Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Delicious & Quick Chocolate Cake


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup organic cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp Whole Earth Chicory Root Coffee alternative
  • 1 large organic/pasture raised egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • enough milk to get the consistency you like 
  1. Preheat oven to 170C (160 if your using a fan or if your oven is usually very hot). Use a little bit of extra coconut oil to grease the bottom and sides of a 8x8 inch baking dish and then sprinkle over some flour.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (I used a stand mixer but a plain old mixing bowl and wooden spoon will also work). 
  3. Add the coconut oil, egg, milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Once everything is incorporated slowly add the boiling water, stirring to combine. The mixture will be quite runny. 
  4. Pour the cake batter into your prepared dish and pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until it bounces back after being gently pressed. Allow your cake to cool while you make the icing.
  5. Mix all of the icing ingredients together and spread it over the cake once it has cooled.
  6. Slice and enjoy! You can even eat it straight from the dish if no one is looking.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Homemade Cinnabon Cake

I was so apprehensive about making homemade Cinnamon Rolls, but I was shocked at how well they turned out! It was just as yummy as having a fresh bun at Cinnabon with the added bonus of self accomplishment. It goes down a treat.


1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 - 4 cups plain flour

1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
A handful of chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top.

  1. Heat oven to 165C (fan-forced). In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and then mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually an hour. **NOTE: I used my KitchenAid Mixer for kneading the dough. Once it was coming off the sides clean and the dough bounced back once it was pressed I stopped kneading.**
  3. Combine the sugar and melted butter and set aside.
  4. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread the melted butter and sugar mixture evenly over the dough. Beginning at the 15-inch side, roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 1 inch slices
  5. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the prepared tin and let them rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes (once they rise they should be 'hugging' each other). Bake for about 25 minutes or until nicely browned.
  6. Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls and top with walnuts.

Monday, 9 May 2016

DIY Cake Smash

I wanted to create a really simple but sweet cake smash set for my little Noor who recently turned one. We didn't have the option to use a professional photographer because she is really shy as well as the huge price tag that comes with it. Here is what you will need to recreate this for yourself:

  • Cake - I baked my own so I knew exactly what was in it. I used organic flour, eggs and grass fed butter.
  • Cake Topper - I used a wooden N that is usually part of the 'NOOR' wooden set from her bedroom. I bought it from ACE Hardware originally.
  • A camera - For blogging I have a Nikon D3100 which was really useful with this project. I used it in 'no flash' mode but left all the other options as normal. I'm really hopeless with RAW mode etc.
  • Light Room - I can't stress enough how much this made a difference in my photos. Life changing!
  • A backdrop - We used a big sheet of white fabric. A white tablecloth or bed sheet would also work.
  • Decoration - I made my own bunting (if you would like to use a printable version, please visit my Instagram page @qissadubai) as well as a large helium confetti balloon.
  • Natural Light - choose a place in you home that has plenty of natural light. You really don't want to be using the flash on your camera.
  • Pick a time of day that your little one is most happy. We did Noor's just after her morning nap and she was in a great mood! We also made sure it was just her Papa and I so she wouldn't be distracted by too many people.
  • A look at this post by 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Qissa Dubai

Hi Friends!

As some of you may have seen posted on my social media lately, I have opened a shop within an online marketplace in Dubai. It's a small business venture to hopefully sell some of the things i have crafted to those who love and appreciate the art of design. It's a really hard thing to put a price on handmade work, especially in this age of cheap retail.  You question yourself, your craftsmanship and quality. Alas, friends and family came to the rescue with encouraging words and I finally started.

I also recently completed a Graphic Design course which has given me the skills to design prints, invites and monograms. This is also included in the shop.

I hope you like the pieces and I would love to hear from fellow designers, crafters and work-at-home-mums about collaborating in the future or just for a general chat!

To view this shop, click HERE!

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Best-Ever-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie

This recipe is a really simple variation of the Snickerdoodle recipe I posted a while back on this blog. As soon as I tasted the original Snickerdoodle, I knew it would be the perfect base for the yummiest chocolate chip cookies. I am definitely no expert but I'm sure the buttery, crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside texture is due to 2 things:

1 - You must beat your sugar and butter until really smooth and fluffy
2 - Chilling the dough in the fridge for a minimum of overnight is needed. I made the dough at around 4pm and baked the first batch at 8am the following morning. It also such a nice feeling to smell freshly baked cookies in the morning! 

