nusskranzkuchen austrian cake recipe

[Recipe] Nusskranzkuchen – Nut Ring Cake

My first healthy and guilt-free Nusskranzkuchen got a thumbs up from all my guinea pigs (aka family and some friends)!! Since I bought my Austrian recipe book in Vienna, I had been eyeing this recipe in the book called Nusskranzkuchen. I altered some ingredients to make it lower in sugar. The original recipe called for icing sugar so I replaced it with coconut sugar and a couple of dates. The dates are optional though. The dates gave a chewy texture to the cake which I really liked!


Tip 1: For step 7, remember not to mix them in but to fold them in to prevent the air bubbles from bursting. The air bubbles keep the cake light and fluffy! 

Tip 2:  For an even prettier top, put the cake back into the oven after the cake has been turned out of the cake tin. Allow the almonds to colour and then sprinkle some icing sugar and more silvered almonds on top. The icing sugar will melt and act as a “glue” for the silvered almonds.

Tip 3: For a more chocolatey and no sugar option, use cacao nibs and dust the cake tin with cocoa powder. Before baking, the cacao nibs are hard but the baking process actually melts the cacao nibs and gives a very aromatic chocolate flavour. It’s healthy (high in antioxidants) so I highly recommend it! Make the dessert even more guilt-free.. why not?

Tip 4: Get creative with the toppings. Maybe drizzles of chocolate ganache? An apricot jam glaze and topped with roasted crushed nuts? After all, apricot jam (marille in Austrian German) is typically Austrian.


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Light. Fluffy. Perfect Height. Delicious



  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 200g butter
  • 170g coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large apples, grated or chopped (I used 4 small pears)
  • 100g hazelnuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
  • 80g chocolate (I used cacao nibs)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 200g + 1 tbsp self raising flour (gluten free if necessary)
  • 2 dates (optional)
  • 1 tbsp silvered almonds
  • cocoa powder for dusting of cake tin


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C
  2. Separate the eggs. Beat the butter together with the sugar and vanilla. Gradually add the egg yolks
  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  4. Peel and grate or chop. Slightly squeeze to remove some of the liquid.
  5. Chop the nuts roughly
  6. Mix the baking powder, cinnamon and flour together
  7. Gradually fold the apples, nuts, chocolate and flour to butter/egg yolk mixture (Step 2). Alternating with the egg whites.
  8. Grease the ring tin well (I used a bundt cake tin) with butter and dusted with flour and cocoa powder.
  9. To give it a pretty top, layer the base of the tin with silvered almonds. Then pour the cake mixture into the tin.
  10. Bake for 1 hour; checking at every 20-minute intervals. Use a skewer to poke in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked.
  11. Allow to the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Then, turn the cake out onto a wire rack and serve.
  12. Enjoy it hot with some custard or cream or even simply on its own!


Mahlzeit alles!



Easy short crust pastry recipe

[Recipe & Tips] Crumbly and Buttery Short Crust Pastry

18 January 2016 – Cooking fiesta with grandma

During my holiday back in Malaysia, my sis and I listed down a list of dishes we MUST learn from our grandma and her short crust pastry was top on the list 😀

Rule of thumb for yummy short crust pastry – 2 flour : 1 fat

(Fat includes butter, lard, vegetable fat, margarine – but I highly discourage margarine and vegetable fat as it is too high in omega 6 and not good for cardiovascular health)

Let’s not complicate things. Short crust pastry is relatively easy to make as long as you do not over knead, use cool water and cool hands and basically treat the fat and flour mixture with lots of TLC! ❤


  • 2 flour : 1 fat
(I used 500g flour and 250g fat for 1 big pie and 1 medium pie – sorry didn’t measure)


(1) Rub the fat into the flour, using the tips of your fingers, to create a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. See Image 3.

(2) Gradually add cool water to bind the flour mixture and form a dough.

(3) Knead the dough gently until the dough is malleable, soft but not wet.

(4) Wrap the dough up in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

(5) On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to desired shape and thickness.

(6) Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 30 mins or golden brown.

What to do with pastry:

  • Tarts (sweet/savoury)
  • Pies  (sweet/savoury)



Tip 1: For light and crumbly pastry – Gentle fingers when rubbing the fat into the flour. It should look like breadcrumbs.

Tip 2: For light and crumbly pastry –Make sure your hands and the bench top are cool. Use cold/cool water to bind the flour mixture to make a dough.


