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Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

This year’s pumpkins; 2 carved by F and 2 carved by me. The little pumpkin is homegrown and was regretfully the only pumpkin that I managed to grow. If you have any pumpkin growing tips, I would love to hear your tricks.

PS. And yes, as you can see all the snow has melted!

My chili plants are covered in snow

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Winter came early this year.

Swedish cheesecake – Småländsk ostkaka

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Swedish cheesecake with whipped cream, blackberries and jam.

I know, I know. The photo is really bad and doesn’t do this dessert any justice. This Swedish cheesecake, originating from the province of Småland, is probably far from any cheesecake you’ve ever had. It’s not at all like the smooth biscuit based New York cheesecake. This cheesecake is grainy, full of toasted chopped almonds and has a very vague taste of bitter almond. And it’s absolutely lovely! Serve it lukewarm with berries, jam and whipped cream. This cheesecake needs to be served directly from the pan it was baked in as it’s not really sliceable.

To make Swedish cheesecake you need to make your own cheese, but don’t let that scare you off. You’ll need rennet and in Sweden you’ll always find it at the pharmacy. If I’m not wrong, bitter almonds are banned in the US. They are poisonous, but only in very large quantities so don’t worry as they are very common in European baking. If you live in the US you can substitute with almond extract.

    Småländsk ostkaka – Swedish cheesecake from Småland
    (Based on a Gert Klötzke recipe. I significantly increased the amount of almonds, increased the amount of egg and used vanilla infused sugar).
    Serves 6-8

    Day 1:
    3 litres of milk (at least 3 % fat)
    75 g flour
    2 tsp rennet
    Day 2:
    400 ml double cream
    3 eggs
    90 gram sugar (vanilla infused).
    2 small bitter almonds, finely grated
    100 gram blanched almonds, roasted and chopped

    Mix 200 ml milk with flour and rennet to a smooth batter. In a big pan, heat the rest of the milk to 35 degrees C. Add the flour mixture and stir until it reaches 37 degrees C. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Carefully separate the whey from the cheese using a very fine sieve and/or cheese cloth. Let it continue to drain in the fridge over night.

    The next day combine the cheese with the rest of the ingredients. Pour the batter into a buttered pan. Bake the cheesecake in 165 degrees C until it has a nice and golden colour, approximately 30-40 minutes. Make sure it’s completely baked but not overbaked.

    Serve lukewarm with jam, berries and whipped cream.

SOS

Friday, October 1st, 2010

No, this is not a call for help. SOS is a classic Swedish starter, short for sill ost smör (pickled herring, cheese, butter). It’s served with crisp bread and snaps. We had it as a starter just the other day when lovely Courtney and her CS was visiting for a dinner, together with Anne and her family.

Two kinds of pickled herring: mustard and onion & cranberries. Västerbotten cheese, the Swedish equivalent of Parmesan. Butter with sea salt.

Crisp bread. I love the sticks from Vilmas, this one was with dill and onion.