Recipe: Baked Alaska with Dulce de Leche and Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce

For me a baked Alaska feels really festive, in a retro sort of way, and it’s the perfect excuse for using sparklers! My mother often makes a baked Alaska for New Year’s Eve too, but hers is with a thicker oat cookie base and she uses regular meringue and cooks her in the oven whereas I prefer Italian meringue and a blow torch.

I also think it’s fun to make individual ones, but only if there aren’t too many of you. This year (I have made this pudding before but with different flavours) I used vanilla and dulce de leche ice cream and served it with a strong dark chocolate sauce. I think it worked really well like this and it’s a joy to eat!

Baked Alaska with dulce de leche and vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, serves 4

4 oat crisps for the base (but make a whole batch – they’re scrumptious on their own too!)

4 large scoops no churn dulce de leche ice cream (recipe below)

4 large scoops no churn vanilla ice cream

1 batch Italian meringue

To serve:

sparklers

chocolate sauce

Place an oat crisp on each plate. Place the ice cream on top trying to make a dome shape. Cover with the meringue using a spatula. Using a blow torch, scorch the meringue until golden brown all around. Serve with sparklers and chocolate sauce.

No churn dulce de leche ice cream

Translated from Fridas bakblogg’s recipe.

500 ml double cream

4 egg yolks

40 ml light Muscovado sugar

1 tin (400 g) dulce de leche (Nestlé caramel)

2 egg whites

Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks and the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the dulce de leche and beat some more. Whip the cream in a separate bowl and fold it into the dulce de leche mixture. Beat two egg whites until stiff peaks in a separate bowl and fold into the dulce de leche mixture. Pour into a Tupperware box and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

Recipe: Fillet of Beef, Pommes Anna, Mushroom Sauce with Cognac and Charred Spring Onions

New Year’s Eve feels so far away. Was it only three months ago?! But I still remember the lovely evening we had, and the food I cooked of course.

After plenty of bubbly and nibbles we had lobster with beurre blanc, and after that we had fillet of beef with pommes Anna, mushroom sauce with cognac, broccoli and charred spring onions. So yummy!

I cooked the fillet of beef whole, giving the end bits to Emma who prefers her more cooked, the medium pieces for the boys and the rarest for me. My guess work worked out well but I suggest you use a thermometer to get it just right.

I made the sauce the day before and heated it up while the rest was cooking but the rest I did the same evening. Luckily my friends have an open plan kitchen dining room so it’s easy to cook and be sociable at the same time.

Fillet of beef, Pommes Anna, mushroom sauce with cognac, broccoli and charred spring onions, serves 4

800-1000 g fillet of beef

butter and oil for frying

salt and pepper

1 kg maris piper (or similar firm potatoes), peeled and thinly sliced

150 g salted butter, melted

salt and peppar

300 g tenderstem broccoli

1 bunch spring onions, washed and trimmed

Mushroom sauce:

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp neutral oil for frying

100 g fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced

30 g dried black trumpet mushrooms (porcini works too but then you probably need a bit less)

400 ml double cream

1/4 vegetable stock cube

1-2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp cognac

salt and pepper

Start with the potatoes as they need the longest time to prepare (and can be kept warm if needed). Add some melted butter to a cast iron (or oven proof – if you haven’t got one, use a springform) frying pan and cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of potato slices. Add more melted butter, salt and pepper and continue to layer (each slice overlapping others) until it’s full. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and add something heavy and oven proof as a weight on top. Place in 200C oven for approx 15 minutes, then remove the weight and the paper and cooked until golden on top and soft in the middle (pierce with a pairing knife), approx 45 minutes all together. If it’s getting too brown cover with tin foil. Can be kept warm until needed covered in foil on a 150 C heat.

Next brown the beef on all sides in butter and oil on high heat. Add salt and pepper and place on an oven tray covered in oil. Add garlic and maybe some herbs and place in a 200 C oven until a few degrees shy of the temperature you want. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into 1cm though slices. If you want your beef really rare, brown it early but don’t put it in the oven until the potatoes and the sauce are well on their way. You can cook the vegetables as the meat is resting.

For the sauce, cover the dried mushrooms with boiling water in a bowl for a few minutes. Fry the onions and garlic until soft in butter and oil. Remove from pan, add more butter and oil if needed and fry the fresh mushrooms. Season and add it to the fried onions. Lastly, fry the rehydrated dried mushrooms and season. Add the other mushrooms and the onions back to the pan and lower the heat. Add the cream and stock cube and bring to a gentle boil. Add the dijon mustard and cognac and season to taste. If it’s too thick add a little water or fresh cream to make it thinner. Keep warm or reheat just before serving.

