Mini Valentine’s Chocolate Cake (Cheat)

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I went through so much to get this cake to work (none of which should discourage you from making it! You’ll see…)

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So Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I figured I’d find a mini chocolate cake to bake in my heart-shaped cake pan and share that with you guys!

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I found the perfect recipe. I precisely measured out all my ingredients and mixed them together, only to find that the batter had turned into a thick dough instead of a silky cake batter. In my state of despair, I added in a splash of milk to thin the batter, but no luck. I was utterly confused. Everything was perfect…right?

I decided to take a look at the recipe again, reading the first ingredients and – oh. It called for 1/2 cup of flour, but because I’m so used to making full-sized cakes, my mind automatically processed it as 1 1/2 cups. uGH. Unfortunately, I had to discard that batter (after eating a bit of it, of course), and starting over. You can observe this failure here:

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Also, the cake is meant for a 6-inch circle pan, but mine is heart-shaped so it’s smaller. I had a little bit of leftover cake batter, which I made into a cute little bear cake! I was planning on drawing on it’s little eyes and nose and mouth with melted white chocolate, only to find that I don’t have white chocolate at home. Since when is that a thing?? What happened to my emergency stash of 3 white chocolate bars?

And lastly, lighting was not my friend today. I must’ve tried taking photos in at least 6 different locations around the house, hence the inconsistency with backgrounds in these photos.

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Despite all that, the cake itself turned out amazing. Look at how fluffy it rose! It’s so fluffy and has the perfect chocolate flavor to it. If you wish, a chocolate ganache would pair beautifully with it, but a dusting of icing sugar works just fine as well.

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Mini Valentine’s Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Dessert for Two

Makes one 6-inch round cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (37g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon warm coffee
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar or chocolate ganache (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, sour cream or yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, and coffee
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips
  5. Transfer the batter into a lined and greased 6-inch round cake pan and bake for 29-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  6. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate ganache (optional)

Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Cheat)

I don’t bake with fruit much, but bananas are an exception.

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Banana bread and banana cakes – I could never get enough.

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I had such a difficult time letting the cake cool enough to be frosted. As soon as I took the beautifully baked cake out of my oven, the entire kitchen was filled with the aroma of banana cake. It might not sound that appealing, but trust me, it took so much mental effort to not eat the entire cake right there and then. It smelled that good. It was honestly driving me crazy, and I went on this rampage around the house, desperately trying to find something to satisfy my cravings so that I wouldn’t eat the cake before frosting it. I was so keen on eating banana cake that I didn’t even want chocolate truffles, and let me tell you – I never turn down chocolate truffles…well, until now.

Finally, I had no other choice but to eat something completely different. I microwaved a plate of homemade dumplings leftover from yesterday, covered them in vinegar (I love vinegar), and ran away from the banana-scented kitchen. At last, my taste buds had calmed down and I could focus on other things again as my banana cake cooled in the kitchen.

Soon enough, my cravings started up again and I figured it was time to frost the cake up and start eating.

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I think I knew how good this cake was going to be, but nevertheless, tasting it for the first time blew me away. The banana cake is everything you’d want a cake to be. It had a crumb similar to banana bread, only fluffier. The flavour of banana was definitely there, and it paired so beautifully with the cream cheese frosting. I mean, the cake itself was amazing, but the cake and the frosting go together like peanut butter and jelly. It was a perfect combination of flavours and I’m so in love.

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Oh, and in case you were wondering, the cake was gone within two days. It was that good.

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Best Banana Cake

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk, room temperature

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt
  3. In another bowl, use an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat until creamed together
  4. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, before adding in the mashed bananas
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, 1/3 of a time and alternating with the buttermilk (Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, stir in 1/3 of the buttermilk, and repeat with the remaining). Do not over mix
  6. Spread the batter into a greased and/or lined 9×13 inch baking pan and bake for around 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting
  7. For the frosting, using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes
  8. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving
  9. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days

My 17th Birthday Cake (Cheat)

~5-layer midnight cake with cheesecake filling, covered with a generous layer of pink buttercream, glossy chocolate ganache, and topped with whipped cream and Oreos~

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Guess who’s 17 years old!

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I have a love-hate relationship with birthdays. I love everything about them, except the fact that I’m another year older. I prefer other people’s birthdays, with all the celebrations and games and cakes and gift-opening, but without me being consciously aware of my ageing.

It’s weird, isn’t it? The way that day by day, hour by hour, we age, but it’s only once a year for 24 hours that we actually acknowledge it. Then again, acknowledging our constant ageing would take some of the fun out of birthdays.

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I don’t understand why people want to get older. A pessimistic way of putting is is that every year, you’re a year closer to death. You become more likely to get sick. You have more responsibilities. Then again, an optimistic way of seeing is is that every year, you are faced with new opportunities. You’ll graduate and start a new chapter of your life. You might get a job. You might meet “the one”. You might get married. You might have kids. Who knows? In the end, the best way to predict your future is to live it the way you want. Sometime’s it’s just easier to be passive to all that happens around you, so that when things go wrong, you can blame the world and carry on, but wow, that must get boring. The happiest people are those who take control of their lives and steer it the way they want to go. When things go wrong, they acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them, and when things go right, they’re living Heaven on Earth. You pick (hint: I’d go with the second one).

I always seem to get really reflective on my birthday. Is it just me?

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But let’s focus on the real reason you’re here: CAKE!

Another reason why I always get excited about birthdays – cake. This year, I decided to bake myself a 5-layer midnight cake with cheesecake filling, covered with a generous layer of pink buttercream, glossy chocolate ganache, and topped with whipped cream and Oreos. Helll yes.

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To be honest, the cake is pretty much just a chocolate cake with black food colouring added. I used to not like chocolate cake. I thought that it was too rich. I’d always opt for vanilla or red velvet. Chocolate cake just wasn’t my thing, but alas, times have changed. Maybe I’d been deprived of chocolate cake for too long, but this chocolate cake was the bomb. Even before I baked the cake, the cake batter was waving chocolatey scents at me, trying to get me to give in and admit that chocolate cake is one of the best kinds of cake. While I was trimming the cakes, I nibbled on some of the cake crumbs and I was in awe, trying to understand how I had ever disliked chocolate cake. This chocolate cake is velvety. It’s suuper moist and it’s perfectly sweet. It has a wonderful cocoa flavour that isn’t overwhelming, and it pairs beautifully with all the other flavours going on in this cake.

