Tropical Rum Cake


A summer dream for warm evenings!

Tropical, sweet, moist and so aromatic. Don’t miss this!

Tropical Rum Cake

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: medium
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For the cake:

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum and/or one portion or rum extract (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 eggs
  • 220 g flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or Greek yogurt (I used the yogurt)

For the topping and frosting:

  • 8 oz. can of pineapple or jackfruit in syrup (I used jackfruit), or whatever you like
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2-4 tabelsppons brown sugar, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 24-25 cm springform.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the oil, butter and sugar. Beat this mixture very well, until light.
  3. Add the rum the eggs and beat well again.
  4. Stir together the flour, salt and baking powder and fold this dry mixture under the wet mixture.
  5. Add half of the buttermilk and beat shortly just to combine.
  6. Pour the batter into the mold, and bake for about 25-30 minutes until done (toothpick test). Let the cake cool on a wire rack.
  7. While the cake is baking drain pineapple or jackfruit (keep the syrup) and cut them into bite sized pieces. Now bring his syrup and the sugar in a small saucepan to boil. Let simmer until slightly thickened add fruit pieces, lime juice and zest, bring shortly to boil. Remove the pan from the heat to cool slightly.
  8. Once the cake is done and it has cooled for about 15 minutes, poke holes all over the surface with a toothpick or a fork. Spoon the thickened syrup first on top and then arrange the fruits. Let cool completely before making the frosting.
  9. Toast dry the coconut in the skillet stirring constantly. When the coconut is a light, toasty brown place it a bowl to cool down.
  10. Just before serving, beat whipping cream, add sugar, powdered sugar and beat shorty again (you may also beat all together).

Top the cake with the prepared cream, sprinkle toasted coconut on top and serve immediately.

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Papaya Boat


Papaya is a common fruit served on breakfast buffets in Thailand. Usually you will find some lime slices as well because papaya fits wonderful with lime juice and the sweetness is well balanced by the tangy and aroma of the lime.

This breakfast inspired me to serve papaya and lime in a new way. It was really amazing and much better than I’ve imagined!

Papaya Boat

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 mins + freezing
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Autor:  Papaya-Boat-3

You need:


  • 1 medium papaya

Sorbet (or enough readymade lime sorbet):

  • 8-12 limes, juiice
  • 1 lime, grated zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, to taste
  • 2 cups ice cubes, quantity to adjust


  • 8 lime slices
  • 8 mint springs, optional


  1. First of all prepare your sorbet (if not using the readymade quality): place lime juice grated zest and powdered sugar in the blender. Pulse until smooth. Now add ice cubes one by one pulsing after adding each ice cube. Continue until you get a soft but not runny sorbet. Transfer to a container and place in the freezer immediately.
  2. Wash the papaya, cut lengthways into quarters. Remove seed and part of the pulp (eat the pulpJ) in order to form a small hole in the papaya.
  3. Place each quarter of papaya on a single plate, spoon the sorbet into the hole.
  4. Garnish with lime slices and mint springs.
  5. Serve immediately

Suggestion: add some chopped mint leaves when you prepare the sorbet!


Tropical Dream Pineapple Shake


I’ve created this super easy and simple beverage for our summer game according the rules and the ingredients suggested.

But the main inspiration came from our travel in Thailand when pineapple shakes were one of the most sold street beverage. Another variation we had was exactly the same but with banana!

For this recipe I suggest to take “ultra sweet” pineapples, but if this not available you can adjust it adding more sugar.

Don’t use fresh milk as it would separate with the sourness of the pineapple; plain yogurt would work as well.

