Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin seems to be all the rave these days. Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin everythanggg.

I’m fully aware, and I do apologize that this post is coming up after thanksgiving when you were supposed to make something pumpkin, but there’s no saying that you can’t make this for Christmas, or even throughout the year, no?

I would have to be controversial here and say that pumpkin pies are a bit too much for me. The filling is divine but too rich for my liking. I prefer pumpkin concoctions fluffy and aromatic.

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This recipe will sweep you off your feet with simply the scent of it. What’s even better is that this cake is gluten-free, and without the frosting, it’s also dairy-free.

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Recipe (adapted from Food52)

You need:

1 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour (gluten-free)
1 1/2 tsps Baking Power (gluten-free)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda (gluten-free)
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1 Cup + 2 tsp Pumpkin Purée
1 Cup Vegetable/Canola Oil
1 1/3 Cups Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs (Separated, at room temperature)

Frosting:

9 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (Note: 1 Tbsp of butter is approx. 14g)
8oz Cream Cheese
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Pinch of Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F/162C. Grease and line a 9-inch cake tin (or if you only have an 8-inch, prepare also muffin tins to bake the extra batter)
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a bowl
  3. Whisk pumpkin purée, oil, sugar and salt until combined
    (Note: the oil will still be separated regardless of how hard you whisk, but don’t worry, once the dry ingredients go in, the batter will look just fine)
  4. Add and whisk in egg yolks one at a time until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix
  5. Add in dry ingredients and whisk until just fully incorporated
  6. Whisk egg whites until frothy white and form stiff peaks, fold in the egg whites to the batter
    (Note: make sure all utensils used for whisking the egg whites including you bowl is water and oil-free, or else the eggs whites will not froth well. Also, egg whites are very delicate, be gentle when folding)
  7. Pour the batter into your cake tin(s) and bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
    (Note: if you are baking muffins/cupcakes, they only take 20-25 minutes)
  8. Let it cool for 20 minutes until the sides separate from the cake tin and flip it out to completely cool

Frosting and pumpkin seeds

  1. Whisk together 8 Tbsps of butter and cream cheese until fluffy
  2. Add in powdered sugar and cinnamon
  3. Heat sugar in a small pan until caramelized
    (Note: this will take less than a few minutes, so do not let the sugar out of your site, or else you will end up with burnt sugar and not caramel)
  4. Add in the remaining Tbsp of butter to the caramel and mix until smooth
  5. Add in pumpkin seeds and mix to coat the seeds
  6. Place the caramelized seeds onto parchment paper and let it cool
  7. After you have frosted your cake, break up the seeds and sprinkle on top for a finishing touch

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This is a perfect finale to any festive meal, best eaten on the couch with a holiday movie playing. Family and friends will thank you for this cake, and it is such a breeze to make. Give it a go!

Have a great December guys! Talk soon.

Love,
Euzane x

Christmas Coffee Cake

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It is an understatement to say that I love Christmas. It’s more like an obsession. If I could marry Christmas and spend the rest of my life with Christmas, I would.

Christmas songs and decoration have started appearing in the household about a month ago, right after Halloween when I switched out my fall decor #noshame. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s about time to start prepping for Christmas recipes and filling the house with the smell of Christmas.

I’ve already bought myself a mini (real) christmas tree for my room, which is always the first step to making the place feel like Christmas. Next, is of course, Christmas Coffee Cake topped with spiced sugar. I promise you, this is the easiest way to make your house smell like Santa’s house (though I’m not too sure how Santa’s house smells like).

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You need: (recipe adapted from Lady and Pups)

226g Unsalted Butter (note: if you eat dairy-free, you can use 180g of vegetable oil with 45g of water, but of course, the cake will not taste as flavorful and it will be slightly more heavy and greasy)
300g Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp Dark Roast Ground Coffee
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
250g All-purpose Flour (I use Gluten free)
1 tsp Baking Powder (I also use Gluten free)
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp All Spice
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
4 tsp Raw sugar
Sea Salt
Icing Sugar (to dust on top)

It is so freakin easy to make this cake, all you need is a bowl, a scale and a spatula, and of course cake pan and an oven, and just follow down the order of the ingredient list.

