Advent calendar: Fika – the art of the Swedish coffee break

Today’s fun read was Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats.

Fika is to Sweden what kaffe is to Norwegians – only even more so. It’s coffee, but it is not just grabbing a cup to go at a Starbucks. And it is not just covered by the Norwegian meal that somehow comes after dessert when you’ve visited your grandmother. It is sitting down, and taking a break from your day to enjoy the coffee, and something to bite in alongside it.

It is going on a train ride and bringing pastry and a coffee cup (or tea) to enjoy.

The book is fun and sweet and nicely illustrated.

Lapper

Lapper, or sveler, is the Norwegian version of American pancakes. Well, other than the fact that you’d get a strange look over here if you tried eating them for breakfast.
They’re squarely in the domain of sweet food – hence they are meant to be eaten for afternoon tea/coffee. Maybe if a class or an organization has a bake sale, they will be featured.
We eat them with butter, or jam, or jam and sour cream, or in rare circumstances – with Danish chocolate spread.lappermedsjokoladelapper

Battenberg cake

I have wanted to make a Battenberg cake for years. Since a recipe came with my issue of BBCGoodFood in March, it seemed like a good reason to make it.

 Unfortunately, our pink food colouring did not come through that well in the oven. It ended up being yellow and brown… We might try some other colours if we’re making it again.

But taste-wise, it was ok.

History of the Battenberg cake

Tuesday with Dorie: Nutella buttons

This week’s recipe in Tuesday’s with Dorie was Nutella Buttons (Baking Chez Moi,  page 188). Basically, mini muffins filled  with Nutella. Check out the other bakers.


The mini versions turned out pretty great, but as I was lacking patience and lacking good liners – I turned the rest of the batter into big version.


I am generally not a big fan of white cakes (including cupcakes) but these were moist and delicious. The nutella filling helped a lot.

Pizza dough for freezing

I got another bowl for my Kenwood recently. Perfect for making up a double batch of Annie’s Eats pizza dough for freezing.

It is probably one of the easiest (and least energy consuming) recipes for making pizza dough I have found. Well, save for proving time. 

That aside, it really is quite nice on days when I do have a bit more energy, to spend in the kitchen and make freezer food for days when I won’t.

Pulling out a premade pizza dough from the freezer, with ingredients I can name, on the other days, uses about as much energy as stopping at the store on energy-less days to pick up a frozen meal.

Tuesday with Dorie – Coconut Tapioca

This Tuesday with Dorie recipe was the Coconut Tapioca, from her book Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere

The recipe said big tapioca balls -so I found some “Cock brand” Tapioca balls at my local Asian immigrant store. (I kind of wanted to go for the small ones with colour, but the recipe said big, and they only had big ones in white.)  DSC0026

Then came the time to soak them. Overnight. In cold water. I am not quite sure what I did wrong, but the balls disintegrated. I did some searching, and found that there was another approach – to start off with boiling hot water, and then let the balls soak in that.

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Second batch of balls were almost completely whole, and starting to go translucent. (Admittedly, I only had these soak for four hours. I probably should have had them soak overnight.)

By that point, I was starting to wonder if this whole process was worth it.

I added the ingredients to a pot on the stove and set to cooking. Allegedly, it was supposed to turn fairly quickly to porridge-like consistency. Mine didn’t. I got bored. I added food colouring. (Not in original recipe.)

Two hours after putting it on the stove, I discarded a lot of the liquid, and cooked it some more. When it started to resemble porridge a bit, I took it off, stirred in the vanilla and let it cool a bit before having a small bowl.

It was good, (rich and tasty) but I have had better milk-based puddings. (Like my grandmother’s sago porridge.)

I put the remainder in the fridge, and the next day the consistency was much more what I had initially expected. Very creamy and rich.

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Would I make it again?

Probably not. Something did not quite work for me with the taste, and as the recipe did not come together properly for me, (nowhere does it say to discard liquid.) it is not one I feel the desperate need to make again.

I kind of wish I had mixed in some flavouring with the food colouring so it did not merely look pink, but have that taste.

I’m going to try making bubble tea with the remainder of the tapioca balls at some point, though, so not completely wasted purchase.

Waffle Day!

DSC_0003March 25 is the Waffle Day! So naturally, I had to make waffles.

This recipe has been named the best waffles in the world several times over. (The Norwegian Church Abroad has a tradition of serving waffles to visiting guests, and the different churches in various countries abroad have been competing for the best waffle recipe… )

This recipe is from the Norwegian Church in Copenhagen, and I whipped it together in less than 5 minutes when I was feeling down and in need of some good memories back from when I studied in Copenhagen. (I melt the butter in the microwave, so mixing the batter together took next to no time.)

Unlike Belgian waffles, these are soft.

Continue reading “Waffle Day!”

Creamy porridge with apple, raisins and orange juice compote

DSC_0172A new year, new food promises. This porridge from BBC Good Food is incredibly creamy – it actually feels a bit like rice porridge, but it is oats- and the compote on top brings it all together.

The recipe gives two servings, and two big servings at that. From experience: I put one in the fridge, and plan to have it for breakfast tomorrow. That works perfectly – and it still will taste good.

