Monday, August 30, 2010

Red Berry Jam


Ok, quick recipe today. Every summer, I get some red currants from my mother in law. I love pairing them with raspberries for a tart and flavorful jam. This time, I had half a box of strawberries that I added as well, and it turned out so good I will definitely make it again. I love this jam on crisp bread, along with cream cheese. Not bad on pancakes, either!

I use jam sugar with already added pectin - I think something similar can be found in other countries, right?

Red Berry Jam
(printable recipe)

220 g strawberries, coarsely chopped
280 g raspberries, frozen
300 g red currants
800 g jam sugar

Mix everything in a large pot, and boil for about five minutes. Remove any scum from the top (unless your lazy like me) and pour into clean jars. Keep cool - or freeze, if you don't use a lot of jam.

Recipe in Swedish:
Sylt på röda bär

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Garden Veg Pasta


Sometimes it seems I mostly post about baking, and desserts. It's not that that's all I eat, but I think I don't try as much new food as I did before - mostly because I don't have much time (nor the energy) to cook a lot at the moment. I'm sure it'll be back to normal eventually.

And I do try SOME new things. Like this lovely pasta that I found in BBC Good Food recently! It's deliciously lemony (I read the comments on the site saying that it was much too lemony, so I used less than the original recipe) and creamy. And fast, too - definitely a bonus.

Garden Veg Pasta
(printable recipe)
Serves 2, generously

200 g pasta
1 broccoli stand, divided into small florets
1 small zucchini, diced
75 g sugar snap peas
1/2 tbsp olive oil
100 g cream cheese
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
1/2 lemon - zest and juice
basil, a good handful, shredded
salt, pepper

Boil the pasta in lighty salted water. When three minutes remain of the cooking time, add the broccoli and the sugar snap peas and let them cook along.

Meanwhile, fry the zucchini in the oil. When the pasta is nearing completion, add a ladleful of the pastawater to the frying pan, along with the cream cheese, parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir until you have a nice smooth sauce. Drain the pasta and vegetables, and add them to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and finally add the basil.

Recipe in Swedish

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another mystery pasta


I've forgotten exactly what went in this, but it was a weeknight wonder with fried bacon, some broad beans and blue cheese. Very tasty - and with those ingredients, you hardly need a recipe. It'll come out great - promise!

Friday, August 27, 2010


Afternoon coffee at just opened Cupcake STHLM. I'm having vanilla rhubarb and chocolate pistachio.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My breakfast

I got an e-mail last night asking me to blog about my breakfast - so here you go! :)

This is, with some variations, what I eat on most weekdays. Two open-faced sandwiches - today a very coarse rye bread with liver paté and tomatoes, but more often with cheese - alongside coffee and a glass of fizzy vitamin-C. And a bowl of fruit - raspberries, kiwi and passion fruit.

On weekends, we usually get freshly baked bread (or in a pinch, use bake-up baguettes from the grocery store), add boiled eggs and sometimes juice. And sometimes we go for a more American approach and make pancakes and bacon. Sometimes scones. It doesn't really matter, but I really insist on fancier breakfasts during the weekend (and holidays)!

So, there you have it. A lot of Swedes also eat filmjolk (cultured sour milk) or yogurt, or porridge. I do it very rarely myself.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Almond Praliné Macarons


Sick of macarons yet? I'm not. They're still as delicious as ever, and I really love making them, too. These ones came about right after the Royal Wedding Cake, as I had both leftover egg whites and almond praliné. Turned out to be perfect - very candylike. The filling sets up a lot in the fridge though so make sure to let them come to room temperature before serving.

Almond Praliné Macarons
(printable recipe)
About 20 finished cookies

3 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp caster sugar
200 g powdered sugar
110 g almonds, blanched

Combine powdered sugar and almonds in your food processor, and grind until very fine. Sieve. Re-grind any lumps or big pieces of almonds. Mix carefully (they tend to separate a little bit when sieving, since the sugar falls through first.)

Beat egg whites and sugar until you have a thick, glossy meringue. Don't overbeat. Stir in the almond-sugar powder, and fold together. Don't overmix this - most seem to say that you should use less than 50 strokes. (You can try it by dolloping a little batter on a baking sheet - if the peak falls down, it's ready. If it doesn't, try a few more strokes.)

