Summer memories – Mandelkubb (almond cake)

I was brought up on the east cost of  Sweden in the wealthy 70-80′s. We had 10 weeks of summer school holidays. My mum worked part-time in the summer and every sunny day we were picked up at noon in the old yellow Saab. My mum had packed the bags for the beach. My dad worked at Saab and they had a resort just outside my hometown. It was a peninsula with 20 small cottages, a swimming pool, rowing boats and a beach.This were the place we headed towards every day.

The same procedure took place every sunny afternoon. We arrived close to 1 pm and unpacked sandwiches, radio, coffee, syrup and mandelkubbar (almond cake). At 5 past 1 the genius radio program “Sommar” started . A program that have been broadcasted since 1959. Well known people get the air for 90 minutes to tell their stories, reflections, memories and playing their favorite music. We listened to the program while we had our sandwiches. After a long bath we sat down for coffee (me and my sister had syrup) and almond cakes. The cake gets dry very fast so we washed it down with the syrup. Never has a dry cake tasted as good as on the cliffs after a long bath.

Yesterday we baked mandelkubbar for the first time. They are easy to make and only takes 30 min including oven time. You should enjoy them when they are still warm from the oven.

Ingredients for 20 mandelkubbar

  • 50 g almond
  • 12 bitter almond
  • 125 g butter
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 dl yoghurt (use filmjölk if you live in Sweden)
  • 5 dl flour
  • 2 teaspoons hartshorn salt (hjorthornssalt, Hirschhorn salz)
  • egg, chopped almond and pearl sugar for decoration.

Heat the oven to 200 ⁰ C. Chop the almonds and grate the bitter almond and put aside. Whisk sugar and butter. Add egg, yoghurt to the sugar mixture. Mix flour and hartshorn salt and add together with the almonds to the mixture. Make 20 rectangular cookies and put on a plate covered with oven-paper. Whisk the remaining egg and sprinkle on the cookies. Add chopped almond and pearl sugar. Bake for 12 minutes.

When the Mandelkubb gets dry, and this will only take a couple of days, you could use them for this easy-to-make dessert.

Split two almond cake in smaller pieces. Marinate in 1 dl Amaretto. Put the marinated almond cakes, strawberries and ice-cream in layers.

Enjoy!

Music: Intro to the radio program Sommar i P1

Two for one with rhubarb

In Berlin they really do practice seasonal food. We eat white asparagus April-June, we eat chanterelle in the autumn and we eat as much rhubarb as we can before they are all gone. Even though I sometimes miss strawberries, rhubarb and chanterelle, I like the idea of adjusting to nature – not the other way around.  We’ve made two different rhubarb desserts; one sweet and one with cheese.

Rhubarb sorbet with strawberries

  • 500 g Rhubarb
  • 300 g syrup of Sugar*
  • 25 g Lemon juice, (squeezed from fresh lemons)
  • 1/2 Gelatin leaf
  • Strawberries
  • Black pepper

Blend rhubarb, syrup, lemon juice and gelatine together. Use an ice-cream maker.

Serve on top of fresh strawberries and just before serving grind black pepper on top!

* Syrup of sugar

  • 540 g Sugar
  • 3 dl Water
  • 100 g Glucose

Boil until 106 degrees Celsius, let cool off. Keep in the fridge.

Goat cheese with rhubarb

  • 2 Rhubarb stalks
  • White wine, enough to cover the rhubarb
  • 1-2 tbsp Honey
  • 8 thin slices of Baguette or Brioche
  • Goat cheese

Cut the rhubarb stalks in pieces, cover them with white wine and let simmer for 10 minutes. They shall be cooked so as to still be firm when eaten.

Roast the bread in the oven, until they get a bit of colour.

Place the rhubarb and the bread on a plate, sprinkle honey on top of the rhubarb. Serve together with a piece of really fine goat cheese. (If you’re uncertain wich cheese to choose, ask if you can taste it)

Music: Listening to Emmylou Harris’ Hard bargain.

