Cloudy Sky Tea

Hey Everyone! Today’s recipe is inspired by one of my dearest friends, who is known online in our community as Cloud. She has been such an inspiration to me, and has really opened a part of my heart up again that was really insecure about having a close friend again. So, little Cloud, I hope you enjoy this weird little way of mine to say thank you for being awesome! I used Butterfly Pea Tea in order to naturally turn this beautiful drink a dynamic blue. 

Cloudy Sky Tea

I purchased my tea here in Australia via Shokuiku. This awesome company is not a sponsor, but I was very pleased with their prompt service, packaging and fair price points. The quality of the tea was also perfect. If you’re in the U.S, you can order Butterfly Pea Tea in order to make this Cloudy Sky Tea via Amazon.  As much as I meant to, and wanted to, I can’t take full credit for this recipe because another awesome YouTuber, Krist Soup, was the first to make this really cool beverage. 

Cloudy Sky Tea

I used about 2 TBSP of butterfly pea tea to 2 cups of hot water, not boiling, and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Then I allowed it to cool completely before resuming the recipe. You can add less or a little more, depending on how blue you want your beverage. Apparently there are a lot of health benefits associated with butterfly pea tea as well, including anxiety management, maintaining a healthy blood pressure and brain function. I think that stuff is interesting, but I suggest doing extensive research and talking to a licensed practitioner before taking any sort of herbal supplement. 

Cloudy Sky Tea

Originally I made a simple syrup out of equal parts raw sugar and water, but the color is a pale amber, and I didn’t want it to alter the color of this beverage, so I remade some using refined sugar. You could also use stevia, but I didn’t have any on hand. You don’t need the simple syrup in this recipe, and to be honest, I really enjoy my tea unsweetened, but it’s an option! Making a simple syrup is insanely easy; simmer equal parts water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then pour in a separate container and allow to cool completely. Adding straight sugar will just sink to the bottom in any beverage. 

I added a touch of coconut, about 2 TBSP to this drink. You can add less if you’d like, but the amount added already tends to overpower the tea. I haven’t tried using traditional cow’s milk, simply because I drink non-dairy milk in general. 

This recipe was really fun to make, and the video was a lot of fun to film too. I hope you enjoy guys! 

 

Cloudy Sky Tea
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Ingredients
  1. 2 TBSP Butterfly Pea Tea
  2. 2 Cups Hot Water
  3. 1 TBSP Simple Syrup -optional
  4. 1-2 TBSP Coconut Milk
  5. Ice
Instructions
  1. Steep tea leaves into hot water for 5 minutes.
  2. Allow tea to cool completely.
  3. Add ice to beverage container
  4. Pour in tea + simple syrup
  5. Slowly pour in coconut milk and stir
Notes
  1. You can use stevia for a sweetener alternative
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/

Homemade Cookie Butter

Hey Everyone! Many of you here in Australia have no idea what cookie butter is. It’s kind of for the best to be honest. I recently explained to my partner, Ben, who is Australian what we Americans love back in the U.S.A. It’s indulgent and ridiculous sounding, so it has to be American, right? When I was still living in my home state of California, I limited on how many times per year I bought cookie butter, and it was usually twice. This stuff puts Nutella to shame. 

Homemade cookie butter is made with Biscoff cookies, which are almost like a spicy ginger snap from the Netherlands. These cookies are blended with sugar and oil to form cookie butter. I’ve seen a lot of recipes that seem a bit over indulgent, so I cut down the sugar by only adding a fraction of sweeten condensed milk and a little clarified butter. Just enough to get everything to blend together.  I also add a pinch of sea salt and cinnamon to boost their spicy flavor. 

You can use cookie butter on just about anything. I personally love to dip fresh pink lady apples into it, but you can use it on waffles, toast, pancakes, or bake with it. Just keep in mind this is a treat. Even I feel like a fat American talking about this stuff. 

 

I was really happy that my darling loved the stuff so much, since we can’t find any in Australia. We did find the Biscoff cookies in Woolworth’s – it’s a major grocery store chain here Down Under.  I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this irresistible treat! 

