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Archive for the ‘desserts & baking’ Category

You will savour every bite of this delicious dark chocolate mousse!

It’s heavenly. It’s positively finger-licking good. It’s absolutely chocolicious.

Enjoy it.

Dark chocolate mousse

Serves 4-6

dark chocolate mousse

dark chocolate mousse

dark chocolate mousse

dark chocolate mousse

You will need:

100 g Dark Chocolate (70%) plus a bit of grated chocolate to serve – optional
1 tbsp Milk
2 eggs
35g caster Sugar
150 ml double cream

Instructions:

Place the broken up chocolate and milk in a metal or heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt  the chocolate, stir until combined and smooth, remove from the heat, cool slightly.

In a second bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Then whisk in the chocolate mixture.

In another bowl whip the cream until stiff. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture until combined, do not over mix.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, and gently fold into the chocolate mixture.

Spoon into individual dishes but refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Decorate with grated chocolate or fresh raspberries and mint leaves.

Recipe source: Ocado.com

dark chocolate mousse

dark chocolate mousse

dark chocolate mousse

dark chocolate mousse

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I have always loved berry smoothies but since the beginning of this week I’ve developed some sort of a mango smoothie-mania.

I would often use mango as a salad ingredient or occasionally for a fool dessert but not so much as a base for a fruit shake … well, not anymore :)

I found out that MANGO blends perfectly with yogurts (plain or vanilla). Try it and you will end up with a superb, smooth and delicate pulp … that feels like a soft cloud in your mouth ….

Add a bit of muesli and whirl it all for a thick drinkable breakfast. Add a bit of crunchy cereals and enjoy a healthy dessert. Add a bit of honey and a few drops of lemon and simply drink it on its own.

These mango smoothies are super healthy: no additional sugar, no full fat milk or full yogurt, no ice-creams added!

My next smoothie adventure? I’m thinking: green and soy milk.

… with love to all smoothie lovers … Asia Jo

three ways to enjoy mango smoothie

three ways to enjoy mango smoothie

Breakfast Mango Smoothie:

1 peeled roughly cut mango, 250 ml plain low fat yogurt, 5 tbsp thick vanilla yogurt such as Danio, 4 tbsp muesli such as Dorset – mix it all up in a blender, pour into a glass or a bowl and gobble up!

mango smoothie

mango smoothie by Asia Jo

Dessert Mango Smoothie:

1 peeled roughly cut mango, 250 ml plain low fat yogurt, 3 tbsp thick vanilla yogurt such as Danio, 1 tsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp muesli such as Dorset – mix it all (excluding muesli) up in a blender, pour 3/4 of the mixture into a glass or a bowl and add 2 tbsp of muesli, pour the remaining smoothie and finish with the last tablespoon of muesli. Enjoy it!

mango smoothie

mango smoothie by Asia Jo

Fluffy Mango Smoothie:

1 peeled roughly cut mango, 250 ml plain low fat yogurt, 2 tbsp thick vanilla yogurt such as Danio, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 heaped tsp honey – blend it all very well and pour into a glass. It’s heavenly good!

mango smoothie

mango smoothie by Asia Jo

PS:  You can easily change the proportions – do it just the way you like it – you can’t get it wrong!

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If you fancy something sweet, yummy, quick, creamy and simple – go for a rice dessert – a perfect, timeless rice pudding …

There is nothing better like a hot sunny day and a fabulous bowl of cold sticky rice served with some fresh strawberries and a drop of thick vanilla yogurt on top …. heaven!

Creamy Rice Pudding

Serves 4

creamy rice pudding by Asia Jo

creamy rice pudding by Asia Jo

You will need:

200 g desert rice ( I used the Dutch Dessertrijst from Lassie – PS: I had no idea that cooking from packaging recipes can be so much fun :)

1 liter full fat milk

fresh strawberries

thick vanilla yogurt

honey

Directions:

Mix the white rice and the milk together in a pan, bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 12 minutes stirring from time to time (do not put the lid on top of the pan). Cool well and serve it with some fresh strawberries and a spoon of thick vanilla yoghurt on top. If desired, sweeten your pudding with a bit of honey.

That’s it. That’s how quick and delicious it is :)

Ps: Be ready for some spoon licking too :)

creamy rice pudding by Asia Jo

creamy rice pudding by Asia Jo

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A week ago I found an interesting recipe and immediately thought it would be perfect for the upcoming Easter holiday. It’s a very yellowy, lemony and texturized cake that goes well with fresh strawberries and a cup of afternoon  tea. Polenta gives it not only the bright coluor but also an unusual slightly crunchy feel. And lemon … lemon, lemon – I love you dearly! Lemon makes it all nice and fresh.

