Casual Cakes

Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake

Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake is one of the most requested cake in my family. Even our friends always ask me to bake Chiffon Cake when I pay them a visit. It’s simple, light as air and not to sweet. It has definitely become our classic coffee cake for tea time or how you would call it over here in Germany “Kaffekränzchen”.

The best part of this cake is that you can bake them in a lot of variations. You could make a classic Marble Chiffon Cake by just adding cocoa powder to the mixture or you can even add dry fruits to make it like some kind of Christmas fruit cake.

I decided to try adding Pandan essence to make this simple Chiffon Cake a little bit more interesting. I love that the Pandan flavor is not overwhelming. You can just taste a hint of the Pandan in this Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake. And I just love the color of it! You could also add red food coloring to make it a Christmas Chiffon Cake.

My son NJ calls it the “Zebra Grinch Cake”. 🙂

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Pandan Marble Chiffon Cake

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups Cake flour
1 cup Sugar
3 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Cold water
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
2 tsp Vanilla extract
5 Egg yolks
7 Egg whites
1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Pandan essence

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. Prepare UNGREASED tube pan. Set aside. (I recommend using an Angel Food Pan).

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center and add the water, oil, vanilla and egg yolks. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks.

Fold in the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites just until blended.

Divide the mixture into half; add the Pandan essence into one half of the mixture and gently fold until well combined.

First add the Pandan mixture and then the plain mixture into the tube pan. Using a skewer, gently run through the mixture making a marble effect.

Bake cake in preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours until top springs back when touched lightly.

Immediately turn pan upside down. (Table top will do. The legs of the tube pan will keep it from touching the surface).

Let cool completely.

Muffins/Cupcakes

Easy Moist Apple Muffins

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Our place never runs out of apples! Simply, because apples are one of the few fruits which my NJ likes taking with him to school in his lunch box.

You can make so many easy and great cakes, cookies or muffins with apples. Especially, now on autumn/winter season, I enjoy making all kind of different recipes with apples. Actually, I love baking with apples because of the heavenly smell which fills your home…and the touch of cinnamon…mmmhhh…I love that combo!

This Easy Moist Apple Muffins recipe of mine is so simple to make and a great snack to put into your lunch box. They’re packed with great flavors and you can experiment with the ingredients in this recipe. If you don’t like putting nuts into your muffins you can completely leave them out or add raisins instead. You can also just cut the sugar if it seems too sweet for your taste.
This recipe is so uncomplicated and foolproof.

I made these with my 7 year old son and the 20 muffins didn’t last very long on our kitchen counter. I personally think that they taste better the next day after storing them in an airtight container.
My Mom likes eating them right after baking while still hot.
Either way, these are a great and quick snack which I’m sure many of you will enjoy! 🙂

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Easy Moist Apple Muffins

Yield: 20 Muffins

Ingredients:

500 g Apples, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
200 g Butter
150 g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
150 g Sugar
4 Eggs
300 g All-Purpose flour
3 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
100 g chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
3 Tbsp Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F. Line regular-size muffin tin.

Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the apple chunks and toss together.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla extract together.

Add one egg at a time to the butter mixture and mix until well combined.

Sift all-purpose flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the batter and mix until everything is combined.

Add the nuts and apple chunks into the batter and gently fold into the batter with a spatula or a wooden spoon.

Fill the muffin forms and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Let cool and dust with confectioners sugar.

Dessert

Super Easy Crêpes

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It’s Crêpes day at our place! I always used to go to the city or to a fair to eat Crêpes with Nutella! My Crêpes always failed and became more of a pancake which was thicker than an usual Crêpe.

I always thought that I had to go and purchase some sort of Crêpe machine to perfect it but all you need is a medium nonstick pan and the right technique!

Your pan has to be very hot when adding the Crêpe batter and immediately even the batter out in circular motion with the back of the ladle. This process don’t take very long. Remember: Crêpes are really thin and delicate, therefore you won’t be needing to cook them for too long!

They can be filled and topped with various sweet or savory toppings.

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I love to fill my Crêpes with Nutella and drizzle with even more Nutella. I like to sprinkle them with chopped hazelnuts and a bit of powdered sugar.