Homemade Cookie Butter
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Packs of Biscoff Biscuits (about 16 ounces total)
  2. 1/8 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  3. 2 TBSP Clarified or Melted Butter
  4. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  5. 1 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Place Biscoff cookies into a food processor and pulse until completely crumbed.
  2. Add remainder ingredients and pulse until combined and smooth.
  3. If you need a little more liquid, add a touch of warm water.
  4. Store in your fridge or serve immediately.
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/

Rosella Jam Mock Danishes

Hey Fam! I recently made Rosella Jam, and wanted to put it to good use. If you’re not feeling ambitious enough to make your own, I definitely understand. Just purchase some delicious rosella jam online! I found this really great recipe for mock danish dough, courtesy of GretchensBakery. I take no credit for this dough recipe, but it is easy to work with. So please visit her blog and support! I’m a big fan of her blog and YouTube channel. I haven’t made danishes since my catering courses in culinary school, which was MANY moons ago, and although my danishes do not look nearly as stunning as Gretchens, they’re still yummy. I will be making more this week for a really fun post. I need the pastry practice. 

Rosella Jam Mock Danishes

This dough is very versatile too. No butter block required, and you could use it for cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, I still feel weird saying that, and other yeast yummy pastries. I will be using this recipe again in the near future as I have a few really cool ideas for this blog and my own YouTube channel. Thank you, Gretchen! 

 

Rosella Jam Mock Danishes

 

 

Rosella Jam Danishes
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 Packet of Yeast (7 oz)
  3. 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 225g Butter (cold)
  5. 1 tsp Salt
  6. 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  7. 2 Eggs
  8. 1/2 Cup Milk
  9. 1/4 Sugar
Instructions
  1. In a cup, warm up milk and then add yeast. Make sure milk is not boiling!
  2. In a large bowl or food processor, add flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cold butter. Pulse until butter is crumbly and into tiny bits.
  3. Add sugar and eggs into the milk and yest and pour into buttery flour.
  4. Pulse for 30 seconds. A sticky and soft dough ball should form.
  5. Generously flour your work surface and roll out dough, then fold into a triangle and wrap loosely in cling wrap for about 30 -45 minutes.
  6. Roll out dough into a large triangle and cut into strips.
  7. Twist strips into a spiral (one end toward you the other end away) then spiral into a disc.
  8. Proof danish dough for another 30 minutes.
  9. Gently flatten the center of each danish to form a little bowl.
  10. Add rosella jam, or any jam of your choice to the center of each danish.
  11. Bake danishes at 180C/350F for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  12. Glaze with 2 parts honey 1 part water if desired.
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/

Australia vs. USA McDonald’s

Hey Fam! As a traveler, chef and food lover, trying and comparing products in different countries has been a really fun and eye-opening experience. It takes me back to when I first realized the vast difference between Coca-Cola in Mexico and the United States. Team Mexico because team cane sugar! 

It was well over a decade since I last stepped foot into a McDonald’s living in the United States, but I’ve been around plenty of people who ate it around me, and it… was pretty offsetting to me. No offense to those of you who love it. Hey, I really love stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut so… I get you. 

I gave McDonald’s, also known as Macca’s here in Australia, a try and… it’s pretty good stuff in my opinion. Is it the most amazing burger ever? Nah… but I’m really impressed with the quality of ingredients used in their products here in Australia compared to the United States. 

Under no circumstances am I advocating that any fast food place to be healthy, and I call bullshit toward lobbyists who fund the research toward these corporations who claim otherwise. Fast food should be eaten in moderation as an occasional treat. *pinches tummy* 

I really appreciate Australia for having stricter regulations regarding their food quality and wish the United States was on board with it. I’ll get into that more in the future. For now, let’s try yummy truffle burgers and chips together! Truffle as in yes, truffle, not truffle oil, which was engineered by people who make perfume. >=O Gross stuff! 

Enjoy the video guys and thank you so much for the support on my YouTube channel. I have also been sharing my videos on Vidme and appreciate the tips and support. It encourages me to continue to put out the best content I can. 

 

McDonald’s Nutritional Information Australia – Here

McDonald’s Nutritional Information United States – Here

Amby 

 

This blog post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. 

Making Rosella Jam and Tea

Hey Fam! Rosella jam is pretty well known here in Australia, and I have been learning a lot about this beautiful flower that is related to the hibiscus. Since Queensland has such a beautifully tropical climate, this flower grows very easily here. Also known as the jam flower or jamming fruit, rosella is commonly used for making jam, cordial and tea.