  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 225g butter, room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-forced) and line two baking sheets with baking paper. In a medium bowl whisk the flour,baking powder and salt together to combine, then set aside.
  2. Using a free standing mixer, place the butter and sugar the bowl and beat together until light and fluffy (aim for 5+ min). If you do not have a stand mixer, use an electric whisk to beat the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla, one at a time mixing thoroughly between each addition. Add the flour mixture in three addition, using a silicone spoon or your hands until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix your dough.
  4. Shape cookies using an ice cream scoop and take directly out of the bowl.  Place them on a lined cookie sheet and chill covered for 18-24 hours. Take out of the fridge 30 mins before you want to bake them.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges but still soft in the middle (mine took 10mins). Allow to cool on baking sheets slightly before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Defibrillator Bars

I originally tried these little bars of nutty goodness on my trip home to Australia when Mum baked these from Marian Keyes cookbook, Saved by Cake. She says in her book that these bars would bring you back from the dead with all the energy they're packed with, hence the name. I didn't have the original recipe but remembered some of the key ingredients. They turned out great! Its the kind of recipe that you can change up according to the ingredients in your pantry as long as you stick to the most important items: butter, oats, honey and some type of sticky nut butter.

You could make this a really healthy recipe by using all organic ingredients and no brown sugar, which would turn out exactly the same! Just make sure you use a good quality raw honey for all the natural health benefits. A side note on the organic ingredients: I find that dry products like the oats and flax seed in this recipe are almost the same price of non-organic. If you are in Dubai, The Organic Shop has a great range of reasonably priced organic produce and even stock some of their products in the big supermarket chains like Spinneys and Carrefour.

The below measurements are a really rough guide as I didn't properly measure anything.


  • 100g butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (optional, as the honey may be sweet enough)
  • 2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milled flaxseed
  • a handful of  chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots
  1. Melt butter, peanut butter and honey together in a saucepan over low heat. Add the brown sugar if using. 
  2. Add oats and flaxseed, stirring to combine. If it looks like there is too much liquid, you can add more oats. 
  3. Stir in the nuts and dried fruit. Turn mixture into a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-15 mins in a 160C oven. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in the fridge in an airtight container. 
They are a bit crumbly, so if you plan to make them for guests or to take to a tea part, I'd suggest refrigerating before cutting!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Butternut Pumpkin Soup

pumpkin soup food photography

This is by far one of the easiest health conscious meals I have created in my cooking life to date. I made sure to use good quality organic stock and no added salt as I also planned to serve this to Baby Noor. For the velvety smooth consistency, a hand blender is this soup's best friend. It really makes it so easy and less mess than using large blender. This soup is actually my husbands favourite, which is a bonus for me as its so simple to make. A win win all round!


  • 1 medium size butternut pumpkin
  • 3 medium size brown onions
  • 1 Kallo organic onion or vegetable stock cube (or you can use homemade stock)
  • generous pinch of pepper
  • generous pinch of turmeric
  • cream or yoghurt to serve
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (preferably organic)
  1. Peel and slice the onions into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Peel and cut pumpkin into chunks. You don't need to be too neat just make sure they are all around the same size.
  2. Heat the olive and coconut oil in a medium size pot and once hot, throw in the onions. Let the onions reduce in size slightly and then add the pumpkin. You want to get a nice golden edge on the pumpkin if possible.
  3. Add the stock cube and turmeric and stir to combine. Then add enough boiling water so that it just reaches the top of the pumpkin. I used just under 1 litre. If you are using homemade stock, you can add this in instead. 
  4. Simmer over gentle heat until pumpkin has softened. Turn off heat and use a hand blender to create a smooth soup. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. 
  5. You can serve this with a dollop of double cream and with some homemade garlic bread. 
Next time, I think I'll attempt a Thai flavour with coconut milk and some fresh red chilli! 
I hope you like this recipe! Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram with your lovely soups!