Elderflower crème brûlée with biscotti

2014-09-21 20.24.25

The pudding at the crayfish party was one of my favourite puddings; homemade crème brûlée. This one was flavoured with my homemade elderflower cordial and served with crispy biscotti (and some chocolates and Swedish pick ‘n mix) and went down a treat with ice-cold homemade limoncello.

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Fläder crème brûlée, serves 4

300 ml double cream

150 ml elderflower cordial

50 ml caster sugar

6 egg yolks

some more caster sugar 

Bring cream, cordial and sugar to the boil, Leave to cool a little. Beat the egg yolks lightly and add first some of the cream mixture and then the rest. Divide between pots/ramekins and bake in 100C fan oven until just set, about 35-40 minutes. Leave t cool completely and keep in the fridge until serving. Before serving cover the top with a thin layer of caster sugar and use a crème brûlée burner to create a crisp sugar layer on top. Serve immediately, decorated with a strawberry, and biscotti on the side. 

Biscotti, makes about 20

Adapted from Delia’s recipe.

110 g plain flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

a pinch salt

25 g ground almonds

50 g whole almonds (skin on)

75 g golden caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add ground and whole almonds and sugar. Mix thoroughly and add the egg. Mix with a wooden spoon/using your hands to a smooth dough. Place on a floured surface and roll into a 28 cm long roll. Place the roll on a lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes in 170C oven. Leave to cool completely.

Reduce the heat to 150C. Use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti into slightly diagonal slices about 1 cm wide. Place on the lined baking tray and bake for another 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. Leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.  

The best crumble

Before crumble used to be a quite nice dessert for me, one I didn’t have a relationship with. Something I didn’t crave very often and something that never really blew me away. But that changed.

I realised how nice a crumble can be when Gaby made it for me the first time. And the second time. I don’t know what her secret is, but her crumble is the best ever. Or at least it was until I encountered this recipe which is actually just as good as her’s.

It all happened one evening when Christopher and I were cooking with Jess and Chris. Jess wanted to make an apple crumble and without a recipe at hand we looked in Chris’s mum’s old Delia cookbook and used her recipe. Then we finished a whole crumble in like 5 minutes between the four of us. It was delish!

The flavour was awesome (sorry, have been watching too much Chuck) but the texture was a bit too sandy for my liking, so a few days later I was standing in my kitchen playing with the measures and this recipe was the result. It tastes just like the Delia-recipe but it contains a bit more butter.

Together with the raw custard, this is the perfect autumn dessert, and you can make it with whatever fruit or berries you have at hand.

Because of the brown sugar, the dessert feels autumnal and quite earthy, and would be perfect served after a casserole or game.

The best crumble, serves 4

8 plums or the equivalent in other fruits/berries 

100 g softened butter

200 g plain flour

135 g soft brown sygar

1 tsp baking powder

Grease a pie dish. Rinse the plums and take the stones out. Cut into wedges/slices and place in the pie dish. Measure all the ingredients into a bowl. Stir to combine with a wooden fork. Pour it over the fruit and bake for 30 minutes in 175C.  

Victoria sponge

The quintessentially British cake must be the Victoria sponge, right?! Whenever I make it, people go crazy for it. I understand why, it is very good, but it is so easy to make it should create that much fuss.

I made this for work for the monthly birthdays a while back, and it disappeared in a flash. First when it was finished people looked towards the other cakes, a phenomenal frosted brownie and marzipan cake. Crazy, right?

My go to-recipe for an English sponge is Delia’s. We do these kind of sponges in Sweden as well, but the less buttery ones (some even completely without butter) are more common. They are bouncier and less sturdy, but very moist, but not suitable for this kind of cake. Here you want the firm, but moist, sponge that can handle the weight from the cream and jam and not absorb too much of the liquid.

I made this version slightly summery with some fresh strawberries in it, but you can just have jam and cream if you prefer. It is good either way?

Victoria sponge, serves 8

175 g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs at room temperature

175 g softened butter

175 g caster sugar

1/2 tsk vanilla

Filling:

300 ml whipped cream, sweetened with a tsp of sugar (or vanilla sugar)

100 ml strawberry or raspberry jam

100 g strawberries, slices – not necessary

Sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the other ingredients. Use an electric whisk to incorporate into a batter. Divide the batter between two springforms, greased, of the same size. Place in 175 C oven for about 35 minutes. Do not open the oven door before half an hour has passed so the cake won’t rise unevenly. Leave to cool comletely.

Spread the jam on one of the sponges. Place the sliced strawberries on top (if you want to use them) and then cover with the quite firmly whipped cream. Place the other sponge on top and powder with icing sugar. Keep in the fridge if not consumed immediately (because of the fresh cream). 

Four course dinner

Our friends Malin and Martin have been staying with us Wednesday to Sunday last week, and we did the most of eating and drinking during that time. 🙂

On Friday we met up with them after work and walked to our favourite Terroirs for a glass or two. OK, two. We take most our visiting friends here for drinks as it is such a nice a place. We were a little hungry so we nibbled on bread and nice green olives before we headed home to eat dinner.

While I was cooking we had some Pimm’s and snacks and after half an hour or so we were ready to eat properly.

We had Delia’s smashing halloumi with lime vinaigrette as a starter, followed by lamb neck fillet with French potato salad and asparagus.

For dessert we had vanilla pannacotta with strawberries and raspberries and a pinch of icing sugar, followed by a cheese board, sourdough bread, crackers and port.

Yep, we were very sleepy and full after all this. The next day the gluttany continued with a big brunch and Henley Regatta, which I will post tomorrow.

Bread and butter pudding

Yesterday I posted our proper Sunday supper consisting of venison burgers and potatoes au gratin, and as that was not enough we finished it off with a super traditional bread and butter pudding. My first ever as well, and thanks to Delia, we really enjoyed it.

The most important thing with this pudding is that the bread is stale. If you use stale bread the top will go nice and crisp and the bottom layer is more custardy and soggier, and that is the way it should be. If you use fresh bread the whole thing will go soggy, and soggy bread is definitely not my thing. 🙂

Bread and butter pudding, serves 6

6-8 slices stale bread

butter

10 g mixed peel

(50 g currants – I omitted these, not fond of currants in things)

275 ml milk

60 ml double cream

50 6 caster sugar

1/2 lemon, the zest

3 eggs

grated nutmeg

Butter the bread slices and  apie dish. Cut the bead in half and place one half as a bottom layer in the dish. Sprinkle half the peel (and currants) on top. Place the remaining bread on top, and scatter the rest of the peel over it. Beat eggs, cream, sugar and zest lightly. Pour into the dish. Grate nutmeg over it. Bake for 30 minutes in 180C. Serve it warm with pouring cream.