Recipe: daim ice cream cake

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In my family we all love the daim bar. I grew up eating them for fika instead of a cookie sometimes (but only half a daim bar each!) and my favourite ice cream is still the daim ice cream. Either as scoops or the daim cone we have in Sweden.

So I don’t know why it took me so long to try this daim ice cream cake recipe, as it basically has my name written all over it!

I made it for pudding in the summer for some friends of mine and we all loved it, although I thought it was borderline too sweet. (Who have I become?!) So when I made it for the second time, only a few days later, for dinner with my parents, I changed the proportions a bit. The cake base is really lovely but also very sweet so by adding more ice cream on top the base appeared less dominant and sweet. So this is not the original recipe, but my adaptation of it,  and isn’t that the beauty of sharing recipes really?! That we can all change them after our own preferences.

And yes, of course it was a hit with my daim bar loving parents as well!

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Daim ice cream cake, serves 6-8

Translated from and adapted after Söta Saker’s recipe.

Base:

100 g butter, softened

100 ml golden caster sugar

100 ml oats 

2 tbsp cocoa 

1 tsp vanilla

2 daim bars

Filling:

150 ml double cream 

75 ml caramel sauce 

3 daim bars 

Dekoration:

daim sprinkles

caramel sauce

Mix butter, sugar, oats, cocoa and vanilla to a sticky batter. Chop the daim bars coarsely and mix into the batter. Press the batter onto a baking parchment covered cake tin. 

Whip the cream and add the caramel sauce bit by bit, while whipping until soft peaks. Chop the daim bars and add to the cream mixture. Pour the cream mixture into the tin. Cover with cling and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours or over night. Remove from the freezer a few minutes before serving and decorate with caramel sauce and daim sprinkles. 

 

Recipe: spaghetti carbonara with girolles

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As we’re bang in the middle of the mushroom season (and it looks like a great mushroom year this year, judging from the bounty my foraging friends present) I thought it appropriate with a little homage to the lovely girolle. Which also happens to be one of my favourite mushrooms!

I think mushrooms and pasta go well together, and I have several great recipes on the blog already, but as I learned to perfect a proper carbonara I couldn’t help but experiment with it too. You see, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that the addition of girolles to the creaminess and saltiness of a carbonara would work really well, and so I tried it out on my favourite guinea pigs; my best friend, her husband and my boyfriend.

As I really wanted the girolles to take center stage I was afraid the salty pancetta would take over, but with the double amount of girolles compared to pancetta in weight, it worked really well. I also fried the mushrooms separately to the pancetta, adding plenty of butter, garlic and seasoning to really make them hold their own.

Hope you like my little experiment as much as I do. For me, this is just the perfect Friday night pasta, especially in autumn, obviously paired with a large glass of smooth red wine and great company.

Spaghetti carbonara with girolles, serve 4

6 egg yolks 

80 g parmesan + extra for serving

175 g good quality pancetta, diced

350 g fresh girolles, washed and patted dry

2 tbsp butter

400 g dried good quality spaghetti 

2 garlic cloves

olive oil

salt and black pepper

Put the egg yolks. in a bowl and grate the parmesan into the bowl. Add some pepper and mix thoroughly with a fork. Put to the side. Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to the instructions on the packet, until al dente. 

Fry the mushrooms in butter and a little oil on medium-high heat. Finely chop a garlic clove and add it to the pan. Season well. Pour the mushrooms into a bowl and leave to cool a little. Fry the pancetta in oil on medium-high heat. Peel a garlic clove, crush it with the palm of your hand and add to the pan – remove it if it browns or when the pancetta is cooked. Drain the cooked pancetta on kitchen towel. 

Fill a mug or small jug with pasta cooking  water and drain the pasta. Mix the spaghetti with the pancetta and mushrooms and remove from heat. Pour everything back into the pasta pan, add some pepper and some of the pasta cooking water. Add the egg and parmesan mixture and mix well. Add more pasta water if the mixture is too dry. Divide into bowls and serve with grated parmesan and black pepper. 

Recipe: whole grilled turbot with olive oil, lemon and butter

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I spent almost a whole week in Norfolk with my boyfriend’s family at the end of August. We had gorgeous weather (hello heatwave!) and such a lovely time.

And it must have been the nice weather and the proximity to the sea that inspired one of his sisters to barbecue a whole fish. And not just any fish, but a large (huge!) turbot! It was a nice size for the amount of people to feed but it did look ridiculous on the little coal barbecue we insisted on using.

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Despite the poor optics it actually worked really well grilling the big fish and the actual cooking time was only approx 30 minutes. The hardest part was turning it over and making a secure tin foil parcel that size to hold all the butter!

