did I mention cottage cheese is amazing? It’s super high in protein (>10 gr/100 gr) but is low in calories (<100/100gr), making it the ideal weight loss food too. I don’t know why it’s not more popular. I read online that it used to be.

Cottage cheese used to be even more popular than yoghurt in the mid 1970’s.

In Holland, there is this pie called ‘kwarktaart‘, which was also an inspiration for this cheesecake recipe. It’s a pie made with kwark, which is like a really thick yoghurt. Do the English call it quark? I don’t know. Anyway, you don’t have to bake kwarktaart: just put it in the fridge with some gelatin and it will set perfectly. But as I wasn’t able to buy kwark in the UK, I figured a mix of cottage cheese and thick Greek yoghurt would do the trick just as well. And that way I could bake it like a traditional cheesecake without needing any gelatin! #veggie

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You can serve this cheesecake without the extra topping and leave the gorgeous blueberry marble pattern exposed. But if you want to incorporate some extra fruits in your breakfast, go ahead and top it with a blueberry sauce and some fresh blackberries like I did. By the way: that marble pattern is honestly the easiest thing ever, don’t let it scare you off!

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Let’s get to the recipe for this amazing breakfast. I am not eating anything BUT pie for breakfast anymore, believe me!


Healthy Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake with Cottage Cheese & Greek Yoghurt and Granola Crust

Serves: 8 – Preparation time: 50 mins – Baking time: 35 mins – Total: >10 hrs (set overnight)

Ingredients (filling – crust – blueberry swirl – topping)

please note that you can double the amount of ingredients for the filling for an extra high cheesecake, but be sure to increase the baking time accordingly!

  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp (500 gr) low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (200 gr) low-fat Greek yoghurt (make sure it’s a thick one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 cups finely ground oatmeal flakes
  • 1 cup ground nuts of choice
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 6 medjool dates
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • fresh blackberries (optional)
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius and take all of the ingredients out of the fridge so they can come to room temperature. Then start by preparing the crust. Finely ground the oats, nuts and dates together in a kitchen processor. If you don’t have one, you can chop everything yourself with a sharp knife, but make sure it’s very fine because that way the crust will stick together more easily. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil (melted), honey (optionally), cinnamon and salt. Give it a good stir. Get a quiche pan with high edges or a normal round cake tin. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the edges any way you like: just make sure to do this properly so your cheesecake won’t stick to the pan. Transfer the mixture to your pan and press down firmly, going up just slightly at the edges. Pre-bake your crust for 10 mins in your 175 degree oven. You can blind-bake the crust if you want, but I didn’t do that. Let the crust cool on your counter while you proceed with the cheesecake filling.

Turn down the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Take your cottage cheese, which should be at room temperature and try to remove the lumps in it by pressing it down with a rubber spatula. It may take some time to make everything smooth this way, so I just put the cottage cheese in my kitchen processor for a few seconds. You can also use a blender. Mix the smooth cottage cheese with the Greek yoghurt and lightly beaten eggs. Blend using a whisk. Then add the orange zest and vanilla. You can use half of the beans of a fresh vanilla pod for a real kick of vanilla, but vanilla extract does the trick too.

Heat up the frozen blueberries in a small saucepan with a splash of water. Add the grated orange zest. You can also use a splash of fresh orange juice instead of water for an extra orangy twist. Cook for 3 mins while stirring and set aside to cool down.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the granola crust. Flatten the surface using a rubber spatula. Put some dollops of blueberry sauce on top of the cheesecake using a spoon. Then, just swirl through it with a knife until you’re happy with the marble pattern. You might not want to use all of the blueberry sauce, but save some for later if you wish to top off the cheesecake with fresh fruits.

Bake the cheesecake for 35 minutes, or until the cake has set but the middle is still slightly wobbly. Be sure to turn the cake around in your oven if your oven doesn’t very bake evenly like mine. For an extra professional result, you can bake this cheesecake in a water bath, but I only do that if I am serving my cake to guests. 😉 Let the cake cool for 30 mins with the oven door halfway open. Then transfer to your counter until completely cooled to room temperature, after which the cheesecake has to sit in the fridge for at least a few hours, but overnight gives the best results!

The next day, serve with your left over blueberry sauce, fresh blackberries and a little dusting of powdered sugar.


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That was it guys. Please let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it out! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bon appétit! XOXO Tori

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Good morning everyone!

During my trip back home to Amsterdam, I managed to get my loaf tin back. I missed it so much for my baking here, because I used to make so many banana breads in that tin. But today I won’t be sharing a banana bread recipe (although I’m sure that will come around some time…) but another quick bread/loaf.

This gingerbread-spiced loaf is packed with courgette. I love to use courgette in my baking, because it adds so much moist. Any quick bread will have cake-like structure if you add courgette I think, which is basically amazing, because you trick your mind into thinking you’re eating an oil-packed cake when it’s just super healthy. Grated courgette is also amazing to add to red velvet cake, just so you know. Also, the little green dots look gorgeous in the baking.

