Sunday, 10 June 2018


Summer's almost here!
I can feel the anticipation in the air!

I've been madly testing Japanese Cheesecake recipes the last few weeks and tweaking my recipe for both Matcha and Londog Fog flavoured Japanese cheesecake.  During all this time I haven't actually tasted the Uncle Tetsu cheesecakes that have been selling like crazy (limit of one per customer!) because of the crazy 2 hour lineups.  

So because I lack patience for lining up for things voluntarily and because I have all the equipment and know-how lol--I decided to make my own.  
London Fog Japanese Cheesecake (infused with looseleaf Earl Grey Tea Leaves)

Matcha Japanese Cheesecake 

These cheeesecakes went over really well with my contractor and workers.  I'm currently still under construction over here!

Perhaps in a few more months we'll be done and I can do more posting of my recipes.  Let me know in the comments if you would like these different flavoured cheesecake recipes.  If you would just like to make the vanilla one, you can scroll down and look for it (or search my archives)

If you have all the equipment for these Japanese Souffle Pancakes, it's a breeze.   Okay I admit it's a little bit of an involved process just like any other Japanese dessert!  But if you persevere you will be rewarded with the fluffiest most delicate, delicious light and airy pancakes you've tasted.
I was shocked at how good they were.  Give it a go!

4 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons neutral flavoured oil (I use grapeseed or avocado oil) or nonstick spray for the pan

To Serve:
whipping cream (canister or whipped heavy cream)
Powdered sugar
Fresh Berries
Maples Syrup

Special equipment: 6 ring molds (stainless steel); or you can make your own from cleaned out tuna cans and parchment paper (you can make parchment paper rings with strips of parchment); nonstick pan; nonstick spray

Makes 6 souffle pancakes

1. Preheat nonstick frying pan on low heat.  Ensure your pan is large enough to hold your 6 ring molds
2. Separate whites from yolks: Whites will go into electric mixing bowl. Yolks will go into another bowl
3. In the Yolks bowl: add milk, vanilla, cake flour & baking powder.  Whisk well to combine
4. In the electric mixing bowl, whip whites until frothy; gradually add in the 4 tablespoons of sugar.  Continue mixing at med-high speed (speed 8 on KitchenAid) for 6 minutes or until stiff peaks form
5.  Take 1/3 of the meringue and add it to the yolk mixture.  Combine well to lighten the batter.  Then pour the entire yolk mixture back into the whites and using a whisk, gently fold the batter until you do not see clumps of egg white.  Be gentle and don't try to deflate the meringue
6.  Using nonstick spray, spray the insides of the steel ring molds.  Spray the nonstick pan surface. Place the molds on the nonstick pan.  
7. Using a ladle or 1/4 cup measuring scoop, pour the batter into all 6 molds...equally dividing all the batter between the 6 ring molds
8.  Maintain a constant low to med-low temperature for the nonstick pan.  Cover with a lid if you can during the cooking process (mine covered the molds but had a big gap and didn't meet the edge of the pan but it was okay)
9.  Set your timer for 6-7 minutes.  Check the bottoms of one of the pancakes to see if it is turning golden brown.  If it is...good!  If not, turn up the heat a bit and keep an eye on it until the bottoms are set and golden brown.  I used rubber-tipped tongs to help hold/tilt the ring molds to check.  
10.  When you are ready to flip, use either rubberized tongs or heat-resistant gloves/oven mitts to help turn the molds over and upside down onto the pan to cook the other side.
11.  If the cakes don't fall down to rest on the pan to cook and are stuck at the top of your mold, you will need to carefully press them down until they reach the bottom of the pan (I used a special circular press to push them down)
12.  Continue to cook the other side of the pancake until it is golden brown.  Remove the molds (I used my rubberized tongs to remove the rings)
13. Serve with whipping cream, fresh berries, powdered sugar and maple syrup 
Makes 6 souffle pancakes

Sunday, 21 January 2018


gf chocolate cupcakes with raspberry-blueberry-vanilla swirl buttercream
No worries people, no unicorns were harmed in the making of these cupcakes.

My baby is 11 years old and this is the 2nd batch of gf chocolate cupcakes I made for her birthday.  The first batch was with a simple vanilla buttercream and she brought all 24 to share with her class on her birthday.  Her pal is Celiac as is another child in the class so I made sure to make everything gluten free (and no nuts of course).  My daughter is allergic to nuts and so are several children in the school.

extra shiny bling from colourful dragees. I don't like their crunch but they sure are pretty
This 2nd batch of cupcakes was for her birthday party on the weekend.  We went to The Luminous Elephant and she and her gal pals made bath bombs, sang karaoke, nibbled on snacks and ate these Unicorn Cupcakes.  

there are no artificial colours in the buttercream frosting! I used organic blueberry and raspberry powders for intense flavour and gorgeous natural colour
Some of the girls were in her class and had tasted the 1st batch; so I asked which they preferred.  They all chimed at once "these!" The frosting tastes SO good!  

