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: weeknight puff pastry pizza

As much as I love to make and eat proper Italian pizzas, it’s usually not something I make on a weeknight for just myself. But to avoid buying the inferior supermarket pizzas I often make tortilla pizzas or use store-bought puff pastry as my pizza base.

I have posted a recipe for puff pastry pizza here before, but that was a weekend version with brown butter and salmon roe. The weeknight version is much less refined, but just as yummy.

If you want to use a tomato base, then please make your own tomato sauce instead of using a store-bought jar. You will taste the difference I promise. I used a white base of creme fraiche (cream cheese works well too) instead, which is definitely the quickest option unless you already have tomato sauce to hand.

Weeknight puff pastry pizza, serves 2

1 roll store-bought all butter puff pastry

3-4 tbsp full fat creme fraiche

2-3 handfuls grated cheddar

salt and pepper

8-10 slices of salami (or whatever topping you like)

Cover a large baking tray with parchment paper and roll out your puff pastry. Spread an even layer of creme fraiche on top. Add the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add the salami or other topping and bake in a 200C oven (220C without fan) for approx 10-15 minutes. The top should be golden and the pastry cooked through. Divide into two. Any leftovers can be eaten cold or reheated in a low oven (not microwave).

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.

Updated: The Best Chicken Satay

I already have a chicken satay recipe up on the blog, but the last time I made it I thought it was a little bit lacking, so with inspiration from Rosie’s version I sort of amalgamated the two into what I think is the perfect chicken satay.

The marinade, the cooking method and of course THE SAUCE all really matter here, and this is how I think it’s best enjoyed. I added the chillies after cooking so everyone can adjust the hotness they want, but don’t worry, the meat is still full of flavour! I highly recommend the tangy cucumber and radish salad and the sesame broccoli too – they both add another dimension (and some lightness) to the dish.

The Best Chicken Satay, serves 4

600 g chicken thigh filletsdiced into smaller pieces (2 cm x 2 cm or so)

8 garlic cloves, chopped

6 tsp ground coriander

4 tsp honey

1 tbsp black pepper (no, it is not a typo)

2 tsp salt

240 ml soy sauce

180 ml olive oil

wooden skewers soaked in water for an hour

To serve:

bunch fresh coriander, chopped

1 lime, cut into wedges

1-2 red chillies, chopped

Dice the chicken. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and pour into a bowl or a shallow dish. Add the chicken and make sure every piece is coated with the marinade. Leave it for at least 3-4 hours but preferably overnight in the fridge, covered by cling. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and place on an oven rack with a tin foil covered baking tray underneath (to catch the juices). Place the tray under the grill turned on medium-high. Grill the chicken for 10 minutes until nice and browned. Take it out, turn the skewers over and cook for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the rice (I prefer basmati), make the sauce and prepare the vegetables.

Satay sauce, serves 4

400 g coconut milk

8 tbsp smooth or chunky peanut butter

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 lime, the juice

salt and pepper

Bring the coconut milk to the boil. Add the peanut butter and let it cook for a few minutes. Add sweet chilli and lime juice until it is perfectly balanced. Season with salt and pepper.

Sesame broccoli, serves 4

2 packets tenderstem broccoli (approx 300 g)   

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

4 tsp sesame seeds 

1/2-1 lemon or lime, the juice 

salt and pepper 

Trim the dry ends of the broccoli. Place in a large frying pan and almost cover with boiling water. Add salt and cook for about a minute on high heat. Drain and return to the hot pan. Add sesame oil and squeeze with lemon. Toss and add sesame seeds and season.

Cucumber and radish salad, serves 4

1 cucumber

1 small bag/bunch of radishes

1/2 lime, the juice

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

Slice both vegetables thinly and place in a bowl. Add lime juice and oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Recipe: Fried Prinskorv in Brioche Buns with Truffle Mayonnaise and Crispy Onions

One of the more substantial canapés at the Christmas party were these yummy little hotdogs! Fried mini pork sausages (prinskorv in Swedish, we use them mainly for special occasions, like holidays) served in pillowy brioche buns with truffle mayonnaise and crispy onions! They’re so good! But if you don’t like truffle, just flavour the mayonnaise differently or use ketchup instead.

