Wishing you all a lovely Easter, a few days of rest and relaxation and a fantastic time!
Archive for the ‘sweet’ Category
What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than baking Christmas cookies with friends?
I would write up the last recipe but it’s my grandmother’s…so shh!
Because Grandma gave me a packet of instant potato dough when we were visiting her home in Austria, I had to find nice apricots in Sweden (not the easiest task) and make some apricot dumplings. And take a picture and post it here, of course!
Now I just have to learn how to make potato dough from scratch so I can post the recipe. And make them again, because fruit dumplings are delicious! :)
Back from vacation! And a new job just started, so new bentos will be coming soon. For now, I’ll be working up my summer photo backlog…
Happy Easter to all you Werebunnies! Hope you had a great day, spring weather and lovely eggs to munch on.
(also, baking Osterpinzen this year I noticed that WereRabbits is now the #1 Google hit for this search term! Not for “Osterpinze” (singular) though – let’s amend this with an updated recipe:
Makes 4 big ones (with egg) or 6 small-ish, bun-sized ones.
30g yeast (the non-dry kind)
1 yolk + 1 whole egg for brushing
125ml dry white wine (can substitute water&lemon zest)
5 Tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
4 easter eggs for putting in the pinze, if you like.
I liked the assembly instructions of this recipe, and it made the dough a lot easier to handle than the last one:
Put the flour into a big yeasting bowl. Warm the milk to room temp and add the yeast, then pour the mix on top of the flour (best to make a small depression into the flour, like a bowl). Sprinkle with some leftover flour and let yeast for about 15 minutes or until nice and frothy.
In the meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Warm the sugar, wine and butter and combine. Part the eggs (if you don’t know what to do with the leftover eggwhites, freeze them for later or – I just saw a video about a nice egg mask for your face…).
When you’re done, add the yolks and the wine-butter-sugar mixture to your dough, and stir until a nice dough is formed and doesn’t stick to the bowl any more. Let it yease until the dough has doubled in volume. In the meanwhile, if you haven’t already, boil and dye your easter eggs.
When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down, cut into 4-6 pieces (I made 4, which are nice and big enough to stick eggs in them), roll the pieces into smooth balls and put on a baking tray lined with paper. Brush with the remaining yolk-and-egg mixture. Let rise for another 15-30 minutes. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Brush again with the egg mixture. Using a clean pair of scissors, make three cuts into each ball. Brush one last time. Make an X-shaped incision in the top and gently press the egg into it. Put it in the oven and bake until golden brown (I used 10-15 minutes with steam and another 10 without steam).
Need a last-minute gift to bring to your Christmas party? These homemade chocolates take almost no time at all.
Ice chocolate is also a traditional Christmas candy in Sweden, but I used to make it at home as well. It’s homemade chocolate that comes in little forms – and is cooled down by putting them out in the snow! (But warmer countries need not despair, the freezer is fine as well.)
I put my foot down on using my grandma’s recipe though – I was NOT going to make it with pre-made cooking chocolate. Nope, nothing but cocoa, sugar and cocos fat in this one.
250g Cocos fat
200g powdered Sugar, sifted
50-60g plain Cocoa powder (NOT drinking chocolate!), sifted (Adjust depending on how dark you want your chocolate to be.)
Aluminium foil cups, traditional ice chocolate forms, or even ice cube forms for pouring into
Snow! Or alternatively, space in the freezer.
Melt the cocos fat over a water bath. It only needs about 70 degrees Celsius to melt, so it’ll melt quickly. Stir in the sifted sugar and cocoa powder. Stir well!
Pour into the forms and put the forms out in the snow immediately.
When the chocolate has hardened, stack in a jar (if using disposable forms) or (if not) remove the chocolate from the forms, stack it and pour more!
Store in a jar in the fridge.
The cocos fat makes the chocolate very soft, but also cool in your mouth. Be quick or it’ll be gone before you know it!
This weekend, the boyfriend and me made Knäck!
That sounds wrong. Let’s try again.
This weekend, the boyfriend and me made traditional Swedish Christmas caramels! I feel so Swedish now!
And it wasn’t even hard – surprising for anything that contains the words “caramel” and “candy”, Knäck is amazingly easy to prepare.
Knäck is a kind of Toffee, made with sugar, syrup, butter, cream and almonds. The consistency varies depending on local tastes, from fudge-y to stick-to-your-teeth hard. The longer you boil the candy, the harder it will become after pouring. Ideally, you should be able to stack them in a jar without them sticking together.
The candy comes in little paper cups that look like muffin cups but are thimble-sized! They are sold all over in Sweden during Christmas time and usually, the back of the packet contains the recipe.
Since we doubled it for our purposes, this recipe makes about two jars of Knäck. That is quite a lot!
3 Tsp. butter
4 dl sugar
4 dl light syrup (Swedish “light syrup” seems to be best translated to inverted sugar syrup)
3 dl full fat cream (whipping cream is fine)
150g sweet almonds, peeled and chopped.
Lots of those tiny little paper cups. We made about 120 with this recipe, which is half a packet.
Dump everything but the nuts together in a thick-bottomed pot. Boil for approx. 30 minutes.
When it reduces and becomes a darker shade, try dripping a spoon or so into a glass of cold water. If you can easily mold the caramel after fishing it out, without it crumbling apart, it’s done.
During the time it boils, prepare a lot of those small paper cups, best on a baking tray so that you can move them close to the pot for pouring. You should have them all set up and ready to be filled or you won’t manage!