Tropical Dream Pineapple Shake

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need:

  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, from a fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 1/4-1/2 cups, condensed milk (sweetened or not)
  • 1-4 tablespoons golden syrup or sugar, to taste (depends on the sweetness of the pineapple)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla sugar or a few drops vanilla extract, to taste
  • 1 fresh pineapple slice or mint leaves for decoration


  1. Place ice cubes, pineapple chunks, condensed milk, sugar and vanilla in your blender (or in a bowl if using a hand blender); remember to adjust sugar to the sweetness of your pineapple.
  2. Blend it until very smooth. Adjust sugar if needed and blend again.
  3. Pour the shake in big glasses and decorate with the pineapple or mint.
  4. Enjoy!

Grilled Beef Thai Style


This delicious beef recipe is perhaps more similar to a beef salad than a steak.

I found out that his is sometimes called “Crying Tiger” (or Seua Tong Hai in Thai) and it is served with a dipping sauce called Nam Jim.  The red bird chilis used for this recipes are quite strong, for this reason this recipe got its special name!

The rice used in the sauce gives a great consistency and a light roasted taste.  I can remember I saw the roasted grinded rice in an Asian shop many years ago, but I could not imagine how this was used!

The grilled meat should be grilled on charcoals, as this adds the typical smoky flavor.

This is a perfect example how the combination of two recipes create something far greater than their individual parts.

Grilled Beef Thai Style

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Autor: Grilled-Beef-Thai-Style

You need:


  • 400 g rib eye or New York strip steaks, about 2-3 cm thick
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain vegetable oil


  • 1/4 cup tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground chilli, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (alternative light soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or Tamarind Purée
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground rice, if possible use toasted rice
  • 1 tablespoon beef or vegetable stock


  • Thai sweet basil leaves
  • coriander leaves
  • a few slices of red chilli (if possible red bird chilis)


  1. Mix together the soy sauce,, brown sugar, and vegetable oil in a medium mixing bowl. Coat the meat with this mixture and let sit while you prepare the sauce.
  2. For the sauce combine all the listed ingredients. Note: I used a mortar to grind the rice and I sieved it!
  3. Put the steak under a preheated hot grill and cook, turning it once, according to your taste. Don’t overcook it; it’s better to stop before completely done, wrap in aluminum foil and wait 10 minutes before slicing it!
  4. Slice the steak and arrange on a serving dish and garnish with the basil, coriander and chilli.
  5. Serve it with the sauce.



Thai Coconut Curried Chicken


Thai curries are prepared with a lot of fresh ingredients as roots and herbs give them a special unique flavor. I use to keep most of this kind of ingredients in the freezer, it’s the easiest way for me especially for galangal, Thai basil, cilantro, lemon grass and so on.

If possible I have the fresh cilantro on hand, sometimes in a pot and sometimes well wrapped in the fridge and some stems in a glass of water. I use quite often ginger and I keep always some in the fridge.

In this case I have I have most of the ingredients ready and the preparation of this curry required less than 30 minutes.

It’s possible to prepare this curry skipping some of the ingredients, but I would use at least one of these ingredients: lemon grass, galangal and ginger. For the herbs I really recommend to use either cilantro or basil leaves or kaffir.

You may also add some veggies as for example peeled and diced taro; but cook until this is tender.

Thai Coconut Curried Chicken

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: Thai-Coconut-Curried-Chicken

You need

  • 2 tablespoon vegetal oil
  • 1 lemon grass
  • 1 cm fresh galangal, sliced
  • 1 cm fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 cm fresh turmeric, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Thai yellow curry paste
  • 500 g chicken breast, skinless, deboned and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, optional
  • 1/2 bird eye chili, sliced
  • 1 cup coconut milk, reserve about 2-4 tablespoons for topping
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 4 tablespoon, light Thai soy sauce or to taste
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Thai basil leaves
  • 1 kaffir leaf sliced, reserve some slices few for decoration
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves, reserve a few for decoration
  • 4 cherry tomatoes sliced


  1. Prepare all the ingredients.
  2. Heat oil in a wide non-sticky skillet.
  3. Add lemon grass, galangal, ginger, turmeric and garlic.
  4. When the garlic begins to brown add curry paste, chicken, turmeric powder and chili. Stir to roast the chicken.
  5. When chicken begins to brown add coconut milk and flour dissolved in the water.
  6. Add soy sauce, lime juice and bring to boil. Season with fish sauce, soy sauce or more lime juice to taste.
  7. Stir in basil leaves, kaffir lime and cilantro. Cook for a few more minutes.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate, top with revered kaffir leave slices, fresh cilantro and tomatoes. Spoon reserved coconut milk and serve with white rice.

