Sharing the love of food and trying new recipes...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Toscakaka for fika time

Toscakaka, or almond tosca cake, is a sweet Swedish sponge cake flavored with vanilla and covered with an almond and butter crust. It is quite a specialty of Sweden and people eat it often at "fika", or coffee time in the afternoon.
Fika is a concept in Scandinavia equivalent to the British teatime or French "goûter" in the afternoon. It usually involves drinking tea or coffee and eating a piece of cake or sweet bread with friends or colleagues.

This cake is extremely easy and fast to make. Both kids and adults like this cake and you can also freeze it down. This recipe can also be adapted to make Swedish midsummer strawberry cake and a quick and easy chocolate chip cake, which are both delicious as well.

Toscakaka recipe:

For the cake:

2 eggs
2 dl sugar
50 g butter
1.25 dl milk
3 dl flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar

Beat up the eggs and sugar until white. Melt the butter, add the milk and heat up to 37C. Mix the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar. Mix all the ingredients together and pour in a buttered and floured cake pan. Bake 30 min at 175C at the bottom of the oven.

For the almond crust:

1 dl sliced almonds
1 dl sugar
50 g butter
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp milk

In a saucepan, mix the ingredients and heat them up until it starts to boil. Then cover the cake with the almond mix and bake in the upper part of the oven for another 10 min.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February is Semlor month in Sweden

Inside semlor: almond filling and whipped cream, mmm :-)

In Scandinavia, people traditionally eat Semlor on or before Mardi Gras but nowadays enjoy them during the whole month of February. Semlor are a pastry composed of a sweet cardamom-spiced wheat bun filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream. 
The top of the bun is cut off, the inside of the bun scooped out, mixed with milk, sugar, and almonds, and then put back inside the bun. Whipped cream is added on top of the filled bun, then the lid is put back on and decorated with powdersugar. Semlor look like cream puffs but are so much more. And they are so good!

Semlor are perfect as a "snack" (although not a light one) in the afternoon with tea or coffee, as dessert after a light meal, or even as breakfast the day after you've baked them. I mean, they're delicious any time of the day :-)
Above is a picture of the Semlor I made last week and I will post shortly the recipe so you can try and bake them yourself. Homemade Semlor do take some time to bake, but like most desserts, taste so much better than the ones you find in stores. So here is the recipte and try them yourself!

Semlor Recipe (for about 40 pieces)

For the bread dough:
150 g margarin or butter
5 dl milk
50 g yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dl sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
1.4 - 1.5 l flour

Melt the fat in a kettle and add the milk; warm it up to 37C. Break down the yeast into small crumbs and dissolve it with a bit of the fat+milk. Then add the rest of it, salt, sugar, and cardamom. Add flour progressively while mixing and finish working the dough by hand until it just does not stick anymore. Put the dough in a bowl, cover it with a cloth (it should not touch the dough) and let it leaven at least 30 min (I leave it for 60 min).
Work the dough again and divide it up into 40 small buns. Let them rise again 30 min. Bake them approximately 10 min at 225-250C.

For the filling:
inside of the buns
2 dl sugar
2 dl ground almonds
2-2.5 dl milk
whipping cream

When the buns are cooled down, cut off the top and remove the inside of the buns. In a bowl, break up the inside of the buns into small crumbs and mix with the sugar and almonds. Then add the milk and mix to have a nice consistent almond paste. Fill up the empty buns with the almond paste, add some whipped cream, put the top of the buns back on, and decorate with some powder sugar...

... and enjoy !!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today's love goes to chocolate

Today is Valentine's day, the day you share love with your friends and family. To celebrate this, I made a fondant chocolate cake to share with the ones I love. We and our hips enjoyed it very much :-) A kind of extended Mardi Gras before a late Lent... if Lent at all!


Hi all!

Welcome to my gourmand blog! The idea is to share with you my passion for gourmandises and also to share my baking and cooking experiments and experiences. In my free time, I like to try new recipes or desserts, taste them, share them and then optimize them according to the feedback I receive.

Have a good read!