Almond and pear quick cake

The advantage with cakes is that since you put only good things in them, you do not take much risk creating new recipes or improvising on quantities! (Well it depends… My beloved siblings sometimes come up with surprising tastes and mixtures! But it is always worth trying)

Inspired from two of my recipes: Yoghurt cake and Financier, here is the recipe of the cake I made for a friend’s birthday and after exam treat!

cake-pear-almond
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap!
Equipment: bowl, cake tin, oven

Ingredients: (1 measure = 1 volume of yoghurt)
– 1 yoghurt
– about 1/2 measure of honey (or 1 measure sugar)
– 1 1/2 measures of flour
– 100g of ground almonds
– 1/2 measure of melted butter About 100g
– 3 eggs
– 1 sachet baking powder
– 3 pears, peeled, diced

In a bowl, pour the yoghurt and keep the pot to use as a measure. Add the eggs and mix.
Add honey baking powder, almond and flour, mix. Add the butter and pears, mix.
Pour in a cake tin and cook in the oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes (to test whether it is ready, put a knife in the cake: it is ready if the knife remains dry)

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Note: you can decorate the cake with flaked almonds (to spread before cooking)

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The mug series 2: Chocolate and tofu!

Continuing my article the mug series, I tried a new version of the chocolate mug cake: no butter, no egg, but tofu! The result is amazing!!!

mug-choco-tofu

Ingredients:
– 30g dark chocolate (I take 70% dark chocolate, so good!)
– a tbsp ground almond
– 30g soft tofu
– a tbsp flour
– a teaspoon baking powder
– a tbsp sugar

Melt chocolate 20 sec in microwave with a bit of water.
Add tofu, mix with a fork. Add the other ingredients, mix.
Microwave for 1min30.
Let cool down 2 minutes before eating!

Notes: quantities are a bit random, the best way to adjust is to try and see how you like it.
Uncooked, it tastes and looks quite bad but cooked, it is amazing! you would never guess it is tofu and not the standard ingredients and you really feel the taste of chocolate! Definitely adopted!

Asparagus and soy sauce chicken/tofu

May is really the good month for green asparagus and they are really good for you. Here is an amazing dish I made with chicken and asparagus. As a variation for vegetarian, chicken can be replaced by tofu.

Asparagus-and-soy-sauce-chicken

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Easy
Equipment: pan, pot

Ingredients:
– 100g Asparagus
– 120g chicken (or tofu)
– 1/4 onion
– soy sauce
– pepper
– basmati rice

Chop the onion and dice the chicken. Let them marinate in a bowl with soy sauce and pepper.
Cook the asparagus in boiling water until tender (cook them vertical, head out of the water). Drain.
Cook the rice in boiling water.
In an oiled pan, cook the chicken and onions (do not add all the soy sauce that was in the bowl immediately, reserve for the end of the cooking). When chicken cooked, cut the asparagus and add them in the pan. Lower the heat, add the remain of soy sauce.
Serve on the rice and enjoy!

Variation: Chicken and asparagus couscous with lemon
With the rest of asparagus (yes there was an offer and I bought a lot!) I simply made them with chicken and semola and added a pinch of lemon juice and pepper. Cooking time: 3 minutes. Taste: ++++

The mug series

Being in exam period, I need some treats. That is why I experimented a series of “mug treats” that you cook in a mug with a microwave. It is good because you can do it in 5 minutes and for 1 person.

(I do not have any photo, because you may already have noticed my poor talent for photography, and in the mug, it is too dark and you can’t see anything!)

The pear and chocolate:

First one I tried. I had a pear, I had chocolate. I just diced the pear, spread chocolate chips, added a tablespoon of ground almond or oat. Mix everything, microwave, let cool down 5 minutes, enjoy!!

Variations: Pear and cinnamon, apple and cinnamon, banana and chocolate

The “light” chocolate mug cake (no butter):

Put 25g of chocolate in your mug, with a little bit of water. Microwave for 20 seconds and mix until homogeneous. Add a (small) tablespoon of yoghurt, 1/2 tbsp of sugar, half a beaten egg (Or whole but then increase the quantity of other ingredients maybe), a tbsp of flour. Microwave for 1min30. Let cool down and enjoy.

NB: add more or less flour for a more or less liquid cake.
In this recipe I put only half an egg, that allow you to make two mug cakes, or one big but it might be too big because even if it is “light”, it is still quite filling!
Do not put too much yoghurt. A small tablespoon is enough. In any case, the key ingredient is chocolate, so don’t be afraid to put a lot of it! Enjoy ^^

Other ideas: I haven’t tried yet but I would like to see what you get when you replace egg and yoghurt by soft tofu and a little bit of baking powder

Otherwise, there is still the classic chocolate mug cake with chocolate, 1 egg, 10 g of butter, flour and baking powder. But this one you can find the recipe everywhere!

The blueberry and yoghurt mug cake:

This one was an epic fail. I put yoghurt in it but probably too much! It looked like a weird soufflé (and tasted quite bad). I’ll try again maybe and release the recipe when it is eatable!

Poached eggs – Eureka!

Eureka! I made it! I had never managed to poach an egg without destroying it! But I found the magic method! Simply follow these steps.

1) Bring water to the boil

Super trick number 1: add a spoon of white vinegar in the water (supertrick number 1 bis: of course I don’t have white vinegar in my kitchen so I used balsamic vinegar, it doesn’t change anything except maybe for a slight taint of the egg)

2) The egg has to be super fresh (if you use the egg that has been in your fridge for 2 weeks, it might not work so well)

Supertrick number 2: don’t break the egg directly in the pan, put it in a bowl or cup first

3) Before putting the egg in the water, reduce heat: the water must not be boiling with bubbles

SuperSuper trick number 3: form a vortex in your pan: with a wooden spoon, turn the water until a vortex appears.
Then, put your egg gently in the middle and wait.

Let cook between 2 and 3 minutes according to size, no longer if you want to keep the yolk soft!

4) When cooked remove the egg from the water and place on absorbant paper

5) Enjoy!

Sardines creamy dip

In the dip series, here is an other one. Very nice with bread or crackers or carrots sticks.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: none!
Servings: 1 bowl
Level: Easy
Equipment: bowl, fork

Ingredients:
– a can of sardines in olive oil
– cream cheese
– lemon juice
– salt, pepper

Remove the bones and skin from sardines (no need to do it very thoroughly) and put in a bowl, mash into small pieces with a fork. Add cream cheese: I don’t really have a precise quantity, it depends how creamy the cheese is and the consistency you want. Then add a pinch of lemon juice, salt, pepper. And serve!

Note: tuna can also be used intead of sardines

Homemade Guacamole

Perfect for summer aperitives, and so easy to make! I made it yesterday for a dinner with friends and it had a great success!

guacamole

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: none!
Servings: 1 bowl
Level: Easy
Equipment: bowl, fork, mixer (optional)

Ingredients:
– 2 avocados (mature)
– 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
– 1/2 onion chopped
– lemon juice
– spices (chili, cumin, coriander, …)

Mash the avocados with a fork, add chopped tomatoes and onion (the smaller the dices, the better, you can use a mixer if you have one). Then add lemon juice to avoid oxidation of avocados. Add spices. Mix well.
Serve immediately!