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Bake a gingerbread gable instead of a whole house!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Is just the thought of baking a whole gingerbread house too cumbersome for you? An easy way out is to make only one wall with gable that you decorate with icing and a ribbon. I used my normal gingerbread dough and rolled it out thinly directly on a parchment paper. I cut out a wall with a gable and a chimney on free hand with the help of a ruler. I used a small square shaped cookie cutter for the windows. I then carefully placed the parchment paper on a baking sheet and baked it for 6 minutes in 200 degrees C. When it was completely cool, I decorated it with icing, silver dragees and a ribbon. Don’t forget to make holes in your gable before you bake it if you want to thread it with ribbons.

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!

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.

Almond brittle with gingerbread spice

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Easiest Christmas candy recipe ever and truly delicious! I made a batch while waiting for my two pound cakes (for some Trifle) to bake.

    Almond brittle with gingerbread spice
    (adated from a recipe that I found in a Swedish newspaper)

    200 ml caster sugar
    25 gram butter
    1 tsp gingerbread spice
    0.5 tsp cardamom
    100 gram peeled shaved almonds

    Put sugar and butter in a frying pan. Let melt on low-medium heat while stirring (preferably with a silicon ladle). When the mixture has become golden coloured add spices and almond. Combine carefully, the almonds will most likely cool the sugar so it will become lumpy. Just heat carefully until the mixture is runny again.
    Pour the mixture over a big baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with another parchment paper and carfully roll with a rolling pin until spread thinly and evenly. Allow to cool, then break into pieces.

Sałatka Jarzynowa

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

One dish that is always served at my family for any of the holidays is a Polish mayonnaise based vegetable salad, sałatka jarzynowa. It goes very well with the rest of the mandatory Polish dishes served during Christmas, Easter and other important occasions. Every family has their own recipe, but the common ingredients are diced potatoes, eggs, carrots and mayonnaise. This kind of salad with diced vegetables bound in mayonnaise can be found in many countries with various names and a bit different ingredients. The most common name is Russian salad, even though the original recipe contained lobster and truffles and differs a lot from today’s version. But the most important thing isn’t the origin or name, but the taste!

    Sałatka Jarzynowa

    4 large potatoes, boiled with their skin on and then peeled
    2 red onions
    6 eggs, hard boiled
    3 large carrots, boiled
    250 gram green peas, boiled or from can
    200 gram fermented cucumbers
    350 ml mayonnaise
    salt
    pepper
    optional: 1 tbsp of grated horseradish
    optional: a handful of grated cheese

    Dice potatoes, eggs, carrots and cucumbers. Finely dice the onions. Combine the diced ingredients in a bowl and add peas. Add mayonnaise and combine everything. Salt and pepper to taste. Add grated horsradish and/or cheese if wanted. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge. May be prepared one day in advance for a better taste.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7th, 2007


Easter baskets with samples of Easter food, called Swienconka

I’ve just returned from church where we’ve been for the traditional blessing of Easter food. Every family decorates a basket and fill it with samples of the Easter food which will be eaten tomorrow on Easter day. The tradition is only common in east European catholic countries and the church is always filled with people and baskets.

Happy Easter to all of you!

Christmas lasts all the way ’til Easter

Sunday, April 1st, 2007



Ice chocolate

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006


Ice chocolate, to the left with almonds and to the right with walnuts.

Ice chocolate, ischoklad, is a typical Swedish Christmas candy which is made really easily. I must admit that I have no clue where the name comes from, maybe because you have to store these chocolates in the fridge or else they’ll melt.

    Ice chocolate (ischoklad)
    (makes about 45)

    200 gr chocolate
    80 gr copha (Swe: kokosfett, Eng: Palmin)
    45 tiny aluminium cups
    optional: your favourite nuts
    optional: orange liquor

    Break the chocolate into pieces and put it in a deep heatproof bowl together with the copha. Melt them at a rather low temperature in the microwave. Stir the mixture and pour it into the aluminium cups.
    I usually fill up 25 of the cups, then I add some drops of orange liquor to the rest of the mixture and fill the remaining cups. Add nuts. Store in the fridge, in airtight containers with a sheet of greaseproof paper between each layer.