This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service


Take 1 - Vanilla Custard Slice [Mille-feuille]

 Asalam Alaykum / Greetings Dear Readers,

My 100th post! i finally made my favourite pastry Alhamdulillah: Vanilla Custard Slice, i made 4 large. 8 mini versions would have been nice but bigger was better in this case.

Remember a while ago, i discovered that pre-made pastry sheets contained alcohol or at least the one i came across did. So, in order for me to avoid that and to still 'cheat' a little, i made my puff pastry from a packet mix, this one to be precise:

and i don't really feel like i cheated as i had to do most of the hard work i.e. rolling the pastry, folding, repeat x 6! but it did help me cut the boring corner of, weighing the ingredients & cutting chunks of butter/vegetable fat into pieces!

Mille Feuille is french in origin, who would have guessed?! usually consisting of 3 layers of puff pastry alternating with 2 layers of filling.

I and probably many other Brits, consider this particular type with the 2 layers pastry, 1 layer of custard, to be a British pastry as it is available in just about every bakery you walk into in the UK, that's if you get in there before it's sells out!

The classic vanilla flavouring in this pastry, simply works. It's savoury notes help balance out just some of sweetness in the custard and the icing.

Also the Feathered Icing you see on the top is a relatively new technique to me and i have to say I'm impressed at how it lifts desserts up from average looking to fancy.

Usually to make the chocolate part of  feathered icing you would first make the very thick white glace icing, mixing in a little bit of melted butter to give it a shiny finish. Portion a small amount off into another bowl, add in a few drops of chocolate essence and there you have it BUT i didn't have any chocolate essence, so what to do? Nutella to the rescue! i added a couple of teaspoons along with a drop of water to thin the icing out just a little.

All you have to do then is spread using a palette knife, the white glace icing over the tops of each pastry. Fill a small piping bag with your chocolate icing, i used one fitted with a tiny circle nozzle but you can make a disposable one out of baking paper if your skilled enough, I'm not.

Pipe lines of chocolate icing across the white icing . Then all you need to do is drag a skewer through all the lines, instead of working from right to left you move the skewer from top (where the white icing starts) to the bottom. I'm not really good at explaining am i? so here, you can see the same technique being used on a cake.

I wasn't 100% happy with how these vanilla custard slices turned out, the ratio of custard/ creme patisserie to pastry is usually bigger. That being said, i had no complaints from the husband or child that taste tested and even had requests to make them again, which i plan to do in the near future in sha Allah and at that point i will post my recipe and more pictures, showing how to make the pastry etc

I'd be interested to know, what is your favourite bakery item and when did you last treat yourself to it?

Labels: , , , ,


A Bakers Dozen (13): Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes

Asalam Alaykum,

Ever heard the term 'Baker's dozen'? Well a Baker's dozen in England = 13 why? you may ask, i know i have, when all bun tins i've ever seen are even numbered i.e. 6, 12....

Here's the answer courtesy of Wikipedia

A baker's dozen, devil's dozen, long dozen, or long measure is 13, one more than a standard dozen. The oldest known source for the expression "baker's dozen" dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes, instituted during the reign of Henry III (1216–72), called the Assize of Bread and Ale. Bakers who were found to have shortchanged customers (some variations say that they would sell hollow bread) could be subject to severe punishment including judicial amputation of a hand. To guard against losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12 in order to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was insurance against "short measure", on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt, or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original legal dozen. The practice can be seen in the guild codes of the Worshipful Company of Bakers in London. 

Masha'Allah the above reminded me of the following verses in the Qur'an regarding the matter of giving/receiving an accurate measure and weight in transactions.

*note the following is the english translation of the meaning of the arabic verses.
11:84. And to the Madyan people (We sent) their brother Shu`ayb. He said: "O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other god but Him, and give not short measure or weight. I see you in prosperity and verily, I fear for you the torment of a Day encompassing.''
11:85. And O my people! Give full measure and weight in justice and reduce not the things that are due to the people, and do not commit mischief in the land, causing corruption.
How many of you have been short changed in some form before? whether it's the description of the product or the number of items/money etc. By accident or on purpose, the feeling of being cheated out of something is not pleasant at all.

