Blueberry Tart

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As a belated birthday treat, I decided to bake up a tart for my mum: an almond crust filled with 4 layers of deliciousness. It may sound complicated but as long as you prepare the separate components in advance, you will be slicing it up for your guests or family and seeing it disappear within seconds!

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Crust: (this can be made in advance. Store in the fridge 2-3 days or freeze for up to 3 weeks)

  • 40g Butter
  • 30g Sugar
  • 1 Tbs lightly beaten egg (15g)
  • 80g Cake Flour
  • 20g Ground almonds

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Healthy Granola (Dairy-free/VEGAN)

Loads of people undermine the importance of breakfast; many tend to skip it entirely which really isn’t the best way to start your day. It’s what really gives us the energy to allow us to work, exercise and think effectively where-ever that may be.

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So here’s my family’s favourite granola recipe which not only tastes great but is dairy-free, vegan and possibly gluten-free (by just swapping a few ingredients): the perfect breakfast for those who find it hard eating foods containing this. Frankly speaking, I love this granola so much that I’m always so buzzed in the mornings to have a bowl of it, whether that be with almond milk, berries and sliced banana or simply as a topping with some coconut yogurt. For the RECIPE VIDEO click HERE

I don’t always use the exact ingredients listed below (it’s only my basic recipe), but whenever I do I always have to make a big batch because it all just seems to disappear withing 3 days! It’s honestly so easy to adapt and change according to what you have in your cupboard or what flavours you want to go for.

For instance here are some possible changes you could make:

  • gluten free oats
  • Quinoa (to replace the barley and rye flakes)
  • Any nuts- Pecans, walnuts etc.
  • 4 Tbs of cacao powder to make it chocolate granola
  • ANY liquid sweetener e.g. maple syrup, agave, honey etc.
  • ANY dairy-free milk e.g. oat, coconut, soya, almond
  • Dried fruit e.g. raisins, cranberries etc.
  • Coconut flakes

As you can see the list is endless! So feel free to adapt mine to match your preferences!

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You can have this granola with almond milk or if you’re feeling extra special: some coconut yogurt, chia seeds and fruit of your choice!

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For my basic granola recipe:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup rye flakes
  • 1/4 cup barley flakes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (total 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  1. To a large mixing bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl mix together the coconut oil, milk and maple syrup.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
  4. Place onto a lined baking tray and spread evenly. Press down using a spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Bake at 170C for 25-30 minutes, turning the pan round halfway until golden brown.
  6. Leave to cool then break up the granola into clusters using a spoon.
  7. Place in an airtight container and store in a cool dry place for up to 3 weeks- if it lasts that long!!

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Hayeon X

Lemon Chiffon Cake

With NCS going on, the last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic with almost no time to get onto my blog. I needed a bit of a break; thus writing a new blog post was the perfect thing for me to do. I guess that’s why I created this blog in the first place: to escape from everyday issues and to just have some ‘me’ time writing about things that I enjoy.

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Exactly a year ago I baked this lemon chiffon cake for my mum’s birthday which was a great hit. Not only was it my first ever chiffon cake recipe, it was also one of my favourite chiffon cakes that I have ever made. Some of you guys may have seen my totoro chiffon cake on my Sister’s 18th Birthday blogpost and video, but I find that there’s nothing to beat about a simple chiffon cake that’s flavoured with fresh lemon, especially in the middle of summer. What’s more it’s a really light and incredibly fluffy cake and so it’s not really heavy on the stomach.

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In order to make a classic chiffon cake, you will need to purchase a chiffon cake tin that’s made from aluminium- otherwise your cake won’t be able to grip onto the sides and rise i.e. it simply won’t rise and you’ll get a flattened souffle. I purchased mine off amazon for a reasonable price and I haven’t regretted it since!

For the recipe you will need:

  • 3 large eggs (separated)
  • 85g sugar
  • 3 Tbs canola oil (40ml)
  • 75g cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 lemons
  1. In a large bowl whisk together you’re egg yolks with a 1/3 of the sugar until creamy and pale yellow in colour.
  2. Gradually whisk in the oil until smooth and add in the zest of 2 of the lemons.
  3. Juice the 2 lemons to make 1/4 cup of juice. If you need more add water to make a 1/4 cup. Add this in to the yolk mixture and stir.
  4. Sift in the cake flour, baking powder and combine.
  5. In a grease-free bowl* whisk the egg whites on low speed until frothy (4 on a kitchenaid), then gradually add in a 1/3 of your remaining sugar.
  6. After 30 seconds, increase the speed to high (10) and continue to gradually add in the remaining sugar until glossy peaks form.
  7. Use a whisk to fold a 1/3 of this egg white mixture into the yolk mixture to slacken the mixture.
  8. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites using a spatula.
  9. Pour the batter into an ungreased 17-18cm chiffon cake tin that’s sprayed lightly with water and run a skewer through the mixture to get rid of any large air pockets. Drop the pan gently on the counter a couple of times to get rid of other large air bubbles.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30-35 minutes until  a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  11. As soon as the cake is out drop it onto the counter to shock it and immediately invert to cool COMPLETELY upside down. This ensures it stretches downwards and doesn’t collapse.
  12. Use a spatula or palette knife to loosen the edges and serve on a plate.

To decorate I used a simple lemon icing (30g icing sugar + 1/2 Tbs lemon juice) to drizzle lightly, in addition to some mint and fresh blueberries dotted here and there. If you want more icing you can easily double to recipe to

*Damp a paper towel with lemon juice or vinegar and wipe the inside of your bowl to get rid of any grease.

