Category Archives: fika

How to make Puff Pastry

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I have a confession, I love puff pastry! This buttery and flaky pastry works equally well with sweet or savory dishes. And luckily it’s not that hard to make yourself. A little time consuming, yes. But you can definitely do it and it will surely impress your guests! In between folds you can take care of laundry, read a book, organise your pantry or go for a run. You can also do some other cooking experiment or have a friend over for wine.  So roll up your sleeves and get ready to roll.

Puff Pastry
about 1¼ lb (560 grams) puff pastry

1 ¾ cups (8.75 ounces, 250 grams) all-purpose flour (extra if needed) 
14 tablespoons (7 ounces, 200 grams) unsalted butter
½ to 1 teaspoon salt, optional
½ cup (130 ml) ice water

Place all-purpose flour directly onto a flat surface, preferably a cold material such as a stone or stainless steel counter top. Cut 3.5 tablespoons (1.75 ounces, 50 grams) of the butter in smaller pieces and pinch the butter into the flour until you have a coarse crumb. Don’t over work, you should still have bits of butter in there. Make a well in the crumbly dough and poor in the ice cold water. Work together quickly and form a rough ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

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Shape the remaining butter, 10.5 tablespoons (5.25 ounces, 150 grams) into an approximately 5 inch (about 13 cm) square block. Wrap in plastic foil and refrigerate.

Assembly
Cut a deep cross in the dough ball. Fold every corner out and roll the dough with a rolling pin to an approximately 8 inch (20 cm) square. Place the butter block diagonally on top of the dough. Fold every corner into the middle (without stretching), like folding an envelope. Pinch the seams together slightly.

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1st – 2nd fold
Turn the package up side down. Dust a little flour on both sides and roll it out carefully to approximately 12 inch (about 30 cm) square. Make a three fold (like folding a letter, see diagram). Flatten the fold slightly and fold a 2nd time the other way. Cover the dough and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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3rd – 4th fold
Roll the dough to approximately a 13 inch (33 cm) square. Make one 3 fold one way and another 3 fold the other way. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5th – 6th fold
Repeat as in 3rd – 4th fold.
Let the dough rest again for 30 minutes before using. If using it later, freeze in a well wrapped freezing bag, whole or in pieces with wax paper in between.

tips
* keep all ingredients cold
* don’t overwork the dough
* if your kitchen is very hot you will need to rest the dough in the fridge between every fold.
* if you feel that the dough starts to get too warm, refrigerate immediately
* before baking shaped pastries let them rest for 15 minutes on a cold baking sheet before baking them in the oven, it will keep the shape better

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suggested things to do with puff pastry

Caramelized Apple Tarte by Clotilde Dusoulier
Palmiers by London Eats
Peach Tarts with Goat Cheese & Honey by Some the Wiser
Joulutorttu (Finnish Christmas Tarts) by My Dear Kitchen in Helsinki
Butternut Squash and Pecorino Tart by Karen Biton-Cohen @ The Kitchn
Almost a Pissalasiere by La Tartine Gourmande

 

Fika with Tea

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On Sunday, March 13, I will be hosting a Tea and Fika event in my kitchen with tea specialist Rachel Safko and Swedish cookie maker Ulrika Pettersson from Unna Bakery (NYC).

Rachel, who recently wrote an article about the Swedish Fika tradition for Edible Manhattan in their latest drink issue, will share some of her knowledge about tea and suggestions for pairing tea with snacks. Ulrika and I will share our experience of fika (Swedish for coffee break) and the Swedish cookie tradition. Together we will guide you through a tasting menu consisting of five different teas paired with treats.

So if you want to learn more about the art of tea and Swedish treats, you are most welcome. We have limited spots for this cozy gathering. Hope to see you there.

SUNDAY, MARCH 13
4-6 p.m. (Please arrive at 4 o’clock)
location: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (you will receive directions with ticket order but it’s close to both C and G).
price: $30 person


SOLD OUT!!!

Please note that the tickets are transferable but not refundable!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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We will set up a special shop prior to the event, where we will have Unna Bakery cookies and signed Fika books for a special price. Johanna is also planning to have a few Fika and Tea related prints available. If you already have the Fika book, please bring it along and she will sign it.

