Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hazelnut macaroons with whiskey butter cream


At the moment there seem to be as many macaroon makers as there is food blogs; nearly every blog I follow or read has pictures and recipes of their favourite macaroons. To me it is like chemistry class all over again, and all this whisking, sieving, folding, resting and waiting is a bit intimidating. It is so worth it though, trust me, because it is all those little steps that makes a macaroon perfect. Mine turned out just fine to the look, divine to the taste. So a little work on my technique and even I will be able to present a perfect macaroon on my blog. For now I give you the recipe of a not so perfect, very yummy hazelnut macaroon.

Hazelnut meringue
150 grams icing sugar
60 grams ground hazelnuts
2 egg whites

Make sure the hazelnuts are finely ground, add half of the icing sugar, mix and sieve. Beat egg white until soft peaks appear, slowly start to add icing sugar bit by bit while beating. Continue whisking to a firm meringue. Gently fold in hazelnuts and icing sugar, stir just so all is well blended and has lost a bit of its volume, be careful not to stir too much.
On a tray with baking paper drop small rounds of the mix using a piping bag or a tea spoon. Let rest in room temperature for 1 hour.

Bake in the middle of the oven on 150C for 12min. Let cool completely before removing from the paper.
Whiskey chocolate butter cream
50 grams soft butter
120 grams icing sugar
10 grams cocoa powder
2tsp whisky

Beat sugar, butter and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy. Add whiskey and stir again until well blended.

To put macaroons together pipe a small bit of butter cream on of the bottom one meringue and press one on top, bottom to bottom. Chill before serving

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cinnamon buns


The 4th of october is the cinnamon buns day in Sweden but they are baked and eaten all year around. I made some last week to put in the freezer. It is so handy to defrost a few buns if someone pops over for tea or if I decide to go for a picnic. Baked goods are always tastier when fresh but if you freeze the buns as soon as they have cooled down they will taste perfectly fine when defrosted.

Dough
50 grams fresh yeast/ 14 grams dried yeast
500ml milk
150grams butter
85 grams caster sugar
1tsp salt
900 grams plain flour
1tsp cardamom, ground

Filling
100grams butter, room temperature
80grams caster sugar
2tbsp cinnamon, ground

1 egg
pearl sugar or flaked almonds

Melt butter in a pan and add milk, let it be luke warm. Add the butter and milk to the yeast in a large bowl and mix until the yeast has dissolved. Add sugar, salt and cardamom. Add 2/3 of the flour, mix into a paste. Gradually add more flour while working the paste into a dough, you might not need all flour, the dough is good when it is elastic and easy to work. Let prove under a cloth until it has doubled in size.

Gently knead the dough on a floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Roll out to big squares about 2cm thick. Spread the butter evenly over the dough, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. You can either roll together like a swiss roll and cut into little swirls, or fold once and cut into strips that you twist around little swirly braids. Let rise for about 30min on a baking tray on baking paper or in muffins paper cups.

Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with pearl sugar or flaked almonds and bake for 8-10min on 220C.


Mocha cup cakes


This recipe is something myself and my Swedish friends all remember from our childhood. It was something our mums would bake a large tray of and cut into squares, decorate with either coconut or colourful sprinkles. They freeze very well so sometimes we kept them in the freezer but the best is of course to enjoy them fresh. I made cup cakes out of the recipe and gave away some to my Swedish friend Stina, she knows how to appreciate a mocha cup cake. A little taste of Sweden in Ireland.

Muffins
1 egg
75 grams butter
130 grams caster sugar
130 grams plain flour
1.5tsp baking powder
75ml milk
1 1/2tsp cocoa powder

Melt butter and put aside to cool down. Combine flour, cocoa powder 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.

Frosting
50 grams butter, soft
1tbsp cocoa powder
3tbsp coffee
180 grams icing sugar

3tbsp dessicated coconut

Beat butter, sugar and cocoa powder until smooth, slowly add coffee while still beating, continue beating the frosting until fluffy.

Spread the frosting on the cold muffins, sprinkle with dessicated coconut.

Spiced biscotti with muscovado sugar


I have made these biscotti before with almond and cardamom, but since christmas is near and all I can think about is mulled whine I thought I'd give them a kick; dark muscovado sugar and ginger bread spices. Perfect with a cup of mulled wine or even an irish coffee.

50 grams butter
35 grams ground almonds
105 grams sugar
1 egg
160 grams flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cloves

Blend almonds and butter until well mixed. Mix flour, baking powder and spices. Beat sugar and egg until white and fluffy. Combine all ingredients until it forms a quite loose dough. Shape 2 rolls the lenght of the baking tray you are using, transfer the dough to the tray with baking paper. Lightly press the dough out a little so you have the rolls about 2cm high and 3-4cm wide. Bake on 200C for 15 min. Take out and cut into little biscuits, put back on the tray and let dry on very low heat, say 50C for 2h or until dry.

Spiced muffin with mandrin frosting


Winter has come to Ireland and it felt like great waking up to a white world saturday morning. Ireland is not so used to the snow and therefor we seem to get a little more isolated here when the snow comes. In Sweden it kind of happens every year so people just get on with it but here the snow is a great excuse to stay in all day and bake cup cakes. I wanted something with a seasonal touch and what could be better then than a gingerbread muffin? The recipe is Swedish and is usually baked in a loaf tin but if one wants cup cakes then cup cakes it is. This recipe makes 10 muffins.

Muffins
50 grams butter
1 egg
95 grams caster sugar
100 grams plain flour
1/2tsp bread soda
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cloves
80 grams sour cream

Melt the butter and put aside to cool down. Mix all dry in gredients in a bowl. In a seperate bowl whisk egg and sugar until thick and fluffy, add sourcream and butter, stir until combined. Add the dry ingredrients through a sieve and fold in gently. Fill muffin cups up to 2/3. Nake on 175C for 25 min in the middle of the oven.

Frosting
100 grams soft butter
150 grams icing sugar
2 mandrins
1 egg yolk

Beat sugar and butter until white and fluffy, add the egg yolk and zest of the mandrins, continue to beat until well combined. Add 2tbsp of freshly squeezed juice and beat again until smooth.

Spread frosting on top of the muffin and decorate with some mandrin zest.


Rhubarb and cardamom ice cream


Making ice cream in the middle of the winter might sound a little odd but I am the proud owner of an ice cream machine and just happened to have a bag of rhubarb in the freezer...it turned out to be amazing, the rhubarb compote tasted like sorbet and together with creamy ice cream it felt like the last taste of summer for a very long time. The ice cream base is just a creme anglais flavoured with cardamom, a rhubarb compote on top of that and you have a perfect dessert, I served it in almond brandy snaps but you could just as well serve it on its own.

