Category Archives: fika

Ana’s Hazelnut Cake with Dark Chocolate

At the beginning of the summer I spotted a cake on twitter that I just couldn’t resist. It was a Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake by Ana Vega. The cake is not a dessert cake, its more like a breakfast cake or something perfect for an afternoon cup of tea. From Ana I later learned that the cake was a remake of her Plum cake corriente y moliente (plum cake with dried fruits). Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Ana runs the cake & dessert blog Biscayenne (all in Spanish) where she share recipes and stories from her tiny kitchen in Bilbao. She also has an online vintage shop with pretty cutlery, porcelain and other kitchenware.

I have now baked this cake several times and just a few weeks ago I added some black cherries to the cake. It made it very moist and delicious. The cherries worked really well with the dark chocolate. I can also imagine adding some banana but in the end its absolutely fine just as it is.
I have only made a few changes to the recipe: Instead of regular sugar I used brown sugar. I also reduced the sugar as I wanted a less sweet cake, which Ana also suggest when using fruit in the cake.

Ana’s Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate

180g (7/8 Cup) brown sugar
3 eggs
250g (1 2/3 cup) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g (a little more than 4 oz) butter
150g (1 cup) hazelnuts
60g (70%) (about 2 oz) dark chocolate

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Mill the hazelnuts finely in a food processor or nut grinder. (If you don’t have either just chop it finely). Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Beat eggs and sugar together before adding flour and baking powder. Blend well together to avoid any floury lumps in the batter. Pour in the melted butter and stir together before adding the milled hazelnuts and the chocolate.
Grease a loaf tin or similar mold and pour the batter into it. Bake the cake for 15 minutes 355°F (180°C). Lower the heat to 320°F (160°C) and continue baking until the top has a brown crisp crust and a toothpick comes out dry (about 40-45 minutes).

Enjoy at breakfast, brunch or with an afternoon tea!

This article was originally published at Honest Cooking on 12 September 2012

 

Ginger & Lime Tart

Like several other countries Sweden celebrates name days, which means that every single day of the year has a specific name of a person. For some people (for example, my mother in law) the name day is more important than their own birthday. For others it’s just an ordinary day.

In the middle of July, Swedes celebrates fruntimmersveckan (the week of the ladies) which is a week when there are six women’s names in a row. This week is especially interesting if you are into cakes. Traditionally you need to bake a different cake for each woman who has their name-day this week. As I’m one of the six ladies I will celebrate as follows…

Cherry & Almond Clafoutis with Cognac for Sara on the 19 July

Red Currant Tart for Margareta on the 20 July

Lime & Ginger Tart for Johanna on the 21 July (see below)

Rhubarb & Meringue Cake for Magdalena on 22 July

Lemon & Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate for Emma on 23 July

Chocolate Caramel Tart for Kristina on 24 July

Johanna’s Ginger & Lime Tart

This Ginger & Lime cake has a nice combination of a sweet cookie like pie shell with a sour ginger-rich filling. It can be served as is or with freshly whipped cream.

Dough
1 ¼ cup (170 g) flour
100 g (3.5 oz) butter
4 tablespoon sucanat
a splash of cold water

Filling
3 eggs
2/3 cup (150 ml ) sugar (works with either white or brown)
7/8 cup (200 ml ) cream
Grated peel from one lime
Juice from 2 limes
1 inch (2 ½ cm) piece of ginger

Decoration (optional)
Powdered sugar

Mix together butter, flour and sugar with your bare hands. When the butter is well divided, add a splash of water and work the dough well. After the dough has rested for half an hour in the fridge, line the dough in a 9 ½ inch (24 cm) springform or similar. Bake the tart shell at 400ºF (200ºC) for about 15 minutes. The shell should start to get some nice color.

Let the pie shell cool while you whip together egg and sugar until fluffy. Add the cream and blend well together before adding lime and ginger. Adjust the flavor with more or less ginger and lime to your liking. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake in the oven at 400ºF (200ºC) for about 20 minutes. The filling should have set. Let the cake cool down before dusting some powdered sugar over. Enjoy!

