Recipe: chocolate pots (or chocolate pudding)

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These chocolate pots are a childhood favourite of mine, and this version with actual chocolate (and not just cocoa) is the best one I’ve come across yet. Mamma found the recipe in a cookbook by Anna Bergenström and kindly passed it on me.

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I like these really cold with pillowy cream on top and preferably sprinkles on top of that for a hint of sweetness and crunch, but it probably looks more grownup like this, with just some sieved cocoa powder on top!

When I made these for two of my American friends, they told me these are called chocolate pudding in the US (just like the Swedish name!), whereas here in the UK a pudding is any dessert.

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Chocolate pots (or chocolate pudding), serves 4

Adapted after and translated from Anna Bergenström’s recipe.

600 ml whole milk

75 ml corn flour

4 tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp cocoa

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

50 g dark chocolate

For serving:

lightly whipped cream

sieved cocoa or sprinkles

Add everything apart from the chocolate to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring it to a gentle simmer while whisking, until the mixture has thicken quite a lot. Stir or whisk continuously 

Break up the chocolate. Remove the sauce pan from the stove and add the chocolate pieces to the mixture. Stir until it’s melted. Pour the mixture into a sieve to remove lumps and pour into small bowls or glasses. Cover them with cling (all the way down to the surface) and leave to cool. When cool, place in the fridge for 3 hrs to thicken. Serve with lightly whipped cream and either sieved cocoa or sprinkles.

Recipe: rhubarb custard tarte

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Spring. For me it’s about feeling the sun on my face. Shedding a few layers of clothing and watch all the flowers blossom.

And I get terribly excited about the fresh produce. First the wild garlic, then the asparagus, rhubarb and new potatoes.

At the moment we can enjoy all these things and it makes me rather giddy with happiness! FINALLY winter (although it wasn’t an awful one in London this year) is over!

To celebrate the arrival of Yorkshire rhubarb to the shops a few weeks ago I made a lovely puff pastry tart with pink lovely rhubarb (cooked just enough to still be a little firm) and a glorious custard. Eating this in the sunshine makes me so happy!

Custard rhubarb tarte, serves 6-8

Translated from and adapted after Tidningen Hembakat’s recipe.

1 roll all butter puff pastry

Custard (oven proof):

1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla

300 ml milk

50 g caster sugar

3 egg yolks

50 ml corn starch 

25 g butter

Warm milk, sugar and vanilla in a nonstick saucepan. Mix the egg yolks with corn starch in a bowl. Add the warm milk to the egg mixture a little by little. Then return the mixture to the saucepan and warm on medium heat until the mixture has thickened, approx 2 minutes. Whisk continuously. Remove from the heat and stir on the butter. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling (all the way down on the mixture) and leave to cool. 

400 g rhubarb, trim the ends

200 ml water

200 ml caster sugar

Cut the rhubarb into 4 cm long pieces and place in an ovenproof sig with sides. Bring sugar and water to the boil in a saucepan. Pour the syrup over the rhubarb and place in a 100C oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool completely. 

Assembly: 

Roll out the puff pastry and place on a parchment paper lines baking sheet. Cut a thin incision only along the surfaces of the dough, approx 2 cm in from the edge, all around the dough. Prick the dough inside of the “frame” with a fork. Pre-bake the dough for approx 7 minutes (it should bake a bit but not colour) in a 200C oven. 

Remove from the oven and spread a thick layer of custard onto the dough inside the “frame” and place the rhubarb pieces on top with a little space in between. Bake for another 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Leave to cool and dust with icing sugar before cutting into smaller pieces and serving.

Recipe: Italian meringue covered fruit

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This is a perfect Friday night pudding as it’s quick to whip up (don’t let the Italian meringue scare you, I promise it’s easy!) and feels really fresh after a pizza or whatever Friday night cravings you may have.

Use any (seasonal) fruit and berries you like – they don’t get warm even if you use the grill to brown the meringue, but it’s even easier with a creme brûlée torch, and then you could also put the fruit in a glass so you can see it. Very pretty!

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Italian meringue covered fruit, serves 2

Mixed fruit, cut into pieces and berries (enough to almost fill the vessels you’re using), such as:

1 blood orange

1 apple

blueberries

raspberries

Italian meringue:

1 egg white

75 ml caster sugar 

75 ml water

50 ml caster sugar

To serve:

lightly whipped cream

Divide the fruit between two ramekins (or glasses if not using the oven) – they should be almost full. 