Creme anglais
100 grams caster sugar
200ml cream
200ml milk
30 grams liquid glucose (Golden syrup can be used as a substitute)
4 egg yolks
1 cardamom pod

Heat milk, cream, half of the sugar and cardamom pod in a pot. In a bowl beat egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until white and fluffy. When the cream comes to boil slowly add it to the egg yolks while whisking. Pour back into the pot and put on a low heat, stir constantly. Just as the egg yolks starts to thicken take it off the heat and pour through a sieve into a cold bowl. Let cool down and chill over night in the fridge. Churn in an ice cream machine and put into a dish, keep in the freezer.
You can pour the mix into a plastic container and freeze without an ice cream machine but you need at least 2 1/2 hours and to stir it every 30min.

Rhubarb compote
300 grams rhubarb, chopped
100 grams sugar (more if you like it sweeter)

Melt sugar and rhubarb on a low heat in a pot, let simmer until the rhubarb has gone soft and it looks like jam. Let cool down. Use a hand blender and pureè the compott. Pour over the frozen ice cream and freeze again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

French chocolate meringues


I talk a lot about my mums and grandmothers recipes here on my blog but there is one particular thing (among other) that my dad thought me in the kitchen; Meringue. I remember a page cut out from a newspaper with the recipe for Italian meringue and it was quite the sience project at home when we made meringues. To make Italian meringue you need a kitchen thermometer to get the exact temperature of the sugar syrup that then is to be added to whisked egg whites slowly while constantly beating the mix until cold. Baking on low temperature for 3 hours sounds like a lot but it is so worth the trouble. I still remember waiting for all that time and then the pleasure of biting in to a crumbly, sweet, home made meringue. As if things were not good enough already it could get better; having the meringue served as a dessert with whipped cream and chocolate sauce...delicious.
Soon as I am the owner of a kitchen thermometer I will indeed make them and put up he recipe. For now these French chocolate meringues are not too bad either, and a lot easier to make.

50 grams eggwhite (usually around 2 egg whites)
125 grams caster sugar

50 grams dark chocolate

In a metal bowl combine egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, stir with a wooden spoon canstantly and remove when the mix is 60-70 or when you can not keep your finger in the mix without burning. Take off the heat and whisk the mix with an electric whisk until the mix is firm and has doubled in volume.
Melt the chocolate and fold into the meringue, leave it a bit uneven for more marbled effect. Use two large spoons to place big dollops of the mix on a tray with baking paper. Bake for 35min in 130C

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crackers


Sometimes in my job I get requested to make things I have never made before and thats when a chef gets to use her brain and think twice before saying "no, I cant do that". Last year I was working in an Italian restaurant and of course a cheese board was on the dessert menu. Home made honey roast walnuts, chutney and grapes was served next to the fine Italian cheeses and it sure was a treat. But we seemed to miss something and thats when I got the question if I (the pastry chef at the time) could make some crackers. "Eeeeh sure thing, no problem, anytime" I answeared while thinking: how do you make crackers that wont go soggy or rock hard?
Easy peasy I say now! An old recipe of my mums taco-bread/wheat tortillas was turned into rosemary and black pepper crackers. Usually the dough is rolled out thin and just cooked on both sides on very high heat in a frying pan, but for crackers you need to pop them in to the oven to dry out on a low heat. The crackes went down a treat and I feel a little proud over myself when I think of how clever that recipe is.

At home a few weeks ago I remembered this recipe and made the crackers with rye flour and sesame seeds, used a cookie cutter and cut out heart shapes, put them in a pretty box and brought over to friends house as a gift.

75 grams plain wheat flour
75 grams rye flour
1/2tsp salt
1/4tsp baking powder
1tbsp butter
75-100ml water
sesame seeds

Mix wheat and rye flour, baking powder, sesame seeds and salt. Rub butter into the dry mix until crumbly. Add just enough water to create a firm, compact dough. Work the dough by hand for about 5min. Let rest under a damp cloth for 30min. Roll the dough out very thin on a floured surface. If you want you can use cookie cutters and make pretty shapes, or just cut into size and shape of your own choice. Heat up a frying pan until smoking hot and cook the crackers for about one minute on each side. Let dry out in the oven on 50C for 40min or until completely dry and crispy. Store in an airtight jar.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A cupcake called Morehampton...


I have a new hobby; Cupcakes. These lovely treats I see everywhere I go and still it took me ages to actually make them myself. The other day I made Blackberry lemon cupcakes and they were lovely but I have now taken the concept cupcake a step furter. It started with a trip to my favourite shop Kitchen Compliments, Dublin, where I spent 10min trying to choose only 1 packes of muffin cups out of 2 baskets filled with all sizes, colours and materials. Then there were piping bags and nostrils and a few well spent euros later I came home and created this recipe. But before I give you the recipe I need to tell you the story of Morehampton...
..two years ago I lived on Morehampton road, Dublin4, in an old georgian house with 3 flatmates. In this house there was always people and most of them interested in food, either cooking it or eating it. A Swedish sticky cake is something absolutely delicious and so simple that even a small child could make it but as a chef it is always fun to take a recipe like this and give it your own personal twist. In this case a plain chocolate fudge cake is turned into a hazelnut brownie with chocolate ganache on top....I need to say no more. Here is the recipe for Morehampton Cupcakes with Chocolate frosting and dark chocolate ganache.

12 small cupcakes

75 grams butter
1 egg
100 grams caster sugar
40 grams plain white flour
10 grams vanilla sugar
20 grams cocoa powder
45 grams hazelnuts
pinch of salt

Chop the hazelnuts finely and toast in a hot frying pan until golden brown. Melt butter and let cool down. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, add meled butter and the egg and stir until well mixed. Fill Muffincups 2/3 and bake for 18 min on 160C. Let cool down while making the frosting.

Frosting

20grams cocoa powder
150 grams icing sugar
30 grams butter, room temperature
70 grams philadelphia cream cheese

Beat all ingredients in a bowl until fluffy and smooth.

Ganache
20 grams dark chocolate, chopped
20ml double cream
1/2tsp honey
1/2tsp butter

Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat butter, honey and cream in a small pot until melted and close to boiling. Pour over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and looks shiny and smooth.

Decorating
Pipe chocolate frosting in a pattern around the egde of the cupcake, place a small dollop of chocolate ganache in the middle, chill before serving.

Treacle bread


The days are just getting shorter and darker this time of the year and at 5.30 in the morning when my alarm goes off it feels like waking up in the middle of the night. Still I manage to get up, get dressed and even sit down to a proper breakfast every morning before heading to work.

In the summertime I like fruit, smoothies, youghurt or muesli for breakfast but in the winter my body seem to crave more filling food. In the cold and dark mornings porridge is the best option for me, it is so comforting to eat something hot that will keep you going for a few hours. But one can not survive on only porridge (thats not a fact, it's just that I prefer to eat different things or else I get bored and turn to unhealthy stuff) and a tasty slice of wholgrain bread with pate and gherkins, or cheese, ham and tomato works a treat with a cup of hot tea for breakfast.

