As you all well know, bananas are kind of my thing. I buy them in bulk and eat them when they’re perfectly ripe, then freeze the spotty, brown ones for later.
After throwing an entire, unpeeled banana into the freezer, I learned a very important rule in banana freezing: never throw an unpeeled banana into the fridge. The skin turns black, and when frozen, is logically horrendous to peel. I had to shave the skin off. Shave! Learning from my stupid, but delicious mistake, I now peel and slice the bananas into 16 pieces (so that I can easily measure bananas by counting) on a plate. Then I just slip all the bananas into an oversized Ziploc bag (less banana-sessed people can use a smaller one) and freeze!
Unlike smoothies with only bananas, milk and yoghurt, but I’ve found that adding a couple more ingredients adds not only a greater depth in flavour, but also tons of health benefits.
I’m the kind of girl who loves a thick, almost frozen smoothie. Unfortunately, most commercial smoothies attain this texture by adding scoop-upon-scoop of ice cream. Instead, I’ve found that oatmeal is a reasonable substitute. It makes the smoothie thick, prevents the smoothie from being overly sweet, and adds a lovely natural base that complements the banana taste. Health wise, oatmeal is uber rich in fibre, keeping you full for longer, and cleaning our your digestive tract (hint: and saving you calories).
However, you would be right to think that plain, dry oatmeal would negatively affect the texture of your smoothie. Instead of using the cardboardy stuff, I soak equal amounts of quick cook oatmeal and water, letting it absorb for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. This oatmeal is then pulverised with some skim milk, so that you don’t get any gritty textures.
Cinnamon is probably my favourite spice to use on sweets. Akin to blueberries, it’s high in antioxidants and aids digestion. Something cool? It also fights type 2 diabetes!
In short, this is probably one of the easiest and yummiest recipes I can ever give you. Just make sure that you have a strong, willing blender; for mine is minuscule and poots acrid smells of burning acrylic when I try to blend ice.
Oh, and of course. What kind of person would I be if I forgot to tell you the following: to make a healthy chocolate banana smoothie, add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder.
All in all, this delightfully slurpable smoothie clocks in at just under 200 calories, while delivering a large dosage of your daily fibre and very little cholesterol. But a smoothie is nowhere near as good without someone to share it with!
Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
Makes 600ml, or two servings
- 1 large banana, frozen
- 1/2 cup oatmeal, soaked
- 150ml skim milk
- 100g plain or vanilla yoghurt
- A dash of cinnamon
For strong blenders:
- Pulverise oatmeal and half of the skim milk, until oatmeal is shredded into tiny pieces. If adding cocoa powder, add here.
- Add everything else, and blend until smooth.
For weak blenders:
- Pulverise oatmeal and half of the skim milk, until oatmeal is shredded into tiny pieces. If adding cocoa powder, add here.
- Add frozen banana and remaining skim milk. Blend until smooth.
- Add dash of cinnamon and yoghurt. Blend until smooth.
The reason I baked a packet mix the other day, or joining “the dark side” as Alan affectionately called it, is because it was part of a bigger picture. Juggling the ridiculous mountain of Biology past papers and baking, it seemed like a good way to use up some brownies and time. So what is a brownie mosaic cheesecake?
A brownie mosaic cheesecake is…a toasty caramelly-digestive biscuit base, topped with a fluffy vanilla cheesecake with – hold your horses! – an abundance of fudgy, brownie chunks floating in it. The result? One pretty damn orgasmic cheesecake.
It’s time to get down to some serious business. Put on your apron, tie back your hair and roll up those sleeves. We are going to…take out your cream cheese and yoghurt from the fridge. You want to let them warm to room temperature before we do anything because cream cheese hardens really easily.
Now we begin. You want to get some digestive biscuit first. I’m sure an oreo or chocolate biscuit base would be equally blissful, but nothing carries a toffee-like flavour like digestive biscuits do. So there. I used about 175g of digestive biscuits for this crust. If you’re one of those people who absolutely love crust, like me, you can double the crust for a doubly delicious cheesecake. Damn. I should have done that.
Anyway, select your weapon of choice. I decided that the meat tenderising hammer was a good way to smash some biscuits to oblivion.
But then I felt that my gigantic mixing bowl’s life was in danger, so I settled on a much less threatening wooden rolling pin.
Of course, you could just chuck all of it into the food processor but I really cannot be bothered to wash that thing, so instead, I spent a good 10 minutes smashing biscuits into crumbs. Did that not make sense? Get used to it.
Once your biscuits are sufficiently crushed (chunks are cute too!), chuck in 3 tablespoons of fine brown sugar. Then melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of black treacle in the microwave. Do this in little increments of 5-10 seconds because if the treacle boils…well, good luck. Vaguely whisk this mixture together, even though it really doesn’t want to and pour it into your biscuit crumbs (Hulk! Smash!). Mash the mixture together with a pinch of salt until it’s nicely blended and there are no pebbles of brown sugar.