Boil the broccoli for approx 3 minutes, until it’s softened a bit but is still a bit crunchy. Drain and cover with kitchen towel. Fry the spring onions in a fry frying pan on high heat until charred.

To plate, cut the Pommes Anna into wedges, add the sauce, vegetables and the meat on top. Add some extra salt and pepper and enjoy!

Recipe: Lobster with Beurre Blanc and Cucumber

When we sat down for our three course dinner on New Year’s Eve we enjoyed all the classics. Starting with lobster. As I could only find already cooked lobsters (and they were slightly overcooked in my opinion) the last thing I wanted was to heat it up again and cook it further, so instead I made a beurre blanc with cucumber and chives which I poured over the lobster. We also had some bleak roe left from the nibbles so I added that as a final touch.

It was really delicious and definitely a good way of making an already cooked lobster a bit more exciting without cooking it further! Now that I’ve learned how to make beurre blanc (it was so much easier than I thought) I will definitely make it often.

Lobster with beurre blanc and cucumber, serves 4

2 lobsters, already cooked, halved and prepared

1/2 cucumber

1 1/2 shallots, chopped 

200 ml white wine

200g salted butter, cut into cubes

1/4-1/2 lemon, the juice only 

black pepper

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

To serve:

4 spoonfuls bleak roe

Peel the cucumber roughly. Cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds with a spoon or knife. Cut in half again lengthways and chop into 4 mm wide pieces. Set aside.

Put the onion and wine in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil until the liquid has reduced to half. Remove from the heat and add the butter cubes and whisk until you have a silky sauce. Add some lemon juice and black pepper. Pour the sauce through a sieve and add the chives and cucumber. 

Place the lobster halves on plates and spoon the sauce over and around the lobster. Top with the bleak roe.

Recipe: Mini Rösti with Smetana, Bleak Roe and Chopped Red Onions

In Sweden we love our own version of caviar; the bleak roe. It’s orange instead of black and the eggs are a lot smaller, and although quite different in taste than sturgeon caviar it’s just as delicious! And it’s native, so not as expensive and easier to get hold of.

But it’s still very much a special occasion type of food (even if that occasion is just a Friday night); we typically don’t eat it for breakfast on a Tuesday. As I (and I think every single Swede) love it so much, I often eat it when I’m home in Sweden, and always on New Year’s Eve. It’s perfect for nibbles and I love it on a little toast or on pizza (!) but this time I put it on little crispy röstis to avoid having too much bread (we also had the girolle toast so that was enough bread).

Rösti might seem daunting to make but it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a firm potato variety like Maris Piper, a grater and plenty of butter. And you know, salt and pepper and a nice topping.

Mini rösti with smetana, bleak roe and chopped red onions, serves 4 as a canapé

3-4 medium sized firm potatoes, peeled

3 tbsp salted butter

1 msk neutral oil for cooking

salt and pepper

To serve:

1 tub smetana or French full fat creme fraiche

1 tub bleak roe

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 bunch dill, finely chopped

1/4 lemon, the juice

Grate the potatoes on the coarse side of a grater. Gather the grated potatoes into little rounds, approx 1,5 inches in diameter. Heat up half the butter in a (preferably non-stick) frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil to the pan. Once the butter has melted and the pan is hot, place the little röstis in the pan with some space in between (you will need to fry a second and maybe a third batch depending on the size of the frying pan). Flatten the potato rounds with a spatula and let it sit undisturbed until golden underneath. Add salt and pepper and turn over, fry undisturbed until golden on both sides. Season on top and remove to a plate covered with kitchen towel to drain. Repeat with another batch or two.

Put some of the rösti on a plate or platter and top with smetana, bleak roe, chopped onions and dill. Add a little squeeze of lemon and serve straight away.

New Year’s Eve, pizza and dinner parties!

The first week of January actually started in December. That Monday we had a lie-in and after a bit of NYE prep we went to see some friends for dinner.

We had a lovely time playing with the children, eating lots of good food and catching up with the adults. To start we had charcuteries and nibbles in the kitchen while the chef prepared our main course.

Which was pizza! With lots of cheese and mushrooms. Delicious!

And for pudding we had the most luxurious saffron ice cream with crunchy oats on top. Yum!

Next day was New Year’s Eve and I spent the day with my best friend and my god daughter playing and chatting (but also working so didn’t get as much quality time as I would have liked) while the boys were out playing golf. Once they were back we opened up the champagne and gathered around the kitchen island eating canapés and chatting while I occasionally stirred a pot prepping the rest of our dinner.