I usually bake sour dough bread or yeast bread since I'm not a huge fan of soda bread but this recipe here makes lovely bread without yeast. Full of goodness it comes out of the oven smelling delicious, and it keeps quite well for a few days. Usually I freeze half though to keep it as fresh as possible. It is super easy to make and the only thing you need is time for it to cook in the oven, the rest is done in a few minutes...

1 loaf
170 grams plain white flour
50 grams rye flour
80 grams wholeweat flour
30 grams wheatgerm
150 grams mixed seeds (sunlower, pumpkin, linsseed, sesame..)
2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
500ml youghurt or 450ml buttermilk
40 grams golden syrup or treacle

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add yoghurt/buttermilk and syrup, stir until all ingredients are well mixed. Pour into a greased bread tin and bake for 100min on 170C in the lower part of the oven.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blackberry lemon cupcakes

















One of my favourite Swedish blogs is called Sota Saker and has a challenge called Manadens sotsak (the sweet thing of the month). I have wanted to enter this challenge for a while now and this month I actually will. The theme is Colourful and I hope my first cupcakes ever made will be up to the standard.

Muffin
50 grams butter, melted
1 egg
70 grams caster sugar
120 grams plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
100ml milk
1 lemon, zest only
3tbsp blackberry jam

Beat sugar and egg until very fluffy and pale. Combine flour, bakingpowder and salt. Sieve the flour-mix and fold in to the egg/sugar-mix. Last add milk, melted butter and lemon zest. I made small cupcakes so I got 9 muffins out of this batch. Fill muffincups to 2/3 and add a small teaspoon of blackberry jam to each muffin. Bake for 10min on 200C, ot until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool down while making the frosting

Frosting
100 grams icing sugar
35 grams butter, roomtemerature
40 grams philadelphia cream cheese
1tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp blackberry jam+2tbsp boiling water water
lemon jelly pieces (dr.oetker)

Mix jam and hot water, the idea is to let the jam melt a little so you can sieve the jam and get rid of the seeds. Set a side and let cool down.
Beat icing sugar, butter and lemonjuice until smooth and fluffy. Add cream cheese and jam, beat again until all ingredients are properly mixed together.

Spread the frosting on top of the cukcakes and decorate with a little lemon jelly. Chill a little to let the frosting set before you dig into your cupcake.

Chocolate dreams


I could write pages full of praise for these melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. In fact I belive that if you bake these once you will never look at a shortbread recipe again. It is a sweet, crumbly and buttery pleasure to bite in to a Chocolate Dream.

The raising agent in this recipe is called powdered ammonium carbonate, I found it in the Asian Market in Dublin, but I get it sent over from Sweden as well since it is more widely used there. It is neccessary to use this particular ingredient for these biscuits, it is what makes them so fragile and crumbly.

75 grams butter, rommtemperature
160 grams caster sugar
120 grams plain flour
15 grams cocoa powder
1tbsp vanilla sugar
1/2tsp ammonium carbonate
75ml vegetable oil

Beat sugar, vanilla sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, slowly add oil while still beating. Combine flour, cocoa powder and ammonium carbonate and add to the butter/oil/sugar-mix.
Mix with your hands just until the crumbs forms a dough. Divide the doug in to equal size pieces and roll small balls. The size can be varied, I like them quite small so I'd say this recipe would give around 15-20 biscuits. Put the dough-balls on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake on 150C for 20 min.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beef and guinness stew with a twist


A given dish on the menu this time of the year is stew. I love hearty, slow cooked food with flavours one can remember and long for even during the summer months. Lucky for me it is October and that means at least one day a week a lovely stew is cooked and put on our dinner table. Beef and guinness stew is very common over here in ireland and it is lovely but maybe not exciting enough for me so last week I cooked some sort of fusion dish: Beef and guiness stew/Chili con Carne. Basically it is stewing meat and stout as a base mixed with the lovely spcies traditionally used when cooking Chili con Carne. A proper recipe is hard to give cause it was bit of an improvised dish but the result was lovely...I think this recipe here will do!

400 grams beef, stew pieces
100 grams black forrest ham/ smoked streaky bacon
1 large white onion
2 peppers, red and yellow
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 red chili, no seeds
4tbsp tomato pure
500ml guiness
100ml beef stock
2tsp cumin
2tsp paprika powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
3tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Chop onion, peppers, chili and garlic finely. Cut the bacon or ham into thin strips.
Fry the vegetables and spices in 2 tbsp of oil for 5min in a frying pan. Transfer the vegetables and spices into a pot. Add tomato pure, bay leaf and guiness and slowly start to simmer.
Fry the meat and ham/bacon in remaining oil in the same pan as you cooked the vegetables in, season with salt and pepper.
Add the meat to the vegetables and pour the beef stock in to the frying pan and bring to the boil, whisk the bottom of the pan to release all left over juices and spices. Add the liquid to the meat and vegetables, bring to the boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for at least two hours or until the meat falls apart and the vegetables are soft and mushy.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and potatoes or rice.

English chocolate fudge


There is a few recipes that I promised never to give away but some promises can be broken if one starts a food blog and feel very giving in the autumn darkness. A couple of weeks ago I made these lovely treats that I have eaten for as long as I can remember, due to the recipe being from my grandmother. And if she did not make them it was my mum, and eventually myself. Home made English fudge is nothing like what you buy in the shop, no this is proper treats made with butter and cream, no way near a healthy option, just simply delicious, melt in the mouth chocolates...

Use salted butter, it is neccessary to break the rich and sweet flavour.

250 grams caster sugar
200ml heavy cream
30 grams butter
1tbsp vanilla sugar
3tbsp cocoa powder

In a pot combine all ingredients and let melt on a low heat. Bring to the boil and continue to simmer while stirring occaisonally.
The mix needs to reach "hard ball" temeprature wich is around 120C. I have never used a thermometer while making fudge, I just put a small bit of the mix into a glass of cold water. If the mix sets enough for you to make a little ball that keeps the shape, the mix is ready.
With a wooden spoon whisk virgously until the fudge has gone paler in colour and starts to change in texture, it should feel "sugary" when you taste it. Pour the mix onto a tray with baking paper on and let cool down before cutting into small squares with a sharp knife. When completely cold store in an airtight jar in the fridge.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cornflakes in chocolate fudge...


This is the Swedish version of rice crispies treats; cornflakes+chocolate...well this recipe is a little bit more complicated than that, but still very easy to make. I remember the first recipe I ever tried was just equal amouns of honey, butter and cocoapowder put in a bowl in the microwave for a minute or so, then a couple of handfulls of cornflakes were covered in the chocolate mix. Later in life I discovered this recipe and wont go back!

50 grams butter
80 grams caster sugar
2tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp cocoa powder

cornflakes

Melt butter, sugar, syrup and cocoapowder on low heat in a pot. Bring to the boil and let simmer for 1min. Take off the heat and add enough cornflakes to be covered in the chocolate mix. Spoon the mix into little muffins cups and let set in the fridge before eating.

