• Jan
  • 06
  • 2015

chocolate mud cake

Ever since my sister introduced me to this mud cake, o-em-gee!! Like seriously out of this world good. Just look at the ingredients, no wonder it tastes amazing… loaded with real chocolate, sugar and butter! When she first made it for me, I ate without any guilt. Now that I made it and know whats inside, I could only have a bite…hehe But on a serious note, if you want to indulge and make it for an occassion, THIS is the chocolate mud cake to make. TRUST ME on this!

And this cake was what I made for a friends farewell party.

^Please excuse the bad photo quality. I was cutting it during the event and kids were all next to me hassling for a piece lol. This was the best pic I could take. Photo does not reflect how moist the cake actually is.

 

RECIPE FOR CHOCOLATE MUD CAKE
Adapted from thrumykitchenwindow

Ingredients for cake

250gm butter
250gm dark cooking chocolate
2tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
150gm self-raising flour
150gm plain flour
60gm cocoa powder
1/2tsp bicarb soda
550gm caster sugar
4 eggs
2tbsp vegetable oil or light olive oil
125ml milk

Ingredients for chocolate ganache
150gm dark cooking chocolate
60gm melted unsalted butter

 

Method:

1. Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin. Line the base and sides with baking paper, making sure the paper extends well above the top of the tin.

2. Dissolve the coffee in 185mls hot water. Put the melted butter, sugar, melted chocolate and dissolved coffee in a mixing bowl and stir until corporated.

3. Dry ingredients: Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarb of soda into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.

4. Add the combined eggs, oil and milk; using a large spoon or spatula mix well into the dry ingredients. Add  half the cooled melted chocolate mixture (from step 2); stir well till there are no lumps.  Add the remaining half; make sure the mixture is well combined.  It should be of a pourable consistency.

5. Pour the mixture into the carefully lined cake tin. Place into a preheated oven set at 130 – 150degrees celcius. No higher.  It should be baked long, slow and low heat. Bake for approx 1 3/4 hours. It is not unusual for the top of the cake to develop a crust or for the centre to be slightly sunken. Place the cake on a rack; leave in tin until completely cold. Once cold; cover securely with a tea towel.  Leave overnight.

6. Turn cake out, remove all of the lining. Examine the cake. You want a level cake when it comes to decorating; therefore if it is not even it may be necessary to slice off some of the crusty bits until it is level with the centre of the cake. Sometimes the cake may have a slight rise. In this instance simply cut off the risen bit in the centre. Sometimes you won’t have to do a thing.

7. Once you have achieved a flat, top surface, turn the cake upside down. It is wise to do this on the serving plate with some cutouts of baking paper around the edges and under the cake. This alleviates any messiness and once the icing becomes firm, the baking paper can be removed leaving your cake looking immaculately decorated.

8. In a small glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Do not overheat. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Once again, do not overheat or ‘sizzle’ the butter; just till almost melted. Pour this into the melted chocolate and slowly incorporate the two together. Stir until well combined and you have achieved a nice glossy, pouring chocolate.

9. Pour ganache onto the centre of the cake. Using a spatula or a knife, spread the ganache all over the cake. If the weather is hot or humid you can take a little more time to get it right. If the weather is cold you may have to work more quickly as the chocolate ganache may begin to harden.

10. Allow the topping to set at room temperature. If at any time you place it in the fridge you will lose the glossy shine. It won’t affect the taste, it just won’t look as silky smooth.


  • Dec
  • 25
  • 2014

Guilt free chocolate cake

Are you on a healthier sustainable diet? Or trying to lose weight? And you love chocolate cakes? Well, this guilt-free chocolate cake will definitely win you over. There is not butter, and it is substituted with avacado making it very moist. Surprisingly, you cant even taste it! Healthy eating does not mean you deprive yourself from yummy treats, you just substitute to a healthier alternative. I have been following Lose Baby Weight for a while and they have fabulous recipes, so do check them out!

 

RECIPE FOR GUILT FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE
Adapted from Lose Baby Weight

Ingredients

180g unsweetened dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (I use 85% Lindt)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1?2 cup coconut sugar (or other natural sweetener, such as Natvia)
1 ripe, medium-sized avocado, pureed
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp wholemeal flour
Cocoa powder, to dust

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a springform tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Wrap the outside of the tin in aluminium foil (so water doesn’t get in when cooking).

2. Place chocolate in a small saucepan and melt, stirring, over a low heat.

3. Add vanilla and sugar and stir until well combined. Add avocado puree  and mix thoroughly. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs for 1 minute or  until frothy. Add flour and beat again. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well. Pour into the springform pan.

4. Pour 1 inch (2.5cm) of water into a large roasting dish and place the springform pan in the water. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the cake has just set on the edge but remains soft in the centre.

5. Remove the foil coating and put the pan onto a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Turn the cake out onto the wire rack and peel the baking paper off the base, which is now the top of the cake.

