If there’s one thing I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s this Plum Apple Crumble! And I urge you to do the same. 😛
The Foodscape has had a tremendous year indeed. It started out with the routine five working days and blogging over the weekends, survived a big move to another country, launched its logo, travelled to Thailand and had an incredible Christmas, filled with the season’s best. Then 2016 rolled in and I worked hard to put many wonderful recipes out for you. Happy Days!
These Mini Cherry Galettes are the perfect treat for all you home chefs and bakers who’d rather cook up a storm raging with delicious flavours than spend hours having something look restaurant worthy! Don’t get me wrong, I love making desserts that look super pretty. But some days, I just want good ol’ sweet, fruity, pastry-perfect dessert that doesn’t require too much effort. Dessert that can be prepared relatively quickly; dessert that doesn’t leave a tonne of dishes for me to clean up later! 😛 And these Mini Cherry Galettes tick all those boxes! 🙂
There is something so elegant about tarts that takes my breath away. They are dainty and beautiful. In their pretty little way, they pack in so many different textures and flavours. And they are ALWAYS such a treat! ❤
Yeah, I’m talking about these Choco-Strawberry Tarts!
First off, Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Hope you’re surrounded with family, friends and loved ones on this day of love. 🙂 ❤
A couple of days ago, when I was in conversation with my cousin about the tonnes of dessert pictures I upload to my Instagram handle (do follow me @thefoodscape!), she asked me, “Do you ever get anything wrong when you’re baking or making a dessert?” I didn’t need to think about my answer. “All the time,” I replied. 🙂
I have such crazy ideas for desserts, that more often than not they don’t work out. While some can be salvaged with go-to lifesavers like Nutella, Chocolate ganache or ice-cream, others turn out downright inedible. But hey, trial and error is everything! And sometimes if it doesn’t work out, well, that’s okay!
This is exactly how I came about making this stunning Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta doused in Strawberry Compote. My brother was throwing a party for friends and dessert was my responsibility. I knew I wanted to do something with strawberries, and after giving it some thought, I decided to spin a dessert out of the wonderful combination of strawberries and Sunfeast’s Dark Fantasy Choco Fills. So I tried a couple variations of layered whipped cream, crushed cookies and strawberries. An adjustment here, some changes there; yet I just couldn’t get it right. Then I thought, with all that heavy cream lying in my kitchen, some Panna Cotta would be perfect! Out went the biscuits and into a pot on low heat to simmer went the cream… The rest is history. 😛
Here’s what you need:
For the Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta:
For the Strawberry Compote:
Here’s how you put this beautiful dessert together:
As you can tell, this is one super easy recipe. All it takes is a couple of minutes to put together. The ingredients are easily available, the technique involved is hassle free and it’s just the perfect recipe for when things don’t go your way in the kitchen. All you need is to spare a half-hour ahead of time, pop it into the fridge and then you can forget all about it until it’s time for dessert!
All of my brother’s guests were blown away by this Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta. And when they called it a night and left, the brother, cousin, boyfriend and I went back for some seconds, thirds and fourths! 😉
I love how the sweetness in this dessert is subtle, the tang coming from the yogurt and berries is deliberate and yet it is all perfectly balanced out by the wonderful aroma of vanilla. It is light, packed with flavour and just stunning to look at; what more could you possibly want from dessert? Oh, and it’s the perfect snack too. (Don’t judge me!) 😛
Give this recipe a try right away, maybe as dessert for this Valentine’s Day? It is red and romantic after all! 😉
Summer. It’s the season most people around the world love. It’s that time of year when the blue waters of the sea beckon us; when we enjoy the refreshing flavours of summery delights; when the days are long and productive; and the world is off on holiday. Yes, that’s what summer should be; but where I live, it’s everything but.
Out here in the Middle East, Summers are scorching, and while that may seem appealing to some, most of us living here can’t tolerate it. When the world seems to be getting some sun, we are busy hiding from it indoors with the air conditioner turned up full blast. No amount of summery refreshments can possibly quench our thirst for relief from the heat, and we are most certainly not chilling on the beach; well, not until later in the night at least.
In my world, the summer’s only saving grace is the large array of beautiful, colourful fruits adorning supermarket racks; so fresh, you can barely resist gobbling them up right there right then! Don’t you just love when the greens, yellows, reds, purples, pinks and oranges all come together? I always feel like I’m shopping for little pieces of the rainbow! To me, summers are all about sipping on fresh fruit juice and milkshakes and gorging on berries, watermelon, chikoos, plums, oranges and of course, MANGOES! I love fruits. And fruity desserts, well, God knows I can live on those!
So the past weekend, I decided to bake something fruity after quite a while. The primary reason for this baking experiment was my not-so-little-anymore cousin who has been bugging me to bake him a tart non-stop ever since my post on the ridiculously delicious Strawberry Custard Tart. Also, I had a bunch of bright yellow, juicy mangoes and gorgeous blood-red strawberries lying around the house. So, I decided to bake a Shortbread Tart filled with Custard and topped with Mangoes and Strawberries! (At this point, I was already imagining those gorgeous flavours dancing a summery samba in my mouth!) *SLUUURPPP* 😛
Tarts can be tricky. The consistency of the filling should be smooth and stiff, yet melt-in-the-mouth. The tart shell should be of even thickness all through and the sweetness and flavours of the shell, filling and topping need to be carefully balanced. But trust me, the precision involved and the care that is taken when baking a tart is all well worth the hassle when the tart ends up looking impeccably irresistible!