White loaf


Here is a very simple and quick recipe for just normal, plain white bread. It may sound a little boring for someone who likes sour dough and healthy options when it comes to bread baking but trust me, this is delicious. My mum made this when I was young and she would divide the dough into 3 pieces and braid a loaf and sprinkle with poppy seeds, very pretty. I decided to just make an oval shaped loaf with a little decorative swirl on top. This recipe makes two loafes.

50 grams fresh yeast/ 14grams dried
50 grams butter
500ml milk
2tsp salt
1tsp sugar
750 grams strong white flour

1 egg
sesame seeds or poppy seeds

Melt butter and add milk, check that the temeparature is correct for the yeast you are using (37C for fresh, 45C for dried yeast). Dissolve yeast in the milk and butter mix, add sugar and salt. Add enough flour in to the liquid until you have a firm dough. Kned the dough by hand for about 5min. Let the dough prove under a damp cloth for 40min or until double in size.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces, take a little of each piece and save for decoration. Shape two oval loafes and decorate with the left over dough. Let prove again for about 30min.

Heat your oven up to 225C.

Brush the loafes with a whisked egg and sprinkle seeds on top. Bake for 25min, or until the bread is golden and feels light.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Irish coffee muffins


Autumn has come to Dublin and I love it! The weather changes constantly, the trees are turning yellow, red and orange, the sky is blue and the air is crisp and clear. For me autumn is the time you start enjoying cosy evenings in with hearty stews, warm freshly baked bread with home made jam for breakfast and hot drinks in front of the open fire.
After living 4 years in Ireland, in several cold and damp apartments and houses, you might think I have learnt to drink whiskey. Unfortunately I still have a lot to learn when it comes to appreciating strong alcoholic drinks for their flavour and not effect, but I have come so far that one year ago I learnt to like Irish Coffee. Strange for someone who does not drink either coffee or whiskey, but it sure is something special with sipping hot coffee with a kick of whiskey through a layer of cold, thick cream that just makes me crave for more. Yesterday it was premier for our first Irish coffee for this season but I have taken the concept a little further; a very traditional Swedish cake recipe has been transformed in to muffins with flavours inspired by the Irish coffee. Here is the recipe for 12 delicious muffins that has to be tried.

130 grams butter, room temperature
170 grams caster sugar
2 eggs
280 grams plain flour
2tsp baking powder
150ml milk
2tsp cocoa powder
2tbsp coffee liquor (tia maria or kahlua)
2tbsp Irish whiskey

Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add one egg at the time while still beating the mixture. Add flour and baking through a fine sieve and stir in the milk into a smooth, thick batter. Divide into to bowls. Flavour one part of the batter with the whiskey, flavour the other part with cocoa powder and coffee liqour. Add the white mix to the brown and give a little stir to create a marbled effect. Divide into 12 muffin cups and bake on 175C for 15 min .

Carrot bread


I bake almost all the bread we eat here at home, but sometimes I find myself getting a little bored with eating the same types of bread every day, so the other day I decided to try something new; carrot bread. We all know how good carrot cake is and I dare to promise you that this bread will be just as popular. It is first of all very tasty but the big plus is that it is very healthy; packed with seeds, carrots and wheat germ.This recipe here will give you 8 large buns.

25 grams freash yeast
25 grams butter
250ml water
200ml grated carrot
75 grams whole wheat flour
25 grams lins seeds
25 grams sunflower seeds
25 grams wheat germ
250 grams strong white flour
1tsp salt

Melt butter and add water,let go luke warm. Dissolve the yeast the liquid and add carrots, seeds, wholewheat flour and salt, mix this into a thisk paste. Slowly add the white flour while working the dough, you might not need all flour or you might need to add a little more flour to get the right texture.The dough should not be too sticky. Knead the dough until it is elastic and easy to work. Let prove under a damp cloth until it has doubled in size.
Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and divide into 8 pieces, shape into little balls and let prove again on a baking tray lined with baking paper for 30min. bake on 225C for about 20min.

Blackberries; jam and biscuits.


A couple of weeks ago Martin and myself went for a walk in the evening around the area we live in. Not too far from our house there is a little stream that has blackberry bushes growing all around it and I have been there several times this summer to see how long it will be before the berries are ripe enough to pick. Little did I know that this very evening, walking down along the stream, the berries were just sitting there ripe and ready, waiting to be picked. Since we were without baskets or buckets I took my scarf off and used as an improvised bag to carry the berries in and within 20min we had picked around a litre.
I decided to make a jam out of the berries just the way i did the Raspberry jam earlier this year, and after a couple of weeks in the fridge the jam was turned in to shortbread biscuits with lemon icing. Lovely with a cup of tea.

Dough
130 grams butter, room temperature
60 grams caster sugar
200 grams plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1 egg

Icing+filling

5tbsp icing sugar
jucie and zest of a lemon
50ml blackberry jam

Beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating until smooth. Add flour and baking powder and quickly work into a dough. Divide in to 6 pieces, shape rolls the length of the baking tray and gently push down a little. With your finger make a well in the middle of the roll and fill with the jam.
Bake on 180C 12-15min, or until golden in colour.
Mix icing sugar with a little lemon juice to create a smooth icing. Drizzle icing over the jam/pastry lengths and cut in to 2 cm wide biscuits and sprinkle some lemon zest on top.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Buns



If you go to Sweden you will soon realise that we have a great variety of baked goods, and that there is a bakery in almost every corner. A lot of our traditional pastries and cakes are very similar to French, Italian, German and English pastries, but there is a few things that we Swedes proudly brag about being so very Swedish and original, and buns are certainly one of them. What might surprise many people is the generous amount of spices used to flavour these pastries. The use of spices such as cardamom and cinnamon goes back to the 1600's when the export of spices increased and therefor made it possible for the less fortunate people get their hands on them. It used to be only the royalty who could afford such treats as spices of this kind.

The bun itself has been made since around 1950, when ingredients like butter, white flour and sugar became cheaper and the Swedish people became richer. The traditional bun is a sort of brioche-like dough flavoured with cinnamon, butter and sugar, rolled out to the classical swirl shape. The bun is for us Swedes what a croissant is for the French; an essential part of our food culture. There is even a day for the cinnamon bun, the 4th of October, and that very day will be honoured with bun baking here in my cottage in Dublin.

Today there is endless variations and one of my personal favourites is the cardamom bun, mainly because I love cardamom but also because instead of the pearl sugar, usually used for decoration, this kind of bun is brushed with melted butter after baked and then dipped in caster sugar.

Dough

50 grams fresh yeast
500ml milk
150grams butter
85 grams caster sugar
1tsp salt
900 grams plain flour
1tsp cardamom, ground

Filling

100grams butter, room temperature
80grams caster sugar
2tbsp cardamom, ground

Decoration

1 egg
25 grams butter
caster sugar

Melt butter in a pan and add milk, let it be luke warm. Add the butter and milk to the yeast in a large bowl and mix until the yeast has dissolved. Add sugar, salt and cardamom. Add 2/3 of the flour, mix into a paste. Gradually add more flour while working the paste into a dough, you might not need all flour, the dough is good when it is elastic and easy to work. Let prove under a cloth until it has doubled in size.

