Sunday, January 8, 2017

How to Make Almond Milk

Fresh and nutritious almond milk can easily be made at home. You can make plant-based milk from various nuts, seeds & grains, and use them as a dairy-free alternative in your cooking, baking, drinks, with breakfast or simply have it by the glass!


  • 1 cup organic raw almonds
  • Nut Milk Bag
  • Filtered water
  • 1-2 tbsp organic maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp organic raw honey
  • 1-2 tbsp organic brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 tsp organic cinnamon powder
  • 2-3 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla bean powder
  • 2-3 organic medjool dates


  1. Soak Almonds: Place 1 cup of almonds in a bowl or jar & cover with at least a few centimetres of water and let soak for 12-24 hours. TIP: the longer the soaking time the creamier your milk will taste.
  2. Strain the almonds & discard the water.
  3. Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.
  4. Place almonds in a powerful blender or Thermomix together with 3-4 cups of water and optional sweetener/spices (enough to your taste). TIP: the less water you use, the thicker your milk will be.
  5. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until the nuts are completely broken down and the mixture is deliciously creamy.
  6. Strain the almond milk by lining your nut milk bag over a large jug or bowl, and pour the creamy liquid into the nut milk bag. TIP: keep squeezing the nut milk bag to ensure you get as much milk as possible into your jug or bowl.
  7. Pour your beautiful, fresh milk into a glass jar or pitcher and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  8. Enjoy this beautiful, fresh milk with your breakfast, in cooking, baking, or simply drink it by the glass!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Italian Cream Cake Recipe

All good bakers, let’s have a moment of silence for the Italian cream cake’s awesomeness. All new bakers, join in too because you’ll be a pro once you get this baby on your table and enjoy the cheers (and empty plates) it brings. 

It would kill you if you ate it more than that.
All I can do is recommend that you just close your eyes and eat it and don’t think about the calories. Why ruin such a good thing?
I know this isn’t truly the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted. But I hope you’ll stay with me on it. Every once in awhile we have those times when we need something amazing. And this is just the thing.
If you’re new to baking, I believe you can do this. See below for some links to helpful videos for how to work with egg whites if you’ve never done that. And of course, if you have ANY questions at all, I’m only an email or a comment away.

Italian Cream Cake

Rich, sweet and an amazing showstopper for any event, this cake is made totally from scratch.


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 16 ounces coconut about 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 6 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks

For the frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
  2. Grease and flour 3 8-inch cake pans. Set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Add the sugar and beat well.  
  4. Add the egg yolks and mix well. 
  5. Sift the flour and add into the sugar and butter mixture one-third at a time, alternating with the milk. 
  6. Stir in the vanilla, 1 cup of coconut and the pecans.
  7. Fold in the egg whites carefully until no pockets remain.
  8. Bake 25 minutes and turn out to a wire rack to cool completely
  9. While the cakes bake, sprinkle one cup of coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven alongside your cakes until brown and nutty, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir it every couple of minutes to make sure it doesn't burn. Then set aside to cool 

For the frosting:

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese until well mixed. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
    Spread between layers of cake and on top and sides.
    Use your hands to press the toasted coconut all around the sides.
    Sprinkle pecans over the top. 

Recipe Notes

If you like your frosting very thick, it's fine to make a double batch.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Oreo Nutella Truffles

  • Ingredients

  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 cup Nutella 153g
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened, 170g
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate melting wafers (you could also use 2 cups melted semisweet chocolate chips but it will take longer to set and the chocolate doesn't go on as smoothly), 284g
  • Optional: pulverize 3-4 additional Oreo cookies for garnish 

  • Instructions

    1. Using a food processor (though you could also do this by crushing the cookies in a Ziploc bag using a rolling pin—just make sure they are crushed very fine), pulse oreos until very fine crumbs.
    2. In KitchenAid (or in a large bowl using an electric mixer or spoon) stir together cream cheese and Nutella until well-combined.
    3. Add in cookie crumbs, stirring until well-combined (pause regularly to scrape down sides of bowl).
    4. Roll into ~ 1 Tbsp-sized balls and place on wax-paper lined cookie sheet (if filling is too messy to roll, refrigerate first for 10-15 minutes).
    5. Transfer rolled filling to freezer and freeze for 15 minutes.
    6. Once truffles have chilled, prepare your chocolate by heating it in the microwave according to package instructions.
    7. Dip truffles in melted chocolate (my preferred technique for this is to balance the truffle on the width of a butter-knife blade, use a spoon to ladle chocolate evenly over the tops and sides, and then use another knife to slide the truffle back onto the wax paper) and return to wax-paper. Immediately after dipping each truffle, sprinkle with crushed Oreo cookies, if desired.
    8. Return to refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden before serving.
    9. Keep uneaten truffles refrigerated in an airtight container.