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Hayeon X

Summer Stone Fruit + Blueberry Crumble (dairy + gluten free)

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So we basically went on a huge shopping trip to Costco where we bought a mountain-load of fruit to stock our empty fridge back home. In particular we did a huge haul of fresh summer stone fruits: nectarines, donut peaches (you know the flat kind) and apricots. The abundance of fruit that we had in our house meant only one thing- a summer fruit crumble. And not just any old crumble- a dairy free, gluten free crumble that tastes just as good- or should I say even better than ordinary crumble recipes.

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This recipe is adapted from my Healthy Apple and Pear Crumble (dairy free, sugar free) , which shows how easy it is to change the crumble depending on the time of year and what fruits are in season.

Click HERE for the recipe video!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

For the crumble you will need:

  • 3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 3 Tbs ground almonds
  • 3 Tbs Desiccated Coconut (optional)
  • 3 Tbs gluten free flour (or spelt/ wholegrain if you’re not avoiding gluten)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup (or honey, coconut sugar etc.)
  • 1/2 ground cinnamon

For the fruit filling you will need:

  • 500g of your choice of nectarines, donut peaches, apricots etc.
  • 1/4 cup blueberries (optional)
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp tapioca starch

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C.
  2. In a medium size bowl mix together all the ingredients needed for the crumble and set aside.
  3. For the filling, dice your chosen fruits into 1/2 inch cubes and toss with the rest of the ingredients in a separate larger bowl.
  4. Place the fruit filling into a 23 cm tart tin and then scatter your crumble topping all over.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown or when your house begins to smell absolutely amazing!
  6. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes (if you can wait that long!) and enjoy on it’s own or topped with whatever you fancy.

If there’s any leftover- which I doubt there will be, you can always enjoy this cold for breakfast topped with bananas, yogurt and more blueberries!

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ECOTOOLS makeup brushes review!

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So it got to that time of my life where I needed to get myself a good set of makeup brushes for the upcoming years. For the past few months or so, I was busy looking at all sorts of makeup brushes from Real Techniques to cheap ones at TK Maxx all of which were either too pricey or just bad quality.

I’d purchased an EcoTools eye brush set in America 2 years ago and have been really pleased with them. They were a good price; they’re cruelty free, and what’s more they’re incredibly soft! So in the end I opted for the EcoTools Bamboo 6 piece brush set and the Define and Highlight Duo- I’m so glad I did!

Check out my video on this by clicking- HERE

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  1. SIX PIECE STARTER COLLECTION

This includes 5 brushes: (starting from the left) Powder/Blush, Concealer, Spoolie, Shading, Angled Liner AND a bonus cosmetic bag

2. HIGHLIGHTING DUO SET

This includes 2 brushes: A highlighting brush and a contouring/ blending brush

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My mum was impressed by the quality of these brushes, that the day they arrived, she asked me to order the exact same for her! Now that’s saying something!

Love Hayeon X

Blueberry bread loaf (dairy free)

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If you ask my sister what her favourite bread is, she wouldn’t need to even think for a milli-second. Her answer would undoubtedly be: blueberry bread.

I’m not talking about those sweet loaf type ‘quick breads’ which have a muffin like texture and taste- but an actual loaf of bread that can be sliced up, toasted and smothered liberally with blueberry compote. Thinking about it, you could probably adapt this recipe by filling the actual bread with blueberry compote and renaming it blueberry swirl bread. I might try it out this summer and write a separate post on that!

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The bluey specks are the blueberry seeds!

Anyways the bread itself doesn’t have a strong blueberry flavour but there’s something so moreish about having fresh blueberries being in a bread dough itself. It’s perfect for the summer season when blueberries are in season because one- they’ll be cheaper; two- they’ll be the best quality, and three- it’ll taste a thousand times better. Ok…maybe that was a bit of an overstatement, but you get my drift! 🙂

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Prom 2017

So it’s come to that time of the year again: where thousands of girls can finally slip on those heels; put on their chosen dress which they have been dying to wear for months, and pamper their faces.

To be completely honest, I was actually quite nervous for our prom- not because I didn’t want to go, but due to the excitement that had been building up over the past year. Most of my friends were saying how they had butterflies in their stomachs the night before- and I don’t blame them! I mean we’ve been talking about this ‘day’ ever since year 7!

Luckily, we were all blessed with beautiful summer weather-perhaps a bit TOO warm! Nevertheless, we were all able to take lovely photos in the back lawn at school.

1. Dress

I really wanted a navy dress that wouldn’t be too over the top, yet still have something special going on with the upper section.

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I found this dress online on ASOS but I got it from ‘My Little Mistress’ when it was the Black Friday Sale for half price!
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Everyone who wore blue!

2. Shoes

The rose gold shoes I wore are from New Look.  They have a relatively high heel to them, but as they’re block they were really comfy to walk in. What’s more I can wear these with other outfits!

3. Makeup

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THANK YOU to my cousin who gave this as a surprise present when she came over to the UK a month ago!
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The shadows I used were: Sin, Sidecar, Toasted, Hustle, Darkhorse and Gunmetal

4. Hair

As my hair is so short and straight, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do any braided buns etc; instead I decided to go for slightly informal curls, just to give my hair some shape and volume!

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Credits to my friend Immy!

5. Accessories

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Just wanted to say to everyone in my year and to those who attended our prom- THANKYOU for such a great night! I couldn’t have asked for a better year to spend my 5 years at Luckley. I wish you all the best for the future and always keep in touch!!

Hayi :p X