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They taste really good with any type of shredded cheese filling.

Super Easy Crêpes

Yield: 25 Crêpes

Ingredients:
1 liter Milk
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Canola oil
1 Tbsp Sugar
A pinch salt
1 tsp Baking powder

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with an electric hand mixer or a wire whisk until well combined and lump free.

Heat a medium nonstick pan on high heat. The pan has to be really hot!

Using a ladle, add the Crêpe batter to the hot nonstick pan and even the batter out immediately in circular motion, using the back of the ladle.

Your Crêpe should be very thin.

Cook both sides until golden brown, for about 30 to 60 seconds on each side.

Spread with any kind of fillings.

Poultry

Easy Peasy “Coq au Vin”

Easy Peasy Coq au Vin

For everyone who don’t know my cooking style yet:
I love to keep it quick, easy and simple! I work full time and have three different shifts but still make time to keep the tummies of my family full and satisfied.

I read lots of magazines, blogs and cookbooks. I Often find that there are way too much ingredients which are sometimes even hard to find. Every time I see a “fancy” recipe I’m just thinking to myself: “How should I possibly be able to find the time to make this?” I just take a quick look at it and try to simplify a recipe and experiment with other great herbs or seasonings.

As a breadwinner of a five head family, I must cook on a budget. Just cooking noodles or rice isn’t an option for me. I want my family to taste as much of new recipes as possible, especially my son NJ. Alternating meals are very important to me. I hate preparing the same five meals every time, again and again. 

“Coq au Vin” is something really common here already, served at many restaurants or catering companies. I never thought that something that sounds so fancy can be so easy peasy to make. My version require only a few simple ingredients but the flavor is just sooo GOOD!

We usually eat it with dark rustic bread or sometimes even with rice or potatoes. It works well with lots of different side dishes.

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Coq au Vin

Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:
60 g All-purpose flour
6-8 Chicken legs
100 g Bacon
1 Medium red onion
4 Medium carrots
400 g Mushrooms
4-5 Tbsp Cooking oil
600 ml Chicken broth
300 ml Red wine
2 Tbsp Tomato paste
4-5 Twigs of fresh thyme
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
Season chicken legs with salt and pepper then coat them with flour. Set the remaining flour aside.

Slice the bacon and chop the red onion, carrots and mushrooms.

In a large skillet, heat oil and cook the chicken legs on both sides until brown.

Add the red onion, bacon, carrots and mushrooms to the chicken legs and cook until vegetables are tender.

Add the chicken broth, red wine, tomato paste and thyme and cover the skillet. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken legs from the skillet and transfer to a large dish.

Add the remaining flour to the vegetable sauce and let simmer until the sauce thickens for about 2-3 minutes.

Place chicken legs on a plate and pour some sauce over it. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Casual Cakes

Brazilian Carrot Cake

Brazilian Carrot Cake

I’m such a huge fan of Brazilian cakes! In Brazil, they have lots of cakes which only require a few basic ingredients, using only an electric mixer! The outcome is AMAZING! Such simple cakes but really delicious, flavorful and moist.

I’ve once tasted this delicious carrot cake at a birthday party of my Brazilian friend. It’s usually called “BOLO DE CENOURA”. I fell in love with it right away and decided to try making it at home. She didn’t give me the exact recipe though because she kept on emphasizing how easy this cake is and that I only had to put carrots, sugar, oil and flour into an electric mixer. Her “BOLO DE CENOURA” had a chocolate glaze which was fantastic. I dust my cake with powdered sugar so that it’s kind of “easier” to eat with your hands. My son loves having a slice of cake in his lunch box sometimes, therefore I find it more practical this way. I also love taking something sweet to my work along with a cup of coffee and this definitely comes in handy.

I always have carrots at home. They’re inexpensive, very healthy and a great snack for kiddos. I love including carrots into a lot of my recipes. Every time there’s a few carrots at our place which nobody want to eat anymore, I make this cake.

My NJ is more of a cucumber kind of boy but he really loved this carrot cake. I bet that most of you already have these ingredients at home. Just simply throw everything into your electric mixer and pour the batter into your cake pan…and voilà! You got yourself a scrumptious homemade cake!