After rubbing the fat into the flour, this is what it should look like – bread crumbs. See Step 1

Tip 3: For equal cooking time – Put a layer of pastry on the rim of the dish to keep the cooking time the same for the entire pastry. It also easier to manage the aesthetics of the pastry on top later.

Tip 4: For light, buttery pastry (not rock hard) – Don’t over-knead your pastry!!


Before laying the pastry on top, we cover the rim of the dish with some pastry to keep the cooking time of the pastry the same. The rim of the dish is slightly higher than the other parts of the pastry and has no contact with the moist apple mixture so we need it thicker to prevent over cooking the pastry.

Tip 5: For aesthetics – Use a sharp scissors to make little snippets around the rim of the pastry (looks prettier but you can use a fork to make line shapes on the rim of the pastry). Use a knife to make small “cuts” around the edges of the pastry (looks rustic). Use the leftover pastry to make different shapes like roses, leaves and christmas mistletoes.


Happy baking!! Remember to eat in moderation 😉


Generation Kitchen

tang yuan recipe and stories - generation kitchen

[Recipe] Winter Solstice Festival (“Ball Ball” day)

In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, winter solstice falls on December 22 or 23 (solar calendar) every year.

For the past 22 years, I never knew Chinese Winter Solstice Festival was more important than Chinese New Year. I just knew that no matter what you must do whatever you can to have at least one tang yuan for good luck. I remember a few years ago my grandma called my family in Australia to remind us it was the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival and that we needed to eat tang yuan. We clearly forgot and my grandma must have been pretty insistent because my mum drove out just to buy a bowl of tang yuan dessert from Dessert Story (a Taiwanese dessert shop). My grandma would tell us that “one grows a year older once we eat tang yuan” ❤


21/12/2015 – Auntie Alice and I making tang yuan together 🙂 My mum photo bombing hahah

To me, my sis and my cousins, all we really knew about this Chinese Winter Solstice Festival is a day we called “ball ball day” where we get to eat tang yuan. “Tang yuan” was probably a massive tongue twister for us kiddos so we ended up calling it “ball ball”.

Tang yuan in direct translation is “soup ball” – probably because the glutinous rice balls (aka tang yuan) are served in some sort of sweet soup (clear ginger syrup, red bean soup or black sesame soup). Sometimes the glutinous rice balls are stuffed with crushed peanuts, sweet red bean paste or black sesame paste. In Hong Kong, they serve glutinous rice balls with a side of crushed sweet peanuts to dip it into. So good! My cousin has made a pumpkin glutinous rice ball once too for my grandma who loves pumpkin, like reaally love.


Mixing the hot water into a part of the flour mixture.     See Tip 3.

I’ll always remember my grandma giving us a packet of glutinous rice flour, a bowl for mixing and a cup of water and telling us to make tang yuan for dessert. I’m pretty sure it was her way of keeping us entertained  ;). We (my sis, cousins and I) would crowd around the dinner table; make the glutinous rice dough and roll the dough into all sorts of shapes and sizes just for the fun of it.

The traditional shape is a round ball as round shapes symbolise family reunion and togetherness. But this was also our opportunity to showcase our creativity. Our top favourites are snakes, squares, swirls of different colours (kinda like a Yin and Yang type thing) and cylinders.

Sometimes we would deliberately make massive ones and super tiny ones just so we can say we won by size! The whole process from making the dough, rolling the dough into balls (or other shapes), cooking the tang yuan and eating them is fun and very therapeutic 🙂


My curled up ‘snake’ tang yuan & my pink yin and yang ball in the bowl 🙂

To be honest, I don’t really have a recipe because we were never taught to use one but we were given a few very handy tips 😉

It is literally flour and water mixed into a dough that has a texture that is ‘tacky’ and does not stick to your fingers/hands when kneading.

Tang yuan in ginger syrup


  • Glutinous rice flour
  • Hot water
  • Room temperature water
  • Food colouring (green, red, purple etc)
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Ginger


  1. For the tang yuan balls: In a small mixing bowl, mix 1/3 of the glutinous rice flour with hot water.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix 2/3 of the glutinous rice flour with room temperature water. Very gradually add water.
  3. Mix Step 1 into Step 2. Knead and dust extra flour into the dough if necessary.
  4. Divide the dough ball into 3 parts. Each part for 1 colour. Add a drop of colouring to the dough. Knead the colour through the dough until mixed thoroughly.
  5. Roll the dough into small balls. Lay the balls on a tray that is layered with kitchen towel/tissue paper (See Tip 2).
  6. In a boiling pot of water, put the balls in. Lower the fire to medium heat and allow the balls to cook. The balls will float up when they are cooked.
  7. For the ginger syrup: In a small pot of water, add sugar and ginger. Allow the sugar to melt and the ginger to infuse in the syrup.
  8. Add the cooked balls into the ginger syrup.
  9. Serve warm or cool.