A little background about your hosts

Rachel Safko is a Brooklyn-based journalist and tea specialist, who writes about everything from French couture to ancient Yixing teapots. Her most recent articles include a feature on tea and food pairing for Fresh Cup Magazine and the Swedish art of fika for Edible Manhattan.

Ulrika Pettersson is a Swede who’s been living in New York for the last five years. To honor the Swedish heritage she started Unna Bakery with the purpose of making traditional Swedish cookies. Unna Bakery cookies are handmade in Harlem and use mostly organic ingredients for uncompromised quality.

Johanna Kindvall is an illustrator and recipe creator from Sweden who lives in Brooklyn. Her latest book is Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break (Ten Speed, 2015). The book was a collaboration with food writer Anna Brones. Johanna is also the creator of the illustrated cooking blog Kokblog.

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Similar events

Glöggmingel with Madame Fromage, 2015
How to host a Fika & Cheese Party (Madame Fromage), 2015

 

Glöggmingel with Madame Fromage

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It’s getting cold out there so it’s time to cook comforting stews, soups with dark rye bread or have tea with cookies crawled up on the sofa. Another combo that works is to host a Fika & Cheese party with glögg. And this is exactly what Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage I did in Philly the other day.

I arrived by bus with loaves of rye bread,  thin crisps with caraway seeds and ginger cookies while Tenaya unwrapped incredibly luscious cheeses that I had been dreaming of for weeks (and still do). Together we fired up some spicy glögg (image above) just before our guests filled the kitchen/ living room with joyful cheese & baking conversations while we were munching away.  One of our guests, cheesemaker Sue Miller from Birchrun Hill Farm came with some of their ‘mind blowing’ blue cheeses. Another guest, Marisa McClellan from Food in Jars brought pickled kohlrabi and honey-sweetened jam that matched our cheese & fika board beautifully.

In Sweden we would call this kind of party glöggmingel (mingle with mulled wine), a party that often is held in December prior to Christmas.

Want to host a party like this? Then you should continue reading about the party over at Madame Fromage’s blog. Tenaya brings you behind the scenes and reveals how to successfully host a party like this.

I especially want to thank Tenaya and Todd for having me in your kitchen. It was wonderful to finally meet you in person. And thanks to everyone who came and made this event into an inspiring and fun party.

Cheers!

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related links

Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall
Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings by Tenaya Darlington (I love this book!!!)
Glögg – Swedish Mulled Wine
Lussekatter recipe by Anna Brones with illustrated shapes by me
Pepparkakor (ginger cookies) by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall at Ecosalon
Knäckebröd (thin crisps) with wild fennel – baked in Sicily
Fika & Cheese Party (original invitation)

Fika & Cheese Party with Madame Fromage (Philadelphia)

A Fika Party with Madame Fromage (Philadelphia)

Saturday November 7, Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage will be hosting an afternoon Fika with me at her house in Philadelphia. And we both would love you to join us.
For the occasion, we’re designing a cozy mulled wine gathering with fika treats and cheese. There will be a variety of bread and cookie samples  from the fika book and Tenaya will specially design a luscious cheese board to match the treats. There will also be a baking demonstration and I will show you one of the best ways to make glögg (Swedish mulled wine). Tenaya will give you her personal stories behind the selected cheeses.

We are both super excited to see you there. And I’m also thrilled to finally meet Tenaya, who has been one of my favorite blogger and food writers for years. Last year we collaborated on an illustrated cheese calender, which resulted in four seasonal cheese posts (see links below).  I’m super honored that she wants to host this little cheese salon with me, for you.

The Fika book and Tenaya’s wonderful cheese book will be on sale at the party. You can pre order them to a special price when you purchase your ticket. I will also have a few fika and cheese prints for sale at the party.

If you want to know more about fika and how to pair it with cheese you are most welcome. We have 15 spots for this special fika hour.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7  4-6 p.m.
price: $20 person
Total spots: 15

SOLD OUT!
Psst did you miss this? Well you can easily host one yourself! Here, Tenaya brings you behind the scenes and reveals how successfully host a Fika & Cheese party at home.

