The Swedish equivalent to Eton mess is marängsuisse; a pudding consisting of ice cream, meringues, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. You can also add berries, nuts, bananas or anything else you want. I like to serve the ingredients separately so people can assemble their own.
Last time I made this I tried a new type of meringue that my food blogger friend Charlotta had posted on her blog a while ago; a lovely gooey meringue that completely melts in your mouth. I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. So good!
The meringue is super easy to make and you don’t even need to keep an eye on the oven as you turn it off as soon as the meringue goes in. You simply forget about it and leave it in there to cook on the residual heat during the day or over night. It couldn’t be simpler.
Hiram’s forgotten meringue, serves 6-8
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp baking powder
280 g caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 225C. Beat the egg whites until very stiff. Mix the baking powder with the sugar and fold into the whipped egg whites. Pour the meringue into a buttered springform and spoon a bit of the mixture from the middle towards the sides. Place in the hot oven, turn it off and leave for a day or over night until it has set.
Chocolate sauce, serves 6
40 g caster sugar
20 g cocoa
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp double cream
Mix sugar, cocoa and water in a non-stick sauce pan. Bring to the boil while stirring. Add the cream and let it thicken for a few minutes, while stirring. Serve warm.
This pudding is such a crowd pleaser. I mean, who doesn’t like a warm gooey chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream?! You can prepare the batter ahead of time, just put them in the oven half-way through the main course and they’re ready when you are.
Chocolate fondant, serves 4
Translated from Pickipicki‘s recipe.
75 g butter (I prefer salted)
100 g dark chocolate (70 %), broken into pieces
4 tbsp caster sugar
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the chocolate pieces. Let it melt on low heat while stirring. Beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy and fold it into the chocolate mixture. Divide between four buttered ramekins. Bake in 175C, in the lower part of the oven for 10-15 minutes. The fondant needs to be cooked on the outside but still liquid inside. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Two New Year’s Eves in a row I’ve made the same fabulous dessert and even though i love it, it’s fun to change things up a little, so this New Year’s Eve I decided to make a Baked Alaska. The base is oat crisps, as well as the decoration and the centre is homemade vanilla ice cream topped with passion fruit and wrapped in Italian meringue. Raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and half a passion fruit to serve. It was delicious and looked just as impressive as I had pictured in my head.
Baked Alaska with raspberries and passion fruit, serves 4
1 batch oat crisps
1 batch vanilla ice cream
4 egg whites
150 ml caster sugar
150 ml caster sugar
100 ml water
1 litre frozen raspberries
a little sugar (to taste)
100 ml water
1 tbsp potato flour
1 punnet fresh raspberries
4 passion fruits
Make the oat crisps using the link above. These can be made a few day in advance, just store in an airtight container. Use a dessert spoon to measure the oat crisps for the base and half a teaspoon for the small decorative oat crisps. Still bake them for the same amount of time.
Make the ice cream and divide between four ramekins lined with cling film, freeze until needed.
Make the raspberry coulis: place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, sieve to remove the kernels and leave to cool. Can also be made ahead of time.
Make the Italian meringue: Add the egg whites and sugar in a bowl and beat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the water and sugar for the syrup to the boil in a saucepan. Pour the (very) hot syrup into the meringue mixture and beat for another 15 minutes until you have a thick, glossy meringue.
Place a large oat crisp on each plate. Remove the ice cream from the ramekins and cling and place on top of the oat crisps. Scrape out the seeds from half a passion fruit on top of each ice cream block. Cover the whole lot (apart from the base) with the meringue using a spatula. Use a cream brulee torch to torch the meringue until golden brown. Decorate the plate with the raspberry coulis and fresh fruit. Top each dessert with a small oat crisp and maybe a sparkler. Serve immediately.
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.
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 first weekend in January was the last of my Christmas holiday and on the Friday we had a lovely dinner party at my parents’. It was just my parents, my best friend Emma, her husband Claes and me. And lots of food and wine, as it should be. I love that the people closest to me get on so well and that we can socialise like we’re all just old friends regardless of the age difference.
We had some bubbly and a large batch of Toast Öjeby to start before moving on to the dinner table for the maincourse:
Topside of beef with dauphinoise potatoes (my mother’s version with leek and no cheese), port wine sauce and steamed broccoli. Although a complete classic I never tire of good quality beef and potatoes au gratin!
The only newish dish this evening was a wintery take on the classic Swedish dessert gino. I have no idea who invented it or when but a classic ino is like a warm fruit salad covered with white chocolate. The classic combination of fruits is banana, strawberry and kiwi but I opted for some wintery fruits instead; banana, clementine, pineapple and pomegranate seeds. This was probably even better as I prefer the pineapple and pomegranate to the kiwi. You can serve this with lightly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream but I definitely think the ice cream works best.
Winter gino, serves 4
2 bananas, sliced
2-3 clementines, in wedges cut into half
1/3 fresh pinapple, in chunks
1 pomegranate, seeds only
150-200 g white chocolate, chopped
Mix banana, clementine and pineapple in an oven-proof dish. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top and then the chocolate. Bake in 200C oven until the chocolate has melted and browned a little. Serve with vanilla ice cream (or lightly whipped cream).
So I finally got around to trying lemon posset – this – in my mind typically British pudding.
Tt is basically a pannacotta without gelatin; instead the acid in the lemon juice helps the fat in the cream to solidify so the mixture sets. The texture is even better than that of pannacotta and the sharpness from the lemon makes the dessert feel lighter than it actually is.
I served mine with blueberries for added freshness but Tom Kerridge’s fennel biscotti seems like a divine pairing. After watching his BBC series on proper pub food I completely trusted his recipe to be perfect – and it was.
Lemon posset, serves 6
After Tom Kerridge’s recipe.
425ml double cream
2 lemons, juice only
Bring the cream and sugar to the boil in a pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside to cool for five minutes.
Skim off any air bubbles from the surface and pour into six serving glasses. Transfer to the fridge for at least two hours, or until set.
When inviting a friend over for dinner the same week as your office Christmas party and other outings, there might not be much time to prepare the meal in question. Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Make a nice dip and serve with pitta chips while you make the maincourse. Then whip up an impromptu cheesecake with almond butter and you have a very happy dinner guest.
The cheesecake takes literally minutes to prepare and although the ingredients are quite humble – together they are just awesome. So do try this at home.
Impromptu cheesecake with almond butter, serves 2
6 digestive biscuits
200 g Philadelphia cheese
2-3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 generous tsp almond butter
Crumble the biscuits. Place in a ziplock bag and smash with a rolling pin/ wooden spoon until crumbs. Mix Philadelphia and icing sugar either by hand or with an electric whisk. Layer biscuit crumbs, cheese mixture and almond butter in two glasses. Serve.