Hurray for the orange season!

Oranges can of course not grow in Sweden or in Germany, besides from in a greenhouse, but nevertheless the orange season is now. I, for one, have been very sceptical to cooking with oranges. But I believe you must try everything at least once so we gave it a try and it blow my taste buds away. It was marvellous!

First course – orange season

  • 2 small Fennels
  • 1 Red onion
  • 2 Oranges
  • Black olives
  • Walnuts, chopped
  • Parma ham or bresaola

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice, fresh
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
  • Salt and black pepper

Slice the fennels and the red onion really thin. Fillet the oranges and try to save the juice for the dressing. Blend fennel, red onion, orange fillets and walnuts on plates. Add the olives and the meat. Mix the dressing together and pour it carefully on the salad. Decorate with the fennel dill if it’s good. Serve immediately!

Dessert – orange season

  • 0,5 l fresh Orange juice from juicy oranges
  • 1 dl Syrup of sugar
  • 0,5 leaf Gelatine
  • 3 Oranges
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Start by making the sorbet; warm some of the orange juice up and melt the gelatine leaf.  Blend with the rest of the juice, taste it with the syrup, strain and pour it into the ice cream maker.

Make a “mirror” of your best olive oil at the bottom of a plate or a dessert bowl. Fillet two oranges and place the fillets in the olive oil.  Put the sorbet on top, add a bit of sea salt and fresh grinded black pepper.

Music: Playing the fabulous record Wounded rhymes by Lykke Li

Cheese or chocolat?

When we plan what to eat we always end up discussing whether we should have cheese or chocolate as dessert. That’s the beauty with a five course or a seven course than you can have both!

Cheese with fresh figs

  • 3-4 fresh Figs
  • 8 thin slices of Baguette/ loaf of french bread
  • 150 g Goat cheese
  • 2 dl Crème fraiche
  • 2 leaves of Gelatine
  • a pinch of Salt

Soak the gelatine leaves for 5 minutes in cold water. Use an electric mixer and mix goat cheese, crème fraiche and salt to a smooth cream. Let 1/2 dl of the cream come to a boil, squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and stir them into the warm cream until they melt. Blend the warm cream with the cold cream.

Dress a small tin or dish with plastic wrap, pour the cream and let it set in the fridge at least 6 hours before serving.

Balsamico reduction

  • 1 1/2 dl Balsamico vinegar
  • 1 dl Port
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar

Blend all the ingredients in a pot and boil until 1/2 dl remains.

Before serving cut the goat cheese cream in cubes, toast the baguette slices, cut the figs and make a nice pattern with your balsamico reduction. Done!

Chocolate ganache with liquorice ice cream (for 6 persons)

  • Cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 100 g dark Chocolate, 70% or more, cut in pieces
  • 100 g Butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 large Egg yolks
  • 2,5 tbsp Sugar
  • 0,75 dl Wheat flour

Set the oven to 175 degrees C. Butter small forms (1,5 dl) and powder them with cocoa.

Melt chocolate and butter in a water bath, when melted lift up the bowl from the water. Whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Pour the chocolate/butter mixture and blend. Sift the flour into the mixture.

Fill your forms to 3/4, put them on a baking plate and bake them for 5-6 minutes. Turn the baking plate around and bake for another 4-6 minutes or until the edges of your ganaches looks fixed and seems to let go of the form. Don’t bake them to long – the middle of the ganache shall be runny.

If you don’t want to eat your ganaches directly, you can put the forms, well wrapped in plastic, in the fridge until serving. Bake them 2 x 9 minutes instead.

Liquorice ice cream

  • 10 Egg yolks
  • 5 dl Milk
  • 5 dl Cream
  • 2,5 dl Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • Liquorice root/ liquorice extract or Lakritsal

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Let milk, cream, vanilla pod and liquorice come to a boil. Pour the heated fluid on to the egg/sugar mixture during whisking. Warm all of it until it reaches 85 degrees C. Strain the mixture and pour it into an ice cream machine.

