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Frozen stracciatella cake with fudge sauce

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Immediatelly when I saw the photos of this fabulous cake over at Cream Puffs in Venice, I knew that I was doing it for Midsummer’s Eve. The cake is not very Midsummery it all, but it looked wonderful and sounded delicious! Another bonus it that it can be prepared in advance (even if I’m a bad planner and somehow always end up cooking everything the same day). It was quick and easy to make, and it does taste divine. The cake is rich but it’s not overwhelming as the fluffy filling quickly melts in your mouth. Now please stop reading this post and go make this cake, you won’t regret it!

Frozen stracciatella cake with fudge sauce
(adapted from Gourmet, ingredients and method changed and recipe converted to the metric system)
serves 6

crust:
150 ml finely ground mandelbiskvier (Swedish mini almond cookies. Original recipe calls for amaretti – Italian almond macaroons. Use a food processor)
60 ml sliced almonds with skin, toasted, cooled, and finely ground (in processor)
3 tbsp melted butter

filling:
3 large egg whites
60 ml caster sugar (preferably vanilla infused, if you have it)
a pinch of salt
300 ml heavy/double/whipping cream, chilled
2 tbsp macadamia nut syrup
100 gram dark chocolate, grated
50 ml sliced almonds with or without skin, toasted and cooled

sauce:
50 ml heavy/double/whipping cream
1.5 tbsp light syrup
1.5 tbsp packed light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp instant-espresso powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
50 gram dark chocolate, finely chopped
0.5 vanilla pod, the interior

Butter a loaf pan (arount 12 times 25 cm) and line bottom and short sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang on each end.

Combine ground cookies, ground almonds and butter in a food processor. Firrmly press over bottom of the loaf pan. Freeze.

Make the cake filling by beating eggwhites with caster sugar and salt with an electric beater until egg whites hold stiff peaks.

In a another bowl beat cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold in macadamia nut syrup and half of meringue gently but thoroughly. Fold in remaining meringue along with chocolate. Spoon over crust, smoothing top with offset spatula. Sprinkle the came with almonds. Freeze the cake uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.

The sauce can either be made in advance and then heated just before serving, or you can make it just before serving the cake. Bring cream, syrup, muscovado sugar, espresso powder, cocoa, salt, and half of the chopped chocolate to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until chocolate is melted. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the interior of the vanilla pod and the remaining chocolate until smooth. Cool to warm.

To serve: Remove the cake from the freezer. Carefully hold the bottom of the loaf pan under warm tap water for a few seconds. Transfer the cake to a cutting board and remove the paper. Cut cake into 6 triangular wedges. Let stand a few minutes and then serve with warm fudge sauce.

Lemon sorbet

Sunday, May 4th, 2008


Lemon sorbet in lemon-poppy seed cookie cups (for the cookie cup recipe please refer to one of my favourite cook books: “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz).

This is a simple and very refreshing lemon sorbet, not to forget a cheap one for those on a budget. It’s one of my favourite recipes that I often come back to. The recipe is from the pamplet that followed with the ice cream maker when it was bought around 15 years ago (!).

I know that adding a raw egg white to ice cream may sound crazy, especially in countries with high numbers of Salmonella contaminated eggs, so omit it if you’re in one of thoose countries. However the sorbet will not be as creamy and fluffy without the whipped egg white. Luckily for me Sweden has one of the lowest Salmonella infection rates and it’s very uncommon with contaminated Swedish eggs.

Lemon sorbet
(requires an ice cream maker)

300 ml water
150 ml caster sugar
150 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 egg white, whipped

Bring water and caster sugar to boil and let simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool. Add lemon juice and put the mixture in the fridge until completely cool. Add the whipped egg white, don’t worry about the lumps, pour into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When the sorbet is firm and done, scoop it out and let rest in the freezer until it’s time to serve. Don’t keep the sorbet in the freezer for more than 24 hours as it will loose it’s creaminess.

Chocolate and Hazelnut Semifreddo

Monday, November 12th, 2007

The last weeks have been quite hectic and during the evenings I’ve been too tired to sit in front of the computer. I have a lot of catching up to do and tonight I looked through my food photos with hope that I’ll write a few posts during the coming week.

