Archive for February, 2007

What happens when you travel with food.

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Our beautiful windows

I know it’s been quiet here for a while, but I’m here. First I worked in Gothenburg for a few days, then our internet at home was down for a long time and finally last week I had a really bad stomach flu. I still feel a bit sick, but I’m much better. Due to the flu I havn’t cooked nor actually eaten much. But luckily for me and you I have a large back log with photos and recipes which I need to post before I forget the details :-)

When I was in Gothenburg for work I stayed a few days extra just to visit my family. When I travelled back to Stockholm I had an extra suitcase due to all food that my dear mother had packed for me. She made tons of Polish pierogi which now lays in our freezer and which we eat with reverence. My mother also packed some cans of sweetened condensed milk for baking and a lot of other food. After my check-in at the airport, including the extra suitcase of food only, I went to the security check where I had to take of my shoes which caused beeping. After finally getting through the security I suddenly heard my name in the loudspeakers; I was asked to contact the information desk. So I had to go back all the way and I was feeling a bit nervous as I didn’t know what was going on. After being shunted back and forth between the airport staff I finally ended up by my suitcase, the one with food which I had checked in. “-We believe that you have paint cans in your suitcase and they are not allowed”. I never blush, but I think that I actually did this time when trying to explain that it was milk… I had to unpack my suitcase and show the labels on the milk cans which the staff carefully read. They just laughed and said that it was OK, then I had to run back to the security check, take off my shoes again and then I was finally on my way to the gate. Both me and the milk arrived safely in Stockholm, and the pierogi as well.

Our wintery balcony

Blackberry Crème brûlée for my Valentine

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

I know, it wasn’t long time ago since I made Crème brûlée but it’s one of our favourite desserts and therefore perfect as a romantic dessert on Valentine’s Day! Even if I normally prefer a plain Crème brûlée without additional ingredients like fruit or chocolate I took a risk and added blackberries this time which gave a really nice flavour. Next time I’ll experiment with another fruit, why not rhubarb or mango!?

    Blackberry Crème brûlée for two

    225 ml whipping/double cream
    1 vanilla pod
    25 gram caster sugar
    2 egg yolks (about 30 gram)
    60 gram blackberries (about 12 berries)

    4 tsp brown sugar (I used white caster sugar this time, but I got a much better result last time when using brown sugar)

    Heat the oven to 170 degrees C. Cut the vanilla pod in half lenghtwise and scrape out the seeds. Put the vanilla seeds in a sauce pan together with the cream and let simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.

    Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Gently combine with the cream mixture, add the blackberries and pour into 2 small ovenproof molds (225 ml). Make sure that the blackberries are divided evenly between the two molds. Place them into a roasting or baking pan and carefully pour enough water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the molds. Bake for about 45 minutes, they should be set at the edges and wobbly in the center. When I made basic Crème brûlées without blackberries it only took me 30 minutes, so make sure to keep an eye on them. Remove from pan, and let the molds cool in room temperature before allowing them to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I prepared mine one day in advance.

    Before serving, sprinkle the molds with 2 teaspoons of sugar each. Make sure to cover the custard evenly. Caramelise, using a kitchen blowtorch (or place under the grill in the oven for a few minutes, just make sure it won’t burn and don’t forget to keep the oven door open). If using a kitchen blowtorch, work fast and move it all the time so you won’t burn the sugar on your precious custards! :-) Serve and enjoy!

Copy Cat: muffins, apple cake and parmesan shortbread

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Here are 3 recipes from fellow food bloggers that I’ve done during the last week:

Banana Maple Muffins from Anne’s Food are perfect breakfast muffins. I know that mine look a bit dry, but they’re not. Easy peasy to bake, moist and rather fat free.

Toffee Apple Cake with Cranberries from our apple cake queen Pille at Nami-Nami. This was delicious! I did some small changes: I pre-baked the crust and I used my vanilla caster sugar (I always put left over vanilla pods, without seeds, in a jar with caster sugar). Next time, because there will definitely be one, I’ll make sure to use some more sugar and butter on the top so that I’ll get more of that toffee-ish sauce which appears when baking.

Parmesan Shortbread with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Marinated Goat’s Cheese from Anne’s Food. This was the first course at the 13 courses dinner we were invited to at Anne’s. If you make them for your guests they will love you! I’ve already done the shortbreads twice and they were a huge hit. My only change is that I’ve been using feta cheese instead of goat’s cheese. I always roll out the dough between plastic wrap, which makes it much easier as the dough then won’t stick.