I do hope we can inspire you to try new (and perhaps a little crazy) things! And I think any white fish would work well with this treatment; I mean lemon, olive oil and butter are pretty universal when it comes to fish – just adjust the cooking time.

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Whole grilled turbot with olive oil, lemon and butter, serves 8

1 whole turbot, gutted  (not sure how much it weighed but as you can see it was big!)

100-200 ml olive oil

salt, pepper

1 lemon, juice only

250 g butter

To serve:

chopped parsley

Rub or brush both sides of the fish with plenty of olive oil so it won’t stick to the barbecue. Season well on both sides. Grill each side for about 5 minutes then remove from the barbecue. Make a large foil packet to hold the fish and add plenty of dollops of butter on each side of the fish. Squeeze plenty of lemon juice on both sides as well and season well (again! – a large fish needs plenty of seasoning).  Close the foil package and put it on the barbecue and cover with a lid. Cook for approx 20 minutes (until the fish is flaky and comes off the bone). Scatter with chopped parsley. 

Recipe: nutella semifreddo

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When I go to Sweden in the summer and for Christmas it’s quite hectic socially as I try to fit in friends and family. And as we all like to socialise around food there’s is also a lot of eating; both at home, at friends’ houses and out at restaurants.

At one lovely lunch this summer my best friend Emma had made this delicious semifreddo for pudding, and as the Nutella (and anything hazelnutty) aficionado that I am, I immediately asked for the recipe. And although this is a frozen dessert, it’s by no means reserved for summer – ice creams, semifreddo and parfait can be enjoyed year round!

Nutella semifreddo, serves 10

2 store-bought meringue bases

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

2 tbsp caster sugar

500 ml double or whipping cream

400g lukewarm nutella

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the whites and half of the sugar (1 tbsp) to a bowl and beat until stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar (1 tbsp) until pale and fluffy. Finally beat the cream in a third bowl until small peaks. 

Place the first meringue base in a springform (ø20-25 cm) and crush the other. Fold the egg yolk and egg white mixtures into the cream and add the crushed meringue. Drizzle in the lukewarm (to make it easier to pour – if too set microwave for a few second until runny) nutella. Pour the cream mixture into the springform, cover with cling and freeze for at least 4-5 hours, but preferably overnight, before serving.  

Recipe: barbecue chicken

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At times I get the most peculiar cravings. I guess it ties in with my way of eating; regardless of what it is I eat for pleasure, not just fuel. And most of the time my cravings are a combination of things my body needs and my favourite foods. Typical cravings are usually something with avocado, anything with burrata and sometimes proper comfort food. Often cheese of some kind, and sometimes fish.

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One beautiful summer’s day in Norfolk my body screamed for barbecued chicken. The sticky, charred kind. Maybe I needed protein but whenever I crave something fairly healthy I always try to give my body what it wants.

As we were in Norfolk and had access to a barbecue it was also much easier to make this happen, than if we’d been in London, so I went all in. I threw together a homemade barbecue sauce and marinated the whole spatchcocked chicken in it for a few hours and then got my darling boyfriend to light the barbecue. The coal one, thank you very much, not the gas barbecue!

And apart from the sugars in the marinade burning too quickly it was a great success. We both thoroughly enjoyed the charred and tender chicken, both that night and the leftovers two days later.

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But, this almost too charred chicken was not photogenic, and I was also slightly worried about the carcinogenic properties of all that burnt sugar. And decided to perfect the recipe (and reduce the charring) the next time.

And that next time arose a few weeks later in Sweden when my boyfriend was over and we were having dinner with my parents. My foodie family was just as excited about the chicken as I was and my boyfriend loved it last time, so it worked out really well! The trick is to add the barbecue sauce towards the end so it doesn’t burn too much; just that right amount that makes it taste to good!

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Barbecue chicken, serves 4 + leftovers

2 smaller (just over a kilo each) whole fresh chickens

salt and pepper

1 tbsp neutral oil 

Barbecue sauce:

150 ml ketchup

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

1 tbsp brown sugar (or any sugar if you prefer but brown works best) 

1 tsp smoked paprika powder 

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp soy sauce 

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp neutral oil 

salt, pepper

Rinse and trim the chickens. (I usually cut away any loose skin and fat, the ends of the wings that is just bone etc.) Then spatchcock the chickens (instructions here) so they cook quicker and more evenly. Season with plenty of salt and pepper all around and brush with oil. 

Build up the coal barbecue so that you have the coal and briquettes all on one side of the barbecue, where you have a higher temperature, as opposed to the empty side which still emanates heat but isn’t as hot. 

