Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blueberry buns

Here is another recipe for those who are not tired of them yet. I am definitely not tired of buns and would gladly have one a day if my tummy did not tell me not too. So maybe it is not the healthiest treat but what can one say when a tray of freshly baked buns comes out of the oven and smell delicious? This time I filled them with blueberry jam instead of a butter filling and it was so nice. It is more Finnish than Swedish to bake blueberry buns but that does not bother me at and in fact I think that anyone, just like me, loves blueberries should bake these. The recipe is the same as the cardamon or cinnamon buns that I have blogged about before so i will send to to that page if you click here. The only thing you have to change is to skip the filling in the recipe and use jam instead.

Profiteroles, petit choux, pate a choux...

When I was younger I used to bake a lot, and one thing myself and my sister would make is "petit choux" as our cake-book would call the light and fluffy pastries more known as Profiteroles. A mix of water, butter and flour is boiled and eggs are whisked into the mix to create a dense batter that will puff up into the oven and become hollow and crisp. It does require some fine skills and I am quite amazed that we actually made them at a young age. Taking turns in beating the eggs in to the mix was a must since small arms get tired quickly, but what a pleasure it was to bite into a light pastry filled with whipped cream garnished with chocolate sauce.
These days my skills has definitely improved and I have realised that one very important step in making these is to make sure that the profiteroles are completely dry inside before taking out of the oven. That will prevent the pastry going soggy or damp when cold.
Last saturday we had friends over for dinner, they brought lovely antipasti and bruschetta, I cooked Saltimbocca (veal medallions with sage, parma ham and white wine sauce) and to follow I made Profiteroles filled with limoncello cream, chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries...

15 profiteroles

30 grams butter
60 grams plain flour
125ml water
2 eggs

Bring water and butter to the boil in a small pot. Add flour and beat with a wooden spoon to create a dense batter. Continue to beat while boiling for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat and let cool down a bit. Add one egg and beat until smooth, add the other egg and beat again until smooth. Let cool down. Spoon little dollops of the dough on a tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 10min on 210C. Turn heat down to 180 and continue to bake until dry inside. Let cool completely and fill with whipped cream just before serving.

Friands or financiers...

This is a recipe I have been looking at for ages now since I first saw it on a very fancy blog called What Katie Ate. These french "tea-cakes" might not look much to the world but the taste is absolutely fantastic. Dense, nutty and buttery this little number appears in various small shapes. The name Friand means "dainty" or "tasty" but they are mainly known by the name Financiers, that because the shop where the recipe was created was located very close to the Paris stock exchange. Originally the cakes were baked in rectangular moulds to resemble bars of gold.
I find these little stories quite amusing to read and this one made me want to bake Financiers even more. What makes them so nice is the toasting of almonds that will bring out some lovely flavours in the nuts and most important; Beurre Noisette, or directly translated from French "brown butter". It will give a very nutty and deep flavour to the butter and when you bite in to a fresh Financier you will not regret this step.
The Financiers can be flavoured with fresh berries or fruit but I made these plain and it was very tasty like that. Maybe next time I will try out some flavour.

12 Financiers

110 grams butter
30 grams plain flour
50 grams ground almonds
90 grams icing sugar
3 egg whites (90 grams)
1 pinch of salt

Start with toasting the ground almonds on a tray in the middle of the oven on 150C until golden, 8-10 min. Let cool down.
Put butter in a small pot on a medium heat, when melted let it come to the boil, stirring or swirling occasionally. A foam will appear on the surface, continue to boil until it looks clear and all the foam/milk parts has sunk to the bottom of the pan. Ad soon as a nutty smell starts to appear and the butter looks deep brown (not black) take of the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Set a side to cool.
Combine flour, almonds, icing sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk the egg whites lightly and fold in to the dry mix together with the butter. Stir until smooth and divide into 12 small moulds well buttered and floured. Bake for 5-7min on 200C.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another hummus

A couple of days I try to eat vegetarian, there is no particular reason to it; I just like the challenge of trying to come up with new dinner ideas and cutting out the meat makes it trickier for me. Lately there has been a lot of chick peas on the menu and mainly Indian style, channa masala, but another favourite is good old fashioned hummus. I put a good serving of hummus on the side of bulgur, halloumi cheese and tomato salad. It is a fantastic combination of many tasty things on one plate. The other day I made another version of this hummus that I have blogged about before, same technique but with a twist; smoked paprika and red chili.

