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Here are some moist breakfast muffins to warm you up on this chilly winter morning. Taken from Hershey Kitchens, these oat-enriched chocolate muffins were enough to keep me going till lunchtime. By teatime, the weather was much brighter with a hint of sunshine which prompted me to bake Dorie Greenspan’s flavourful Coffee Break Muffins. Lighter than the oatmeal ones, they are packed with intense coffee aroma that does find its way around the house within 5 minutes of baking time. And to combine the best of both worlds, I allowed myself to indulge a generous dose of Nestle’s Mocha Shake, a delicious brew made by blending chocolate ice cream, coffee and Milo together.



1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup milk + 1 tbs white vinegar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts


  • Heat oven to 400°F. Grease and lightly flour muffin cups or line them with paper cups.

  • Stir together oats and buttermilk in small mixing bowl; leave to stand about 20 minutes.

  • Stir together oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Add oats mixture, stirring well.

  • Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to oats mixture.

  • Blend until moistened. Stir in nuts. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

  • Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack to cool. Makes about 6 jumbo-sized muffins.



2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 tsp table salt

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup strong coffee, cooled

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400F. Butter a 12-mold muffin pan or fit them with paper muffin cups.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, espresso, baking powder and salt. Stir in the brown sugar.

  • Make sure there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk the coffee, butter, egg and vanilla till combined.

  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a whisk or rubber spatula gently but quickly stir to blend.

  • Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Makes 12 muffins.



1 tablespoon Nescafe Classic Coffee

2 scoops Nestle Chocolate Ice Cream

150 ml Nestle UHT Full Cream Milk

6 tablespoons Milo Powder


  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

  • Pour into glasses. Decorate with whipped cream and sprinkle extra Milo powder.

Chocolate & Coffee Duo

 Good food and sleep are two things that usually keep me happy but there are days when I can do without both and still be a perfectly happy soul. Like on days when I can forego my lunch time in favour of interesting surgical cases or stay up till early morning to assist unusual emergencies. Hmm, surgical does keep me happy. Well, tired but happy!

With my blog’s 1st anniversary coming up, I feel I should share some of that happiness with you. InspiredToBake is gonna hold its very first giveaway to celebrate the event and I suggest that you keep checking so as not to miss the chance of winning free gifts 🙂

This week’s kitchen adventure includes a couple of eggless recipes, mainly because I ran out of eggs and it was too late to think of getting a fresh batch. Luckily I had a tin of condensed milk to save the day and it turned out to be a pretty good substitute.

The rich creamy mousse with a strong hint of coffee, featured below, is one of those desserts you should make for your own indulgence. You can really trust me on this one 🙂




1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

2 tbs cocoa or 100 g dark chocolate

1 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp instant coffee or espresso

1 cup unsweetened whipping cream


  • Dissolve coffee/espresso in 2 tsp hot water.
  • Combine condensed milk, cocoa/chocolate, butter and coffee/espresso in a medium saucepan.


  • Cook over low heat. Stir constantly until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Beat whipping cream in a large bowl until stiff.


  • Gradually fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream.
  • Refrigerate until set and serve with wafers and fresh berries.

Coconut macaroons are not to be confused with the melt-in-the-mouth meringue based french macarons. These soft coconut cookies usually include egg whites but I’m glad I stumbled across this eggless recipe on Hershey’s Kitchens. It was the perfect way to use up the remaining condensed milk along some fresh coconut I had no immediate plans for anyway. 




1 cup all purpose flour

3 tbs unsalted butter, softened

3 tbs powdered sugar

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups freshly shredded coconut

1/2 cup almond slices, toasted

1/8 tsp almond extract

50 g dark chocolate


  • Preheat oven to 350 oF. Line a 7″x7″ baking pan with foil.
  • Combine flour, butter and sugar in a bowl until mixture sticks together. Lightly press into prepared pan.


  • Stir together condensed milk, coconut, almond slices and almond extract in a large bowl until well conbined.
  • Drop almond-coconut mixture over crust, spread evenly.


  • Bake for 20 minutes until coconut edges are browned.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in pan. Invert on a wire rack and cool completely. Cut into bars with a serrated knife.


  • Melt dark chocolate and drizzle over bars. Makes 8 bars.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for upto 1 week.

It took me a long time to get over the fact that I was no longer part of the surgical unit. After 5 months spent in operating theatres and surgical wards I grew strongly attatched to my work environment and fellow colleagues.  My Sp and RMO are among those I’m gonna miss the most. They’ve both been incredibly nice to me ever since I’ve been tagged as their lucky mascot.

Moving on to my next posting, I’m slowly coming to terms with the diagnosis and management of common conditions like diabetes and hypertension.  It’s not as straightforward as surgical where you can do away with the pathology simply by excising the part(s) involved. Wonder if the OT enthusiast in me will ever grasp the subtleties of non operating units. I give myself another 5 months to answer that and let you know whether I have a change of heart or not.

After volunteering to be on call on consecutive weekends I finally had the next couple of sundays to bake and relax. These chocolate topped mocha brownies were just the thing for the bag of walnuts I bought a while ago. I doubled the amount of nuts instead of adding regular chocolate chips to fool myself into believing that I made a ‘healthier’ version. Adapted from Coffee Morning Cakes.



100g unsalted butter

100g dark chocolate

2 tbs strong black coffee

100g golden caster sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 eggs, room temperature

85g all purpose flour

50g dark chocolate chips

50g toasted walnuts

100g white chocolate


  • Preheat oven to 350 oF. Grease & line a 9×9-inch baking tin.
  • Place butter, chocolate and coffee in a medium saucepan. Over low heat, stir until just melted. Cool slightly.

  • Whisk in sugar, cinnamon and eggs until well combined.
  • Sift over flour and fold in carefully. Lastly stir chocolate chips and coarsely chopped walnuts into batter.

  • Pour into prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in tin before turning out. Cut into bars.
  • Melt white chocolate and drizzle over bars.

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