Classic “Cheesecake” Parfait Recipe

Recipes

Hey guys! Sorry it’s been quite a while since my last post. Summer’s been flying by so quickly I can’t seem to catch it.  With the blink of an eye, school is just over 3 weeks away now…

On a side note, I’ve just finished my internship at a sensory science research center in Singapore called MMR. It’s been really eye-opening, especially about opening my eyes to the realities of working… let me just say it’s not as cool as it seems. But I’ll save that for another post!

Thankfully, summer has also given me time to try out many new recipes of my own and also experiment in the kitchen. And with the immense sweet tooth that I have, it’s not a surprise that I’ve been trying to find ways to put just a slightly healthier spin on the delectable, indulgent, and almost sinful desserts.

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All the ingredients for the filling!

One of my all time favorite desserts of all-time is a classic cheesecake. Creamy, cheesy, smooth, with an equally delicious and crunchy base makes for the best experience. Ughhhh, thinking about this right now is making me drool.

 

The one downside is, though, that cheesecake is possibly on the other side of the spectrum in terms of how good it is for you. Loads of sugar, cheese, milk, butter, cream — yeah, let’s just say too much of it is not that good for you. That’s why I wanted to try my hand at putting a healthier spin on it (and also easier to make!)

 

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Toasted Oats 🙂

For the base, I knew I needed something that was both crumbly and crunchy but also tasty and also slightly buttery. That’s why I decided to use granola and crush it up to get that cookie like consistency, and adding some melted coconut oil helped it stay moist and delicious.

Next, came the hardest part, the filling. How are you supposed to maintain the creamy and smooth texture, cheesy yet sweet flavor, without all the loaded fats? Tofu came to mind. Tofu is basically a soybean-based thing that comes in different textures. Silken tofu, which is normally used in soups, is very creamy and delicious (in my opinion). The texture is also quite similar to that of a very delicate cheesecake. Though the tofu taste is not that strong, I had to use something to mask the soybean taste. I knew that greek yoghurt and instant vanilla pudding mix tastes really close to cheesecake. Paired together, this filling results in a light, fluffy, “cheesecake” mixture.

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“Cheesecake” Filling

To add a touch of color and flavor (and to keep this classic!), I made a strawberry jam-like topping. It’s really simple (I literally threw a few frozen strawberries in a pan and reduced it with some cornstarch and natural sweetener) it really adds to the flavor and makes the dessert come full circle.

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Look at the color…..

I’ll admit that this is not exactly like cheesecake (nothing beats the real thing), but it is a great alternative when you are craving something sweet. It also makes for really cute and easy desserts for bringing to dinner/lunch parties or gatherings!

 

Layered 'Cheesecake' Parfait

  • Servings: 6 cheesecake trifles/pots
  • Difficulty: easy/medium
  • Print

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Ingredients

Filling

  • 100g silken tofu
  • ¾ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 2 heaped teaspoon instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Base

  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Strawberry Topping

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple/agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celcius (375 degrees Fahrenheit)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tofu, Greek yoghurt, instant pudding mix, and vanilla extract. Cover with cling wrap and set aside in fridge to chill.
  3. Next, combine the ¾ cup rolled oats, 2 tablespoons honey, and dash of cinnamon in a bowl. Mix it so that the honey in equally distributed around the rolled oats. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, or until oats are toasted.
  4. Meanwhile, place 1 cup frozen strawberries in a pan over medium heat, and use spatula to break it up (until it is a bit jam like). Stir in the maple/agave syrup, 1 to 2 tablespoons depending on how sweet you like it to be. Add in the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it up. Simmer for a few minutes till the sauce is slightly thick and “jam” like.
  5. Take it off the heat, then mix in the chia seeds, and let it cool.
  6. Once you have taken your oats out of the oven, pulse the oats in a food processor until it resembles coarse crumbs. Combine 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of honey in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the toasted oats and spread thoroughly. Bake in the oven for another 5-10 minutes at 165 degrees (375 degrees Fahrenheit) until toasted.
  7. Once everything is cool and you are ready to serve (and eat!), start layering. You can do this however you like, but I like to start with a base of the granola “cookie” crumbs, filling, then more crumbs, then more filling, then add the strawberries on the top.
  8. Eat immediately! This doesn’t taste exactly like the decadent cheesecake, but it comes very close when you want something sweet, silky, and creamy, and helps quell those cravings from time to time. It’s also really cute for serving at a dinner party/gathering.

