Sunday, June 17, 2018

Strawberry-Rhubarb Meringue Cake

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This is a wonderful take on classic flavors. I was inspired by a super cute "number cake" I saw on Pinterest, and when Mother's Day was coming up, I decided to make a heart-shaped meringue cake, filled with rhubarb mousse, vanilla whipped cream and plenty of fresh berries. It has a layer of lemon curd as well, to add acidity and a little bit of sharpness. Wonderful cake! It generously served eight, and would have been enough for at least 12.

I would strongly recommend this as a midsommartårta (midsummer's cake) - one of the very best I've made. (And to make this easier to google-find for Swedes - här hittar du den bästa midsommartårtan med jordgubbar och rabarbermousse!)

Now, it's a little bit fiddly, I admit that - but you can prepare almost everything in advance. Make the meringue layers the night before if you have the chance, it's much easier that way. I also made the rhubarb jelly the night before, and then the morning of serving, I whipped cream, used a little bit less than half for the mousse and the rest for decorating. I really advice having piping bags at hand, it helps so much, and that way you can prepare everything, and have it ready in the fridge. Once you fill it, you do want to serve it fairly fast, as with all meringue-based cakes. Otherwise the meringue will eventually melt. But it holds up for at least a few hours!

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Meringue Cake

Meringue layers: 
4 egg whites
200 g sugar

Beat the egg whites until fluffy - add the sugar and beat until you have a very strong and glossy meringue. Fill into a piping bag, and pipe your chosen shape on two lined baking sheets. Be aware that they will grow a LITTLE in the oven, so don't overdo it. You'll have enough for two fairly small rounds (about 8 inches/20 cm) or two larger shapes that aren't filled in, like my hearts.

Bake at 100°C for about one hour. They will be pale beige, and should feel dry to the touch. Remove the sheets and let them cool completely before moving the layers - ideally leave them over night and only remove when you're ready to assemble.

Rhubarb mousse: 
250 g rhubarb, cut into small pieces
75 g sugar
1 leaf of gelatine
200 ml heavy cream, whipped

Put the rhubarb and sugar in a small saucepan and cook until soft. Mash well - a spoon will probably be enough. Soak the gelatine in cold water for five minutes, then add to the rhubarb and stir to melt. Let the rhubarb jelly cool completely. When it's cold, and set, beat it with a stand mixer or similar, and gently mix in the whipped cream. Fill the rhubarb mousse into a piping bag and leave in the fridge for a few hours. (I used a round, plain nozzle for this)

To assemble: 
lemon curd (store bought, about half a jar)
fresh berries
300 ml heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla sugar

Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar - this can be made in advance. Fill in a piping bag, I used a star shaped nozzle for this.

Place one meringue layer on a cake plate. Spread with lemon curd. Pipe rhubarb mousse all over. Place the second layer, and pipe cream all over that. Top with all sorts of berries - you can also use flowers, or candy.

There you have it - an amazing summer cake! I hope you'll like it!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cinnamon Bun Cookies





Dear friends. Excuse my absence. Again. By now, it’s clear that my blogging days are sparse. But oh well. That’s life, really. 

Today, let’s make some cookies. Really, please make these. They taste just like Swedish cinnamon buns. If you can’t find pearl sugar, an option would be to Americanize them with a little frosting instead! (After baking.) Or just sprinkle with regular sugar. 

They’ll keep well in the freezer, if you happen to save any. The dough also freezes and thaws well, so I actually make a double batch and freeze some dough when I make these. 

Cinnamon Bun Cookies
about 22 cookies

150 g butter, at room temperature
150 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp golden syrup
225 g all-purpose flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp cardamom, ground
1,5 tsp cinnamon, ground
pinch of salt

topping: 
1 egg, beaten
cinnamon 
pearl sugar

Preheat the oven to 175°C  and prepare a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. 

Use your Kitchen-Aid (or your fingers) to mix butter, sugar, vanilla, syrup, flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt to a nice smooth dough. Roll it into two lengths and place on the baking sheet. Flatten them a little. 

