Saturday, 29 August 2015

Farmors kanelbullar and an excursion into a wildness

It has been three amazing weeks here in Sweden and tomorrow we are flying back home to Spain. Time passed so quickly and somehow we wish we would have additional couple of weeks to spend here. 

Today I am going to share probably the most famous Swedish recipe calls "kanelbullar" which are Swedish cinnamon rolls. My mother in law is making the best kanelbullar in the world if you ask me and Pablo and my husband and so on....she has quite a big fan audience when it comes to this fine yeast dough pastry. After so many years I was finally involved in the making process and learned some cool tricks from her, which I am going to share with you too. The yeast dough is done with fresh yeast, I am usually using dry yeast, as I am not always sure how to treat fresh yeast, my mother in law showed me a trick which makes it so easy to use and I think from now one I will use fresh yeast more often....

Pablo was helping us with the preparation having so much fun spending some time in the kitchen with his farmor and mom, being involved in the whole preparing process and not only the eating part. I would call this recipe very kids friendly as there some steps which can be done by the kids...starting with measuring the ingredients and putting them into the kitchen aid, sprinkle cinnamon and coarse sugar and of course the testing should see the glow in his eyes when the kanelbullar were ready....priceless!

Kanelbullar ( Swedish cinnamon rolls)
  • 50 g fresh yeast
  • 500 ml milk warm
  • 100 g sugar or 100 ml sugar syrup (white)
  • 1/5 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 700 g flour
  • 150 g butter room temprature
  • extra butter for the filling
  • ground cinnamon
  • coarse sugar / white crystal sugar ( Hagelzucker)
  • egg
Put the yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar into the kitchenaid bowl using the paddle attachment and mix for half of a minute, till the yeast becomes all liquid (first trick from my mother in law). Add warm milk, sugar or sugar syrup, salt and one part of a flour, mix for a minute. Add cardamom, butter and another part of flour (leave about 100 g out), mix till all well combined. Check on the dough if it is still a bit too sticky, add more flour...spoon wise. The dough should not be too sticky but also not too firm. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-40 minutes till doubled in size. Please make sure there is no air draft, which is not good for the raising process.
Preheat the oven to 180C and put about 16 paper muffin cups on a baking tray. Divide the dough in 2-3 equal parts. Take one part of the dough and roll it to a square, using more flour to prevent the dough to stick to a surface. Spread a very thin layer of butter, sprinkle cinnamon and coarse sugar on top (another trick from my mother in law, as too much butter and normal sugar will be too runny) and roll it up to a dough roll. Cut the roll in equal size pieces. Put one piece each into a muffin paper cup, brush it with a beaten egg and sprinkle more coarse sugar on top. Bake for ca. 15 minutes till all golden brown. Proceed with the rest of the dough as described above. Serve the kanellbullar still warm with a glas of a cold milk...

You will get lots of kanelbullar out of this recipe so you can either half the recipe or freeze the baked kanelbullar (after they cooled completely). They are perfect to freeze and can be stored in the freezer for a couple of months. You can either heat them up in a microwave or oven and they will still taste like freshly made (also a trick from my mother in law).

After being so productive in the kitchen, we actually did the double of the you can imagine with how many kanelbullar we ended up and having quite some of them for an afternoon coffee we decided to have a walk at the beach. That day the weather was not as sunny as before, it was a bit windy and the sea was rather rough and wild...which had a special magic to it. It was just the three of us at the deserted beach of Stennige, which was so cool. We could do some nice picture, exploring some of the unknown corners of the beach, admiring the rough nature, fighting against the wind and working up on all the eaten kanelbullar before....



Friday, 21 August 2015

Waffles for lunch and gorgeous sunset for dinner

Yesterday my mother in law spontaneously decided to do waffles for lunch.... Such a perfect surprise for all of us, especially for Pablo....he would not stop laughing and babbling away being so happy having something else for lunch. He is really enjoying his vacation, being spoiled by his farmor (grandma in Swedish)....

Swedish waffles are slightly different, at least they were to me, when I tried them the first time. In Germany you know them sweet, fluffy and rather thicker. In Sweden however they are thin and crisp and are prepared without any sugar. They can be eaten either sweet, usually with strawberry jam and whipped cream very typical for Sweden or savoury with cheese and ham. Waffles are really a big deal in Sweden, they even have an official waffle day...25th of March is the day where most of Swedish families will be having waffles. A day before my birthday actually, so very fitting, as my husband would always make waffles for us, that way we always have two special days in a row.....