Nutritional Info:

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Hope you enjoy!

Haakon Superfoods and Juice Review 

Eating Out

Haakon Café is a Scandinavian Superfoods and Juice Cafe in SG, serving up a variety of food from acai to salad and grain bowls. They cater to various dietary needs, supplying low carb, vegan, or paleo-friendly dishes.

According to their website, their mission is to “help everyone be empowered, strong and properly nourished through serving unique, incredibly delicious & healthy food while providing a warm and welcome environment to enjoy it in.”

I’ve personally eaten here multiple times before, but they since then they’ve revamped their menu to include many new dishes. So on a casual Saturday night after a run, me and my sister decided to try it out.

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At first look, Haakon café at Somerset 313 (the branch we went to) has a very inviting look, with a very rustic and slightly hipster vibe, with wooden tables paired with green plants.

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First glance at the menu provided a splendid array of options from us to choose from: smoothies, Smoothie bowls, Specialty bowls, Salads and Zoodles, All day brunch, and even a Norwegian speciality “Smorrebrod”. Everything looked and sounded quite delicious, but but unfortunately, we were only 2 people.

Me and my sister each settled for one main and one smoothie bowl.

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Cacao Bliss Bowl ($7.90, $12.90) is a superfood bowl with a base chia seed pudding, paired with a creamy blend of Banana, Acai, and pure cacao, and topped seasonal fruits, granola, almonds and cashews, and cacao nibs.

The small size came in a cup, and it was very  aesthetically pleasing and dare I say instagram-worthy. However it was a bit hard to mix in the fruits (because of the cup size) and I had to eat most of the fruits off the top first. The taste of the Acai was spot on, very much like a rich chocolate gelato. However, the consistency could do with a bit of improvement; while most of it was quite creamy, there were still some icy chunks that needed additional blending. The chia seed pudding at the bottom yields for a different texture and creates a unique pairing. Nevertheless, I devoured this entire cup quite easily!

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Haakon’s Bibimbap ($10.90) is a brown rice bowl topped with curry yoghurt cauliflower, pickled radish and pumpkin, shredded carrots, onsen egg, mushroom medley, coleslaw, and furikake. A vegetarian dish, this bowl packed a real punch. Each component of the dish was packed with lots of flavor, and it had an even more unique taste when mixed together. The contrast of textures of creamy and crunchy complemented each other well. If you like the taste of pickled vegetables (slightly sweet, slightly sour, quite refreshing), this dish is one to try.

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The Salmon Poké Bowl ($15.90) is a brown rice bowl topped with Salmon Sashimi, Mentaiko Mayo, fish roe, Avocado, Onsen egg, shredded carrots, mango, sage dressing, and furikake. The serving size of the salmon was pretty generous, with big cubes of fresh salmon sashimi. The interesting addition of a mango cubes added a slightly sweet flavor profile to the bowl. Overall, quite delicious, but slightly hard to distinguish from other Poke bowls out there.

Overall, Haakon Café is a great place to eat for health-conscious individuals looking for a variety of foods to try. Though on the slightly pricier side, it really does change the way you look at ‘healthy food’ – it can be delicious too!

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Price per pax: $10-20

Locations: 

313 Somerset: 313 Orchard Road, #B2-14

Holland Village: Raffles @ Holland V, 118 Hollands Ave, #01-03

One Raffles Place: 1 Raffles Place, #01-11/12

One KM Shopping Centre: 11 Tanjong Katong, #02-K3, Singapore 437157

Website: https://www.haakon.com.sg/ 

 

Healthy Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Recipes

This pancake recipe is so easy, healthy and fluffy (what more could you want?) I’ve made pancakes many times and this recipe never fails to make the best traditional pancakes. It’s so good, you won’t even notice it’s healthy!

