Erykah D (Grade 9, Harrow Beijing)
I discovered my love for cooking when I was 7 when I helped my Nan make one of my favorite desserts, apple crumble. Cooking and baking is something that we both like to do together as we share the same passion for creating new things in the kitchen.
My mom and I have collected recipes from various cultures over the years and now that I am older, I have tried to cook something at least once a week to improve my culinary skills.
My dream is to become a chef but thought I had to forget that when I came to China. Culture shock, different foods, and a lack of availability for specialist ingredients meant that cooking was never going to be the same as England. But when I became accustomed to life here, I learned to use the interesting ingredients available and make old recipes with a twist, just like my recipes Breakfast Boost Smoothie and No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake. These breakfast meals are an effective way to gain energy without losing the sweetness of the dish as well.
Breakfast Boost Smoothies
Ingredients (Serves approximately 2 cups)
– 8 fresh, cut (medium sized) strawberries
– 1⁄2 cup frozen mango chunks
– 1⁄4 cup red grapes
– 1⁄4 cup frozen sliced peaches
– 2 tbsp plain non-fat Greek yogurt
– 1 tbsp honey
– Combine all ingredients in a blender
– Blend until smooth and well combined. Serve immediately
– 85g low-fat biscuits (such as digestives)
– 200g extra-light soft cheese
– 200g 0% fat Greek yogurt
– 4 tbsp Caster sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tbsp strawberry jam
– 100g strawberries, hulled and sliced
1. Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until you have chunky crumbs.
2. Divide between 4 glasses or small bowls. Beat the cheese, yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth, then spoon over the crumbs and chill until ready to serve.
3. Stir jam in a bowl until loose, then gently stir in the strawberries. Divide the mixture between the cups and serve.
Optional: Add more zest to your cheesecakes and top them with different fruits and jams
Heather Leung, (Grade 11, Dulwich College Beijing)
Food is more than just a fuel for the body; it is our memories and emotions and music and life and it brings us all together like a common language. It’s so magical and crazy how baking has slowly taken over my personal narrative, just like a pathway full of crumbs and stains and satisfaction and smiles. Lopsided cakes. Over-baked brownies. Then the first ever recipe I could finally call mine: a formula I discovered over last year’s Christmas holiday, Healthy Berry Crumble recipe.
I began a healthier lifestyle around the same time I fell in love with baking. I have always experimented and tweaked recipes to my liking, whether it was replacing butter with applesauce or pumpkin puree and that’s why I usually strayed away from crumbles. I always had a small phobia of butter. Still, deep down, I craved crumble. And after using bags of frozen berries and oats, I could finally enjoy my favorite dessert that may look a little bit different from the usual crumble but tastes almost the same.
Healthy Berry Crumble
Ingredients – Crust
– 130g rolled oats coarse flour
– 110g barely blended oats
– 40-45g sugar
– 60g melted coconut oil
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
– 20g oats
– 5g melted coconut oil
– 1/2 tsp sugar
– 250g raspberry
– 300g strawberry
– 60g oats
– 4 tbsp sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
– 2 tsp cornstarch
1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a 20cm square baking tin with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor/blender, grind 130g of rolled oats until it resembles a coarse flour. Pulse the remaining 110g of oats instead of blending to ensure a crumbly texture.
3. Combine the oat mixture with the dry ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, and salt) and mix in the milk and coconut oil with a fork.
4. Press about 220g of the crumble (two thirds) into the prepared baking tin and reserve the rest for the crumble topping.
5. In a big bowl, combine berries with lemon juice and cornstarch. Add in the sugar and adjust to your personal liking.
6. Mix in 70g of oats to absorb some of the moisture from the berries.
7. Pour the berry filling over the crumble base and top with the remaining crumble mixture. I usually make two batches of the extra topping for that extra crumbliness!
8. Bake for 23 minutes, or until golden.
9. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin.
10. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before slicing to keep the bars neat, or dig in while hot!
Photos: Uni You
This article appeared on p26-29 of the beijingkids September 2018 Teen Takeover issue