We had three nibbles, quite substantial as we started early and had dinner late, to accommodate a little lady’s bed time. The girolle toasts were requested by all and will probably be a firm NYE nibble from now on, but we also had the fried rice paper with salmon and mini rosti with bleak roe. So yummy!

The starter was of course lobster, but prepared a bit differently so will post the recipe later.

The main course was also classic with fillet of beef, mushroom and cognac sauce, pommes Anna, broccoli and charred spring onions. Really nice, if I may say so myself!

The pudding was a new version of baked Alaska, with dulce de leche ice cream inside. Recipe to come!

The next morning we had a lie-in and then I cooked us all poached eggs with pancetta, basically forcing our favourite couple onto our hosts, but they loved it (as we thought they would).

When we got back home we unpacked (I basically brought half of mum’s kitchen with me), settled in for a film and hang out with my parents. Then we had some bubbles and Jamon Iberico by the fire before dinner.

Which was pizza! It’s basically tradition to eat pizza on New Year’s Day but I prefer to make my own instead of buying it. I made four different ones and we were so full afterwards we postponed pudding until an hour or so later.

Pudding was homemade ice cream, crispy oat biscuits and chocolate sauce. So yummy!

The following day we hosted a dinner party, and mum and I both cooked making it so easy. I had prepared the crostini we had with some bubbly when our guests arrived. We had the Finnish-Russian mushroom spread and the Öjeby toast – both delicious!

Mamma made the main course, we had wild duck with all the trimmings, which was delicious as usual but I forgot to take any pictures of it. I did photograph the crème brûlée I made for pudding though. We served some saucy raspberries with it. Love this pudding so much!

The next day it was time for my boyfriend to go back to London so we made the most of the day; going for a walk in the woods, playing with the cats and had a late lunch with my parents. Mamma had made her famous (they are seriously the best!!) meatballs and we ate so much it was nice we had a drive ahead of us to digest the food.

When I got back we had some leftover pizza for supper while watching our favourite Swedish game show!

On the Saturday I had a full day with just my parents. We went to the cinema and saw A Piece of My Heart which was actually quite sweet. And quite good!

Then we had alll the seafood for dinner. Oysters au gratin, smoked salmon, langoustines, smoked prawns, homemade mayo, garlic bread. All delicious!

My last day in Sweden I hang out with my parents, packed my bags and just tried to get stuff done. Then we had roast chicken for dinner, before going to the airport. Two weeks just flew by! But I have all the memories.

New year, seeing friends and quiet days at home

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New Year’s Eve was a quiet affair, with a visitor from London, my best friend and her husband and daughter. The guys played golf during the day and as soon as they got back we had wine, champagne and nibbles and chatted away until the little one went to bed. That’s when we tucked into our three course dinner, cooked by me. For a full report, click here.

The following day we had a lie-in and breakfast with our hosts before going back to my parents’ house in the afternoon. We watched a film in the afternoon (which feels so indulgent!) and in the evening I made pizza for us all.

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The next day we cosied up on the sofa in front of another film and braved the cold for a very short (but beautiful walk) before having another nice dinner with my parents.

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After dropping my guest off by the train to the airport I toured around seeing friends. First lunch with one friend outside of Malmö, then tea and a catch-up with another friend in Lund and finally dinner with an old school friend and his family in the evening; also in Lund.

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The next few days I spent time with mamma and pappa. We had lots of lovely food, like lobster Thermidor one evening.

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The next day mamma and I (but mainly mamma) made English scones that we had with tea, clotted cream that I’d brought with me from London and mamma’s raspberry jam.

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In the evening we had dinner with lots of little bits; which we all love. It was ham and truffle salami left over from the pizza night, spicy chorizo, olive, cheese, bread and two different patées.

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The Sunday was my last day in Sweden and to make sure we could have dinner together in the evening I had booked a late flight. I quite like flying late, making the most of the day.

NYE 2018

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I’m very fond of New Year’s Eve and have been since I was a child. It always felt like a special night and think it still does today. I like to dress up, eat and drink well and spend it with dear ones.

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This year it was just four of us and a little toddler, but it was a lovely evening. The boys played golf while Emma and I cooked and played with the little one and as soon as the boys were back we got some nibbles and wine out. Then we continued with champagne and more nibbles until my goddaughter was asleep.

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I had made three types of nibbles; crisps with smetana, bleak roe, chopped red onions and dill, Toast Lingstrom and my girolle toasts 2.0. I love all of these snacks and they were substantial enough to keep us going for a while. The champagne we had was delicious too and definitely one I will buy again: Pol Roger Brut Vintage, 2009.