This article was originally published at EcoSalon on 19 July 2012

Mazariner – a Swedish Pastry Classic (collaboration)

Story by Anna Brones • Illustration by Johanna Kindvall • Recipe by both

Put two Swedes who love to cook in a kitchen together and there will be an immediate discussion of what baked good needs to be concocted for afternoon coffee. After all, we don’t mess around with our coffee breaks, and a serious coffee break deserves a serious pastry. So we settled on mazariner.

Mazariner are the darling of Swedish cafes, a balance of buttery pastry and almond filling topped with a thin layer of icing; the type of thing you bite into and wonder where this food has been all of your life. They’re just fancy enough that you don’t keep them on hand at all times, but you don’t have to put them on a serving tray.

Made in small oval tart tins, they can seem daunting to make, but as it turns out, are easy enough that you don’t need to cruise to your local IKEA to track down the mass produced version – although they do have them if you’re in a Swedish food pinch.

Our recipe search started with a few Swedish cookbooks and a call to my mother who was immediately reciting the ingredients from a page she had ripped out of a Swedish magazine sometime in the late 80s – when you come across a good recipe, you hold on to it. Johanna, being a more skilled pastry “chef” than myself did a creative combination of the many versions, and we both decided that plain icing just wouldn’t suffice. Add a little orange juice and you have a real masterpiece.

Make a batch of these, brew a French press and it will almost be like you’re sitting at a cafe in Stockholm. Almost.

mazariner

dough
7 oz butter (almost 2 sticks)
2 cups regular flour
¼ cup sucanat or organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons whole cardamom (crushed in a mortar, or slightly ground in a coffee grinder)
one small egg

filling
one cup blanched, ground almonds (can be replaced with almond meal)
2 bitter almonds (about 1 teaspoon almond extract, or more depending on how strong you want the taste)
2.5 oz butter
½ cup sucanat or organic cane sugar
3 small eggs

icing
juice from an orange
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

In a large wide bowl cream together butter, egg and sugar. With your hands, mix in flour – this can be done either in the bowl or directly on a clean counter top. Crush the cardamom with a mortar and pestle as fine as you wish. If you don’t have a mortar or grinder, you can use pre-ground cardamom. Add it to the dough and blend well. Let the dough rest in a cool place for at least 30 minutes.

While the pastry dough rests, blanch the almonds by pouring boiling hot water over them and letting soak for a few minutes. They are ready when the skin slips off easily. Skin all of the almonds and grind them into a fine meal in a food processor. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and set aside to cool. Whisk the eggs together with sugar to a porous batter and add in almonds, almond extract (if you didn’t use bitter almonds) and butter. Stir together until well blended.
Grease small tartlet tins* (see illustration above) with butter. Line the molds with a thin layer of dough (about 1/8”) and fill them almost to the top with the almond mixture. If there is any leftover dough you can freeze it and use it some other time.
Bake in the oven at 400°F for about 15 minutes. The cakes should have got a slightly brown color on top. Let them cool a little before removing the cakes from the mold.

While the mazariner bake, prepare the icing. In a small bowl add the confectioner’s sugar and drip in some orange juice. The icing should be a little thick but still easy to drizzle over the mazariner. Wait until the mazariner have cooled before icing them.

Serve the mazariner for an afternoon tea or coffee break, you’re sure to make some new friends if you pull these out.

*If you don’t have small single cake molds as described you can use mini muffin trays or similar forms. In Sweden, disposable aluminum forms are often used, but stay away from single-use containers and do the best with what you have. We always encourage creativity!

Other Swedish baked classics

Semlor – cardamom rich bun is filled with almond paste and heavy whipped cream
Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Bun
Lussebullar – Saffron Buns
Pepparkakor – Ginger Bread Cookies (at EcoSalon)

This article was originally published at EcoSalon, 15 May 2012

 

Gingerbread Cookies (Pepparkakor)

My memories of making gingerbread cookies (pepparkakor) are limited to my childhood when my sister and I rolled out dough and cutout shapes like the classic gingerbread men, women and pigs. It was fun for awhile, but our efforts only used up half the dough before my mother took over and cut out about 100 more. There were always too many gingerbread cookies in the house, no one seemed to eat them so they often lasted until Easter. At which point my mother had enough and fed them to the birds.

My mother’s cooking has always been a great inspiration but I’m afraid to say that gingerbread cookies isn’t one of them. So I decided to asked Anna Brones to join me in a gingerbread post. While creating the article together, I realized what my mother’s dough was missing. Anna (and her mother) always doubled the spices!
Read Anna’s gingerbread story at EcoSalon.

