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: salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread cookies

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You might have heard about these cookies already, as they almost broke the internet? If so, see this as a friendly reminder to bake them again. And if not, you’re in for a treat!

Quite literally of course, because these salty buttery cookies with chocolate chunks and a lovely edge of crunchy demerera sugar are INSANELY good. I’m obsessed and can’t wait to bake them again although I sort of know that it’s a bad idea because I will eat them all.

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I think Aliso Roman has invented the PERFECT cookie, which is no small feat. So if you haven’t already, start baking! They’re really easy to make and the reward is HUGE!

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Salted butter shortbread chocolate chunk cookies, makes 24

Adapted from Alison Roman’s recipe via Smitten Kitchen.

255 g salted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

100 g caster sugar

50 g light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

295 g plain flour

170 g dark chocolate, chopped (you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)

1 large egg

demerara sugar, for rolling

sea salt flaked for sprinkling

Beat the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl as needed. Add flour, and mix just until combined. Add chocolate chunks, mix just until incorporated. Mixture will look crumbly.

Divide between two sheets of parchment paper or cling and use your hands to form the dough halves into log shapes about 5 cm in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, heat your oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly beat the egg and open up your chilled cookie logs to brush it over the sides. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on the open paper or plastic wrap and roll the logs into it, coating them.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut logs into 1 cm thick rounds. You’re going to hit some chocolate chunks, so saw gently, squeezing the cookie to keep it from breaking if needed. Arrange cookie slices on prepared sheets a few cms apart and sprinkle each with a few flakes of salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to get golden brown. Let cool slightly before transferring to the cookies to a wire racks to cool down.

Recipe: saffron cake with white chocolate

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In Sweden anything with saffron is considered Christnassy and festive, and that’s the reasoning for making this chewy saffron and white chocolate cake for the book club Christmas dinner.

It’s very yummy without being too sweet and although quite pretty it would have been even prettier with the intended icing. I was convinced I had icing sugar at home but there was none in the cupboard, so I served it plain and that worked well too. I had creme fraiche on the side (that was intended for the frosting) but lightly whipped cream works well too.

Saffron and white chocolate cake, serves 10

Translated from and adapted after Ica’s recipe.

150 g white chocolate
150 g butter
1/2 g saffran
160 g caster sugar
60 g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
Frosting:
200 ml crème fraiche
50 ml icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Garnish:
pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter and flour a 24 diameter springform. Melt chocolate and butter in a Bain Marie or in the microwave. Add the saffron and leave to cool/dissolve a for a few minutes. 
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowla and add to the melted chocolate. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the springform and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Leave to cool. 
Beat crème fraiche, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and quite set and spread ut onto the cake. Add pomegranate seeds.

 

 

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.

Quiet weeknights and a weekend away!

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Last week was just what the doctor ordered; quiet evenings followed by a weekend by the seaside.

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I can’t remember the last time I had four days in a row without plans in the evenings, and I fully enjoyed it. And realised I need to do less during the weeks. I was too tired to cook most days but made a big batch of pasta one night that lasted a few days.

Other than packing my bag for the weekend (not an easy task with a weather forecast promising everything from sunshine to rain and cold temperatures) I just watched TV, had early nights and took it easy.

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Then on Friday I finished work early and took the train to Norfolk. The weekend consisted of walks along the beach (we saw seals!!), some outings in the rain, nice food, some baking and just hanging out. So lovely and nice! And with Monday being a bank holiday the work week this week is a short one! 🙂

Full on!

Last week went by so quickly, but was filled with fun things! Apart from maybe the baking I did on Monday night. A warm flat due to the lovely British summer gets HOT with the oven on for hours. But the cake turned out great, luckily! And I had ice lollies to cool me down.

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Apart from that I’ve just been enjoying the sunshine (I seldom get too warm) and made the most of it. Wednesday evening was spent in the setting sun in a beer garden sipping rosé with one eye on the Brazil game and then pizza afterwards.

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For the England-Belgium game on the Thursday we had rosé in another pub and delicious burgers. Afterwards we enjoyed the beer garden till closing as it was such a lovely evening.

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Friday I went down to Surrey for the weekend where some friends were having a party and I was cooking. It was a great party on Saturday with games in and out of the pool, lots of prosecco, nibbles and a proper dinner in the evening.

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I stayed over that night too and enjoyed the pool a bit more on the Sunday before heading back to London and going to the cinema to see Ocean’s Eight.

Such a great week all around – loving the weather and hoping it’s here to stay!

Recipe: chocolate cake with white chocolate truffle

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The last couple of years I’ve had a standing brunch around Christmas time for some of my Swedish friends and their families. As their brood is getting bigger brunch seemed like the ideal concept; there is something for everyone and you don’t have to sit down to eat at the same time.

Sadly, this brunch in December will probably have to be the last one as there’s now too many of us and apart from cooking for a large amount of people there is quite a lot of furniture carrying required to make it happen. But we’ll see, maybe I can work out a way to make it easier… Any ideas welcome!

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The concept has been more or less the same every year; people arrive at midday, and I provide both savoury (always eggs, bacon, different types of bread with toppings such as cheeses, jams, paté, ham etc. – we love our open-faced sandwiches in Sweden as you know) and sweet (usually two types of cake) dishes, and we eat and chat and eat and chat and play with the children.

This year I substituted the usual brunch eggs with my take on shakshuka (recipe to follow) and mum made an large omelette with creamed mushrooms on top as well.

Although people always love the savoury element I seem to have gathered a group of friends with very sweet teeth so I always try my best to come up with something super yummy on the sweet side.

This year I was quite pleased with my efforts of serving madeleines (best recipe ever!) straight from the oven and just lightly dusted with icing sugar. And although people liked them, this chocolate cake was the star of the show: chocolate cake with pieces of white chocolate dispersed like little surprises, covered with a white chocolate truffle and colourful smarties (although you can of course decorate it however you like). The texture is quite dense and chewy (in a good way – just don’t expect a fluffy cake) and rather filling, so one cake could probably feed 10-12 people, but as my friends love sweets I thought it safer to count 8-10 people per cake.

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It’s (sadly) not my own concoction at all, but I know I can always trust fabulous Annika and her reliable recipes.

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Chocolate cake with white chocolate truffle, serves 8-10

Translated from and adapted after Annika’s recipe.

The cake itself (without the truffle) freezes well and can be made ahead of time. Defrost slowly and add the truffle and decorations a few hours before serving so it has time to set.

2 eggs

240 g golden caster sugar 

2 tbsp vanilla sugar or 4 tsp vanilla 

1/2 tsp salt

100 g melted butter

4 tbsp cocoa

90 g plain flour

100 g white chocolate, broken into 1 cm large pieces

Truffle:

150 g white chocolate

50 ml double cream

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Line the bottom of a springform with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the edges of the tin. 

Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until pale and fluffy. Stir in the melted butter. Sieve cocoa and flour and fold into the batter. Pour the butter into the tin and press down the chocolate pieces.

Bake in a low oven for 35 minutes. Leave to cool and cover the tin and let it set overnight. 

Truffle:

Heat up the cream in a saucepan. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the warm cream. Mix slowly until smooth. Leave to set, then spread it onto the cake. Keep in the fridge until just before serving. Decorate with smarties or other sweets, sprinkles, chopped nuts etc. Serve with lightly whipped cream.