Last week I was in Finland for work which collided a bit with my wishes to prepare some lovely food for my two dear girlfriends M and J that visited me during the weekend. I ended up cooking other food than planned but we still had a fabulous time. We shopped, watched the musical Sound of Music at the Göta Lejon theatre, we went out to dance, talked a lot and of course ate. We also went to Centralbadet to relax in the sauna and jacuzzi. Due to the lack of time when they arrived on Friday noon, I chose a chocolate and hazelnut semifreddo from Leila Lindholm’s “Leilas guldkant på vardagen” for dessert for the 3 course dinner I served during the evening. Semifreddo, which is Italian for half cold, is a great ice cream dessert to prepare well in advance, even if my planning was bad and instead of making it the weekend before the girls arrival I quickly did it while they watched before we went out for lunch. I halfed the recipe and as I didn’t have any hazelnut liquer I used macadamia nut syrup instead. I also used tiny meringues instead of using crushed regular sized ones. This semifreddo results in a lot of dishes, but it’s definitly worth it.

    Chocolate and Hazelnut Semifreddo
    (serves 4. Adapted from Leila Lindholm’s “Leilas guldkant på vardagen” )

    100 gram dark quality chocolate
    2 eggs
    2 tbsp vanilla infused caster sugar
    100 ml double/whipping cream
    100 ml fat Greek or Turkish yoghurt (10%)
    1 tbsp Macadamia nut syrup (or Hazelnut liquer according to original recipe)
    1 handful of tiny meringues
    about 50-60 gram chopped hazelnuts

    To serve:
    tiny meringues
    chopped hazelnuts

    Melt the chocolate in the microwave. In a bowl, whip the egg yolks and half of the sugar until white and fluffy. In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff. In a third bowl, whip the cream until fluffy. Combine with the yoghurt.
    Combine the egg yolk mixture with the melted chocolate. Add liquer and cream/yoghurt mixture. Finally fold in the eggwhites.

    Place some chopped hazelnuts and meringues in a mold. Cover with a couple of spoons of semifreddo, add some more meringues and hazelnuts and cover with semifreddo again. Sprinkle the rest of the hazelnuts and meringues on top. Cover with cling film and put in the freezer for at least 4-5 hours.

    Before serving, let the semifreddo stand in room temperature for about 20 minutes to soften. Scoop the semifreddo and serve in glasses. Sprinkle hazelnuts and meringues on top.

Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

The strawberry season is slowly ending or has ended in many countries, but thanks to this year’s cold summer there are still plenty of strawberries to buy here in Sweden. Regardless if your only making one strawberry recipe this summer or if the strawberry season is near it’s end or if you’re baking all sorts of strawberry recipes all the time, you really must try this recipe from David Lebovitz’s amazing ice cream book The Perfect Scoop. I know that a lot of food bloggers are cheering and writing super positive posts about the book but it is really that good. Buy it now, you won’t regret it. I don’t think that I’ve ever made so many recipes from the same cookbook and furthermore they are all delicious.

When I first saw this recipe I was slightly uncertain of the sour cream and thought that it couldn’t possibly go well with the strawberries. But it did and does. The flavours marry wonderfully and result in the very best strawberry ice cream ever. The alcohol prevents the ice cream from freezing to a hard ice block if you keep it in the freezer, that is if you’ll have anything left after tasting and eating the freshly churned ice cream.

    Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream
    (David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop. Makes about 1.2 litres of perfect tasting ice cream)

    450 gram fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
    150 gram sugar
    1 tablespoon vodka or kirsch
    240 gram sour cream (almost a whole package of gräddfil)
    250 ml heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.

    Slice the strawberries and toss them in a bowl with the sugar and vodka or kirsch, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

    Pulse the strawberries and their liquid with the sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until almost smooth but still slightly chunky.

    Refrigerate for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Small individual rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddos with rhubarb syrup.

