Thursday, September 23, 2010

Black out

So, the Island had a bit of a problem a couple of nights ago, we had a total black out 20 000 house holds were affected included me and now I'm suffering from TV withdrawal... Yeah you heard me TV withdrawal, the telly is not working because (I think) when they cut the cable to the power they might have nicked the tv-cable too.

Only on thing can save the day, some kind of dessert, a movie and pasta bolgonese.
Will update later with recipes and pictures of my comfort-food.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


that's right. another soup recipe. this time with lentils, which i love. unfortunatly there will be no pictures (i know you love my pics, taken in poor lighting and with a not so fancy camera (a lumix dcm-fx35 in case you were wondering, lc's got a canon 400D i think..) anyway, the thing with lentilsoup is that it is practically impossible to make it look...well...yummy. it either looks like babyfood or simply ucky. but i promise it's really nice and spicy, and it has a lovely red colour that just didn't translate into my pictures.. so. this weeks midweek recipe:

spicy lentil soup 
(serves two large portions or three small)
4 small potatoes
1 large beetroot
1 large carrot
3/4 -1 dl red lentils
aprox. 1 liter of water
1 stock cube
1 glove of garlic

dice the potatoes and beetroot, put that and the lentils into the boiling water, add the stock cube and press the garlic into the soup. let it simmer until done. i usually do the seasoning when it's almost finished that way i can controll the amount of salt, also how the flavours of the veggies has turned out. this soup i seasoned with a mix of spices: currypowder, cinnamon and cummin, chili (it says tandoori masala on the jar but i find the chili to be predominate ;). all spices are ground, and just add to taste. experiment! i chopped up the carrot into slices and added just before serving to give the soup some texture, you could off course add them earlier. serve. if wanted, add some youghurt or creme fraiche.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sourdough bread tutorial

As you might have understood I love to bake cakes and desserts, but when the autumn and winter approaches I like to drag my stoneware bowl out from the cupboard and make sourdough bread.

Sourdough bread has more flavor than other breads and I like to think it's healthier for you. Making your own bread has many advantages, first of all you know whats in it (no hidden sugar or anything else you don't want or know of), secondly you can ad any ingredients you like maybe sunflower seeds, porridge oats or dried apricots.

However even if this is a really good bread any quite easy to make it require time, it takes at least two days.

Rustic sourdough bread

Makes 2 loafs


3 dl water (preferably cold)

3 dl sifted rye flour

25 g yeast (dry or normal doesn't matter)


Whisk the sourdough together, be sure that the yest is dissolved. Cover and let stand in room-temperature for on day, for an even richer flavor do variety 2.

After one day (variety 1):

7 dl cold water

about 2 tbs salt

1 tbs spices, like cumin (this is not a necessary ingredient and can be left out)

½ dl oil (canola, olive or sunflower oil)

2 ½ l flour (I usually tend to take about half sifted rye flour, one quarter of rye flour and one quarter of flour but it doesn't really matter what kind of flour you use everything is tasty in this bread)

If you want you can ad linseed, oats, dried fruits and that kind of ingredients but remember that with oats and others like oats you have to take away the amount of the ingredient from the flour.

After one day (variety 2):

Whisk in ½ dl water and ½ dl sifted rye flour into the sourdough and let be for another day then continue like after one day variant.

Mix in the other ingredients and work the dough well (according to the original recipe it should be beaten for 10 min in a machine, by hand that's 15-30 min but I've come to the conclusion that less time work just as well)

Let the dough rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours under a baking cloth, at this stage you can let it heave longer if you for example want to have fresh baked bread in the morning, you set the dough the evening before and bake it next morning.

Shape the dough into two loafs by kneading the dough a little and then cut it in half. Make two thick plates that you roll together and put on a baking sheet with oven paper on, the seam of the bread should be on the baking sheet.

Let the bread rise for 30 min under a baking cloth while the oven warms up to 250-275°C (or as high as your oven goes). Cut the bread with a sharp knife and then put the sheet in the lower part of the oven.

Toss in three ice cubes or squirt water into the oven until steam forms (about 6 squirts). Close the oven and lower the temperature to 200°C.

Bake the breads for about 45 min until they are golden-brown (they should almost look burned). Leave them to cool on a rack under a baking cloth.
The flavor of the bread will increase the next day and they freeze perfectly.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

chocolate toffee ice-cream sauce

right -a quickie post. i'm sooo close to make a really lame joke about sundae and sunday (which is tomorrow). i'm not. i've just gotten a gym-membership so i decided yesterday that i was allowed on last pigout (hehe. last. not likely, but just play along) anyway, i wanted icecream, with chocolate sauce. decided to experiment and it turned out really awsome actually:

i took bar of riesen toffee (five in on packet, it's a chewy toffee covered with dark chocolate) chopped them up and melted them in a water-bath (or bain-marie as wikipedia told me) and stirred in some milk and poured over the ice-cream. quite moreish. the amount of milk decides the viscosity of the sauce, so if you want it chewy don't overdo, although i'd guess about 1-2 tablespoons is enough. but start with little and add more if needed.

