Archive for November, 2006

Bilberry Mazarins

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

Mazariner are delicious Swedish mini tarts with almond paste filling. Normally they are covered with glaze, but this variant not only contains additional bilberries but also calls for a pretty cross-hatch pattern over each mazarin, omitting the traditional glaze. The crust is a normal rich short pastry which is always used for mazarins and the only new things are the bilberries and the cross-hatch pattern. I did both variants, and I really recommend skipping the pattern and just glazing each mazarin traditionally as those one tasted the best and were much quicker do do. The bilberries goes really well with the almond filling. Next time I’ll use less flour in the filling though, I thought that it was a bit too “bready”. I found the recipe in yesterday’s issue of Svenska Dagbladet and it’s originally from a cookbook by Melker Andersson and Danyel Couet. The name of the book isn’t mentioned, but I guess that the recipe is from Oas – Fredsgatan 12 . The original recipe makes 10 small tarts, but I uses smaller disposable ones which gave me 16 mazarins.

    Blåbärsmazariner (Bilberry Mazarins)
    (makes about 16)

    3 dl flour
    0.5 tsp baking powder
    50 ml caster sugar
    100 gram cold butter
    1/2 lightly beaten egg

    50 gram butter
    200 gram almond paste (NB: marcipan contains more sugar and less almonds)
    2 eggs
    50 ml flour (next time I’ll lower the amount)

    bilberry filling:
    500 ml bilberries
    1 tbsp caster sugar
    1-2 tbsp potato flour (the larger amount if you use frozen blueberries)

    200 ml icing sugar
    about 2 tsp water

    Combine all ingredients for the dough quickly, adding the egg at the end. Chill for at least 1 hour.

    Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (I baked them in 175 degrees which I thought was appropriate for my hot air oven).

    Use small tart pans or even smaller aluminium disposable ones. Roll out the dough, preferable between cling film as it’s rather hard to handle, and cover each pan with dough. Put the pans on a tray and let them rest in the freezer for 30 minutes.

    Stir softened butter until smooth, then add finely grated almond paste and each egg separately. Stir in flour. Divide filling between tarts.

    Combine sugar and potato flour. Add the (defrosted) bilberries and stir carefully. Divide the bilberries between the tarts.

    Bake the mazarins on a cookie sheet in the middle part of the oven for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

    Sift the sugar for the glaze, then stir in water gradually until glaze is smooth and shiny. Spread thinly on cooled mazarins.

Dippin’Dots Ice Cream

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Mint Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake flavoured ice cream

When we were in Tokyo we visited Sega Joypolis which is an indoor amusement park. We basically spent a whole day inside the complex, playing games and riding their weird VR attractions. One thing which I never will forget is “THE ROOM OF LIVING DOLLS” which is the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. We were 8 people with surround earphones sitting around a table in a complety dark room . The technology used was fantastic and it was so realistic, it was just like someone was walking across the room, whispering in your ears, cutting your hair and eventually scarier things happened. I’m not going to reveal the whole attraction, but it was amazing and even though I didn’t understand the conversation I was so scared that I cried the whole time and screamed in unison with the japanese teenagers. Horrible, but still amazing. After that terrible attraction we had some ice cream, which I really needed for my nerves. As you can see on the photos the ice cream from “Dippin’Dots ice cream” in Joypolis consists of small dots of ice cream. It’s really cold and the ice crem doesn’t taste so much, probably because of the cold, but it was a fun experience and I felt much better afterwards :-) I thought that the ice cream was japanese, but it comes from the USA and is branded as the “ice cream of the future”. Here’s the official website for Dippin’Dots.

Chocolate Gingerbread

Monday, November 20th, 2006

This heavy and rich chocolate gingerbread is from Nigella’s “Feast”. I bought the book very recently and this is actually the first recipe which I’ve tried. I’m not a big chocolate cake lover, but this was great. It’s perfect with a glass of cold milk, but be prepared to enter a chocolate coma if you even try to eat more than one piece :-) As this is a kind of Christmas cake due to all the spices I used Julmust instead of Ginger Ale for the frosting. Julmust is a Swedish softdrink closely associated with Christmas and it was perfect, you can feel a vague hint of it when eating the cake. To the cake I added some chili (inspired by Esurientes) and some cardamom, but feel free to exclude them even if I do recommend the chili!

    Chocolate Gingerbread
    (from Nigella’s “Feast”. The recipe can also be found on her homepage)
    Makes about 12 slabs.

    175 gr unsalted butter
    125 gr dark muscovado sugar
    2 tbsp caster sugar
    200 gr golden syrup (I used “ljus sirap”)
    200 gr black treacle or molasses (I used “brödsirap” as I didn’t have anything darker at hand)
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tsp ground ginger
    1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    2 tbsp warm water
    2 eggs
    250 ml milk
    275 gr plain flour
    40 gr cocoa
    175 gr chocolate chips (I used about 85 gr of 80 % dark chopped chocolate and 85 gr of chocolate chips – 55 %)

    Myself I also added:
    1 tsp cardamom
    1 tsp cayenne powder

    250 gr icing sugar
    30 gr unsalted butter
    1 tbsp cocoa
    60 ml ginger ale (I used “Julmust” *lol*)

    Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170C and tear off a big piece of baking parchment to line the bottom and sides of a roasting pan of approximately 30 x 20 x 5 cm deep.

