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