Then on the other hand you have the example of  how bakers would give away 1 extra for every 12(dozen) to prove they weren't unjust infact they were being generous! Does the bakers dozen still exist in bakeries today?

Well in my home Bakery lol it does, so on to my 13 Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes, i made a few changes including switching around the name from Lemon Chocolate Cupcakes

I changed the name to reflect the flavour, instead of having too much of a sour lemon taste they had before, now they have a nice balance between rich deep chocolate and zesty citrus.

I increased the amount of cocoa in the cupcake whilst removing it totally from the Icing which gave a nice contrast in colour and flavour.

I swapped the Icing from a chocolate buttercream to a lemon cream cheese icing, i made a slight boo boo with the icing, it became too runny to pipe hence the pool instead of a thick swirl. This led to using less icing than original anticipated :) which meant i had some leftover for eating straight out of the bowl!

Later, i discovered from the daring kitchen i wasn't the only one to have ever experienced this problem with runny cream cheese icing, what a relief! So from my limited research i discovered what could have gone wrong:-

The order of making my icing, i creamed the cream cheese and butter together first and then added the icing sugar.

I should have mixed the butter and icing sugar together and then added the cream cheese, i must try this next time in sha Allah but all in all i'm happy because the cupcakes looked ok and tasted great, so go on the next time your up for trying something new, give this odd but yummy flavour combination cupcakes a try!

By the way, i didn't purposely set out to make 13 cupcakes but in order not to waste the batter leftover in bowl, i filled a cupcake case, stuck it on a baking tray and off it went into the oven to bake and it didn't collapse like i thought it would having no support from a bun tin.

Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes

Makes: 13


For the cupcakes:

165 grams Unsalted Butter (you can use margarine), at room temperature
165 grams Caster Sugar / vanilla sugar
3 eggs
115 grams Self raising Flour
50 grams Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing:

I halved the recipe from Lizzy
1/4 cup Butter, softened
4oz. Cream Cheese, softened
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 - 2 cup icing sugar, as needed


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C Fan/180C and line a bun tin with cases (don't forget you will have enough batter to make 13 so either bake 12 first and then 1 seperately or use a 24 hole bun tin if you have, alternatively fill the odd case and place on baking tray and bake on oven shelf underneath your 12 like i did)
  2. In a bowl mix whisk together cocoa and flour, set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together your butter, sugar, lemon zest until light in colour and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 by 1 ensuring each egg is fully combined before adding the next.
  3. Add cocoa/flour and your lemon juice and mix/fold in just until you have no traces of flour/butter left.
  4. Bake on the rack just 1 lower than the middle for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Make cream cheese icing by mixing butter, zest, juice and icing sugar together and then add the cream cheese and mix until homogenous.
  6. Spread or pipe icing onto cupcakes and top with your favourite sprinkles/decorations. 

Labels: , , , , ,


Egg & Wheat/Gluten Free - Falafel

Falafel Balls Over Salad
Falafel Patties

Falafel - a deep fried ball or patty made from chickpeas, fava beans or a combination of the two.
It is a common street food in the middle east although they are becoming more and more popular elsewhere in world. Usually being served inside a pita along with salad and drizzled with tahini sauce.
Both vegetarians and meat eaters enjoy this street food and i'm sure like with my family it has a place in your home too, in sha Allah
The name Falafel is said to come from the Arabic word falāfil (فلافل), which is the plural of filfil (فلفل), meaning 'pepper' indicating this snack is spicy which is true however, for me with 2 small children, trying to get them to eat hot, spicy things is a struggle and i must say i am not a huge lover of chilli like my husband so i choose to use sweet paprika instead of hot pepper flakes but the choice is yours.