6. Once completely cooled, decorate with cocoa powder or powdered natural sweetener to serve.


  • Oct
  • 30
  • 2014

Healthy chocolate coated coconut balls

 

RECIPE FOR HEALTHY CHOCOLATE COCONUT BALLS

Makes: 15 balls
Prep time: 20mins

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal
1 cup cocoa/cacao powder
3 tbsp stevia or you can use honey/maple syrup
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (put in small bowl and leave aside)

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl except the last one- desiccated coconut.  Combine all the ingredients well and shape into a small ball using the palm of your hands.

2. Roll each ball into desiccated coconut and you’re done! Too easy!

 

 


  • Jun
  • 07
  • 2014

satay sauce | peanut sauce

My sister has been asking for satay the past few weeks, and it just never happened. So this week, she firmly said “I’m making satay!” and I told her I’d make the peanut sauce to complement her satay. I’ve never made peanut sauce (kuah kacang) ever, but I was excited to give it a go. Although I’m not a huge satay fan, I do love my satay sauce and we usually eat it with nasi impit (rice cubes). You know how westerners love their dipping sauce? Well, I smother my rice cubes in this peanut dipping sauce. So, I was up at 1am (dont ask why!) cooking this. And I’m glad it turned out delicious!

*excuse the dark poor quality pic, it was taken at night*

I went on google and typed ‘kuah kacang’ and clicked the first link I saw. I’m glad it had really good photos (because we eat with our eyes right?) so I used this recipe.

 

RECIPE FOR SATAY SAUCE/PEANUT SAUCE/KUAH KACANG

Adapted from this recipe with slight adjustments
Makes: a big work!
Prep & cook time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

600 gm peanuts
3 onion, finely diced
½ cup dried chillies -soak in hot water for 30mins & blend
1 cup palm sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2-3 cup water
Salt to taste

Method

1. In a large wok, dry fry the peanuts, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn easily. This would take about 10 minutes.

2. Remove from wok and soak with cold water. Using a food processor, process the peanuts. The consistency you’re looking for is not smooth like a paste, but more texturally lumpy. Just make sure all the peanuts have been processed thoroughly & there are not huge bits.

3. Heat up wok again with oil and then fry the onions until aromatic. Add in the blended dried chillies and cook until the oil separates. This should take 15-20mins.

4. Add the processed nuts and 2-3 cups water. Bring to a boil then add in palm sugar, brown sugar and salt. Simmer on low for another hour.

5. Once the hour has reached, you’ll notice the sauce thickening up and has darkened in colour. The oil should also separate and you’ll know its ready. Serve with satay and/or rice cubes (nasi impit)

 


  • May
  • 05
  • 2014

shepherd’s pie | cottage pie

When you’re a busy mumma to 3 small kids, sometimes you just need a quick meal, but tasty of course. A lot of shepherds pie that I’ve had in the past, seem to have too much meat and very little mash. In my family, shepherds pie is made with a ratio of 1:1. Equal amount of meat to potato, can never have too much mash?!

 

RECIPE FOR SHEPHERD’S PIE/COTTAGE PIE
Serves: 4 in a 13x22cm (5×9″) oven dish
Prep time: 30minutes
Cook time: 20minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
1 carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup peas
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp stock paste (If using liquid stock,add some flour to thicken it)
A couple of pinches of mixed herb
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
500g potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/4 cup milk
50g butter
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Then saute  onions & garlic.

3. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until tender (10-15 minutes).

4. Add beef mince, a couple of pinches of mixed herbs and cook until mince is brown all over before adding the vegetables.

5. Once vegetables are added, put some stock, worcestershire sauce & tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes making sure to stir every few minutes.

6. Back to potatoes: Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add milk & butter then mash until smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

7. In an oven dish, layer the pie filing and then mashed potatoes, and top it off with some mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot with some garlic bread!


  • May
  • 05
  • 2014

pumpkin soup

 

Its been very cold lately in Melbourne and its not even winter yet! Particularly in the past week, it has been raining everyday so my husband has been asking for winter comfort food-pumpkin soup! He absolutely loves pumpkin and especially that we’ve grown our own pumpkin this season, he was very excited almost like a little kid receiving a present, lol!

This is a very simple and easy recipe, but according to my husband, superbly tasty!

 

RECIPE FOR PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
400g pumpkin, peeled roughly cut into cubes
1/2 tsp cummin
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 cups stock (or I use a homemade chicken stock paste and use 2tsp)
2 cups water (add more water if you’re using a stock paste)
salt and pepper to taste

Method

1.Heat butter and saute garlic.
2. Add the pumpkin pieces, cummin, stock and water.
3. Cover with a lid and bring it to a boil. Then let simmer for 20minutes.
4. Using a handheld stick blender, blend all the ingredients thoroughly in the pot. If you’re using a blender, wait a couple of hours until all the ingredients have cooled down before putting it in your blender.
5. Once blended, add salt, pepper and thickened cream and let simmer again for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with some bread on the side!


