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Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Last Sunday I finally decided to harvest my rhubarb plant. As the plant was beautiful it was actually quite sad, but I hope that more stalks will grow up this and coming years. After trimming the stalks I only ended up with 300 grams of rhubarb. So what to do with 300 grams of precious home grown rhubarb? I recalled a rhubarb crumble recipe from the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, apparently a Gordon Ramsay recipe, which I modified and then baked.

I served the crumble with vanilla custard and it was very appreciated by the boys (my husband and his friend). I’ve improvised with hazelnuts in my crumble toppings before and they give a really chunky and delicious crumble. The filling was creamy and tasty but I thought that something was missing, maybe more spices or more rhubarb? Probably more rhubarb! The others just devoured the crumble with ooohs and aaahs while watching the latest episode of Jamie at home.

    Rhubarb and Apple Crumble
    (Source: Gordon Ramsay via Svenska Dagbladet and then modified)

    Filling:
    300 gram fresh rhubarb stalks, trimmed from leaves
    400 gram apples
    1 tbsp butter
    1.5 tbsp runny honey
    1 tsp fresh ginger, very finely grated
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1.5 tbsp raspberry syrup

    Topping:
    50 gram hazelnuts
    350 ml flour
    150 gram butter
    2.5 tbsp demerara sugar

    Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.

    Cut the rhubarb in 2 cm long chunks. Peel the apples and cut them in 2 cm chunks. Put the fruit in a sauce pan together with the butter, honey, ginger, cinnamon and syrup. Heat and let simmer for a few minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Don’t let the fruit become too soft though.

    Pour the fruit filling in a baking pan.

    Roast the hazelnuts in a dry warm frying pan for a few minutes. Remove from heat and place the hazelnuts in a clean and dry kitchen towel. Rub the nuts in the towel to remove the outer papery inner skin. Chop the hazelnuts coarsly.

    Place the demerara sugar, butter, flour and hazelnuts in a bowl. With the tips of your fingers rub the ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture. Cover the fruit with the crumbles and bake for 25 minutes until the topping is nicely browned.
    Serve luke warm with vanilla custard.

Harvesting the rhubarb plant.

Tanuki is in shock. “Where did the rhubarb dissapear?”

Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

My mother on my wedding day last year.

Today it’s Mother’s Day in Sweden. This is to my dear mother; my great influence, teacher and inspiration. She shows me over and over again how great a mother’s love is. She’s always there for me with advice, comfort and make sure that I eat! I love you mum and I wish you a wonderful mother’s day today!

Kochana Mamo,

W dniu Twojego święta chcę Ci życzyć przede wszystkim zdrowia, szczerego uśmiechu na Twej kochanej buzi nawet wtedy gdy spotka Cie smutek. Bo pamiętaj Mamo, że po każdej burzy nowy dzień nadchodzi a wraz z nim słońce na nowo wschodzi. Życzę Ci w sercu dumy z tego jakim jesteś człowiekiem Mamo. Ja jestem z Ciebie bardzo dumna. Byś nigdy nie dopuściła do Siebie myśli że żyć nie warto, spójrz na nas Swoje dzieci które Cię kochają i potrzebują. Życzę Ci Mamo spełnienia marzeń ale nie tych mówionych głośno tylko tych które masz w sercu dla Siebie.

Jest ten szczególny dzień raz w roku, kiedy mam okazje wyrazić Ci moja wdzięczność i miłość. Dziękuję za opiekę, troskę, która mnie już wtedy otoczyłaś, gdy byłam pod Twym sercem. Dziękuję za wychowanie i wszelkie trudy, starania, poświęcenia oraz wyrzeczenia, które dla mnie uczyniłaś. Nadal czuwasz blisko mnie i pomagasz mi. Wiem, ze zawsze kiedy do Ciebie przyjdę w potrzebie, Ty cierpliwie mnie wysłuchasz i zawsze znajdziesz dobra rade.
Przepraszam za wszystkie kłopoty, a przede wszystkim przykre słowa, ktore nieraz sprawiły Ci wielki ból, raniąc Twoje kochające serce. Zawsze będę Twoim małym dzieckiem, niezależnie od wieku, nadal będziesz dla mnie najważniejsza!
Modle sie za Ciebie, aby Pan Bóg dal Ci dużo sil i zdrowia, aby wynagrodził Ci każdą łzę z mojej winy. Dziękuje za wszystko i kocham Cię!!!