Tip 1: Roll small balls. They have greater surface area so the moisture in the balls can evaporate and be drier when it comes to the boiling stage.

Tip 2: Place the balls on a kitchen towel or tissue so that it will soak up some moisture from the balls. Less moisture = More chewy.

Tip 3: Use hot water for 1/3 of the flour. It seems to maintain the chewy-ness of the glutinous rice balls if serving the next day.

Tip 4: Gradually add the water to the flour mixture when making the dough. We’ve sometimes added too much at a time and have you add tonnes more flour to ‘dry’ out the dough. Too much tang yuan by the end of the night!!



hawaiian inspired tropical cake recipe - easy and fast

[Recipe] Aloha ‘Auinala Tea Cake

Take me back to Hawaii!!! ❤

(Click the link above to watch a video that summarises my 9 days in Hawaii with my exchange friends)

Aloha everyone!! Today, I was just looking through my album of pictures and reminiscing the amazing time I had in Oahu, Hawaii early March this year. If someone sees me looking through the pictures, they’ll probably think I’m crazy or in love because I’ll always be grinning to myself. This reminds me of the conversation my mum and I had before I was going to Hawaii. She jokingly and seriously told me not to fall in love in Hawaii. She watches too much TV – Don’t tell her I said that 😛 My response to my mum’s funny statement was “Don’t worry, I will fall in love with Hawaii” and I did 😉 I bet her heart skipped a beat when I said that hehehehe…..


Sunset in Yokohama Bay! #ThrowBackThursday

I can’t wait for my next trip to Hawaii again!!! #Hawaii7.0

This memory inspired me to bake a Hawaiian afternoon cake. It’s not traditionally Hawaiian, I just made it up hahaha.. I was initially going to use my sister’s recipe for her Kiwi-crumble-cake but when I found pineapple and passionfruit lying around the house, I knew I had to alter the recipe 😀 I added an extra egg because I wanted it more fluffy for a cake like texture, coconut sugar for a healthier alternative (plus, coconut = tropical = hawaii) and more tropical fruits because.. why not?!

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I named this cake “Aloha ‘Auinala Tea Cake” because I intend to serve this cake for afternoon tea. Afternoon in Hawaiian is ‘Auinala. So Aloha ‘Auinala means good afternoon. I thought it would be fun for you to learn some Hawaiian words related to this cake too:

Good morning – Aloha awakea

Good afternoon – Aloha ‘auinala

Good night – Aloha ahiahi ia oukou

Thank you – Mahalo

Family – Ohana

Coconut – Niu

Pineapple – Hala Kahiki

Cake – pa’ipalaoa

Good food – Mea’ai Maika’i

A slice of Aloha ‘Auinala Tea Cake, drizzled with some pure maple syrup and a cup of freshly steeped tea or freshly brewed coffee


Birdseye view of the cake (I used a pie tray because I couldn’t find a cake tin). The fresh pineapple slices becomes semi-dried after baking in the oven. Coupled with the heat, the macerating process also extracts juice out of the pineapple too. Adds a chewy dimension to the cake – it’s awesome!!!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 50-60 minutes


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups GF self raising flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar + 2tbsps (for pineapple)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil/rice bran oil/coconut oil
  • 4-5 kiwi (mix of green and gold), cubed
  • 1 handful of pineapple, sliced
  • 4 passionfruit
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F
  2. Macerate the pineapple slices with 2 tbsps of sugar
  3. Blend eggs, flour, sugar and oil thoroughly
  4. Line the cake tin with butter and flour
  5. Fold in kiwi cubes into the batter
  6. Pour the batter into cake tin
  7. Arrange the pineapple slices and shredded coconut on the cake batter
  8. Bake for 50 mins or until the skewer comes out clean
  9. Serve with passionfruit pulp and enjoy!

Haunama Bay for snorkelling #ThrowBackThursday

Tip 1: Now that I’ve tasted the cake, I would also recommend to substitute some kiwi with bananas into the cake. It will naturally sweeten the cake even more. I was tempted to try papaya cubes for fun but I wasn’t brave enough today haha

Tip 2: Don’t reduce the coconut sugar in this recipe!! 1 cup might sound alot but trust me, it’s necessary as pure coconut sugar is not as sweet as white/raw/brown sugar. Another option is to halve the amount of sugar in this recipe and use xylitol or stevia instead 🙂

Tip 3: My sister suggested custard! That would be devine if I had some. Serve some custard with the cake to add a smooth dimension. If it was me, I would be eating custard with cake not cake with custard 😛

I can’t bring all of you to Hawaii, but I hope my previous blog posts on Hawaii and this Hawaiian-inspired cake brings you closer to Hawaii 🙂 Let me know how you go!


