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Rocky Road candy

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

This a super easy recipe for a very rich chocolaty Christmas candy. The original recipe comes from Swedish chef Leila Lindholm, however I’ve changed the quantities, specifically the amount the dark chocolate. To be honest I never had the chance to try these. Around Christmas every year I make 4-5 different kinds of home made candies which I bring to work, and the Rocky Road was so popular that my colleagues ate it in no time!

    Rocky Road

    200 gram dark good quality chocolate, at least 70 % ( I used Lindt 80 %)
    1 bag (approx 200 gram) “dumlekola” (soft toffee covered in chocolate)
    1 handfull of mini marshmallows (or regular sized cut in smaller pieces)
    150 ml salted peanuts
    100 ml pistachios

    Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave. Mix it with the remaining ingredients. Spread out as evenly as possible in a small parchment covered baking pan. Allow to cool in fridge and when firm cut in squares.

Gingerbread lanterns

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Are you bored of gingerbread houses? Why not make a lantern instead? A gingerbread lantern is a fun and easy project. You need gingerbread dough, hard candies in different colours, sugar, icing and sprinkles.

First you crush the hard candies.

Roll out the gingerbread dough. Cut out 4 rectangles or squares directly on a lined baking sheet, I used a lid from one of my tins for the rectangles. Cut out patterns with cookie cutters and stamp the dough with text and cutters. The only limit is your imagination! Fill all the holes with the crushed candies. Bake in 175 degrees C for about 10 minutes until the candy has melted.

Let the pieces cool. If the edges are a bit crooked, polish them at a 45 degree angle with a very sharp grater (I use one of my microplane). Melt the sugar (be careful!). Dip the edges in the sugar and carefully assemble 4 rectangles together. When completely cool and stable, decorate with icing and sprinkles!

Once ready put a small candleholder with a candle in each lantern. And remember to never leave a candle unattended!

Star Wars cookie cutters!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

One and a half week ago I was in New York for a “girls only trip” with Lena and Anne. We had a great time and when we went to Williams-Sonoma I bought a set of Star Wars cookie cutters (along with some other cookie cutters. Yes, I admit. I am a cookie cutter addict). For the cookies in the photo I used the recipe on the box, which turned out great. The cookies were a success at Fredrik’s game night with his friends despite the fact that I didn’t have the time to decorate them with frosting. Instead I opted for a very easy solution; after cutting out/stamping the cookies I sprinkled coloured sugar in the indentations and brushed away the excess before baking them.

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.

Toasted oat flour mazarins with rhubarb

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I experimented yesterday and did a twist on the traditional mazarins, which are small pastries made of short crust filled with almond paste and then glazed. However I used toasted oat flour and rhubarb instead of normal flour and basic almond paste filling. The toasted out flour provides a lovely nutty flavour that goes very well with the sweetness of the almond paste and the tanginess of the rhubarb.

I made the recipe especially for the contest “Cake of Sweden”. Not only will the winning cake be served at the Shanghai World Expo later this year but the winner will also get to go to Shanghai. I would love to go there, especially since we have a couple of friends there. If you like the recipe, then please vote here .

    Toasted oat flour mazarins with rhubarb
    (makes 20-25)

    Dough:
    175 gram cold butter
    400 ml wheat flour
    300 ml toasted oat flour (skrädmjöl)
    100 ml sugar
    1 egg
    2 tsp water

    Filling 1:
    300 gram grated almond paste
    150 gram butter, at a room temperature
    2 eggs
    2 tbsp flour

    Filling 2:
    300 gram pink rhubarb
    50 ml sugar

    Glaze:
    200 ml icing sugar
    1 tbsp water
    1 tbsp lemon juice

    Disposable aluminum pans

    Combine all ingredients for the dough quickly in a food processor, adding the egg and water at the end. Chill for at least 1 hour.

    Cut the rhubarb in 2 cm wide pieces. Heat with sugar in a pot. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes and let cool.

    Blend softened butter with grated almond paste in a food processor until smooth, add each egg separately. Stir in flour.
    Preheat convection oven to 175 degrees C.

    Roll out the dough, preferable between cling film as it’s rather hard to handle, and cover each pan with dough.

    Divide almond paste filling between pans. Divide the rhubarb mix between the pans.

    Bake the mazarins on a cookie sheet in the middle part of the oven for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

    Sift the sugar for the glaze, stir in water and juice gradually until glaze is smooth and shiny. Spread thinly on cooled mazarins.

Waffles!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Today is Waffle day in Sweden. I don’t know about other countries but in Sweden it’s very common to buy waffle mixes that you just add some water to before you make your waffles. For years I used the mix without even reflecting on it but nowadays I always make my own batter. It’s simple, delicious and contains no unnecessary additives. I often experiment with different types of flour and in a couple of days I’ll also post a recipe for savoury cheese waffles served with smetana, chopped red onion and caviar! But until then enjoy these waffles with kiwi, passionfruit and ice cream as seen on the photo or the traditional way with whipped cream and jam.

    Dagmar’s Waffles
    (makes 6-8)

    100 gram butter
    2 tsp baking powder
    200 ml wheat flour
    150 ml spelt flour
    150 ml milk
    250 ml sparkling water (makes the waffles crispier!)

    Melt the butter. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix with an electric beater until smooth.
    Heat your waffle iron.
    Pour 75-100 ml of the batter onto the waffle iron and cook until crisp and golden. Serve right away together with whipped cream and jam, or fruit and vanilla ice cream.

    NB: This recipe has only been tested with a Swedish waffle iron. Swedish waffle irons make thinner waffles than for example the ones used in Belgium.

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.