Speaking of other flavours…THE CHEESECAKE FILLING. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but cream cheese frostings are magical. Maybe that’s a biased opinion because they’re my favourite, but tbh I’ve never met anyone who dislikes cream cheese frosting. The cheesecake filling tastes pretty much just like cream cheese frosting, but there isn’t as much butter. The butter’s replaced with whipped cream, which is just folded in at the end, so that you end up with filling that’s extra fluffy and light, but definitely is not missing any flavour.

I don’t want to be writing an essay here, so I’m just going to tell you that the buttercream, chocolate ganache, whipping cream, and Oreos are perfect. Simply, utterly, perfect.

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5-Layer Midnight Cake with Cheesecake Filling and Pink Buttercream

Adapted from various sources (linked below)

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 2 1/4 cups (285 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) superfine sugar
  • 1 cup (120 g) “black” unsweetened cocoa powder (or regular cocoa powder with 1 teaspoon black gel food colouring)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

For the cheesecake filling

  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g freshly whipped cream
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted

For the pink buttercream

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups (500g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink food colouring

For the chocolate ganache

  • 5 ounces (150 g) best-quality dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt)
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey

For the whipping cream

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar, to taste
  • Oreos, for topping

Method

I’ve included generic bad-quality, unedited photos that I took while I was assembling the cake for reference. Let me know if you have any questions!

  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, black cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla, and then mix in eggs
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide batter equally among the three lined and greased 8-inch cake pans or weigh for accuracy. Each pan should weigh about 600 grams
  5. Bake the first two layers until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto rack to cool completely. Repeat with the final cake layer. When ready to assemble the cake, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. For the cheesecake filling, use an electric mixer to whip cream cheese, butter, and icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in whipped cream until combined
  7. For the pink buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar, vanilla extract, food colouring, and 1 tablespoon of whipping cream and beat until combined
  8. To assemble the cake, trim the cake layers, and then halve them so that each cake becomes two layers.
  9. Place approximately 1/2 tablespoon of the cheesecake filling (or buttercream) on the center of a cake board, and place your bottom cake layer onto the cake board. Add about 1/2-3/4 cup of cheesecake filling onto the top of the cake, and using a small offset spatula, spread the filling so that it covers the top of the cake. It’s okay to let a little bit of filling go over the side. Add the next cake layer and repeat until you’ve reached your final cake layer
  10. Cover the cake with a thin layer of the cheesecake filling (or buttercream), also known as crumb coating it, and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes
  11. Cover the cake in pink buttercream and chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes
  12. In the meantime, make the chocolate ganache. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in the microwave, about 50 seconds, and stir until smooth. Let cool until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes
  13. For the whipping cream, use a whisk or electric hand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the powdered sugar. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip
  14. (Assembling, continued) Remove the cake from the fridge and spoon the chocolate glaze to the edges of the cake, gently pushing some over the side and letting it dribble down. When you’ve finished putting chocolate glaze on the edges of the cake, spoon chocolate glaze into the centre until covered
  15. When the chocolate has set slightly, pipe the whipped cream around the edges of the cake and top each swirl with half an Oreo
  16. Serve!

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Black Sesame Chiffon Cake (Cheat)

Think of the fluffiest cake in the world.

Just think of the fluffiest cake in the world. You’d better be thinking about this cake, cause this is as fluffy as they get.

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I’ve only just posted a souffléd recipe, but here I am, doing it again. I’m obsessed. Soufflé foods are just so damn fluffy. So damn fluffy! It’s like eating a cloud, except there is that undeniable texture of cake and you get a hint of sweetness and black sesame. It all makes sense once you take a bite into a slice of this cake, trust me.

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Because this cake is so fluffy, it never leaves me feeling uncomfortably full. I can eat half the cake before realizing that, oops, I ate half the cake. Then again, I’m not consumed by guilt the way I normally would, because to be honest, even though I labelled this as a “cheat” recipe, it’s pretty healthy.

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go the extra mile and turn this into a full-on clean recipe, and it’s because this recipe is already perfect, and what’s the point in perfecting perfection?

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Also – this recipe is super easy to make. It comes together with just 6 main ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

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Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

Adapted from Green Cilantro

Ingredients

  • 100g cake flour
  • 1/3 cup + 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 50g ground black sesame seed powder*
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk

*Alternatively, you could simply grind up black sesame seeds in a blender/food processor until it reaches a powdery consistency. That being said – don’t over-blend the seeds or else you’ll end up with black sesame paste!

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the black sesame powder and whisk until well combined
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until pale yellow and slowly add in the vegetable oil. Beat until the mixture is thick
  4. Add the egg yolk mixture and milk into the sesame seed mixture and mix until well combined
  5. Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. With the mixer running, add in the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside
  6. Gently fold the egg whites, 1/3 of the egg whites at a time, into the other batter using a spatula or a balloon whisk
  7. Transfer the mixture into a bundt pan or an angel food cake pan and bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  8. Allow to cool completely before serving

Unbelievably Healthy Beetroot Chocolate Microwave Cake (Clean)

Every year, millions of people make new year’s resolutions in determination to live a healthier year, and every year, millions of people cry. Personally, as you may have noticed from my little new year’s rant, I’m rather indifferent to new year’s resolutions. Nonetheless, I’m here to help out those in distress; sugar-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and veganize-able beetroot chocolate microwave cake under 200 calories to the rescue!

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Let’s start off with the nutritional breakdown of this golden nugget – each serving has 186 calories, 1g of saturated fat, and 2g of sugar! On the other hand, 8g of protein! *Does happy dance*

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There was a point where I was absolutely obsessed with using beetroot puré. Hence, the beetroot nut butter chocolate cups and the beetroot vanilla rice pudding with dark chocolate and the pink beetroot crepes and the skinny fudgy-cakey beetroot brownie bits. All of which, by the way, would work in benefit for that new year’s resolution of yours. Just sayin’.

