This summer we went to Jeffersonville, a small town in upstate New York. It was just a small vacation over the weekend and we were staying at a lovely Bed and Breakfast place call the Fifth Floor Farm. In between our activities and small trips, we enjoyed relaxing in their garden, while our hosts Faye and Fred spoiled us with their treats. This is not their recipe of almond cake, but my try to come close to something I have been longing for since then.
55 g (ca 2 oz) butter
25 ml (0.1 cups) sucanat
one small egg yolk
150-200 ml (0.6-0.8 cups) flour
Mix flour with sucanat, butter and later on the egg yolk to a firm dough. Let the pastry rest in the fridge for an hour or overnight. Roll out the pastry and cover a greased circular baking tin or some smaller cups.
200 ml (0.8 cups) almonds
200 ml (0.8 cup) sucanat
50 g (1.8 oz) butter
Grind the almonds. Whisk the egg gently and mix it with almonds and sucanat. Melt the butter and pour it in the mixture. When the filling is well mixed, pour it over the pastry and bake it in the oven at 175° (350 F) for 20-30 minutes. Let it cool and serve as it is or with some dry sherry.
Update 29th November 2005:
Couple of days ago I did this almond cake again. I decided to reduce the sugar in the filling and instead added some raspberry jam, as I thought it would be a great combination. I must say it was a success!
As I am in the Apple Kingdom (Äppelriket på Österlen) right now I thought it was a good idea to write about my apple pie. For this recipe I prefer a sour apple that is a little soft, as they often melt in the oven. If this would be an Apple Tart I would choose a firmer apple. When I am home in the east village I usually buy mackintosh, wish I think works fine. In the apple kingdom they have many kinds of apples (ofcourse) and the best kinds are what they call food apples (matäpplen). This time I tried Gravenstein. I am not sure I really can call that a food apple. But it has the sourness and softness that I like.
juice of a lemon
3-5 tablespoons rum
100 gram (3.5 oz) butter
6-7 table spoons sucanat
200 ml (0.85 cups) flour
75 ml (0.3 cups) walnuts or almond
Peel the apples and slice them thin. Cover the bottom of a greased baking tin with the apples. Soak the apples with the rum. Mix the flour with butter, chopped walnuts and sucanat. Squeeze some lemon juice over the dough and mix it. As I never really follow a specific recipe when I make my apple pie it could be necessary to add some more of the ingredients. The crust should be sticky and the taste should be sweet with a nice touch of sour lemon. Let it rest a little in the fridge. Flatten some of the sticky crust out in your hand and place it over the apples. Repeat until all the apples are covered. Bake the pie in the oven at 200°C (400F) until the apples are melted and the crust has started to get firmer and got some color. Serve warm with some whipped cream.
Nearly every Friday, our friend Andrea comes over to watch a movie with us. It’s a little like a ritual. We make some simple food and often Andrea brings dessert. Even if none of us are particularly bored, we nearly always fall asleep in front of the screen.
Andrea’s Chocolate Sauce with Blueberries
1 bar of bittersweet dark chocolate
some cream or milk
Melt the chocolate over low heat in a saucepan and gradually add some cream. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted.
Serve the hot chocolate sauce over vanilla ice cream and top with the fresh blueberries.
As I like hot sauces to ice cream, here are some more…
about 3 sticks of rhubarb
Rinse the rhubarb and chop them into small pieces. Heat up some water and boil the rhubarb until its soft and falling apart. Add as much sucanat as you like and squeeze some lime into the mixture. Serve hot over vanilla ice cream.
Hot Peaches with Rum
two or three cardamom capsules
Cut the peaches in pieces (half moons). Heat them up with a little water and the cardamom. When the peaches start to get soft add as much rum and sucanat as you want. Lastly add the chopped almonds. Before serving take out the cardamom capsules, they are too ripe to bite! Serve with vanilla or even rum ‘n’ raisin icecream.
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.