  1. Melt butter – the butter should be fully melted, but not hot
  2. Mix in brown sugar, ground coffee and salt
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla
    (Note: once eggs are added into the cake batter, make sure you don’t overbeat the batter)
  4. Sift in flour, baking powder and soda. Fold in gently until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour the cake batter into a 8×8 inch cake tin, if you only have a 6×6, halve the batter and bake in two batches
  6. Mix the spices and raw sugar together to a spiced sugar concoction and sprinkle on top of the cake batter
  7. Bake for 30 minutes
  8. Enjoy the aroma that comes out from the oven and test with a toothpick once time is up, if no batter sticks to it, it’s done!
  9. Cut up the cake into pieces, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm!

Hope you guys liked this easy recipe, and Merry Early Christmas.

More Christmas Recipes to come!

Talk soon

Euzane x

 

Brownies on crack, MOCHI brownies

Have you ever had those days when you eat a piece of cake and you’re like, I wish there were little chewy bits in it. 

That didn’t really make any sense, did it?

ANYWAYS, this is the day your sweet dreams come true because who doesn’t love brownies and who doesn’t love mochi? If you said no to either, TIME OUT, please go stand facing the wall and self reflect.

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Not only does the mochi spice up an ordinary brownie, giving it a chewy texture, but the relatively tasteless glutinous ball actually neutralizes the sweetness of the brownie so that the brown-squared deliciousness isn’t too rich.

Enough rambling, LEGGO (recipe adapted from Lady and Pups)

You need:

Mochi:

  • 100g Glutinous rice flour (Thai brand)
  • 45g Sugar
  • 145g Water
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose flour for dusting

Brownie:

  • 113g Dark chocolate
  • 150g Unsalted butter
  • 100g Sugar
  • 100g Brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 Large eggs (or 3 medium ones)
  • 1 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 107g All-purpose flour

Here’s what you do:

Mochi:

  1. Whisk glutinous rice flour, sugar and water in a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler.
    (Note: make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the boiling water)
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon until the entire mixture is cooked into a sticky and gooey dough, at least 6-7 min. Remove from heat.
  3. Add in the vegetable oil, stir and fold with the wooden spoon until it is completely incorporated into the dough.
  4. Use a metal spoon to scrape down the dough on the sides and keep stirring and folding until the dough cools down and firms up. The more you mix the chewier the mochi will be.
    (Note: this is a great bicep workout)
  5. Set the bowl aside uncovered and let the dough completely cool down.

Brownie:

  1. Preheat the oven on 350F/175C. Grease a 9″ x 9″ square mold with butter and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large heat-proof bowl, melt the dark chocolate and unsalted butter over a double boiler. Remove from heat.
  3. Add sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, eggs (one at a time), vanilla extract and salt.  Whisk until evenly combined.
  4. Add the flour and whisk until just combined.
  5. Pour the brownie batter into the square mold and smooth with a spoon.
  6. Dust the mochi dough slightly with all-purpose flour and distribute little chunks of it evenly on top of the brownie batter.  Use a spoon to press and fold the mochi chunks into the batter until they are completely covered.
  7. Bake for 25~30 min.  A wooden skewer should come out with loose and moist crumbs.  If it comes out clean then the brownie’s over-baked and will be cakey.
  8. Let the brownie completely cool down to room temperature before cutting.

The moment you cut out the brownies, you feel the instant happiness and gratification gushing out. No one is allowed to resist this dessert.

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Hope you enjoyed this simple recipe, and hope your family and friends love you more after eating these. Jks. They love you regardless (or do they?)

Until next time!

Love,
Euzane x

A Red Velvet Bouquet

Red velvet is easily one of the most popular cakes. This southern american dessert has captured the hearts of many girls, and red velvet cupcakes have been the main decor and focus of many parties. The contrast between the vibrant red and the yellowish white frosting also makes the cake exceptionally romantic in its presentation.

I personally like the red velvet in its traditional cake form, which is quite hard to find in Hong Kong. Hence I resorted to Rose Levy Berenbaum’s recipe and adapted it to my own version of this southern beauty – instead of covering the whole cake with cream cheese frosting, I sandwiched the frosting between two leveled layers of the cake and piped roses on top for a finishing touch.

