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.

Norfolk, takeaway and a long weekend in Sweden!

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We were still in Norfolk on the Easter Monday. We went to the beach in the morning with the children and played in the sand. I even dipped my toes in the water but it was seriously cold! Afterwards we all had lunch together at the golf club before breaking up for the weekend.

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We stayed the whole day though, going to Sandringham, the Queen’s private residence, in the afternoon. It’s open to the public when the Queen isn’t there (she usually spends the winter months around Christmas there) and I was so happy to finally go. It’s been on my hit list for quite a while. And we really enjoyed our visit to the house, the museum and the lovely park and gardens. We even had time to peek into the church on the estate on the way home.

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Back in the house we packed our bags and emptied the fridge and made my best to use up as many leftovers as possible in a toasted sandwich I made us for supper. It had chicken, wild garlic mayo, Philadelphia, cheddar and parmesan in it and was topped with a fried egg. It turned out really great actually and perfect food before a long drive home.

Tuesday was a regular work day for me and in the evening I packed my bags once again, to go home to Sweden the following evening. As I was only home in London for a night I had a takeaway from Bleecker for supper.

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After work on Wednesday I flew home to Copenhagen (and then went across the bridge to Sweden). My parents and I had a late night cup of tea catching up before going to bed – a little tradition of ours. So cosy!

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The next morning I had a lie in and just enjoyed having a day off at home with my parents. Mamma and I went shopping in a few nearby shops and bought nice local charcuterie for dinner. Afterwards we had grilled steaks and asparagus with roasted Amandine potatoes and homemade bearnaise sauce. Love dinners like that at home!

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On the Friday i had my hair cut and afterwards I had my favourite soft serve ice cream with daim sprinkles in the sunshine. For dinner I made roasted chicken with roast vegetables, a Greek-ish salad and tzatziki – proper summer food!

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Om Saturday we drove to the summer house and harvested three (!) asparagus spears that we had for dinner that day together with store-bought asparagus and hollandaise sauce, oysters au gratin and smoked and regular prawns with homemade mayonnaise and wild garlic bread.

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Sunday we had an impromptu photo shoot (you’ll see the result soon!) and I made chocolate covered meringue buns for dad because he likes them so much and they seemed fun to make! For dinner (before heading to the airport) we had mamma’s homemade meatballs (i.e. the best in the world!) with boiled potatoes, creamy gravy, pickled cucumber and lingonberry jam. Loved being home for a few days just spending time with the family! Need to do that more.

Recipe: crispy rice paper with salmon, avocado and spicy mayo

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This is a new favourite starter of mine! I just adore the combination of crunchy fried rice paper (which is much more delicate here than in a prawn cracker) and smooth raw fish and the fresh toppings. Such a lovely mouthful with lots of subtle flavours coming together. And it pairs perfectly with a glass or two of bubbles, if you need an excuse to open a bottle.

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A note on raw fishÖ Most fish we buy in the supermarkets as fresh have been frozen in transport killing off any bacteria. But if you’re worried ask the people at the fish counter for sushi fish so they know you’re going to eat it raw.

Or, buy a nice piece of salmon and freeze it for 48 hours, and defrost it slowly in the fridge and you won’t even notice it’s been frozen but you know you’re safe from bacteria.

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Crispy rice paper with salmon, avocado and spicy mayo, serves 2

2 sheets rice paper 

500 ml neutral oil 

80 g raw salmon

1/4 cucumber, peeled and cut into small triangles 

1/2 avokado, thinly sliced

100 ml mayonnaise, homemade or Hellman’s

1/2-1 tsp gochujang or 1-2 tsp soy sauce

fresh coriander, finely chopped

1/2 red onion, pickled 

Pour oil into a large saucepan, approx 2,5 cm high. Heat it to 180C. Fry one rice paper at the time and let it puff up. It takes approximately 5 seconds. Remove with tongs and drain on kitchen roll. Let the oil cool before you dispose of it. 

Cut the fresh salmon (or freeze it for 48 hrs and slowly defrost it, to kill off any bacteria) in 2 mm thin slices. Mix mayonnaise with gochujang (or soy sauce for a milder flavour). 