Semifreddo is Italian for half cold and is basically a frozen dessert, pretty close to ice cream but still not. You don’t need any ice cream machine and it’s perfect to prepare a couple of days in advance which makes it a great dinner party dessert. Just make sure to take it out from the freezer in time so it’s not too hard when served. Another great thing about semifreddo is that you can flavour it with your favourite ingredients: chocolate, strawberries, blueberries or what ever you prefer. For your semifreddo you can either use small individual molds or a large one, if you use a large mold you need to slice the semifreddo before serving but that is easily done and gives you beautiful slices.


Rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo, made in a large mold and then sliced.


    Rhubarb and caramelized almond semifreddo

    (From “Två Systrars Söta”)

    1 batch of caramelized almonds
    500 gram rhubarb, rinsed and cut into 1-2 cm pieces
    100 gram caster sugar

    1 vanilla pod
    4 eggs, separated into yolks and egg whites
    50 gram sugar
    500 ml whipping/double cream
    1 pinch of salt

    First make a batch of caramelized almonds. In a small sauce pan, cook the rhubarb with the sugar. You don’t need any water as the rhubarb will start to “leek” juice due to the heat and the sugar. Cook the rhubarb until it’s soft but not mashed. Let cool.
    Strain the rhubarb, but don’t squeeze it as you want the rhubarb juicy and nice for the semifreddo. Set a side the rhubarb syrup (keep it in the fridge until serving the semifreddo).

    Cut the vanilla pod in half lenghtwise and scrape out the seeds.Stiffly whisk the egg whites with the salt in a grease-free bowl. Stiffly whip the cream in another bowl. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and the vanilla seeds in a third bowl until pale and fluffy, then fold in the egg whites, followed by the whipped cream. Mix very very gently. Fold in the rhubard and the almonds, very gently and pour the semifreddo into a large mold or small individual ones, cover with plastic wrap. Myself I made 8 small individual ones and 1 large.

    Chill in the freezer for at least 4-5 hours. To serve, invert the semifreddo over a platter and remove mold and plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to soften. Serve the semifreddo with the rhubarb syrup, it should be at least enough syrup for 8 small portions. Depending on which molds you use the semifreddo should serve at least 14 people and not 6 as written in the original recipe. Saving the rhubarb syrup for serving with the semifreddo was my own idea and it makes a nice touch to the semifreddo.

Sugar High Friday#21: Cappuccino Ice Cream Cake

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Cappuccino Ice Cream Cake
This month’s Sugar High Friday is hosted by Sarah at The Delicious Life and the theme is Ice Ice Baby. I love ice cream in all variants and shapes so this theme suits me fine.

Cappuccino Ice Cream Cake is the perfect frozen cake to have in your freezer when a friend pops by or when you need a cold delicious treat. It’s super easy to make and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. If you’re planning a 3 course dinner this may be the perfect ending, especially as you can prepare it long before the dinner. I’ve made this ice cream cake a few times and it’s always popular. The original recipe calls for Amaretto but I always use Baileys as that’s what I have at home. Next time I will try with Frangelico which is a delicious hazelnut liqueur. Don’t be too impatient and take out the cake from the freezer before it is completely frozen (which I did once…).

    Cappuccino Ice Cream Cake
    (recipe from an old issue of Elle à la carte)

    bottom:
    400 g almond paste
    4 eggs
    4 tbsp cocoa powder
    Lemon zest from 1 lemon

    Ice cream:
    500 ml double cream
    2.5 tbsp Nescafé Espresso
    100 ml icing sugar
    3 egg yolks
    3 tbsp Baileys (the original recipe calls for 2 tbsp Amaretto).

    garniture:
    grated white and dark chocolate

    Pre-heat the oven to 175°C. Grate the almond paste and combine with the eggs, cocoa and lemon zest. Pour the mixture in a buttered spring form (about 24 cm wide). Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes. Let the cake cool. Remove the rim from the spring form and wash it up. Then put the rim back on the spring form.

    Whip the cream really thick. Add the coffee powder and the icing sugar. Add egg yolks and Baileys (or Amaretto). Pour the filling over the cake bottom. Cover with plastic film and put the cake in the freezer.

    Take out the cake from the freezer 20 minutes before serving and cover with grated white and dark chocolate.