Our favourite combination are waffles with strawberry puree and vanilla ice cream... But you can enjoy it with anything you like, fresh fruits or berries, jam, fruit compote, vanilla whipped cream or with yogurt or quark and herbs, as a starter for dinner or a small snack during the day. What I personally love about waffles is the fact that you can eat them at any time of the day for breakfast, brunch, lunch as we did it yesterday or as a starter or dessert for dinner.

Yesterday, I actually learned a super trick from my mother in law, how to keep the waffles warm and crispy till all batter is finished. Put on the oven to 100 C leaving only the grid oven rack inside, as soon as your first waffles are done put them on the grid into the preheated oven...continue till all batter is finished. It is so simple I know and probably you know it already, to me however it was new.... As I mentioned already, waffles are a very big deal in Sweden and they know all the tricks in the book..

Swedish waffles
  • 50g melted butter
  • 150g flour
  • 1 teaspoon backing powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 400 ml milk
In a bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Pour in half of the milk, start whisking from the center outward, add the remaining milk mix till all well combined. Finally add melted butter and incorporate it into the batter. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. You shall get rather liquid batter. Pour some of the batter into the hot waffle form and bake till ready. Take the waffles out and put them into the preheated oven...

Strawberry puree topping
  • strawberries (fresh or frozen, if using frozen unfroze them before)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • lime juice (optional)
Put everything in a food processor and blend for couple of seconds....till you will get a desired texture...I like it still with some bigger bits of berries.

Quark with herbs topping
  • quark
  • chopped fresh herbs (whatever you like)
  • salt and pepper
Combine quark and herbs, season well with salt and pepper.


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Wedding anniversary and princess torta

Yesterday we celebrated the 6th anniversary of our marriage. It is amazing how fast time past. I still remember all the details of preparation, me being super nervous and excited at the same time and me being late to my own wedding, putting my husband to the next level of stress and him being sick and worry I would not make it in time....

We are having a lot of fun remembering all the stories today, back then however it was not really funny. I do remember my "nearly" nervous breakdown when we finally reached the church, falling into the arms of the priest saying hundred times how sorry I was and him being all peaceful and balanced trying to calm me down. The reason for me being late was the missing petticoat....without which the whole wedding outfit would not work out. You probably can see, why we all were freaky back then and why it is so funny remembering the story today. Besides of this "little" accident everything else worked out just perfectly. We had delicious food, super party with tons of fun and dancing and an outstanding wedding cake. 

Of course, for me the wedding cake was a very important part of the should be nothing fancy or extraordinary, but something what tastes great. Simple ingredients, light, fluffy with a taste of summer. Couple of weeks before the wedding, we happened to visit a wedding exhibition and there it was where we found our cake. It was a summer modified version of princess torta with a taste of strawberries, made by a girl whose father owns a cake shop here in the area (we got married in Sweden). She was home staying mom who had a passion for baking and wanted to try something different. She was not really counting on any orders or so and was just as delighted to hear that her cake was a success, as we that she would accept our request to make our wedding cake. 

Long story short, yesterday I decided to make a pricess torta for our special day....not the exact replica of our wedding cake, but my version of this delicious Swedish classical cake. I know you shall never praise your own work that obviously, but  I have to say the result was just phenomenal, beyond all words. This cake was such a divine, each piece like a small fluffy cloud of vanilla, cream and raspberry melting in your mouth. Vanilla was the twisting part of my version, mainly because I am nuts about vanilla and because in my opinion vanilla and cream are always meant to be together...

It was the first time I made this cake, the preparation itself is easy, however you would need some time to prepare all parts of this cake, as well as to have it assembled. The marzipan covering part might be quite challenging, even so I am used to work with fondant on my cakes...this is slightly different as marzipan is bit more sticky and you do cover a big cloud of whisked cream, which means you have to be very gentle with no pressure at all. You can see my covering part was not as neat as it should be and I definitely need more practise here...