Break each puffed up rice paper in approx 5 pieces, most important is that the pieces are big enough to hold the toppings. Start adding the toppings first avocado, then salmon, followed by cucumber and radishes. Pipe or spoon on the mayonnaise (I put it in a small ziplock bag and made a tiny whole in one corner for piping). You can make both mayos and do half and half too. Top with pickled red onions and chopped coriander. Serve with napkins!

New Forest, cooking and Easter in Norfolk

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Our girlie weekend ended on the Monday morning when Therèse went back home to Sweden and I went to the New Forest with work (and had a nice breakfast with my favourite sandwich on the train: baguette with salami and wild garlic mayo!) where I stayed the night to be as efficient as possible.

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It was good weather and the animals roaming free always put a smile on my face.

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Tuesday evening I got back to London, ordered a poke bowl for supper and had some Swedish chocolate for pudding as I watched Grey’s Anatomy before going to bed early.

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On Wednesday I packed my bags once again, to go to Norfolk for Easter. And I really got into the cooking groove as I made a two course dinner for myself, just because I felt like it. Wild garlic soup to start followed by mac ‘n cheese. Yum!

Thursday I did some errands and worked until I was sitting on the train north. Most of my carriage was party central so I plugged in my headphones and listened to podcasts instead. For dinner we had spaghetti bolognese and a lovely glass of wine. (Much needed after that train journey!)

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The following morning I was woken up by my boyfriend’s cute nieces who wanted me to come with them to soft play (which was really fun but also felt like a proper workout – lots of running around!). Afterwards I had lunch at the golf club and a nice walk on the beach before we did some food shopping and prepared dinner that I cooked for everyone.

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We had asparagus with wild garlic mayo and parmesan, lemon and thyme chicken with roasted new potatoes and jus and dulce de leech cheesecake with whipped cream and raspberries for pudding.

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We had a nice little lie-in on the Saturday and had breakfast outside in the sunshine before I had my first ever golf lesson followed by lunch at the golf club (once again).

After lunch I walked around the whole course while the others were playing and in the evening we all went out for dinner at a cosy pub.

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On Easter Sunday we all went to church in the morning, then the children had their Easter egg hunt when we came back and after that we did presents and brunch in the garden.

In the afternoon I decorated some Easter cookies with the girls, using pastel coloured icing and sprinkles. Great fun for them, and me!

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In the evening we had roast lamb with perfect roast potatoes, vegetables and jus. Such a lovely evening!

 

Girlie weekend, amazing sushi and afternoon tea!

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I was quite tired in the beginning of the second week in April, so after work on Monday and Tuesday I just stayed in, watched Grey’s Anatomy and went to bed early.

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But on the Wednesday I had more energy, so I did some errands for work and myself. Couldn’t resist going into Whole Foods to buy Easter eggs when I was nearby.

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In the evening I made cookie dough so it could chill in the fridge over night.

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The next day I baked them so Therése, a dear friend from home visiting for the weekend, could have freshly baked cookies – that’s when they’re the best!

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In the evening we went out for tapas at Rambla

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…and afterwards we had a drink at Dean Street Townhouse nearby.

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While Therése went shopping on the Friday I worked all day and so a night in seemed appropriate. For dinner we had small plates such as rösti with creme fraiche, red onions and bleak roe.

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And baked camembert with saucisson, pears and baguette to dip.

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As well as British asparagus, wild garlic mayo and calamari. Yum!

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On the Saturday we went shopping in Covent Garden, and enjoyed all the spring flowers!

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For lunch we had yummy burgers at Shake Shack (Therése’s first!) and afterwards we changed location and moved towards Oxford Street for some more shopping.

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After a quick change of clothes we went out for sushi, which we both love, and we had such a lovely dinner I can’t wait to tell you all about it in a review soon!

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After a sturdy breakfast of scrambled eggs and pancetta on the Sunday morning we went to V&A to see the amazing Dior exhibition. I have been before but it was wonderful seeing it a second time too!

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Afterwards we went for a lovely afternoon tea (that I also want to tell you all about in a proper review!) and felt thoroughly spoilt! On our way home we popped into Liberty because I wanted to show Therèse this wonderful department store!