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This chocolate microwave cake is honestly one of my all-time favorites. It’s a shame that I can’t make it everyday, as beetroot purée isn’t exactly a staple in my house. Hence, there was a point where I just got a good load of beetroot and boiled it up and puréed it and made a ton of recipes with it, which you can do as well! Plus, adding it to your smoothies and oatmeal turns it bright pink, which always brightens your day.

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This cake is so insanely soft and decadent and sweet and chocolately and it’s seriously what I’d eat everyday if I were in heaven. The beetroot purée keeps it ridiculously moist, and the egg white (can be substituted for vegans) keeps it fluffy and prevents it from getting too dense or spongey the way some microwave cakes get. Also, you gotta love the fact that this is sweetened with stevia only, which is a naturally sweet plant that I love using in baking. This recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of the powdered version, but you may need to change this around if you’re using pure stevia (you’ll need like, 1/10th of a teaspoon in that case – that stuff is strong!) or liquid stevia.

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The smooth, rich, glossy layer of melted chocolate that sits atop the cake is optional, obviously, but come on. Just look at that chocolate! I’d very very highly recommend throwing a sizable square of chocolate on top of the mixture just before you microwave it, because that just turned the cake into a gooey chocolate mess, and nobody can deny the fact that gooey chocolate messes taste better than single-textured chocolate cake, no matter how moist and fluffy and decadent.

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Beetroot Chocolate Microwave Cake

Makes 2 cakes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup beetroot purée*
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg white or 2 tbsp aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 3 teaspoons powdered stevia (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Large square of dark chocolate (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

*To make the beetroot purée, stick the beetroots (unpeeled) in a big pot of boiling water until they’re soft, peel them, and purée them in a food processor. Use leftovers for any of these recipes calling for beetroot purée.

Method

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork or whisk to combine the beetroot purée, milk of choice, egg white/aquafaba, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  2. Add in the oat flour, cacao powder, stevia, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  3. Transfer mixture into two greased ramekins or mugs. Place the dark chocolate on top of the mixture if desired.
  4. Microwave the ramekins/mugs on high for 2-3 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave and how gooey/cooked you want your cake to be). Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 186 
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g 5 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 91 mg 4 %
Potassium 266 mg 8 %
Total Carbohydrate 30 g 10 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g 23 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 8 g 16 %
Vitamin A  2 %
Vitamin C  3 %
Calcium  10 %
Iron  14 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Crumb Cake (Cheat)

Forget the pumpkin pies and cranberry sauces, this pumpkin chocolate crumb cake is incredible and the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert! Who needs tradition when you can go for the alternative – a soft, moist, and spiced pumpkin cake with chocolate crumbs and pockets of half-melted chocolate hidden inside, and topped off with a generous layer of chocolate crumbs and gooey chocolate!

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To be honest, I’m quite annoyed at myself. As I was sprinkling the crumble mixture into the first layer of batter, I noticed that some places had more crumble than others, but I figured that I’d be lucky enough to get a crumble-filled slice when I took my photos. Boy, was I wrong. Anyways, I can guarantee that, although not proven in the photos, most of the slices had beautiful layers of heavenly crumble and chocolate wedged into the middle.

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In case you haven’t been able to tell, I’m getting seriously excited about pumpkins and pumpkin purée. For the last two months, my inbox has been flooding with pumpkin recipes. I eagerly opened them all, only to be disappointed that they all required pumpkin purée. ‘What a pain’, I thought, though I willingly trudged off to the grocery store to buy some, only to discover that Chinese supermarkets don’t stock pumpkin purée. Sighhhh. Thankfully, I figured out the easiest way to make pumpkin purée at home.

Use a sharp knife to stab 5-10 holes into a pumpkin (or cut the pumpkin in half) and stick it in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for an hour or so (depending on the size), until the flesh goes soft. Then stick it all in a food processor, blend, and voila! You’ve got yourself a good portion of pumpkin purée, which you can use for this recipe, or these healthy vegan pumpkin bars, for example.

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Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Crumb Cake

Adapted from Hungry Girl Por Vida

Makes 1 8-inch cake

Ingredients

For the crumble

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

For the cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For the crumble, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, and salt together until fully combined. Work the butter into the mixture using your fingers of a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  3. For the batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt together until fully combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, pumpkin purée, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Pout this mixture into the dry mixture and fold until just combined, do not over mix.
  5. Spread half of the cake batter into a greased, 8-inch cake tin. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the crumble over the batter. Add the remaining batter, and sprinkle the other 2/3 of the crumble on top.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean

 

Supernatural Cake Pops (Cheat)

Season 11, time for cake pops!

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I don’t know if you guys watch Supernatural, but you have to have at least heard of it, right? It’s the show where a moose and a squirrel hunt monsters? Yeah, that’s the one.

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In all seriousness, though, I apologize in advance if you read through this post and continuously think to yourself, “I don’t get that reference”. It happens.

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But anyways, season 11 of Supernatural premiers today, and what better way to celebrate than making cake pops inspired by the show?

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These cake pops are super delicious, and aren’t difficult to make either. Personally, I had loads of fun making these. I piped out (simplified) devil’s traps and Castiel’s ties. I threw in a Mark of Cain, too. Well, I tried. I mostly based it off of memory and I remembered it being a backwards F. I was too lazy to search it up, and let’s just say that I was close enough.

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If you aren’t already addicted to watching Supernatural, I highly recommend that you start now. It seems like a lot of seasons, but trust me on that one. When I watched my first episode of Supernatural, season 10 was just beginning. By the time I was done with season 10, I had to wait a few months for this very day – the day season 11 premiers. I guess that should give you a pretty good idea on just how good the show is.

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I still keep every single episode on my laptop. Season 1 through 10, it’s all right here. It’s actually quite comforting, knowing that my Supernatural episodes will always be here for when I’m having a bad day at black rock.

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If you wanted to get real creative, you could base a few of these off of some of Supernatural’s most iconic quotes. Thinking back, I would’ve added one with cat whiskers “I’ll interrogate the cat”, or maybe “assbutt” in cursive…

And if you’re really skilled at chocolate-piping, maybe even go for Dean’s baby Impala or the colt. Perhaps a pair of yellow eyes?

