Small Batch Stovetop Granola

It’s been a while! Work, summer, travel, little time in between. Though I still had tea and, equally important, breakfast.

When I find something new that I really like, I sometimes have a tendency to only want to eat/wear/do/listen to that and ignore everything else for a while. Like listening to the same awesome song I’ve just discovered 20 times on repeat and then half-heartedly changing to something else because I feel I probably ought to, only to go back to the same song again after 30 seconds.

I’ve been making and eating this granola all summer, only really varying it as far as adding some vanilla or cinnamon (or both) to it once in a while. It’s really quick to make and fairly healthy (and also tasty!), which is all I really want from my weekday breakfast, and I’ve yet to get sick of it.

I quite like the combination of almonds, pistachios and cashews, but presumably this would work with many combinations of nuts, so there’s lots of scope to be adventurous (if anyone discovers any good combinations, please report back!).

Small Batch Stovetop Granola

60g porridge oats
12g flaked almonds
20g cashews
16g pistachios
32g honey
Optional: Vanilla bean paste, Cinnamon

1. Roughly chop the cashews and pistachios. Mix with the oats and flaked almonds and roast in a big pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

2. Mix vanilla or cinnamon into the honey or leave plain. When everything is lovely and golden, drizzle the honey over the oats-nuts-mixture and quickly stir it up until everything has been coated.

3. Spread onto parchment paper and let cool. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.*

* I have found that if I let the granola sit out after it’s cooled down, it can sometimes end up getting a bit sticky and losing its crunch, so I’d recommend popping it into a jar as soon as possible.

Earl Grey & Lemon Thumbprint Cookies


You know what goes great with your afternoon cup of tea? That’s right, more tea! Also cookies.
Earl Grey and lemon is a combo that just works in my opinion, and I think it does so especially well in these cute little thumbprint cookies, balancing the tart flavours with the sweet, and providing an excellent jammy-to-crunchiness-ratio. And I think the little flecks of tea make them look extra pretty.

Additional bonus: They’re also great for 20-something (or any age, really) singles like me that want homemade cookies but don’t want to end up with half a box of stale cookies at the end of the week – just use the small batch recipe that’ll give you about six cookies. (And you have to invest maybe five minutes of actually working time on them.)

(P.S.: I tried to do a specific shape for the indents instead of just a generic round one, which kind of failed – now they just look interestingly shaped. I kind of like it though. Gives them an air of mystery?)

Earl Grey and Lemon Thumbprint Cookies (adapted from this recipe from Hungry Girl Por Vida)

Large Batch (makes about 30 cookies)
115 g (4 oz) butter
55 g (1/4 cup) sugar
125 g (1 cup) flour
50 g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
1 pinch of salt
5 tsp ground earl grey tea leaves
10 tbsp lemon marmalade

Small Batch (makes about 6 cookies)
22 g (1 1/2 tbsp) butter
10 g (2 tsp) sugar
25 g (3 tbsp+1 tsp) flour
10 g (5 tsp) ground almonds
1 tsp ground earl grey tea leaves
1 small pinch of salt
2 tbsp lemon marmalade

1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. In a seperate bowl, stir together flour, almonds, earl grey and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
3. Form dough into a roll, wrap in foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or put in the freezer for 10).
4. Slice the dough into even portions. Roll each into a ball, flatten and make an indent in the middle. Fill with the marmalade. (For easier filling, warm the marmalade a bit first and then give it a good stir.)
5. Bake for around 15 minutes (or until the edges are slightly browned).

Raspberry White Chocolate cake

Welcome to another cake for one recipe! After successfully getting rid of all of my left over mandarins last time, I’ve been eating raspberries in massive quantities lately (as you might have been able to tell from those Sunday Moment posts) and decided to make a slightly more summery version of the mini cake I posted a while ago.

This isn’t nearly as fast as one of those mug cakes you microwave for two minutes and are done with it, but that’s also not the point (for me, at least). It’s more of a chance to do a bit of proper baking without having to worry about massive left overs later on. Though because it’s baking in really small quantities, it’s actually super quick to put together – you really just need five minutes. Pop it into the oven before you start making dinner and you have a nice little something for afterwards.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cake (a variation of this recipe)

30g (5 tbsp) flour
15g (3 tbsp) ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
20g (5 tsp) sugar
1/2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp + 2 tsp milk
25g (5 tsp) yoghurt
10g (1 tbsp) white chocolate
A handful raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Mix flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Chop chocolate into small pieces.
2. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, oil, milk and yoghurt. Add flour mixture and white chocolate and mix until incorporated.
3. Pour dough into an ovenproof jar*. Top with as many raspberries as you can squeeze in, pressing them into the dough.
4. Bake for around 45 minutes until golden brown.

* The jar I used is 290ml (10oz), which seems like a great fit for the amount of cake you get. The dough doesn’t look like a lot before baking, but rises up quite a bit.