Pour 75 ml caster sugar and 75 ml water into a saucepan and bring it almost to the boil. Once the sugar has melted the syrup is done. Remove from heat. Meanwhile beat the egg white until fluffy with an electric whisk. Pour in some of the remaining sugar and beat some more. Pour in the syrup while beating continuously. Then add the remaining sugar and beat until you have a glossy meringue that is set enough that you can turn the bowl upside down without it sliding out. 

Use a spatula to cover the ramekins with the meringue. Put the grill on the oven to 250C and place the ramekins underneath it. Keep the door open and an eye on the ramekins as the meringue browns quickly and you don’t want it going too dark. Remove with mittens as the ramekins go warm (but the fruit inside doesn’t). Or skip this step all together and use a creme brûlée torch to brown the meringue. Serve with lightly whipped cream. 

Recipe: blood orange pannacotta

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Blood orange season is still going strong and of course I had to incorporate the little gems into a fragrant pannacotta, using both the zest and juice. Topped with blood orange segments this is a real stunner!

Blood orange pannacotta, serves 2

250 ml double cream

25 ml demerera sugar

the zest from 2 blood oranges

the juice from 1 blood orange

1 + 1/4 gelatin leaves

To serve:

orange segments from the left over blood orange

Pour the cream and sugar into a nonstick pan and put on medium heat. Add the zest and orange juice to the cream and heat it up until almost boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk. 

Meanwhile soak the gelatin in cold water.  

Take the cream mixture off the heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add it to the warm cream. Whisk to make sure it has dissolved then pour the mixture through a fine sieve, to remove the zest and any lumps, and into a jug. Leave to cool for a few minutes then divide the mixture between the pots or glasses you will use for serving. Leave to cool. Then transfer to the fridge and leave them to set for 3 hours. 

Before serving, cut the remaining peel off the left over blood orange and cut into segments

Recipe: blood orange salad with biscotti

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After a freezing few weeks London is heating up. I’m sure we will get another bout of cold weather at some point, but I’m making the most of the warmer weather (right now it’s 12C and sunny!) when I can.

The promise of spring always makes me excited for the produce we’re about to receive. Mamma have actually picked wild garlic at home in (the south of) Sweden already and I can’t wait for asparagus season.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself, as we have another season to enjoy right now; blood orange season. It’s short and sweet (quite literally) and I love these ruby oranges so much. Because when they’re in season they’re always juicy and full of sweetness, unlike regular oranges out there. Same with the texture; they’re more delicate somehow. And absolutely delicious as they are. Which is why I served them sliced with a little vanilla, lightly whipped cream and store-bought biscotti. Simple as can be!

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Blood orange salad with biscotti, serves 2

3 blood oranges – at room temperature

1 clementine or 1/2 blood orange, the juice

1/2 tsp icing sugar

a small pinch of vanilla 

fresh mint to serve

Serve with:

biscotti

lightly whipped cream

Wash the blood oranges and well and dry them. Cut away the “top” and “bottom” (I know, oranges are round  but I mean the ends where the indentations are). Then continue to cut away the rest of the skin and the white bits too. Slice the oranges from top to bottom. Arrange the orange slices on a plate. Mix the citrus juice with icing sugar and vanilla and drizzle it over the plate. Decorate with mint. Serve with biscotti and lightly whipped cream. 

Recipe: blueberry galette

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My last day in Sweden for the summer was a Sunday in August and instead of just making it a travel day (i.e. boring!) I invited by best friend and her family to the summer house for a nice lunch with me and my parents.

As a group we get on so well and you wouldn’t think we weren’t all the same age! I love it and as it’s also stress-free inviting people over who you know so well it was the perfect ending to my two+ weeks in Sweden.

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As my best friend and her husband has a baby who now walks on her own but then was desperate to master the walking we decided against a sit down starter. Instead we had some cheese straws and wine standing up chatting and running after the little one. For the main course we had arctic char with boiled potatoes, vegetables and a sauce with lumpfish roe. Very traditionally Swedish!

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And for pudding I made this blueberry galette! It was an instant hit (Emma, bestie, sorry it’s taking me so long to write this up – but here you finally have the recipe!), although my dad would have liked it a little bit sweeter. I, on the other hand, like the fact that it’s not too sweet as you can really taste the freshness of the blueberries this way, and it doesn’t feel all that indulgent serving it with ice cream, but pouring cream or lightly whipped cream would work well too.

Blueberry galette, serves 4-6

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe

Dough:
205 g (385 ml) plain flour 
2 tsp caster sugar
115 g chilled salted butter, cut into pieces

Filling:
350 g blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp potato flour (or cornstarch)
1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
60 ml caster sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tbsp milk or cream

Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the softened butter and either work with your fingers until you have a sandy consistency or pulse in a food processor until you reach that sandy texture. 