I was going to throw on some sugar crystals to resemble salt, but I kinda forgot to. If you want a salted chocolate cake pop, then hell yeah, go ahead and throw on a couple of real salt flakes. That’ll keep the demons away!

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These cake pops are wonderfully sweet. If I ever felt like I had a trickster on my back, the first thing I’d do is check if he’d eaten these cake pops (*cough* Gabriel *cough*). Gotta love the Demigod’s sweet tooth – it’s something we definitely have in common.

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Sorry, this isn’t a super ‘proper’ recipe, as I didn’t really weigh out or measure things as I went. In the end, making these fun cake pops are more of just a little fun craft than a proper recipe, but I do hope that these cake pops have inspired some other die-hard Supernatural-loving bakers out there.

And to the rest of you who don’t watch Supernatural: Idjits.

Supernatural Cake Pops

Ingredients

  • (approx. 1 8-inch) Chocolate cake, cooled and crumbled
  • (approx. 1/4-1/2 cup) Vanilla frosting
  • (approx. 10-15) Cake pop sticks
  • (approx. 100-150g each) Good quality white/dark chocolate
  • Food coloring

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the chocolate cake crumbs and vanilla frosting with your hands until fully combined. For every average 8-inch chocolate cake, I’d recommend using between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of frosting. Start with 1/4 cup, and add about a tablespoon at a time until the mixture sticks together when you press it and resembles a dough.
  2. Roll the chocolate cake mixture into balls. If the mixture starts to crumble in your hands, you need to add more frosting to the mixture.
  3. Melt down about one small square of chocolate (either one). Dip one end of the cake pop into the melted chocolate and insert it into a chocolate cake ball until it’s about 1/2-3/4 of the way in. Repeat until all the cake balls have cake pop sticks attached and place in fridge to cool slightly and to help the chocolate set
  4. Temper the white/dark chocolate – this isn’t 100% necessary, but it’s preferable. If you have very good quality white and dark chocolate, then you may be able to get away with melting the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in the microwave at 20-second intervals. However, if you’re using cheaper chocolate, or milk chocolate, then I’d recommend tempering it.
  5. Remove the cake pops from the fridge. Make sure they aren’t too cool, or the chocolate will set too quickly and won’t let you get a smooth finish. Dip the cake pop into either the white or dark chocolate, coating the whole cake pop and then tapping the stick on the edge of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off, then leave to set (stick them in styrofoam or into the holes of a colander).
  6. If you wish to dye the chocolate, separate them into different bowls and color them before transferring the remaining melted chocolate into plastic bags and cutting off a tiny bit of the corner. Pipe chocolate stars/symbols/Castiel’s tie (see post above for more ideas) onto parchment paper and leave to set at room temperature, or in fridge.
  7. Pipe melted chocolate directly onto the cake pops if you wish, and after your chocolate symbols have set, use the melted chocolate as glue to stick them onto your cake pop.
  8. Offer these to your friends, saying “Please accept this cake pop as a gesture of solidarity”, or just eat them all while squealing and watching SEASON 11!

Katherine Sabbath Inspired 4-Layer Meringue Birthday Cake (Cheat)

Happy birthday to me! I’m finally 16!

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I’m one of the youngest in my grade, and although I liked being the only one in my classes who was 15 while others were 16, it feels pretty good to be 16. 16. 16! The sweet sixteen.

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This year, my brother turned 18 (what!) and I turned 16. I’m hoping that this year will go well, overlooking the fact that my brother started his first year in university and I’m starting my first year of the IB, of course.

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I wish that along with the study of chemicals and human behavior and history and language, there was a study of time. Maybe it exists somewhere out there, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a course in the IB. If it were, I’d be taking it as a higher level for sure.

Time is – to put it simply – absolutely amazing, and absolutely mind-f***ing.

The brain takes a fraction of a second to process information, so everything that’s happening around you is technically already in the past. And the stars that you gaze up at, including the sun. The light from those stars take seconds and minutes to travel from far away into your eyes, so you’re seeing those in the past. If a star went out, you’d still see it shining for a little while longer, because your eyes no longer view the present. Then there’s also that physics theory, where time isn’t always relevant. The theory states that if you’re next to something of an exceptionally large mass, or traveling at an exceptionally high speed, time slows down. I guess that’s a physics thing, but still.

Then again, time isn’t just about the unmatched human perception of time, it’s also about how much can change in either a millisecond, or over the course of a lifetime. Take this quote from DJ McHale: “A second is nothing. A tick on the clock. Seconds pass all the time and we never think about any one of them. But a second can be an eternity.” (I know, I already shared that quote on my last birthday cake post, but it was worth sharing again).

Tragedy happens at the same time as miracles do. I remember, a couple years back, I was on vacation in Europe. It was nighttime. Dark and rainy. My family and I didn’t have any rain protection, and we were frantically running to find our way back to our hotel. At that moment, I was absolutely miserable, and then I started to think. Someone out there in the world is having the best moment of their life. Perhaps getting married, or a couple welcoming their child into the world, yet I’m here, drenched, dripping, and shivering. Ever since then, I’ve always thought similarly at times of low, and it cheers me up to know that someone out there is having the best time of his/her life. Vice versa. When I’m happy and grateful for all the goodness around me, I take a moment to think about someone across the world who may be rushing through thunder and lightning, desperate for shelter, and although it may not help, I close my eyes and send out my condolences.

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Anyways, enough about time.

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I celebrated my birthday with my friends a couple of weeks before my actual birthday. It was a shared birthday party that I celebrated with my best friend, who turned 16 on August 24.

I found out that she, along with most of my friend group, hadn’t ever gone and properly done karaoke. I was stunned. We were in China, in Beijing! I’d done karaoke countless times, karaoke places are like a second home to me. During my childhood, when I lived in Beijing, I’d say that there were only 3 places people ever celebrated birthdays, child or adult: At home, laser tag, or karaoke.

Naturally, I insisted that we went and did karaoke, and then went back to my house to have dinner and cake and to chill, so that’s what we did. We truly had such an amazing time, and my friends got me the best gifts I could’ve asked for. I went to bed that night feeling loved. I was so happy to have received a dessert journal and Bobby Singer’s Journal and the Enchanted Garden coloring book and a cookie cookbook and a fountain pen and stickers and candy roses and etcetera etcetera. Plus, seeing everyone’s reaction to this cake was pretty memorable, but seeing my best friend’s reaction to finding out that she got a Polaroid? Priceless.