Generation Kitchen

malaysian dessert or snack onde-onde

Malaysian Kuih: Onde-onde

Onde-onde, my favourite of all the Malaysian kuih-muih because of the chewy texture of the glutinous rice balls, freshly grated coconut on the outside and the burst of oozing gula melaka on the inside. Seriously hands down better than any chocolate (and this is coming from a chocoholic!)

I would use freshly grated coconut if you can find it. If you’re living abroad like me, I use frozen grated coconut found in most asian grocers. Tip: The addition of 1/2 tsp salt is really important to enhance the flavour of the coconut. Really important!!

How to test if an onde-onde is perfect: Pop the onde-onde in your mouth and the onde-onde should explode with gula melaka in just one bite. And, the dough should not be too thick otherwise, it would just be bland, chewy rice balls.

Onde-onde is meant to be green…why are the onde-onde white/translucent in colour? Instead of using pandan extract for the green colour, I used tap water. If you can get hold of pandan extract, use that as it adds more fragrance and deliciousness to the onde-onde. If you can’t, I would just use water because colouring is just a big no-no for health reasons. You can be creative and use other natural colourings like beetroot (for red colour), turmeric (for yellow colour), blueberries (for purple colour) etc 🙂


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Sweet gula melaka filled onde-onde with slightly salted fresh desiccated coconut.



  • 60 g glutinous rice flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour/starch
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 60 ml pandan leaf extract
  • 50-100 g coconut (grated, otherwise use desiccated)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • coconut palm sugar (gula melaka), shaved


  1. Add 1/2 tsp of salt to the grated coconut and mix it well.
  2. In a bowl, mix glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and sugar evenly
  3. Gradually add the pandan leaf extract to create a dough. If the dough is too soft, add more glutinous rice flour. The dough should be malleable and not stick to your hands.
  4. Divide the dough into 14 little balls. Yes, you got that right, 14 from the small piece of dough.
  5. Roll the dough flat using the tip of your thumb and index fingers. The dough should be about 0.20-0.25cm thin. It will expand during cooking time.
  6. Place the shaved gula melaka in the centre of the dough. Carefully use the edges of the dough to roll it up into a ball. (I find it is best to make small gula melaka balls using the shaved gula melaka to prevent the sharp edges of the gula melaka from cutting through the dough)
  7. Put the little balls into a pot of simmering water. When the little balls float upwards, leave it to simmer for a further 5 minutes to allow the palm sugar to melt thoroughly.
  8. Coat the little balls in the lightly salted desiccated coconut. (I would try one ball to test if the gula melaka has been melted fully. If not, allow the balls to simmer for another 3-5 minutes)
  9. Allow it to cool and enjoy!


Generation Kitchen

dips recipe (hummus, guacamole, babaganoush and tatziki)

[Four Recipes] A quadruple of dips!

Whether it’s with nacho chips, carrot sticks, pita bread or your fingers, here are 4 simple and very easy dips you can make. It’s a great and delicious way to satisfy the savoury cravings without having to reach out for that bag of chips. I don’t know about you but sometimes I actually cringe at the thought of eating vegetables. Sometimes I go through those phases where I only want meat and carbs. No way will I go near a bowl of salad unless you offered me mango kerabu salad.. You get the picture right? Hey, I’m human too! 😛 But, I’ve a solution for you and I. These dips are mostly filled with vegetables or at least high fibre foods so we’ll be consuming extra vegetables without actually have vegetables served in a conventional way! A lot of dips out there contain more calories because they add unnecessary calorie dense ingredients like cream cheese. Plus, they also have preservatives, vegetable oil, thickeners and emulsifiers with strange scientific names and numbers :/

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush is an Arabic and Mediterranean dip. It’s creamy, smoky, tangy.. Deeeelicious! The main ingredient here is eggplants. For those paleo foodies who can’t have hummus, this is a close enough replacement. The basic ingredients used in traditional hummus are the same: lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, cumin and tahini. Fun fact you may or may not need to know : “Baba ganoush” was the nickname Owen Wilson gave Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers. Why? There’s never a logical reason with them hahah


  • 3 eggplants
  • 2-2.5 tbsp of tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 of lemon


  1. Preheat oven at 200C or 390F.
  2. Cut eggplants into quarters, season with salt and roast till soft.
  3. Allow eggplants to cool.
  4. Blend all the ingredients together and season with salt, lemon juice and olive oil to taste.