Making Rosella Jam and Tea

This delicately floral jam is reminiscent of plum, bing cherry and rose buds. It’s vibrant deep red color with fuchsia tones is breathtaking in real life. This beautiful flower makes for such a lovely jam, and I can’t wait to bake with it soon! I’m thinking danishes… 

Making Rosella Jam and Tea

It’s large seed is a great source of pectin, which is used to thicken jam. Simply separate the seed from the leaves by gently pulling the flower apart. This process is a little tedious, but not too bad. It reminded me of peeling and cleaning tomatillos if you’ve ever done that like I did oh so many times growing up and in kitchens. 

After the seeds are naked, place them in a medium pot with just about an equal amount of water. For me, I used 2 cups of water per 2 1/2 cups of seeds. The water should just cover your seeds with a little wiggle room. 

Making Rosella Jam and Tea

Cook at a medium low temperature for about a half an hour. Your pectin will be slightly thick but still watery at this stage while it’s still hot. Once it’s cooled down a bit, it will have the consistency of powdered gelatin that his been bloomed in hot water (for jello in particular). 

Making Rosella Jam and Tea

I also made a tea out of it as recommended by the merchant who sold me these lovely rosella flowers. I simply steeped about 5 or 6 flowers into 2 cups of water for 3 minutes. My water was at around 180F. I don’t recommend brewing fresh herbs or flowers at boiling point because it tends to turn your tea bitter! 

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for Rosella Jam. I did not use the traditional canning method for this recipe at this time because I will be using the final product for some baking projects within the next couple of days. 

Making Rosella Jam and Tea

Allow jam to cool completely in a proper container with the lid off until it reaches room temperature. Pathogens love being trapped in heat! Then store for up to one week in your fridge. This was a lovely culinary experience I learned during my stay in Australia, and I’m so happy I am able to share it with you. Enjoy fam! 

Rosella Jam
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For Pectin
  1. 2 1/2 Cups Rosella Seeds
  2. 2 Cups Water
For Jam
  1. Pectin
  2. Flower petals from seeds
  3. 3/4 Cup Raw Sugar
For Pectin
  1. Remove seeds from flower petals and separate.
  2. In a medium size pot, place seeds and water and cook at medium low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Please keep an eye on this. If you need a little more water, add about 1/4 of a cup.
  4. Strain pectin from seeds and use for jam.
For Jam
  1. Place pectin, flower petals and raw sugar into a clean medium size pot.
  2. Simmer at medium high heat for about 20 minutes, and then lower the heat for another 10 or 15.
  3. Strain jam, and either save liquid for a cordial, or add some of it to your cooked flower petals.
  4. You may also blend this for a smoother jam. If you use your blender, allow mixture to cool completely first to avoid heat expanding in your blender.
  5. Store in a jar and use within one week unless you are practicing a formal canning method.
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/

Healthier Vegan Pop Tarts

Hey Guys! I wanted to bake some homemade pop tarts recently, but wanted them to be a tad healthier than the normal stuff from the store. I’m not knockin you, Poptarts…  This recipe is vegan friendly, using cold organic coconut oil, and a bit healthier thanks to adding whole what flour, heart healthy fats and you’re in control of your filling. I use a pretty clean jam, curse you high fructose corn syrup! *shakes fist at unhealthy yummies* but use what you’d like. 

Healthier Vegan Pop Tarts

Contrary to popular belief, the brisee dough, used for pie crusts and yummy pop tarts, does not need to be tended to as gently as people think. You can add all of your ingredients in at once. They just need to be cold. If you’re using butter, I recommend grating it. Since we’re using coconut oil, you can simply scrape it with your spoon so it falls apart easier, or gently use your hands to warm it up. It’s hard to warm up once it’s been in the fridge. We want our fat to be cold in order to maintain the flaky texture of the pastry. Ice cold water helps with that. 

My only recommendation is to not over work your dough. Once it’s firm, leave it alone. Form it into a disc in order to make rolling out easier once you’re ready. I used square pastry cutters to keep things consistent, but you can do this freehand if you wish! The world is yours. Make round pop tarts if you feel like it. Who’s going to stop you? 

Healthier Vegan Pop Tarts

 

I hope you enjoy this pretty approachable recipe. I also have a video tutorial on YouTube for you guys as well! If you follow a strict vegan diet, please keep in mind that some sprinkles contain gelatin. I have other vegan recipes on this blog as well so be sure to check them out! 

