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Lemon mousse with crumble and blueberries

October 18, 2012

This year our two blueberry bushes, planted 3-4 years ago, finally produced a lot of blueberries and we had enough for several different treats. I made two sorts of blueberry cakes and we also ate them plain them as a healthy snack. And there was even enough blueberries to top these wonderful, tangy and refreshing lemon mousses with crunchy crumble. The crumble gives a nice crunchy contrast to the smooth mousse and the blueberries give a fresh finishing touch.

    Crumble
    50 gram butter
    50 gram flour
    50 gram sugar
    a pinch of salt

    Combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in 200 degrees C until golden, stir a couple of times during baking. Leave to cool.

    Lemon mousse

    250 ml whipping cream
    2 eggs
    1 large organic lemon, zest and juice
    5 tbsp sugar
    4 gelatine leaves (or 2 tsp gelatine powder) + 2 tbsp water
    100 ml Kesella (quark) (can be omitted, sometimes I add it and sometimes not)

    Put the gelatine leaves into a small cup containing 2 tbsp water (or sprinkle gelatine powder into the water). In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with an electric beater until fluffy and light. In a second bowl beat egg yolks and sugar with an electric beater until fluffy and pale. In a third bowl, whip the cream.

    When the gelatine has soaked up the water, place the cup in a pan of simmering water (don’t boil) and stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Combine lemon zest and juice with the gelatine mixture. Then carefully add the whipped cream, egg yolks and sugar (and quark, if used). Finally gently fold the whipped egg whites into the mixture. Divide the mousse between 4-5 glasses or cups and chill until firm. Serve with crumbles and fresh bilberries or blueberries.

G trying to pick a blueberry.

Colourful cookies and cupcakes

October 11, 2012

In January I had the honor to bake for a Red Cross charity event for separated refugee children (i.e. children that have arrived in Sweden all alone without any relatives). I wanted to bake something colourful for the kids, something that would make them smile. So I baked lovely spiral cookies and also mini cupcakes that I donated to the event. I never saw the kids as I only left the cookies before the event started, but they were supposedly very popular. I used this recipe at Sprinkle Bakes for the cookies and my own recipe for the mini cupcakes. I had so much fun baking and I hope to do this more times.

Granadilla

October 10, 2012

Granadilla

Some months ago, while traveling in Colombia, I encountered the fruit Granadilla for the very first time. It’s a variety of passion fruit, but very sweet and mild rather than sour. It quickly became a favourite and as my husband wasn’t too fond of it I always got his Granadilla too whenever it was served to us as a dessert.

David Chang, microbiology and fermentation.

March 28, 2012

Some weeks ago I had the honor of attending a fun cooking event at Electrolux with chef David Chang, the owner of Momofuku. He has been awarded with the White Guide Global Gastronomy Award and thus visited Sweden during a couple of days. The Swedish chefs Magnus Nilsson, Mathias Dahlgren and Sayan Eriksson also participated in the cooking event. The event was a bit special since the theme was microbiology and fermentation. David Chang held a presentation about his work in the Momofuku lab where they experiment with fermentation and different kinds of molds…

Already during the presentation we each received a plate with fermented rice and barley and three kinds of miso (pine nut, almond and pistachio). It actually tasted really good. The presentation was very interesting and David Chang is a great speaker.

Afterwards Magnus Nilsson spoke about fermentation at his restaurant and we got to try a couple of dishes.

Above you can see how crowded it was in the Electrolux kitchen (the Swedish culinary team actually practices here). From left to right you can see Magnus Nilsson, David Chang, Sayan Isaksson and Mathias Dahlgren. Standing on the opposite side of the table, in stripes, is chef Klas Lindberg who won the prestigious title “chef of the year” in January.The whole event ended with lots of scrumptious food served by the Swedish culinary team. Delicious!

Swedish television filmed the event, and you can see a short 5 minute program below. Most parts are in English. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of me (dressed in orange) and also my fellow food blogger Anne.

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Smulgubbe – a cross between strawberries and wild strawberries

March 11, 2012

Photo from last year.

Spring is slowly approaching and I can’t wait for all garden plants to wake up after the winter. My favourite berry, smulgubbe (Fragaria × vescana), is a cross between strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) and wild/woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca). The Swedish name for strawberry is jordgubbe and the name for wild strawberry is smultron, hence the name smulgubbe. The flavour, imagine eating a strawberry and a wild strawberry at the same time, is absolutely fantastic and I can’t imagine a summer without them. The variety that I have, Rebecka, produce berries through out the whole summer season. I grow them in containers hanging on the trellis so that I can easily access them everytime I go out on my deck. During winter I half bury the whole containers so they’ll survive the cold. The plants produce a few runners, but not as many as strawberry plants usually do, so you’ll eventually get more plants. If you live in Stockholm, you can find Rebecka plants during late spring at the garden center Zetas and probably also the one called Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal, two of my favourite places in Stockholm.

Crock-Pot Goulash

March 8, 2012

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, while we still had lots of snow.

Slow cookers, in this case a Crock-Pot, are fairly new in Sweden as opposed to the US where they’ve been on the market since the 70s. The food is cooked very slowly on a low temperature while you’re at work or do other stuff. I’ve been experimenting with a Crock-Pot lately and I’ve had lots of fun so far. The first thing I decided to do was a cross between soup and stew. It’s not authentical nor 100 % Hungarian, but I still call it a goulash. In the morning, before work, I loaded the Crock-Pot with my chosen ingredients and I set it on low for 8,5 hours. After all those hours it automatically switched to just keep the stew/soup warm until we we were ready for dinner.

