Yoghurt Week - Day Three & NCR Winner

A cake for day three of Yoghurt Week. One I've made twice now. The flavour of coconut and orange together is just glorious and the texture of the cake is really fluffy. This cake is a joy to make and a joy to eat.

I frosted the cake with orange flavoured icing and topped it with giant buttons and sprinkles. Not my best attempt at icing, but it tasted good.

Frosted Coconut Orange Cake
adapted from Cakes
by Rachel Lane & Carla Bardi

½ cup milk
½ cup Total Greek Yoghurt
¾ cup shredded coconut
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup/125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt


2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Colour as required.

In a bowl mix together the milk, yoghurt, coconut and orange juice. Cover the bowl and leave to stand while you work on the rest of the cake.

Preheat the oven to 170f/325c/gas mark 3. Line your cake tin with greaseproof paper or a liner. My cake tin is a 9 inch/23cm one, but if your tin is slightly different then just keep an eye on the cake as it gets near to the end of baking.

In a large bowl beat together the sugar, butter and orange zest until light and creamy then add the eggs one at a time, continuing to beat as you do so. Gradually beat in the flour, baking powder and salt. Adding some of the coconut mixture after each addition of flour until it is all used.

Spoon the cake mixture into your pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Check the cake is ready by inserting a skewer, toothpick or as my mum does, a fine knitting needle. If it comes out clean, then the cake is done.

For the frosting mix together the melted butter and icing sugar and add a little orange juice at a time until you have the desired consistency. Add colour at this point, if you wish.

And on to other news, we have a winner for this month's No Croutons Required.

This month's challenge was to create a vegetarian soup or salad featuring the humble courgette or zucchini as it is sometimes known and it was a humdinger of a round. All the entries were so varied and mouth-watering. I am sure it was hard for everyone to choose, but one entry took the lead and was triumphant.

So, without further ado I would like to congratulate Vanessa from Sweet Artichoke, who won with her luscious Zucchini and Lentils Cold Soup. And to tie-in nicely with Yoghurt Week, I would like to point out that the soup contains yoghurt. He, he, it couldn't have worked out better.


Yoghurt Week - Day Two

Day two of Yoghurt Week and I was excited to make and try these puff tarts. Cooper has been a bit poorly today, but this is an easy recipe.

I used ready-made puff pastry (life is just to short to make your own, although it is fun to make), ready-made custard, Total Greek Yoghurt, a vanilla pod, fresh berries and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Easy Heart Tarts

1.   Flour your work surface and roll out a block of puff pastry until it is roughly 3 or 4 mm thick. I sprinkled my rolling pin and surface with icing sugar, but flour would do.

2.   Use a knife to carefully cut out heart shapes, approximately 11 or 12 cm high. If you have a cutter, feel free to use that.

3.   Score a line into the pastry, following the shape, about ½ cm in from the edge. This will create a lip which will hold in the custard filling.

4.   Brush the pastry hearts with milk. Place the hearts on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper. It might be an idea to flour the paper too, as my hearts stuck a little. Place the hearts in a pre-heated oven. 200c/400f/gas mark  Bake for around about ten minutes until they are starting to turn golden.

5.  Mix together ½ cup custard and ¼ cup Greek yoghurt.

6.   Slice along a vanilla pod with a sharp knife and scrape out all the seeds.

7.   Blend the vanilla seeds into the custard mixture.

8.   With a teaspoon, gently press down the pastry in the centre of the hearts, leaving a raised edge.

9.   Fill the pastry with the custard mixture.

10.   Top the custard with berries and once all the hearts are filled, put the hearts back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

11.   Remove the pastries from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling with icing sugar.

I hope you enjoy these!

Yoghurt Week - Day One

I was lucky enough to be sent out a rather large supply of Total Greek Yoghurt. I was extra pleased because it is my normal yoghurt of choice and I know just how delicious it is. It was a bit of a tight squeeze in my wee fridge, but all in all I was a very happy blogger.

I sat and had a think about what I might make with the yoghurt and instantly came up with a few ideas, so I decided to make a little series of it. I hereby christen this week 'Yoghurt Week'. I plan to post a different recipe or serving suggestion each day.

I am easing myself into Monday with some 0% Total Yoghurt for breakfast. "What's new about that?" I hear you say. May I remind you I have recently had a baby. Let me give you a run down of my morning.