Swedish Princess torta

Vanilla cream

  • 500 ml milk
  • 80 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 30 g butter cold cut in cubes
Pour the milk into a saucepan, leave 5 tablespoons out which will be use in a later stage. Open the vanilla pod, with a back of the knife scrape out the vanilla seeds, save half of the seeds for later. Add sugar, vanilla seeds and vanilla pod to the milk and heat it up. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks, remaining milk and cornstarch. Once the milk starts to cook, lower the heat and add the cornstarch-egg yolks mixture. Whisk the milk while adding it and continue whisking to avoid clumps and burning. Cook for couple of minutes till the cream starts to thicken. Take out the vanilla pod, pour the vanilla cream in a bowl and add the cube at the time, whisk till all butter dissolves then add another cube, till all butter is used. Take a plastic wrap and cover the surface of vanilla cream to avoid a skin. Let it cool....
The vanilla cream can be done in advanced, as you will need some time to get it cooled to be able to work with it. You can also use pre-made vanilla cream from your store or use a vanilla pudding powder to make the vanilla cream.

Cake sponge
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 120 g sugar
  • vanilla sugar
  • 120 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon backing powder
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line the baking form with baking paper (no fat!). Whisk egg whites, eggs, vanilla sugar and sugar with an electrical mixer till doubled in size and pale in the colour. Sift in flour and baking powder. With a spatula fold it the flour till all incorporated. Pour the batter into the baking form and bake for 20 minutes (till golden brown). Let it cool on a cooling rack.

  • raspberry jam (get thread of seeds)
  • 500 ml double cream (cold)
  • vanilla seeds (you saved from before)
  • 80 g powdered sugar (sifted)
  • marzipan (store bought)
  • vanilla cream
  • marzipan decoration 
Cut your sponge in 2 or 3 cake layers (depending on how big your baking form was). My was a bit bigger and I could only get 2 layers. Whisk the double cream, with powdered sugar and vanilla seeds, till firm peaks starts to form. Take the first cake layer and put 2-3 tablespoons of raspberry jam, then put a thick layer of vanilla cream closing up with a thin layer of whisked double cream. Repeat with all remaining layers. Cover the cake with remaining whisked double cream and shape a sort of a dome out of the cream....building the typical form of this cake, see pictures below. At last cover the cake with the marzipan and decorate it with a marzipan rose. 
I have to admit here in Sweden you can buy the marzipan already pre-rolled and in an exact size and colour you would need it for a princess cake, so this step was quite easy for me...Same is valid for the decoration, a typical rose in the middle of the cake.


P.S. Schatz das ist für Dich. Danke für die wunderschöne sechs Ehe-Jahre!!! Ich liebe Dich!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

BBQ with friends and kärleksmums cake

The other day,  we were invited to a BBQ party from our friends from Germany, who are actually also spending their holidays in Sweden. It is funny for the last 3 years we were not able to meet up either in Spain or Germany, it needed to be a summer vacation in Sweden to meet up again. They rented a house in the middle of the forest in the south Swedish country side and we spent an amazing day together.

Sweden is famous for nature, many many lakes and amazing forests. So if you like all these, you shall definitely spend your next summer vacation in Sweden. Almost all of the lakes are equipped with an picnic area, bath house and toilets, which gives you a perfect opportunity to spend a day outside with your family and friends. And since they do have so many many many of them you will always find your privacy, as the lakes are not overcrowded as we know it from Germany or Spain.

Together with my friend Carola we prepared a delicious pasta salad for the grilled meat, experimenting with different ingredients we could find in the fridge and the garden. The salad taste great the day after too, which makes it a perfect recipe for any parties, where you can prepare some of the food in advance...

Pasta salad with pesto and feta cheese
  • cooked pasta
  • some fresh tomatoes
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • feta cheese
  • black olives
  • green pesto
  • salt, pepper
  • fresh herbs
Put the cooked pasta into a big bowl. Cut the tomatoes, dry tomatoes, feta cheese and add it to the cooked pasta. Half the olives and chop the herbs (we used spring onions and mint leaves), add everything to the pasta mix. Finally add the pesto and season well with salt and pepper. Mix well and let it rest for half an hour.

The ingredients can vary from what you like and what your refrigerator is offering....The leftovers can be used for a picnic the day after..picnic at the beach, in the forest or one of the 1000 lakes here in Sweden...

For dessert I prepared something typical Swedish, the "kärleksmums" cake...."kärlek" stands for love and "mums" for I would call it "Yummy Love cake". It is a classical chocolate cake with a great taste of chocolate and coffee. The cake is addictive and is another perfect recipe for you can prepare it way in advanced. It taste even better the day after and can be stored in the fridge up to one week, without losing on taste but rather getting better and better. The cake is also perfect to be frozen and can be stored up to two month in the freezer...

