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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Swedish gingerbread (mjuk pepparkaka)

a slice of gingerbread served with whipped cream and lingonberry jam

the whole gingerbread with Swedish Jultomtar

Around this time of the year, gingerbread is a popular treat in many countries, especially in Northern Europe. In Sweden, I discovered a soft gingerbread cake that the bakery in Ljunghusen makes and I love it. I would have it every time I'd go to Sweden! Then this month with all the holiday and pre-Christmas dinners around, I decided to try and make it myself and share it with my friends.

I mixed and adapted several recipes to finally have one that I found equally soft and moist as the one I bought in the baker shop and made it spicy enough to have a strong taste of Holidays :-) The cake is really easy to make: it takes approximately 10 min to mix ingredients, and then 30 min to bake in the oven: very straightforward and a great cake for December to share with family and friends!

Recipe for a mjuk pepparkaka / gingerbread:

2 eggs
2 dl sugar
2.5 tsp cloves
2.5 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3 dl flour
100 g butter
1.5 dl sour cream / yoghurt

Whip up eggs and sugar until almost white. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Melt the butter, let it cool down and then add the sour cream/yoghurt to it. Add dry ingredients + dairy to the egg-sugar mix and mix only until uniform (don't overdo it). Transfer the dough to a buttered and floured Bundt cake form. Bake in the oven 27-30 min at 175 C.
Serve with whipped cream and lingonberries (or lingonberry jam). Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pear tart with almond filling

Last night I had my close friends over for dinner. I wanted to make a Fall-Winter-like dessert, yet something relatively light and with fruits. I remembered an excellent pear tart with almond filling that we often buy in the mountains in the Winter so I went on to try and replicate that delicious dessert.

In the end I came up with a simple recipe composed of a sweet shortcrust dough, juicy pears, and a very easy almond filling composed of eggs, butter, sugar and ground almonds. The trick here is to choose juicy and/or ripe pears because hard pears do not soften while baking and a tart with hard pears is not as pleasant. Else it's a very easy recipe to follow and takes about 1.5 hrs to prepare and bake in total. And it's great both in Summer and in Winter! And with vanilla ice-cream the pear-almond tart tastes even better :-D

Recipe for a big pear tart (28 cm form)

1 portion shortcrust dough (pâte brisée):
240 g flour
1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar
140 g cold butter
1 dl water

3-4 juicy pears

Almond filling:
100 g butter, room T
100 g sugar
100 g ground+peeled almonds
2 eggs, beaten up

Prepare the dough as previously described and refrigerate it for 30 min. Peel and clean pears, cut them in 2 and slice them evenly (short side).
Beat up butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add ground almonds and beaten up eggs, mix.
Prepare a pie form with butter + flour. Roll out the dough, fold in edges, and prick it with a fork. Place pear halves evenly (geometrically) onto the dough and add the almond filling in between the pears. Bake in the oven 30 min at 200C.
Decorate the tart with sliced almonds and serve with vanilla ice-cream! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Schaffhausen-style onion pie (Bölletünne)

I love quiches and salty tarts. I find them nutritious and an excellent dish filled with proteins, vegetables, carbs and dairy: a whole meal in one! This onion tart is a scpecialty from the Schaffhausen canton in Switzerland and is also called Schaffhauser Bölletünne. It contains bacon lardons and lots and lots of onions. The pie is typically made with standard yellow onions, but here I mixed them with red onions and shallots too because I thought it might be more colorful and more tasty.

It takes a bit of time to prepare all the ingredients and bake it in the oven, count 1.5-2 hrs in total from start to end. You can serve it warm with a fresh salad but it is also excellent cold as snack! I hope you enjoy it and you can also check out my Quiche Lorraine!

Recipe for a big onion pie (28 cm)

1 portion pâte brisée (shortcrust dough)

240 g flour
1 tsp salt
140 g cold butter
1 dl water

750 g onions (yellow, red, shallots)
100 g bacon lardons

2 dl cream
1 dl milk
2 eggs
nutmeg (optional)

Prepare the shortcrust dough as previously described and refrigerate 30 min. Peel and slice onions (I chose to use several kinds of onions together), cook them with some butter in a pan until they become transparent (low-mid heat). Let them cool down. Grill the bacon lardons until golden and let them cool on kitchen paper to soak extra fat. In a bowl add milk and cream, and add eggs one by one while whisking. Add some pepper and nutmeg if you like.

Roll out the dough onto a buttered + floured pie form, fold in the edges and prick it with a fork. Bake in the oven 8 min at 200 C. Spread the bacon lardons on the pre-baked dough, add the cooked onions and finally the egg-cream mix. Bake in the oven approximately 30 min at 200 C. Serve with a small salad.

Adapted from:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin pie in the lab :-)

Now that I made a big stock of pumpkin purée I decided to use it further to make pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is great in November and especially for Thanksgiving, which wouldn't be a proper Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie.
I tried several recipes until getting one from my friend Scott and adapting it slightly to my taste. It's a soft and spicy pie based on homemade pumpkin purée and shortcrust dough. It's very easy and quick to prepare, takes about an hour to bake, and in the end it's delicious and fast to eat :-)

Recipe for a big pumpkin pie

5 dl pumpkin purée
4 dl (or 2x300 g tubes) of sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, beaten up
1.5 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ginger
0.5 tsp nutmeg
0.5 tsp cardamom
1 pinch of cloves
0.5 tsp salt
1.8 dl brown sugar
4-5 tbsp flour

Mix eggs, condensed milk, and pumpkin purée. Add spices and mix. Add sugar and flour and whisk. Roll out pâte brisée* into a buttered and floured pie form. Prick it with a fork and pour the batter in the pie form. Bake in the oven 15 min at 220 C then 50 min at 180 C.
Let it cool down and serve with whipped cream.

*Pâte brisée
240 g flour
140 g cold butter
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 dl cold water
Mix sugar, salt and flour. Mix butter in the flour with your hands and make crumbs. Add water and mix fast to make a dough. Refrigerate 30 min.