Homemade Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake With Pistachio

I have always been a fan of green tea, but my addiction for the bitter goodness was heightened when I was kindly sent some high quality matcha powder from my dear friend Laura at Cherishing The Cherry Blossoms. From cookies to lattes, matcha powder can pretty much be incorporated in any sort of food. But after the home oven annoyingly broke, my baking options became limited and I scoured the internet for non-baking, dessert ideas to feed my sweet tooth. Enter my new favourite easy-to-bake green tea cheesecake!

Loosely based on a basic no-bake cheesecake recipe, I created my own green tea version and made small tweaks to the traditional ingredients to give something different and slightly healthier (with a particular emphasis on the ‘slightly’). So here is my matcha green tea cheesecake with pistachio…

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Base:

– A handful of crushed pistachios
– Original Digestive biscuits, crushed (about 5 biscuits fills the base of two ramekins)
– Small nob of butter

Filling:

– Low fat cream cheese (1 standard pack fills two ramekins)
– Icing sugar (as much as you desire to satisfy that sweet tooth)
– One teaspoon of matcha powder dissolved in warm water (about 10-15ml depending on size of cheesecake you intend to make)

Finishing:

– Sifted matcha powder to dust on top

Directions:

I used ramekins for my cheesecakes, as I felt this was the easiest way to control my portions and I think they look good for presentation purposes. But you can use any container you wish.

1. Roast the crushed pistachios in a pan for a few minutes until a little brown. I feel that this helps to bring out the pistachio flavour more intensely. Add the butter and crushed biscuits, then stir until all well combined.

2. Dish the above into the ramekins and press down neatly with a spoon.

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3. Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together until a well combined mixture forms.

4. Add the dissolved matcha to the filling mixture and mix well. Make sure the match mixture has been dissolved completely before adding to the cream cheese, otherwise you will see lumps of green. The final mixture should be a very pale green colour and still quite thick in texture. If the mixture falls off your whisk or wooden spoon easily then it is too liquid and will not set in the fridge.

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5. Spoon the mixture over the bases in the ramekins and smooth the top

6. Pop the ramekins into the fridge and allow the cheesecakes to set for at least and hour.

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7. When you are ready to eat the cheesecakes, dust some matcha powder over the top just before serving. If you do this before you set the cheesecakes in the fridge, the powder will sink into the filling.

8. Enjoy!

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Have you tried cooking or baking with matcha powder before? Please feel free to share your recipes!

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Patty and Bun, London

After reading a lot of blogger coverage on Patty and Bun, I thought it was time to pay a visit myself and give a personal verdict. Touted as one of the hot, ‘must-try’ burger places in London right now (now seeing the new entry of Shake Shack which officially opened in Covent Garden last Friday) with queues that average at 30 minutes in off-peak hours, I was certainly expecting a special bite.

So we actually arrived at Patty and Bun around 5.45pm, mainly because I knew that queuing would be inevitable. Tucked down the end of James Street and not without passing the bustle of St. Christopher’s Place, Patty and Bun looked every inch a pop-up restaurant already packed with ravenous young adults; each one making their burger chomps worth every minute they’ve waited for that seat. From the outside, it is very easy to dismiss it as a regular fish and chip/ fast food stop, as it is very small and ‘temporary’ looking. But just look for the pillar box red sign amongst some curious diners hanging around (mostly trying to figure out whether you need to go inside to inform the waiter that you want to put a name down, or whether you should just join the queue immediately outside) and you should not miss it.

Just to clarify, if you just join the queue a waiter/waitress will come outside and take names from everyone in the line. There is also a menu outside for you to have a good browse at during your waiting time – which admittedly I completely ignored and probably wasted some of the staff’s time in their table turn-arounds when we finally got seated. I am not joking when I say literally 2 seconds after we were handed the menus at our table, the waiter asked if we were ready to order! I guess in such a busy and high turn-around environment, customers are expected to know what they want, eat (enjoy briefly) and get out. So if you’re in a big group of friends looking to dine somewhere for a big catch up – this perhaps isn’t the best place. But if you’re a big foodie like myself – team with another who equally appreciates hyped up good food and happily dine.