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You can experiment with this loaf as much as you want. I am trying to find the healthiest version without compromising on taste and texture. I’ve found that this recipe is the perfect balance! It has just 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, but you might even be fine without any oil at all. It’s also completely up to you how sweet you want this cake to be. If you plan on eating this cake for breakfast, I suggest just using 1/4 cup of agave syrup or honey and leaving out the 1/4 cup of brown sugar. But of course you can add as much sugar as you want, especially if you want to serve this as an afternoon treat/coffee cake.

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I used 4 eggs for this loaf, which sounds like a lot, but I sometimes like to add an extra egg to my breakfast loaf because I am a vegetarian. I try to sneak extra protein into my meals wherever I can, so if I have the chance to add an extra egg to my baking, I just go ahead. I started out with 3 eggs but found the batter a bit too thick, so I added another one. If I were you, I’d just start with 3 eggs and see where that gets you. Especially if you are just using plain flour and no oats & spelt flour like me, I think 3 eggs will be plenty.

To add a gingerbread flavour to this loaf, I added cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger. These spices gave this loaf so much warmth, it made me feel like it’s already Christmas. Perfect for any cold mornings coming up. Feel free to just use 2tsp of cinnamon if you don’t have the other spices in your cabinet; it will still taste amazing.

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Yield: ± 10 slices  – Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 55-60

Dry ingredients

  • ½ cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain oats + 1 tbsp for decorating
  • 1 tsp baking soda (=bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice/mixed spice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup melted vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup agave syrup
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (I used dark brown natural unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (you need the acidity as a reactor otherwise the baking soda doesn’t do anything, you can also use some honey or lemon juice)

Filling

  • 2 cups grated courgette (±2 small to medium-sized courgettes)
  • small handful chopped walnuts
  • small handful chopped pecans + some extra for decorating

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and combine well.

Grate the courgette and drain well from extra liquid, but it’s okay if you leave just a bit because this provides extra moist to the loaf. Stir in the chopped nuts and set aside.

In another bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir everything together with a spatula. Finally, add the courgette & nuts and fold into the mixture.

Spray a loaf tin with some baking spray (I use coconut oil spray), or alternatively just grease the tin with butter. Line your tin with parchment paper and spray again. Then, pour in your batter. Your batter should be just liquid enough to pour in your tin with some help of a spatula to flatten everything out! Top the loaf with some whole pecan nuts and a sprinkle of oats. Cover the top of your loaf with aluminium foil but be sure to leave enough room for the loaf to rise.

Bake the loaf for 45 minutes. Then take it out of the oven, remove the aluminium foil and check how far along the loaf is. Place back into the oven without the foil so the top of the loaf can become golden brown. My loaf needed another 15 minutes, so it baked for a total of 60 minutes. You can try to reduce your baking time by increasing the heat of your oven to 190 degrees Celsius, but I didn’t want to risk ending up with an uncooked inside but burnt top.

Let the loaf cool in the tin for 10 minutes before easily removing it by pulling on the parchment paper. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for at least another 10 minutes before cutting into it.

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Have a lovely week everyone and be sure to share picture with me if you do try this recipe! 🙂

Love,

Tori

Date & Walnut Lattice Pie

I really felt like making something pretty this time.

Usually, I like to keep things pretty simple. I just need my kitchen the smell nice & the bake to taste good. But I was feeling crafty and in need of buttery pie crust, so I decided on doing a double-crusted artsy pie.

 

You can use any filling you want when making a pie like this, which is great. Whatever you’re craving, just throw it in there. My inspiration for this was a pecan pie recipe that I’d seen, but then I found out I was out of pecans, so I went with walnuts. Anything works. I’m a big fan of a combination of dates and nuts (any type really), and I have done date & nut bars/tart bases in the past, so I liked the idea of working that into a pie filling this time.

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Making pie crust can appear a bit tricky at first, but practice makes perfect. Trust me, I am still working on mine. I actually did overwork my dough this time which made the crust a bit too tough to my liking. But hey, you know what’s so good about pie? It’s still really amazing even if it’s not perfect. Same goes for this all-butter pie crust recipe: difficult to get perfect, but it will always taste good and be a crowd pleaser! The most important thing to keep in mind is to not overmix your dough. Don’t knead the life out of it. I know it’s tempting, there’s something soothing about just kneading it until everything comes together perfectly and there are no lumps to be found anywhere. But that is where you’ll go wrong. You WANT these buttery lumps (around the size of peas) to be in your dough, because that’s what’s going to make the crust flaky and lovely at the end. With that in mind, let’s get to the recipe!

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Date & Walnut Lattice Pie

Yield: 12 servings – Preparation time: 60 minutes – Baking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

For the pie crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + a bit extra for rolling the dough
  • 1 cup cubed cold unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup buttermilk + few tbsp. extra if needed
  • ½ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup refined brown cane sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped pitted dates
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

Take the butter for the filling out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you prepare your pie dough.