Baby wakes. I wake. Baby plays with music box happily for 20 minutes or so. I lie with my eyes shut and try to wake up without alerting baby I am awake (sneaky huh?). I eventually give in to the fact that I have to get up. Baby is instantly aware I have opened my eyes and starts getting excited, gurgling and kicking his legs. I get out of bed, walk around the bed and smile down at baby in his crib and say good morning. Next, I wake daddy, who has to get up for work anyway and pass baby to him. Daddy takes baby and changes his nappy while I go downstairs and make daddy's lunch. Daddy brings baby downstairs and I feed baby for about an hour, playing on facebook whilst feeding baby.Daddy leaves for work during this time. Baby finishes feeding and I burp baby. Chat to baby for a while and then head upstairs with baby to make the bed and tidy around. Head downstairs, open mail and water plants. Take baby upstairs and give him his bath and get him dressed. Read baby a story, have a cuddle. Time for another feed and some time to check emails and blog whilst feeding baby. Do a spot of housework, have shower and get dressed. Time for another feed. "Oh my goodness, it's 2pm and I haven't had anything to eat yet!".

Yes, that is how my morning usually goes. Breakfast doesn't get a look in and if I have to be anywhere early it is a nightmare and the house is just abandoned in whatever state it is in until we get home again. Goodness knows how I am going to manage when I go back to work.

Baby has kindly fallen asleep this morning. Neither of us are washed and dressed yet, but I am going to take advantage of the moment and have some breakfast. I am going to treat myself to my favourite Summer start to the day. Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit and honey. As an extra treat I am having my yoghurt, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with a dollop of manuka honey (courtesy of my friend Lisa). Mmmmmmmm, it is so good. More like caramel than honey.

Breakfast. I should have it more often.


Courgette Vichyssoise With Parmesan Crusted Courgette Croutons

My friend Hilary has given me this gorgeous soup to share with you. I'll let her tell you about it.

Summer has finally arrived in Bonnie Dundee, and not being used to the heat I felt like I wanted to cool down. I decided to try to create a cold soup for the No Croutons Required challenge. I am a huge fan of Gazpacho, but felt a different treatment was required for the courgette… and then I hit upon the idea of using courgette as the flavour in Vichyssoise instead it’s more wintery friend, the humble leek….. I was very pleasantly surprised with the result, and the great advantage to this soup is that if the weather doesn’t hold it is equally good served hot!

Courgette Vichyssoise with Parmesan Crusted Courgette Croutons


2 ½ organic courgettes
2 organic medium potatoes
½ medium onion (finely chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
semi skimmed milk
2 tsp marigold bouillion – with 500ml boiling water

garnish – ½ courgette ( cubed), grated parmesan, olive oil

drizzle – lemon zest (unwaxed), chopped parsley, olive oil


1. Heat pan on medium heat, drop in olive oil, warm, then add onion
2. Peel outer skin from courgette and potatoes, and cube in 1cm cubes. Add to onion. Stir, and sweat veg for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
3. Bash garlic cloves with flat blade of knife and place in pot. Season veg with salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Add 500ml marigold bouillion veggie stock and bring to gentle simmer. Put on lid, and continue to simmer for 30 mins on a low heat.
5. Fish out the 2 cloves of garlic, and then using a hand blender, blend soup. Add semi skimmed milk to required consistency. ( I used about 300ml)
6. Allow to cool before chilling in fridge.

To Serve:-

Make drizzle oil by combining lemon zest, parsley and olive oil and leaving to infuse

For croutons, heat olive oil in frying pan, than pan fry courgette cubes and after 5 minute remove cubes from pan, toss in grated parmesan and then return to pan for 2 mins, stirring constantly.

Courgette, Brie & Cumin Soup

I first made this soup years ago, but had forgotten all about it.

It is lovely and truly slurpsome, if you will allow me to invent a word. It is a full-flavoured soup, made somewhat creamy by the melted brie and whizzed up beans.

Courgette, Brie & Cumin Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 tsp ground cumin
3 large courgettes, grated
3 pints vegetable stock
200g brie
1 can cannelini beans
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle on the cumin ad mix well.
  2. Add the grated courgette and cook on a gentle heat for 10 minutes. The miture should be quite moist and not stick, but if you find it does you can always add a glug of water.
  3. Cover the courgettes with the vegetable stock and add the brie. Stir for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt. Add the cannelini beans and whizz the soup until almost smooth, then season with pepper.
  4. Leave the soup to cook gently for another 15 minutes, to give the flavour time to develop.
  5. Serve with crusty bread and a smile or a smug expression, you may choose.