Tip this into your prepared pan. I used a 9 1/2 inch springform pan, but a 9 inch springform would also work. It might be a good idea to grease the sides of the pan. I didn’t, and it came out absolutely fine – just not as pretty as it could have been. Press the crumbs into the base of the pan until there are no gaps and it’s nicely compressed. Loose bases are not cool. Like how if I decided to chainsaw through the foundations of your house, causing a collapse, it would
also not be cool. (:
Chuck this into an oven preheated to 175 C for about 10-12 minutes, until it smells DELICIOUS! Take it out and let it cool completely before filling.
…Meanwhile, we’re going to make the cheesecake filling! To make this recipe all that much easier, I chose a really really easy cheesecake recipe. All you do is cream your…cream cheese until it’s nice and fluffy. Then add your sugar and salt and cream that in too.
Basically, cream your mixture after every addition of the following.
Eggs. Vanilla. Yoghurt.
I recommend using full-fat sugar-free yoghurt, by the way. The imported kind. Carrefoure carries it in several brands and they’re all okay for this recipe. The reason I use imported yoghurt is because the texture is more pudding-like, unlike the liquid, sugary Chinese yoghurt.
Can you believe it? You’re almost done already! Chop your brownies roughly to about 1cm cubes and scatter them evenly on your pre-baked crust. Then pour your cheesecake mixture over the top and wiggle the pan about to get the batter around all of the brownie chunks and up to the sides. Bake this for 25-30 minutes in an oven preheated to 175 C, then very quickly rotate the pan 180 degrees and turn off the oven. Without opening the oven door, let the cheesecake sit for about 40 minutes. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and leave it outside for a while. Cheesecakes crack because of sudden temperature changes, but while it’s outside, it’s at risk. While the cheesecake is baking, you should take advantage of the time and prepare a fort and armed guards to protect your cheesecake. When your cheesecake is cool to the touch, you can move it to the fridge.
And that’s it! Now, you can all be jealous of my delicious cheesecake.
See you next time! (;
And that’s the end of my Biology mountain, too!
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake
Use your favourite brownie mix, or wait for my upcoming low-fat brownie recipe!
Digestive Biscuit Cheesecake Base
- 175g digestive biscuits
- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 175 C.
- Using preferred weapon, crush biscuits into crumbs in a medium bowl.
- Add the brown sugar and salt to the crumbs and stir to combine.
- Melt butter and black treacle together in the microwave, whisk gently, then pour into crumbs.
- Stir until well combined, then press firmly into the bottom of a 9 or 9 1/2 inch springform pan.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before using.
Vanilla Yoghurt Cheesecake
Adapted from Baking Bites
- 150g unsalted cream cheese, room temperature
- 350g plain yoghurt, room temperature
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese using a stand mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Approx 1 min.
- Add sugar and salt beating until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla and yoghurt, beating well after each addition.
- Blend mixture until extremely smooth, then pour into a 9 or 9 1/2 inch springform with pre-baked base.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, then very quickly, rotate the pan 180 degrees. Turn off the oven, and without opening the oven door, let cheesecake sit for about 40 minutes.
- Let cheesecake cool for at least 2 hours before moving to the fridge.
|Keep rolling your biscuits (they see me rollin’, they hatin’!) until you have a neat layer on the bottom of your pan. Once again, excuse the ugliness of the plastic wrap. I am lazy.So that’s the first layer done. Time to move on to the zabaglione!|
|With your whisk lurking menacingly above your yolky mixture, spoon in the mascarpone cheese. It’s all good, believe me. Scrape that container down!!! You don’t want to waste any of that heaven-in-a-carton.|
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
- 175 ml freshly brewed espresso
- 200 ml Kahlua
- 1 x 200g packet of savoiardi/ladyfinger biscuits
- 2 eggs
- 25 g caster sugar
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- Cocoa powder OR chocolate chips and whipping cream
- Mix together 175 ml espresso and 125 ml Kahlua.
- With quick movements, roll and soak ladyfingers in spiked coffee mixture and arrange into a layer on the bottom of a loaf pan.
- Separate the eggs, discarding one egg white. Whisk together two egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow.
- Stir in remaining Kahlua (or rum/brandy). Add 250g mascarpone cheese and whisk until mousselike in texture.
- In a clean, separate bowl, whisk single egg white until thick and frothy. Fold egg white into mascarpone mixture using a metal spoon with a figure-eight movement.
- Layer 1/3 of zabaglione onto the layer of soaked ladyfingers. Keep alternating layers between biscuit and zabaglione until 3 layers has been completed.
- Sift cocoa powder onto topmost layer OR create a thin chocolate ganache and pour onto the top.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Do not leave for more than 2 days as the tiramisu will turn soggy!
Serves: 1, haha! I’m kidding. Serves 6-8.
Welcome, first-time blog readers of Ruffle-icious.