I won’t post any of the birthday party photos for the sake of my friends’ confidentiality, but I’ll post my “birthday in photos” here on my photography page tomorrow.

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I’ve always wanted to make a Katherine Sabbath cake. A couple months ago, I started planning cakes for all my family’s birthdays this year. I made my brother a Funfetti Layer Cake, my dad a Classic Tiramisu, and I knew that I had to make a Katherine Sabbath inspired cake (mom’s birthday is still coming up!).

There was one night a few days before I started making this cake where I got so excited about the cake that I couldn’t sleep ’til 3am. Granted, I spent a few hours looking at cakes, but still, I couldn’t stop thinking about cake!

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In the end, all was worth it. See how this is an 8-inch, 4-layer birthday cake? In just one night, a little group of girls consumed pretty much the entire thing. Two or three slices were taken home on paper plates, and my mom and I decided to save one slice for the next day, but the rest of it? Gone. Utterly gone.

Normally, there’s cake left over. Cake’s too sweet. They’re too full. Yada yada. None of that happened with this one. The cake layers were perfect. They weren’t dense and overwhelmingly sweet, but were fluffy, light, just the right amount of flavor. The frosting, though! I have to admit, the frosting is my favorite part of this cake. No surprise there, of course. I used the queen’s recipe. Katherine Sabbath’s, that is. I’ve always loved cream cheese frosting, but the fact that freshly whipped cream is folded into this one makes it so incredibly fluffy. It’s not diabetes-sweet and rich like most buttercreams, but is light and beautiful and tangy and has a hint of sweetness that balances perfectly with the crisp meringues.

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I absolutely adore making layered cakes. If you do make this recipe, you’ll know what I mean. It took quite a bit of time, but I seriously loved making it, especially the part where I got to dribble chocolate over the cake. That was fun. My layered cakes don’t always look as beautiful as the ones from around the web, and this one surely doesn’t compare to anything by Katherine Sabbath, but I did my best.

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Katherine Sabbath Inspired 4-Layer Meringue Birthday Cake

Adapted from recipes linked below

Makes 1 8-inch, 4-layer cake

Ingredients:

  • You’ll need a recipe for 4 cakes: 2 chocolate and 2 vanilla. You could also bake a chocolate mud cake and a white chocolate/vanilla mud cake, and slice them in half to create 4 layers. These need to be fully cooled and preferably trimmed before assembling

For the meringues

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) superfine sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (preferably powdered)*

For the cheesecake filling

  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g freshly whipped cream
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 drops blue food coloring

For the chocolate glaze

  • 5 ounces (150 g) best-quality dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt)
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey

*I don’t have access to powdered food coloring, so I used water-based food coloring for the blue/green, and used beetroot powder for the pink one. The beetroot powder worked quite well. Meringues call for preferably powdered food coloring, as it keeps them dry, but as long as you keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, you should be fine.

Method:

  1. For the meringues, preheat oven to 90 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until you get soft peaks. Add in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, and then turn the mixer to the highest speed and whip until meringue is stiff and glossy. This should take a few minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Divide the meringue into bowls and tint them using food coloring of your choice. Transfer into a piping bag with a star or round tip of your choice and pipe onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake both trays until crisp, but not browned. This can take anywhere from 1-1.5 hours depending on the size and humidity. You should be able to remove the meringues from the parchment paper without them sticking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
  5. For the cheesecake filling, use an electric mixer to whip cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, rose water and food colouring until pale and fluffy. Fold in whipped cream until combined
  6. To assemble, place approximately 1/2 tablespoon of the frosting on the center of a cake board, and place your bottom cake layer onto the cake board. Add about 1/2-3/4 cup frosting onto the top of the cake, and using a small offset spatula, spread the frosting so that it covers the top of the cake. It’s okay to let a little bit of frosting go over the side. At this point, you may sprinkle on some crushed meringues if you wish (making sure to save the pretty ones for decorating!). Add the next cake layer (different flavor) and repeat until you’ve reached your final cake layer
  7. Cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting, also known as crumb coating it, and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes
  8. Cover the cake in a final layer of frosting, and chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes
  9. For the chocolate glaze, in a small bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in the microwave, about 50 seconds, and stir until smooth. Let cool until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
  10. (Assembling, continued) Remove the cake from the fridge and spoon the chocolate glaze to the edges of the cake, gently pushing some over the side and letting it dribble down. When you’ve finished putting chocolate glaze on the edges of the cake, spoon chocolate glaze into the center until covered. Decorate the cake immediately with meringues and other desirable decorations/sprinkles
  11. Serve!

Funfetti Layer Birthday Cake (Cheat)

Happy birthday, Jeffrey!

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So today, my brother turns 18. 18! 

18, which, to me, is absolutely unbelievable.

Why?

Because he’s my older brother, yet his friends say I’m more mature than him.

Because he’s my older brother, and he loves board games and having fun.

Because he’s my older brother, and he still wakes up at 11pm on weekends, coming into my room wearing his blanket over his head and jumping onto my bed and pretending to be a ghost while I try to work.

Because I swear that yesterday we were celebrating his 8th.

Because I can’t imagine him going to college.

Because truly, time passes too quickly.

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“A second is nothing. A tick on the clock. Seconds pass all the time and we never think about any one of them. But a second can be an eternity.” -DJ McHale, Black Water

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Anyways, to celebrate the day he officially became an adult, I decided to make him a funfetti birthday cake, because sprinkles keep you young forever (scientifically proven, guys).

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Wanna see the inside of the cake? Alright. (Warning: bad photo ahead)

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Yeah, I didn’t get to photograph the cut cake under good lighting, but you get the point.