Note: room temperature means 21.1C/70F

You will need:

3 Egg Whites (90g) (at room temp.)
2 Tbsp Red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Cups Sifted Cake flour (If you do not have access to cake flour, mix all purpose flour with corn starch, ratio being 3 parts all purpose flour with 1 part corn starch. Sift well for at least 3 times)
2 tsp Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Superfine sugar
3 tsp Baking powder
1/4 Cup Canola/Safflower oil
57g Unsalted butter (at room temp.)
1/2 Cup Low-fat buttermilk (at room temp.) (If you do not have access to buttermilk, mix a little under half a cup of skimmed milk with 1.5-2 Tbsps of white vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes until it forms a yogurt-like consistency)

For the white chocolate cream cheese frosting:

85g White chocolate (one with cocoa butter content)
113g Cream cheese (at room temp.)
28g Unsalted butter (at room temp.)
1/2 Tbsp Crème fraîche/sour cream

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F 20 minutes before baking
  2. Grease a 8-inch cake tin with soft butter and line with parchment paper
  3. Lightly combine egg whites, red food coloring and vanilla
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Mix with sugar and salt.
  5. Mix oil with butter for about 1 minute. The consistency should not be smooth, you should see butter lumps in the oil. However, make sure the butter is at room temperature when you do this step
  6. Combine flour mix and buttermilk with the oil-butter mixture on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened
  7. Then mix the batter on medium for 1.5 minutes
  8. Add the egg white mixture into the batter in two parts, and beat for 30 seconds each time on medium
  9. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 25-35 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean with inserted into the cake)
  10. When the cake is baked, set it on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes to cool. Invert the cake out, remove the parchment papers, and let the cake cool completelyIf you were to use the cake within 24 hours, wrap it in cling wrap and store in the refrigerator. If you were to use the cake at a later time, wrap it with cling wrap and foil and store in the freezer.

Frosting:

  1. Heat white chocolate on a double boiler (without the bottom of the bowl touching the simmering water) until it almost melts completely. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the chocolate completely melts. Let the chocolate cool slightly/
  2. Mix the softened cream cheese, crème fraîche and butter together
  3. Add in the chocolate and let the frosting cool in the fridge until it thickens to a paste-like consistency

Assembling the cake:

Leveling and layering a cake can look intimidating, but with the right tools and method, it is not as difficult as you think it is. Most ideally, you will need a turn table and a serrated knife.

  1. Let the cake sit in the fridge to harden slightly for easier cutting
  2. Have an 8-inch circle cardboard on hand. Spread a small amount of frosting on the cardboard and place your cake on it to secure
  3. Holding a small fruit knife in one hand horizontally against the side of the cake (where you want the cake to split) and pressing on the top of the cake with another hand, trace a line around the cake for reference while turning the cake. You should have a line that connects back to the starting point
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  4. Switching to a serrated knife, with a sawing motion, start splitting the cake, looking back and forth the front and back of the cake to make sure the serrated knife is on the line you traced earlier
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  5. Cover one layer with frosting and stack the other layer on
  6. Finally, using a piping bag inserted with a 1M tip, pipe roses on top of the cake

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Hopefully this red velvet cake recipe got you excited!

Until next post!

Love,
Euzane x

Skincare 101

(Featured picture is 전지현 Jun Ji-hyun’s ad for Hada Labo)

The art of skincare is a subject on its own.

Skincare is, and should be, a vital part of our everyday lives. Taking care of your skin doesn’t merely involve slathering it with products, but also taking in the right substances to allow your body to repair skin cells from within.

I most definitely am not a dermatologist nor a skincare expert, the following “tips” and “suggestions” are purely from personal experience and research. Please also note that I have dry skin, period. Not combination, not normal, not oily. Dry. Hence, if you have a skin type different to mine, certain products or steps might not be applicable to you. Some products recommended below are also ones that I’ve tried and haven’t worked the best on me, but have worked wonders on a lot of people, thus why I’m recommending to you.

My skincare regimen has changed drastically over the years. I used to be the girl who does not give one bit of sh*t about skincare. As long as I have a cream that will keep me from feeling like my skin is about to crack, I’m good. I have to admit, I am very blessed. I’ve never had major problems with my skin (especially my face), but have suffered from eczema on my body when I was very young.

When I first started putting on makeup, I was fascinated by the power of these babies, how I can hide those dark circles and redness on my face with just a touch of concealer, open up my eyes with eyeliner and mascara, and give my face that blush and glow with blush and bronzer. Skincare didn’t seem to matter that much. However, as I grew older, it struck me that it should be the other way round and if I could choose, I would love to step out of the house makeup-free and still look fabulous. I hate the idea of having to wear tons of makeup to cover my facial blemishes and to give others an illusion of how I actually do not look like. To achieve the goal of wearing minimal makeup, it is exceptionally crucial to put in the effort to maintain my skin.