Add 4 tbsp cold water and mix into a dough. Add another tbsp if needed until the dough has formed. Shape into a disc, cover with cling and chill for an hour. 

Preheat oven to 190°C. Toss blueberries, potato flour, lemon juice and caster sugar in a large bowl.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 30 cm diameter. Carefully transfer the rolled out dough to a parchment-lined baking tray. Mound blueberries in the middle of the of the galette, leaving 5 cm as a border. Fold the edges over, overlapping slightly. Brush dough with milk/cream and sprinkle generously with caster sugar.

Bake until the crust is dark golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 45–50 minutes. Leave to cool before serving.

Recipe: rhubarb parfait

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The base recipe for this parfait I’ve known since childhood, so full credit for it goes to mamma. It’s delicious on its own, and so much easier to make than ice cream. And it’s infinitely adaptable.

I’ve made it with elderflower before, and when I was at home in Sweden at the end of May mamma and I came up with this rhubarb version together. We wanted to keep the fresh acidity from the rhubarb while still keeping the sweetness of the custard-tasting parfait and I think we managed to do just that. It’s sweet but not too sweet with a hint of acidity for balance and freshness.

Rhubarb parfait, serves 4

3 egg yolks

80 g caster sugar

300 ml whipping or double cream

Rhubarb filling:

300-400 g rhubarb 

approx 2 tbsp caster sugar

Rinse and slice the rhubarb. Mix with sugar and place in a pyrex dish. Place in a 180C oven and bake for approx 20 minutes until the rhubarb has softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool completely.  

Beat egg yolkd and sugar until fluffy in a mixing bowl. Whip the cream in a separate bowl and add to the egg mixture.

Line a bread tin with cling film and place a 1 cm wide line of rhubarb compote in the middle of the tin lenghtways. Mix the rest of the rhubarb with the cream mixture and pour into the bread tin. Cover with cling and put in the freezer for at least 5 hours, but preferably over night. Serve with oat thins, berries, more rhubarb, whipped cream or as is.

 

 

Recipe: rhubarb meringue pie

 

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We have a good thing going in my family. We all like mayonnaise and bearnaise sauce A LOT so we use a lot of egg yolks. Not wanting to waste food the egg whites go into little containers in the fridge (they keep for weeks!). But conveniently my dad loves everything meringue-y so we get to use up the egg whites quite frequently too.

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The whole little family (there’s only three of us; mother, father and me) loved this rhubarb meringue pie. It still has the tang of a lemon meringue pie but is slightly less heavy as no butter or egg yolk in the rhubarb filling.

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The pie on the pictures had approx 500 g rhubarb in the filling which was fine taste wise but looked a little silly with all that meringue, so in the recipe below I’ve adjusted the recipe to 800 g rhubarb. It cooks down a lot in the oven, so I promise it’s not too much.

Also, when making the meringue, please note that it needs a lot of beating with an electric whisk and that it’s important the syrup boils and reaches (or almost reaches) 118C.

Rhubarb meringue pie, serves 8

Pastry:

180 g plain flour

100 g softened butter

2 1/2 tbsp cream or water

Rhubarb filling:

800 g frozen rhubarb pieces

3 tbsp potato flour (starch)

4-5 tbsp caster sugar

 

Italian meringue:

4 egg whites

120 g caster sugar

Syrup:

120 g caster sugar

100 ml water

Mix all the ingredients to the dough in a bowl or using a food processor. Press into a Ø 20 cm pie dish. Bake in a low oven using baking beads at 180C, for approx 10-15 minutes or until golden and baked through. Leave to cool. 

Place the defrosted rhubarb pieces in an ovenproof dish and scatter with potato flour and sugar. If using fresh rhubarb I would start off by using less potato flour adding more if needed.  Place in a 200 C oven for approx 20 minuter. The mixture should be bubbling, almost caramelised and thickened. Leave to cool. 

Make the meringue: Add egg whites and sugar to a clean bowl and beat for 10 minutes with an electric whisk. Meanwhile make the syrup by adding water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to the boil (don’t stir). Remove when 118C (the boiling point for sugar). Add the hot syrup to the meringue and beat for a further 15 minutes, until you have a thick and glossy meringue. 

Assemble: Add the rhubarb mixture to the pie crust once both are cool. Spread the meringue on top and burn the edges with a brulee torch. Serve with lightly whipped cream. 

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.