Gently knead the dough on a floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Roll out to big squares about 2cm thick. Spread the butter evenly over the dough, sprinkle with sugar and cardamom. You can either roll together like a swiss roll and cut into little swirls, or fold once and cut into strips that you twist around little swirly braids. Let rise for about 30min on a baking tray on baking paper or in muffins paper cups.

Brush with beaten egg and bake for 8-10min on 220C.

When cooled down brush with melted butter and dip in caster sugar.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Creamy lime and coconut biscuits


Sick and tired of dry and crumbly biscuits? I have a solution; fancy biscuits. These ones are crispy, thin, brandy-snap like little biscuits filled with a lime butter cream...oh did I forget to say that they are perfect to keep in the freezer and eat just a tiny bit defrosted?! Basically they are just delicious.
I have made them since I was a kid, and when looking around for something to snack on it felt like gold wort finding these biscuits in the freezer.

Biscuits
35 grams butter
50 grams sugar
50 grams dessicated coconut
1tbsp flour
1/2tbsp milk

Melt butter and sugar in a pot on low heat. Add coconut, flour and milk and let simmer for 2 min while stirring. Put teaspoons of the mix on to a baking tray. This has to be done in batches because the mix will melt and float out a lot. Bake on 180C for 6-8min, or until golden. Let cool down before filling.

Butter cream
45 grams icing sugar
50 grams butter, room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 lime

Beat butter and sugar until thick and pale. Add the egg yolk and continue beating the mix until smooth. Add the zest of the lime and juice to taste. Spread the butter cream between two bicuits and keep in fridge or freezer.


Sunday morning sunflower bread rolls


Usually I bake scones on sunday mornings for breakfast, but last night I got the brilliant idea to make little bread rolls to prove over night and bake off in the morning. I was well impressed by how easy it is to get perfect bread with very little work involved; the little rolls did not look much to the world last night but this morning they came out of the oven looking great, and the taste was even better.

Day one

8 grams fresh yeast
125ml cold water
150 grams strong flour, white
4 grams salt
1/2tsp honey
25 grams sunflower seeds, lightly toasted in a hot, dry pan

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add honey, seeds and flour. Mix until it forms a dough and add salt. Knead the dough with a little oil on your hands until it is elastic and easy to work. Divide into 8 pieces, form little balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover with clingfilm and let prove over night in the fridge.

Day 2

Take the tray out of the fridge and let prove in roomtemperature for about 30 minutes. Bake in the middle of the oven on 225C for 10-12min with a tray of water in the bottom of the oven.






Friday, August 13, 2010

A swedish take on biscotti


In Sweden it is just as common with biscotti as in Italy, the recipes may vary but the concept still is the same; a small, kind of hard biscuit, usually flavoured with spices or nuts. This is one of those recipes that you can play around with depending on what you like. I think cardamom and almonds is a perfect combination but I can imagine these biscottis also would be very tasty with hazelnuts and orange zest, or maybe ginger bread spices and dark muscovado sugar, or maybe even lavender sugar if that tickles your fancy...ok you get the picture now I think.

50 grams butter
35 grams ground almonds
105 grams sugar
1 egg
160 grams flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cardamom

Beat butter and almonds together. Mix flour, baking powder and cardamom. Whisk sugar and egg until white and fluffy. Combine all ingredients until it forms a quite loose dough. Shape 2 rolls the lenght of the baking tray you are using, transfer the dough to the tray with baking paper. Lightly press the dough out a little so you have the rolls about 2cm high and 3-4cm wide. Bake on 200C gor 15 min. Take out and cut into little biscuits, put back on the tray and let dry on very low heat, say 50C for 2h or until dry.

Another baguette



I know I said that there is only one recipe that works for me when it comes to baguettes but the other day I had to try something I dont do very often; proving the dough over night. To do this you need to do polish (starter dough) and you need time. I takes 2 days to get this bread ready but belive me, it will be worth it. Texture and flavour really improves by letting the dough take its time.

Day one
Polish
70ml cold water
40grams rye flour
50grams strong bread flour
3grams fresh yeast

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add both types of flour. Mix until it creates a thick paste. Let this prove in a warm spot under a damp cloth for at least 10 hours.

Day one, evening
Dough
8grams fresh yeast
350ml cold water
470grams strong bread flor
65grams wholeweat flour
10grams fine sea salt
polish

Mix the yeast with water and polish. Add both types of flour and mix, add salt and start kneading the dough by hand for a least 7min. Let the dough prove over night in the fridge, in a bowl covered with clingfilm.

Day two
Take the dough out of the fridge and work it by hand for a couple of minutes, let prove for about 30min. Bake out 4 baguettes and let prove again for about 40min. Heat up the oven to 225C. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 18-22min with a tray of water in the bottom of the oven.

Jam


These lovely rhubarb are from Martins parents garden and have been living in my freezer for a couple of weeks now, waiting to be used in something. So the other day I was making raspberry jam and decided to try making rhubarb jam as well. It is so delicious on toast or freshly baked bread, I think I will even try to make rhubarb jam cakes.
Jam sugar is now available in the super market here in Ireland and it makes life so easy when making jam. All you need is jam sugar and what ever fruit or berries you like.

Rhubarb jam
170grams rhubarb, chopped
120grams jam sugar
1tsp vanilla sugar
1/2tsp cardamom

Mix sugar and rhubarb in a pot and let melt on low heat. Bring to the boil and let simemr for 3-5min, test if the jam i ready by putting a small bit on a cold plate, if it sets within a minute it is ready. Add cardamom and turn of the heat, let stand for 5min. Transfer to clean, hot jars.

Raspberry and vanilla jam
200grams raspberries
200grams jam sugar
1/4 vanillapod (only the seeds)
Mix raspberries, vanilla and sugar in a pot. Bring to the boil and let simmer for only 2 min. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10min. Transfer to clean, hot jars.

Wild strawberry and vanilla liquor


When I was in Sweden this summer I spent a few days out in our country house, and at this time of the year the fields are full of little wild strawberries. I picked more than a litre and brought it over to Ireland to save some of the taste of summer. But what do you do with a litre of wild strawberries that has been in a plastic jar on a 2 1/2 flight? Well, the only sensible thing was to put them in a bottle of Eau de Vie and sugar and let the alcohol take flavour from the berries and then turn into lovely liquor.

The other day the bottle had been sitting in my window for a few weeks and it was time to strain it and flavour with vanilla. The only problem was that I am not the owner of a muslin cloth that is usually used to strain liquids that you want to become clear. Looking around for a tea towel or something similar I found one of those textile shopping bags that I for unknown reason had washed. I felt so smart when I decided to put this bag in a fine sieve and strain the liquor through it. It worked a treat; out came perfectly, clear red liquid that smelled just like summer it self!


