Saturday, November 5, 2011

Classic bagels

Autumn is here and before we know it winter is on the doorstep. For some people this is the worst time of the year, for myself the short days just means more time to spend in front of the open fire. Lots of films to watch, hot ports to drink and citrus fruits in season is all great things that makes the darker time of the year more bearable to me.
Other things to kill some time is of course baking, that will never become boring and there will always be someone up for freshly baked goods. A couple of weeks ago I had another go at making bagels, they turned out really nice. A crusty outside sprinkled with sesame seeds, a chewy inside with a good, dense texture; everything a bagel is about. So with a few bagels in the freezer even the darkest mornings can become really enjoyable. Serve them toasted with cream cheese. Or do you prefer marmalade or jam? The topping is really up to yourself, I can only provide you with the recipe.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cinnamon bun crisps

Just as pancakes has its own day here in Ireland, the cinnamon bus has its own day in Sweden. This day is the 4th of October and I sure did my duty as a Swede abroad and baked some buns. When buns are fresh they are such a delight to bite into, but after a day or two they loose their freshness and a lot of leftover buns end up in the bin. Then I read about what delicious things they can be turned into; bread and butter pudding, french toast, grilled into a sweet bruschetta topped with apples and mascarpone...the list is long but one idea really caught my interest.
The bun is sliced thinly and put on a baking tray or wire rack, toasted in the oven and then dried out on a low heat to create crisp, biscotti-like biscuits to serve on the side of tea or coffee. I tried and it worked a treat. The bun is so rich itself that even though it's dried out it tastes sweet and buttery.
So just get some old buns, slice them up and toast on 175C for 5min, turn down the heat to 120 and continue to cook until the buns are dry and crisp.

Whiskey and cardamom truffles

It has been so quiet here on hoglundshomemade, some of you might wonder what I have been up to. I have not forgotten about my blog, not at all. I have just been working so much lately that there has simply been no time for experimenting in the kitchen. But things are looking brighter and I am now ready to start cooking up some yummy stuff again.
October is coming to its end and that means Halloween. Not my favourite holiday I have to say, but any reason to eat chocolate is good enough for me. There is all sorts of chocolates and sweets around at this time of the year, big bags of them that can be bought very cheap in the supermarkets, but unfortunately this stuff is not very tasty at all. Most of it is full of unnecessary . "Since when do the put paprika extract in chocolate?" I asked myself one day when reading the label of a well known chocolate bar. It just does not seem right.
After the dry spell in my kitchen and a few too many of those not so tasty chocolate bars I decided to make some really tasty chocolates but without all those unnecessary ingredients. An old and well tried recipe for chocolate truffles became very handy as it is very easy and does not require a lot of ingredients; some good quality chocolate, cream, butter and which ever flavour you like. The day i made the truffles I was loking for something rich, heavy and a bit on the boozy side. A dark chocolate and cardamom truffle flavoured with whiskey is what I made and they were so delicious. We had them in the evening after dinner with a cup of green tea, but they go just as well with black tea or coffee for those who like that. This recipe makes about 12-15 truffles.

100 grams dark chocolate (70%)
100ml cream
20 grams butter
20ml whiskey
2 cardamom pods

100 grams dark chocolate(70%), cocoa powder

Crush the cardamom pods open so the little black seeds come out, crush the seeds lightly. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Bring the cream and cardamom to boil, pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate, stir until the chocolate is melted. Add butter and whiskey, stir until smooth and shiny. Chill for at least 4 ours, preferably over night.
Dust your hands lightly with cocoa powder and roll teaspoons of the truffle mix into little balls. Chill for 1 hours. Melt the chocolate and roll each truffle in the chocolate until the surface is covered, roll in cocoa powder and chill. Keep in the fridge in an air tight container.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lemon custard hearts

In the kitchen there is a box full of the things I use when I bake, there is muffin cups, icing, cookie cutters, different tools and ingredients and then there is a load of little metal tins in different shapes, sizes and varieties that are very valuable to me. I got them from my mum, and she got them from her mum and I just love using them because of the history to them. When making these shortbread biscuits filled with custard, a very typical Swedish treat usually made in heart shaped tins, I felt quite lucky to come from a family with people who shared and shares my interest in cooking and baking. My grandmother was a very good home-cook and baker, she made the most amazing chocolate fudge and baked the yummiest buns with almond paste...
When I decided to use the heart shaped tins and make these pastries I made a small change to the recipe, not so surprising at this I ever follow a recipe completely I wonder? It was only a tiny change though; the vanilla flavoured custard, as the recipe called for, was swapped for a lemon flavoured custard because I like tangy things and I had no good vanilla at home. Simple like that!

120 grams plain flour
100 grams butter
30 grams cornflour
25 grams caster sugar

Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add both types of flour gradually while stirring into a smooth dough. Let the dough chill in the fridge while making the custard.