Best Nutella Cake In The World

This nutella tart tastes exactly how it looks: lush. It’s a nutella ganache of sorts, cooked on the… I’m sorry, wait. Did you read that just now?


Ok so a nutella ganache (!!!) cooked on the stovetop in a matter of minutes and poured into a toasted hazelnut crust. It’s rich, but not quite as rich as you would guess. Who am I kidding, the ingredients are heavy cream and nutella. It’s exactly as rich as you would guess.
Before I get into more nutella tart details, I want to show you a new post over on my photography blog. Pretty much what October looked like around these parts. Slowing down at home, as well as getting out and making the most of this too-short time of year. Sweet blissful fall, you’ve been a gem!
Back to your regularly scheduled pie.


Toasted Hazelnut Crust

  • 1 cup (120g) chopped unsalted Diamond of California hazelnuts
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) ice water

Nutella Filling

  • 2 Tablespoons (14g) cornstarch
  • 2 cups (480g) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (225g) Nutella
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. I encourage you to check out the step-by-step photos below this recipe before beginning.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Spread chopped hazelnuts out onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet. Toast until slightly darkened, about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool down for 5 minutes. Turn the oven up to 350°F (177°C)
  3. For the crust: Using a food processor, pulse 3/4 cup of the toasted hazelnuts, the flour, sugar, and salt together until it reaches the consistency of coarse meal. (Reserve 1/4 cup of the nuts for topping.) Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until the mixture turns into pea-sized crumbs.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, slowly stir in 3 Tablespoons of ice water. You only want to add enough water to bring the dough somewhat together. Using floured fingers or the bottom of a flat and lightly floured measuring cup, press the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan. You want it extremely tight in the pan. You'll need to use pie weights for the next step, so line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and add pie weights.
  5. Bake (with pie weights) for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack so it can slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
  6. For the filling: Whisk the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream together in a small bowl. (You want a little cream mixed with the cornstarch to avoid white cornstarch lumps in your filling.) Combine the cornstarch mixture, the rest of the heavy cream, nutella, and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. While constantly whisking, allow to boil for 3 minutes as it thickens. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla, then pour into the crust, swirling the top for a pretty pattern (if desired!).
  7. Chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until set. Top with remaining hazelnuts.
Make ahead tip: This is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time, especially when you are entertaining. You can prepare the entire dessert, cover tightly, and keep in the refrigerator for 3 days before serving.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vegan Caramel Three Ways

Vegan caramel three ways. Vegan caramel three ways. Should I say it again?

I could. I am a little sleep deprived at the moment and having trouble focussing. The elf has recently dropped her daily naps and I am solo parent with the husband on site for work a lot. I could boo-boo in to my britches however, I have contributed to my own fatigue. I am on a Gilmore Girls bender. I don’t know how it happened. I started watching old episodes in a bid to cling back some “me time” at night with the elf going to bed earlier but it has backfired, I am a Gilmore addict now. Doh! Damn that Lorelei and Rory. And that stupid Stars Hollow.
It’s OK though. I have regrouped enough from Rory being dumped by Jess to bring you vegan caramel three ways. It was tough I tell you. I was just getting over Dean…

These three vegan caramels are distinct. Each one has its own personality and is suitable for different uses. Date caramel is thicker and naturally sweeter than the others and is the easiest to make in a pinch.

I use the fruit caramel in the elf’s yoghurt for a sweet treat. Being made from pears (I have used apple also) it is, well…fruity. It is lovely spooned over ice-cream or swirled through “creams”. My inner kitchen ninja developed this one – I wanted to create a caramel that I could at least say had fruit in it for the elf. Guilt assuaged. However, for the purists, you can’t go past the coconut milk vegan caramel. It is the cat’s pyjamas. It is my favourite simply because it is naughty and decadent. Even photographing it was a challenge. There were a few swoon moments. Who would have thought a vegan caramel could make your knees shake? It may be  fatigue but my inner cheerleader wants to believe it was my cooking. You know what, let’s just go with that.
These vegan caramels are sweet, naughty and delicious the way caramel should be. Super easy to make they are a sweet tooth’s dream. Enjoy, x.

10 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup almond milk (optional for creaminess)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
water as needed

Combine ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth
Add water as needed to help combine 1 tablespoon at a time
Keep in the fridge for 3 – 5 days

2 pears, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons coconut oil, separated in to 2 and 1
1/4 cup coconut or any unprocessed sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small pan.
Add the cubed pears and stir.
Add the coconut sugar and stir well. Turn down the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
Put the pear mixture, a tablespoon of coconut oil, the maple syrup and vanilla in a processor and blitz until smooth.
Keeps in the fridge but will need to be reheated in a pan to refresh.

1 400 ml can of coconut milk
1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for around 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before using. Stores in the fridge, covered for 5 days.