Monday, September 08, 2014

Chewy Rhubarb Cardamom Cake


I still have some rhubarb in my garden - a few straggly stalks. I don't want to let them go to waste, so I use them in a delicious, chewy cake. Perfect for afternoon fika sessions. You can also freeze this cake, pre-sliced, and just re-heat for a few seconds in the microwave. Surely that will liven up the gloomiest of fall days to come, don't you think?

Chewy Rhubarb Cardamom Cake

2 eggs
240 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar (or extract)
1 tsp cardamom seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
1 tsp baking powder
150 g all-purpose flour
75 g butter, melted

rhubarb - about 8 small stalks, probably about 2-300 ml (no need to be exact)
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
1 tbsp pearl sugar

Beat the eggs and sugar until very white and fluffy. Stir in vanilla sugar, cardamom, baking powder, flour and the melted butter. Fold carefully until there are no streaks.

Pour into a buttered and floured springform pan. Top with the rhubarb, cardamom and sugar. Bake at 200°C for about 25 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Milk Chocolate Lemon Cookies


This type of cookies is called "snitt" in Swedish - translates into "cuts" which is exactly the method for making these. Just like Italian cantuccini, you shape long logs of dough, bake and slice. These are not re-baked like biscotti though, instead they're left to cool and that leaves them crispy on the edges with a soft, chewy middle. These particular cookies are full of milk chocolate and lemon zest. Truly amazing.

Milk Chocolate Lemon Cookies
makes 40 or so

150 g butter, softened
140 g caster sugar
140 g brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp extract) 
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
240 g all-purpose flour
100 g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
zest from 1 lemon

Start by creaming the butter and both types of sugar very, very well. (My butter was, as usual, not softened, so I just creamed it for much longer.) Add the egg and vanilla and beat until mixed. Add the dry ingredients - baking soda, salt and flour - and mix until combined. Finally add the chocolate and the lemon zest. 

Shape into four slender logs and place on lined baking sheets. Bake at 175°C for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minute before cutting them, diagonally, into cookies. Leave to cool completely. 

These freeze very well but lose some of their chewiness. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Shell


Magic Shell is an ice cream topping I first came into contact with in the US - where else? Well, you can find a version of it in Sweden too, nowadays. Or you can, as I have, make your own!

It's essentially a pourable chocolate topping that freezes instantly when poured over ice cream. It hardens into a crunchy chocolate shell. And it's yummy! My version has three ingredients, whereas the commercial obviously has many more. Mine does taste a little bit of coconut, but that's more of a feature than a flaw to me. If you don't like that, seek out a coconut oil with no flavor, there are plenty of those.

Let's get to it!

Homemade Chocolate Shell
250 g dark, high quality chocolate
200 g coconut oil
100 g corn syrup (substitute white baking syrup if you're in Sweden)

Simply melt all three ingredients together in the microwave. Use short intervals and stir well, to make sure nothing burns.

When everything is nice and smooth, stir it together, and pour into a squeeze bottle or a jar. This recipe makes quite a lot, but it will keep for a long time at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge, it'll go solid - don't do that.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Very promising book

I just got Veckans Favoriter ("Weekly Favorites") by Sara Begnér in the mail. I have to say, she is one of my favorite Swedish cookbook authors. Her recipes are easy to make, approachable, no weird ingredients that you can't find at the store, pretty healthy but still fun, playful and very flavorful. This book focuses, as the name implies, on weeknight dinners. Lots and lots of them! I'm seriously stuck in a rut, which is also why I have nothing to blog about, so I'm definitely eager to try some new things. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Flippin Burgers vs. Svenska Hamburgerköket

Flippin' Burgers

Hamburgers are always in style, or so it seems. In Stockholm, there's an on-going competition for the title "best Burger", and various lists are posted all the time. I don't really eat out that much so I haven't tried all the supposedly "best" ones, but I have tried Flippin' Burgers several times. And I have to say, they're definitely my favorite. They now have a bigger place, with more seats, but you still have to show up right when they open (4 pm) or be prepared to wait. However, it will be worth it.  The burgers are fantastic - fat and juicy and bursting with flavor. I especially recommend coming so hungry that you can have a double burger - they're incredible.

Fries are fine, but nothing special. But they're served with a very vinegar-y mayo, which is nice.

Svenska Hamburgerköket

Svenska Hamburgerköket has a pretty off-beat location, in Hägersten. You order at the bar, pay, and get your food. Sit anywhere. It's not huge, but it wasn't full with people either so no wait when we were there. The menu has slightly more options than Flippin' Burgers does, especially with some seasonal specials. We went for the classics, though, to try them out. How did they add up? Well, pretty well, but not as good. The burger itself seemed to release much more juice, which left the meat a little dry and my hands very greasy. It also had more toppings, which is of course optional, but I felt that they weren't of the best quality. Cheese didn't taste like much.

Fries however were very yummy! Better than Flippin'. But no free dipping sauce...


The milkshake from Flippin' Burgers, made with Ben & Jerry's ice cream. This one was made from their Chew Chew Caramel - delicious obviously. Svenska Hamburgerköket has pretty good milkshakes too, but not like this. So to sum it up? Best burger is at Flippin' Burgers. But both places are good, and I'll gladly eat at both.

Flippin' Burgers
Observatoriegatan 8

Svenska Hamburgerköket
Tellusborgsvägen 78