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After the nibbles we sat down for a three-course meal. First lobster with garlic butter, browned butter and lemon.

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Followed by fillet of beef with garlic butter, potato terrine with cheese and herbs, green beans, tenderstem broccoli and red wine jus.

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And for pudding we had a well-loved classic; churros with cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce and three minute ice cream.

Recipe: Lobster soup with toast

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For New Year’s Eve my assignment was to make a lobster soup with sherry, so that’s what I set out to do. But as I needed lobster shell for the stock I thought it best to incorporate the lobster meat as well and did so by serving a delicious lobster toast (on butter-fried bread!) along side it. So yummy!

Obviously one can make the soup sans toast the day after a lobster feast or freeze the shells and use them another day. Same goes for prawn shells; you find a great recipe for prawn soup here.

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Lobster soup, serves 8

4 cooked lobsters

2 carrots

1 onion with skin on 

1 fennel or celery 

a bunch dill stalks

1 tsp fennel seeds

300 ml double cream 

50 ml dry sherry

approx 2 tbsp maizena or corn starch to thicken the soup

concentrated lobster stock (to taste)

———-

1 tbsp butter

a splash of sherry

2 shallots, finely chopped 

1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped 

Remove the lobster meat from the shells and set aside. Chop the shells very coarsley (it’s only so they fit better in the pan later). Place the shell in a large cooking tray with a little oil. Also add large pieces of carrot, onion and celery/fennel. Roast for approx 20 minutes on 180/200C. Transfer the shells and vegetables to a large saucepan with a lid. Add plenty of water (3 litres) and bring to the boil. Add dill stalks and fennel seeds. Place the lid askew and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Sieve the stock and reduce (high heat, no lid) until approx 1 litre remains. Add salt and pepper and taste. Add some concentrated lobster stock if needed. Add the sherry to a clean non-stick pan and let it bubble for a minute. Add the stock and cream and let it thicken. Add the maizena/corn starch to thicken the soup further. Sieve if you see any lumps. Season to taste with concentrate, salt, pepper and sherry. 

From the lobster meat I used approx 1/4 of the meat, the smallest pieces, to place in the soup bowls. Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped shallots. After a minute add the lobster meat and add the sherry. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dill. Divide between the bowls and pour in the soup. 

Lobster toast, serves 8

6 slices white bread

2 tbsp butter

remaining lobster meat from the 4 lobsters

1 batch homemade mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon

1 bunch, finely chopped

1 pinch cayenne pepper

salt, pepper

Chop the lobster meat (not too finely). Add 4 tbsp mayonnaise to a bowl and mix in the meat. Add more mayo if needed. Add mustard, dill and cayenne after taste. Season. Place cold until serving. 

Remove the crusts on the bread and cut into two diagonally. Fry the slices golden brown on both sides in butter on medium-low heat. Divide the lobster mayonnaise between the toasts and serve with the soup. 

New Years Eve 2015

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New Year’s Eve. A bit like Marmite – some people hate it, some people like it. I’m definitely in the latter category. I like all the cosiness Christmas brings, but I’m not a fan of the stodgy food that we traditionally eat in Scandinavia, so New Year’s is for me the perfect opportunity to cook and eat food I really like. Food worthy to end the year.

The last few years I’ve spent the evening with my closest friends and we have worked out the perfect New Year’s Eve menu, for us at least.

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We start off with champagne, Swedish Kalix (bleak) roe, butter-fried bread, creme fraiche and chopped red onion., with champagne. It’s the most simple thing – yet incredibly delicious (and very Scandi!).

Next we have lobster, usually with melted garlic butter, and this year I opted for caramelised garlic butter – another simple and delicious dish!

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For mains we usually have fillet of beef, with potatoes and greens. This year the beef fillet was served with mini Pommes Anna (made in a muffin tin), mange tout and a mushroom sauce with Dijon mustard.

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For pudding we had individual chocolate pavlovas with chocolate crème and creme fraiche (whipped cream would be better but I forgot it), decorated with daim and Noblesse chocolate thins. A jug of chocolate sauce was put on the table so everyone could help themselves.

Lobster with caramelized garlic butter, serve 4

2 lobsters, cooked 

1 whole garlic

100 g salted butter, at room temperature

a bunch of parsley 

1 slice of lemon, cut into 4

4 slices of baguette

The day before (or at least a few hours ahead of) serving: Wrap the garlic in tin foil and bake for 40 mins in 180C oven (until soft). Leave to cool.

