Churros with chocolate sauce

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The first time I tried churros was at the Malmö Festival as a child. For a week Sweden’s third largest city has a festival with lots of stalls, a square filled with food stalls from around the world, live music and much more. I haven’t been to it since I moved to the UK, but it was great fun as a child, and already then my favourite part of it was all the food. It’s where I had langos for the first time and I still think of the souvlaki my dad introduced me to.

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A while ago, I realised I had seen Nigella make her own churros on her Nigella Kitchen show and I decided I wanted to try it to. The first time I made it was when two of my girl friends from home came to visit. They’re used to being my guinea pigs but this recipe is so easy to make you don’t have to trial it first (unless you prefer to do it that way). I used Nigella’s recipe for the churros but made my own chocolate sauce and it was just amazingly good! The girls couldn’t stop talking about the churros for a whole week, which is very high praise!

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Churros with cinnamon sugar and chocolate sauce, serves 4

Adapted from Nigella’s recipe.

60 ml / 50 grams caster sugar (1/4 cup)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Churros:

190 ml  / 115 g plain flour  (2/3 cup + 2 tbsp)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp olive oil

237 ml (1 cup) freshly boiled water

473 ml (2 cups) vegetable oil

Chocolate sauce:

80-100 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

80-100 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

100-150 ml single or whipping cream

Mix caster sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set aside. 

Mix flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Beat in the olive oil and water. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat up the vegetable oil in a small saucepan. When the oil seems hot, toss in a piece of bread, once it’s golden the oil is the right temperature. 

Melt the chocolate together with the cream in a non-stick saucepan on low to medium heat. Once all melted and combined set aside and let cool. Pour into four small bowls or ramekins to serve. 

Stir the churros dough and transfer it to a piping back fitted with a large star nozzle. Squeeze short lengths, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches, of dough into the hot oil, snipping them off with a pair of scissors as you go. Fry a few at the time and fish them put with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen towel. Once dry, toss the churros in the cinnamon sugar and serve with the chocolate sauce.

Sponge with elderflower liqueur, ice cream, whipped cream and blueberries

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This is more of an assembly job than actual cooking, but a really nice simple dessert to pull out when you crave something sweet after dinner or throwing a last minute dinner party. Make a sponge at the weekend, cut into slices and freeze and you can make this any time with just a few minutes notice.

Sponge with elderflower liqueur, ice cream, whipped cream and blueberries, served 3

3 slices sponge cake

3 tbsp St Germain elderflower liqueur 

3 scoops vanilla ice cream

3 spoonfuls lightly whipped cream

150 g fresh blueberries

Place the sponge slices in bowls. Pour the liqueur over the cake. Top with ice cream, whipped cream and blueberries. 

New Years Eve 2015

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New Year’s Eve. A bit like Marmite – some people hate it, some people like it. I’m definitely in the latter category. I like all the cosiness Christmas brings, but I’m not a fan of the stodgy food that we traditionally eat in Scandinavia, so New Year’s is for me the perfect opportunity to cook and eat food I really like. Food worthy to end the year.

The last few years I’ve spent the evening with my closest friends and we have worked out the perfect New Year’s Eve menu, for us at least.

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We start off with champagne, Swedish Kalix (bleak) roe, butter-fried bread, creme fraiche and chopped red onion., with champagne. It’s the most simple thing – yet incredibly delicious (and very Scandi!).

Next we have lobster, usually with melted garlic butter, and this year I opted for caramelised garlic butter – another simple and delicious dish!

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For mains we usually have fillet of beef, with potatoes and greens. This year the beef fillet was served with mini Pommes Anna (made in a muffin tin), mange tout and a mushroom sauce with Dijon mustard.

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For pudding we had individual chocolate pavlovas with chocolate crème and creme fraiche (whipped cream would be better but I forgot it), decorated with daim and Noblesse chocolate thins. A jug of chocolate sauce was put on the table so everyone could help themselves.

Lobster with caramelized garlic butter, serve 4

2 lobsters, cooked 

1 whole garlic

100 g salted butter, at room temperature

a bunch of parsley 

1 slice of lemon, cut into 4

4 slices of baguette

The day before (or at least a few hours ahead of) serving: Wrap the garlic in tin foil and bake for 40 mins in 180C oven (until soft). Leave to cool.

