Saturday, 31 January 2015

January 2015: The One Where It Snowed.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

January 2015. The One Where It Snowed.

January 1: Yep. This is what dinner looks like sometimes. 
Leftover green chicken mince + 1/2 quesadilla + curry noodles.
January 2: Who needs cookbooks when you write a foodblog? Says she with a whole shelf full of them.
January 3: Crayons, lantern-making and adorable kids.
January 4: Sunday coffee with homemade chocolate orange biscuits.
January 5: My mint sauce phase - enjoyed with simply boiled new potatoes with salt and pepper for lunch.
January 6: Morning skies complete with birds.
January 7: Breakfast - tortilla + spinach scrambled egg + hot tomato salsa.
January 8: Moments of clarity.
January 9: Blitzing clementines to a pulp.
January 10: My cousin is a pro at cups of English breakfast tea on a Saturday evening.
January 11: Buttery shortbread for Sunday tea.
January 12: Baking mini Bakewell Tarts.
January 13: Sunny start to the day. Always a good sign.
January 14: Let it snow!
January 15: What Thursday mornings look like sometimes. Sometimes.
January 16: Good food + good company.
January 17: Speckled chocolate orange goodness.
January 18: Mini chocolate! Always better.
January 19: Sour cream and onion. The best.
January 20: Runaway fox.
January 21: Winter wonderland.
January 22: New favourite.
January 23: Cooking with colour.
January 24: Anything with peanuts and chocolate is fine by me.
January 25: Syrupy Sunday waffles.
January 26: Coconut macaroon thief.
January 27: The most delicious dishes create the most mess.
January 28: Lunch prep - avocado + lime juice + olive oil.
January 29: Prints in the snow.
January 30: Sunbathing birds.
January 31: Fresh flowers for the weekend and the beginning of a new month.

January 2015:
My favourite blog recipe: Cappuccino Pavlova
Your favourite blog recipe: Chilli Garlic Chicken Skewers + Olive Oil Yoghurt Dip
My favourite week in pictures: January snow + Boston cream doughnuts + vanilla bean glaze.
Your favourite week in pictures: Crayons + plenty of veg + brownies before breakfast.

My favourite Instagram post.
Your favourite Instagram post.
Craziest disaster: Trying to take a photo whilst adding a giant basket of greens to a pan of boiling water. Oh, and trying not to burn my white sauce at the same time.
Lessons learnt: I am constantly learning new things everyday. I mean, who isn't? But I was reminded by the above quote (which has always been one of my favourites) that this moment, whether good or bad, will soon pass. 
If it is good and I am happy, I thank Allah for it. And, if it is bad and I am sad, I try to be patient and ask Allah to help me through. 
Baking Challenge: This month, I challenged myself to bake a Dundee Cake. I'll be sharing the results soon, Insha Allah.
Healthy Recipe Challenge: This month, I challenged myself to make my version of Avocado on Toast. And, let's not talk about why this photo is blue. It's called life, and it happens. Sometimes.

I hope that this month of January was filled with blessings and good moments for you. And even if there were a few bad days (which I'm sure there were), I hope that you got through them and became a stronger person. May Allah help us all in whatever we are finding difficult and may He accept all of our efforts. Ameen.

Have a good February, and keep me in your duas, please,


Eggless Chocolate Cake + Hot Fudge Sauce

Assalamau alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This hot fudge sauce may become your next addiction. 

Seriously, stock up on the evaporated milk. You're going to want to make more than one batch of this. 
To pour over waffles, ice cream and pancakes. Or even just spread cold over quinoa rice cakes. Trust me, you will go there. It is that good - sweet but with a deep, buttery chocolate flavour.
And, what was the vehicle for such decadence in our case? An eggless (and vegan) chocolate cake, of course. I've attempted plenty of gluten-free baking before but never anything without eggs (well, not on purpose anyway). How could I? I love eggs. But, this chocolate cake was good. Slightly dryer than usual but I suppose that's to be expected with the absence of the eggs.

And, it's why I'm giving you permission to drown your slice in the hot fudge sauce. You're being healthy, what with your vegan cake and all.
P.s. Whilst I was writing some of this post, I was listening to the above video. I hope it benefits you as it benefited me. 

Eggless Desserts + Baking, previously: Breakfast Apple CrumbleJammy Oat BarsChocolate Sandwich Cookies  

A Simple List of Ingredients:
For the Cake:
1. Plain Flour
2. Soft Light Brown Sugar
3. Cocoa Powder
4. Baking Powder
5. Salt
6. Vanilla Flavouring
7. White Wine Vinegar
8. Vegetable Oil
9. Cold Water
For the Hot Fudge Sauce:
1. Caster Sugar
2. Soft Light Brown Sugar
3. Cocoa Powder
4. Plain Flour
5. Water
6. Butter
7. Vanilla Flavouring
8. Evaporated Milk

Bismillah and may Allah make it easy for us, let's begin!

First, to bake the cake. Pre-heat the oven to 190C or Gas Mark 5.
Grease and line a square cake tin measuring 20cm x 2cm (8 inch x 8 inch).