/Dagmara

WTSIM… apple! (Baked apples with hazelnuts and macadamia syrup)

Sunday, May 27th, 2007


Waiter, there is something in my… is a food blogging event which I’ve never participated in earlier. This online event is much more broad then the other food blogging events and should appeal to more people regardless of which cooking level you’re at. Waiter, there is something in my… (WTSIM) is organised by Andrew , Jeanne and Johanna and this is the fifth round with the theme stuffed fruit/vegetables, hosted by Jeanne at Cook Sister! This time I actually was able to remember the event and I choose a really easy thing to do.

Stuffed oven baked apples is one of the first desserts I ever made when I was young. It’s easy, cheap and the variations are endless. In this variant I’m using hazelnuts and macadamia nut syrup which is a great combination. As the apples bake in the oven a delicious gravy is created which is delicious to spoon over the vanilla ice cream which is mandatory when eating oven baked apples.

    Baked apples with hazelnuts and macadamia syrup
    serves 2

    2 apples (Jona Gold)
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp hazelnuts, coursly chopped
    2 tsp macadamia nut syrup
    2 tsp caster sugar

    Pre heat the oven to 175 degrees C.

    Mix all ingredients, except for the apples which you wash.

    Using an apple corer, or a small knife, hollow each apple so you have an vertical hole running through the apple where the core used to be. Save two small end pieces (about 2 cm long) of the apple core, so that you have a sort of cork. Put the “cork” in the bottom of each apple, this will hopefully keep most of the stuffing in the apple when the butter starts to melt in the oven.

    Pack the holes with as much stuffing as they can hold, be careful so that the apple won’t crack. If you’re not able to pack them with all stuffing then put the rest on top of the apples.

    Put the apples in a small baking pan, make sure that they stand up.

    Bake the apples in the oven for 25 minutes or until they are soft. Baste the apples once or twice with the gravy that appears in the baking pan after about 10 minutes.

    Serve the apples warm with vanilla ice cream, topped with the gravy which has been created in the baking pan.

Jamie at home

Sunday, May 27th, 2007


I just wanted to remind all of you living in Sweden that Jamie at home is on air Sundays at 9 pm on channel 5. I wasn’t impressed after the first episode but now I’m hooked and I always take notes while watching. I’ve tried some of his recipes and they are great, especially the oven baked potatoes and red onions in balsamic vinegar. The book with all recipes from the series will be published during the autumn.

Weekend Cat blogging

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Bowser.

My mother is visiting us this weekend so we’ve been busy sightseeing and eating a lot of goodies. Both we and the cats are very happy to have her here, especially after shopping flowers at the market as they love flowers. Now we just have to keep an eye on them so they don’t eat them :-)
Yesterday we went to the great restaurant Grill which I really recommend, the food is grilled in different ways depending on which dish you choose and it’s super tasty. The coctails (many with polish bison grass vodka and champagne) were really yummy and the whole place is really loungy and cosy, it’s like a mix of different living rooms.

I hope that you’ve all had a nice weekend. Today I realized that I have a huge back log, so my plan is to blog about Japan and Rome during the coming weeks and of course food.

Dim Sum cooking class

Thursday, May 17th, 2007


Making open face dumplings.

Since I’ve moved to Stockholm I’ve attended two cooking classes at Medborgarskolan. Both were 4 hours classes given on either a weekday night or on daytime during a weekend, so there are no problems with combining them with work. The first one was Modern cakes and even though the teacher was skilled the level was too low for me. I didn’t learn a lot but at least I tried some new recipes and got a lot of cakes back home. For those of you that feel a bit insecure when baking cakes I really recommend the class though. The second class, Dim Sum, I really enjoyed. The teacher for the Dim Sum class, Jonas Arbman, was very talented and his recipes were delicious. We made steamed chicken buns with cilantro sauce, Nem (deep fried Vietnamese spring rolls) with a dipping sauce called Nuoc Cham, deep fried wonton dumplings called Tung Tong with a peanut dipping sauce named Nam Jim, pot sticker dumplings (first fried and then steamed) with a dipping sauce and Mandu which are Korean dumplings with a dipping sauce named Yang Nyeom Jang. I always thought that Dim Sum dishes are way to difficult to make, but I learnt that it isn’t that hard, just a bit fiddly. After the class I feel much more confident and I’ll experiment with different fillings and dipping sauces. For more cooking classes check Medborgarskolan’s homepage. And for those of you that are interested, Jonas is planning to give an advanced class in Dim Sum next year which I wouldn’t mind attending. Here are some more photos from the class:


Pot sticker Mandus and dumplings.