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I opted for the Smokey Robinson burger: ‘beef patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, mounds of caramelised onions, bacon, ketchup, smokey P&B mayo, brioche’ and although it sounds just like any other bacon and cheese burger – I can honestly say this is the best bacon and cheese burger I have ever tasted. Perhaps it’s the crispy strips of bacon which really had that freshly chargrilled smokey taste. Perhaps it’s the gooey melted cheese merging into the sweet caramelised onions. Or maybe it’s the toasted brioche that sandwiches all of this together with a perfectly juicy, medium-rare beef patty. Oh and I forgot to mention the hand-cut chips seasoned with rosemary salt – just simple and awesome. I just wish I hadn’t already filled my stomach so much earlier that day with an incredible brunch at The Breakfast Club (review coming soon), so I could also try some other sides.’Winger Winger Chicken Dinner’ was definitely calling for me!

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The great thing about this place is that they also do take-out, so if you are lucky enough to drop by James Street on a lunch break, I would definitely work my way through all 6 burgers on the menu. I think just from the name alone, ‘Lambshank Redemption’ burger already rewards Patty and Bun another visit from me sometime in the future.

Atmosphere4/5 – because of it’s location, not far from Oxford Street and surrounded by the bustle of other cafes and restaurants, combined with the whole burger hype in London – there is no doubt a great buzz about eating at this place. Although seating is very tight inside (only seats 30 people) and I did feel like I was in a typical Asian street cafe where sharing tables with strangers is the norm.

Service: 4/5 – we didn’t actually have to wait that long, considering the whole burger-hype thing. The waiters were efficient, payment wasn’t too slow and despite the super busyness, staff were nonetheless attentive and enthusiastic.

Food5/5 – Beef was juicy and thick, (maybe a bit crumbly if I was to be extremely critical) and all other parts of the burger were cooked and seasoned perfectly for my taste. Fries – wish I had more!

Price4/5 – reasonably priced, pretty much on par with any other burger chain like Byron or GBK – but these burgers are actually very good and not as dry as crisp 90% of the time. So in that sense, I guess its even better value for money. High quality produce at an affordable price.

But like I always say to my friends, don’t take my word for it – just go and try it!

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That Wedding in Singapore

The sun beamed with intensity as we walked under a pure, blue Singaporean sky towards Marymount, to attend the morning tea ceremony of my dear cousin and his beautiful bride. It was a bright morning. Just like every other one had been in Singapore, where the sunlight was strong all you saw was white. And the soaked backs of men’s shirts was a reminder of the usual humidity.

But despite the unbearable heat, the groomsmen and bridesmaids successfully conducted the traditional Chinese ‘gate crashing’ in style and the bride nevertheless emerged in the most stunning ‘kai po’ I have seen to date. The tailor-made dress had an incredible lace back (think the high quality crochet type) which fitted her perfectly. Of all chinese kai po’s I have seen, this one is the closest to the stunning design worn by Hong Kong model Kathy Chow. Needless to say, I immediately noted down the name of the tailor!

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Several hours after the warming buffet at the bride’s lovely home, where some of the best local Singaporean food was served (although 90% of it was super hot and spicy, and by this point of my holiday I was desperately craving something that wasn’t) it was time to get ready for the main wedding ceremony held at the great Raffles Hotel.

At first it seemed doubtful that we would watch the happy couple get married in the courtyard, with the indecisive rain clouds hovering and causing a stir. The hotel staff were constantly on guard and ready to stack up all the chairs as soon as a couple of drops came down. This happened at least 3 times, before it was decided that Plan B had to be implemented. But this plan certainly wasn’t secondary in terms of impact. Taking place on the sheltered stage in the courtyard and looking out onto the beautiful lawn, we watched the groomsmen, bridesmaids and super cute nephews and nieces walk up the rich, red carpet. Not to mention the dramatic and emotional music in the background – it was safe to say I was already sobbing after one minute!