I’ve had my fair share of experience in the skincare product market. I obviously haven’t tried out every single product/brand available out there, but from drugstore to high-end brands, I’ve given a good amount of products a try. Disappointment is always what I end up feeling with skincare products. Some people are privileged in a sense that their skin reacts well with minimal and reasonably priced or even cheap products, while some people, aka moi, need to explore different brands and a variety of products to see what actually work on my skin.

My hunt will keep on going, but recently, I have begun to discover products (and in essence a skincare brand) that works really well on my skin. I have also realized that my skin is very asian, in a sense that it does significantly work better on skin care products from asian brands, especially Korean. Some of the products mentioned below are slightly pricey, but from my point of view, I’d rather be spending more money on taking care of my skin than to spend money on covering my skin.

Enough rambling, let me run you through my daily skincare regimen.

(If you are interested at an even more in-depth run-through of what you should do to optimize the skincare products you use, Korean actress 고현정 Go Hyun-jung’s book “Go Hyun-jung’s Texture” is the way to go if you know how to read Korean, if not, you can click this link: http://beautyswatch.com/beauty-secrets-from-koreas-skin-goddress-go-hyun-jung/ to read a summary of it, which greatly inspired me)

Disclaimer: All images from internet sources.

1. Pre-cleanse: whether or not you wear makeup, the exposure of your skin to the air, especially if you live in the city, will cause dirt and chemical to pile up. The first important step is to use an oil-based cleanser to melt away any chemical build-up on your face, especially if you wear a substantive amount of makeup. Do not be afraid to use oil-based products, even if you have oily skin. You will be surprised how these products actually provide the right amount of moisture you need, and in fact balance your oil levels without turning you into a grease ball!

Product recommendation:
Eve Lom Cleanser
Tatcha One Step Camelia Cleansing Oil
Netrogena Deep Clean Cleansing Oil

2. Cleanse: use a gentle and non-drying foaming cleanser (which is quite hard to come by) to then give your skin a further deep cleanse. A Clarisonic will make the job done even better! For two to three times a week, use green tea (soak  5-6 tea bags in hot water and let it cool) to rinse off the cleanser and let the tea’s antioxidants rejuvenate your skin (do not rinse again with clear water, simply pat your face dry).

If you have zits or pimples, use salt and lukewarm water to wash your face to sanitize the area and prevent the breakout from getting worse.

Product recommendation:
Amore Pacific Treatment Cleansing Foam

3. Exfoliate: 2-3 times a week, the dead skin cells need to be removed from your face to allow new skin cells to generate and emerge to restore brightness to your skin. Facial skin can be very delicate and it is not advised for one to use abrasive exfoliators, just as how it’s not beneficial to exfoliate your skin everyday, this will damage the skin cells. I use enzyme powder to give my face a gentle exfoliation. However, exfoliators with larger exfoliating particles are beneficial to remove the blackheads and dirt around the nose area!

Product Recommendation:
Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel
Tatcha Enzyme Powders 
(for different skin types)
St. Ives Apricot Scrub

4. Tone: a good, alcohol-free toner shrinks your pores, hydrates your skin, refreshes the skin, restores the skin’s pH balance and acts as a protecting and foundation layer for the subsequent products that you will be applying to your face.

Product recommendation:
Netrogena Alcohol-free Toner
Hada Labo Goku-jyun Clear Lotion
Laneige Power Essential Skin Toner
Amore Pacific Treatment Toner
Amore Pacific Time Response Toner


5. Essence: essence is not serum. It is to, in essence set and lock in the moisture from the toner. It should be a light liquid that kicks off the products that you will be applying to your face according to your skin concerns. I personally don’t find this step to make a huge difference, but due to my easily dried out skin, I make sure that it is as moisturized as possible, hence I do not skip this step.

Product recommendation:
Laneige Balancing Emulsion
Amore Pacific Hydrating Fluid
Amore Pacific Time Response Skin Renewal Fluid

6. Serum: serum is never a one-product step. Think of serum as a boosted moisturizer without the moisturizing effect on the surface. Serums are products that penetrate into your skin to provide it with the concentrated “nutrients”. Hence, it is vital for you to have your own serum regimen. For example, my skin needs hydration, brightening and pore tightening (still looking for a pore shrinking one) – I then look for serums that do these things and apply them accordingly. This is the step that attacks your skin’s main concerns and gives your skin that extra boost.