Start off by browning the chickens all around on the direct heat (on top of the coals), for approx 5-10 minutes. Then move them to the indirect heat (empty side) and place them bony side down. Put the lid on and grill for another 15-20 minutes, turning as you go. Brush on a thick layer of barbecue sauce all around the chicken and char the meaty side first (as this is most important to get right) until just enough charring, then turn over and char the other side. The chickens should be ready after another 10 minutes on the grill, but cut through the meat (both the thickest part of the breast and in a joint) to make sure the juices are all clear. Remove from the grill and cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into smaller pieces (our almost fell apart so this was easy) and tuck in!

 

 

Recipe: bruschetta bar!

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On several occasions over the last month I have trialled a great new concept for entertaining, *drum roll* –  the bruschetta bar!

I can’t take any credit though, as What’s Gaby Cooking was the one who cleverly coined the term!

As you readers already know, I’m an avid fan of everything crostini and bruschetta and this blog is evidence of that (you’ll find the classic bruschetta; one with burrata; crostini with a mushroom spread to die for; with ricotta, ham and peaches; smoked salmon spread etc etc) but instead of serving already topped crostini of one or two varieties, the bruschetta bar is more of a DIY job. It’s so much easier for the organiser; just fill a big platter with heaps of crostini and a nice spread of toppings, and more fun for the guests who can create their own flavour combinations and partake more. It feels more relaxed and the toppings can be varied after season, inspiration or whatever you can find in your fridge and larders. I can even see this becoming the ultimate fridge forage dinner with lots of fun bits!

I must say I’m a little peeved I didn’t come up with the idea myself (especially as I for one party organised a blini bar and the concepts are pretty similar AND for dinner parties in the past I have served crostini this way too ), but I’m also so grateful for other bloggers inspiring me and sharing great ideas!

As I said, I have trialled this concept a few times already and all the different occasions had slightly different spreads, so to give you a few ideas I’ve listed them all below.

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The all-in birthday celebration. This was my first, AND it was for my birthday, so of course I went all out. I did focus on pasteurised cheeses and less charcuterie though as one of the guests was pregnant, but if that wasn’t the case all I would have done differently would be to add more charcuterie and choose different cheeses!

Serrano ham
Saucisson
Sliced cheddar
Classic bruschetta topping
Ricotta
Boursin cheese
Creamy chantarelles
Philadelphia with sunblush tomatoes
Large white beans with olive oil, garlic and smoked paprika 
Pea pesto
Fresh figs
Acacia honey 
Vanilla jelly
Truffle mayo
Grilled peppers in oil

Extra: two types of crisps, small carrots and cucumber to sticks, two dips, nocellara olives, prosecco, rosé and sparkling elderflower.

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The last minute spread with caprese salad. This was super last minute so we threw together what we found in the supermarket we passed on our way home.

Caprese salad (mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, basil and olive oil)
Thinly sliced truffle salami 
Creamy girolles
Grilled peppers in oil
Serrano ham
Creamy gorgonzola

On the side: fig jam, honey

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The greatest hits. When you have time to think about the spread and the supermarket has it all in stock (I’m looking at you burrata!). Perfect as a starter for four people.

Burrata, sliced red and yellow tomatoes, basil and olive oil 
Thinly sliced truffle salami 
Prosciutto
Philadelphia with sunblush tomatoes
Homemade pesto (just swap wild garlic for basil)
Grilled peppers in oil

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The pot luck spread. When the book club girls come over and you organise the spread together.

Burrata, sliced red and yellow tomatoes, basil and olive oil 
Philadelphia with sunblush tomatoes
Store-bought fresh pesto
Brie
Cranberry cheese 
Mild goat’s cheese log
Grilled peppers in oil
Chorizo
Saucisson
Salami
Prosciutto
Spansk soft rind cheese
Large Spanish beans in oil

Extra: two types of crips and dip 

Recipe: chewy toffee cake

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I had the best neighbours when I was little. Agnes and her husband Claes. Claes was nice, but it was Agnes I adored. Mainly because she spent so much time with me. I could come and go at theirs as I liked. She let me try on allof her high heeled shoes in her shoe wardrobe (I aspire to having one of those one day) and she played with me. I think she adored me too, as she seemed to enjoy playing with me as much as I enjoyed playing with her.

This cake recipe is hers, and one I wrote down a very long time ago, but it has since been forgotten in my quest for new and exciting recipes. But when I was home this summer mamma suddenly thought of it and we found the recipe neatly written down by hand in my first recipe book. It’s full of treasures and one day I will take the time to read them all.

Thank you, Agnes, for being an extra granny through my childhood. And for this cake!

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Chewy toffee cake, serves 8

2 eggs

240 g caster sugar 

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

100 g melted butter

90 g plain flour 

1/2 tsp baking powder

Beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla, cocoa, salt, and butter and mix. Then add flour and baking powder. Mix well. Pour into a buttered springform and bake for 20m minutes in 175C oven. It should still be a little gooey in the middle. Leave to cool and serve with lightly whipped cream.