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Mini choco-coffee Pavlovas

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Ever since I made the lovely mini pavlovas a couple of months ago I thought about adding chocolate and coffee for a more adult flavour. I used the old recipe and added grated chocolate, cocoa and instant espresso powder which resulted in a dessert very suitable for grown ups. As usual serve the pavlovas with whipped cream and fresh fruit of your choice, preferably something acid and not too sweet like strawberries or raspberries which go perfect with chocolate.

Mini choco-coffee Pavlovas
(Makes 9-10)

4 egg whites
a pinch of salt
250 gram caster sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp white wine vinegar (makes the meringues chewy inside)
40 gram chopped dark chocolate
2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder (“Nescafé Espresso”)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Beat the egg whites and salt 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. Sprinkle over the cocoa, vinegar, chocolate and coffee. Fold in gently.

Form round meringues on the trays lined with baking paper, around 10 cm a cross and 1.5 cm high. Make an indentation in the middle of every pavlova with the back of a spoon. Put in the trays in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150°C. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the Pavlovas inside for 1.5 hours.

Serve the Pavlovas with whipped cream and fresh fruit, preferably strawberries or raspberries.

The Pavlovas freeze very well, just make sure to be careful as they are very fragile.

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.

Mini Pavlovas

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

In the foreground a mini Pavlova with bilberry jam, blackberries, raspberry syrup and whipped cream. In the background a mini Pavlova with mango, raspberries, pineapple, whipped cream and peach syrup.

This is a fantastic dessert, you can’t resist loving it. Chewy yet crispy fragile meringues with whipped cream and your favourite fruit. Or with ice cream and shaved chocolate. Or with rhubarb preserve. Or… There is no end to all wonderful combinations you can make up with these little meringues. The name of the Pavlova origins from the great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who was said not to dance but to soar as though on wings. And these light meringues are supposed to symbolize that lightyness. There’s apparently a controversary with Australia and New Zeeland as both countries claim to have invented this airy dessert. But why bother, just eat it!

I actually wasn’t planning on making mini Pavlovas, oh no. My plan was to bake an advanced Carribean chocolate and mango cake. A recipe using a lot of egg yolks for the mango brûlée which was going inside the cake. Unfortunately my baking mold leaked water during the oven water bath and as I didn’t want to start all over I recalled the delicious mini Pavlovas we had at Anne’s last midsummer. So I made merengues, which are much easier to make than that Carribean cake! And I know that I was going to give the pączki a new try, but I was so busy with the disasterous cake that I didn’t feel like frying doughnuts. But I’ll probably bake them during the next weekend and will then post a most likely modified recipe.

Mini Pavlovas
(Makes 18. Recipe Nigella Lawson)

8 egg whites
a pinch of salt
500g caster sugar
4 tsp corn flour
2 tsp white wine vinegar (makes the meringues chewy inside)
1 tsp vanilla extract (I didn’t have any so I just substituted 100 gram of the above 500 gram caster sugar with my own vanilla sugar, which basically is a jar of caster sugar to which I add scraped used vanilla pods instead of throwing them in the trash).

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.

Beat the egg whites and salt until the miixture form satiny peaks. Keep beating the egg whites while adding sugar little at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the corn flour, vinegar (and vanilla extract, if using). Fold in gently.

Form round meringues on the trays lined with baking paper, around 10 cm a cross and 1.5 cm high. Make an indentation in the middle of every pavlova with the back of a spoon. Put in the trays in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150°C. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the Pavlovas inside for 1.5-2 hours.

Serve the Pavlovas with whipped cream, fresh fruit and a nice fruit syrup.


Mini Pavlova with different fruits (“Frukt och Bär”, the new frozen fruit mixture from Ica, and blackberries) together with raspberry syrup and whipped cream.

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)

    topping:
    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!

White chocolate panna cotta with passion fruit

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Apart from the weekend, I’ve had a really bad week. It started on Monday morning when my hair dryer started to burn (!), then I got lost 2 days in a row when trying to find my way to a project kick off. The first time they had to call for a taxi so I would get there on time and the second time I took a completely wrong subway line without noticing it as I read the newspaper and when I finally came back to my origin station the correct train was really delayed. As I was so late they had to call me on my cell phone for the status meeting I had to attend and at the same time a whole kindergarten group came on board the train so it was impossible to hear anything. During the week I’ve also been ill and the last thing I did was to drop and break an porcelain lid belonging to an old casseroule which Fredrik has had since he was a kid, but at least I didn’t burn my hand :-)

Anyway, a lousy week requires a nice treat so during the weekend I made white chocolate panna cotta with passion fruit. Sweet, creamy, rich with a tangy contrast thanks to the passion fruit. Panna cotta is Italian for cooked cream and it’s really simple to make, I prefer using as little gelatine as possible so this panna cotta has to be served in glasses as it’s too loose to be unmolded. Vegans can substitute powdered agar-agar for gelatin using equal amounts.

    White chocolate panna cotta with passion fruit
    (serves 3-4)

    300 ml double cream
    100 ml milk
    0.5 vanilla pod, cut it in half lenghtwise and scrape out the seeds.
    1 tbsp caster sugar
    100 gram white chocolate, chopped
    1 tsp gelatine powder + 1 tbsp water

    3-4 passion fruits (one for each serving)

    Combine gelatine with water, set aside. Combine cream, milk, vanilla and sugar in a pan. Heat until the mixture is warm. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the gelatine and whisk until it’s dissolved. Pour the panna cotta evenly in 3-4 glasses. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. When time to serve, cut the passion fruits in halv and scoop fruit flesh over the panna cottas.

Crème brûlée for two

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

I’m embarrased to tell you that even though I simply love Crème brûlée and often order it when eating out, New Year’s Eve 2006 was the first time I ever made it. To our joy it came so out delicious that we licked our molds until they were clean! Crème brûlée is French for “burnt cream” and it’s basically just vanilla custard with a hard crunchy caramel topping. At some restaurants they still call it Crème brûlée despite lacking the hard caramel topping, even though the correct name should be Crème caramel, so I always have to ask. If it’s withouth the hard caramel topping, I order something else because the best part of Crème brûlée is to crack the crunchy topping with your spoon and discover the soft vanilla custard.

    Crème brûlée for two

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

    topping:
    4 tsp 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 and pour into 2 small ovenproof molds (225 ml). Place 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 30 minutes, they shuold be set at the edges and wobbly in the center. Remove from pan, and let the molds cool in room temperature before allowing them to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

    Before serving, sprinkle the molds with 2 teaspoons of sugar each. Shake the molds carefully so that the sugar covers all of the custard. 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!