I had butterfly pea flower and could have made a blue buttercream too and now I'm slightly disappointed I forgot to use that too. Oh well, 3 colours is enough lol!

In fact, I have green (spinach powder), orange (carrot powder) and red (beet powder) but was hesitant to use veggie flavours because y'know kids might detect the veggies in their buttercream! Maybe next time I'll be more daring haha!
the tri-coloured swirl effect was so pretty

(adapted from Barefoot Contessa's "Beatty's Chocolate Cake")

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour [I used Namaste gf flour]
  • 2 cups organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup organic buttermilk [or 1 cup organic milk & 1 tablespoon lemon juice mixed with milk to acidulate]
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 2 extra large free range  eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 shots espresso in a measuring cup; topped up with hot water to make 1 cup coffee

    Saturday, 30 December 2017


    • 250 g cream cheese
    • 50 g unsalted butter
    • 100 ml fresh milk
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 60 g cake flour
    • 20 g cornstarch
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 6 egg whites
    • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
    • 140 g granulated sugar
    Special Equipment: 1 8-inch x 3-inch round cake tin; 1 larger 9 or 10-inch round cake tin for the water bath.


    1. Preheat oven to 325F.  Melt the cream cheese, butter and milk over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and pour into another bowl. Mix in the egg yolks, lemon juice, vanilla and combine well. Sift in the dry ingredients; folding in the flour, the cornstarch and salt (see below for a video on how to combine the ingredients.
    2. In a stand mixer, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form, approximately 6-8 minutes (speed 8 on Kitchenaid)
    3. Take 1/3 meringue and fold into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3 of meringue. After incorporated, pour the batter back to the remaining 1/3 meringue and FOLD GENTLY.  Use an 8 inch diameter by 3 inch tall cake tin lined with parchment paper (line with a circle on the bottom and a strip along the sides, ensuring that the parchment strip extends well above the rim of the cake tin.) Pour the batter into the lined cake tin. 
    4. Create a bain marie (water bath). Place the filled cake tin into a 9 or 10 inch diameter cake tin lined with a small kitchen towel to ensure that the bottom bakes evenly. Fill the outer tin with hot water so that the cheesecake rests inside a water bath. Bake cheesecake on lower 1/3 of oven in the water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F). Turn off oven and leave door ajar so the cake can cool inside for one hour.
    5. Remove cheesecake from the oven; remove from the bain marie and allow to cool on a wire rack. Using your hands, gently turn the cheesecake upside down allowing the top of the cheesecake to rest onto an open hand. Gently peel the parchment paper from the cake and set right side up on a cooling rack. Optional: sift powdered sugar and matcha onto the surface of the cheesecake. Refrigerate if desired; or serve warm with whipped cream and fruit

    I made a matcha flavoured Japanese cheesecake too! 

    Saturday, 23 September 2017



    Said the 10 yr old upon tasting the pie: "Mommy, your apple pie exceeds expectations!"

    Saturday, 9 September 2017

    Foraged-Blackberry No-Churn Ice-cream & Totoro Choux au Craquelin

    What to do with the many buckets of FREE local blackberries you've picked along railroad tracks, parks and roadways in Vancouver? How about Foraged Blackberry No-churn Ice Cream?

    Friday, 25 August 2017


    What kind of witchcraft is this?

    I've never had a gluten free bread that has this amount of chew in it.  While mixing the dough you can imagine my skepticism that the ingredients would turn out looking like proper bagels.  I even had fewer hopes of them tasting like bagels let alone tasty ones.

    Tuesday, 11 April 2017

    LEMON MERINGUE TARTS (Paleo, GF, Refined sugar free)

    A tiny slice of the 4"Lemon Meringue Tart I made 
    Am I in the minority? do you salivate like Pavlov's Dog when you see a lemon meringue pie cross-section like this?

    Wednesday, 22 February 2017


    SO, this is me lesson prepping for tomorrow's Creative Writing 11 Book Chat tomorrow.  I had my students select a Canadian Novel for an independent project which culminates in a Tea 'n Cookies Book Chat with their peers.

    Silly me...I asked what they'd like me to bake and they said "Totoro Cookies!"  
    I don't know why I was hoping they'd all say "CAKE!" --but they didn't.  
    Ah well.  They're not for me to eat anyway!

    I used matcha powder to create tiny leaf cookies to rest on Totoro's head.  With the leftover matcha dough I made some larger leaf cookies 'cause I didn't want to make any more of those time-consuming tiny leaves anymore 🤣

    I added black sesame paste to a blob of cookie dough in order to make the tiny black sesame sprites. They were so cute but something about grey cookies is so unappealing to many people.  I guess they don't look appetizing being the colour of soot!

    Raw cookie dough is so tasty-looking to me.  I prefer how it looks to the baked product because you can see the crisp lines and Totoro's cute expression very clearly.