-what would you bring to a deserted island?
-an almanac. that way i'd have something to eat.
-i'd eat the dates. 
- you could also have the sundaes.

(yay, star trek quote)

tea for two and two for tea

as you might already know both me an lc live in sweden (though in different citys, about 600 miles apart) anyway, my point was/is autumn has arrived (as lc already noted), and with that comes thicker sweaters, buckets of tea also it's cool enough to use the oven, and i've been stuck in a bakemood. but instead of making something complicated and time demanding i made scones.

no, this recipe dates back to home ecomonics (dunno if that's the proper term, if not feel free to correct me) and i've been making this since i was 13. so it's non fussy, easy- perfect for breakfast or tea. i decided to try lemon scones, i'm sure there are recipes for that, but i like the basicness of my old recipe so i just added the zest of one lemon. i'm not to fond of jam or curds on sandwiches so i had my scones with butter and cheese with i found delicious, but then i am a savoury kind of gal...

Lemon Scones
makes two cakes

3,5 dl wheatflour
1 dl graham flour 
2 teaspoons of baking powder
0,5 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon
50 gram margarine or butter (softened)
2 dl milk 
oven 250 degrees celcius

mix the dry ingredients and zest in a bowl. add the margarine and by pinching, mix with the flour. when the flour has formed a kind of sandy texture of small lumps, add the milk and stirr togeather. split the dough in two and place the halves on a oven sheet with parchmentpaper (saves dishes), form two round cakes about 1,5 cm high, slice shallowly two lines (dividing the cake into four) then prick with a fork or tip of a knife. bake for about 10 minutes in the middle of the oven.

( i confess i had mine with coffee, but tea would have been nice too. more authentic anyway)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wherewolf? There Wolf!

With autumn comes the storms, which means that it's dark, cold and windy. Apparently a storm called Igor is closing in on Sweden and might strike tonight, it might or might not be as bad as one called Gudrun a couple of years ago was but lets hope it's not...

Anyway this kind of weather calls for comfort-food or more accurate comfort-cakes, so I decided to try something I've never made before; Doughnuts.
Here in Sweden it's not so popular with doughnuts we're more of a cinnamon bun people, because of that the selection is very thin and they can be very hard to find so when i read Joy the Bakers recipe on doughnuts i thought I've got to try this sometime. And as it turns out sometime was two days ago.

So here is the recipe for:
Doughnuts from Joy the Baker

makes 1 dozen doughnuts

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbs warm water (40–46°C) you should be able to put your finger in and not burn
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

I also added about 1 tsp of vanilla sugar
About 10 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Mix together flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture in mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. I made the doughnuts by hand so I worked/kneaded the dough for about 5 min with a wooden spoon until it was soft and smooth.

Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Alternatively, let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with 3-inch cutter, then cut a hole in center of each round with 1-inch cutter and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was cold when cutting out doughnuts). Do not reroll scraps.

Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it registers 176°C on thermometer, test with a bit of the doughnut scrap when it turns golden when you drop it in its hot enough. (I used a wok with about 5 dl oil just make sure that you have enough oil so that they are floating free) Fry doughnuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire or mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 176°C between batches.)

Just as Joy did I also seasoned some of my doughnut holes with cinnamon sugar and icing sugar, I also dipped some of them in chocolate.

I found that the doughnuts became a bit stale the next day so I suggest you make them when you have company and eat all of them the same day as you make them.

And I just have to brag about my tomatoes, this is the first time I've tried to grow big tomatoes and they turned out really good and scrumptious.

Monday, September 13, 2010

team edward. scissorhands.

so i'd never thought i'd say this, but i've made an obcene soup. pretty undexpected.

had a friend over for lunch and i was going to make borscht  (tough without a recipe, so don't kill me for not making a proper borsjtj. could have called it beetroot soup but where's the fun in that?) but although it turned out very nice i couldn't get over the feeling this soup gave me.. it was rude?!

so why obcene? well. the color. bright red that mostly resembles blood. if i were to throw a halloweenparty i'd serve this as a starter. though i'd probably exclude the garlic. any non sparkling vampire whould love this soup (sans garlic as said) i can't really explain. but yeah, the f* you of soup somehow.

now to begin with, i burnt the unions. so back to the choppingboard. then we had some wine and everything went smoothly from there. (don't worry, it was after twelve, and i needed wine for the soup) so it really is a no noncense dish, though keep an eye on the unions...this made a big batch, so i had it for lunch a day later with some fresh out of the oven home baked baguette. which was really nice.