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So the big moment came, the bride arrived. An elegant, one-shouldered white gown, with light ruffles that were so airy they almost looked perfectly ‘under-styled’ – of course it was Vera Wang. From Vera Wang’s lower-end collection, this gown not only had a fantastic price tag, but the upmost quality and grace that only a designer gown would bear.

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As for myself, I wore a simple, fitted skater dress in dusty, pale blue by French Connection, teamed with nude courts and accessorised with a statement necklace I purchased from a local Singaporean boutique.

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Have you or will you be attending any summer weddings this year? Please share all your wonderful experiences, I hope you have enjoyed reading mine.

America Photo Diary

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So I have been lacking lately due to a trip to America, coupled with a snowballing amount of work and looming deadline. But this week I’ve managed to take some chill time and finally getting to post some travel pics! This trip was an incredible experience for me in terms of overcoming many ‘firsts’ – first flight alone (I have always been able to share my travels with at least one other person), first time in Dallas (admittedly it was only the airport!), first visit to Austin, first time in Arizona, first time leading business meetings independently… Basically a lot! And although many if these were initially unnerving, it was a positively challenging experience and I loved every minute of it.
My first stop was to Austin, Texas for 3 nights where I took a drive by tour of quirky Austin, met some super friendly locals and worked with lovely colleagues based in the office out there. What I was most impressed about Austin was the variety of food. It is clearly a hub for upcoming street food as we drove by streets of people swarming and queuing for the latest food truck delights. Wurst Tex and Vietnamese Mexican were just a few concepts I spotted. If I had more time in downtown I definitely would’ve liked to waste away the day trying everything! All in all I would definitely recommend anyone to give Austin a visit, for it’s super friendly, chilled atmosphere and intriguing eats.

Scoffandstyle on Instagram

As I know I won’t be available to blog as often as I would like, in the next couple of weeks or so (due to a business trip in the US), I thought I would remind you guys that you can follow my travels and happenings on trusty old Instagram. Here are just a few from the past month :), without repeating any already shared on this blog. You can follow me here.

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Keep your eyes peeled for an Instagram log of my travels to America in a few weeks time – although I will do a full photo diary for you all here as soon as I get back!

Patara, Knightsbridge

A couple of weeks back I had a catch up with my lovely University housemate at Patara (website here) in Knightsbridge, London. We opted for its lunch menu which offered 2 courses for around £13, which was fantastic value for money given that main courses are priced at £15 and over and portions were decent.

To start I ordered Phed Nam Peung, honey marinated duck breast pieces, wrapped in Pandan leaf and fried. At first I thought it would be rather heavy because of the ‘frying’ aspect, however the duck was cooked just right and not oily at all. Although I would only recommend ordering this if you are particularly hungry at the time.

Pictured below with my starter is also the tofu salad ordered by my friend.

Patara starters

For mains I chose the Gang Kari which was a yellow coconut curry with New Zealand lamb, new potatoes and onions. In terms of flavour the curry was amazing, although if I was to be picky I would probably make it a little hotter. Lamb was not overcooked either. I just wished there was more of it!

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Atmosphere: despite visiting on a weekday and just after the usual lunch rush, there was a fair amount of tables occupied and definitely made it less awkward, as the waiters/waitresses liked to stand and watch you from afar. Nevertheless it was comfortable to sit in and the decor was typical of high-end dining.
Service: all staff were all extremely friendly, the older gentlemen who served us was particularly warm and welcoming with lots of smiles and interest in conversing with the customers.
Food: excellent flavours, although probably more on the light side compared with the Thai food I have had Asia.
Price: the lunch offer was amazing value for money, the jasmine tea was also reasonably priced. Although I’m not sure if I personally would pay for the evening prices myself.

I would definitely like to go back and try some other dishes and the location is nice and away from the hustle/ tourist-crowded surroundings of Harrods. Have you been to Patara before? What did you think?