Philippines Pineapple Salsa


Philippines is an Asian country with strong Latin influences. An example of this phenomenon is this salsa. No special ingredients like Thai fish sauce, soy sauce and other Asian condiments are needed, this preparation is based simply on fresh ingredients!

You can use this as side to fish, meat and even to grilled meat. Simply delicious!

Philippines Pineapple Salsa

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


You need:

  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple (peeled and cored)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped (if possible red or other sweet kinds)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced (or other kind of pepper you like)
  • 2-4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional (I did not need it!)


  1. Prepare the pineapple and all the ingredients.
  2. In a serving bowl combine all the ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately.

Note: If you want to prepare add all the ingredients except the salt. Just before serving add the salt and toss.



Thai Roasted Eggplant Salad with Shrimp


Eggplant roasted salad is a wonderful specialty which rarely is served in restaurants and seems disappear in front of more popular dishes as Pad Thai and so on.

In the villages food is still prepared on small clay ovens where eggplants, peppers and other veggies can be roasted and the used for further preparations.

Today we planned to grill our meat in the chimney over wood charcoal a great opportunity to roast our veggies. It’s not the first time we prepare the veggies over the fire, but it was the first time I used them for Thai recipes. And wow! How unexpected delicious was this salad! A real gem!

Thai Roasted Eggplant Salad with Shrimp

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Autor: Thai-Roasted-Eggplant-Salad-with-Shrimp

You need:

  • 1 big eggplant (about 250 g), if possible the long kind
  • 1 red pepper, optional
  • 200 g shrimps
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce, alternative light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar, alternative brown sugar
  • 1 fresh, chili if possible bird’s eye chili
  • 1/2 green mango or 1 apple, peeled cut into thin wedges, optional
  • 2 tablespoon thick coconut milk, optional
  • 1 tablespoon grinded dried shrimp, alternative dry roasted coconut flakes


  1. Roast the eggplant and the pepper over hot charcoals turning from time to time until the skin are completely roasted. If you don’t have this possibility, you can broil them in the oven, flipping from time to time. Remove from heat and set aside covered to cool down. When they are cooled enough but still warm, remove the skin. Set aside.
  2. In the meantime heat little water and boil and cook the shrimps for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink. Drain, remove the skin (except of the tail) and set aside.
  3. Combine lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chili. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Dice eggplant and peppers, prepare the shallot and peel and slice apple.
  5. In a bowl combine eggplant, peppers, shallot, apple and shrimps. Pour sauce over this and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate.

Top with coconut milk, sprinkle with dried shrimps and serve immediately.

New York Egg Cream from Scratch


No egg, no alcohol for this foamy drink! An impressive and fancy preparation.

I made my chocolate syrup at home and I suggest to adapt it to you taste.

Feel free to try some variations: adding cinnamon, making a chocolate mocha syrup or what you fantasy suggests to you.


PNew York Egg Cream from Scratch

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

Autor: New-York-Egg-Cream-from-Scratch

You need:

Chocolate syrup (or 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup)

  • 10 g dark chocolate
  • 10 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • a few drops vanilla extract, optional

Other ingredients

  • 2 ice cubes
  • ½ cup whole milk, ice cold
  • About 2 cups bottled plain seltzer water


  1. In a small microwave save bowl place the ingredients for the syrup.
  2. Heat for about 10 minutes, stir. Repeat several times until chocolate and sugar are dissolved.
  3. Add ice cubes and stir well until ice is melted and syrup is completely cold.
  4. Divide the syrup into two tall drinking glasses.
  5. Fill each glass with about 1/4 cup milk, stir with a long handled metal spoon to combine.
  6. Pour seltzer slowly into the milk chocolate mix. A creamy foam should rise and your drink is ready.