1litre berries

330ml eau de vie

400grams sugar


Put 200grams of the sugar in a bottle together with the berries and alcohol. Let stand in a sunny window for 2 weeks. Add the rest of the sugar and leave for another 2 weeks until the sugar has melted. Strain the liquor and poor into a clean bottle, add more sugar if you like it sweeter. I also put a 1/4 of a vanilla pod in the bottle. Let stand in a cool, dark place for a couple of months and then open on a cold autumn day and remember the summer.



Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blueberry jam cakes


If there is one thing you will see a lot of on my blog it is blueberries. It is one of my favourite berries and they are not just very tasty; they are good for you too. They are full of antioxidants and are classed as one of the new "super foods".

In Sweden we pick buckets full of blueberries in the forrest just around the corner from our country house. Usually we freeze some and the rest we make jam of, and if you have a jar of homemade blueberry jam you have to make these little jam cakes. It is so easy and just the perfect thing to have with a cup of tea or coffee.

200 grams butter, roomtemperature
85 grams sugar
1tsp bakingpowder
300 grams plain flour
4-5tbsp blueberry jam

2tbsp icing sugar+water

Beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Mix bakingpowder and flour, add to the sugar/butter-mix. Mix just enough until it forms a dough. Divide into 20 pieces. Roll little balls and put in small muffincups. Make a little well in the middle of the dough with your finger and fill with 1/2tsp of blueberry jam.
Bake on 175C for 18-20min. Let cool down. Mix icing sugar with just enough water to create a thick icing. Drizzle on top of the cakes.

Serve with a cup of tea or coffee!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fabulous Fougasse


Fougasse. In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found (with variations) in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat. It can be flavoured with herbs, olives, sundried tomatoes or anchovies.
Working in a bakery a few years ago I saw this being baked and sold every day, little did I know then that I was going to bake this myself one day. That day was today! Yesterday I was just looking through some recipes on BBC's webbsite and came across this recipe for fougasse. Eager as I am to try something new I was all of a sudden standing in my kitchen making a polish (dough starter) at 10pm. Today I made the bread dough by hand, and I am telling you that it is very nice sometimes not to have a kicthen assistant. Kneading dough by hand is like therapy I realised. I brushed it with some olive oil that I keep sundried tomatoes in and sprinkled thyme, oregano, blackpepper and salt on top.
Now for the recipe, remember you do need time to make this. The polish is to be made at least 10 hours before you can make the dough. This is important for the flavour of the bread since yeast activates and feeds on the natural sugars present in the flour, over time it produces a distinctively tangy or sour taste.

Day 1

Dough starter/ Polish
3 grams fresh yeast
70ml cold water
50 grams rye flour
50 grams strong bread flour (white)

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add both types of flour and mix until it forms a thick paste. Let rest under a damp cloth for at least 10hours, preferably 18hours.

Day 2

Bread dough
11 grams fresh yeast
350ml cold water
470 grams strong bread flour (white)
65 grams rye flour
8 grams fine sea salt
polish from day one

olive oil, herbs, sundried tomatoes, olives...

Mix the polish with the water, add yeast and mix until completely dissolved. Add both types of flour and start mixing by hand. Add salt and start kneading the dough for roughly 7min. Let the dough prove for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Divide in to 2 pieces. Shape each piece in to a flat triangle shape. Make a cut all the way down the centre, then make 3 or 4 deep slashes on each side of the middle. Gently pull apart a little so you get holes in the dough. Let prove again on baking paper for 30-40min.
Brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped herbs or olives/sundried tomatoes. Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt is lovely as well.
Heat up your oven to the highest temperature, 250C or gasmark 9. Let a baking tray heat up inside the oven. Leave a small dish of water in the bottom of the oven to create a nice crust on the bread.
Carefully transfer the bread to the baking tray and bake in the middle of the oven for 18-22min.
Enjoy with cheese or maybe a nice dip such as pesto.





Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Easy coconut-cakes


If you like coconut you will like these cakes. If you like bounty bars you will love these cakes. I dont know if it would be correct to call them cakes though because they dont have any flour in them, great for people who can not take wheat/gluten...
To dip them in chocolate is delicious but you can of course eat them just the way they are. The trick to get them to stay in shape, and not float out on the tray and create a mess, is that you are not to whisk the eggs, and do let the butter and coconut rest for 10min. It makes the coconut absorb the butter and swell a little.

50 grams butter
200 grams dessicated coconut
100 grams sugar
2 eggs

Melt the butter and mix with the coconut. Let this rest for 10min. Add eggs and sugar, be careful not to stir to much. With two spoons shape little "mountains" on a baking tray. Bake on 175C for 10min until golden. Let cool down before dipping in chocolate.

Soft rye cakes


The name of this bread makes it sound like something sweet, but it is actually bread. In sweden we eat a lot of rye bread and, for someone who is not so used to that flavour this recipe is a great way of learning to like it. It is very soft and has got a mild, kind of sweet rye-flavour because of the mix of wheat flour and rye flour. I have had my mum make this since I was a kid, and the best part was that the little piece you cut out in the middle went in to the oven and came out as a perfect little piece to nibble on, hot with butter of course! These days I obviously bake my own bread, and because I like to experiment with old recipes I have added a bit of linsseeds and sunflower seeds to this bread. It gives it a bit more bite and of course more goodness, but you can just leave it plain.

400 grams plain flour
260 grams ryeflour
50 grams fresh yeast or 12-14 grams dry yeast
2tsp salt
2tbsp golden syrup or honey
500ml milk
50 grams butter
1tbsp anisseeds or fennelseeds,

Melt butter and add milk, dissolve the yeast in the milk/butter mix. Add salt, syrup and spices. Work in the flour until it forms a dough. Work this dough for about 5-7min by hand. Let prove until doubled in size. Divide in to 4 pieces, roll each one in to a ball. With a rolling pin shape the balls in to flat cakes, about 2cm high. With a glass or cake cutter cut out a whole in the middle. Prick with a fork and let prove again on a baking tray for about 30min. Bake on 225C for 12min in the middle of the oven.


Yummy breakfast on a tuesday...


Usually tuesdays are my least favorite day of the week, I have said it before. But today I have the day off so this morning I made some lovely scones for breakfast. It is so tasty and simple, and because I mix wholemeal flour and plain flour I kind of let myself believe it is not too unhealthy. Also, I dont make sweet scones, I prefer to keep them savoury and let the marmelade or jam stand for the sweetness. The recipe here is enough for 4 scones, that should fill 2 people.