Some people prefer to brown their meat before adding it to the slow cooker, but seriously, I will not brown meat in the morning while still being half asleep. At that time of the day I can hardly drink a cup of coffee. So I just threw everything in the pot and let it cook. The result was a hearty delicious soup/stew that we ate with newly baked baguettes. Absolutely amazing and I still can’t believe that all I had to do was to chop the ingredients. I was bit afraid that the potatoes would be over cooked, but they were perfect!

    Crock-Pot Goulash

    900 gram beef chuck (högrev in Swedish)
    2 yellow onions
    2 Italian peppers (spetspaprika in Swedish)
    6 potatoes, peeled
    4 garlic cloves
    1 tsp thyme
    2 tsp pimenton de la vera (smoked paprika), mild
    1 tbsp paprika
    1 tbsp tomato puree
    1,5 tsp ancho
    2 tsp chipotle chili paste
    2 bay leaves
    1 can of crushed tomatoes
    800 ml stock (preferably home made)
    salt
    pepper

    Cut the meat, potatoes and peppers in large dices. Chop the onions. Finely chop or grate the garlic. Put all ingredients in a Crock-Pot and let cook on low temperature for 8,5 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh bread.

I took this photo just before I started the Crock-Pot.

Flourless mini chocolate cupcakes with “Polly fluff”

February 7, 2012

Mini chocolate cupcakes

These adorable and moist mini cupcakes only contain 3 ingredients: eggs, chocolate and butter. The chocolate cake recipe came to my attention being one of the monthly challenges in “Daring Bakers” and thus popping up all over the internet. Regretfully I’m not a Daring Baker anymore due to lack of time, but never the less I do recommend this recipe. It’s very versatile and you can bake cupcakes, mini cupcakes, cakes or what ever with this lovely recipe. I chose to do mini cupcakes as I was making dessert for a New Year’s party at Lena’s with many guests. I made two batches and I ended up with more than 50 mini cupcakes. On a side note they they were quite easy to transport and not too fragile despite traveling by bus, metro and finally train.

For topping I made a “fluff”, which is widely known in Sweden lately, you basically melt 180 grams of candy or chocolate into 300 ml heavy cream. It’s important not to let it boil. Leave in the fridge overnight and then whip it up with an electric beater until fluffy and light. For this variant I used Polly which is a Swedish chocolate candy with array flavour. After whipping the “fluff” I piped the cupcakes and as a finishing touch I decorated each cupcake with a raspberry.

    Flourless mini chocolate cupcakes

    Makes around 25 depending on size.
    (Source: Daring Bakers Challenge January 2009, for example here and here)

    450 gram of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
    150 gram unsalted butter
    5 large eggs, separated

    Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.

    Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
    Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cupcakes will be dry).

    With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.

    Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.

    Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.

    Pour batter into mini cupcake molds, the ones I use are called “småbrödsformar”. The batter should fill only 3/4 way up. Bake at 175 degrees C for 10 minutes.

Mini chocolate cupcake

Savory Dijon ice cream with cured salmon and fish shaped crackers

January 22, 2012

Mustard ice cream with cured salmon, fish shaped crackers and roe.

Maybe you recall our annual thirteen course dinner at Anne’s? Every year on Twelwth Night we have a gourmet dinner at her place. Every couple prepares one starter, one main course and one dessert. This year the dinner party had a twist, every course had to have a movie or a TV series connection… The main course and dessert was quite easy to decide, but I had problems coming up with a clever starter. At last I decided to channel Pingu in a starter… I found a very intriguing recipe for savory Dijon mustard ice cream that I wanted to give a try. I decided to serve it just as the original recipe suggested with gravad lax (cured salmon), regretfully store bought as I didn’t have enough time to make my own, roe and dill. And as a final touch I baked crackers that I shaped like small fish. I was very happy when the fish came out from the oven, all fluffed up looking like small fish! The result of the whole dish? It was a very strange but interesting dish. I should have skipped the dill as it clashed, but the ice cream it self was actually great. Smooth, creamy ice cream with a Dijon mustard flavor and a small hint of curry! But remember now that due to the 13 courses, each course including this one was very small. I’m not sure I would have managed a larger serving…. For pictures of all movie themed dishes that we had, click here to get to the round up.

    Savory Dijon Ice cream
    (adapted from Gourmet)

    1 cup heavy cream
    0.5 cup whole milk
    1/4 teaspoon curry powder
    1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    pinch of salt
    4 large egg yolks
    0.5 cup packed light brown sugar
    4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

    Bring cream, milk, curry powder, vanilla, and salt just to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
    Meanwhile, whisk together yolks and brown sugar in a large metal bowl until thick and creamy. Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, and pour back into pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 77°C / 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Remove from heat.

    Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean metal bowl and cool in an ice bath. Whisk in mustard, then continue to chill, stirring occasionally, until cold.
    Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

    Serve the ice cream with gravad lax, roe and home baked crackers shaped as fish (for recipe see below).

    Crackers shaped as fish

    200 ml all-purpose flour
    150 ml rye flour
    0.5 tsp salt
    0.5 tsp active dry yeast
    1 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp olive oil
    100 ml water, warm
    flaky sea salt

    Mix all ingredients but the flour in a kitchen aid. Add the flour and work into a dough. Let the machine knead for at least 5-10 minutes. Cover the dough and let rise during 1,5 hours.

    Roll out the dough very thinly between two pieces of parchment paper. I didn’t have any fish cookie cutter, so I made a fish in cardboard that I used. Brush the fish with water and sprinkle with salt.

    Bake the crackers in 175°C for 15-20 minutes.