My grandmother always served chocolate coffee mousse for dessert and I loved it. But as a kid, I didn’t really like coffee on its own. The first time I ever drank coffee I kept adding sugar to make it taste better… it just made it worse and it took me years to recover. Today, now that I have learnt to love coffee (especially strong and black), I still can’t imagine drinking coffee with sugar.
Oh well, coffee in cakes, ice cream or chocolate mousse is a always a treat (and in my upcoming book which I co-authored together with Anna Brones, Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break we share a delicious Hazelnut Coffee Cake recipe). When I started to make chocolate mousse this winter I ended up not flavoring it at all. I just liked it as it was. Thick, chocolaty and totally comforty! The recipe I’m using, is an old classic formula which you can find in Elizabeth David’s book French Provincial Cooking. The recipe is simply described with a few words:
“4 yolks beaten into 4 oz. of melted bitter chocolate, and the 4 whipped whites folded in.”
Her recipe serves 4, which makes this a super clever recipe. You just need to count one egg and one ounce chocolate (about 30 grams) per person.
The illustrated recipe diagram above suggests adding one teaspoon of sugar per serving, which I learnt from Felicity Cloake’s How to make perfect chocolate mousse article in the Guardian.
And I’m sure a little bit of cold coffee, some drops of rum or juice of an orange will work fine to spice it up. As I said, I like it just plain or topped with star anise infused black berries.
check also out these chocolate mousse links
Chocolate Mousse (coffee & dark rum) by David Lebovitz (adapted from Julia Childs recipe)
Spizy Boozy Mousse (coffee, cinnamon & ancho chili) by Sara Kate Gillingham @ theKitchn
Swedish Chef making Chocolate Moose – Muppet Show (video)
If you are afraid to get Salmonella by using raw eggs, you can pasteurize them. (I get fresh organic eggs that are free from hormones and antibiotics).
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
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
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.
There is an old railroad path where the tracks have been gone for many years. Nasty weeds such as stinging nettles are about to take over as almost no one walks there anymore. Along the path a little further on grows some black cherry trees. The cherries are tiny, sweet with a slight almond taste. They are absolutely fantastic and something I long for every summer. Its a great treat (despite the burning weeds) to eat directly or to freeze for pies and hot sauces in the Autumn. As they are just too good to be left on the tree for the birds to eat, I will continue coming back each year.
Wild Cherry Pie
300 ml (1 ¼ cup) milled almonds
100 g (3 ½ ounces) butter
5 tablespoons sucanat
about 750 ml pitted black wild cherries (or similar)
With your hands mix together butter, milled almonds and sugar. Work the dough together. As this is not a crumble, the dough should feel a little sticky. Let it rest in the fridge for about an hour. Grease a 9 ½ inch pie form and arrange the cherries in the form. Flatten some of the dough out in your hand and place over the cherries. The crust should be about 1/4” thick. Repeat until all the cherries are covered. Bake the pie in the oven at 200°C (400F) until the crust has started to get color, about 15 minutes. The crust should be a little crisp and still buttery. Serve warm with some whipped cream.
This recipe was first published at Honest Cooking, 1 September 2011.
We needed to defrost the freezer so I had to do something with the frozen strawberries I had kept for autumn treats…
75 g butter (ca 0.2 lb)
3-5 tablespoons sucanat
100-150 ml (0.4-0.6 cups) flour
75 ml (0.3 cups) almonds
Mix all the ingredients in one bowl. Add more flour or sucanat if you want. I prefer the crust to be greasy. It’s already fat anyway so why make it dry and boring! The sweetness depends on the fruit. If the strawberries are sour, use more sugar and vice versa. I like the contrast between sour and sweet.
Take about 1/2 liter (2 cups) strawberries and if necessary cut them into smaller pieces. Fill the bottom of a baking tin with the strawberries and divide the crust over them.
Bake the pie at 200°C (400F) until it’s done or the top has become a little brown. Serve a little warm with vanilla icecream!
I while ago I had a Pistachio cake from a neighborhood bakery. It was very buttery and creamy. The butter cream was flavored with matcha (Japanese green tea). I thought the pistachio and the green tea was a great combination so I decided to do my own version that ended up totally different…
butter cream with matcha
100 ml (½ cup) sucanat
20 ml (0.125 cup) water
100 g (a little less than 1 stick) butter
about 1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder)
Heat up the water with the sucanat. Let it cook, stirring constantly, until you can form soft balls. In the mean time beat the eggs in an electric mixer. When the sucanat mixture is done, add it very slowly to the eggs to avoid scrambled eggs in the butter cream. When the mixture is cooler carefully add the softened butter. Use low speed and add the butter carefully. It’s very easy to make the mixture coagulate. If that happens take new butter and add the coagulated mixture carefully into the new mixed butter. At last you add the matcha carefully. Take more matcha for a stronger tea taste.
50 ml (0.60 cup) almonds
50 ml (0.75 cup) pistachios
20 ml (½ cup) flour
300 ml (1.2 cup) sucanat
50 g (0.11 lbs) butter
Mill the almonds and pistachios and blend with the flour and the sucanat. Beat the eggs and add the nut mixture. At last add the melted butter. Spread the nut mixture into two round cakes, about 20 cm (8 inches) diameter and 2 mm (1/8”) thick, on buttered baking paper. Bake in the oven 200°C (392 F) for 8-10 minutes until they are darker or more golden brown if you use regular white sugar.
(I had only salty pistachio at home. It worked out fine as a nice contrast to the sweeter almonds.)
80 g (0.18 lbs) bittersweet dark chocolate
100 ml (0.4 cup) cream
Melt the chocolate with the cream. I added some sucanat to make it a little sweeter.
Spread the butter cream over one pistachio cake. Place the other cake layer above the butter cream. Lastly spread the chocolate on top of everything. Let it cool before serving.
I took the cake with me on a barbeque and everybody thought it was really delicious. The cake looked a little bit funny as I had some problems – it was a hot summer day. I had to put the cake in the freezer so it didn’t melt totally. Even if I was satisfied I will try to improve the recipe next time. I will do that when the autumn comes.