    In case you want to make these with a totoro cutter, be aware that they cost $$$.  All you have to do is google it and you'll find plenty of styles of Totoro cutters to buy.  Before I bought a cutter, I used a cardboard template that I cut out.  I traced the cookies with a knife and they were tedious but they turned out well.  Alternatively, if you're crafty you can cut up an Arizona Tea can and create your own personalized cookie cutter.  I have a pusheen one that I made like that because I'm too cheapie to pay money for more cutters.  

    Totoro Vanilla Butter Cookies 
    • 2 Cups unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
    • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 Large egg 
    • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 5 Cups sifted all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp teaspoon coarse salt
    • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon matcha powder (for the matcha leaves)
    • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon black sesame paste (or ground black sesame seeds) (for the soot sprites)

    1. Preheat oven to 350degrees F.
    2. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt and mix until combined.
    3. Halve dough; shape each half into a disk. Place one disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can use the other half for the optional coloured decorations or soot sprite cookies.  Continue making cookies with the remaining refrigerated dough.
    4. Roll out dough and cut with a template or cutter.  Transfer cookies to parchment-lined cookie sheet.
    5. OPTIONAL LEAVES & SOOT SPRITES:  take a handful of dough and add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to it, kneading until thoroughly combined. Roll out and cut into tiny leaves to decorate Totoro's head.  Take a handful of dough and knead in 1 teaspoon black sesame paste and knead thoroughly until combined.  Roll out and cut into soot sprites.
    6. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned (Totoro's ears will get brown first, so watch them)  The soot sprites will take only 10-12 minutes and the tiny leaves take 7 min.
    7. Let cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

    Tuesday, 21 February 2017


    Basho's gone, but you can make these Mini Mochi Cupcakes yourself!

    Do you miss this tiny Japanese cafe on E. Hastings street?  Well, cry no more because you can easily make these mini gluten-free Japanese sweets.  Just pull out your knitting needles, knit a cozy for your potted succulent plant and whip up some matcha tea to go along with your sweets.

    This mochi recipe is highly adaptable; you can add your own unique flavours.  Stay tuned for more flavour possibilities!

    Saturday, 28 January 2017

    Happy Lunar New Year!

    Celebrate with cake!
    Happy Chinese New Year! 
    Gung Hay Fat Choy!   Sun Neen Fai Lok!

    It's the year of the rooster...and today married Chinese people everywhere are handing out red envelopes to kids.  So the kids are raking in the money$$$

    My kid's birthday party is today and she wanted a DQ ice cream cake, which means pretty much nothing for me to blog about.  So I made my go-to cake for all-around snackin' while the kids indulged in their oreo blizzard ice cream cake.  

    This Coconut Chiffon Cake is made from coconut oil instead of veg oil or butter, which gives it a nice light coconut scent and flavour.  Because I'm gluten intolerant (hello Hashimoto's suck) I used my current fave gf flour mix that I picked up from Costco in the States.  Costco Canada doesn't carry it here in Vancouver which is a shame. 

    I wish you Health, Wealth & Happiness this Lunar year and may your celebrations be filled with a good amount of cake too!
    Gluten Free Coconut Chiffon Cake with berries

    Tuesday, 22 November 2016

    Drip Cake: Chocolate Quinoa Layer Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream (gluten free)

    Made my own Birthday Cake. Yes I did😆
    6 inch GF Chocolate Quinoa Cake layers and Vanilla Bean Buttercream
    This is my favourite part of making a cake

    Decorated with my fave goodies: matcha macaron, Lindt chocolate balls, dragées, a mini KitKat and mini Coffee Crisp and crushed macaron shells
    The chocolate ganache was perfect. I threw dragées on the side of the cake too and they stuck🙌
    It's late November and the only thing blooming in my garden are these little purple Daikon flowers.  I just let the daikon go to seed and never did harvest the daikon (so bitter!)  The flowers sure are pretty...and edible
    Scroll down past the recipes to watch a video of me assembling the layers

    Thursday, 13 October 2016

    Gluten Free Oatmeal-Banana Bread

    My 9 yr old's Gluten Free Oatmeal-Banana Bread...all made in the Vitamix!

    I'm the only person in the household that avoids gluten because of my autoimmune disease...Hashimoto's.  One of the things I miss a lot is a really good Banana Bread...full of gluten. There's something about the texture of gluten-full banana bread that I miss!  But lucky for you I hit upon a lovely oat flour banana bread that is not only super easy to make (in one container!) but has an amazing texture and flavour.

    She made mini doughnuts too! They were absolutely delicious with my espresso...and my 15 hours of marking

    Friday, 27 May 2016


    Condensed Milk Pound Cake with Organic Ground Vanilla

    That Organic Raw Ground Vanilla was very expensive.  Like $54. I had plopped it into the basket when my husband wasn't looking.  


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