1tin chickpeas
1 lemon,the juice
2tbsp tahini(sesame paste)
1tsp cumin
1tsp smoked paprika
1clove garlic
1/2 red chili (without seeds)
1/2tsp salt
5tbsp olive oil
3tbsp water

Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer or in a food processor until smooth. Spread on a plate and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, dried parsley and smoked paprika.

Apple cake

Sometimes it is the simplest things that are the tastiest, and it was only recently I realised how good apple cake can be. There is so many recipes to choose from, each with their own little twist. This recipe is called "Swiss apple cake" and it is very easy to make. I use Granny Smith apples because I like the contrast between sweet cake and sort of sour/tangy apple. Sprinkled with cinnamon before baking makes the cake smell delicious when it comes out of the oven, but it wont over power the taste of apple.

130 grams caster sugar
130 grams butter, room temperature
170 grams plain flour
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs, separated
2 Granny Smith apples

1/2tsp cinnamon+2tbsp caster sugar

Cream butter and caster sugar until pale, add egg yolks and continue to beat until well mixed. Add flour and baking powder through a sieve and stir until smooth. Whisk egg whites until it forms soft peaks and fold into the butter/flour-mix. It will be a firm batter, more like a soft dough. Spread the batter in a buttered cake tin. Peel apples and cut each apple into 12 wedges. Put apples on top of the cake batter in a nice pattern. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake for 35-40min on 175C.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Bread, bread, bread...I just don't get tired of it; baking or eating. All diets telling us to cut down or even cut out carbs drive me crazy because there if few things that makes me so happy as freshly baked bread coming out of the oven smelling delicious. Lately I have been experimenting with sour dough and different types of flour, with varied results. The other day I decided to go for something classic and easy so focaccia was baked.
I started making this bread when working in an Italian restaurant and even the Italians were impressed, that says a lot you should know because Italians are some of the most difficult people to please when it comes to food. I don't blame them though because while in Italy on a holiday last year I was really impressed with the food, such simple dishes with the most amazing flavours.
I like my focaccia in different flavours depending on what I am using it for, this time I decided to put some parmesan, white onion and thyme into the bread and that way you can just eat it on its own. It could also be left plain with just olive oil and sea salt, or maybe some sun dried tomatoes and olives, or anchovies and garlic...
The recipe is very simple and it does not need a lot of kneading, work or attention.

1 tray of foccacia

750 grams strong flour
600ml water, lukewarm
10 grams dried yeast
1 1/2tbsp salt
2tbsp olive oil

parmesan, herbs, sundried tomatoes, olives...

Dissolve yeats in the water. Add flour, salt and oliveoil and work the dough with a wodden spoon for a couple of minutes. Let prove until doubled in size, about an hour. Drizzle olive oil on a piece of baking paper and tip the dough out on to it. Drizzle oil on top and stretch out so the dough covers the whole sheet. With oiled fingers press little holes in the dough, fill with what ever flavour you decide to go for and let prove again for 35-45 min. Bake for 25min on 225C

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Banana oatbran muffins

In the beginning of very week I buy bananas and in the end of the week I have brown bananas in our fruit bowl. It can be nice to put over ripe bananas in smoothies but cold winter mornings I am not very tempted by a cold drink so I made banana muffins instead this week. I have been working on a "perfect" banana muffin recipe for a while now and it seems I finally have it! It can be made with only plain four but this time i mixed it with oat bran and it makes the muffina little heartier and in my opinion tastier too.
Because Valentines Day is coming up I decided to make mini muffins in heart shapes, so pretty to look at. If you have small muffin cups they cam be used instead or you can just make normal sized ones.

20 mini muffins/8 large muffins

60 grams butter, room temperature
75 grams brown, soft sugar
90 grams plain flour
40 grams oat bran
30ml plain youghurt
1 large banana
1 egg
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

Beat sugar and butter fluffy, add the banana in small pieces and the egg, continue to beat until well blended. Sieve flour, oat bran and bicarbonate of sode into the wet mixture and fold together, last adding the yoghurt. Fill muffin cups 2/3 and bake on 200C for 12-18min depending on what size muffins you are making, a skewer should come out dry when the muffins are ready.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Melt in your mouth chocolate biscuits

I got a lovely christmas gift 2010 containing a cookie stamp saying "Home made", so while baking these cookies I had the perfect opportunity to try the stamp out. The fancy cup and saucer is a christmas gift too and it really feels like a treat drinking tea out of a cup so fragile I should not be aloud to hold it.
I dont think I need to explain the biscuits, the name kind of says it all. They are very tasty and it is the potato starch that makes them melt in your mouth. In Sweden potato starch or potato flour can be found in nearly every super market, but in Dublin I had to go to the Asian market to get it.