Pipe small rounds on a baking sheet with baking paper. Leave at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, to form a skin.

Bake at 150°C for 10-15 minutes. (I have a convection oven, and have recently found that 10-12 is perfect for me.) Let them cool completely before filling. Unused shells can be frozen, or kept in an air-tight container for a day or so.

200 g milk chocolate
100 g almond praliné

Melt the chocolate, and stir in the almond praliné. Let it cool slightly, if it's too runny to spread (or pipe) on the macarons. When it's thickened slightly, fill the cookies. Keep them in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer.

Almond praliné:
100 g sugar
65 g almonds, blanched and peeled

Lightly toast the almonds, either in the oven or in a dry frying pan. Chop coarsely.

Place the sugar in a heavy saucepan, and heat (on medium heat) until it's starting to melt. Don't stir it! Shake the pan lightly to help the sugar melt evenly, and when it's all turning golden brown, quickly add the almond and stir. Pour onto a silpat or teflon mat, and try to make it as thin as possible. (It's very very hot, so do this by covering with a second silpat or teflon mat, and press with an oven mitt.)

When the caramel has cooled, coarsely chop it and place in a food processor. Run into a very fine powder. This is your finished praliné - keep it in a tight-lidded jar.

Recipe in Swedish:
Macarons med mandelpraliné

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Savoury Polenta Muffins


I made these for Titus, to have as a snack, but they're pretty darn delicious for grown-ups as well! I've stashed them all in the freezer, and they thaw quickly in the microwave. Titus loves coriander, which is why I used that, but it'd taste great with basil as well. For younger kids, feel free to omit the salt and sugar. And use whatever cheese you want - I went with a mild one since I happened to have a lot of it, but sharper would certainly add more flavor.

Savoury Polenta Muffins
(printable recipe)
About 40 mini muffins

200 g all-purpose flour
100 g polenta (or cornmeal)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
50 ml neutral oil
200 ml buttermilk (or filmjolk, or a mild yogurt)
70 g parma ham (or similar)
150 g cheese, grated
100 ml fresh coriander, finely chopped

Mix flour, polenta, salt, baking powder, sugar and baking soda in a bowl. Add the eggs, the oil and the buttermilk and stir to combine. Add cheese, ham and coriander.

Fill in mini paper muffin cups, preferably placed in a mini muffin tin to help them hold their shape. Bake at 200°C - mine were done after 13 minutes (in my fan-assisted oven). Larger muffins will take a bit longer.

Recipe in Swedish:
Matmuffins med polenta

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vanilla Pannacotta with strawberries


Here's a perfect little dessert - just the thing after a good dinner. I love how it's all prepared in advance, and it's really quite fail-proof. The only fault I made last time was to NOT make a separate one for Titus - he ended up having ice cream instead, but he liked the pannacotta much more.

Vanilla Pannacotta with strawberries
(printable recipe)
Serves 4

Vanilla pannacotta:
300 ml cream (full-fat)
1 1/2 sheets of gelatine
50 ml homemade vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
1/2 vanilla bean

Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for at least five minutes. Meanwhile, bring the cream, sugar and the scraped out vanilla bean to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the vanilla bean. Add the gelatine, and stir until it's completely dissolved. Pour into small cups or glasses and place in the fridge for at least four hours.

Strawberry topping:
250 g fresh strawberries
1 tbsp white baking syrup (Glucose or corn syrup are probably quite similar to this, honey is nice too)

Mix half of the strawberries with the syrup, using a blender or a stick blender. Cut the rest into small dice, and stir together. Place cold, and when the pannacotta has set, spoon over the topping.

Recipe in Swedish:
Vaniljpannacotta med jordgubbar

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baked Adobo Chicken


I got this yummy recipe from a blog reader who said it was delicious to use this chicken to make panini sandwiches along with raspberry chipotle mayonnaise. Oh, and how right she were! I have a big bottle of raspberry chipotle sauce that I need to use in various things, and this was an excellent match. The sandwiches have cheese and red onions, too - but the chicken was the star, and it can also be used for salads, wraps, or anything else you can think of!