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Notes: 

  • As you can see, I chose to use a full butter buttercream, as opposed to using vegetable shortening, so there’s a slight yellow tint to it. If you want it the buttercream to be white, substitute about half of the butter with shortening.
  • You can break up the steps and start making this a couple days in advance. I suggest dedicating three/four ‘time slots’ for the cake: 1. Baking; 2/3. Making the frosting, trimming, stacking, and crumb coating the cake; 4. Decoration and finishing touches

Funfetti Layer Birthday Cake

Adapted from Sweetapolita

Makes a 8-inch, 2-layer cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 (120g)  large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25ml) almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (315g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (19.5g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (375 g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (400 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract

Method

Baking the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the milk, egg whites, egg, vanilla and almond extract until combined
  3. In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined
  4. Add in the butter and beat using the stand mixer, or an electric hand mixer, for about 30 seconds, before adding the remaining 3/4 cup of milk, until just combined
  5. Add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches, mixing for about 20 seconds in between each addition
  6. Fold in the rainbow sprinkles
  7. Transfer the batter evenly among two 8-inch cake tins, lined with parchment paper and greased/buttered
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean
  9. Let cool completely before triple-wrapping in cling film and placing in the fridge/freezer

Making the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter  until pale and creamy
  2. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until light, creamy, and fluffy

Assembling the cake:

  1. (optional) Trim the tops of the cakes so that they’re flat
  2. Place a dollop (about 1/2 or 1 tablespoon) of frosting in the center of a cake plate or cake board, and place the bottom layer on top
  3. Place 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake layer and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife
  4. Gently place the second cake layer on top, and place a generous amount of frosting on top, spreading it evenly with the small offset palette knife, and spreading it to the sides of the cake, adding more frosting as necessary. This is just the crumb coat, so it should be a relatively thin layer.
  5. Chill the cake until the frosting has set, at least 30 minutes
  6. Use the remaining frosting and extra sprinkles to cover and decorate the cake

Healthy 5-Minute Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake (Clean)

When life throws stress at you, eat chocolate. Chocolate cake. microwave chocolate cake that’s oil-free, gluten-free, and vegan-izeable. Thrown together in just 5 minutes. Eaten straight out of your favorite mug while it’s still steaming hot.

Oh, and I haven’t even gotten to the best part…

It’s healthy, too?!?

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When you’re doing all your stressin’ out, this cake ain’t gonna add any stress. Hell yeaaah.

Just so you guys know, this is a recipe from my free ebook, “Health-ified Chocolate“. In other words, if you take 5 seconds to download it, you’ll get your hands on a whole collection of recipes featuring guilt-free, nutritious chocolate recipes for all situations, whether you need comfort in times of stress, or celebration in times of success.

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Let me explain why this recipe’s so good for you. The type of flour that I chose to use in this mug cake is buckwheat flour. Why? Find out in my ebook. Jk. I’ll tell you:

Buckwheat flour is a great alternative for regular, refined, all-purpose white flour. It is gluten-free, so it can be used in place of wheat flour for those who are gluten intolerant or prefer to eat a gluten-free diet. In addition, it’s a great source of protein for vegetarians, containing a range of 11-14 grams of protein per 100g. They’re great for digestion, and reduce plasma cholesterol, body fat, and cholesterol gallstones. They’re high in B-complex vitamins, especially riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3).

Yup.

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The rest of the ingredients are nutritious, too. Raw cacao powder is full of antioxidants. Coconut sugar, although still a sugar, doesn’t cause the infamous ‘sugar spike’ as regular cane sugar does. Unsweetened applesauce is basically just fruit that replaces any oil. Etcetera.

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Healthy 5-Minute Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Chocolate Microwave Mug Cake

From my free ebook, Health-ified Chocolate

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

4 tablespoons buckwheat flour

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 small egg (or flax/chia egg)

2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon soy milk (or milk of choice)

Method

  1. In a medium microwavable mug, mix together the buckwheat flour, raw cacao powder, coconut sugar, and baking powder
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg, applesauce, and milk together
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the mug and stir until fully combined
  4. Microwave on high for 90 seconds
  5. Serve hot with desired toppings (e.g. nana ice cream, berries, and cacao nibs)

Red Velvet Rose Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Cheat)

SCHOOL IS OVER. I’m aiming to make the most of this summer, as next year’s summer will be 80% devoted to studying :(. Anyways, the recipe I’m sharing today is one that I made approximately 8 months ago…

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Yeah. I made it for my mom’s birthday, which is in November. Here I am, posting the recipe in June. You can probably tell that these photos were from a little while ago, considering the bad lighting and whatnot, but the cake tasted amazing and I didn’t know if I’d ever make the exact same cake again, so I figured that I may as well post this one.

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My mom absolutely adored this cake. It’s literally 100% perfectly suited to her taste, and the rest of my family’s taste for that matter. Why? Well…

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We don’t like Chinese cakes. They’re really really fluffy, which is okay, I guess, but they don’t taste like anything. They’re just fluffy cakeness, and they’re filled with tons and tons of cream that, yet again, don’t really taste like anything. My grandparents got a cake once for one of their birthdays, and it ended up being like, 80% cream and 20% cake. Then the cakes are usually topped with more cream (but in different colors) and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Chinese bakery cakes ALL the time. I’d still eat them, but c’mon…

We don’t like American buttercream (well, I’m okay with it). They think that it’s way to sweet, and the cakes are usually quite high in sugar too. I looked at dozens of cream cheese frostings prior to this cake, and the cream cheese to sugar ratio varied drastically. Some frostings required 7 cups of powdered sugar, and some required 2, with the same amount of cream cheese! I went with one that’s less sweet, which doesn’t make you want to puke after 2 slices of cake, and lets the distinct flavor of the cream cheese remain. There’s 16oz of cream cheese to 2 cups of powdered sugar, which is a pretty decent ratio, in my opinion, with a little bit of butter. Feel free to add more sugar to taste.

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If you’re wondering about piping the roses, it’s seriously so much easier than I thought. It took me about 5 minutes to pipe the roses. I’m not kidding. All you need is a 1M piping tip (I got one online for about a Euro and it’s my favorite piping tip now. I’ve used it for my funfetti cupcakes too). If you want, just watch this short video to get a better idea on how to make one.

