Monday, August 23, 2010

Custard school

Right now I'm listening to a lecture about solid waste management (not so fun) and as a precaution (so I don't fall asleep) I'm posting my recipe on custard, since Herbert neglected to post it.
The reason for that might be that I don't really use a recipe, I just throw stuff together and it becomes a great custard. But I will try to explain whats in it;

about 1-1 1/2 dl milk
about 1-1 1/2 dl whipping cream
1 egg yolk
2-3 tbs cornflour
2-3 tbs sugar (or as much as you like)
1-1 1/2 tbs vanilla sugar (or essence)

Put everything except the vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a boil, when the mixture boils it will thicken fast so turn the heat of when the first bubble appear (remember to stir the entire time or it'll burn).
When the custard has reached the wanted thickness you remove the pan from the hot plate and stir in the vanilla sugar and let it cool down.

As you might have noticed it's not really important whats in but how the result turns out so go into the kitchen and experiment!

an austrian princesse

so lets start off with a bit of a history lesson; in sweden we have this gateau that is pretty much our standard-cake when it comes to celebrations and such. it's called a princess-cake and the name derives from an old cook-book called "the princess's cookbook" published in the 1930s, written by a former teacher of the royal princesses Märtha, Margareta and Astrid. the cake was first dubbed as green cake but thanks to it popularity among the princesses, it got renamed. it's made with a layered spongecake, filled with rasberryjam, custard and whipped cream and covered with green marcipan lid. * that was the princesse- part.

now to the austrian. the sacher- torte is made as two dense layers of chocolate-cake, with a filling of apricotjam and chocolate-ganasch topping. it originates from the the hotel sacher in vienna, austria in the 1832. **

now to the fun part. MY gateau. a mix between the princesse and the sacher, a dense chocolate base, with apricot and orange jam (jupp, i changed it. how rude!) another layer of cake, naja's custard, again- cake. and then whipped cream with chocolate shavings (stracciatella-style) and to top it of a cover of BLUE marcipan. the recipe is adapted from the cookbook "vår kokbok" (rabén prisma)

(made this one into a mini-gateau so for a standard size, 21 cm pan, double all amounts)


75 g dark chocolate 75%
75 g margarine or butter
1 dl sugar
2 eggs
3/4 dl flour
1 ml baking powder (or 1/4 tsp)

oven 175 degrees celsius

pre-heat the oven, melt the chocolate in the oven or nuke it. grease and (meh. can't find the proper word.. bread? you know what i mean..breading?! what do you expect really? i'm swedish and i'm blond *ahem* life is hard for me.. so. breading the pan. applying breadcrumbs to a greased pan. there. happy?)

beat softened butter and sugar together,

then add one egg at a time.
now the batter will look iffy but adding the melted chocolate will fix that so blend that in and finally mix in the flour and baking powder and

you'll get this fluffy, rich batter that resembles chocolate mousse. (hehe, swedish chef reference. get it? chocolate moose)

pour into a springform pan and bake for ca 25 minutes (for regular size 30-35 min)

the cake should be slightly gooey in the inside. let it cool before cutting it into three layers. on the first add the jam (a rather thick layer, about 0.5 dl), then cake, custard, cake.

for the final layer whip 2 dl cream (you could use some more cream , if you want a thicker layer, see the finished cake) and grate 20 gram of dark chocolate (80 %)

blend together and spread evenly on top of the cake

and some on the side to make the marcipan stick. now, the cream should be stiff so it'll hold for the marcipan, but for the sides i added some custard, which is why it looks different, mainly because i wanted to be sure that the cream would cover the entire cake.

to make the marcipan top, make an approximate circle on a baking sheet,grate the coloured marcipan (or paint afterward) evenly in the circle

then place another sheet on top and use a rolling pin to even it out. (oups over-using the word even)

place it on the cake and

sprinkle some caster-sugar.

i made the pattern with a stencil cut from a regular paper, you could use a paper doily. a quick tip- if the paper is to stiff and sticks out, spray the paper lightly with water so it's moist then place on the cake. for spreading the sugar, use a meshed tea infuser, which i find is easier to use then a strainer.

smaklig spis!

* i knew most of this but used wikipedia for safety. it was nothing new.
** same thing here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Let them eat cake!

My family (and I) love cheesecake, they even get the occasional withdrawal symptom. This cheesecake is quickly becoming my signature dish mostly because I despise having to make the same thing more than once and with cheesecake you can experiment and do loads and loads of things.

The recipe I'm using is adapted from the book "Desserts", Parragon Books Ltd and it's almost impossible to mess up.

(originally a manhattan cheesecake, this one I made without the crème fraiche layer)

For 8-10 portions you will need:

6 tbs butter
200 g smashed up digestive crackers
sunflower oil for the dish
400 g cream cheese
2 large eggs
140 g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
4 1/2 dl crème fraiche

Melt the butter and mix it with the crumbs, spread the mixture into a dish with removable sides (if you're not using oven paper you should brush the dish with oil before pouring the crumbs in).
Whisk cheese, eggs, 100 g of the sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla until smooth, pour it onto the crumbs and bake for approximately 20 min or until firm in the middle of the oven on 190°C.

Once it's done, take it out and let to cool for 20 min but leave the oven on. While the cake is cooling down prepare the next step by mixing the crème fraiche with the remaining sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture onto the cake and bake for 10 min.
Let the cake cool down and put it in the fridge over night or at least for 8 hours.

When it comes to the topping you can do many things, this time I used store-bought jello (the kind you just ad water to), and I added some food-coloring to one of them to make some contrast and since Herbert is a vegetarian I also made a quick blueberry jam;

You take about 2 dl blueberries and ad as much sugar you want (depend on the sweetness of the berries) and about 1 - 1 1/2 tbs cornflower and bring it to a boil and then let it simmer until you get the consistency you want.

I have to warn you though, I find this batch a little small for 8-10 people because if you're in the mood you can probably eat the whole thing with only three partners in crime.