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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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


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.


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.

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.

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.

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

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.