I ended up fresh pressing oranges for the juice. If I’m going to start eating fresh, I wanted to avoid the preservatives in the store-bought orange juice. It takes about two oranges to get to the 150 ml juice needed in the recipe.

If you want to fancy it up even more, adding cinnamon would be a nice touch.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Rugelach

Rugelach
These rather reminded me of Baklava in consistency. And my sister also commented that she has had something similar Middle Eastern desserts.

Some comments:

  • I am not a huge fan of coconut, but it needed it here for the consistency. I am not sure what I would substitute it with if I did not have it. More nuts maybe?
  • I switched the dried cherries for raisins and the milk chocolate for dark.
  • I did not chop any of the items for the filling at the start of making the recipe. When the recipe said to combine the ingredients for the filling in a bowl, I added them all to the food processor and zapped them together until they were finely chopped. Beats chopping everything by hand.

The end result worked rather well for me. However, I fell victim several times to skimming the recipe and going by what I thought the procedure was, from other similar recipes.

I think my dough ended up thicker because of it, but as it was still very flaky when baked, I can live with that.

I brought it to work the next day and served up the remainder, and all of my colleagues said they loved it – with a couple asking for the recipe.

I would have loved for there to have been a picture involved in the cookbook.

Tuesdays with Dorie

BBC GoodFood Calendar November

The toffee apple and pecan cake was the recipe of November in the BBC GoodFood Calendar.

It was an interesting cake – taste wise not quite like anything I’ve had before. The filling was delicious, and I made double on the advice of the comments at the site, but if I make it again, I think I will omit the pecans.
eplekake2

eplekake

Dulce de leche

The November recipe from BBC Good Food required Carnation caramel from a tin. In Norway it is near impossible to find caramel in a tin. I had to make it myself.

One tin of sweetened condensed milk (bought at the immigrant shop at the local mall), a slow cooker, and about 8 hours of submerging the tin in water in the slow cooker on low heat. (You can also do it on the stove in a pot, filled with water.

It gives this result:
karamell

Tuesdays with Dorie: Palets de Dames, Lille Style

paletI made these Palets de dames from the Baking Chez Moi cookbook on Sunday, and brought with me to my grandmother’s nursing home and served them around her hallway. My grandmother had three of them, and enjoyed them very much.

I first iced some of them with white icing, then I added some pink food colouring to the icing mixture. After icing some more, I added blue colouring to the pink icing to get the purple effect.

They kind of tasted like Norwegian krumkaker, they were very easy to make and the colourful icing added a fun element.

Tastewise, for me, they were a bit boring and I kind of craved some strong black coffee to go with them.

BBC GoodFood Calendar October

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The picture here looks less than appetising – but the Butternut Dauphinoise that was the October recipe from the BBCGoodFood Calendar was really tasty. I did not have thyme, so I added rosemary instead.

It’s really a cheesy side dish (works well together with either salmon fillets or chicken), that is perfect for the autumn.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

All across the spring semester, I was testing Oslo for the perfect cinnamon bun. Whenever I would spot one in a display case, that was what I would order. And almost inevitably be let down. Either the buns were too dry, too little filling… or just plain wrong.

What can I say, cinnamon buns are almost sacred to a girl from the western coast of Norway.

So, when the weather changed from summer to autumn, it was time to get baking.

Since I have a lot of apples on my hands, I found yet another recipe I had book-marked and went to work.

I opted for a modification, since I have a lot of apples, and made The Pioneer Woman’s Caramel apple sweet rolls.

 

cinnamon rolls

I replaced a fourth of the flour with a slightly less refined option, and replaced the sugar in the dough with Steviosa (a sugar-like Stevia product.) Since the rest of the recipe is filled with brown sugar, I’m not sure there was much effect going on with the latter replacement, but every little bit helps? *shrug*

It will not be completely wrong to say that these were devoured. The caramel in the filling and the icing was delicious, albeit maybe a touch too sweet. If I make it again, I would use less powdered sugar in the icing. (I used the four cups listed, and could well have done with 2, to have the icing more runny.)

Coffee Pancakes

PancakesIt’s International Coffee Day today. That means it is the perfect day to make these Coffee Pancakes from A Cozy Kitchen.

Really! Do it. I made them a few weeks ago, and immediately sent a text to those of my friends who absorb coffee like they absorb air and told them to make these.

It is probably the easiest to make, and best results, I have experienced with any American pancake recipe. (I used the conversion that 1 cup=roughly 237 ml.)

I switched the sugar in the recipe for 1 tsp powdered stevia. And then doused the thing in Canadian blueberry maple syrup – so I’m not sure it made a huge difference in the long run…

The recipe without the coffee added is also quite tasty. I’ve experimented with switching types of flour for it to make it rougher”, successfully.

BBC GoodFood Calendar September

IMG_2076.JPGI have officially eaten waaay too much of this tray bake. I first had one slice. Then another couple of slices as I was catching up on the dessert episode of The Great British Bake Off – and then I needed another slice as Iain’s ice cream disappeared into the trash bin.

I feel too full.

It is the oaty plum gingerbread slice that is the recipe for September. You kind of have to love ginger to make it – or possibly cut down a bit on it.

One advantage though is that it is really not a huge tray bake.