But I highly recommend trying to use these sausages. They’re similar to frankfurters in the way that they are smoked but so much better. I got mine from Scandinavian Kitchen but I believe Ocado (in normal times) also carry similar sausages.

Fried prinskorv in brioche buns with truffle mayonnaise and crispy onions, makes 8

Translated from and adapted after Jessica Frej’s recipe.

8 prinskorv (or 4 regular sized sausages – preferably smoked ones)

4 brioche hot dog buns, cut in half

150 ml Hellman’s mayonnaise

3 tsp good quality truffle oil

approx 100 ml crispy onions

salt and pepper

more truffle oil for serving

Fry the sausages in a frying pan or in the oven. Mix mayonnaise with truffle oil, salt and pepper. Place a sausage in each (halved) brioche bun. Top with a tbsp mayonnaise and some crispy onions. Add a few drops of oil on top and serve.

Recipe: Mini Dauphinoise Potatoes with Roast Beef and Crispy Onions

These mini dauphinoise potatoes topped with roast beef and crispy onions have become (one of) my signature party dish!

As you know, I like to feed people, and even if I host a party with only canapés they will be substantial enough for you not to stop my the kebab shop on your way home. At this party I had some lighter canapés mixed with some more filling little dishes like these. I usually stagger the canapés from light to filling and then the sweets to finish. But I also like to have put out bowls of nuts and crisps and sweets on tables, so there is something to munch on at all times. I can easily get hangry at parties (how often do we rush straight from work to a party without having eaten since lunch time?) so want there to be plenty of food so my guests can relax, have fun and know that they will get fed.

Mini Dauphinoise Potatoes with Roast Beef and Crispy Onions, makes 20

20 aluminium baking cases (or ramekins)

10-15 medium sized firm potatoes, peeled if you have the time

600 ml double cream (at least)

grated cheddar

salt and pepper

1 topside of beef (approx 800 g)

2 tbsp salted butter + 1 tbsp oil for frying

salt and pepper

1 tub crispy onions

Start with the beef as it can rest while the potatoes finish cooking. It doesn’t have to be warm, but don’t put it in the fridge.

Remove the meat from the fridge an hour ahead of cooking. Brown all around on high heat with butter and oil in the pan. Season well and place in a roasting tin. Place in a 180 C oven for approx 10-15 minutes depending on thickness (I like mine quite rare). Remove and place on a plate and let it rest for ten minutes. If the potatoes need longer cover with tin foil after it’s rested and keep warmish. Slice thinly just before serving.

Place the baking cases on a foil-lined baking tray. Slice the potatoes (I use a rotating grater for this, but you can use a regular grater or a knife too) thinly and fill the cases. Add salt and pepper. Pour cream almost to edge of each case. Top with a pinch of grated cheese and bake for 40-50 minutes on 180C fan or until soft (pierce the potatoes with pairing knife to check) and golden brown.

Place a slice of beef on top of each potato case and add a teaspoon of crispy onions. Add sea salt and serve with small forks.

Recipe: Cured Salmon Canapés with Dill Cream Cheese and Lemon

These little canapés went down really well at our Christmas party. They’re really easy to make but will impress your guests. Why? For a number of reasons. 1. Not many people cure their own salmon, but they should as both the flavour and texture is so different from what one can buy. 2. It’s delicious. Salmon, cream cheese and dill go so well together and here they are in the purest form, i.e. without anything else (like bread) competing for their attention. 3. They look pretty. Yes, we eat with our eyes too and although these are so easy to throw together they look really delicious.

If you prefer, you could of course put the salmon and cream cheese on top of a cracker or piece of rye bread, but I had quite a lot of nibbles and some were very filling so wanted some lighter options for balance. Plus eating them like this they just melt in your mouth and that’s a rather nice experience!

Cured Salmon Canapés with Dill Cream Cheese and Lemon, makes about 30-35

Cured salmon

500 g salmon fillet

3 tbsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Cure the salmon 48 hours before you intend to eat it. Place the salmon in a deep glass or china dish. Sprinkle the salt and sugar evenly on top of the salmon and pat it in. Add roughly chopped dill and cover with clingfilm. Put it in the fridge and place something heavy on top of the salmon (to help squeeze out the water in the fish) and leave it for 48 hours.