Mix the butter with as much caramelized garlic you like. It’s sweeter and not as strong as fresh garlic, so I thought 5 cloves was a good amount. Chop the parsley and mix in. Add pepper too. Roll into a roll and cover with cling. Place in the fridge to set. 

To serve: Cut the lobsters in half lengthways, remove the gooey bits in the head and the bowel string. Rinse the shell with the meat still inside. Crack the claws and get the meat out. Place in the shells and place the shells in an ovenproof dish. Cut the butter into thick slices and distribute on the lobster halves. Place in 180C oven for approx 10 mins until the lobsters are hot and the butter has melted. Serve immediately with a piece of lemon and a slice of baguette. 

Mini Pommes Anna with thyme, serve 4

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe.

850 g potato of a firm variety (Maris Piper works well)

100 g butter

a bunch of fresh thyme 

salt, black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C . Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush 8-10 wholes in the muffin tin all over with butter. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in center of each round. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon butter into bottom of each cup.

 

Add chopped thyme and garlic to remaining butter in saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

 

Using food processor, moulinex or mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds , placing them in a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat well.

 

Divide potato slices among muffin cups, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press center of each to make compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from bowl over.

 

Cover muffin pan tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife and are golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over pan. Turn, lightly tapping on counter, releasing potatoes onto sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. Discard parchment.
Individual chocolate pavlovas, served 4

Translated from and Adapted after Roy Fares’ recipe.

Chocolate crème:

50 g dark chocolate

30 g (3) egg yolks

37,5 g caster sugar

15 g maizena corn starch

1/2 tsp vanilla

175 ml milk

10 g butter

Pavlovas:

37,5 g dark chocolate

70 g (2) egg whites

110 g caster sugar

4 g maizena corn starch

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar 

Chocolate sauce:

50 ml caster sugar

50 ml cocoa

50 ml cream

15 g butter

To decorate:

300 ml lightly whipped cream

1/2 packet daim balls (or a chocolate bar, chopped)

12 Noblesse chocolate thins or similar 

4 sparklers

Chocolate cream: Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Mix egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and vanilla in another bowl. Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan and mix it into the egg yolk mixture (little by little as to not scramble the eggs). Pour the egg yolk milk mixture into the saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Cook for another 2 minutes, on low heat, to get rid of the corn starch flavour. Pour the custard over the chocolate, add the butter and mix until the chocolate has melted. Cover with cling and place in fridge until cold. 

Pavlovas: Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl, melt either over boiling water or in the microwave. Pre-heat oven to 150C. 

Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar bit by it while beating until stiff and glossy. Add the corn flour and vinegar and mix carefully with a spatula. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and create a marbled effect by folding the mixture 2-3 times with a spatula. Divide the meringue mixture into four small rounds on a lined baking tray. 

Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven while cooling. Let the meringue discs cool completely. 

Chocolate sauce: Mix sugar, cocoa and cream in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes. Leave to cool completely. 

Assembling: Place a meringue disc on each plate. Fill up with the crème and top with whipped cream. Decorate with daim, noblesse and sparklers. Heat up the sauce and serve it in a jug on the side.  

 

 

 

Delicious DIY meringue dessert

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The Swedish equivalent to Eton mess is marängsuisse; a pudding consisting of ice cream, meringues, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. You can also add berries, nuts, bananas or anything else you want. I like to serve the ingredients separately so people can assemble their own. ms2

Last time I made this I tried a new type of meringue that my food blogger friend Charlotta had posted on her blog a while ago; a lovely gooey meringue that completely melts in your mouth. I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. So good!

The meringue is super easy to make and you don’t even need to keep an eye on the oven as you turn it off as soon as the meringue goes in. You simply forget about it and leave it in there to cook on the residual heat during the day or over night. It couldn’t be simpler.

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Hiram’s forgotten meringue, serves 6-8

5 egg whites

1/2 tsp baking powder

280 g caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 225C. Beat the egg whites until very stiff. Mix the baking powder with the sugar and fold into the whipped egg whites. Pour the meringue into a buttered springform and spoon a bit of the mixture from the middle towards the sides. Place in the hot oven, turn it off and leave for a day or over night until it has set. 