Without further ado, here’s the recipe for The Foodscape’s awesome Mango-Strawberry Tart!
Here’s what you need:
For the Shortbread Tart Shell:
For the Custard filling:
For the topping:
This is how you make it:
If you love summer fruits as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll be able to imagine just what this dessert tastes like! The crisp crust, creamy, subtley flavoured custard, and the hits of fruityness and delicious coming from the mangoes and strawberries are just extremely refreshing and rejuvenating. Eat it cold, and it will be an experience you’ll cherish forever. And you’ll surely be coming back from more. You just can’t stop, and before you know it, the entire tart will be gone! Don’t believe me? Here’s what my cousin had to say… 😛
So there you have it – the perfect summertime dessert to share with your loved ones! Oh, Happy Days! 😀
P.S: It was during the course of making the shortbread dough that I decided I wanted to bake mini tarts as well. So all I did was put little rounds of dough into cupcake moulds and pressed them in to make a shell. Then I baked them till they were golden brown – about 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. 🙂
Photography credits: Winola Peris
Chocolate and I are on a break. We’ve had a wonderful relationship in the past and we will renew our tryst soon, but for now, we need a little space. All that baking with dark and semi-sweet chocolate, Nutella, Ganache and sugar sprinkles has rendered me bored (and has me carrying around quite a few extra pounds, if you know what I mean), so I’ve decided it’s time to experiment with different flavours and techniques. Spring is here and the market is flooded with gorgeous fruits – berries, melons, nectarines and mangoes! I can’t wait to bake with them all!
For my first attempt down the fruity-baking lane, I baked this enchanting Lemon-Blueberry Cake topped with Coconut Crumble. I say enchanting, because the whole experience of baking this cake is truly so. From the gorgeous ivory hued batter speckled with bright yellow lemon rind and striking blueberries, to watching the cake take form while in the oven, the coconut crumble turning a stunning golden, to cutting a slice to reveal the burst berries leave deep purple blots where they were, and taking a bite only to have the array of flavours tickling your taste buds, this cake is beyond delightful!
I wouldn’t say that this cake is easy to make; there are several parts to this recipe and each require a certain amount of precision and careful attention. But that doesn’t mean this recipe is too hard to try out either. Though time consuming, this cake is worth all the hard work you put into baking it. Don’t believe me? Try this recipe out and see for yourself!
For the Lemon Curd:
For the Cake:
For the Coconut Crumble topping:
Here’s how you make it:
This cake was all kinds of yummy! My mum is a huge fan of Lemon Cake and to see her face light up as she took her first bite of this cake was crazy! She smiled and smiled as she savoured every bite, then reached out for another piece. Dad is not a very ‘cake person’, nevertheless, he enjoyed having slices of this cake with tea. The boyfriend was ecstatic when he took his first bite. He isn’t a fan of lemon cake, but this one had him craving more. He almost didn’t leave any cake for my parents to have the next day!
This cake was big compared to the ones I usually bake at home. While cutting it up, I thought to myself, ‘this cake will be around for quite a few days.’ Boy, was I wrong! Within two days, there was none remaining.
Tangy, sweet, the crunchy-crispy top, melt-in-the-mouth are the words that come to mind when I reminisce about the joy of eating this cake. This Lemon-Blueberry cake is the kind of cake which you can’t get enough of; with just one bite, you’re addicted and no matter what you’re doing, it can wait until you have another piece of cake.
I simply loved this cake, and I’m sure you will too! And for mums who wish to get their little ones to eat fruit, you should bake this cake for them!
It can get quite weird when an absolute chocolate fanatic pesters you for some soft vanilla cake. I cannot begin to explain just how stunned I was when the boyfriend – a person who can live on chocolate all his life – first began badgering for some vanilla cake. “Remember that cake you baked for my grandparents’ anniversary,” he would say, “I want that!” The playful torment continued for weeks, often with, “When are you going to bake vanilla cake for me?” “It’s been so long since you baked for me! I’ve been asking you for days.” Whenever I had orders for cakes, it would be, “You’re only baking for others nowadays.” And when I would promise to bake him something vanilla, and wouldn’t keep to it, it would be a defeated “You’re always promising, but it never happens. I see what our relationship has come to,” accompanied with a really cute upset expression. 😛
It was only after I had had a week-long binge on anything chocolaty and needed a refreshing dessert myself that I got around to quenching his craving. Hence, this past weekend, I baked these fabulous Vanilla Petit Fours topped with Tropical Fruits, and my, was I glad I did!
For the base Cake:
For the Vanilla Buttercream:
For the Topping:
Here’s how you make these beauties
These Petit Fours are really amazing! Have you every had a craving for something sweet with a fruity feel; not something too tart, yet something that tickles your palate with fresh light flavors? These Petit Fours are just what you need if that’s what you have a hankering for! The moist cake which is not too sweet, topped with just the right amount of fragrant vanilla frosting, finished with strawberries and blueberries that are sweet and sour, kiwis that lend an invigorating tartness and delicious pineapple is just what you need to brighten up your day while not making you feel too stuffy.
Apart from all else, this recipe is a lot healthier that most other desserts – the cake includes a small amount of sugar, just a thin layer of frosting is slopped on there and it is topped with fruits! (How on earth can something with fruits be unhealthy? Right? RIGHT?)
These little squares of lip-smacking goodness are a treat to both the tummy and the soul and definitely features on my list of pick-me-up foods. Bake these and you’ll be in loveeee 🙂