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Red Velvet Rose Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes a 2-layer 8-inch cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Frosting:

  • 16oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted (if you want a sweeter frosting, you may use up to 4 cups powdered sugar)
  • Little silver candy beads (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, or 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For the cake, using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (approx. 5 min)
  3. Mix in the cocoa powder, food coloring, flour, baking soda, baking powder ,salt, vanilla, vinegar, and oil until just combined. Do not over-mix
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time
  5. Mix in the buttermilk
  6. Transfer the mixture into two greased 8 (or 9) inch cake pans
  7. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, before cooling completely on a wire rack
  9. For the frosting, using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy
  10. Beat in the butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy
  11. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until smooth. At this point, you could add a little bit of milk (1 tsp at a time) or a little more powdered sugar (1 tbsp at a time) until you reach a desired consistency
  12. To assemble the cake, make sure that the cakes are completely cooled before frosting. I wrapped each cake in 3 layers of plastic wrap and froze them prior to trimming/frosting. If your cakes have domed, then trim the top of the cake off so that the tops are flat
  13. Spread about 1/4-1/2 cup of frosting onto one of the layers, and place the second layer on top. Spread about 1/2 cup frosting to create a thin layer over the layered cake (this is called crumb coating. If you’re in a hurry, you could skip this step, but it’s recommended, as it will ensure that no crumbs are visible after frosting)
  14. Freeze the crumb-coated cake for at least an hour (optional, but recommended). Place a 1M piping tip into a piping bag and fill with cream cheese frosting. Pipe roses around the side of the crumb-coated cake, and then pipe roses on the top of the cake. Add swirls or kisses of frosting in the places that aren’t covered by the roses. Place a little silver candy bead in the middle of each rose if you want. Enjoy x

Black Bean Chocolate Lava Cake (Clean) + Free Cookbook!

BREAKING NEWS, YOU GUYS!

I wrote a cookbook.

What? I know, I barely did any pre-publishing advertising, but anyways, you can download it for free here!

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I shouldn’t be blogging right now. I should be doing homework because I just got back home late from my MYP Celebration. I’m sorta done with the MYP (bring it on, IB), which means that I’ve done the Personal Project.

Anyways there’s this thing called the Personal Project, where students must identify something that they’re passionate about, and they’ll plan, research, and then create a product in the area. Obviously, I did mine on clean eating and baking. Therefore, I created a cookbook consisting of healthy chocolate-based recipes, as well as information on what it means to be “healthy”. Maybe you already know about how I began this journey if you’ve read my About Me page, but I’ve always loved to bake, and I’ve got to dedicate a lot of it to SORTED Food. However, most baked goods are full of sugar and butter and whatnot, which sucked, until I discovered that it’s possible to eat clean and bake delicious goods at the same time. That’s what inspired me to make my cookbook. Healthy chocolate? Could it be? Absolutely.

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I have acknowledgements at the end of my cookbook, but I’d like to give a special shoutout to my InstaFriends who I “interviewed” about why they ate the way they did. Ning, Chelsea, Hillary, Marie, and Sarah, I love you guys and thanks so much for your help x ❤

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Sorry for all the writing, I’m just really excited about this. Here’s a preview to my cookbook. I decided to share the recipe that’s on the cover of my cookbook. It’s a chocolate lava cake! Healthified? No way! (Yes way!) It’s made with black beans, which are preettyy healthy. There is dark chocolate required in the recipe, but the sugars don’t have such a negative effect on the human body (read about it in my cookbook).

I was so delighted to discover that I got that gooey, melty, chocolate center surrounded by such a soft, flavorful cake. I promise that you can’t taste the black beans.

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Once again, please please please go download my cookbook. It’s free for all and I’d really appreciate if you guys could just go look through it and maybe it could inspire you guys. I love you all x

Notes: 

Black Bean Chocolate Lava Cake

Taken from my free cookbook, Health-ified Chocolate

Makes 4 lava cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup almond meal, or ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp dry stevia
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 25g dark chocolate, broken into 4 pieces

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a food processor, process the black beans until very smooth
  3. Add in the honey, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, egg, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and pulse to combine
  4. Transfer the mixture into a medium bowl
  5. Fold in the cacao powder, almond meal, stevia, and baking powder
  6. Grease 4 ramekins or lava cake moulds
  7. Place a few tablespoons of the mixture into each ramekin/mould, and place one piece of chocolate in the center of each one. You should use about half the mixture for this step
  8. Use the remaining mixture to fill the ramekins/moulds and shake gently so that the mixture spreads out evenly
  9. Bake for 25 minutes, and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the ramekins/moulds
  10. Serve warm

Cream Cheese Pound Cake (Cheat)

My past four recipes have been clean. What? It’s time to bring out the devil. The devil in a cake-form, obviously.

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Did I mention that there’s really just 5 ingredients? Excluding salt and vanilla, which don’t count. Even with salt and vanilla, this yummy thing only needs 7 ingredients and minimal effort.

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I want to talk about bundt pans. See, here’s the thing. You get a bundt pan with a beautiful design, and you bake a cake in it, planning to turn the cake upside-down after it’s finished baking so that the top has this gorgeous cake tin design on it. That was my plan, but when I pulled the cake out of the oven, I was awed at the beautiful, golden, cracked top that it had formed while the cake puffed up. I flipped it over to see how it looked like if it were upside down, and it just looked boring and…bad. So, I just left it the way it was. Am I doing something wrong?

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And then you’ve got that issue of trying to get a slice of cake to stand up straight. I’m happy to say that I was successful at first, but then it fell over and I couldn’t get the stupid piece of cake to stand up straight, so I just took a few photos of it, and ate it (this kinda sums up how I deal with all my food-related problems).

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Gah. So moist and buttery ❤

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I would recommend having this cake with tea or coffee, and to serve it while it’s slightly warm. Keep leftovers covered in plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.

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Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Makes 1 large cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 8oz (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius, or 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated
  4. Gently mix in the flour, salt, and vanilla extract until just combined. Do not over mix
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased pan (I used a bundt pan)
  6. Bake for about 90 minutes, until a toothpick/skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean

Blueberry Crumb Cake (Cheat)

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I don’t think I’ve ever had a crumb cake before. If I have, I don’t remember. It felt like I was eating a crumb cake for the first time, at least. This cake has a delicious, buttery, blueberry-filled base and is topped with the most addicting crumble ever. Someday, I’ll make a giant batch of crumble and eat it all. You’ll see.

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Yesterday was the last school day of 2014. Thank god. I needed a break.