Mix the butter with as much caramelized garlic you like. It’s sweeter and not as strong as fresh garlic, so I thought 5 cloves was a good amount. Chop the parsley and mix in. Add pepper too. Roll into a roll and cover with cling. Place in the fridge to set. 

To serve: Cut the lobsters in half lengthways, remove the gooey bits in the head and the bowel string. Rinse the shell with the meat still inside. Crack the claws and get the meat out. Place in the shells and place the shells in an ovenproof dish. Cut the butter into thick slices and distribute on the lobster halves. Place in 180C oven for approx 10 mins until the lobsters are hot and the butter has melted. Serve immediately with a piece of lemon and a slice of baguette. 

Mini Pommes Anna with thyme, serve 4

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe.

850 g potato of a firm variety (Maris Piper works well)

100 g butter

a bunch of fresh thyme 

salt, black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C . Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush 8-10 wholes in the muffin tin all over with butter. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in center of each round. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon butter into bottom of each cup.

 

Add chopped thyme and garlic to remaining butter in saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

 

Using food processor, moulinex or mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds , placing them in a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat well.

 

Divide potato slices among muffin cups, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press center of each to make compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from bowl over.

 

Cover muffin pan tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife and are golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over pan. Turn, lightly tapping on counter, releasing potatoes onto sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. Discard parchment.
Individual chocolate pavlovas, served 4

Translated from and Adapted after Roy Fares’ recipe.

Chocolate crème:

50 g dark chocolate

30 g (3) egg yolks

37,5 g caster sugar

15 g maizena corn starch

1/2 tsp vanilla

175 ml milk

10 g butter

Pavlovas:

37,5 g dark chocolate

70 g (2) egg whites

110 g caster sugar

4 g maizena corn starch

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar 

Chocolate sauce:

50 ml caster sugar

50 ml cocoa

50 ml cream

15 g butter

To decorate:

300 ml lightly whipped cream

1/2 packet daim balls (or a chocolate bar, chopped)

12 Noblesse chocolate thins or similar 

4 sparklers

Chocolate cream: Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Mix egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and vanilla in another bowl. Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan and mix it into the egg yolk mixture (little by little as to not scramble the eggs). Pour the egg yolk milk mixture into the saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Cook for another 2 minutes, on low heat, to get rid of the corn starch flavour. Pour the custard over the chocolate, add the butter and mix until the chocolate has melted. Cover with cling and place in fridge until cold. 

Pavlovas: Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl, melt either over boiling water or in the microwave. Pre-heat oven to 150C. 

Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar bit by it while beating until stiff and glossy. Add the corn flour and vinegar and mix carefully with a spatula. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and create a marbled effect by folding the mixture 2-3 times with a spatula. Divide the meringue mixture into four small rounds on a lined baking tray. 

Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven while cooling. Let the meringue discs cool completely. 

Chocolate sauce: Mix sugar, cocoa and cream in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes. Leave to cool completely. 

Assembling: Place a meringue disc on each plate. Fill up with the crème and top with whipped cream. Decorate with daim, noblesse and sparklers. Heat up the sauce and serve it in a jug on the side.  

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve 2014

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New Year’s Eve was just as great as we’d hoped. Our little gang (Emma, Claes, Linus and me) started with lunch at Marchal in Copenhagen (review to come), walked around the city and stopped for cava at a bar before taking the train back to Sweden. After a change of clothes we were ready for the evening festivities.

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We started with my favourite champagne (Pol Roger Brut Réserve), gougères (recipe to follow later) as well as butter-fried bread, Kalix caviar (Swedish bleak roe), creme fraiche and chopped red onions. A real Scandi classic that we never get tired of!

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We then continued on the ‘simple yet delicious’ theme with fresh lobsters with garlic and parsley butter and baguette and Les Sétilles, Bourgogne 2012 to drink.

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The main course was a bit more complex, but I had prepped most of it in advance. Fillet of beef with potato parcels, Jerusalem artichoke purée, oyster mushrooms, steamed carrots and red wine jusBrolio Chianti Classico 2012 to drink.

And here somewhere we lost track of time and realised 30 minutes before midnight that we would not have time for pudding beforehand, so instead we went outside to watch the fire work display organised by Malmö town, which was really nice! To toast in the new year we had Charles de Fère Brut Mérite; a nice French sprarkling.

IMG_9611Back in the flat again I made my way into the kitchen and made a baked Alaska with crispy oats, passionfruit and raspberries that went down really well around 1am! (Recipe to follow).