Archive for November, 2008

Plum tray bake with cheesecake ripple

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I picked up this great recipe at Waitrose in September but I didn’t come around to actually bake it until the other day. This a real “Dagmar recipe” with two favourites: cheesecake and plums. I love the combination of moist sponge cake, creamy parts of cheesecake ripple and lovely juicy plums. You could easily subsitute the plums with another fruit depending on the season. Or add a spice, why not cinnamon or cardamom?

    Plum tray bake with cheesecake ripple
    (adapted from a Waitrose recipe, makes 10 squares)

    200 gram cream cheese
    1 vanilla bean, the interior
    3 tbsp caster sugar
    4 medium eggs
    175 gram butter, softened
    175 gram dark muscovado sugar
    200 gram flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    400 ripe plums, halved, stoned and roughly chopped

Icing sugar to dust the cake

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C.

Grease and line a 28×18 cm shallow baking tin with baking parchment. Make sure that the paper comes higher than the rim of the tin.

Beat cream cheese, vanilla, caster sugar and one of the eggs with an electric beater, until smooth.

In another bowl, beat remaining eggs, butter, muscovado sugar, flour and baking powder with an electric beater for 2 minutes until creamy.

Spread half of the creamed flour mixture onto the base of the baking tin. Dollop half of the cream cheese mixture over it. Scatter with half of the chopped plums. Spoon the remaining creamed flour mixture on top and dot with the rest of the cream cheese mixture. Scatter the remaining plums on the cake. Bake for around 35 minutes until the cake has risen and is just firm to touch. Make sure not to over-bake. Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve it warm or cold with vanilla ice cream.

Flødebolle from Sv. Michelsen

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

This morning I woke up to a snow covered landscape outside the windows. I immediately came to think about the box of flødebolle that I bought at the airport in Copenhagen a few days ago. Fluffy snow like marshmallows covered in chocolate. There are a lot of different varieties of chocolate coated marshmallows around the world, for example tête de choco, Mallobars and Schokokuss. However they all originate from Denmark. The flødebolle I bought are very special and luxurious. They are handmade and come from Sv. Michelsen. The bottom consists of marcipan, the marshmallow filling is creamy and delicous, and finally it’s covered in a thick layer of dark chocolate. Just like I wish snow would taste like.

Mini orange cupcakes with chocolate

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Although I made these lovely cupcakes for Halloween, as you can see on the Halloween themed paper cups, they can be made and eaten any time of the year. The orange flavour goes perfectly with some melted chocolate on top, sprinkled with orange flavoured hundreds-and-thousands.

    Mini orange cupcakes with chocolate
    Makes around 25 mini cupcakes (either use mini papercups from Wilton or Swedish “småbrödsformar”).

    100 gram butter
    50 ml sour cream
    150 ml caster sugar infused with vanilla
    2 eggs
    300 ml flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    juice and zest from 1 organic orange

    75 gram dark chocolate
    orange flavoured hundreds-and-thousands (sprinkles)

    Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. Beat butter and sugar with an electric beater until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add sourcream, orange juice and zest and combine. Finally add flour and baking powder.

    Divide batter between the mini paper cups with the help of a teaspoon. Only fill each paper cup to 2/3. Bake in the oven for 6-8, don’t overbake or they will get dry.

    Melt the chocolate ( I prefer using the microwave). Pour some chocolate on top of each cupcake and sprinkle some hundreds and thousands.

Home chef of the year – the finale

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Just before the finals. We had to wear Tasteline’s white aprons and hats, but luckily we had our lovely red aprons that Anne’s sister Eva kindly sewed to us.

Wow, I don’t know where to start. First of all thanks for all comments, calls, emails, text and facebook messages that I have received after Anne, Lena and I won the title Home chef of the year / Årets hemmakock! And of course my warmest thanks and hugs to Anne and Lena for being such fantastic team mates. I feel overwhelmed, surprised, honoured, and very very happy!

So let me present the home chefs of the year: Team Sörmland or actually Anne, Lena and myself. Due to a business trip Lena wasn’t able to participate in the finals yesterday. While I and Anne were competing, Lena impatiently sat in an airplane heading to the US. But we had a photo of her at our cooking station, so she was still with us in a way :-)

The days before I was quite stressed and nervous, but all nervousness disappeared as we got up on the stage and started focusing on the cooking. We had 45 minutes to finalize our Stockholm chili that we had already prepared with Lena the evening before. Since the main ingredient for the competition was cut of beef from the front part, being quite tough, all four finalists had to prepare the meat in advance. There was also an improvisation moment during the 45 minutes. Ten minutes before we were allowed to start cooking we received a list of ingredients that were available for an appetizer that we had to cook. The list was a bit disappointing, but we came up with a few ideas. We decided to do a mixture consisting of crème fraîche, marinated bell peppers, lemon zest, garlic and black pepper that we wrapped in Serrano ham and placed on a mixed salad with apple cider vinegar and croutons. On top we sprinkled newly fried capers. The minutes passed by very quickly: we started with rolling out dough for our spelt crackers, sprinkled them with Ancho chili and sea salt. Then we baked them in the oven. We prepared the condiments to the chili: chopped onion, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, oven roasted tomatoes and crème fraîche. The filling to the appetizer was prepared, the Serrano ham was filled and rolled and the capers were fried. And most important: the chili was finalized so it would taste perfect. When we had 10 minutes left I started to fear that we wouldn’t make it in time. But with 40 seconds left, we had plated all food and were ready to present 5 plates with appetizers and 5 plates with Stockholm chili to the jury.