 

 

Healthy Vegan Pop Tarts
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 Cup Whole What Flour
  3. 1/2 Cup Cold Coconut Oil
  4. 1/2 Cup Ice Cold Water
  5. 1 TBSP Sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  7. Jam filling of your choice
Quick Flat Icing
  1. 1 TBSP Water
  2. 1/4 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  3. Sprinkles are optional but recommended
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients
  2. Using a fork and or your clean hands, gently work the dough until combined
  3. Wrap in cling wrap and form into the shape of a disc
  4. Place in fridge for at least 15 minutes, no more than 24 hours
  5. Roll out onto a lightly dusted surface and cut into desired shapes
  6. Add 1/2 tsp of the jam of your choice. A little goes a long way!
  7. Place tops ontop of poptart bottoms and press down gently with a fork.
  8. Poke holes on top of pastries so hot air can escape
  9. Bake at 200C/375F for about 15-17 minutes
  10. Let cool completely
  11. Add icing and sprinkles
  12. Enjoy!
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/

 

Healthy Vegan Donuts Recipe HERE

 

 

 

Vegan Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe HERE

 

 

 

 

Edible Pixie Cookie Dough

Hey Fam! YES! Edible cookie dough. WUT?! How, you ask? Well, this recipe is free of eggs, and the flour is baked in the oven for about 10 minutes. I wanted to add some magical recipes to my blog since it’s been a while, so I used one of my favorite pastry products, edible glitter for this recipe. You can use any type of sprinkles, color the dough itself, so get creative. I used white chocolate chips since it went with the theme of this whimsy recipe. 

Edible Pixie Cookie Dough

The portions for this recipe are equivalent to a traditional cookie (before popping them into the oven)! I added half of the sugar that sugar cookie recipes usually call for. The extra sugar is just not needed. Besides, a hint of white chocolate, bright lemon zest and a hint of fragrant, freshly grated nutmeg are the secret ingredients to this recipe. I hope you guys enjoy! Edible cookie dough is a huge craze right now. Ours just happens to be full of pixie dust! 

BUY EDIBLE GLITTER ON AMAZON 

click on photos 

Edible Pixie Cookie Dough
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Flour
  2. 100 grams Butter - softened
  3. 1/2 Cup Sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  5. Zest of 1 Lemon
  6. 1/2 tsp Nutmeg - freshly grated
  7. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 2 TBSP Milk (if needed)
Optional
  1. Sprinkles
  2. White Chocolate Chips
  3. Edible Glitter
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon zest, nutmeg and sea salt.
  2. Add flour and mix well.
  3. Pour in white chocolate chips, sprinkles and edible glitter.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes and serve.
Notes
  1. If dough is too tight, add in a little milk.
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZgG0NdQDbU

Free of Refined Sugar: Blueberry Honey Slice

Free of Refined Sugar: Blueberry Honey Slice

Hey Everyone! I’ve been having a lot of fun testing out healthy desserts for you all. I recently bought a huge bag of blueberries and was inspired to make something simple, clean, delicious and filling. So, alas, my free of refined sugar, blueberry honey slices. The bottom layer consists of old-fashioned oats, a little whole wheat flour, a touch of honey and coconut sugar. The center is a blueberry compote consisting of fresh blueberries, (frozen is fine) lemon zest which brightens the sweet blueberries, earthy and alert, freshly grated nutmeg wich ties everything together, a touch of coconut sugar and finished off with vanilla extract. The top layer is similar to a traditional streusel, but I’ve swapped white flour for wheat, butter for coconut oil and white + brown sugar for coconut sugar. 

Free of Refined Sugar: Blueberry Honey Slice

This recipe is very approachable for those of you who are new to baking, and it’s a great way to practice kitchen time management. While you’re par-baking your oat base, the blueberry compote can be slowly simmering on the stove top. It’s easy to assemble and of course, insanely diverse. You could use any berry or stone fruit, or a combination of them, so get creative! 