Baked Adobo Chicken
(printable recipe)

1 kilo chicken breasts
100 ml olive oil
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder (I used ancho chili)
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all the spices and the olive oil. Add the chicken and make sure it's well coated. Pour the whole thing into an oven dish, and bake at 200° for 15 minutes. Make sure the chicken is cooked through.

Let cool before slicing.

Recipe in Swedish:
Ugnsstekt Adobo-kyckling

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Whoops. Lost recipe...


Not exactly a proud moment as a food blogger, but this happens from time to time.

I can't find the exact recipe for this - but the basic idea is a mayonnaise with added garlic - an aioli - and then added basil. It was pretty great, so I have to try to recreate it somehow...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Coffee, at home

I'm at an event to try out a new coffee machine for the home - Dolce Gusto by Nescafe. It's nicely designed, and makes pretty good coffee, too. I would love one at the office...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Royal Wedding Cake, my way


I don't know how much buzz there is in the rest of the world, but Stockholm has been in a pre-wedding frenzy this summer. Our royal princess Victoria got married to her Daniel, a "man of the people" as he's so often presented. While I don't think it's that much to talk about, weddings are always fun and there's always a good idea to make cake.

This is not the actual wedding cake. Obviously. But our Bakery/Pastry Association (Sveriges Bagare och Konditorer) decided to put out a recipe, created by some of the best pastry chefs we have, so that every pastry shop could make a cake and sell, in the weeks before the wedding. Despite this recipe being fairly straightforward, a lot of pastry shops have chosen to make substitutions and use ready-made mixes for some of the cake elements. Pretty lazy, if you ask me. (But as you shall soon see, I have also made a few substitutions...) The recipe hasn't been adapted for the public - you can find it easy enough on Google, but it's for 28 cakes. So I decided to adapt it, and make it my own.

This cake has five elements, and is a riff of the classic Swedish Princess Cake but with slightly different flavors.

-The cake layers. Supposedly an almond genoise. I was feeling lazy, and very happy with my recently discovered reliable recipe for cake layers, so I made those instead. Not that an almond genoise is all that difficult, but.. oh well.

-The strawberry compote. You can make it, certainly. Or you might have an unopened jar of very high quality jam sitting on your shelf. If you do, like I did - use it.

-The almond chocolate crisp. Well, this calls for almond praline. Not difficult to make but not so easy to buy, perhaps. It's well worth the ten minutes extra it will take to make it, and it keeps for a pretty long time in a tight-lidded jar. Go make some now!

-The vanilla bavaroise. This is essentially a vanilla custard, stabilized with gelatin and lightened with whipped cream. Delicious!

-The marzipan lid. You can make your own. Or not. I bought good-quality marzipan and tinted it with white powdered coloring as well as I could.

And that's it. As you can see, this is not the easiest cake recipe out there, but it's not difficult - just a bit fiddly. Prepare well in advance, and you'll be fine. The recipe is long, I know - but I hope it's fairly clear.

Royal Wedding Cake
(printable recipe)

Cake layers:
4 eggs
375 ml sugar
400 ml all-purpose flour
2,5 tsp baking powder
120 ml boiling water

Beat eggs and sugar until pale and very fluffy. Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, and gradually add to the egg mixture along with the boiling water. Carefully stir into a smooth batter.

Butter and flour a 24-cm springform pan, pour in the batter and bake at 175°C for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool completely before dividing into three layers. (Or four, if you want thinner layers.) You'll only use two for the cake, so you can wrap and freeze any remaining layers. (Or just eat them as cake - it's delicious!)

Almond Chocolate Crisp:
100 g milk chocolate
50 g almond praliné
20 g corn flakes, lightly crushed

Melt the chocolate - over a water bath or in the microwave. Add the praliné and the corn flakes. Pour onto a silpat or teflon mat, cover with a second one (or baking paper) and roll out into a thin disc, about the same size as your cake layers. Freeze.

Almond praliné:
100 g sugar
65 g almonds, blanched and peeled

Lightly toast the almonds, either in the oven or in a dry frying pan. Chop coarsely.

Place the sugar in a heavy saucepan, and heat (on medium heat) until it's starting to melt. Don't stir it! Shake the pan lightly to help the sugar melt evenly, and when it's all turning golden brown, quickly add the almond and stir. Pour onto a silpat or teflon mat, and try to make it as thin as possible. (It's very very hot, so do this by covering with a second silpat or teflon mat, and press with an oven mitt.)