Serves 6

Vivek Singh's Home-Style Potato and Cauliflower Curry

This curry comes from Indian chef Vivek Singh.  Aloo gobi is a vegetarian dish from India made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices. It is a basic but popular dish in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. A drier curry than many, this one isn't swimming in sauce, but it is full of flavour.

Potato and Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower and Cobra.

That's the beer not the snake!

National Vegetarian Week

During National Vegetarian Week Cobra Beer asked Vivek Singh, Executive Chef of The Cinnamon Club, to share some of his favourite vegetarian recipes for people to try out at home.

He kindly shared some with me and I was rather taken by his Home-style Curry of Potatoes and Cauliflower, so I decided to give it a try.

Home-Style Potato and Cauliflower Curry

It was an excellent curry.

It was so full of flavour and not drowning in sauce as so many curries are.

It was quite hot, but I added some sour cream to the curry the next day and I would say I preferred it this way as it did cool it down.

I suppose traditionally you would add a dollop of raita on the side. Raita is a yoghurt based condiment often served with poppadoms.

Serve it with rice, homemade chapatis and some mango chutney.


Related - Saag Aloo (Indian spinach and potato side dish)


How hot can you eat a curry?

I'm a bit if a chilli coward as my friend Lisa will confirm, so I had already cut down the quantity of chillies from 4 to 2.

I can assure you, it was a very hot curry.

Graham likes his dishes hotter than I do and even he thought it had quite a bit of heat. So you may want to think about how many chillies you add when you make this dish.

Serve it with beer

I served this curry with basmati rice and a glass of King Cobra.

I've never served curry with beer before, it is such a cliche, isn't it? I usually stick to a glass of wine, but this time I decided to try the combination and I was pleasantly surprised.

A sip of well chilled beer is just perfect after a mouthful of very hot curry. I can understand the pairing now and the beer was rather easy to drink. Very nice indeed.

King Cobra is an 8% ABV vegetarian beer served in a champagne style bottle. A nice one to take along to a BBQ, I think you'll agree.

A bit more classy a bottle to hand over to your host than the average bottle of beer.



Potato and Cauliflower Curry and a bottle of Cobra beer

Vivek Singh’s Aloo Gobhi 

Home-style Curry of Potatoes and Cauliflower

Vivek - "This is probably the most common and basic vegetable curry you will find anywhere in India.

Cooked pretty much nine months of the year, it is one of those recipes that sparks an intense debate over authenticity.

One of the disadvantages of its universal appeal is that there is no such thing as a universal recipe!"

Top tips for making aloo gobhi

  1. For a richer dish, stir in a good dash of cream or sour cream before serving
  2. Don’t use too much chilli and only add fresh chilli at the end
  3. If you cut the cauliflower florets slightly bigger than the potatoes, they will cook in roughly the same time, rather than overcooking and disintegrating before the potatoes are done.
  4. It’s important to use a wide, shallow pan for this dish. If you use a deep pan or a wok instead, don’t overcrowd it with the vegetables or they will start to disintegrate.



Ingredients for Potato and Cauliflower Curry including potatoes, cauliflower, onion and spices

Also try Easy Aubergine Balti

curry, cauliflower curry, indian curry, vegan curry, vegetarian curry, aloo gobhi, traditional indian curry, cauliflower and potato curry
Indian, vegan, vegetarian
Yield: 4
Potato and Cauliflower Curry

Vivek Singh's Home-Style Potato and Cauliflower Curry

Indian chef Vivek Singh's Aloo gobi is a vegetarian dish from India made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices. It is a basic but popular dish in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 35 mins


  • 3 tbsp vegetable or corn oil 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp Ginger & Garlic Paste 
  • 4 green chillies, slit open lengthwise (you can remove the seeds to reduce the heat)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm (1-inch) dice 
  • 1 cauliflower, divided into florets 
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped 
  • ½ tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 
  • 5 cm (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, cut into fine strips 
  • juice of ½ lime