Product recommendation:
Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum
Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum
Amore Pacific Luminous Effect Brightening Serum
Amore Pacific Future Response Age Defense Serum




7. Moisturize: moisturizer is the final product to seal everything in and ensure that the skin stays hydrated throughout the day/night. I use a different moisturizer for day and night, the latter being thicker to act as a mask overnight so my skin stays moisturized throughout the 7-8 hours of lack of hydration. I’ve tried many, and I mean many, moisturizers out there on the market, and most don’t really do anything to my skin – it goes back to looking dull and dry in minutes. Even Creme de La Mer works just like the Nivea creme, nothing special and not worth the money. However, the products that I’m recommending below have really blown my mind and if you have dry sensitive skin like me, these might work for you!

Product recommendation:
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra (Day)
Eve Lom TLC Cream
(Night)
Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Hydration Intensifying Cream
(Day)
Amore Pacific Future Response Age Defense Cream
(Night)

8. Eye cream: the skin area around your eyes is the most delicate part of your entire body and needs to be handled with care. Never tug or rub it with force, use tapping motions when applying eye cream. I unfortunately am still on the hunt for a good eye cream because I have fairly dry skin and horrible dark circles. A gentle massage around the orbital bone area daily will also help reduce dark circles!

If you have a good eye cream recommendation that hydrates and lightens dark circles, please let me know!

9. Masks: I’d like to think of masks as an a la carte to my skincare regimen. A single sheet of paper mask can do wonders for your skin, and just like serums, tailor your choice of masks to what your skin needs. I try to use a mask 3-4 times a week, sometimes for 6 consecutive days if my skin is feeling extra dull and dry, after toner and fluid. Make sure to use a combination of hydrating and nourishing masks to yield the best results.

Product recommendation:
Innisfree Masks
Mediheal Collagen Impact Essential Mask
Amore Pacific Refreshing Ampoule Masque


10. Sun protection: UV rays from the sun are extremely damaging to the skin. I’ve already been gifted these small but very adorable sun spots on my cheeks from my swimming training days back in high school. Before you apply your makeup and head out for the day, make sure you apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun!
BB/CC creams/cushions these days come with the right level of sun protection which you can consider using in substitute for your regular foundation (although most foundations do come with SPF as well)

Depending on your level of diligence, your skincare regimen can range from 10-17 steps, or if you prefer to keep it simple, just extract the key steps (cleanse, tone, moisturize). Remember, everyone’s skin is different, just as we all live in different places with different climates. There is no universal skincare regimen, there is only the one regimen that you discover to best suit yourself.

Lastly, step 11, or perhaps step 1, is to eat right.

First, need I not say more, drink lots of water. I make sure I drink at least 3 liters of water everyday to keep my skin and body hydrated. Put in lemon slices to add more benefits. Don’t underestimate the magic of H2O, it can do wonders.

Otherwise, here are some foods that help improve the skin:-

  • Pumpkin
  • Kale
  • Papaya
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Blackcurrants
  • Blueberries, strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Chocolate (yes, a moderate amount of chocolate is good for you!)
  • Fish (salmon is a great source of fatty acids and omega-3!)
  • Avocado
  • Hazelnuts, almond, nuts and seeds
  • Flaxseed oil, linseeds, walnut and rapeseed oil
  • Beans
  • Flaxseed
  • Porridge (oats)
  • Shellfish

Antioxidants: helps skin cell development
Collagen: restores skin cells and strengthens capillaries that supply the skin
Vitamins A, C, E and K: some are antioxidants themselves and some produce collagen
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats: provides natural fatty acids to the skin that act as a moisturizer from within, which sometimes also come with vitamin E
Omega-3: essential fatty acids that cannot be made in the body and must be obtained through diet and supplements
Zinc: produces oil through the functioning of the sebaceous glands and helps to repair skin damage
Low-GI carbs: carbohydrates that release sugar into your blood stream at a steady pace, as opposed to high-GI carbs like sugar and biscuits that rush sugar into your bloodstream, invigorating the production of insulin. Excessive insulin will accelerate fat storage, damage collagen and causes wrinkles

You should opt to include these nutrients in your daily diet, not just for your skin but for your overall health. The list above is not exhaustive, and I am by no means a dietician. Please eat according to your preferences and health conditions, and consult a doctor if needed.