    In a decent-sized saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugars, golden syrup, treacle or molasses, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. In a cup dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water. Take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the eggs, milk and bicarb in its water. Stir in the flour and cocoa and beat with a wooden spoon to mix. Fold in the chocolate chips, pour into the lined tin and bake for about 45 minutes until risen and firm. It will be slightly damp underneath the set top and that’s the way you want it.

    Remove to a wire rack and let cool in the tin. Once cool, get on with the icing.

    Sieve the icing sugar. In a heavy-based saucepan heat the butter, cocoa and ginger ale. Once the butter’s melted, whisk in the confectioners’ sugar. Lift the chocolate gingerbread out of the tin and unwrap the paper. Pour over the icing just to cover the top and cut into fat slabs when set.

Matcha Frappuccino

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

I miss Japan. I miss all the delicious and fascinating food. I even miss the matcha hysteria and all the products with matcha flavour. For those who doesn’t know, matcha is green powdered tea which is uniquely Japanese. When I look at this photo I remember how incredible hot it was when we were there in August. Starbucks saved our lives many times with their frappuccinos, even if I have to admit that I prefer the strawberry one better than the matcha one which looks much cooler though.

Overnight Breakfast Buns

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

I like freshly baked bread for my Saturday morning breakfast, but I refuse to start the day with getting up early to bake it. The problem is solved by preparing the bread before going to sleep and letting it rise slowly in the fridge overnight. In the morning you just heat the oven and then put in the baking sheet with your already prepared buns! Just make sure that your baking sheet fits in the fridge :-) The recipe is from ICA.

    Breakfast buns
    (makes 10 small ones).

    12,5 gr fresh yeast (1/4 parcel of a 50 gr fresh yeast)
    2 dl cold water
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tsp salt
    1 dl rye flour
    4-5 dl flour with extra protein (“Vetemjöl Special”)

    sesame seeds
    poppy seeds

    In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in a small part of the water. Add the rest of the water, oil and salt. Combine and add the flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough holds it shape and is smooth. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 10 parts. If the dough is too sticky, then add some more flour. Make 10 small buns and put them on a parchment lined baking sheet. If you’re worried that everything will stick then sprinkle some flour both under and over the buns. Cover the baking sheet with a kitchen towel and put it in the fridge.

    In the morning, take out the baking sheet from the fridge. Then heat the oven to 250 degrees C. Brush the buns with water and sprinkle half of them with sesame seeds and the remaining ones with poppy seed or what ever you have in your cupboard. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Weekend Cat Blogging #76

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

Yoshi’s favourite spot

It’s time for weekend cat blogging again. This week CatSynth is hosting. See the roundup here.

Our tumble cleaner is broken and Yoshi’s delighted as it’s his very favourite spot. He’s really happy now when we don’t throw him out from it everytime we wash. The question is if we have the heart to call the repair man or not :-)

Frozen Pineapple drink

Friday, November 17th, 2006

The Belvedere vodka bottle is so pretty. It’s a great Polish vodka, distilled 4 times.
Friday and finally the weekend is here. What about a delicious frozen pineapple drink which reminds you of summer and vacation?

    Frozen Pineapple drink
    (serves 2)

    250 ml fresh pineapple and orange juice (use fresh juice instead of the one made from concentrate)
    100 ml vodka
    0.5 pineapple (rinsed and cut into pieces).

    Put the pineapple pieces in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Mix all the ingredients in a blender until you have a thick mesh.

Risotto al Taleggio

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Risotto al Taleggio. In the background you can see Anne’s twisted baguettes.

This weekend I tried to figure out what to do with the piece of Taleggio cheese that I bought spontaneous a time ago. I finally decided for a risotto, even though I was really frightened as it was my first time making a risotto. But I must say that it’s not hard at all! Just stir, stir and stir :-) This risotto has a lot of taste, due to the creamy cheese. It’s a very stinky cheese but really delicious, especially in this risotto. To the risotto we had Anne’s twisted baguettes which were very easy to make and tasted great! Bake them, you won’t be dissapointed!

    Risotto al Taleggio
    (recipe translated from Zeta)

    2 shallots, finely chopped
    3 tbsp + 2 tbsp Olive oil Extra Vergine
    300 ml Arborio rice
    200 ml white dry wine
    1 litre warm chicken broth
    200 gr Taleggio cheese, cut in cubes
    Maldon sea salt

    Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat.

    In another pan heat 3 tbsp olive oil, add shallots and sauté until tender and colourless. Add rice and stir for a minute or two. Add wine and stir until evaporated. Add 400 ml of hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 100 ml at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes. When done the rice corns should be creamy with an al dente kernel. Stir in the taleggio cheese and two tablespoons of olive oil. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve, preferably with Anne’s twisted baguettes.