1 egg yolk
100ml milk
1/2tbsp cornflour
1tsp caster sugar
zest of one lemon+2tbsp juice

Mix egg yolk and cornflour. Heat milk, sugar and lemon zest until it nearly starts to boil. Pour the liquid over the egg yolk while whisking. Put the mix back into the pot and on a medium heat bring the mix to 85C, or until it starts to thicken, while stirring constantly. When thick (but not scrambled!!) take off the heat and add the lemon juice. Let cool down before straining the lemon zest away.

Roll out half of the pastry and line 8 small pie tins or what ever moulds you are using. Fill with the custard and roll out the rest of the pastry to cover the top. Bake for 10-15min on 200C until golden.

Pear, chocolate and almond tart

A few years ago I lived in an area in Dublin with fabulous gourmet food shops. Unfortunately they tend to be quite expensive so for daily grocery shopping they're not ideal, but for the occasional treat they do fill their purpose. One of these shops is a vegetable and fruit shop that also stocks farm fresh eggs, hand made cheeses, pasta, jars of all sorts of condiments, grains and pulses...The list is nearly endless and I always seem to find things in there that I might have been looking for in several other shops without any luck.
The other day I did not really need anything from there, I just cycled by and decided to have a look and there they were; these amazingly pretty pears, they were red, green and shiny. To pretty not to buy so I got two of them not even knowing what to do with them. But then an idea took place in my head after finding both ground almonds and dark chocolate in my cup board. Think chocolate frangipan in a cocoa flavoured pie crust, on top of that these juicy pears baked until slightly caramelized. Success.
25 grams caster sugar
50 grams butter,at room temperature
65 grams plain flour
10 grams cocoa powder
1 egg yolk
Almond filling
75 grams butter,at room temperature
50 grams caster sugar
50 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated
75 grams ground almonds
1tbsp plain flour
1 egg+1egg yolk

1 pear

Mix flour, cocoa powder and sugar, rub in the butter until it forms crumbles. Add the egg yolk and quickly mix into a dough. Roll out between cling film and line the baking tin. Put in the fridge while making the almond filling.

Beat butter and sugar pale and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk and continue to beat until smooth and well combined. Fold in almonds, flour and chocolate. Spread out in the pie crust. Peel the pear and cut into very thin slices. Arrange the pear slices on top of the almond filling and bake for 30-40min on 160C. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chocolate and hazelnut muffins

I love to bake but find it terribly hard to control myself when I keep baked goods in the house, it is as if I cant walk by the kitchen without having another little sample. Lucky I have a job where I get to bake most days and that way get it all out of my system before I come home.
I do however still bake a lot at home, mainly before having guests, or if I am going to someone I can bring some fresh pastries. That way I can nearly pretend I am working and don't have to eat it all myself.
The other night though I just had a craving for something sweet to go with a cup of tea. After a look around in my cupboard I found some ground hazelnuts and decided to make some muffins. Hazelnuts are so delicious when toasted and added to cakes or muffins and goes really well with chocolate. So there it was; chocolate and hazelnut muffins. This make 8 normal sized muffins.

1 egg
75 grams butter
130 grams caster sugar
100 grams plain flour
30 grams ground hazelnuts
1.5tsp baking powder
75ml milk
1 1/2tsp cocoa powder

Melt butter and put aside to cool down. Combine flour, cocoa powder, hazelnuts and baking powder. Whisk egg and sugar until very fluffy and pale, add butter and stir until smooth. Add the dry ingredients through a sieve and fold in, last add milk and stir until all is well blended. Fill muffin cups to 2/3 and bake on 175C for 20min or until a skewer comes out dry. Let cool down.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Slow roast tomatoes

In the shops this time of the year the fruit and vegetable section is full of fantastic surprises; berries of all kind (locally sourced), green leafy vegetables, melons of all kinds and of course tomatoes. This really is the time for this humble fruit (yep, not a veggie) to shine and I eat tomatoes nearly every day in some form. The other day I got a packet of mixed baby tomatoes, some were round, others were yellow and another few were kind of oval shaped. They all got halved and put in the oven with some olive oil and garlic and were left to sit there for a few hours on a low heat. Out came the most delicious little dried up tomatoes, still a bit juicy but just all the good flavour capsuled in one tiny tomato half. Tonight I will put a few into a chickpea and chorizo stew, tomorrow I think they will be great on some bruschetta with mozzarella cheese...there is plenty of things to do with these tomatoes.

250 grams mixed baby tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
olive oil, salt, black pepper and a sprinkle of caster sugar

Half the tomatoes and put on a baking tray with the flesh side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little bit of caster sugar on top and place 3 crushed garlic cloves in the tray. Bake for 3-4 hours on 100C.