Once cured, pour away the water, rinse quickly in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut into thin slices.

Dill cream cheese

340 g (large packet) full fat Philadelphia

6 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

1 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Mix Philadelphia with dill in a bowl. Add lemon juice to taste. Season and mix again.

To assemble:

cured salmon

dill cream cheese

cocktail sticks

3 tbsp chopped dill

1/2 lemon, the juice

Take a slice of salmon and place a teaspoon sized dollop of the dill cream cheese in the middle. Roll it up and fasten with a cocktail stick. Place on a platter, squeeze with lemon and scatter with dill.

Recipe: Butternut Squash Canapés with Persian Pesto and Pomegranate Seeds

Do you guys remember this lovely recipe? I’ve made it many times, and for our Christmas party I made it into bite size canapés, and it worked really well so of course I wanted to share with you what I did differently. Loved these as canapés! They’re a bit fun and different, refreshing amid meaty or heavy canapés and of course perfect for vegetarians. Plus they look gorgeous!

Instead of large wedges I cut the butternut squash into little triangles that I then topped with feta, pesto and pomegranate seeds.

Butternut squash canapés with Persian pesto, feta and pomegranate seeds, makes about 30

Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe

1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthways (skin-on), and seeds removed 

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

150 g feta

100 g pomegranate seeds

For the pesto:

100 g pistachios

70 g parmesan

100 ml olive oil

1 small bunch coriander

1 small bunch parsley

1 small bunch dill

1 red chilli

1 lemon, juice only

2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut each wedge into 1 cm thick slices and place on lined baking trays, evenly spread out. Drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper and roast the squash for about 30-40 minutes, just until the edges have begun to brown slightly and they’re soft.

For the pesto, add the pistachios and cheese to a food processor. Pulse to break them into small pieces and add enough olive oil to slacken the mixture to your desired consistency (you may not need all the oil). Add all the herbs and a little more olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and give the mixture one last pulse. Taste the pesto, to make sure it has enough salt and acidity, and allow it to rest in the fridge until you need it. 

To serve, place the butternut squash pieces on a platter, spoon a little pesto on each and top with crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds.

Recipe: Beetroot Cured Salmon Toasts with Dill Cream Cheese and Prawns

This was our starter on Christmas Eve. Not traditional but still with a nod to Christmas. And most important of all; it was so yummy!

It was my first time curing salmon with beetroot but I love the ombre effect and will definitely do it again. The beetroot doesn’t add any flavour – only the intense and lovely colour! But do wear gloves when handling it as the colour can stain your hands easily. And of course, cover your clothes with an apron.

Beetroot cured salmon toast with dill cream cheese and prawns, per toast

1 slice soft white bread

1 tbsp salted butter

2 slices beetroot cured salmon (recipe below)

5 peeled Atlantic prawns 

1 tbsp dill cream cheese (recipe below)

1 slice lemon

1 dill sprig

To serve:

honey mustard sauce mixed with creme fraiche

Fry the bread slice in butter on low-medium meat until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen towel. Cut off the crusts with a serrated bread knife. Place 1 msk dill cream cheese on the bread and arrange the salmon slices around it. Add the prawns and decorate with a lemon slice and dill. Serve with the sauce on the side.

Beetroot cured salmon

600 g salmon fillet

3 tbsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

3 beetroots, peeled and coarsely grated (use gloves)

Cure the salmon 48 hours before you intend to eat it. Place the salmon in a deep glass or china dish. Mix salt, sugar, grated beetroot and dill in a bowl and pat into the top of the fish. Cover with clingfilm and place something heavy on top of the salmon and place in the fridge for 48 hours.

Once cured, pour away the water and scrape off the beetroot. Rinse quickly in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut into thin slices.

Dill cream cheese

180 g (small packet) full fat Philadelphia

3-4 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Mix Philadelphia with dill and lemon juice in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and mix again.