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Back home I made dinner; this open crab lasagne I blogged about earlier this week, and a side salad to balance out all the rich food we had at the weekend. It was so much fun having my dear childhood friend here for what felt like a long sleepover, just filled with more shopping and eating out than we were little. SO MUCH FUN!

Recipe: open crab lasagne with white wine and tomatoes

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Sometimes recipes, or recipe ideas – to be more exact, pop into my head without any context (or warning) at all. But then I do think about food an awful lot… This open crab lasagne happened just like that. I was thinking of what I could cook for the weekend and suddenly this idea formed of an open crab lasagne.

And it turned out really well! The white wine, cream and tomatoes compliment the crab beautifully without overpowering the seafood. I really wanted this dish to taste of fresh crab, although in a ‘pasta with a creamy sauce’ kind of setting. And I find it genius using lasagne sheets like this (obviously not my idea in the first place), as it puts the focus on the crab and not the pasta. I hope you enjoy this little dish of mine as much as I did!

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Open crab lasagne with white wine and tomatoes, serves 2

4 lasagne sheets 

1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp neutral oil 

approx 120 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half 

50 ml white wine

150 ml double cream

1/4 vegetable stock cube

100 g fresh crab meat (white and brown)

1/2 lime, zest only

dill, finely chopped + extra for serving 

parsley, finely chopped

salt & pepper

dried edible flowers for serving (optional)

Boil the lasagne sheets until soft in salted water. Heat up a non-stick frying pan, add butter and oil and when melted the tomatoes. Let them caramelise and soften for approx 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it boil for a minute or two. Add the cream and the stock cube and stir. Let it thicken for a few minutes. Add lime zest and season to taste. Add half the crab meat and all the herbs (apart from the garnish).

Place two low bowls or plates near the stove. Take one lasagne sheet at the time and place it in the frying pan to coat it with sauce. Move it to the bowls/plates and place one, a bit folded over, on each plate. Add a spoonful more of sauce on each plate. Place the second sauce-covered lasagne sheet in the bowls slightly overlapping the first one. Add more sauce and divide the crab meat. Decorate with dill and dried flowers. 

 

The return of the meatloaf, a trip to the countryside and the boat race

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Monday, sunshine and a lunch meeting in the park with a sandwich! Not a bad start to my week a few weeks ago.

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Afterwards I walked by the Thames and felt so happy spring had finally come back. Just love this time of year (minus the pollen) this time of year!

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In the evening I heated up a piece of aubergine lasagne from the freezer and felt very smug I didn’t reach for a takeaway. Utilising the freezer is the best!

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On the Tuesday I made the best meatloaf ever. I haven’t made it for years but got a sudden craving and it’s AMAZING! Will definitely make it soon again as it wasn’t just me who liked it! Post dinner we watched the first episode of Billions, that I had been dying to watch but had to wait a week for a certain someone to come back from a skiing holiday. Loving this new series!!

Wednesday evening I just took it easy at home and packed my bag for a little work trip.

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Thursday I went down to the New Forest for work and obviously made sure to go for a walk and take in the countryside as well.

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I had dinner at The Master Builder’s and really enjoyed my local asparagus and whole crab. Plus it was a really cosy setting with rustic wooden tables and a roaring fire.

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Friday was an intense work day that finished with a meeting back in London. In the evening we stayed in and I made carbonara. The best Friday meal with a glass (or two) of red wine!

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Saturday we woke up late and a scrambled eggs for breakfast. I thoroughly enjoy the weekends where I don’t have to set an alarm!

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In the afternoon we went for a lovely little walk checking out the ducks and swans and just enjoying being outside!

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And then we went to the driving range… Not my comfort zone at all but tried to be a good sport (haha) and hit a few balls. Suddenly it was quite late so we ordered burgers for dinner. So good!

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Sunday and another lie-in followed by another cooked breakfast. Heaven!

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Then we met up with friends for lunch at a new to me vegetarian restaurant that was really good (and child friendly).  Review to come!

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Afterwards we joined the crowds for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and had a great time cheering, chatting and drinking rosé in the rain (it’s England after all).