Friday, December 19, 2014

Lemon bars

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Need a yummy dessert or a snack to bring to a party? Here's your new best friend - lemon bars. Much simpler to make than you'd expect - or at least than I expected. And delicious.

Lemon bars

Bottom layer:
220 g unsalted butter, cold 
90 g sugar
240 g flour
1 egg yolk

Top layer:
300 g sugar
30 g flour
150 ml lemon juice (I used three lemons)
4 eggs 

Cut the butter into small cubes. Run in a food processor or Kitchen-aid (or with your fingertips) with flour and sugar until crumbly. Add the yolk and work until the  dough just barely comes together. 

Press into a lined tin (mine is about 28*33 cm) and bake at 175 for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and cool for five minutes. 

For the filling, just mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour on top of he cake and bake for another 20 minutes. The cake should NOT color. Remove and let cool completely before cutting into bars. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas shopping in Copenhagen

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I had a great time last weekend - me and Lena went down to Malmo to visit Dagmar, who has recently moved. We went to Copenhagen, which is just a short trainride away. We enjoyed the christmas decorations, strolled along Stroget, shopped, talked, and had a champagne lunch at Huks Fluks. 

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As always in Denmark, I picked up a few new mugs from Green Gate.

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One fun find was Hotel Chocolat, which is a British chain of upscale chocolate boutiques. I've read about them before but never visited, I had no idea there was one in Copenhagen. I bought a bunch of these 100g chocolate bars - not all are pictured, because some are destined for christmas stockings.

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We also shopped at Emporia, a huge shopping center just outside Malmo, and walking distance from Dagmar's new house. I found this super cute cookie jar at TGR, a fun store that has all sorts of knick-knacks.

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And then there was Gräddbullerian - a small shop with just this specific sort of pastry. It's a thin wafer covered with - basically - marshmallow fluff, and dipped in chocolate. I bought the two seasonal varieties, gingerbread and saffron, as well as peppermint, and unflavored ones for the kids.

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Dagmar treated us to all sorts of exotic candy - mostly from Japan and the US. I really enjoyed Brain Blasterz, which was a delicious super sour candy.

All in all, it was a fantastic weeekend. I really love hanging out with these girls and I'm looking forward to our next trip - New York City!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lemon Cardamom Muffins

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We have a new tradition. Titus goes to swimming classes every Sunday morning, and Dante gets to stay home and bake something. This Sunday, we made Lemon-Cardamom Muffins. A lovely treat, perfect for Sunday afternoon fika sessions.

Lemon Cardamom Muffins
makes 12

100 g butter, softened
190 g sugar
2 eggs
200 ml yogurt (or Swedish filmjölk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of one lemon
270 g flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
pinch of vanilla powder
1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds (Buy whole ones and crush the in a pestle and mortar - much more flavorful than ready-ground)

to decorate:
pearl sugar

Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add the yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, soda, salt and vanilla powder. Add the cardamom. Fold this into the wet ingredients.

Dollop into muffin cases placed in a muffin tin. Top each with a little pearl sugar. Bake at 200°C for 15-18 minutes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Farfalle alla Bourbon

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Last time I made this, I didn't manage to get a photo before it was all gone, so this time I made sure to remedy that. A version of this recipe has been posted before, but it's so delicious I hope you'll stand to repeat it.

Farfalle alla Bourbon
serves 4-6

500 g farfalle pasta
1/2 tbsp olive oil
140 g bacon
1/2 tsp chili flakes
50 ml (or so) bourbon
3 tbsp tomato purée
200 ml water (or so)
1-200 ml cream
large handful grated parmesan cheese

Cook your pasta in plenty of salted water.

Dice your bacon finely, and cook in the olive oil until slightly crispy along with the chili flakes. Do this in a large saucepan, big enough to hold your pasta. Add the bourbon and cook until it's mostly gone. Add the tomato purée and water, bring to a boil and cook for about five minutes on low-medium heat. It should reduce quite a bit. Add the cream when there's just a few minutes left of until the pasta is done.

When it is, drain it but reserve some water. Add your pasta to the sauce, and sprinkle with the cheese. Fold together, and use the reserved pasta water to make it saucier, if you want to.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A quick snack

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Here's what we had for dinner a few weeks ago. Slices of baguette spread with a softened blue cheese and then topped with onions and mushrooms that had been fried with a splash of balsamic vinegar and plenty of black pepper.