I hope this post has helped you gain a brief glimpse of how to take care of your skin. In this bustling city with the constant problem of air pollution, excessive alcohol intake, unhealthy diets and lack of quality sleep, your skin needs the extra care.

The above are simply what I have personally experienced and researched, please kindly do not take my words as professional advice but merely as a reference to adapt to your own research and experiments.

I wish you all great skin and health!

Until next post –

Love,
Euzane x

Frosted Lemon Cake

By now, I think it is no new knowledge that lemons are amazing. Lemons are beneficial to both your health and your skin and there’s no reason to stay away from this sour fruit, if done right.

There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances–notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene–that promote immunity and fight infection.

I make sure that before I rush out of the house every morning (because I refuse to wake up at the dot) and pretty much throughout the day that I drink glasses of warm lemon water. Make sure the water is purified and warm (not hot nor cold) – I prefer to throw in lemon slices, you can easily just squeeze in the lemon juice. Essentially, lemon water:

  1. Aids digestion
  2. Detoxifies the body
  3. Boosts your immune system
  4. Aids reduction in inflammation
  5. Balances pH levels (alkalinizes the body’s acidic levels, yes, despite they are acidic in nature, lemons are alkaline in our bodies)
  6. Clears skin (the vitamin C and the many antioxidants in lemon juice, when applied to the skin, will brighten scars and age spots)
  7. Provides energy and improves your mood
  8. Promotes healing
  9. Freshens breath
  10. Aids weight loss (the pectin fibre in lemon helps fight hunger cravings)

There are so many more benefits to drinking lemon water and incorporate lemon zest in your diet, which I am not able to list and explain here in its entirety. A bit of research and you shall be able to get the jist of it. Make sure you clean the lemon thoroughly before using it (best if it’s organic). I would advise you to avoid keeping lemon slices in water for too long. Replace after half/1 day.

Lemon juice and zest brings me to the main topic of this post – THE CAKE! This is essentially a lemon-flavored and frosted pound cake, extremely easy to make, and is not as rich and filling as a regular buttery pound cake. Fresh and light!

Frosted Lemon Cake (recipe adapted from joyofbaking)

Here’s what you need:

(Everything at room temperature!)
225g Unsalted butter
1 Cup Caster sugar
1 Tsps Pure vanilla extract
4 Large eggs (cracked into bowl, don’t crack them as you go, egg shells might fall into your batter – you don’t want that!)
2 Cups Plain flour
2 Tsps Baking powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
Zest of 2 Lemons
1/3 Cup Lemon juice (pulp and seed strained)

Icing
1.5 Cups Icing sugar
6-7 Tbsps Lemon juice

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 356F/180C
  2. Butter a 9-inch springform pan
  3. Using an electric mixer/stand mixer, beat the butter until it’s soft
  4. Add in sugar, beat until the batter turns light yellow and fluffy
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  5. Add in vanilla extract
  6. One by one, add eggs into the batter. Add another one after beating in the previous
    (Note: the batter will curdle (see picture) by the 3rd/4th egg, do not worry, it will be fine once the dry ingredients are added in)
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  7. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, including the lemon zest
    (Note: make sure you don’t grate in the white part of the zest as that part gives a bitter taste)
    IMG_5202
  8. Altering with the lemon juice, mix in the dry ingredients 3 separate times and the lemon juice 2 separate times. Mix well before adding each batch
  9. Pour the batter into your springform pan and smooth out the surface
  10. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
    (Note: your cake will crack a bit on the top which is perfectly normal)
  11. Let the cake cool for a bit and transfer it to a cooling rack to continue cooling
  12. For the icing, add in lemon juice to the icing sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, until you get a runny but not thin
    IMG_5224
  13. Pour the icing over the cake and let it drip over the sides, and voila!!

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This cake is essentially a pound cake that you usually eat with a lemon twist – fresh, delicious, and fluffy. Oh, and it’s “healthy” (lemon juice and zest)… NOT.

This makes a really good afternoon tea time snack to have in the fridge – hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes!!

And don’t forget to drink warm lemon water every morning!

Love,
Euzane x

Matcha White Chocolate Mousse Cake, with a skincare tip

Hmmm, green tea.

I love green tea. Not just because of its elegant aroma and flavor, but also the many benefits it brings. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that are immensely beneficial to the human body – boosting energy, improving brain function, lowering the risk of cancer, FAT LOSS, improving skin, etc.

