Friday, September 19, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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Sweden is having very summery weather, still, despite the calendar showing a fall month. Mornings are misty, but afternoons are almost always sunny and warm. Quite lovely!

I made these apple cinnamon muffins the other day, to cheer myself up after a few weeks of very hard work. I found a recipe at Add a Pinch and adapted it to fit my needs. I baked mine in cups rather than in a lined muffin tin, and only dipped the very top of the muffin in the lovely topping - they turned out very delicious and I'm happy that I stashed a few in the freezer for another day.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
makes 18

110 g butter, softened
200 g sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
120 ml milk
300 g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 large apples, peeled and diced
1 tbsp flour

topping:
50 g butter, melted
100 g sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs carefully, one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, and add this to the batter alternating with the milk. Finally toss together the apples with a tablespoon of flour, and add to the batter.

Fill muffin cups, fairly full - you want them to rise above the top of the cup as they bake.

Bake at 175° C for about 15 minutes - check with a toothpick to make sure they're not sticky inside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter for the topping and let it brown a little. Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in the butter and then into the cinnamon sugar, and place on a rack to cool down.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Chewy Rhubarb Cardamom Cake

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I still have some rhubarb in my garden - a few straggly stalks. I don't want to let them go to waste, so I use them in a delicious, chewy cake. Perfect for afternoon fika sessions. You can also freeze this cake, pre-sliced, and just re-heat for a few seconds in the microwave. Surely that will liven up the gloomiest of fall days to come, don't you think?

Chewy Rhubarb Cardamom Cake

2 eggs
240 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar (or extract)
1 tsp cardamom seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
1 tsp baking powder
150 g all-purpose flour
75 g butter, melted

Topping:
rhubarb - about 8 small stalks, probably about 2-300 ml (no need to be exact)
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
1 tbsp pearl sugar

Beat the eggs and sugar until very white and fluffy. Stir in vanilla sugar, cardamom, baking powder, flour and the melted butter. Fold carefully until there are no streaks.

Pour into a buttered and floured springform pan. Top with the rhubarb, cardamom and sugar. Bake at 200°C for about 25 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Milk Chocolate Lemon Cookies

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This type of cookies is called "snitt" in Swedish - translates into "cuts" which is exactly the method for making these. Just like Italian cantuccini, you shape long logs of dough, bake and slice. These are not re-baked like biscotti though, instead they're left to cool and that leaves them crispy on the edges with a soft, chewy middle. These particular cookies are full of milk chocolate and lemon zest. Truly amazing.

Milk Chocolate Lemon Cookies
makes 40 or so

150 g butter, softened
140 g caster sugar
140 g brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp extract) 
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
240 g all-purpose flour
100 g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
zest from 1 lemon

Start by creaming the butter and both types of sugar very, very well. (My butter was, as usual, not softened, so I just creamed it for much longer.) Add the egg and vanilla and beat until mixed. Add the dry ingredients - baking soda, salt and flour - and mix until combined. Finally add the chocolate and the lemon zest. 

Shape into four slender logs and place on lined baking sheets. Bake at 175°C for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minute before cutting them, diagonally, into cookies. Leave to cool completely. 

These freeze very well but lose some of their chewiness. 



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Shell

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Magic Shell is an ice cream topping I first came into contact with in the US - where else? Well, you can find a version of it in Sweden too, nowadays. Or you can, as I have, make your own!

It's essentially a pourable chocolate topping that freezes instantly when poured over ice cream. It hardens into a crunchy chocolate shell. And it's yummy! My version has three ingredients, whereas the commercial obviously has many more. Mine does taste a little bit of coconut, but that's more of a feature than a flaw to me. If you don't like that, seek out a coconut oil with no flavor, there are plenty of those.

Let's get to it!

Homemade Chocolate Shell
250 g dark, high quality chocolate
200 g coconut oil
100 g corn syrup (substitute white baking syrup if you're in Sweden)

Simply melt all three ingredients together in the microwave. Use short intervals and stir well, to make sure nothing burns.

When everything is nice and smooth, stir it together, and pour into a squeeze bottle or a jar. This recipe makes quite a lot, but it will keep for a long time at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge, it'll go solid - don't do that.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Very promising book


I just got Veckans Favoriter ("Weekly Favorites") by Sara Begnér in the mail. I have to say, she is one of my favorite Swedish cookbook authors. Her recipes are easy to make, approachable, no weird ingredients that you can't find at the store, pretty healthy but still fun, playful and very flavorful. This book focuses, as the name implies, on weeknight dinners. Lots and lots of them! I'm seriously stuck in a rut, which is also why I have nothing to blog about, so I'm definitely eager to try some new things.