It was a challenge to cook on stage in front of 300 people. We didn’t have any water in our kitchens and it was extremely cramped. But we did our best and we were focused while having fun. But still it was a relief to get off the stage and be able to relax. It was lovely t to sit down, drink some water and speak with our husbands. Both me and Anne were quite sure we wouldn’t win, despite the fact that we were pleased with our effort. The jury, well known in the food and restaurant industry, consisted of Kurt Weid, Markus Aujalay, Ingrid Eriksson, Ella Nilsson and Alice Brax. We had the impression that the jury was a bit traditional and thus wouldn’t pick our chili. When they finally were about the present the winner, they only had one bouquet of flowers with them on stage so I thought that we definitly hadn’t won. Then Kurt Weid started reading the motivation. After the first sentence I got even more convinced that it wasn’t us. But when the second sentence was read I became a little bit confused as it suited our entry the best. But still, I thought that Skåne was the winner and I even said it load when Kurt Weid asked the audience who the winner was. And suddenly Kurt said “Sörmland”, loud music started playing and everyone started applauding.
I was taken aback. Surprised. Shocked. Honoured. OMG we won! I can’t describe how overwhelming and happy that moment was. And still is.

The jury’s motivation:

    “The winner has made good use of the raw materials and has in an inspiring way raised taste and consistency to a high level. The modern presentation of the main course becomes a symbol for the province’s development and future.”

Anne is answering questions while cooking.

Two of the other contestants: Johan competing for the province Skåne and Per competing for the province Härjedalen.

Here we have just returned to the kitchen after presenting our food to the jury. One of the presenters, Lisa, is asking questions about our food.

They were filming and putting it on display so every one in the audience would see what was happening on the stage.

Waiting for the results. Here you can see a part of the audience.

Just a few seconds after we were announced as the winners. You can see our surprised looks.

One of the prizes, a culinary trip to the Swedish province Jämtland including a cooking class. We also received a knife and cast iron pan.

The presenters, Erik Haag och Lisa Förare Winbladh, are talking with us a few minutes after the announcement. To the right Magdalena Kvarning from Tasteline.

The photos were taken by Fredrik.

We won!

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I’m shocked: we won! We are this year’s home chef! More info and photos on www.tasteline.com

Roasted chicken

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

The chicken looks burnt on the photo, but in reality it was actually golden

I love my stove. It has 5 gas cookers and two ovens: one large convection/fan oven and a small normal electric one. First I was afraid of the gas cookers, but now I couldn’t imagine being without them. The only problem with gas is that we buy it in bottles, and once when we were still quite new in the house we ran out of it during a dinner just as the guests arrived. But at least we have learned our lesson and now we always have a spare bottle…

The small oven has a rotiserie function, which I didn’t try out until this Sunday. I seasoned a chicken that I skewered on a special spit that came with the oven. I tightened the wings with tooth picks as I didn’t have anything to tie it with. Under the chicken I put a baking sheet with raw potato wedges, onion and rosemary, so they could absorb the juices from the chicken as it was rotating. One hour later in 175 degrees C I had a perfect and evenly roasted chicken and delicious potatoes. So simple and yet so good.

We’re finalists in “Home chef of the year” / “Årets hemmakock”

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Stockholm chili, however on the photo the homemade spelt crackers are substituted with nachos and I did the ovenroasted tomatoes with yellow pear shaped cherry tomatoes instead of red plum tomatoes.

I’m very excited to tell you that I’m competing together with my friends (and food bloggers) Anne and Lena in the cooking competition “Home chef of the year” organized by Tasteline. And guess what, we made it to the finals! We’re one of four finalists! Wow!

The competition has the theme “the new Sunday dinner” and the recipe needs to relate to a Swedish landskap (province) in some way and must contain specific parts of beef. I, Anne and Lena are representing Sörmland (the province where Stockholm is situated) ad our recipe is a Stockholm chili with oven roasted tomatoes and spelt crackers. It’s a quite spicy and hearty chili with 3 types of chili and Coca Cola (!), and beside the oven roasted tomatoes and spelt crackers it should be served with grated cheese, sour cream and chopped onions.

Our recipe (in Swedish) can be found here.
An article about us (in Swedish) can be found here.
All finalists can be found here.

The finals are on November 13th, don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed for us! I’m very nervous as we’ll be cooking live in front of the jury and other people… We’re the only women in the finals and the only team, the others are men and they are competing individually.