Take a mixing bowl.

Put in 375 grams Plain Flour.

Next, a little sweetness with brown sugar.

Add in 250 grams Soft Light Brown Sugar. If your sugar is really lumpy, pass it through a sieve.

Then, a little chocolate goodness.

Throw in 65 grams Cocoa Powder. Again if it's lumpy, grab that sieve!

To make our cake rise, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder.

To make the chocolate flavour stand out even more, 1/2 teaspoon Salt.

Whisk everything together.

Next, it's time to add the wet ingredients - the vanilla, vegetable oil, white wine vinegar and cold water.

Make three wells in the dry ingredients. Basically three rough holes.

First, the vanilla. This is the vanilla I use in place of the usual extract because I can't get hold of an alcohol free one. You can buy it here.

Add 1 tablespoon Vanilla ...

.. to the first well.

Next, white wine vinegar. (yes, it's halal).

Measure out 1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar.

And pour it into the second well.

For the third wet ingredient, vegetable oil.

Pour 85ml Vegetable Oil into the third well.

And, your bowl should look a little something like this.

Finally, the last ingredient, 250ml Cold Water. Nothing fancy, just straight up from the tap.

Pour it in.

And, we're ready to mix.

You can mix it by hand but I used an electric mixer because I had a million other things going on that day.

Mix until a smooth batter is formed.

Then, pour said batter into your prepared cake tin.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is cracked and a knife poked through the centre comes out clean.

Note: The original recipe said that if you take this cake out 10 minutes earlier then it will be like a brownie cake. I didn't try it but I'm sure you can experiment you your hearts content.

Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes whilst you make the hot fudge sauce.

Gather together your ingredients for the hot fudge sauce.

And, a large, deep saucepan to put them all in. It couldn't be more simpler than throwing all the ingredients into a pan and boiling together. This recipe does make quite a big batch of fudge sauce so feel free to halve if you wish.

First up, caster sugar.

Pour in 340 grams Caster Sugar.

Next, more sugar. But this time, for a fudgy flavour, brown sugar.

Add 85 grams Soft Light Brown Sugar.

Time for the chocolate. And, instead of using a chocolate bar, we are using cocoa powder to give the sauce a really deep chocolate flavour.

So, in goes 100 grams Cocoa Powder. After having tested this recipe again, I would highly recommend that you sift the cocoa powder.

And, the final dry ingredient, 30 grams Plain Flour. This will help to thicken our fudge sauce.

Give everything a stir and it's time for the wet ingredients.

First up, 250ml Water.

Pour it in.

Next, to give shine to our sauce, 2 tablespoons Butter.

And, for a little extra flavour, 2 teaspoons Vanilla Flavouring.

Finally, evaporated milk.

Evaporated milk is different to condensed milk which contains added sugar.

Pour in 1 can (400 grams) Evaporated Milk.

And, that's it. Time to cook!

Place the pan onto the cooker and slowly bring to the boil.

Give it a good stir at the same time.

Once boiling, let the sauce cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

And, it's done! Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Which gives us plenty of time to get our cake out of the tin and sliced.

When the sauce has cooled slightly, pour it into a serving jug.

And, get pouring!

Then decide that you need more. Because you know. Homemade hot fudge sauce.

I hope you enjoy the cake and hot fudge sauce as much as we did. And, I apologize in advance if you become a hot fudge sauce addict.

Full Written Recipe:

Eggless Chocolate Cake + Hot Fudge Sauce

Adapted from Kerryann Dunlop and BBC Food

Prep Time: About 20 minutes
Bake Time: About 35 minutes
Serves: About 8 people


For the Eggless Chocolate Cake
375 grams Plain Flour
250 grams Soft Light Brown Sugar
65 grams Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Vanilla Flavouring
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
85 ml Vegetable Oil
250 ml Cold Water

For the Hot Fudge Sauce
340 grams Caster Sugar
85 grams Soft Light Brown Sugar
100 grams Cocoa Powder, sifted
30 grams Plain Flour
250 ml Water
2 tablespoons Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla Flavouring
1 can (400 grams) Evaporated Milk


To make the cake, preheat the oven to 190C or Gas Mark 5.

Grease and line a square cake tin measuring 20cm x 20cm (8 inch x 8 inch).

Into a mixing bowl, place the plain flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.

Make 3 wells in the dry mixture.
Into one, pour the vanilla flavouring. Into the second, the white wine vinegar. And, into the third, the vegetable oil.

Finally, pour in the cold water.

Give everything a mix with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until a batter is formed.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. (Note: The original recipe said that if you take it out 10 minutes earlier, it will be like a brownie).

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing. I let mine cool completely but you can dig in right away.

To make the hot fudge sauce, simply place all the ingredients into a large, deep saucepan. Give them a stir.

Then, slowly bring them to the boil at the cooker. Once boiling, let the sauce cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat.

Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Enjoy with the chocolate cake or with anything else you fancy!

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas, please,


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