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Lemon mousse with crumble and blueberries

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

This year our two blueberry bushes, planted 3-4 years ago, finally produced a lot of blueberries and we had enough for several different treats. I made two sorts of blueberry cakes and we also ate them plain them as a healthy snack. And there was even enough blueberries to top these wonderful, tangy and refreshing lemon mousses with crunchy crumble. The crumble gives a nice crunchy contrast to the smooth mousse and the blueberries give a fresh finishing touch.

    Crumble
    50 gram butter
    50 gram flour
    50 gram sugar
    a pinch of salt

    Combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in 200 degrees C until golden, stir a couple of times during baking. Leave to cool.

    Lemon mousse

    250 ml whipping cream
    2 eggs
    1 large organic lemon, zest and juice
    5 tbsp sugar
    4 gelatine leaves (or 2 tsp gelatine powder) + 2 tbsp water
    100 ml Kesella (quark) (can be omitted, sometimes I add it and sometimes not)

    Put the gelatine leaves into a small cup containing 2 tbsp water (or sprinkle gelatine powder into the water). In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with an electric beater until fluffy and light. In a second bowl beat egg yolks and sugar with an electric beater until fluffy and pale. In a third bowl, whip the cream.

    When the gelatine has soaked up the water, place the cup in a pan of simmering water (don’t boil) and stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Combine lemon zest and juice with the gelatine mixture. Then carefully add the whipped cream, egg yolks and sugar (and quark, if used). Finally gently fold the whipped egg whites into the mixture. Divide the mousse between 4-5 glasses or cups and chill until firm. Serve with crumbles and fresh bilberries or blueberries.

G trying to pick a blueberry.

Exotic fruit with spicy dipping sauce (+ a new guest in the garden)

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

During the last week we’ve had around -20 degrees C in Stockholm. That is way too cold for me and I’m worried about my peach tree since it’s exposed being planted in a pot. I can only hope it will survive the winter. However it is a treat sitting in the living room looking out through our large windows while the roe deers are strolling in our snowy garden.

The roe deers still visit the garden, especially during winter. For a more unusual visit see further down.

December and January is a very good season for citrus, which makes you forget all about the snowy winter landscape outside the window. My favourite is pomelo and I love eating a whole one which I peel and prepare while watching TV. Although in this “dish” I prepared some other exotic fruit that I served with a spicy dipping sauce and brought to Anne’s annual Twelfthnight Eve dinner as one of my 4 dishes.

    Exotic fruit with spicy dipping sauce

    Various fruit (I served Rambutan, Mangosteen, golden Kiwi fruit, Mango and Rose Apple. Feel free to substitute with other fruit to your liking).

    Sauce
    (adapted from Äta ris – maten och livet i Vietnam by Minh Du Alneng)
    1 large whole cinnamon
    2 vanilla beans
    2 whole star anises
    the juice from 1 lime
    50 ml lemon & lime honey from Lustgården
    400 ml water
    A pinch of pepper

    Bring all ingredients except for the pepper to boil. Let simmer for around 15 minutes. Let cool in a fridge overnight. Before serving strain add pepper and serve with fruit.

Today I saw an elk outside the window, I’ve never seen any in my neighbourhood earlier and I haven’t seen a wild one since I was a kid.

Mini trifles

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

We had a Christmas party for our friends a couple of weeks ago. It took some time to decide what to serve for dessert so I ended up making two different ones. As we were having some British guests I wanted to make trifle and I decided to make individual ones as I came to the conclusion that one big trifle would become extremly messy when serving a lot of people. Also when making individual trifles it’s easy to make an alcohol free batch for drivers – still someone managed to hit our neighbour’s mailbox really hard after the party, but that’s another story… :-)

    Mini trifles
    (a rough sketch. serves 30 people)