Serve your ganaches with the ice cream, raspberries and balsamico vinegar.

Music: Listening to a dear friends new record with his band Playful

Lack of passion in your life?

Then you should try this smooth, fresh and tasty passion fruit Panna cotta.

Passion fruit Panna cotta

  • 1 1/2 – 2 leaves of Gelatine
  • 1 1/2 dl Cream
  • 5 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 dl Youghurt
  • 1 Vanilla pod

Let the cream, the sugar and the vanilla pod come to a boil. Pull it away from the stove. Add the soaked leaves (soak them in cold water and squeeze out the water before blending them) of Gelatine and let them melt in the cream mixture.  Let it cool of a bit, remove the vanilla pod and add the youghurt.

Pour the mixture in soup  plates or in small bowls, leave them in the fridge for about 3 hours.

Passion fruit jelly

  • 1 1/2 leaves of Gelatine
  • 2 dl Passion fruit juice

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water, squeeze them and melt them carefully in a pot together with the passion fruit juice. Let it cool of a bit and poor the jelly carefully on top of your Panna cottas.

Before serving, scoop out half a passion fruit on each portion. You can also decorate with fresh mint leaves.

Feast for all you sweet tooths out there

Ice cream three-in-one

  • 12 cl Amaretto
  • 4 cups Espresso
  • 8 scoops Vanilla ice
  • 12 Amaretto cookies (or other almond cookies)

Use caramel sauce as the finishing touch!

Raspberry meringue

  • 2 dl fresh or frozen Raspberries
  • 1 dl White wine
  • 0,5 dl Sugar
  • Cookie crumbles
  • 0,5 Lemon, the zest
  • Meringue mixture (3 egg whites, 2 dl sugar – whip to a firm mixture)

Boil the raspberries with wine and sugar. Pour the mixture in a glass, let it cool off. Whip the meringue mixture. Add a layer of cookie crumbles to the cool raspberries. The next layer is the meringue mixture. Burn the meringue preferably with a Creme brulé burner, if you don’t have one use the grill in your oven. Remember it shall not be warm just get a bit of a colour. Decorate with cookie crumbles and raspberries.

Grilled sponge cake with apple

  • 4 slices Sponge cake, fried or grilled
  • 2 pealed Apples, cut in pieces
  • Sugar and butter to fry the apples
  • a twig of fresh Rosemary
  • 2 dl Yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 0,5 Lemon, the zest
  • Rosemary, finely chopped

Peal the apples and cut them in pieces, fry them in sugar and butter with a twig of rosemary. Blend the yoghurt with the honey and the finely chopped rosemary. Grill or fry the sponge cake so it gets a bit of colour.

Place the sponge cake on a plate, add the apple cubes on top and pour the yoghurt mix over.

Decorate with rosemary and lemon zest.

Music: Listening to The Searchers – Sweets for my sweet

Sunday morning breakfast

Our sourdough is dead. Two weeks in Sicily and the poor thing died… Well rest in peace. We’ll make a new one! Until it’s done we need to bake bread with yeast. Found these lovely breakfast buns on a Swedish recipe site.

Bandy rolls

  • 2 grated Carrots
  • 4 dl Water
  • 1 dl Yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 package of dry Yeast
  • 6 dl Wheat flour
  • 6dl Wholemeal flour

Blend the ingredients together and let it ferment for approximately 30 minutes. The dough should have doubled in size. Make 10 rolls and place them on oven paper and put the baking plate in a cold oven.

Set the temperature to 225 degrees Celsius. When the oven reaches 225 degrees your rolls are done. Takes less than an hour!

We ate ours with a good cheese, elk sausage and horseradish spread with smoked salmon.