A little background about your hosts

Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage is a cheese blogger and writer in Philadelphia. Her latest book, Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings. At the moment she is finishing up her next cookbook which is a cocktail collaboration with her brother André Darlington.

Johanna Kindvall is a blogger and illustrator from Sweden who lives in Brooklyn. Her latest book is Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Breads, Pastries, and Other Treats (Ten Speed, 2015), by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall.

The Cheese Calendar 
Winter Blues: A Pairing Party for 8 to 12 (part 4)
Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part 3)
Late Summer Cheese Picnic (part 2)
Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer (part 1)

Celebrating with Cardamom Buns

Today (October 4) is the kanelbullens dag (Cinnamon Bun Day) in Sweden. Swedes call these type of buns Vetebullar (wheat buns) which refers to the sweet yeast dough that can be baked plain or filled with different types of fillings such as cinnamon, almond paste, vanilla or cardamom. In my opinion, kardemummabullen (the cardamom bun) is the queen of Vetebullar and I think she (and the others) deserves to be celebrated on this day too.

Another good reason to bake these buns is that just a few days ago my book Fika turned 6 months old. The book is doing really well so I’m extra thrilled having some buns with you today.

To make it even more festive I have added some ground almonds to the cardamom filling. I also topping the buns with cardamom sugar, which made these buns super cardamom rich. If you want to minimize the sugar intake, you can top the buns with slivered almonds.

Happy bun day!

Kardemummabullar (Cardamom Buns)
Adapted from the recipe in the book Fika – The Art of Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall

makes 30 buns

dough
7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups (360 milliliters) milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4½ cups (1 3/8 pounds, 638 grams) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1.75 ounces, 50 grams) natural cane sugar
1½ teaspoons whole cardamom seeds, crushed with mortar & pestle
¼ teaspoon salt

filling
½ cup (2½ ounces, 70 grams) blanched almonds
7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) natural cane sugar
4 teaspoons whole cardamom seeds, crushed with mortar & pestle

topping
cardamom sugar:
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cardamom powder.
or slivered almonds
1 egg, beaten

Prepare the dough: Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the milk. Heat until it’s warm to the touch (about 110°F/43°C). In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 3 tablespoons of the butter & milk mixture. Mix and let sit for a few minutes until bubbles form.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt. Add the yeast along with the remaining butter & milk. Work together with a dough whisk or with your hands until you can shape the dough into a ball. Transfer dough to your countertop and knead for about 3 – 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough should feel moist. If the dough feels sticky, add a little bit more flour. You can check if you are done kneading by making a slice into the dough with a sharp knife. If you see even small air bubbles throughout, you are done. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm and draft-free place until almost double in size, about 1 hour.

Grease a baking sheet or place medium paper liners on the sheet.

For the filling, grind the blanched almonds in a food processor together with the sugar until just slightly coarse. Add the butter in small portions at the time. Lastly, add the crushed cardamom. Mix until an even spreadable paste.


When the dough has finished rising, take half of the dough and place it on a flat surface. Roll it out with a rolling pin to an 11 x 17 inch (28 x 43 cm) rectangle. Spread half of the filling on top of the rolled-out dough so that it covers the whole area (see diagram). Grab one of the edge of one of the long sides, fold it over so it meets the other side (like folding a paper on the middle, see illustrated diagram above). Slice the folded dough into 15 equal stripes. Stretch & twist every stripe and swirl them up to a nice bun (see video). Place each of them on a the greased baking sheet or in a paper liner. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and let rise for about 45 – 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 435°F (225°C).

When the buns have risen and you are ready to bake the buns, brush every bun with beaten egg and sprinkle each with cardamom sugar .

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with a tea towel to cool. Serve freshly baked or freeze when they are completely cooled.

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related links

 Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) – kokblog recipe

• More bun shapes and a sneak peek into my kitchen over at Pantry Confidential

How to twist Cinnamon Buns by Brontë Aurell, ScandiKitchen café. Video by Ryland Peters & Small

• want more?  Check out –> Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. The cookbook is all illustrated by me, Johanna Kindvall and the recipes are created and developed together with Anna Brones. Published by Ten Speed Press. You can get the book here (see more shopping links in the left sidebar).