140 grams plain flour
110 grams wholemeal flour
40 grams butter, roomtemperature
1 1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
100ml milk or buttermilk

Mix all dry ingredients. Rub the butter in to the flour until it forms crumbles. Add milk and quickly mix in to a dough, if it is too wet add some more plain flour. Shape a round, flat cake, about 2cm high. Cut in to 4 pieces, prick with a fork. Bake on 225-250C for 12 minutes. I eat them while still hot with butter, jam/marmelade and cheese. It might sound funny with the cheese but it is very Swedish and very tasty. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea and hopefully the day off!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A healthy start


Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Even before falling alseep at night I sometimes think about what to have for breakfast next morning. One thing I find very tasty is home made muesli, and a plus is that it is very healthy too. This recipe is something my mum have made for years since she got the recipe from a friend. It is easy to make and you can sort of change it depending on personal taste and what you have at home. I usually stick to the original recipe though because it suits my palate.

This is roughly how much you will need for one big tray of muesli, but like I said you can play around a little with the ingredients. The sugar for instance can be reduced, or add more if you like it sweet. Nuts and seeds can be swapped for what you like best, maybe you prefer hazelnuts or sunflower seeds.

250ml oatflakes
250ml wheatgerm
250ml ryeflakes
100ml dessicated coconut
100ml linsseed
100ml chopped almonds
75ml vegetable oil
50ml brown sugar
100ml raisins

Mix all dry ingredients except the raisins. Add vegetable oil and mix well. Spread on a large deep roasting tray. Toast in the lower part of the oven for 30min on 140C. Add raisins and tost for another 5-10min. Let cool down before keeping in an airtight jar. Eat with yoghurt or milk for breakfast or a healthy snack.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hazelnut and chocolate biscotti.



In Italy it is very common to be given a little biscotti with your cup of coffee and I love the idea. Something crunchy and sweet but simple enough. Here in Ireland, and in Sweden as well, we tend to make them a little bigger than those tiny nibbles the Italians serve us, so when I made these hazelnut and dark chocolate biscottis the other day I was generous on the size. It is so simple and they keep for very long in an airtight jar, so you always have something to offer when you get unexpected visitors.

220 grams plain flour
220 grams sugar
110 grams nuts
50 grams dark chocolate
2tsp baking powder
3 eggs

Chop nuts and chocolate roughly, mix with the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and mix until it forms a loose dough. Divide in two and make two sausage shaped rolls, put a tray with baking paper. Bake for 15-20min on 220C. Cut in 2cm wide slices, separate the biscotti and put on the tray with a little space in between. Let dry on 50C for about an hour. Serve with tea or coffee.






Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pea and mint risotto


Yesterday Martin and myself went up to his parents house for a bbq. I brought some of the truffles and muffins I made, and I came back home with a bag of mangetout from their garden. Today I was standing in the kitchen looking at these lovely, green vegetables trying to figure out what to do with them. Usually I would probably just blanch them i salted water and eat hot with butter...but they were so big and had lovely peas inside so I took the peas out and made a risotto for lunch. I flavoured it with fresh mint and parmesan cheese and it went down a treat.

This recipe is for 2 portions.

120 grams risotto rice
2tbsp olive oil
3tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
400ml vegetable stock/ chicken stock
50ml white wine
100 grams fresh peas (you can use defrosted ones too)
1 handfull of fresh herbs such as mint, basil, parsley

parmesan cheese, salt, freshly ground black pepper

Fry onion in the olive oil and one tablespoon of the butter until soft. Add the rice and continue to fry until the rice is covered by the olive oil/butter. Add the white wine and let simmer until all the liquid is gone. Start adding the stock, one ladle at the time. Let it simmer and stir gently, add next ladle of stock when the rice has soken up all the liquid. When the rice is almost finished add the last bit of liquid and peas. When the peas and rice is cooked stir in the rest of the butter and grated parmesan cheese to taste. Last fold in chopped fresh herbs. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan.




Raspberries and lemon...

b
I love raspberries and lemon together in cakes, so yesterday while waiting for the truffles to set I made some muffins. I flavoured the mix with lemon and put a few raspberries on the top just before i baked them. The result was a very fluffy muffin with a lovely flavour. The recipe is for 16 big muffins.

150ml milk
75grams butter
220grams sugar
240grams plain flour
2 1/2tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 lemon, zest and juice
raspberries

Heat milk in a pan and add butter to melt. Set a side. In a bowl whisk eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Mix flour and baking powder, add through a sive to the egg and sugar mix. Add milk and butter, juice of a lemon and the lemon zest.

Fill muffincups to 2/3, put 3-4 raspberries on top. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 15-20min on 2ooC.

Raspberries and chocolate...


When I was in the last year of catering school I did my work experience in a very wellknown, old cafe/patisserie in Stockholm city. There was seperate kitchens for each department and I was lucky enough to try out each one of them. In the end I did end up working in one of them where we cooked light lunches such as soups, salads and sandwiches made on bread baked the same morning...

...but during my work experience my favorite was definatley the chocolaterie, that was a room one floor down that was almost completly covered in marble and filled with chocolate. I know, it was a dream coming true and in this very place I was thought how to make chocolate truffles. This place is going through a lot of chocolate every week so of course the whole procedure was a little different than when I make truffles at home, but the only difference really is the quantity.

My favorite flavours was always the truffles made from dark chocolate, and cardamom or raspberry are probably still the top two.

Yesterday I decided to make some raspberry truffles at home and it was a sucess! I here give you the recipe that will be enough for 12-14pieces, depending on what size you want them. Raspberry pure is just made from defrosted raspberries pressed through a fine sieve.

Ganache
100grams dark chocolate
50ml cream
50grams raspberry pure
1tsp honey
1tsp butter

25grams dark chocolate
5tbsp granulated sugar, red food colour

Break the chocolate in to small pieces and put in a bowl. In a pot mix cream, raspberry pure, honey and butter. Gently heat up, almost to boil. Pour this over the broken chocolate and stir until completly smooth. Chill for at least 4 hours.

With cold hands shape 12-14 round balls. Put in the fridge again.

Melt the chocolate. If you want the coating to be pink just add a couple of drops of food colour to the sugar and mix with a fork until the colour is even. Roll the chocolate balls in melted chocolate and then in the sugar. Store the truffles cold and dry.




Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seven types of cakes


Seven types of cakes is a Swedish tradition going back to the end of the 1800's. Seven was the number of how many different types of cakes/biscuits/buns you were meant to serve when having your friends over for a "coffee party". Yes you read right, we drank more coffee than tea in Sweden so the tradition was to have coffee and cakes. The ladies would have their good friends over and it would almost be a competition in who would serve the most varieties of baked goods.

Nowadays we are not as strict, maybe we just serve one type of cake and maybe we drink tea, but I would love to bring the old traditions back and have a proper "coffee party" where I will serve the whole seven types of cakes on a pretty cake stand (I have my eyes on one in STOCK).
The other day I made some biscuits that probably were served on one of those parties. If I translate straight from Swedish the English name would be "Farmers biscuits". It is a little like shortbread but crunchier and with a nice taste of almonds.