 the recipe.
(i made this as a midweek dinner so measurments are approximated)
beetroots about 7 small (this made quite a large batch so might want to add/subtract depending)
celeriac about 6*6*4 cm (6 long, 6 wide, 4 deep)
2 average sized potatoes
one small (half of a larger one) onion
5cm leek (white part)
3 cloves of garlic (my friend has a cold)
splash of wine

chop up the onion, leek and garlic, and pan fry on medium heat. (whatch so it don't burn) when it's softened add the wine. remove the pot from the stove and add the vegetables, peeled and cut into slices, pour on water, barely covering the veggies. put it to boil and let simmer. now depending on size and ehm. freshness? of the beetroot, boilingtime ranges from 30 to 60 min. (i also added i think 2 bouillion cube (stock cube for all you non americans :)

but season to taste, i used a fairly slage splash of wine, since i wanted that aciddity, but balsamic vinegar or lemonjuice whould also have sufficed. when the beetroots are ready, use a blender to mix it togeather. if needed add more water. serve with sourcream or creme fraiche, and some nice bread. (vodka on the side is optional, but might improve the taste)

so i just have to explain. i'm not going to make any grand cakes or macaroons or anything to difficult in the future, see this is my stove.
jupp. plus i haven't learnt it yet with the temperatures and such so everything i make is an adventure. but hey. at least i can get some exitement for free.

Autum is here

Time for a new post, yesterday I made my first tarte tatin ever.
But I'll get back to that in a moment first I have some news, because of lack of time (and more importantly money) I've put the daring bakers challenges on ice, I know it's sad because it's fun and rewarding to participate but as I said can't do it at the moment.

So how come I can post other recipes then? Well it's easy, I love to bake and therefore I always have certain ingredients at home but the challenges often require special ingredients and time. And since I'm finishing my university degree I don't have a lot of spare time or money...

Enough about that back to the tarte, I got both the inspiration and the recipe from Masterchef Australia but I adapted it somewhat.

Apple Tarte Tatin

Serves 2 (or 4 depending on how much you want, I ate 3/4 last night...)

4 Summer red apples (or any tangy cooking apples of the season, I would avoid any mass produced variety like Granny Smith or Golden delicious and get a locally produced apple instead)

1 tbs lemon juice (or enough to coat all the apples and prevent them from browning)

1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar

20g unsalted butter, chopped

Ready-rolled puff pastry sheet

Cream, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 220C (200C fan-forced)

2. Peel apples, cut into quarters, remove cores (cutting each quarter at the core so it has a "flat" side), and toss the quarters in a large bowl with the lemon juice.

3. Using a 20cm frying pan as a guide cut pastry into a round slightly larger than the pan, prick with a fork.

4. Melt butter in a 20cm non-stick frypan (I used a iron skillet) over medium-high heat. Cover with the remaining sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, shaking pan occasionally to spread around any dark spots that appear, until a rich caramel forms.

5. Place apple quarters into pan, rounded side down, arranging them around pan. Cut remaining apple to fill gaps. Cook the apples over medium heat for about 10 minutes until caramel is bubbling up in the pan, shaking pan occasionally to prevent burnt spots (watch out and rather than burning the apples take them of before the 10 min are up).

6. Lay the pastry over the apples, tucking any protruding edges around edges of pan.

7. Place the pan in the oven, cook for about 25 minutes (the time depends on what kind of pastry you use mine was done after 10 minutes in the oven), or until the puff pastry has risen and cooked. The pastry should be dry and flaky. Stand tarte in pan for 10 minutes (try and twist/spin the tarte in the pan and if it twists it's not burned to the bottom of the skillet) before carefully turning out onto a serving plate. Serve with cream.

Like the custard maniac I am I would recommend you serve it with a vanilla custard sauce.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chocolate bananacake

Herbert is probably going to kill me for posting this recipe, she hates bananas and I really do mean hate, but I'm going to do it anyways.

The first time I tasted the cake was when Annabell brought it for cake-day at the university and it tasted like banana-split, one of my favorite desserts. However I didn't get the recipe so I searched the net for a similar one and found it on, so I'm hoping it will turn out like Annabells cake because that was the best banana cake I've ever tasted.

Chocolate banana cake
120 g room temperature butter
1 1/2 dl sugar (preferably unrefined sugar)
3 eggs
3 ripe bananas
3 1/2 dl flour
1 1/2 dl cacao
2 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate

Whisk butter and sugar until fluffy, then ad one egg at a time. Cut the bananas into the batter and whisk until smooth (you probably wont get it totally smooth but give it a try) then ad all the other ingredients and whisk until smooth and blended.
Pour the batter into a greased dish and put in the oven (175°C) for 30 min-1 hour, depends on the dish (mine was in for approximately 45 min).
Take it out and let it cool.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana

She's gonna kill me for that one as well, because she's the on who saw/found it first, but I think it fits with the recipe, so tough luck :)

So after trying the cake last night I've come to the conclusion that you should ad one more banana, cut down on the cacoa so that you have 4 dl flour and 1 dl cacao, and watch out the cake is very heavy and is easily over cooked. As I've written before mine was in for about 45 min and 30 min would have been better however the cake is good either way you make it.