Nems with shrimps, before deep frying.


Nems, wrapped in fresh lettuce and mint, and the hot sauce Nuoc Cham.


Frying the stuffing to the buns and dumplings.


Students working hard.


Making a chicken stuffed bun.


Preparing to steam the chicken buns.


The steamers used for steaming buns and dumplings.


The teacher Jonas Arbman, deep frying Nems.


Deep fried Tung Tongs with pork and other goodies.


Time to eat all goodies; here you see all the different dipping sauces, chicken buns, Tung tongs and dumplings.

Bilberry-Raspberry Fluffins with Raspberry Meringue

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

If I understand it correctly a cupcake is quite small and light with frosting while a muffin is large and heavy without frosting, often containing fruit or nuts. I found a funny quote in a post on a forum:

If you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a “poof!” If you threw a muffin, you would hear a “thud!”

I don’t know where to place these large moist cupcakes with filling and topping, so I call them fluffins just like the author Jacob Gray of the book Fluffins which I bought on the book sale earlier this year. It’s a book with muffins/large cupcakes that have different toppings (or “fluff” as the author writes), hence the name fluffins. I really like the photos in the book which inspire a lot. I’ve made some changes in the original recipe; for exampe I use both raspberries and bilberries, I substitute jam with syrup and instead of normal meringue I make raspberry meringue. And of course I use my own lemon lime curd instead of store bought lemon curd.

    Bilberry-Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Meringue
    (Adapted from “Fluffins” by Jacob Gray)
    makes around 10-12 large cupcakes

    Cupcakes:
    350 ml wheat flour with extra protein (“Vetemjöl Special”)
    0.5 tsp baking soda
    0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    200 ml raspberries and bilberries (defrosted or fresh)
    125 gram butter
    200 ml caster sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla sugar
    150 ml milk
    50 ml lime and lemon curd
    5 tsp raspberry syrup/cordial (I use a Polish one from the producer Łowicz)
    10-12 large cupcake paper cups

    Raspberry Meringue:
    2 egg whites
    a pinch of salt
    150 ml caster sugar with vanilla (I have a jar of caster sugar where I always put my left over vanilla beans/pods, which makes a lovely caster sugar with vanilla scent and taste)
    6 tsp raspberry syrup/cordial (4 tsp to mix into the meringue and 2 tsp to pour into a pastry bag)
    a pastry bag with star shaped tip

    Preheat the oven to either 200 degrees C (ordinary oven) or 175 degrees C (fan oven).

    In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and bicarbonate soda.

    In another bowl, beat butter and sugar with en electric mixer until white and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating. Add vanilla sugar, milk, lemon and lime curd. Combine. Add the flour mixture and the berries, combine everything until it’s well mixed, just make sure not to over work the mixture.

    Fill the cupcake tins up to 3/4 with the help of a spoon. Make a small hole in each cupcake (this will be quite sticky) and pour a small amount of raspberry syrup into each hole. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, depending on the size of your tins. Just make sure they won’t get dry as you want moist and nice cupcakes. While the cupcakes are in the oven beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until the mixture form satiny peaks. Keep beating the egg whites while adding sugar little at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Add 4 tsp of raspberry syrup and fold in gently. Coat the inside of a pastry bag with swirls of 2 tsp raspberry cordial/syrup (this will make the meringue look more beautiful with pink stripes) and then carefully fill the bag with meringue mixture.

    When the cupcakes are done decorate each one with raspberry meringue and bake in the oven for another 5 minutes. I’ve baked these fluffins twice now and I always have left over meringue. You can use it to make a couple of raspberry meringues if you want to.

Rhubarb pie in progress

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

This is my rhubarb plant, planted in the middle of April in a big pot on my small balcony. I can’t believe how fast it grows, from only 2 stalks to 6 ones in less than a month. Rhubarb is a really easy plant to grow and even if you only have a small balcony I promise you that it will grow (with some help of sun and water of course). I still havn’t decided what to do with the future harvest, but I will probably bake a (small) delicious pie.


This is how the rhubarb plant looked like on April 10th.

Rhubarb plant, one month later on May 10th.