It’s been a long time since I last blogged, which is good, I suppose seeing as I was a truly godawful blogger back in 2008/9. It almost makes me glad that the great firewall of China blocked my last blog. Almost.
But that’s behind us now, so I say it’s time to kick this new blog off to a great new start! You see, my darlings: today I am bringing you…
Chocolate Cream Cups!
Obviously, I didn’t make them into cups seeing as we didn’t have any spares in the service apartment we stayed in in Singapore. We didn’t have an oven either. Or a food processor. Or an automatic mixer, so everything I made, I made by hand. I spent many a tortuous time bent over the counter slaving over a bowl, stirring and whisking things into oblivion, but it was so worth it.
You see, what you see in the picture above is the most creamy, decadent and amazingly simple chocolate dessert ever. It has the most irresistable melt-in-your-mouth texture. When you put it in your mouth, the chocolate explodes on your tongue like a chocolate tsunami (if you see one, i’m in). Remember how in primary school biology, you mapped out the parts of the tongue that taste salty, sweet, sour, bitter and sour? Well, throw all that useless information into your brain bin because all you need to know is that all parts of the tongue taste chocolate.
Making this dessert is actually super super easy! You don’t really need any equipment and the ingredients are all pantry basics. I made this in a foreign country so you have no excuse not to make this. Right. Now. I have to apologise in advance for the quality of the photos. I took them with my left hand with my phone while cooking with the right, so they’re pretty dismal, but hang in there with me because these photos can’t show how mindblowingly awesome this dessert is.
First, you take a saucepan and gently heat some whipping cream until little bubbles form at the sides, not quite boiling it. Set this aside for now.
In a large bowl, whisk two eggs until frothy, then spoon 2 tbsp of cold espresso and 2 tbsp (or more; that stuff is good) of Kahlua. Whisk the mixture until it’s combined.
Pour in 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips (or broken pieces of chocolate) and just kind of give it a stir until it’s nicely coated with the coffee/Kahlua/egg mixture.
Next, pour the hot cream into the eggy chocolate mixture.
Using a sturdy whisk, whisk (duh) the mixture. Keep whisking…and whisking…and whisking until your arm falls off. Just kidding. I still have two arms (one is prosthetic (; )
The chocolate should melt because of the temperature of the cream. If it doesn’t, stick the delicious concoction into the microwave for 20 seconds, then whisk some more! Basically, let it come to a lovely silky smooth texture. If you’re like me, stop halfway through whisking for a coffee break and cookie. Ho hum. And then whisk some more! By this time, the room has been filled by the smell of melted chocolate and brownies in the oven. It’s enough to make anyone’s stomach grumble, okay?
Hang in there! You’re almost done! When you’ve got it to a smooth consistency, just pour it into a large, flat dish or into separate little jelly moulds/cups. The recipe says this makes 6 espresso cups of dessert but that is a big fat lie. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.
Ugh. Doesn’t that just look sickeningly delicious?? Feel free to lick the bowl and spoon after you pour this chocolatey concotion in. In fact, I recommend you to lick the bowl and spoon. I promise not to tell anyone. You can blame it on me 😀 Look how much it makes though! It took 2 whole days for 4 people to eat this!
The best part about this dessert is that you don’t even have to bake it which is great if you don’t have an oven or are deathly afraid of ovens in case you leave them on or they spontaneously combust or if you leave an oven mitt in one and it bursts into flames, burning your kitchen and house into a mess of ashes and burned cream…
Ahem, yes. Where was I? Right. Just cover and chill the dish or whatever mould you chose into the fridge for at least 2 hours. It serves at least 6 and can be stored (covered) for up to 3 days.
I warn you – you have to be prepared to fight tooth and nail with a spoon against enemies (also known as family) who will try to take this dessert away from you. I’ll share my battle tactics with you. The only solution to this problem is to TAKE THE BOWL AND RUN! Then dig a spoon into it and let it melt on your tongue. I take no responsibility for any seizures or uncontrollable rolling around on the floor in chocolatagasms.
Chocolate Cream Cups
From 500 Chocolate Delights by Lauren Floodgate
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces (I used chocolate chips to save myself the effort)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp cold strong black coffee
- 2 tbsp Kahlua
- Put the cream into a saucepan and gently heat until almost boiling.
- Whisk together eggs, coffee and Kahlua. Add broken pieces of chocolate and stir until well coated with mixture.
- Pour the hot cream over the eggy-chocolate mixture and whisk until your arm falls off and everything is silky smooth and creamy. Blitz the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds if the chocolate isn’t quite melting.
- Divide mixture into 6 espresso cups or pour into a large, flat dish. Refrigerate (covered) for at least 2 hours.
- Serves at least 6, can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerate.
Alternatively, you could use the method provided in the book which is much easier, but requires a food processor/blender.
- Scald the cream.
- Put everything else in a food processor and blend.
- Pour the hot cream into the food processor and blend again until smooth.
- Refridgerate, following the instructions above.