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Gingerbread Toffee

Monday, December 5th, 2005

Gingerbread Toffee

More toffee? Has the girl (or cat) gone crazy? Well, I just had to try this recipe. And the result? It tastes like Gingerbread dough, yummy! You’re probably wondering why I just don’t eat Gingerbread dough instead if it tastes the same, but raw cookie dough probably isn’t good for your stomach. Not as good as sugar!!

    Gingerbread Toffee
    (makes about 30-40 toffees)

    100 ml double/whipping cream
    50 ml golden syrup
    100 ml sugar
    1 tsp Gingerbread spice (or just mix ground cloves, ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Just make sure that you get 1 tsp in total.)
    1 tbsp butter

    Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and boil without lid for 15-60 minutes, until the toffee batter is 122-125 ° C. If you don’t have a thermometer you can do a ball test: at that temperature a drop of the batter should solidify in water and be possible to be rolled into a little ball. On my stove this batter took 15 minutes to cook on a rather low temperature.

    Put greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and grease it with unsalted butter. Pour the toffee carefully on the greaseproof paper and let it cool. Cut in pieces with a scissor and wrap each toffee individually with greaseproof paper.

    This recipe makes a small amount of toffee and your baking sheet will probably be too large for this amount of toffee batter. To avoid getting too thin toffees just do like I did: I folded edges on my paper, making a kind of form. Then I poured the toffee batter into the greased paper form.

Christmas Toffee

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

Chocolate and Lemon Toffee

Time flies and today it’s already second Advent, thus 2 candles of 4 should be lit. I finally managed to find the Advent candlestick but I had to put it away during the week as we had a photographer here to take photos of our home for our appartment ad. And now, of course, I can’t find it again. But at least the appartment is really neat and clean :-)

It’s only 20 days left to Christmas Eve and in Sweden it is very common to make toffee before Christmas. I never did that when I was a child, we didn’t have that tradition in my Polish family. But we did toffee at school and I recall that everything got really sticky. Anyway, yesterday I did Chocolate toffee and Lemon toffee, which both turned out really delicous. I found the recipes at a forum that I read regularly, but they can be found anywhere on the internet or in Swedish cookbooks.

    Lemon Toffee
    (makes about 70 toffees)

    300 ml double/whipping cream
    200 ml golden syrup
    300 ml caster sugar
    2 tbsp butter
    juice and zest from 1 lemon

    about 70 small toffee paper forms

    Put the toffee forms on a tray.
    Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and boil without lid for 15-60 minutes, until the toffee batter is 122-125 ° C. If you don’t have a thermometer you can do a ball test: at that temperature a drop of the batter should solidify in water and be possible to be rolled into a little ball.

    Pour the toffee carefully into each paper form. Repeat with all toffee batter. Store the toffee in a tin with greaseproof paper between each layer.

    Chocolate Toffee
    (makes about 30 toffees)

    100 ml golden syrup
    200 ml caster sugar
    4 tbsp butter
    4 tbsp cocoa

    about 30 small toffee paper forms

    Put the toffee forms on a tray.
    Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and boil without lid for 15-60 minutes, until the toffee batter is 122-125 ° C. If you don’t have a thermometer you can do a ball test: at that temperature a drop of the batter should solidify in water and be possible to be rolled into a little ball.

    Pour the toffee carefully into each paper form. Repeat with all toffee batter. Store the toffee in a tin with greaseproof paper between each layer.

First Advent

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Star

Christmas is slowly approaching, and today is already first Advent. The word Advent is derived from Latin and means arrival, the arrival of our Lord . First Advent is the beginning of the ecclesiastical year and the time while awaiting the arrival of Lord Jesus Christ and Christmas. The tradition is to light one candle on the Advent candlestick, adding on a candle for each following Advent Sunday until all four candles are lit. I didn’t find our Advent candlestick today ( which is hidden somewhere in our cellar) so we just lit some normal candles instead. Yesterday we had my brother and a friend over for some Adventsfika, and we ate newly baked Gingerbread biscuits (Pepparkakor) and Saffron buns (Lussekatter). We also drank warm mulled wine (Glögg) which is very typical before and during Christmas. Glögg is served in small small mugs and if you want you can add some almonds and raisins to your mug. I will provide you with the recipe for Lussekatter in a few days, so you also will be able to bake these typical Swedish Christmas buns.

Glögg - Mulled wine

A mug of warm Glögg with almonds and raisins.

Pepparkakor, almonds and raisins.

Pepparkakor, behind them are the almonds and the raisins.

Lussekatter - Saffron Buns

Lussekatter, Saffron Buns.

The whole table

The whole Advent table, with the Glögg heater in the center.

SHF/IMBB Cookie-swap Party!

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Pepparkakor
The Groke, Little My and Moominmamma as Swedish Gingerbread biscuits

This is my entry to Sugar High Friday’s and Is my blog burning’s joint virtual cookie swap. Jennifer and Alberto have asked all food bloggers to share their favourite cookie recipes, creating a big virtual cookie swap. I want to share two recipes, both tried this week but already loved. The first one is ordinary Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Biscuits) which I baked today and the second one is Sunflower Seed Cookies which I made a few days ago. It was my first time baking Pepparkakor from scratch, and it was so much easier than I thought. Yesterday I prepared the dough and today I baked the cookies. The recipe is simple and you get an immense amount of delicious cookies, perfect now when Christmas is approaching. The Sunflower Seed Cookies are just delicious and they are so easy to bake. The cookies are chewy with a light taste of caramel; delicious delicious! Bake them now, you won’t be dissapointed!