Tip 1: Other recipes will say to deseed and remove the skin of the eggplant… but what a waste food and unnecessary effort? As long as you allow the eggplants to really cool down, then the baba ganoush will not be watery. 


Baba ganoush topped with crispy eggplant skin 🙂

Guacamole aka Guac

Guacamole is an avocado based dip (great source of fats and omega 6) created by the Aztecs in Mexico. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados and sea salt with a mortar and pestle. The coriander isn’t something I usually put in my guacamole but after trying it here in the US, it really does give the guac an extra kick! Light and tangy 😉


  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • Tobasco sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped finely
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 2 medium tomatoes (optional), chopped roughly
  • 6 sprigs of coriander, chopped (optional)
  • Himalayan pink salt


  1. Mash avocados. Leave some chunky if you want extra chunks.
  2. Mix in the chopped onions, coriander, tomatoes and lemon or lime juice.
  3. Season with tobasco sauce and himalayan pink salt, to taste.





Tzatziki is a refreshing, creamy dip that is usually served as a condiment to gyro wraps. It is a Greek dip that is made of strained yoghurt, cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, and mint. Some people like to replace mint for dill but I’ve never tried it. Tzatziki is always served cold – there’s no two ways about this. My first time trying tzatziki was about 8 years ago after moving to Australia where I was introduced to Greek food. I absolutely fell in love with it! I want to learn how to cook authentic Greek food from a yia yia 😀 My sister, Chloe is the queen of making tzatziki of the house. Here’s her recipe she has practiced on many times:


  • 2 lebanese cucumbers, deseeded and chopped into small cubes
  • 500g full fat greek yoghurt
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • 3 sprigs of mint, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/4 or 1/2 lemon, to taste


  1. Strain out the juice of the cucumber.
  2. Mix the yoghurt, garlic, mint, lemon juice and cucumber.
  3. Season with salt, to taste.

Tzatziki is on the right


Hummus is a chick pea based dip. It’s nutty, creamy and just pure divine. It’s a Levantine dip made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Really healthy and raw (well, 98%)! Some hummus recipe call for spices to be added into the hummus, but I like it plain and simple. This is a recipe from my grandma Jo’s favourite recipe to you. Share it! ❤


  • 2 cans of chick peas
  • 4 tbsps of tahini
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Himalayan pink salt


  1. Blend the chickpeas, olive oil and garlic together until a paste is formed.
  2. Gradually add more water and olive oil to slightly thin the mixture.
  3. Season with salt and drizzle with extra oil before serving.
  4. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.

Before blending

White sweet potato chips


  • White sweet potatoes
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Season sweet potatoes with salt and olive oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C.
  3. Slice sweet potatoes thinly and grill until semi crisp to crisp.
  4. Flip over again for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of the chips.



Generation Kitchen

banana bread - easy recipe

[Recipe] Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

My grandpa and I used to buy bananas together whenever we went to the shops but I never understood why he would hang the bananas up and wait days for the bananas to have brown spots before eating them. It made no sense to me. Why on earth would I want to eat an ugly looking banana to behind with AND go banana-less for days?! He always said it tasted better and sweeter but there was more to it than just sweetness…

Here’s why:

There’s this substance called Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF) which inhibits the development of abnormal cells (like cancer cells) and regulates cellular activity. This little protein TNF pumps excess water into harmful cells and BOOM, causing them to burst – how cool is that?! Say bye to bad cells.


Use ripe bananas – with black spots 🙂

Use this coconut milk! No preservatives, no added thickener, no added emulsifiers, no added nothing.. Just pure coconut cream 🙂

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  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream, full fat
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups self-raising flour (gluten free if you need)
  • 1 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar/coconut palm sugar
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F
  2. Blend all the ingredients except walnuts together
  3. Fold in the walnuts
  4. Pour the batter into a greased and lined small loaf pan
  5. Bake for 1-1.5 hours. Test by poking with a skewer. If it’s clean, it’s time to take it out and allow it to cool
  6. Serve fresh & hot out of the oven with a slice of grass fed butter! Enjoy!


Tip 1: I personally add chopped bananas into the mixture & banana slices on top for it to caramelise – the stickiness and extra burst of flavour

Over to you, go bananas!!


Generation Kitchen