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My ideal Saturday morning consists of waking up late, watching some TV or Youtube Videos in bed, then getting up to prepare a BOMB breakfast! Unfortunately during the school year, that doesn’t really happen, especially being busy with so many activities, classes, and mounds of school work. Thankfully, summer break means no more of all of that, and my ideal Saturday morning could actually become reality!

For me, breakfast is the most important and arguably the BEST meal of the day. Firstly, breakfast foods are the best foods (you can have sweet, savory, or anything in between!) and it also keeps me fueled for the rest of the day. I don’t know about you, but without a good, hearty breakfast, my brain and body won’t function correctly for the rest of the day.

That’s why I LOVE having pancakes for breakfast, especially on the weekends! Not only are they super fluffy and delicious, they are also customizable to any preference, and not to mention gives me an excuse to eat more sweet stuff 🙂

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Pancakes in the pan!

I’ve made different variations of pancakes many times but had failed to nail the perfect traditional buttermilk pancake. After looking through hundreds of different recipes online, I decided to take some of the best tips and tricks and make my own variation. They turned out perfect~~

For me, the best pancakes are golden-brown, fluffy, subtly sweet, crispy on the edges, tender in the middle – being stackable is also a plus! I realised that baking powder and baking soda could really add to the fluffiness of the pancake. In addition, I also decided to make my own buttermilk (using milk + vinegar) to get that perfect traditional buttermilk flavor, and it worked perfectly!!

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Making my own ‘buttermilk’!

 

I also saw a tip online that mentioned adding applesauce to the pancake batter, which has no sugar but adds sweetness, and it didn’t fail. I also decided to add in 1-2 tablespoons of agave syrup to get additional sweetness to shine through (I have a big sweet tooth!) These pancakes were just right in sweetness and left my sugar cravings satisfied!

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One important part of ‘healthifying’ these pancakes was to substitute regular flour with whole wheat flour. Because whole wheat flour is a lot denser and heavier than normal flour, I was afraid that completely replacing all the flour would change the texture and taste a lot. I resorted to half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, which was the perfect compromise – the pancakes retained the fluffy texture while having the extra benefits of wholegrain!

 

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These pancakes were just TOO GOOD, and let’s just say I was quite proud of myself 🙂 My entire family loved it too! It was the perfect way to spend a lazy (and much-needed) Saturday morning.

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Yes, that’s ice cream AND caramel syrup in the background 🙂

 

Tips:

  • The pancake batter will be quite thick, but don’t worry – it’s the key to producing fluffy pancakes!
  • You can use this pancake recipe as a base and add any toppings/flavor variations you want! Let your imagination run wild : )
  • For the buttermilk, try to use actual milk (not plant-based milk, it won’t react to create the reaction needed to thicken the milk – it’s chemistry ), and try to use 2% fat or above, as it will retain more of the traditional buttermilk flavor
  • If the pancake batter is too thick, spoon it into the pan and spread it out using a spoon or spatula to the desire shape.
  • Use a half-half combination of white + whole wheat flour or 100% white whole wheat flour (100% whole wheat flour will possibly be too dense!)

 

Hope you guys enjoy!

 

Healthy Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

  • Servings: 15 regular sized pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy/medium
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup and a dash of milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar/lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Directions

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon powder in a bowl and whisk until incorporated
  2. Put white vinegar in the milk, and wait for 5 minutes
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, applesauce, vanilla extract, agave syrup, and whisk together
  4. Slowly whisk in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Batter should be quite thick, but if too thick (doesn’t fall off the spoon), add a bit more milk/water
  5. Heat a pan, wait until hot, then spray with non-stick cooking spray
  6. Make pancakes! Spoon the batter into the pan, using a spatula to spread it out (if it’s too hard). When bubbles start to form, flip the pancakes.
  7. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy! I love my pancakes drenched in maple syrup, with some fresh strawberries, and maybe a scoop of ice cream too 🙂

Nutritional Info:

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