Happy Easter!

Recipe source: Hamlyn all colour cookbook Delicious Desserts

Lemon Polenta Cake

lemon polenta cake by Asia Jo

You will need:

125 g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

125 g polenta

3 eggs

2 egg whites

175 g caster sugar

grated rind and juice of 2 small lemons (1 large lemon is also enough)

100 ml sunflower oil

150 ml buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180 ℃.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the polenta. Whisk the eggs, egg whites and sugar together for 4 minutes. Stir in the polenta mixture; add the lemon rind and juice, oil and the buttermilk; combine well until smooth.

Pour the batter into a baking-paper lined 25 cm cake tin. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10  minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to let it cool.

Serve with fresh strawberries and your favourite tea :)

lemon polenta cake by Asia Jo

lemon polenta cake by Asia Jo

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Cooking for friends is fun and lovely, especially when your friends are chocoholics :)

Last night I had two friends coming over for a small dinner party. After eating a 2kg roast chicken, I served my homemade brownies (totally made from scratch). Even though the consumption of the big bird made us really full, we still had some space left for a piece of  rich, gooey but heavenly chocolaty brownies. I have to admit they were a hit considering the comment my friend made after munching the second piece of brownies:

‘It’s so good to know the cause of your death!’ … and we all laughed, laughed and laughed …

Please note: Too much chocolate is never good but a small piece of good 70% cocoa dark chocolate is a healthier option :)

Enjoy your life and let chocolate release your happiness hormone!


Recipe adopted from: Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver

Dark Chocolate brownies with nuts and cherries

chocolate brownies by Asia Jo

You will need:

250 g butter

200 g dark chocolate such as (make sure you use a very good quality chocolate such as Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark), broken up

150 g pitted cherries on syrup, drained

150 g walnuts

80 g cocoa powder, sifted

65 g plain flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder, sifted

350 g caster sugar

4 eggs

strawberries, creme fraiche or vanilla ice creams, to serve

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180 ℃.

Line a rectangular baking tin with a baking paper.

In a bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the cherries and nuts. Stir all together.

In another bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, sugar and add the hot chocolate mixture. Stir well. Beat the eggs and mix in until well combined and smooth.

Pour the mixture into the baking tin. Bake for 25 -30 minutes. Let it rest in a tin for a couple of hours before cutting into pieces. The brownies should be gooey inside; for a slightly drier version bake a bit longer.

These brownies rock!

chocolate brownies by Asia Jo

chocolate brownies by Asia Jo

chocolate brownies by Asia Jo

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Those who know me, they know I love Art Deco and I am slightly obsessed with Art Nouveau fashion.

Those who know me they also know I’ve discovered my new hobby that slowly but steadily is becoming an obsession. It all started with my desire to combine modern design with antique features in my recently refurbished house. Since I successfully managed to buy a beautiful, old bridge table two weeks ago, I’ve felt a growing passion for vintage items, especially when you really want them and someone is bidding against you. I’ve been regularly attending De Zwaan (Amsterdam’s antique auction) this month and today was my lucky day.

I bought five amazing vintage purses for a very very reasonable price :) I assume they all come from the 1920s and 1930s, besides  they are in excellent conditions, which makes me really happy.

These bags made my day and I have no intention of reselling them at all :)

Here are my unique vintage treasure bags …

Art Deco crocodile hand bag

Art Deco crocodile hand bag

Art Deco floral petit point framed purse

Art Deco floral petit point framed purse

Art Deco golden shell buckle hand bag

Art Deco golden shell buckle hand bag

Art Deco golden shell buckle hand bag

Art Deco alligator purse by Maison De Bonneterie

Art Deco alligator purse by Maison De Bonneterie

Art Deco alligator purse by Maison De Bonneterie

Art Deco alligator purse by Maison De Bonneterie

Art Deco ivory colored micro beaded purse with golden chain and fancy frame

Art Deco ivory colored micro beaded purse with golden chain and fancy frame

Art Deco ivory colored micro beaded purse with golden chain and fancy frame

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For those who love and those who want to be loved …

Happy Valentine’s Day!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

PS: I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day but since I happened to have a chocolate tablet at home I made   chocolate bombones for my husband. I just melted some good quality dark chocolate, poured it into a silicon ice cube form and chilled it in the fridge.

That’s how simple it is … pure love and pure chocolate melted all together :)

homemade heart shaped chocolate bombones by Asia Jo

homemade heart shaped chocolate bombones by Asia Jo

homemade heart shaped chocolate bombones by Asia Jo

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