Pepparkakor
Pepparkakor

    Pepparkakor

    200 ml water
    200 ml golden syrop
    425 gr brown sugar
    250 gr butter
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tbsp ground cloves
    1,5 tbsp ground cinnamon
    1 tbsp ground ginger
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    1 tsp ground Seville orange/bitter orange/pomerans (can be omitted if you don’t have it)
    1 kg wheat flour

    Bring the water, syrup and sugar to boil. Pour the mixture over the butter and let everything dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients. At this point the dough is very sticky, but it’s supposed to be like that. Let the dough rest in the fridge overnight.

    The next day you take as much dough as you need and roll it out on a floured surface. Cut out cookies and then bake in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius for about 8 minutes. Repeat, repeat and repeat as the dough will never end… :-) I made quite a lot cookies today, but I still have an enormous amount of dough left in the fridge so now you now what I will do tomorrow….

    When the cookies are cool, you can decorate them with icing sugar and a small small amount of water and a smaller amount of lemon juice (to keep everything white and nice).

Sunflower Seed Cookies
Sunflower Seed Cookies

    Sunflower Seed Cookies
    (adapted from Två Systrars Söta by Lisa Eisenman and Monica Eisenman)
    makes about 17 cookies

    200 gram room temperatured butter
    250 ml caster sugar
    4 tbsp golden syrup
    250 ml wheat flour
    200 ml whole wheat flour (grahamsmjöl)
    1 tsp baking powder
    2 tbsp vanilla sugar
    150 ml Sunflower Seeds

    Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Combine butter and sugar until white and fluffy. Add the syrup. Combine the dry ingredients and mix everything until you have a flexible dough.
    Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. On a floured surface, roll out every part of the dough to a length almost as long as your baking sheet. Transfer the 3 lengths to your baking sheet, leave space between them as they will expand. Sprinkle some extra sunflower seeds on the lengths and then flatten them slightly. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When a bit cooled, cut the lengths into diagonal cookies. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Plättar

Monday, August 8th, 2005

Frying small pancakes on the kitchen table

Swedish plättar are basically pancakes, but small ones. We use a special pancake pan, called plättlagg. It looks just like the picture to the left (taken from Scandinavian South as I don’t have any of my own). But what I do have is an electric one, to be placed on the kitchen table so everyone can help out and have a fun time while frying plättar. I really dislike frying pancakes or plättar all by myself at the stove. With my “electric frying machine” (I have to admit that I don’t now what it’s called) it’s much more fun and the pancake frying becomes a social event.

Plättar (for 2 persons)

2 eggs
200 ml flour
400 ml milk
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar

Beat the eggs and add the flour and milk gradually along with the sugar and salt. Fill each indentation on the plättlagg or the electric one with batter. Cook until golden brown. Eat, fry, talk and be social if using the electric frying machine, otherwise stand alone at the stove and feel like a pancake slave… :-) Serve the plättar with jam.

Glad Midsommar!

Friday, June 24th, 2005

Nubbe – ice cold spiced vodka

(Glad Midsommar = Happy Midsummer)

Midsummer Eve is a day of tradition, food and drink. In the old days it marked the summer solstice and was a pagan tradition. For more information see Anne’s post from this morning or this page here .

Last year we had a party with our friends, this year we had a calm and romantic dinner at home and then took a long walk in the centre of Gothenburg which was rather empty. For dinner we had all the traditional food: pickled herring, fresh potatoes with sourcream and chives, meatballs (vegetarian for me) and of course nubbe (ice cold aqvavit which is spiced vodka). For dessert we had fresh Swedish strawberries with whipped cream, just like all other swedes today :-) Glad Midsommar to you all!

A typical Midsummer plate


Fransk Löksill (pickled herring with red onion)


Matjessill (pickled herring)


Skånsk senapssill (pickled herring in mustard from Skåne)


Cooked eggs with majonnaise and cod roe.

3 different types of pickled herring, fresh potatoes, chives,
sourcream, meatballs, eggs with mayonnaise and cod roe.


Swedish strawberries with whipped cream.

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Nationalbakelsen

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Yesterday was time for another weekly dinner with my brother. He made delicious shrimp spits and afterwards we drank coffee and ate Nationalbakelsen that Fredrik had bought. The Nationalbakelse translates to The National pastry and is a sweet pastry made of dough with almond paste, which is then topped with vanilla cream and Strawberries. Very nice indeed. Maybe I’ll try to do it myself next week on the national day which from this year will be a holiday and thus a free day from work.

After dinner I picked some nice rhubarb in my brother’s garden. Next week when he’ll come to us for dinner he will bring me even more rhubarb! I’m already planning on what to do with it… :-)

Shrove Tuesday

Tuesday, February 8th, 2005

Semla
(photo: Wikipedia.org )

On Tuesday 6 weeks before Easter, Fettisdag (Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day in English) is celebrated in Sweden. During this day a special kind of Shrove Tuesday bun is eaten. The bun is called Semla and is made of wheat flour with a touch a cardamon. The bun is filled with whipped cream and marzipan (actually almond paste, made of sugar and grinded sweet almonds).
The Semla tradition remains from the days when Sweden was Catholic, before the 16th century. On the last day of Lent on Shrove Tuesday, the Semla was eaten. Nowadays we eat the buns all winter, they use to show up at the bakeries already at the end of December.
Here you can find a recipe for Semla in English, but I havn’t tried it myself. We were supposed to bake Semlor this weekend, but we didn’t have time so maybe we’ll bake some next weekend instead.