Brush with egg and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and pearl sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 

Take out, and let the cookies cool for a few minutes but NOT until they harden. Cut them, diagonally, while they are still warm. 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Apple Crumb Muffins



My husband is a huge fan of apples in baked goods and I made these apple crumb muffins just for him. They keep very well in the freezer, just give them a few seconds in the microwave. (But if you, like me, use foil tins, make sure to pop them out beforehand!)


Apple Crumb Muffins

100 g butter, melted
2 eggs 
150 ml sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
200 ml milk
400 ml flour (240 g)
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Filling: 
2 apples
2 tbsp sugar
cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

Topping: 
75 g cold butter
200 ml oats
100 ml flour
100 ml sugar
pinch of salt 

Start with the filling. Peel, core and dice the apples. Melt the butter and toss with the apples, sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

For the muffins, whisk eggs and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla sugar, flour and baking powder, and milk. Finally add the butter, and also add the apple filling. Dollop into muffin tins or muffin liners in one of those cupcake tins if you have them.

For the topping, mix cold butter with oats, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt until it's grainy and rubbly. A Kitchen-Aid will do it very fast, but your fingertips will suffice as well. Sprinkle this topping on top of the muffins.

Bake at 200°C for about 20 minutes. Check to see that they're cooked through (using a metal tester or a toothpick - it should come out clean) and that the topping is nicely golden. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cookbook watch March 2018



Oh it's been SO long since I talked about cookbooks. Let's remedy that immediately and dive right in.

First, I finally got an Instant Pot. I've been reading raves about this gadget for a few months now and I added it to my watchlist on Amazon. It finally got back into stock (for a few brief minutes) and I managed to snag one. However, once I got it and did  a test run (with water) it scared me a little and now I'm stuck. What should I cook? Any recommendations?

I have promised to try it tomorrow, and first out will be the saffron risotto from "Dinner in an Instant" by Melissa Clark. It does sound really good and I think risotto will be one of the things that can really work out in the Instant Pot. The book is nice - it has 75 recipes, all with good, clear photos. It has a fairly unadventurous chapter division (like meats, desserts etc) and it's easy enough to navigate.

Another book specifically for the Instant Pot is the "Indian Instant Pot Cookbook" by Urvashi Pitre who's otherwise known in the IP community as the "butter chicken lady". She is extremely well known for her recipe for Butter Chicken in the IP, but this cookbook has a lot more recipes - all Indian. I really like Indian food and I look forward to trying this. I do wish it had more photos though - it's just a few.

And finally a Swedish cookbook, "Frukost Hela Dagen" by Anna & Rasmus Axelsson. The title means "breakfast all day" and it's basically a bunch of breakfast recipes that work for any meal. They are all free from gluten and lactose, which is quite nice - even though I don't have any dietary restrictions. The recipes are from the super popular café named "Pom och  Flora" - do visit if you're in Stockholm. So far, I've tried their steel-cut oats (made with oatmeal "milk" and oats) and it was delicious.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Creamy tarragon chicken with apples




A huge hit with the whole family - they finished every last drop. And I can't blame them, the sauce was really wonderful. Next time, I plan to add a little bit of chili (at the same time as the garlic) to amp up the heat, but it was great just like this too.

Creamy tarragon chicken with apples
Serves 4

400 g boneless chicken thighs, cut into smaller pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
2 red apples, cored and cut into small wedges (no need to peel them)
500 ml water
1 chicken stock cube (or 1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock)
200 ml cream
1 tbsp corn starch, plus water
zest from 1 lemon
salt, pepper

Start by melting the butter in a big pot. Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat. Add apples, tarragon and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Fry for a little bit and add the water and chicken stock. Cook for about 15 minutes, the chicken should be well cooked through at this point.

Add the cream, and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir together corn starch with water to make a slurry, and add this into your sauce (which should look quite thin and watery, but will thicken up beautifully in a few minutes.) And for the final touch, add lemon zest and see if you want any more salt or pepper.

Serve with rice.