  • Apr
  • 30
  • 2014

cekodok pisang | banana balls

cekodok pisang | banana balls

IMG_20140430_103241

 

My morning tea today with my lovely girls, while watching them colour in and do some paper activities. They even helped me with making the banana balls, though flour fight everywhere… but thats alright, as long as they are having fun!

 

 RECIPE FOR CEDOKOK PISANG/BANANA BALLS

Ingredients

400 grams very ripe bananas
400grams plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups oil

 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a wok.
2. Mashed the bananas thoroughly and then add the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.Combine until evenly mix.
3. Once the oil is heated, drop in about a teaspoon of the mixture to form a ball shape (or somewhat similar)
4. Deep fry both sides until golden brown and remove and let cool.


  • Apr
  • 27
  • 2014

raspberry, almond and white chocolate tea cake

In our family, we love berries. My girls can eat a whole punnet of berries in 1 sitting.

A few weeks ago we made a blueberry lemon butter cake, so this weekend, my eldest and I made this lovely rustic raspberry, almond and white chocolate tea cake.

All the ingredients needed to make this cake.

RECIPE FOR RASPBERRY, ALMOND AND WHITE CHOCOLATE TEA CAKE
Adapted from this recipe
Slices: 12 (20cm springfoam pan)
Bake time: 50 mins

Ingredients
150g (5.3oz) softened, unsalted butter
2/3 cup (150g/5.3oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
50ml milk
1 cup (150g/5.3oz) self-raising flour, sifted
150g  (5.3oz) almond meal, sifted
3/4cup (135g/4.75oz) white chocolate chips
150g fresh or frozen raspberries
2/3 cup (50g/1.8oz) flaked almonds
icing sugar, to dust

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F). Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm springfoam pan.
2. Beat the butter and caster sugar until thick and pale.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the milk, then beat to combine.
5. Fold in the flour and almond meal, then fold in the chocolate chips and raspberries.
6. Spoon into the pan, and smooth flat.
7. Bake for 50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
8. Cool cake in pan for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
9. Sprinkle generously with a layer of flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar.


  • Apr
  • 22
  • 2014

{giveaway} submit your creative work!

 

I absolutely love creative work! Drawings, paintings, model making, soap making, digital illustrations, photography, patchwork etc- pretty much anything pretty gets me excited. I also love seeing creative designs out there and encourage everyone to get crafty and imaginative.

So… I thought hey won’t it be cool to showcase your work with in my studio! If you’ve got talent, and would like to share your creative work, please email or message me your photos and you’ll be entered into our competition for a chance to win 2 wall decals courtesy of Simply Impressions! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any background in design! You can be a mum, a student, a lawyer…everyone’s invited to participate. Lets make this fun! So what are you waiting for? Look through your art piles or creative something new; you have until Sunday 27th April to send in your work to me. All the best and I’m super duper excited to see your creations xx

PRIZE INFO

Winner will receive 2 wall decals, chosen by Simply Impressions worth up to $30. This prize is not redeemable for cash. This competition is sponsored by www.Simplyimpressions.com and is not affiliated with Facebook.

 

SUBMISSION

Terms and conditions:

Submissions are open from 22nd April to 27th April 2014. You MUST own copyright to the work, meaning, the work was made by YOU and not someone else.

All submission photos must be emailed to iva [at] inmystudio.com.au OR send via Facebook message.Do not upload it on Facebook and tag us. Strictly via email or message.

Entries are open worldwide. More than 1 entry per person is welcomed.

 

VOTING

Terms and conditions

Voting will commence on 28th April to 2nd May 2014.

All photos will be published on In my studio’s Facebook page  and the public may vote.

The photo with the most amount of ‘likes’ will win the prize.

Only 1 Winner will be chosen & will be announced on Saturday 3rd May AEST.


  • Apr
  • 17
  • 2014

creamy garlic butter prawns


When you have 3 small kids, making dinner can be quite tough when you have 1 clingy baby, 1 throwing tantrum toddler and 1 demanding little girl. Some days, I just want to get dinner over and done with, so this is a perfect meal to make in just under 15 minutes.  Although it looks simple, its packed full of flavour! If I find I have a bit extra time, I’ll make some steam veges on the side, or whip up a quick soup to go with it.

 

RECIPE FOR CREAMY GARLIC BUTTER PRAWNS

Servings: 2
Cook time: 10-15mins

Ingredients
2-3  clove garlic, crushed
1 – 2 tbsp butter
20 prawns, deveined (about 200g)
1 cup thickened cream (or less)
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp stock paste (if you’re using a liquid stock, you might need more cornflour to thicken it up)
Salt & pepper to taste

Method
1. Saute butter and garlic for a few minutes then add the cream and stock, cover and bring to a boil.
2. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp cornflour with 1 tbsp water then gradually add it to the cream mixture.
3. Add prawns in a single layer and cook for a minute on each side. Stir until sauce thickens.
3. Finally, serve hot with some white rice*

*Making rice will also take approx 15 minutes, so make the rice first before making your creamy garlic butter prawns. Your rice will be ready just in time when you finish cooking the prawns :)

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