I watched Interstellar last night on this insanely huge screen. It was such a mind-blowing, perfectly-crafted movie. There’s some things that don’t make sense to me, but whatever. Oh, and I totally didn’t cry over 6 times.

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I got let out from school at 12, because it was the last day of school before winter break. When I got home, my mom asked me to bake a cake, because she was having dinner with some of her friends and wanted to have a cake there. I eagerly nodded, scrolled through my bookmarks, found the perfect recipe, and ran off to the grocery store to buy blueberries.

…Okay, I didn’t run off to the grocery store. I made my mom drive me there, but she’s the one who wanted the cake!

 

I learned a pretty valuable lesson making this cake too.

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See how clean and pretty the cake was? I didn’t think it was enough, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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I decided to sift some powdered sugar onto the cake – just because. 2014-12-12 09.26.24.

Still nothing wrong.

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Oops.

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Not only did I drop my huge container of icing sugar on the table, I accidentally poured way too much over my sifter.

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See how there’s this giant weird space on the left side of the cake in the photo above? Yeah. I tried to clean it up and get some of it off, but as you can see, that didn’t really work. Lesson learned – always spoon powdered sugar into sifter instead of trying to sprinkle powdered sugar out of a 30cm-tall container.

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Oh and in case you were wondering, my mom and her friends loved the cake. I wanted to take photos of the inside of the cake when I got back from the movie, but I came home to find that there was quite literally one piece left. I ate it without taking a photo. Oh well.

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With no further adieu, here’s the recipe.

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Blueberry Crumb Cake

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Makes one 9-inch cake

Ingredients:

Crumble:

  • 5 tablespoons (40g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, chilled
  • Pinch of salt

Cake

  • 2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg, or 2 small
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup (55g) walnuts, broken into small pieces

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C or 375F
    For the crumble:
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together
  3. Cut the butter in using a pastry cutter or your hands until the mixture comes together and resembles coarse crumbs
    For the cake:
  4. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl
  5. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy
  6. Beat in egg(s) and vanilla
  7. Mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture, followed by 1/2 the milk, and repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk
  8. Fold in blueberries
  9. Pour cake batter into greased pan and smooth out
  10. Scatter a layer of walnuts over the cake batter, followed by a layer of crumble
  11. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean
  12. Allow the cake to cool and serve

Tiramisu Cheesecake (Cheat)

Do you guys know SORTED Food? I’m obsessed with them. They were probably my first stepping stone to baking, which has seriously changed my life. I mean, everyone in school knows me for my baking. Well, they know other stuff, but baking. It’s literally my favorite thing to do (next to eating, of course).

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Before making the cake, my mom suggested using a biscuit base instead of the original base, which was made up of dates, pistachios, and almonds. I love biscuit bases, so I couldn’t say no. Personally, I think it was worth it. Biscuit bases make everything better.

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Subs: You could always switch out the base for some other sort of base. It’s up to you. Also, using regular whipping cream instead of the double cream shouldn’t cause any problems. I would recommend using grated chocolate and fresh raspberries as a topping, but you could always change that up if you want.

Tiramisu Cheesecake

(Adapted from SORTED)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 135g (1 1/2 cup) biscuit crumbs
  • 75g (1/3 cup) butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp (45g) instant coffee
  • 350ml (1 1/2 cup) boiling water
  • 250ml (1 cup) double cream
  • 125g (1/2 cup) full-fat mascarpone cheese
  • 50g (1/2 cup) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp (4ml) rum extract (optional)
  • 175g sponge fingers
  • Bar of dark chocolate (optional)
  • 2 pints of fresh raspberries (optional)

Method:

  1.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix the melted butter and biscuit crumbs together
  2. Press onto the bottom of a loose-bottomed 22cm/8-inch cake tin
  3. Pour 350 ml of boiling water over the instant coffee in a bowl, stir to combine and leave to cool
  4. Whisk the cream to soft peaks, then add the cream cheese, icing sugar, and rum extract (if using) before continuing to whisk until you have a stiff mixture
  5. Spoon half of it over the biscuit base and smooth out
  6. Dunk sponge fingers into the cooled coffee, one at a time, for a few seconds to soak up the coffee
  7. Lay the coffee sponge fingers onto the cream cheese layer to create a full layer
  8. Spread over the remainder of the cream cheese mixture
  9. Place into the fridge to set up for at least 3 hours
  10. Remove the cheesecake from tin, grate over a generous amount of dark chocolate and decorate with raspberries
  11. Serve

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake (Clean)

Oh em gee. It’s my first post >_<. I remember back when I was a tumblr gal. I’d scroll miles a day, I swear. I’m growing up, though! Moving on to WordPress!

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So the first recipe I’m sharing with you guys is the best cheesecake ever. Well, the best raw, vegan, sugar-free cheesecake, that is. I don’t think any cheesecake could ever beat this one recipe that my mom has, but that’s not the point.

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The point is, this thing is freakin’ delicious and you should go and make it now. I made it for my 15th birthday this year, and even my sugar-loving family loved the non-sugary treat.

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Serves 10-15

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup (140 grams) almonds, soaked 6 hours or overnight, rinsed (peel them if you want a white base)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) coconut oil, melted

Filling

  • 2 cups (280 grams) cashews, soaked 6 hours or overnight, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) cacao butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 pints raspberries

Ganache

  • 1/3 cup cacao butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (or more, to taste)
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

Method:

  1. In a food processor or blender, blend almonds until finely ground
  2. Add coconut oil and blend
  3. Press mixture to the bottom of a 22cm/8-inch cake tin
  4. Refrigerate while making the filling
  5. Blend cashews, agave nectar, cacao butter, coconut oil, and vanilla until smooth
  6. Spread a thin layer over crust
  7. Place a layer of raspberries over the filling. Pack them tightly
  8. Pour the rest of the filling over the raspberries
  9. Refrigerate while making the ganache
  10. In a saucepan, melt the cocoa butter over low heat
  11. Stir in cacao and honey until smooth
  12. Stir in coconut milk
  13. Pour onto cake. At this point, you may decorate the cake with whatever you wish. I used cacao nibs and raspberries
  14. Refrigerate until ganache is set
  15. Serve

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