Mandarin Coconut Tart

The tricky thing with scaling recipes down is usually the eggs. Lots of recipes still make enough to feed half a football team if you scale them down to the 1 egg mark – I mean, you can work with half an egg, but then you have the other half sitting in your fridge for ages. I recently got these cute little tartlet pans (thank you, mum!) and I’ve been wanting to do some tarts for one, but as far as the dough for said mini tarts goes, you’re stuck with the egg dilemma again. The trick to solving it? Working with halves in the dough while making a filling that also requires egg.

This recipe makes the perfect amount of dough for my little pans, and I’m just going to take a wild guess that it should be alright for most other tartlet pans as well. I originally made this using only the smooth orange filling (which is what the recipe this is based on is), and while it was nice it seemed a bit bland and just not overly exciting. So I dressed it up a little while also getting rid of some leftovers – namely mandarin oranges (yup, still the same ones that made me bake this cake) as well as shredded coconut. The result was a great success (if I may say so myself) – a nice, slightly tropical tea time treat. Perfect for having a friend over or just for yourself. (Sharing is greatly overrated.)

Mini Mandarin Coconut Tart (loosely based on this recipe)

For the dough:
50g (6 1/2 tbsp) flour
15g (1 tbsp) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 egg yolk (you’ll use the rest of the egg later)
25g (5 tsp) butter

For the filling:
1 egg (minus half the egg yolk)
15g (1 tbsp) sugar
55g (1/4 cup minus 1 tsp) sour cream
2 mandarins
1/3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp orange zest (optional)

For the streusel:
10g (4 tsp) flour
5g (1 tsp) sugar
8g (1/2 tbsp) butter
5g (2 1/2 tsp) shredded coconut

1. Sift the flour into a bowl and make a little indent in the middle. Put the half egg yolk, sugar and salt in. Cut the butter into little pieces and spread around the egg. Knead everything into a smooth dough. (I use a pastry blender which works pretty well, I’m sure you could do it just as well with a food processor.) If you feel like your dough is too crumbly to work with, add a tiny bit of milk. Wrap the dough up and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F). Roll out your dough to be round and a little bigger than the bottom of your greased tartlet pan. Transfer it to your pan and prick the base a few times with a fork. Put some baking paper on your dough and fill it with beans (or whatever else you have laying around – loose change also works) to weigh it down. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. For the filling, mix the rest of your egg with the sugar. Mix in sour cream and corn starch. Add juice from one mandarin as well as optional orange zest and mix together.
4. For the streusel knead flour, sugar, butter and coconut together until small crumbs form.
5. Peel the other mandarin, separate into segments and distribute them on the dough (once it’s done baking). Pour the filling on top (carefully). Top with streusel mix.
6. Turn the oven down to 140°C (285°F) and bake for 25 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, turn the temperature up to 180°C (355°F) to make sure the streusel topping gets a nice golden colour.

Mandarin Almond Cake

Everytime I get groceries I feel like I have two choices: buy the cheap bulk package and resign myself to eating the same thing all week (and there’s still a chance it’ll go bad before I can get through it all), or buy the cutesy single-friendly sized portion for about double the prize. Which, when you’re a twenty-something single like me, is sort of a lose-lose situation.

I have the same dilemma with baked goods – I love baking, but it’d be nice to be able to enjoy a piece of cake without having to reluctantly munch on the stale left-overs a week later. So I’ve been on a bit of a mission lately, trying to find recipes that can be scaled down to single-friendly versions (and aren’t microwavable mug cakes). I figured I’m likely not the only one out there with this issue, so I thought it might be nice to share my experiments here!

This mandarin cake was the result of another bulk buying issue – a few weeks ago, I bought some mandarins (and by some, I mean a kilo because that’s the smallest size they came in) and then consequently forgot to take them to work with me like every single day. Cue this delightful little cake!

It’s super fast to throw together and just the right size for me – I’ve been cutting it in half as an everyday afternoon or after dinner snack, but you could easily eat the whole thing in one sitting as well. The mandarines keep it really moist and add a nice hint of bitterness to it which I really like.

Mandarin Almond Cake (for one) (adapted from this recipe)

30g (5 tbsp) flour
15g (3 tbsp) ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
20g (5 tsp) sugar
1/2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp + 2 tsp milk
25g (5 tsp) yoghurt
1 mandarin*
2 tsp icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). Mix flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Peel mandarin and divide into segments, removing most of the pith.
2. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, oil, milk and yoghurt. Add flour mixture and mandarin, saving one or two segments.
3. Pour into an ovenproof jar** and bake for around 35 minutes.
4. For the glaze, mix 2 tsp icing sugar with the juice from the leftover mandarin segments. Glaze cake once it has cooled down.

* I used fresh mandarins, but canned will work just as well.
** I used a 290ml (about 10oz) weck jar, feel free to use any other ovenproof jar/dish/ramekin/muffin tin.