Kärlekmums - Yummy Love cake
  • 225 g butter
  • 200 ml milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 300 g sugar
  • 70 g unsweetened cacao
  • vanilla 
  • 400 g flour
  • 3 teaspoons backing powder
Preheat the oven to 180 C. In a saucepan heat up the milk and the butter till butter is melted. In a big bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla till all fluffy and sugar is nearly dissolved. In an extra bowl sift together cacao, flour and backing powder. Add one/third part of milk-butter mixture to the egg mixture, mix well. Add one/third part of cacao-flour mixture, mix well. Continue till all milk-butter and cacao-flour mixture is used. Pour the batter into 30x40 cm square baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 espresso cup strong coffee
  • 50 g unsweetened cacao powder
  • vanilla
  • 300 g powdered sugar
  • shredded coconut flakes
In a saucepan melt the butter and let is cool for couple of minutes. Add coffee and vanilla, mix briefly. Sift cacao powder and powdered sugar, mix till all the ingredients are well combined with no clumps left. Pour chocolate-coffee ganache over the hot cake and top it with coconut flakes. Let the cake rest.

My chocolate-coffee ganache looks a bit runny (on the picture obove), this is because I used bit more coffee to it, as I wanted the cake being soaked by all the chocolate-coffee goodness as much as possible. 



P.S. Carola Süsse....das ist für Dich. Es war wiedermal super schön Euch wiederzusehen und das nächste Mal sollten wir keine 3 Jahre ins Land ziehen lassen, bis wir uns wiedersehen!!! Küsschen an die kleine Maus!!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Finally vacation and blueberry muffins for breakfast

We are having vacation....finally!!! As usual we would spend the summer vacation with our family...this time in Sweden. Spain became too hot for us and we have been waiting for the nice cool of in Sweden for some time now (for me it felt like ages).

Visiting my parents in law is always fun, this year however it is even more special as my mother in law got a new kitchen!!!! Yes, yes new kitchen!!! We arrived Sunday evening and as soon as I found myself in that kitchen I could not stop imaging all the dishes I am going to prepare. My mother in law is a great cook, having all the required kitchen tools and essentials I need. First thing she did, was introducing the kitchen to me...explaining where I can find all the tools and ingredients for baking and where I can find the dishes for pies and quiches. A perfect start into vacation, would you not agree?

Monday was reserved for shopping....buying ingredients for baking and yet another bowl I could not resist to leave behind in the shop. Cupcake paper shells somehow find their way in my shopping bag too, along with some decoration and even more ingredients....

I am a big fan of blueberries, people knowing me and following my blog would not be surprised about this statement. And so, my opening baking dish to start our vacation became the "blueberry muffin". I made them for breakfast, but then we found ourselves eating them throughout the day...

The recipe for the base batter is an outcome of many many tries of muffin making....modifying it to perfection and becoming one of my signature dish. I still remember, many many years ago when I first made muffins the feedback was rather poor, it was my neighbour who said...she likes the taste but somehow the muffin taste dry....I took the feedback seriously, working on having the recipe improved.... There is nothing special involved in this recipe, besides of one of my favourite cooking and baking ingredient calls "creme fraiche" and lots of beating and beating and beating.....

 Blueberry muffin with oatmeal streussel

  • 2-3 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 125 g butter (melted)
  • 3-4 tablespoons creme fraiche (be generous)
  • 180 g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 25 g butter (cold, cut in cubes)
  • 50 g flour
  • 30 g sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons oatmeal flakes
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line the muffin tin with muffin paper shells. In big bowl beat the eggs and the sugar till the mixture has doubled in size and all the sugar is dissolved. Add melted butter (make sure it is not too hot when you pour it in) and creme fraiche. Beat another minute, till everything is well combined. Sift the flour and baking powder and add it to the egg-butter mixture. Mix quickly. Finally add the blueberries and fold them gently in with the spatula, making sure the berries are not breaking if using fresh once. Divide the batter into 12 muffins.
In a small bowl add cold butter, flour, sugar and oatmeal flakes, mix it all with your hands till you get nice chunky streussel. Sprinkle the streussel on top of each muffin (about 1 tablespoon). Bake for 30-35 minutes, till golden brown (do the stick test). 

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