And speaking of skin, green tea is also great as a face wash

  1. Soak 5-6 green tea bags in a small tub of hot water, let it sit for around 10 minutes until the green tea has seeped through enough and the water becomes warm.
  2. Wash your face with the green tea and pat your face dry with a face towel.
  3. There is no need to rinse your face with clear water, let the antioxidants in the green tea do their job on your face.
  4. Follow up with your regular skin care routine afterwards.
  5. Do this 2-3 times per week.

Back to food.

When your butt hurts from studying all day, which in essence means you have been sitting there all day staring at a pile of notes with what seems to be gibberish on them, then you know it’s time to just forget about school and make some food.

Here’s what you need: (adapted from an online recipe)

Matcha sponge cake
50g Cake Flour (Note: if you cannot find cake flour, just take out 2 tbsp of all purpose flour and replace with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Sift the mix 4 times)
6g Matcha powder
2 Eggs
40g Sugar
30ml Milk
20g Unsalted butter

White chocolate mousse
150ml Fresh cream
100g White chocolate
2 Egg whites
50ml Milk
6g Gelatin

Matcha mousse
100ml Fresh cream
10-12g Match
2 Egg yolks
30g Sugar
80ml Milk
5g Gelatin

Here’s what you do:

Sponge cake

  1. Preheat oven to 338F/170C
  2. Line a 8-inch cake pan with baking parchment
  3. Sift matcha powder and flour together 2-3 times
  4. Add sugar in 3 batches to eggs while the egg is heated over a double boiler. Whip the eggs on high speed until you see bubbles and the mixture is warm to touch.
    (Note: make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, you don’t want to cook the eggs)
  5. Remove the bowl from heat. Lower the speed and whip the mixture until it thickens and forms ribbons
    IMG_5144
  6. Sift dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Do not overmix
  7. Melt the butter with milk that is heated in a pot. Mix in 1 tbsp of the batter from step 6
  8. Slowly add the butter-milk into the batter and fold until fully incorporated
  9. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 17-20 minutes
  10. Once baked (test with toothpick), drop the cake slightly to prevent it from shrinking and falling
  11. Let the cake cool completely and wrap with cling wrap. Set aside for later use
    IMG_5147

White chocolate mousse

  1. Soak gelatin in water
  2. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks
    IMG_5146
    (kinda looks like nipples here… you get the jist of whipping egg whites)
  3. Whip the fresh cream (all 250ml together) until soft and creamy, don’t over whip until it’s overly stiff. Take out 100g of the whipped cream, chill in fridge for the matcha mousse
  4. Heat milk on low heat until you see bubbles at the edge. Melt the white chocolate with the milk
  5. Add in gelatin to the white chocolate milk. Turn off heat and let it cool slightly
  6. Add the milk to the whipped cream and mix well
  7. Add the whipped egg whites to the milk-cream batter
  8. Place the matcha sponge cake at the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan (best if lined with foil/baking parchment at the bottom for easy transfer of the cake)
  9. Pour the batter over the sponge cake and place it in the fridge to solidify slightly
    IMG_5149

Matcha mousse

  1. Soak gelatin in water
  2. Whip egg yolks and sugar until the batter becomes thick and whitened
  3. Mix the matcha powder with hot water until you get a paste. Heat on low with milk
  4. When the edges start to bubble, add in the gelatin. Turn off heat and let it cool slightly
  5. Add the matcha milk to the egg and sugar batter and mix well
  6. Fold in the chilled cream to the batter
  7. Pour the matcha batter over the white chocolate mousse (Note: don’t let the white chocolate mousse solidify too much or else the two won’t blend well in the middle)
  8. Let the cake chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before you remove it from the cake pan
  9. Sift matcha powder on top of the cake to finish off
    IMG_5158

To be very honest, although this is a 3-layer cake (WOAHHHH!), it’s really not that difficult to make. The techniques and steps required for each layer are quite simple and if you like green tea latte, I think it’s worth the effort to give this cake a try!! It’s not too sweet nor rich, instead gives a very aromatic green tea flavor with a hint of sweetness from the white chocolate.

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Hope you enjoyed this post along with the skincare tips at the beginning!!
I’m currently revamping my skincare routine and it’s so far been doing great on my skin, so look out for my next post to see what I do to improve me dryyyyyyyy skin!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Love,
Euzane x