Mix in the nuts and put a spoonful into each paper cup. Be careful to keep the pot over low heat in the meanwhile so the candy doesn’t harden in the bowl.
(Or, in the immortal words of my great-aunt: “And then we don’t throw away the pan…”)
Let cool at room temperature, then store. I had brought out my pretty Christmas-themed candy boxes, but the boyfriend said they looked best in glass jars.
And they do!
Makes 6 muffins.
1 handful of grated almonds (or almond mass/marzipan)
2,5-3dl flour, e.g. 1dl Graham- and 1,5-2 dl plain wheat flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 handful raspberries (frozen works very well for mixing them in easily)
butter and almond shaves for lining the muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Mix butter, sugar and almonds well. Add in the eggs one by one and whip.
Mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and vanilla sugar) and mix just to combine. Add milk as necessary.
Line a 6pc. muffin tin with butter and almond shaves. Carefully mix the raspberries into the dough using a spoon and spoon the dough into the tins.
Bake at 200 deg C for 15-20 minutes, cool covered with a towel.
More leftover caponata with a tomato, four homemade 4-cheese ravioli, steamed asparagus, fresh rucola and a fishy of balsamico, and a zucchini-chocolate muffin/cupcake with creamcheese glazing.
The muffins are adapted from this recipe (a third makes 6 muffins).
BF’s box, similar arrangement.
Hey all, I’m back!
Sorry for the dearth of posts recently – I’ve been on a much needed vacation first to Austria (where apparently Meeta has been as well – view her travelogue starting here) and then chilling with family here in Sweden.
I’ll be back in full swing soon with new ideas I’ve picked up on the way and possibly some details about my native country, Austria!
Being European, I have been known to sneer at American coffee chains like Starbucks. “Frappuchino? That’s not a coffee, that’s a milkshake!”
Which I guess is true.
But I still must admit that ice cream and coffee is an addictive and delicious mix. Here in Austria, we’ve had Eiskaffee*, or ice coffee, for a long time.
To make a delicious cold un-mixed Viennese ice coffee, you need:
1 can of chilled brewed coffee, not too weak
Vanilla ice cream, or rather gelato as we don’t really have anything else in Europe
Optional: Whipped cream
Cocoa or chocolate flakes for decoration
1 highball glass
1 long spoon
Mix the chilled coffee with some milk (don’t make it too light, just a tad or leave it out completely).
Spoon 2-3 balls of delicious vanilla gelato into the highball glass.
Pour the coffee over the icecream (careful, the ice cream does float!).
Make a pretty hat with the whipped cream and the chocolate flakes.
Stick in the straw.
Drink the coffee with the straw. Alternate with spooning the ice cream from the glass. Alternatively, suck the icecream and spoon the coffee. :)
I don’t need to tell you that you should enjoy, right?
* That’s pronounced Ice caff-eh, with a long e. An important difference between Germany and Austria is that the former pronounce Kaffee with a short e, the latter with a long one (stressing the second syllable). ;)
I don’t know about you, but when I read “Spring Food Sensations” on Abby’s blog, my mind immediately sprang to rhubarb. Rhubarb is to me the ultimate spring messenger, and a delicacy to boot!
When I was little, I used to eat it in a preserve, or a sponge cake with rhubarb pieces on top (delicious!). But I never made anything with it myself – until now.
Since I wasn’t in the mood to try my hand at spongecake, the BF suggested Strawberry and rhubarb crumble pie. This pie can be made with or without a pie shell, but I prefer having something crunchy to whet my wererabbit teeth on.
Strawberry and rhubarb crumble pie
1 pie shell (or make a sweet pie pastry yourself from your favourite recipe; I used a sweet half-graham flour recipe that I like)
about 6 stalks of rhubarb
1-2 cups of strawberries (halve the big ones)
Sugar to taste
Flour (ca. 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cp sugar
ca. 50g butter
grated almonds or cocos flakes (optional)
Peel the rhubarb and chop it into ca. 1cm wide pieces. Toss with the strawberries, sugar and flour – the amount of sugar depends on how much you want to offset the natural sourness of the rhubarb, the flour is to stop the liquid from going everywhere during baking. Fill into the pie crust.
Mix the crumble ingredients until they become small crumbs. Spread them over the fruit using your hands – it just doesn’t get even with a spoon.
Bake at 225 degrees Celsius for ca. 20 minutes.
Enjoy with vanilla icecream or vanilla sauce.
It was nice – in hindsight the pie crust should have been sweeter to contrast with the tang of the rhubarb better. I wonder how a marzipan crumble would work on top?!
Not too happy about the picture (curse artificial light!) but the rest was eaten before I could get my camera in the morning. So have a bonus picture of rhubarb chunks.
Speaking of spring – another of those spring messengers is my beloves asparagus!
While the pie was cooking, I prepared a super-easy asparagus soup for first course.
Super-easy asparagus soup
1 bunch of thin green asparagus
1/3 cup spring onions, shopped
125ml (1 packet) cooking cream
125+ ml (more depending on desired creaminess) water
1 organic vegetable bouillon cube
1 tsp. butter or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Blanch the asparagus quickly and cut off the tips to preserve for decoration. Chop the rest into chunks.
Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the spring onions. Add the asparagus chunks, cream, and dissolved bouillon cube and boil for about 20 minutes.
Puree everything with a hand mixer and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the asparagus tips in the middle and croutons or fresh baguette.
Super easy and you’ll never want instant soup again once you have tasted the real thing!