    30 plastic cups
    1 sponge cake (I baked a normal one in a loaf pan. When cool I cut it in half length wise and then I cut 15 slices which resulted in 30 pieces)
    around 500 gram thawed berries (a mix of raspberries, bilberries, red currants, blackberries)
    around 700 ml vanilla custard (I was lazy and used store bought ready custard)
    Sherry to taste – optional
    sugar – optional (since the other dessert that I served was extremely sweet I omitted sugar in this one as I thought the custard was sweet enough).
    500 ml double cream, whipped
    two large handfuls of unsalted pistachios, chopped

    Place a slice of sponge cake in each cup. Next place berries in each cup, sprinkle with sugar if wanted. Drizzle sherry. Pour some custard in each cup. Next divide the whipped cream and finish with pistachios.

Daring Bakers: Tuiles

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Tuiles with bilberry sorbet.

Today you’ll find over 1000 blog posts about tuiles as it’s Daring Bakers time again! This month’s challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Honestly, I didn’t really think I would make this month’s challenge as the last week has been crazy. But then I realized that I missed the November and December challenges, so tonight in the very last minute I decided to take some time for the tuiles! I was hoping that the baking would decrease my stress levels and improve my mood but it didn’t . I didn’t bother making butterflies, I just made simple cups that I filled with a scoop of bilberry sorbet. I wasn’t very impressed with the tuiles, but F thinks that they are delicious and insists that I should make them in summer and serve them with ice cream.

    Tuiles
    (from “The Chocolate Book” written by Angélique Schmeinck)

    Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
    Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

    65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
    60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
    1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
    2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
    65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
    1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
    Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

    Oven: 180C / 350F

    Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

    Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

    If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….

Coffee macarons with Baileys ganache

Friday, December 5th, 2008

On Monday I had a day off and I quickly decided it would be The Macaron Day. I’ve been wanting do bake macarons for a very long time and finally I found the right day when I had time and inclination.

My first batch actually had totally different flavor than the ones I’m blogging about. Flavor wise it wasn’t a bad idea and they came out with the characteristic feet and all, but they were a bit over baked and just a tiny bit too flat. So I decided to do a new batch, using a lower oven temperature. Before I knew it I decided to change approach and go for coffee instead. When the macarons were drying before baking them, I decided to create a Baileys ganache that came out delicious. I could eat it with a spoon!

This second batch was much better, but I’m still a macaron amateur. I think the key is to know your oven.

The finished sandwiched macarons taste best on the second day, when the flavors of the macarons and filling are “married”. Maybe they taste even better on the third day, however I can’t know that as they mystically disappeared by then.

    Coffee macarons
    makes around 25-30 sandwiched macarons
    (adapted from Tartelettes step-by-step instruction).

    100 gram egg whites
    50 gram caster sugar
    200 gram icing sugar
    110 gram blanched almonds, whole or ground
    3 tsp instant espresso coffee powder

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Ground the almonds by mixing them in a food processor until you have a sort of flour. Add icing sugar and mix for about 10-20 seconds. Add the instant coffee powder and mix again for a couple of seconds.

    Whip the egg whites with an electric beater until they start to thicken, then gradually add sugar until the egg whites have become a thick and glossy meringue.

    Combine meringue with icing sugar and almond mixture. Carefully fold the mixture, not using more than 50 strokes.

    Fill a pastry bag with a plain tip and pipe small rounds (about 3-4 cm in diameter) on the parchment covered baking sheets. Let the macarons dry for 1 – 1.5 hours in room temperature so the shells will harden. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 150 degrees C hot convection oven, leaving the door slightly ajar. Turn the baking sheet after 7 minutes. Again this is what works when using my oven. When looking online this really differs, so you need to test what works best for your oven. After a total of 10 minutes remove from oven and let cool. If the macarons stick to the parchment paper, brush water underneath and carefully remove them from the parchment paper.