10 biscuits

100 grams butter, room temperature
30 grams icing sugar
80 grams potato starch/potato flour
80 grams plain flour
1tbsp cocoa powder

Mix all dry ingredients. Beat icing sugar and butter white and fluffy with a hand held electric whisk. Gradually start to add cocoa powder, plain flour and potato flour while still beating. Continue until all flour is added and the mix is very smooth and easy to work with.
With Cookie stamp: Divide into 10 pieces about he size of a golf ball. Place on a baking paper on a baking tray, press the stamp on top of each cookie.
If you don't have a cookie stamp simply roll out small marble sized balls or you can press the mix through a nostril for a piping bag and will then get little "frilly finger-shaped" cookies.
Bake on 175C for 10min.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crisp bread, cracker bread, crackers...

In Sweden we eat a lot of bread; sour dough, rye, plain white ... but there is one particular type that im going to write about now. It is hard for me to say what it is called in english because as the name of this post says there seems to be a few names to choose from. I will simply call it cracker bread.
Cracker bread is originally from Sweden and back in the days it was mainly bakes on rye flour or other whole grain flours. The dough is very heavy due to a low content of water and is rolled out very thin, baked quickly on a high heat and then dried out. It keeps very well, weighs very little and is therefore a great addition to lucnhes serevd in schools, prisons and in the army. You can take my word for that (not because I have been in prison or the army) because the lunch served in our canteen in school was not very tasty at all so I lived on cracker bread.
In Ireland it is not so common to eat cracker bread, and beacuse of that there is not the same variety here and in the shopes at home. Recently I found a recipe that I had to try and with a few minor adjustments I now have a very nice cracker bread recipe.

150ml water, luke warm
5 grams dried yeast
12 grams butter
1tsp salt
115 grams plain flour
100 grams whole wheat flour, stone ground
60 grams mixed seeds (I used sesame, lins seeds and sunflower seeds)

Dissolve yeast in the water. Stir in butter, salt and seeds and last whole wheat flour. Add plain flour and work the dough by hand for a bout 5min on a floured surface. Let prove for 1h.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll out to very, very thin sheets on a floured surface, about 2mm. Prick with a fork before baking on 250C for 5-8 min. Let dry on an oven rack before storing in an air tight container.

Tea cakes

It has been a bit of a dry spell here on Hoglunds Homemade, and all I can blame is the month January. For me it is one incredibly unnecessary month that if I could I would sleep through without problems. However, February has come and so has a little taste of the spring. It is mild and sunny, birds are singning in the mornings and time is flying by. Happy days.
I have not been very ambitious since after chistmas everybody wants to cut down on sweets and treats but there has been a lot of bread baking going on here on Victoria Terrace. This lovely recipe is not sweet, even though the name Tea Cakes sound so, it is actually a very nice bread. It looks white but there is some goodness to it too; porridge. Yes you read right, the bread baking starts with making quick porride that will create a very moist yet fluffy bread. It is very handy to make the double recipe and freeze the bread since it defrosts very quick.

8 tea cakes

40 grams oatflakes
250ml water
25 grams butter
1tbsp honey
1/2tsp salt
250 grams plain flour
7 grams dried yeast

Bring 150ml of the water to boil and pour over the oatflakes in a bowl, add butter and stir until melted. Add the rest of the water (cold) and let the mix come down to luke warm temperature. Dissolve yeast in the porridge and add honey, salt and 200 grams of the flour. Work the dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5min by hand. Let prove under a cloth for 30min or until doubled in size.
Work the dough for a minute or so. Divide into 8 pieces the same size. Roll into balls and roll out to flat circles about 1cm thick with a rolling pin and the flour left over from the dough. Let prove again under a cloth on baking trays. Prick with a fork before baking on 226C for 5-6 min.