I hope you enjoy the addition to these healthy dessert options on AmbyCakes! ^_^

Blueberry Honey Slice
Serves 9
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For Oatmeal Base
  1. 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
  2. 3/4 Cups Whole What Flour
  3. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  5. 3 TBSP Honey
  6. 2 Eggs
  7. 3/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  8. 1 tsp Sea Salt
For Blueberry Compote
  1. 3 Cups Blueberries
  2. Zest of 1 Lemon
  3. 1/4 Cup Water
  4. 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  6. 1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
For Streusel
  1. 1/4 Cup Whole What Flour
  2. 3 TBSP Coconut Oil
  3. 3 TBSP Coconut Sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
For Oatmeal Base
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and spread evenly into a parchment lined 9x9 baking pan.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes at 200C/375F .
For Blueberry Compote
  1. In a small sauce pot, combine all ingredients except vanilla extract and simmer at low heat for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Allow to cool completely and add vanilla.
For Streusel
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Mixture should be stiff. Add a little more coconut oil if it's too crumbly.
Assembly
  1. Pour compote over par baked oat base.
  2. Sprinkle on streusel evenly on top of compute.
  3. Bake at 180C/350F for about 25 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. Vanilla extract evaporates so it is pointless to add it to liquids/custards/compotes while cooking.
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/

How to Forgive

Most of us have someone in our life at whom we’re constantly at battle with on the emotional spectrum. We love to hate them, and hate to love these people. But how do you forgive? Forgiveness is a rusty, two-edged blade. We claim to forgive those who betray us by allowing them in our lives, and pretending to forget that which they’ve done. Just to turn around and hurt them in order to numb our own feelings, then remind them of how much they’ve screwed us up. 

Nothing good comes out of this method. Just more pain, more heartache, more animosity and an influence to others who are younger and observant that it’s okay to hurt and be hurt. So what do we do in order to break that dark pattern? How do you exactly forgive? I feel like in order to truly forgive someone, you have to forgive yourself first. This is a very generic quote that more often than not is overlooked, ignored and passed off as decent. 

It’s so much easier to tear someone else who has hurt us apart to the point where we thrive off of it, and it becomes our life force and the foundation of who we are. It’s easier when you aren’t the one who has to collapse on your knees covered in humility. But when we finally decided to face ourselves entirely in our own mental mirror, and subject our own being to this same abuse, is when we can finally heal and forgive others whom we blame for creating this monster from within. 

When you strip yourself down to nothing, and rebuild yourself into something without any instruction, THAT is the process of healing. When the person who was once the lead role in your life repeats their history and you face them without any condescending egotistical self gratification gift wrapped as empathy and feel no pity for yourself is when you truly can say you have forgiven. 

Forgiveness isn’t about projecting our own feelings onto others, or anointing ourselves as noble for it. There is no point in recycling garbage if it’s going to be turned into more garbage. It’s counter intuitive. 

You can move on once you decide you can move on from yourself. 

Curry Inari Recipe

Hey Everyone! I made a quick video last night of me making dinner, which happened to be Curry Inari, so I thought I’d share this quick recipe today. It’s something my kids really enjoy, it’s quick, easy and super tasty! Something like this would be a great approach to cooking for beginners and children. I simply use Golden Curry (the spicy variety is NOT spicy btw) and mix it in with a bit of ground beef or tofu, onion, corn and left over sushi rice! Once the mixture is cooled down, stuff it into your inari bean curd pockets (which are usually delicately sweetened with honey water). 

Curry Inari Recipe

You can find bean curd at your local Asian grocer, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Sometimes they’re stored on the shelf while other times they’re placed in the refrigerator section. Bean curd is neutral in taste. Think of thinly sliced tofu. I hope you guys enjoy this simple dinner recipe! Oh, and please don’t use canned corn (makes a sad face). I hate that stuff! Fresh is better! ^_^

Curry Inari
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups Cooked Rice
  2. 1lb Ground Beef
  3. 2 Stalks Fresh Corn
  4. 1/2 Onion
  5. 1 Serving Golden Curry
  6. 16 Inari Bean Curd Pockets
  7. 1/2 Cup Water
  8. Olive Oil for Cooking
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, cook onion and corn until onion is translucent.
  2. Add in ground beef and cook thoroughly on high heat.
  3. Add rice.
  4. Add curry paste and water and let simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally until dissolved.
  5. Let filling cool completely, then using a spoon, fill each bean curd pocket and serve.
Notes
  1. Do not add salt! The curry paste has enough of it lol!
AmbyCakes http://ambycakes.com/

 MORE CURRY RECIPES BY AMBY:

Curry Inari Recipe

 

Fried Curry Stuffed Buns – HERE