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Brazilian Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
300 g Carrots, cut into small chunks
3 Eggs
240 ml Canola oil
200 g Brown sugar
200 g Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Lemon zest

Directions:
Preheat oven to 175°C/345°F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

In an electric mixer, add carrots, eggs, canola oil, brown sugar, sugar and salt. Mix until everything is combined and the carrots should be well mashed.

Add the baking powder and lemon zest.

Pour the batter into your greased bundt pan and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.

Soups

Meliann’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Meliann's Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s that time of the year again…SOUP SEASON! Yey! 🙂

I love the cool autumn/winter days where you just throw on your fluffy bathrobe and your cozy socks, sitting with your family and enjoying a bowl of soup while watching a great TV show.

This is also the flu season again, where a great Chicken Noodle Soup comes in handy. It’s amazing how a bowl of hot soup can easily make you feel calm and relaxed.

My brothers love going out and having a bowl of Ramen soup every once in a while. I must admit, I like Ramen soup but find it really expensive at most of the restaurants. It’s way much cheaper and easier to make a whole pot of soup at home where I’m sure there will be lots of leftovers for the next cool morning.

I use Asian egg noodles for this soup. You could actually use any kind of Asian noodles but this type of egg noodles have the perfect texture and I love that they’re also thin. The Miso paste gives this soup the something “special” taste therefore I wouldn’t leave this out. You can fine both of these ingredients at almost all Asian stores.
These are the noodles I always have in my pantry.

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I guarantee you that this soup will make your family and friends happy and satisfied especially when someone has the flu or simply to warm you on cold days like now.

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Meliann’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:
6 cm Piece of ginger
2 Red chili pepper
2 Carrots
200 g Pak-Choi
2 Pieces Chicken breast, boiled and shredded
600 ml Chicken broth
500 ml Water
250 g Thin Egg noodles
40 g Miso paste
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
4 Hard boiled eggs
Spring onions for garnishing

Directions:
Boil chicken breast until cooked and shred with fork and knife.

Peel the ginger and carrots then cut into stripes (julienne).
Cut the red chili pepper and pak-choi roughly.

In a large pot, bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Add the Miso paste and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add the carrots, ginger, pak-choi, egg noodles and shredded chicken breast into the broth and let cook for 4-5 minutes.

Season with soy sauce and garnish with chopped spring onions, boiled eggs and red chili peppers.

Cookies & Bars

OREO Cheesecake Brownies

OREO Cheesecake Brownies

Who doesn’t love OREO cookies, cheesecake and brownies? Have you ever tried the three of them in one recipe? No? Oh my Goodness! You are missing out on something AMAZING!

My brothers and I grew up with OREO Cookies. We love dunkin’ our OREO cookies in a glass of milk, all the way American style! When we moved to Germany, OREO wasn’t that popular yet. All that has changed now! Luckily, all groceries in Germany sell OREO cookies. It’s become such a great hype here in Germany as well.

You can find almost everything with OREO nowadays: ice creams, donuts, baking mixes, chocolate etc. There’s really a huge selection!

Now my family love everything that contains OREO cookies. My brother Kevin is a cheesecake fan and my brother EJ just loves brownies. Therefore, I’ve decided to whip up these fantastic Oreo Cheesecake Brownies! It has everything that your heart desires! 🙂

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OREO Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients:
200 g Cream cheese
160 g Sugar
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
115 g Butter
50 g Cocoa powder
60 g All-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking powder
15 OREO Cookies

Directions:
Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F. Grease and line your brownie baking pan (I use an 11 x 7-Inch pan).

Crumble the OREO cookies roughly.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, 60 g sugar, 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract together until well combined.

Melt the butter in the microwave.

Add cocoa powder, 100 g sugar to the melted butter and mix.

Now add the 2 eggs and continue mixing until combined.

Add the vanilla extract and the crumbled OREO cookies (leave about 2 Tbsp for the topping)to the batter and slowly mix just until combined.

Using a spoon, add the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan.

Pour the cream cheese batter over the brownie batter and sprinkle the remaining 2 Tbsp of crumbled OREOs on the batter.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.

Drizzle melted chocolate if desired.