Maths/Weight problem:

As i used dry chickpeas (for the first time i may add lol) i weighed out 246grams before soaking in water. Not thinking at the time DUH that the chickpeas will take on water overnight, which of course they did and so i ended up with twice the number of chickpeas app 500g. So that is a big point to note for any future dry bean recipes Asmaa, either randomly put as many dry beans in a bowl of water to soak over night and weigh the next day the amount required for your recipe OR dry weigh approximately half the quantity you need for your recipe, assuming all beans take on the same amount of water, I'm sure they don't!
Now onto the recipe...

Falalfel Recipe

Recipe adapted from Ya Salam Cooking and About.com


  • 1 x 400g Net Weight =246g after being drained and rinsed OR approximately 123g dry chickpeas = 246g after soaking overnight
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander or parsely, finely chopped
  • 1 egg or equivalent in egg replacer plus water required (i used 1 heaped teaspoon orgran no egg plus 2 tablespoon water)
  • 2 tablespoon chickpea flour also known as gram flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika or hot chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 galic clove, crushed
  • Sunflower oil, enough for deep frying


  1. If using tinned chickpeas, drain and rinse, pat dry with kitchen paper. Or if like me your using dry chickpeas, soak overnight then drain, place in pan with frsh water, bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for an hour. Drain and allow to cool for around 15 minutes.
  2. In a food processor add chickpeas, garlic, onion, egg or egg replacer, spices, seasonings, flour and herbs and process until you get a thick paste that is fairly smooth but still with a little texture.
  3. Heat the oil to 180C, Shape mixture into as many patties or balls you require. I used a ice cream scoop for the patties and 1 tablespoon of mixture for each of the balls.
  4. Deep fry patties for 4-5 minutes and balls for approximately 2-3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and then serve any way you like, but for most pita, salad and tahini are a must where as i like serving mine as part of a salad or in homemade mini baguettes/bread fingers, salad, cream cheese, mayonaise and or tomatoe ketchup.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Photos of my first Lemon Chocolate Cupcakes

The Only Use I Find For The Telephone Directory lol 
Salam Alaykum,

For a short while now i have been developing my own cupcake recipes, likey likey my Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes and Espresso Cupcakes.

The Lemon Chocolate Cupcakes pictured above are a work in progress.... i have succeeded with the cupcake itself, but the buttercream icing i made although it looks delightful was too sour, I'd over estimated how much i liked the bitter taste of lemon and not taken into account the fact that cocoa powder itself is slightly bitter, tut tut.

I was inspired by Lizzy's Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes and i mean come on what girl doesn't like either chocolate or lemon so why not combine both win, win situation!

I don't work from box mixes so following Lizzy's recipe was out of the question and since I'd had success before inventing cupcake recipes i thought why not? anyway i may take a leaf out of her book next time and go for a lemon cream cheese frosting as there is something eye catching about the contrasting colours, brown cupcake and creamy coloured frosting.

I am cupcaked out to be honest but my son's only baking request these days is 'let's make cupcakes' masha'Allah he helps by turning on the mixer and whisking the cocoa powder/flour together oh and he is a dab hand (NOT but let the lad learn) at sprinkling the sprinkles lol

* Note: Here is the link to my Chocolate Lemon Cupcake Recipe

Labels: , , , , ,


Lamb, Turnip & Potatoe Tagine

Asalam Alaykum,

Warm, hearty comforting Meat and Potatoes is satisfaction 'foodified' Alhamdu lillah you will definitely be satisfied when eating this tagine.

Saffron is the power house again in this recipe that gives that sunshine golden hue and the pleasant bitter honey taste.

The recipe can be found over at cooking with Alia  i made a few small changes:-

  • Halving the recipe quantities except the spices to make it suitable for 2-3 people
  • Missed out the finely chopped parsley as i don't like parsley
  • I used 1 Turnip and 2 potatoes instead of 3 Turnip
  • I used lamb on the bone instead of small chunks
I certainly plan on making this dish again in sha Allah

Labels: , , , , ,


Butternut Squash, Carrot & Red Lentil Soup

Asalam Alaykum,

This soup was so yummy I've cooked it twice this week alone! Don't ask me where the air bubbles came from lol

The second go at the soup was even yummier than the first as i added yet more spices, including a rich pinch of saffron which added depth not only to the beautiful colour but also to the taste too.