When the caramel has cooled, coarsely chop it and place in a food processor. Run into a very fine powder. This is your finished praliné - keep it in a tight-lidded jar. You'll only use a little of it for the cake, so keep the rest for other things - it's exellent in buttercream or ice cream, for example. (I've also used it for macarons and blondies!)

150 ml strawberry jam

Vanilla bavaroise:
4 gelatine sheets
1 vanilla bean
250 ml full-fat milk
150 ml sugar
4 egg yolks
250 ml full-fat cream (about 40% fat)

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, and place along with the bean itself with half the sugar and all of the milk, in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Add a few spoonfuls of the hot milk and whisk well, to temper the yolks. Scrape all of the yolks into the saucepan and whisk together. Stirring, heat on medium heat until the mixture thickens - do NOT let it boil.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in cold water for five minutes.

Pass the vanilla custard through a sieve into a bowl and place in a cold water bath. Stir in the gelatine. Let the mixture cool completely, stirring once in a while.

Beat the cream into soft peaks and fold in the custard. That's your bavaroise, all done!

Use a 24 cm springform pan (without the bottom) to help assemble the cake. First, add one cake layer. Cover with about 1/3 of the bavaroise. Add the strawberry jam and use a spoon to marble the filling. Add the almond chocolate crisp, and cover with the second cake layer. Add half of the remaining bavaroise.

Place in the freezer for at least an hour, and the remaining bavaroise in the fridge.

When it's firmed up, remove the cake pan from around the cake. Use your remaining bavaroise to make the cake nice and even along the sides and slightly rounded on top.

500 g marzipan
white coloring - powdered
light blue coloring - powdered

Color all the marzipan white. Roll out thinly, cover the cake and cut off the remaining marzipan. Color this blue, and cut out a thin strip to go all around the cake, and if you have enough, cut out a little crown. Use a bit of water to stick this on top.

In the stores, this cake is also decorated with some piped icing, a light blue ribbon, and a princess crown. Very cute!

Recipe in Swedish:
Folkets Bröllopstårta, på mitt sätt

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shrimp Pad Thai


My dinner the other day came about because I had leftover peanut sauce. I had originally made it as an optional extra with this gorgeous shrimp pad thai, and I had enough to make another meal. (Well, I added the leftover half can of coconut milk and a few spoons of extra peanut butter to it.) So today, let me tell you about this pad thai. I got the recipe from one of my readers, Annika. She has travelled extensively in south-east Asia, and when I asked her for a great pad thai recipe she graciously shared this one. It's rather unorthodox and uses ketchup rather than tamarind paste - but really, it's very tasty and definitely better than my local take-out version.

I've made some small adaptions, like skipping tofu (which I really don't care for). You can swap out the shrimp for any other protein - chicken would be awesome.

It's a really quick dish - including prep, it'll come together in less than half an hour. A lot less, if you're efficient.

Shrimp Pad Thai
(printable recipe)
serves 2, generously

15 raw jumbo shrimp
1 tbsp peanut oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, coarsely grated
2 eggs
200 g rice noodles (I like rice sticks for this)
1 tsp ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
1 lime, juiced
3 tbsp water
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
fresh bean sprouts, a good handful

Optional peanut sauce
200 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red chili, minced
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp fish sauce

Start by soaking the rice noodles in hot water. I usually place them in a bowl, add boiling water and let them soak until soft. It'll take anywhere from 3-10 minutes, depending on your noodles - so check them. When soft, drain the noodles.

Mix the sauce in a small bowl - ketchup, sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, lime, water and chili.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, and fry the shrimp, carrots and garlic until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Move everything to one side, crack in the eggs and stir-fry until they're done. Add the noodles, and give everything a good stir.

Add the sauce and the peanuts, and stir again. Remove the pan from heat, and add in the spring onions and the bean sprouts. Serve straight away, with the optional sauce if you'd like.

For the peanut sauce, just mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. That's it!

