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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Quick and easy chocolate chip cake


This recipe of chocolate chip cake is extremely easy and fast to produce. My friend actually asked me one day whether I could make a quick and easy cake with melted chocolate in it, so I decided to take the base recipe of the Toscakaka, remove the almond crust and add chocolate chips instead. You can use this spongecake recipe as base for many cakes, including the Swedish midsummer strawberry cake, and adapt it to your taste with fruits, nuts, and chocolate.
The chocolate chip cake is perfect for kids and grownups who are craving for some melted chocolate in a cake and I recommend eating it still warm... it is so good!

Chocolate chip cake recipe:

2 eggs
2 dl sugar
50 g butter
1.25 dl milk
3 dl flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar
200 g chocolate, dark or bittersweet

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. Chop up the chocolate into chips and add half of it to the dough, mix. Transfer to a buttered and floured cake pan ans sprinkle the other half of chocolate chip on top of the cake. Bake approx. 25 min at 175C in the center of the oven.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pistachio paste




Pistachio paste is the pistachio equivalent of marzipan or almond paste. When made from fresh pistachio it is extremely tasty and much better than what is commercially available (and much cheaper too). I use it for ice-cream, cakes, and for my favorite apricot-pistachio tart.

Pistachio paste:

125 g peeled pistachios
35 g powder sugar
1-2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp water
2 drops of almond concentrate


Grind pistachios very finely. Add powder sugar and mix. Add liquids and mix into a paste (it should look like a green marsipan). Use right away or cover it with plastic wrap and freeze down. You can use it in ice-creams, cakes, fillings etc.

Adapted from: http://lucilevarnet.canalblog.com/archives/2012/09/21/25114591.html

Marzipan (almond paste)



Marzipan is a paste made of finely ground almonds mixed with sugar and some liquid to make it hold together. It is called "massepain" in French and "mandelmassa" in Swedish.

Marzipan:

200 g finely ground almonds (or almond flour)
200 g powder sugar
0.4-0.5 dl water
optional: a few drops of almond extract


Mix almonds and sugar. Add water bit by bit while mixing until obtaining a solid shiny paste. Form a roll with it and wrap it in plastic film. Store it in the freezer until further use (in for example kanelbullar / Swedish cinnamon buns).

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon buns)


Kanelbullar and kanellängder (cinnamon buns and rolls)




Kanelbullar, or Swedish cinnamon buns, are one of my favorite desserts ever. They are sweet cardamom-scented buns filled with butter, cinnamon, sugar and sometimes marzipan too. Kanebullar are very typical of Sweden where they are eaten all-year round typically for fika (afternoon coffee time with a pastry) but also as snack, breakfast...

They take quite some time to make (because of leavening times) but are otherwise very easy to produce (I made them as a kid on rainy afternoon with my girl friends). The dough is the same as for Semlor (almond-filled cream buns eaten on Mardi Gras in Sweden) and is the time-limiting factor in the recipe (basically the longer you let it leaven the longer it takes but the better they taste). The advantage however is that once they're baked you can easily freeze them down and keep them for the times you want a good Kanelbulle for dessert :-)

Recipe for about 40 buns or 4 rolls:

Dough:

150 g butter
5 dl milk
50 g yeast (fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
1 dl sugar
1 tsp cardamom
1.4-1.5 dl flour

Filling:

6 tbsp sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
150-200 g butter at room T
100-200 g marzipan* (optional)

Decoration:

some milk
pearl sugar
sliced almonds

Prepare the dough first. Melt butter in a saucepan, add milk and heat up to 37 C (fingerwarm). Break down the yeast in crumbs in a big bowl and dilute it with some of the butter-milk mix. Add the remainder liquid, salt, sugar, cardamom, and almost all flour. Mix into a dough, finalize the working on a floured table until it does not stick too much any more, and transfer it back to the bowl. Cover it with a cloth and let it leaven for at least 30 min (I recommend 1-1.5 hr... the longer the better). You do not want any draft in the kitchen at that point so I recommend putting the dough to leaven in the oven or in a closed space (closed windows).


While the dough is leavening, take the butter out for the filling. Cut the dough in 4 parts. On a floured table, roll out the dough into a square that's approx. 5 mm thick (not too thin so the dough breaks but also not too thick so you can roll the dough). Cover the whole surface with butter (a good nice layer, there's never too much butter here). Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the whole surface with it. Optional: add a thin layer or small pieces of marzipan* on top (I made 2 rolls with marzipan and 2 without, both were excellent). Roll up the dough (from the long side) tightly.


Here you can leave it as a roll and 1) make small incisions on the surface or 2) turn the roll into a flower roll by making deep incisions with scissors and folding over (shown below). Alternatively you can cut the roll in 2-3 cm thick slices and transfer them to buns forms. Transfer the rolls / buns to an oven plate covered with parchment paper and let them leaven for another 30 min. Paint the buns / rolls with milk and finally decorate them with pearl sugar (no marzipan) and / or sliced almonds (for the ones that have marzipan). Bake for apparox. 10-12 min at 225 C. Transfer to a grid to let them cool down.

Kanelbullar (buns)

Plain roll with incisions

Flower roll

*I make my own marzipan, you can find the recipe here

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gingersnap-Base Lime Mousse Cake






What kind of dessert can I make with limes that's going to be fresh, summery and leave you wanting for some more? That's the question I was facing last weekend after having bought a bag of limes and having no clue what to do with them. I searched the web for some inspiration, found and compiled a few recipes here and there, and finally designed my own recipe: a no-bake, no-egg, fresh and airy lime mousse cake with a gingersnap base :-)

The mousse is easy to prepare with the only technicality being the incorporation of the whipped cream into the fresh cheese mix. There is no baking involved in this recipe, meaning that you can do this without an oven. I advise you to prepare this dessert the night before or in the morning if you serve it in the evening in order to give the cream enough time to settle and stiffen. This recipe is also feasible with other citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit...) and you can adjust the sugar dose to your taste (i.e. depending on whether you like more or less acidic or sweet).

Try it yourself! When I made it for my friends, we all thought it was fresh and light, and the gingersnap base made for a great taste contrast and complement with the lime mousse. Alternatively, you can also prepare the mousse alone and prepare it in small cups and decorate it with lime zest!

Recipe for the Lime Mousse Cake

150 g gingersnaps (pepparkakor or speculoos)
80 g melted butter
3 limes, zest + juice
400 g fresh white cheese (I suggest 1/2 cream cheese and 1/2 low fat fresh cheese like faisselle)
90 g sugar
3 leaves gelatin
2.5 dl cream
25 g powder sugar



 

Crush the ginger snaps into crumbs, add zest of one lime and the melted butter. Mix into a paste and press it into a spring form. Refrigerate while preparing the mousse.
Drain the fresh white cheese, add the zest of 2 limes and sugar, and beat well. Wet the gelatin leaves in cold water. Gently heat up the lime juice (of 3 limes) and melt the (drained) gelatin in it. Add the lime juice/gelatin to the cheese mix while beating. In another bowl beat up the cream and add powder sugar towards the end to make the beaten cream "tighter". Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cheese mix and then transfer to the spring form on top of the ginger snap layer. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hrs. Finally decorate with some lime slices or grated lime.