 

Anna’s Pepparkakor (Gingerbread Cookies)
(about 75-100 cookies)

¼ cup (50 ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup (150 ml) light syrup* or molasses
Almost one cup (200 ml) sugar
3 ½ oz (100 gram) butter
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups (700 ml) flour (+ some for the rolling out)

Melt the butter and the syrup on low heat. Let cool before adding the other ingredients. Work the dough well. It’s important that the spices are freshly milled. Let the dough rest overnight in a cool place so the spices have time to fully develop their aromas. The resting will also make it easier to roll out the dough.

Roll out the dough and cut out shapes with gingerbread cutters. Bake in the oven at 375ºF (190ºC) for about 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they burn easily.

This dough can also be used for a gingerbread house. Just roll it out slightly thicker. Have fun!

This recipe is a modification of the original at the Swedish shop Svensk Hemslöjd in Stockholm.

*You can buy light Syrup (ljus sirap) at Ikea. You can also use ”Lyle’s Golden Syrup” that you can find in British food stores.

*

Anna’s Franska Pepparkakor (French Gingerbread Cookies)

1 cup (almost 250 ml) almonds, chopped
7 oz (200 g) butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) molasses
4 tsp ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp cardamom
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups (700 ml) flour
Cream butter, sugar and molasses.

Mix dry ingredients with almonds, then combine with butter, sugar and molasses. Knead together with your hands.

Roll dough into cylinders, about 12 inches long and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Bake at 380 for 10-12 minutes.

This recipe is adapted from the Swedish classic: “Sju sorters kakor.”

*

Other Swedish baked classics

Semlor – cardamom rich bun is filled with almond paste and heavy whipped cream
Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Bun
Lussebullar – Saffron Buns
Mazariner – Guest post by Anna Brones

Caramelized Apple Tart (EcoSalon)

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do some recipe articles for EcoSalon. As the site belongs to one of my favorite sites I was beyond thrilled. EcoSalon has several interesting food columns, such as Foodie Underground by Anna Brones and The Green Plate by Vanessa Barrington. (BTW Anna Brones is also the woman behind the guest post Semlor for Fat Tuesday Tuesday that was posted earlier this year here on Kokblog). The site also has articles on fashion, culture, design and sex. EcoSalon, as the name shows, is about ecology and green.

My first article is about Apples in New York City followed by the recipe: Caramelized Apple Tart (see below). Read the whole story here.

 

Caramelized Apple Tart
4-6 people

dough
1 ¼ cup (about 300 ml) regular flour
3.5 ounces (about 100 grams) butter
3 tablespoons sucanat*
1½ teaspoons finely crushed cardamom
splash of water

filling
4 apples (preferably apples that are sour + firm inside, ex. Granny Smith)
4-5 tablespoons sucanat* (depending on how sour the apples are)
juice from one lemon
2½ ounces (70 grams) butter
½ cup (100 ml ) almonds, toasted and chopped

heavy cream, whipped with a little sugar

Start by mixing together butter, flour, cardamom and sucanat. When the butter is well divided add a splash of water. Work the dough together and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour. Line a greased 9 inch (about 23 cm) spring form. Pre-bake at 400°F (200°C) the pie shell for about 10-15 minutes until it has got some color. Let cool.

Wash and peel the apples. Cut in half, take out the seeds and slice the rest of the apple in thin slices. Sprinkle the slices with sucanat and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat in a frying pan until they start to get juicy. Add ½ of the butter. Keep cooking the apples until they starts to caramelize. If you think the apples need more sugar you may add some now and let cook for a little bit more. The color should be golden and have some brown spots. Remove from heat and add the rest of the butter and toasted almonds. Let cool a little before arranging the apples inside the baked pie shell. Bake at 450°F (230C) for about 15 minutes until the apples have gotten some nice color. Serve with whipped cream.

*Sucanat is a brown sugar extracted from sugar cane. It’s perfect to bake with and gives cakes and cookies a richer taste. In the U.S. you can often find Sucanat in organic shops. If you can’t find sucanat you may use muscovado sugar or even regular brown sugar instead. When I’m in Sweden I use Farin sugar which works really well too.