For your dough, combine the butter with the flour and salt using a pastry cutter or your hands until the butter is the size of peas. Don’t overmix because this will make your pie crust tough. If you want an extra flaky crust, leave bigger bits of butter in the mixture. Add the buttermilk one tablespoon at a time just until the dough comes together. You don’t want the dough to become sticky. Of course, you can also use ice water instead of buttermilk, but I liked the extra tanginess.

Cut your dough in half, wrap in cling film and leave to refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

While your oven is preheating and your dough is refrigerating, start to prepare the filling for this pie. Your butter should be on room temperature now, so you can start by creaming the butter together with the sugar. I used a spatula. Add the salt, agave syrup and eggs and mix to combine. Then add the walnuts and dates. Set your filling aside and return to your dough.

You will use one clump of dough for the bottom of the crust and the other clump for the top layer. Let’s start by rolling out the bottom. Lightly flour your surface and roll out the dough, making sure to keep moving the dough and flipping it so it doesn’t stick to the counter. Transfer it to a greased tart pan of your choice. It’s probably easiest to use one that is not too high, as this will make decorating easier. I didn’t have on like that though, so I just used a standard quiche pan. Using a fork, make some holes in the dough and just bake it for 5 minutes to give it a head-start to the rest of the pie.

While that’s in the oven, start rolling out the second clump of dough and cut into long strips with which you’re going to cover the pie. You can save some dough to use for other decorations like the braids I made for example. Of course, this is totally up to you!

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Take your crust out of the oven and let it cool for a bit on your kitchen counter before pouring the filling on it. Spread the filling out evenly and then decorate the top with a second layer of pie dough. You can make any pattern you want; I went for a simple lattice pie.

Bake the pie for around 30-40 minutes, just keep an eye on it. If the top is nicely golden, the pie is done. Mine took 35 minutes.

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Let me know if you have a favourite way of decorating a pie!

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Bon appétit!

Tori

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

 

 

 

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

On Becoming British: Scones Recipe

HELLO everyone! Since my moving to London is already a month ago, I thought I’d give the world an update. London has been amazing so far, I’m really enjoying British culture. Of course it’s imperative that I try to Become British whilst I live here… I figured the best way to do that is to learn how to make proper scones.

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I had actually never had scones before I moved to London. Let me tell you all… it was love at first bite. 😉 For those of you who don’t exactly know what they are: scones are small treats to enjoy with your afternoon tea or at your Sunday brunch. Or for breakfast. Or dessert. Or as a midnight “I’m sneakily walking to the fridge” snack. They’re seriously good any time of day. I would describe them as the perfect hybrid child of bread and cookies: crunchy outside but deliciously soft on the inside like bread.

Traditionally, scones are served with clotted cream and jam. It appears that something of a war (yes, it is that intense) is going on between people on How To Properly Decorate Your Scone. The British take this very seriously so you might want to take this into consideration before you order a scone. The Cornish tradition is to spread the jam on the scone first, followed by the cream, but in Devon people prefer the other way around. In March this year, the debate was somewhat settled by the Queen, because the truth about her scone habits were revealed.

My scone-eating habits appeared to be not very Queenlike, as I myself prefer the Devonshire method because I think the colourful jam pops more if you put the jam on last!

After having many, many scones (of which the healthier spelt & quinoa scones at Le Pain Quotidien are probably my favourite), and after watching a ton of YouTube films and reading loads of recipes, I took the matter to my own kitchen. And now I present to you for the first time: scones à la #cheftori!

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CRANBERRY ORANGE ZEST SCONES À LA CHEFTORI

Yield: around 10-12 large scones

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup cubed unsalted butter (room-temperature)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup almond flakes or any nuts you prefer
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated orange peel
  • 1 cup buttermilk (for my fellow Dutchies: buttermilk is karnemelk)
  • ⅛ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tbsp full-fat milk

Instructions

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using your hands till you get coarse crumbs. Do not overmix! It’s okay to have some lumbs in there. Stir in the cranberries, nuts and orange peel. Then, mix in the buttermilk using a fork just until incorporated. Knead the dough with your hands for just a few seconds and roll it out on a floured surface until 2/3 cm thick. Use any circle-shaped utensil to get nice scones. I used a small and a large size to create mini scones and larger ones. Bake for 12 to 15 mins (depending on size of scones) on 200 degrees Celsius on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I baked my mini scones in a muffin tray! Serve with delicious clotted cream & jam, or alternatively, replace the clotted cream with fresh ricotta or cottage cheese for a less caloric option.

 

I was really happy with the way these scones turned out. If you really have a sweet tooth, try using 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 1/4 cup. I found that that much sugar was not necessary because the jam will give so much sweetness too! I really enjoyed this cranberry & orange peel version of scones, because it made them really fresh. I am looking forward to perfecting these scones and trying out different varieties. I’ll definitely try to make a more “healthy” version soon, so keep an eye out for that 😉

Thanks guys for checking out my recipe and please do try this at home! Let me know when you do.

Best,

cheftori