    My own Baileys ganache
    50 ml double cream
    100 gram white chocolate
    1 tbsp Baileys

    Heat the cream in a sauce pan. Add chopped white chocolate and directly remove from heat. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Add Baileys. Fill a pastry bag and let cool in the fridge until it’s firm enough to pipe.

    Assembly
    Pair macarons of similar size and pipe Baileys ganache on the flat side of one macaron. Top with another macaron matching the flat sides. Even if it’s hard and you would like to eat all macarons directly try to refrigerate for one day so the flavors blend together.

Toblerone Fondue

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Last week I ate dinner at the fondue restaurant Fondueboden and ever since I came back I’ve had their amazing Toblerone fondue on my mind. The thought has clung to me just like melted chocolate on a strawberry so just after a few days I knew that I hade to make it at home. Chocolate fondue is very simple to make, but yet very delicious and luxurious. It’s perfect for a slow dessert without any time pressure in the company of friends or your loved one. Make sure to serve the fondue with different fruits, marshmallows and meringues and don’t forget to stir it every now and then so it won’t burn. But most important is to just dip and indulge.

    Toblerone fondue
    (serves 1-4 depending on your sweet tooth)

    200 gram Toblerone Chocolate
    1 tbsp Grand Marnier
    50 ml double cream

    Break the chocolate in pieces. Melt it in a bowl in the microwave, just be careful not to burn it. Heat the cream and combine with chocolate. Add Grand Marnier and pour the melted chocolate into a fondue bowl with low heat underneath.

    Serve with fresh fruit, marshmallows and meringues.

Daring Bakers: Bostini Cream Pie

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Bostini Cream Pie, mini variant

This is my fourth month as a member of the amazing Daring Bakers. The Daring bakers consist of proud women and men that love to bake and are not afraid of baking challenges. The idea of the Daring Bakers is that every month one baking recipe is presented that all members have to follow exactly without any modifications except where specifically allowed. During the month we share our experiences and learn to be better bakers. The recipe, our photos and experiences are then officially posted on a specified day, this time on the 29th of Otober. This month’s challenge is Bostini Cream Pie which consists of a orange chiffon cake served on vanilla custard and then topped with a chocolate glaze. The recipe is from Donna Scala and Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni (in the Napa Valley) and Scala’s Bistro (in San Francisco) and was picked as this month’s challenge by Mary at Alpineberry.

Bostini Cream Pie, mini variant. You can only see the top half of the chiffon cake, as the rest of the cake is in the lovely custard.

I must admit that this month’s challenge has been the most delicious so far, but oh so rich. I already feel much heavier due to the delicous vanilla custard! I halfed the recipe and still got 4 generous servings and 3 mini servings. I’m always nervous when cooking custard but it turned out perfect. The orange chiffon cakes were easy too make. I had some troubles getting them out from the ramekins though, I probably greased the ramekins too little. For the mini variants I cut out hearts with a cookie cutter and for the normal servings I just used the whole cake from each ramekin. The chiffon cakes were very light and fluffy even though they sank quite a lot after they were taken out from the oven. I used a little too bitter chocolate for the chocolate glaze, but actually I think that was good as the dessert might have been too sweet otherwise.

Bostini Cream Pie, mini variant

The verdict is very positive! This is a simple yet delicious dessert, it’s perfect for parties as you can prepare all parts in advance and then just assemble them as the guests are waiting for the dessert. Thanks Mary for this month’s challenge! To see how the other Daring Bakers managed this month’s challenge, go to the Daring Bakers blog roll.

Bostini Cream Pie, regular size. The size of the red casserole is 250 ml.

    Bostini Cream Pie
    (from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala’s Bistro)
    (makes 8 generous servings)

    Custard (Pastry Cream)
    3/4 cup whole milk
    2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 whole egg, beaten
    9 egg yolks, beaten
    3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
    1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
    1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

    Chiffon Cake
    1 1/2 cups cake flour
    3/4 cup superfine sugar
    1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup canola oil
    1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
    3/4 cup fresh orange juice
    1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
    1 teaspoon cream of tartar

    Chocolate Glaze
    8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
    8 ounces unsalted butter

    INSTRUCTIONS

    To prepare the custard (pastry cream):
    Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

    To prepare the chiffon cakes:
    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.

    Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.

    Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter.

    Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

    To prepare the glaze:
    Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

    To assemble:
    Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.

Bostini Cream Pie, regular size

Aebleskiver

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Aebleskiver covered in powdered sugar and served with jam.

I first encountered Aebleskiver when I was in the Danish city Fredrikshavn with my mother many years ago. At that time, I guess that it was 20 years ago, we used to take the car on the 3 hour long ferry ride between Göteborg and Fredrikshavn and then packed the car full of groceries once every month during the colder months. We shopped meat, Danish sausages and liver pâté, thick delicious fruit yoghurt and other food. The food in Denmark at that time was really cheap compared with the Swedish one, it was long before all those cheap LL, Willy’s, Lidl and Netto stores and my mother saved a lot of money making the groceries for our family of 5 hungry persons. And as she often pointed out, the Danish food tasted and was much better and she was right. As she can’t stand the Swedish liver pâté she used to buy loads of the Danish one instead. I still remember the yummy sandwiches with creamy liver pâté that I loved to eat, together with a glass of thick yoghurt.

During one of those many trips over to Denmark when I accompanied my mother, we followed the lovely smell from a café where we went in and ordered Aebleskiver and tea. We didn’t really know what we ordered, we thought it was some kind of apple cake due to the name, as aebleskiver means apple slices in Danish. But we didn’t get any apple cake or any apples at all. Instead we got delicious and warm Danish doughnut holes, covered with powdered sugar and served with jam in which we dipped the aebleskiver. We were thrilled and in love with these fluffy fried little balls and after a conversation with the staff me and my mother went out shopping again, this time on hunt after a special thing: an aebleskiver baker. We searched around the city and finally we found the very last aebleskiver pan, at least that day or week. An aeble skiver pan is either in cast iron and used on the stove or electric. We got an electric one and this spring when my sweet mother was up in Stockholm to visit me she had the aebleskiver pan with her as a gift. She still had the original box and I was so glad that she gave it to me.

The machine used to bake the aebleskiver.

The Danish aebleskiver are most often eaten during the winter months, especially around Christmas. As the weather this summer was really crappy I made some aebleskiver during a rainy day to get in mood. My husband hadn’t eat aebleskiver before but was really excited and thought that they were delicious. He said that they were the best doughnut holes and doughnuts ever. Myself I thought of my childhood memories with every yummy bite.

This post is also an entry for That crazy kitchen gadget by Not Eating Out in New York. Maybe the pan isn’t that crazy, but it’s unusual and it’s the craziest thing I have in my kitchen except for the curry loving cat Yoshi ;-) The round-up can be read here.

    Aebleskiver
    (makes 40-50. Demands an aebleskiver pan. Adapted from Kerstin Kokk)

    250 gram flour
    125 gram butter, melted
    375 ml lukewarm milk
    3 eggs divided into yolks and eggwhites
    1 tsp salt
    0.5 tsp cardamom
    2 tsp baking powder
    1.5 tbsp vanilla infused caster sugar

Combine the milk with the egg yolks. Add flour, salt, cardamom and baking powder. Mix and then add the melted butter. Mix the batter until everything is well mixed.

In a separate bowl, whip the eggwhites until stiff and then gently fold them into the batter. Let the batter rest while you heat your aebleskiver pan. I don’t need any butter for my pan but if you have a cast iron one you probably need some butter. Pour about 1 tablespoon of batter in each hole and fry until browned and crisp on bottom. Turn them over with the help of a chopstick or fork. For me this went really quickly, as soon as I had filled all holes in my pan it was time to start turning the first one, but that all depends on your pan.

Serve the aebleskiver while still warm, with powdered sugar and jam.