Recipe in Swedish:
Pad Thai med räkor

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Chicken in a coconut-peanut sauce with sugar snap peas, bean sprouts and egg noodles. Very satisfying!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Vanilla Cut-Out Cookies


I've already told you about the icing for these, but I thought I had lost the recipe - and what a shame, because these are truly excellent cut-out cookies. Whereas sugar cookies are often rather tasteless and just a vehicle for decorations, these are really delicious all on their own. Don't substitute the vanilla bean though - it's really necessary, and well worth it.

Vanilla Cut-Out Cookies
(printable recipe)

450 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
225 g butter, at room temperature
225 g sugar
1 egg
1 vanilla bean

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape in the seeds. Gradually add the flour, and stir into a smooth dough. Leave it to rest for half an hour in the fridge.

Roll out to about 2 mm thickness, and cut out cookies. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 175°C for 10-12 minutes.

Recipe in Swedish:

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Red Onion Butter


Flavored butter might seem very 1980:s retro, and indeed, it was very popular at that time. This particular recipe comes from an old cookbook, made by a restaurant called Gourmet. The restaurant doesn't exist anymore, and the cookbook isn't one that gets much use - but this butter is divine! Serve it on a grilled steak - it's absolutely excellent.

Red Onion Butter
(printable recipe)

200 ml (oh, about 3/4 cup, no need to be exact) finely chopped red onion
300 ml red wine
100 g butter, at room temperature
salt, black pepper

Cook the red onions in the red wine on medium heat until all the wine has reduced. Let the onion cool completely.

Beat the softened butter until fluffy. Add the onion, and stir well. Season with salt, black pepper and a dash or two of worcestershiresauce.

Wrap in plastic, form a sausage, and keep well wrapped in the fridge until ready to use.

Recipe in Swedish:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Chicken, Mango & Asparagus salad


Yummy, simple, and perfect for a weeknight meal! It's really loaded with good stuff - you can use what you have, obviously, but I always like to clean out my fridge when I'm making something like this.

You need some cooked chicken, enough cous cous for two (or you can substitute quinoa or bulgur wheat), some blanched asparagus, some fried bacon, mozzarella, mango and red onion. Toss everything with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.

For a dressing, use one part mango chutney, two parts yogurt, and a little sweet chili sauce to amp up the flavors. Add water if you like it a bit thinner.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Crispy Orange Veal


This isn't something I've ever seen on a Chinese restaurant menu here in Sweden, but I understand it's fairly popular in the US. Well, using beef, not veal - but when I went to the store, the veal looked great so I thought I'd give it a whirl. It turned out very nicely, and it's definitely something I'd like to eat again! I love food like this - it takes minutes to put together, and it's nicely satisfying. I really enjoy sweet and salty together - if you do too, then this is for you.

Crispy Orange Veal
(printable recipe)

500 g veal (I use a cut from the inside of the leg - same as you would for a Wienerschnitzel, if that helps.) in strips
corn flour
2 tbsp minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
finely grated zest from 1 orange
3 tbsp orange juice concentrate
75 ml sugar
75 ml rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt

Start by covering the veal strips with corn flour. Fry them in a little oil on high heat, in a wok or large frying pan. When they're crispy, remove them from the pan while you make the sauce.

Combine orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce and salt in a bowl.

Fry ginger, garlic and orange zest in your pan, just until it starts to get fragrant. (A minute or two.) Add the orange juice mixture, and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, for 3-4 minutes.

Add the veal and stir well to make sure all the crispy strips are covered in sauce. Serve with cooked rice and perhaps some broccoli.

Recipe in Swedish:
Knaprig kalv i apelsinsås

Monday, August 02, 2010

Great summer salad


Mangoes, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, coriander and pickled red onions. It's excellent with a steak!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Some beauty shots!


I realized I didn't show you nearly enough of my first attempt at making cake pops! I don't know if I'll ever make them again, because to tell you the truth, they're not really to my liking. But they sure are cute, and I had fun making them! I used this cake and frosting recipe, and since it makes a cake AND cupcakes, I used the cupcakes (crumbled) and enough frosting to make it into a nice, gooey, rollable dough. And then Wilton candy melts to dip - I was surprised to find these actually were pretty tasty - they tasted like white chocolate and not as "cheap" or "artificial" as I was fearing.


For the authority on cake pops, head over to Bakerella! She's coming out with a cookbook, just about cake pops, soon! I definitely want it, I think her designs are super cute and she's SO creative!