Note: For a whiter foam change the sequence: milk, seltzer, chocolate syrup and stir gently!

Azorean Fish Roll


Elvira is an Azorean wonderful blogger. As I saw this stunning recipe I knew that this would I was looking for and I saved this in my “to try” recipes. Only a few days later I tried her recipe called “Torta de peixe à Marília” ( and I adapted her recipe. I don’t know if I understood well all the ingredients and description of the procedure, but I will report what I did and the result was fabulous!

This preparation presents very well, can be eaten warm or cold; up to you!

For this recipe you should use white flesh boiled fish as suggested in her original Azorean recipe, but you can also use other kind of fish even with smoked trout!

I increased the quantity of flour as I supposed she used 3 heaped tablespoon flour. I used 4.

Azorean Fish Roll

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: 1 hrs
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Autor: Azorean-Fish-Roll-2

You need:

  • 200 g cooked white flesh fish (or 200 g smoked trout)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 200 ml milk
  • 3 tablespoons tomatoes paste
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 heaped tablespoons flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • Chili flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup homemade marinara or tomatoes sauce  ( I can imagine that herbed cream cheese would be delicious as well)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment foil, grease and dust the foil with flour.
  3. Prepare/cook the fish and let cool down, dice it into small pieces.
  4. In a skillet heat oil and fry onion and garlic until onion begins to brown. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Add to the bowl parsley, milk, tomatoes paste and egg yolks. Stir to combine.
  6. Fold flour, baking powder and chili flakes to taste. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Beat egg whites to stiff picks and fold egg whites under the batter.
  8. Spread the batter over the prepared foil and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C/400°F.
  9. Remove from the oven and turn the sponge out onto another piece of greaseproof paper / parchment foil.
  10. Spread the tomatoes sauce. Roll the sponge using the foil.
  11. Serve hot of wrap in foil to cool down.


Pandan and Coconut Jelly


This is a popular dessert in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Burma, Malaysia…) based on Coconut and Pandan flavor prepared with a vegan gelatin called Agar.

Compared to the animal gelatin agar is more solid and not jiggly and it harden and lower temperate: no fridge is needed!

To activate agar you need higher temperature and you really need to boil it

Pandan and Coconut Jelly

  • Servings: 15
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


You need:Pandan-and-Coconut-Jelly

White Layer

  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar, powder
  • 2 cups unsweetened canned coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar or more if you prefer
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coconut, finely shredded, optional

Green layer

  • ½ tablespoon agar-agar, powder
  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon of pandan extract (see variations)


  1. White layer: Bring agar agar powder, water, sugar and coconut milk slowly to boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved stir in fresh coconut if desired. Remove and pour the mixture into a chilled mold (I used a 25 to 35 cm mold). When it is halfway chilled place into the fridge until completely set and cold.
  2. Green layer: In the meanwhile bring the agar agar powder, sugar, salt, water and pandan extract to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mix well.
  3. When it has cooled halfway (but still liquid) pour the mixture holding the pot as close to the surface over the bottom layer.
  4. Chill to set in the fridge for at least hour.
  5. Slice jelly into serving portions with a sharp knife and serve chilled.

Variations instead of pandan extract:

  • Fresh/chop pandan leaves: chop 6 pandan leaves and blend them with the 1 ½ cups water. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and use this liquid as the water described in the recipe. You may also add the pandan extract for more flavor.
  • Rose water: Instead of pandan extract you may use rose-water and if desired food coloring
  • Coffee: Instead of pandang extract and water you may use cooled coffee!


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