  1. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and add the cumin seeds, followed by the onion. 
  2. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft, then add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a few seconds longer. 
  3. Add the green chillies and potatoes and sauté over a high heat for a couple of minutes. Tip in the cauliflower, turmeric and salt, mix well, then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Add the tomatoes and garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are completely tender. 
  5. Sprinkle in the chopped coriander and the ginger, squeeze over the lime juice and serve
  6. Enjoy!
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Aubergine and Onion Masala

A masala spiced curry. This Masala is made with aubergine (eggplant) and onion in a light creamy sauce. It's made in a slow cooker, but could be made in a pot on the hob too.
Disclosure: I created this recipe for Cobra Beers. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is not something I have ever enjoyed. I never see one and want a slice, so I surprised myself with this recipe.

I was over at Katiecakes when I fell in love with this cake. It was lust at first sight. Katie had iced her cake so beautifully and I think that was it for me. I had to have one.

I have made this cake twice now. This first one was none too elegant. I spread the frosting over the whole cake and it wasn't the vision that Katie's cake was. I definitely need some practice at the old icing lark. The second time I made the cake, I just frosted the top and if I do say so myself, it looked gorgeous.

Yes, I love this cake so much I have made it twice and I am planning to make it again soon. The texture is gorgeous and it is lovely and moist. You get a hint of the banana and you can really taste the spices. The carrot is just an added bonus.

Hi, my name is Jacqueline and I am a carrot cake addict!

Vegan Carrot Cake

2 ¼ cups self-raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
½ cup + 1 tbsp margarine
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 ¼ cups carrots, grated
1 medium banana mashed
1 orange, grated rind and juice


1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


finely grated rind of 1 orange

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas 4.

Lightly grease or place a greaseproof cake liner into a 18cm round or 20cm square cake tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl.

Melt the margarine in a pan, add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Make a well in the flour mixture, then add the margarine and sugar. Mix in the carrots, banana and orange zest and juice.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top with the back of a spoon.

Bake for around 40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

For the frosting, cream the margarine and cream cheese together until well mixed.

Add the icing sugar half a cup at a time, blending in carefully until you have used all the icing sugar.

Mix in vanilla extract and spread generously over the cake.

Sprinkle orange rind over the frosting for a pretty finish.

Thank you so much for this cake Katie and thank you for giving me permission to publish the recipe. My friends, family and colleagues would all like to thank you too. I took the second cake into my work and it was demolished within 2 hours and not everyone got a piece. I think you can safely say it was greatly enjoyed.

I converted the cake into cup measures as I am too lazy to get my scales out, if I don't have to, but you can drool over Katie's cake and find the recipe in metric over at Katiecakes.

Little owl would like to remind you, you could win a veggie haggis by entering this giveaway, you could win a cute little badge for your blog by entering this month's No Croutons Required and you can catch up on lots of other food blog events, challenges and competitions here.

A Childhood Favourite

This is a simple recipe, a tray bake if you like. It is one my mum would make regularly when I was a child. Once I was old enough I was allowed to help and that meant I loved it even more. My mum calls it Mars Bar Block. You know it is going to be good now, don't you?

Mars Bar Block

3 mars bars
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup sultanas or raisins
2 cups rice krispies
300g/48 squares milk chocolate (approx)

Slice the mars bars into a small pan, add the syrup and melt over a gentle heat.

Pour the hot chocolate sauce into a large bowl and add the rice krispies and sultanas. Mix until the rice crispies are well coated with the chocolate mix and the sultanas are well distributed.

Pour into a brownie pan and spread out.

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

Spread the chocolate over the rice krispie base and leave in the fridge to cool and set, then cut into slices. My mum recommends marking out the squares before the mix is quite set, making it easier to cut.


I am entering this recipe into this month's Sugar High Fridays, which is being hosted this month by Susan, The Well Seasoned Cook.

This month's theme is Bar Cookies. Whether they are one-bowl brownies, butterscotch-y blondies, or elaborately layered creations of textures and tastes.

If you want to join in, submit your entry by the 21st June 2010. To find out the details for this challenge and many others, as well as competitions and giveaways, then head over to The Food Blog Diary.

And while I am on the topic of challenges remember to get your entries for this month's No Croutons Required in before end of day on the 20th June 2010.

The challenge this month is to make a soup or salad featuring Courgette/Zucchini that is suitable for vegetarians.
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