The trick is to let the dough rest in the fridge, it says 2 hours but I let it rest for the whole night. Also, they are very tasty so you might just as well do the big batch.

Dough
330grams plain flour
170grams sugar
1tbsp golden syrup
1tsp bread soda/bicarbonate
50grams almonds, finely chopped
200grams butter, room temperature

Mix all ingredients til it forms a dough. Shape in to a roll and cover with clingfilm. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours. With a sharp knife cut in to 1/2cm thick slices. Bake on a tray with baking paper in 200C for 6-7min til golden.




France meets Sweden in a quiche...


When I was younger I used to love cheesy toast. I am not talking about just bread and cheese put under the grill, no Im talking about my grandmothers cheesy toast. That is where smokey bacon, cheese and mustard is mixed together and spread on toast to be baked in the oven and come out like a delicoius meal. I have had it so many times, sometimes in my grandmother's house or in my famliy's house when we were a little to lazy to cook a proper meal...
A couple of years ago Martin and me went to paris for a week around New Years. We lived in an apartment in Monte Martre, just below Sacre Coeur. It was freezing at the time so seeing Paris by foot was quite a challenge but luckily Mont Martre is full of cafes, restaurants and creperies. We visited a good few of these and had the most amazing Crouque Monsieurs and Soup L'Oignon. Every time I think of Paris these days I just think about the smell of melted cheese...

Yesterday I was making a quiche for Martin. I like to bake but he does not really like sweet things, therefore a quiche is perfect for both of us. I know he likes bacon and cheese but I took it a step furter and added loads of white onion that I let fry with the bacon til really soft and sweet. To this I also added a bit of wholegrain-mustard. I think the result is my grandmother's cheesy toast mixed with sweet oninons (think french onionsoup) in a quiche!

6-8portions
Pie crust
255grams plain flour
125grams butter
1pinch salt
1-2tbsp cold water

With your fingers mix flour, salt and butter til it forms crumbles. Add the water and quickly mix in to a dough. Roll out and line a pieform, chill for half an hour and prebake for 10min on 200C

Filling
200grams bacon
1-2 white onion
2tsp wholegrain-mustard
400ml milk
4 eggs
100grams grated cheese (a little mature)

Chop bacon in to small pieces and fry in a pan, slice the onions thinly and add to the bacon. Let fry on a low heat til the onion is really soft and sweet, takes about 10-15min. dd wholegrain-mustard. Let cool down.

Beat the eggs lightly and mix with the milk and grated cheese. Add some salt and black pepper to taste. Add the bacon and onion to the milk and eggs. Pour in to the piecrust and bake on 175-180C for 40 or til set.

Serve with a nice salad.



Bold




Halloumi for lunch.


Halloumi is something I tasted only last year for the first time in a Turkish restaurant in London, and I was blown away. It is such a clever product because you can do almost anything with it; grill, deepfry, bake or panfry...

I usually just dip it in spices and panfry in a little oil til crispy and add to salads or couscous. Yesterday I made a small salad that could be a starter, a snack or a light lunch.

2slices halloumi
6slices tomato
1cm green chili, finely chopped
1tbsp plain flour
1/2tsp paprika powder
1/2tsp cumin
1/2tsp turmeric
4leaves mint

olive oil, salt and pepper

Cut the halloumi in to triangles. Mix spices and flour, dip the halloumi in the flourmix and panfry in olive oil for about 1min on each side or til crispy. Arrange tomatoes on a plate, season with salt, pepper and the green chili. Place halloumi on top and garnish with some olive oil and fresh mint.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This one is for Sara

When I came back to Dublin, after seeing a bit of Asia and living a summer in Cork, I lived in a very small apartment that actually was quite similar to a rats nest. I did not like spending much time there at all. My very best friend Sara on the other hand lived in an old Georgian house in one of the posher parts in Dublin, so of course I liked to spend my sundays off work in Saras. In this very part of town they obviously have a very nice food-store. Every sunday for I dont know how long I used to call over to Saras and in this very shop we stocked up on these particular things:

  • One bottle of cava (11euro!!)


  • One loaf of fresh, crusty bread


  • One tub of Hummus (5 euro!!)


  • Cucumber

Now this was during the good years in Ireland when we all made plenty of money and had no plans on actually making our own hummus or bake our own bread (ok maybe I did sometimes in my house but not on a sunday afternoon...)

These days Sara is back in Sweden and I have moved in with Martin,and I actually make my own hummus because I realised it is one of the simplest and cheapest things to make, but still so tasty! Every time I make hummus I think about those lazy sunday afternoons...

1tin chickpeas
1 lemon,the juice
2tbsp tahini(sesamepaste)
1tsp cumin
1clove garlic
1/2tsp salt
5tbsp oliveoil
3tbsp water

paprikapowder
oil
parsley

With a handblender mix together chickpeas, water, lemonjuice, oliveoil, cumin, garlic, tahini and salt. If it is a little to dry just add a little more liquid, either water or oil. Taste and see if you might need more lemonjuice or salt. When it is mixed til smooth it is ready.
Put on a plate and make a little well in the middle where you put a little oliveoil,garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and a couple of leaves of parsley. Serve with pitabread!









Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thoughts about tuesdays...

Tuesdays are my Mondays because usually I have Sunday and Monday off,and today i cant help but feeling a little low. I have not really been doing much on my days of but it was just so nice to spend time at home and cook some proper food...and then all of a sudden that stupid day is back where I have to stop enjoying myself and start paying attention to what I do.
It is as if a big gray cloud is hanging over me. It would be easier to get up early in the morning and go to work and get it over with, but I always work in the evenings and that means more time during the day to feel sorry for myself.
Enough of self pity,I do enjoy a lovely cup of coffee before work..or actually I think it would be wrong to call it coffee. What I drink is hot chocolate made with only milk, tiny bit of brown sugar, dark chocolate and some cardamom, and in that goes a shot of strong coffee...it is truly delicious.
Next time I make it i'll put a picture up so you can see it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baguettes


I have tried so many recipes for baguettes but this is the only one that really works for me. The recipe comes from my parents, I dont know where they got it though...

I still remember that dough sitting in a bowl rising for hours and then finally that lovely smell of fresh, crusty bread coming out of the oven that I still prefer to eat while still hot with butter...

Dough
500ml water, lukewarm
750grams strong flour
2tsp salt
15grams fresh yeast/ or 4grams dried yeast


Dissolve yeast in the water and mix in flour and salt. Kned the dough by hand for at least 5min til elastic. (if you have a kicthen assistant even better). Let proof for 4 hours in a bowl under a damp cloth.


Work the dough for a minute or so and divide into 4 pieces. Form 3 baguettes that you twirl slightly for a nicer shape. Put on a bakingtray lined with bakingpaper. Let rise on the tray for about 40min. Bake for 8min on really high heat,say 250-300C,then turn the heat down to 200C and bake for another 30min.

(I usually put a small tray of water in the bottom of the oven to create a nicer crust on the bread)