It is ready to serve in just over an hour, to me that is fast food! a fair chunk of the time you are letting the soup cook so you can walk away from the stove, phew! nothing puts me off cooking more than having to stand at the stove for hours on end.

You see i am not a 'natural' cook but im learning and slowly seeing some of the rewards in it as i get better i.e. a happier husband alhamdu lillah.

Feel free to add to or takeaway any of the spices and you will still be left with a soup that is enjoyable in winter or dare i say spring which is right around the corner, just where does the time go? subhan Allah, not that long now and 6th June/due date will be upon me in sha Allah

Butternut Squash, Carrot & Red Lentil Soup

serves 2
recipe adapted from world cancer research fund


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ a small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 500ml/18fl oz boiling water or vegetable water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 30g/1oz dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper,
  • 1/4tsp ground cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger
  • pinch of saffron
  • Handful finely chopped coriander to garnish (if you have children and they hate the look of anything green then do as i did and put the coriander in when you blend the soup, that way you retain most of the freshness and loose 90% of it's visibilty)


  1. In a medium saucepan, measure out the olive oil and put on a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until transparent
  2. Add the chopped carrot and butternut squash and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes
  3. Add the spices, water or vegetable water, stock cube, red lentils and stir.
  4. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are tender
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending with a hand blender or food processor (be careful as the soup stays hot for a long time).
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot alongside your favourite bread.

* adjustments I made to the original recipe are in bold

Labels: , , ,


Coconut Rice Krispie Snack Bars

Salam Alaikum Sisters, Hello Readers,

This is another treat stemming from my recent obsession with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, i just can't seem to get enough of the stuff Masha'Allah I use it in it's pure form as a moisturiser, hair conditioner, in my cooking/baking and I've even read you can use it combined with bicarbonate of soda as a toothpaste(yet to try that but let me know if you already have and how it was)

There seems to be no limit to what this oil can do for your body's health and the smell wafting through your home as you bake these snack bars will surely make you smile and you will wonder why you have never used it in your baking before.

I never thought i would be so into this oil, as i have never really liked coconut in anything before such as the famous coconut chocolate bar that was once said to be a taste of paradise! astagfirullah how people will speculate on things far beyond ones imagination.

By using the extra virgin coconut oil and just a small amount of dessicated coconut you will never get that overpowering coconut flavour but a mild and more palatable flavour in my opinion with these bars.

Recipe adapted from my cereal bar recipe template

Coconut Rice Krispie Snack Bars

Makes: 12 (depends on how big you want your snack bar)

  • 125g extra virgin coconut oil
  • 125ml golden syrup (you could use honey)
  • 75g demerara sugar (any brown sugar)
  • 150g rolled oats
  • 100g rice krispies (you can use puffed rice but the bars end up huge so you may want to change the ratio i.e. more oats less puffed rice)
  • 25g dessicated coconut
  • 25g linseed's (if you want to treat yourself use chocolate chips instead!)

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 180C/160C (fan), line the bottom and grease the sides of a 20x20cm square baking tin
  2. In a saucepan melt coconut oil, syrup and sugar.
  3. In a large heatproof bowl stir together oats, rice krispies, dessicated coconut and linseed's.
  4. Pour liquid ingredients over dry mixture and stir slowly until all the ingredients are combined, pour into tin and using a angled palette knife level the mixture.
  5. Bake in oven for 20minutes or until edges are darker than the center. Remove from oven and leave for few minutes but whilst still hot, portion by cutting with a knife (be careful very hot) the number of bars depends on how many you want and then leave to cool completely in tin.
  6. Decorate with a pinch of dessicated coconut.

Labels: , , , ,