Chocolate sauce, serves 6

40 g caster sugar

20 g  cocoa

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp double cream

Mix sugar, cocoa and water in a non-stick sauce pan. Bring to the boil while stirring. Add the cream and let it thicken for a few minutes, while stirring. Serve warm. 

Molten chocolate cake

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This pudding is such a crowd pleaser. I mean, who doesn’t like a warm gooey chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream?! You can prepare the batter ahead of time, just put them in the oven half-way through the main course and they’re ready when you are.

Chocolate fondant, serves 4

Translated from Pickipicki‘s recipe.

75 g butter (I prefer salted)
100 g dark chocolate (70 %), broken into pieces
2 eggs
4 tbsp caster sugar

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the chocolate pieces. Let it melt on low heat while stirring. Beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy and fold it into the chocolate mixture. Divide between four buttered ramekins. Bake in 175C, in the lower part of the oven for 10-15 minutes. The fondant needs to be cooked on the outside but still liquid inside. Serve with vanilla ice cream. 

 

Lemon soufflé with elderflower liqueur

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I’ve been wanting to make soufflés for a while now and when I was at home for Christmas I finally did. With my very knowledgeable mother by my side. But I needn’t have worried – it wasn’t hard at all. And it is so satisfying watching the soufflés rise in the oven through the oven door.

The original recipe called for Grand Marnier, but we didn’t have any and therefore substituted it with another liqueur; St Germain. It didn’t add that much flavour though, but there was an elderflower hint at least.

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Lemon sufflé with elderflower liqueur, makes 6

50 g butter

80 g plain flour

200 ml milk

3 egg yolks

6 egg whites

80 g caster sugar

100 ml St Germain elderflower liqueur 

grated zest from 1 lemon

softened butter and caster sugar for the ramekins

icing sugar for dusting

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and incorporate it into the melted butter using a wooden spoon. Add milk and sugar and incorporate it on low heat until the batter is smooth and easily comes off the sides of the pan. Leave to cool. 

Thereafter mix in the egg yolks, liqueur and lemon zest. Beat the egg whites to a hart foam and fold them into the mixture. 

Butter the ramekins thoroughly and coat them in caster sugar. Fill the ramekins (all the way up and make sure the surface is even). 

Bake in 200C for 12-15 minutes; until they’ve risen above the ramekin edge and are golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them through the oven door. 

Remove the soufflés carefully from the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. 

Baked Alaska with oat crisps, raspberries and passion fruit

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Two New Year’s Eves in a row I’ve made the same fabulous dessert and even though i love it, it’s fun to change things up a little, so this New Year’s Eve I decided to make a Baked Alaska. The base is oat crisps, as well as the decoration and the centre is homemade vanilla ice cream topped with passion fruit and wrapped in Italian meringue. Raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and half a passion fruit to serve. It was delicious and looked just as impressive as I had pictured in my head.

Baked Alaska with raspberries and passion fruit, serves 4

1 batch oat crisps 

1 batch vanilla ice cream 

Italian meringue:

4 egg whites

150 ml caster sugar

Syrup:

150 ml caster sugar

100 ml water

Raspberry coulis:

1 litre frozen raspberries 

a little sugar (to taste)

100 ml water

1 tbsp potato flour 

To decorate:

1 punnet fresh raspberries 

4 passion fruits

Make the oat crisps using the link above. These can be made a few day in advance, just store in an airtight container. Use a dessert spoon to measure the oat crisps for the base and half a teaspoon for the small decorative oat crisps. Still bake them for the same amount of time. 

Make the ice cream and divide between four ramekins lined with cling film, freeze until needed.  

Make the raspberry coulis: place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, sieve to remove the kernels and leave to cool. Can also be made ahead of time. 

Montage:

Make the Italian meringue: Add the egg whites and sugar in a bowl and beat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the water and sugar for the syrup to the boil in a saucepan. Pour the (very) hot syrup into the meringue mixture and beat for another 15 minutes until you have a thick, glossy meringue.

Place a large oat crisp on each plate. Remove the ice cream from the ramekins and cling and place on top of the oat crisps. Scrape out the seeds from half a passion fruit on top of each ice cream block. Cover the whole lot (apart from the base) with the meringue using a spatula. Use a cream brulee torch to torch the meringue until golden brown. Decorate the plate with the raspberry coulis and fresh fruit. Top each dessert with a small oat crisp and maybe a sparkler. Serve immediately.