April 19, 2016

Rhubarb crumble

The most difficult thing about putting this post together was coming up with a name for this... well, crumble I guess? But it isn't really a crumble either. It's like a hybrid of a crumble, a cake and a chewy cookie. Or is it a crisp? Can someone please tell me what the difference between a crisp and a crumble is? For me, a crumble has actual crumbles on top, whilst this batter is more like a runny cake batter... Whatever it is, the caramelized topping is crunchy and chewy and pairs incredibly well with the tart rhubarb underneath. I'm so happy the first rhubarb is finally popping out of the ground! Now I'm just waiting for the strawberries as well. 
If you've been following this blog for a while you probably know that I love pairing berries and rhubarb with cardamom. Ok, I love anything with cardamom. Really. And I love serving things with vanilla ice cream. All good.
I also finally got the chance to test my handcrafted pie server from Nershi woodworks. Isn't it just beautiful?

8-10 servings

Notes on this recipes
-I use a syrup that is made from cane sugar for this recipe, but I think maple syrup or corn syrup would work too.
-Feel free to switch out the lemon juice and zest for orange juice and zest, or flavor the rhubarb with vanilla and more cinnamon. Or ginger! I do love rhubarb and cardamom together though.
-The topping is very runny before baking, very much like a cake batter. It's supposed to be like this, so don't worry.
-You may notice that I didn't use any thickener for the rhubarb. In pies with no crust in the bottom I don't mind the juices of the fruit, but feel free to add 1 tbsp or so of cornstarch or thickener of your choice.
-Serve this pie either slightly hot or cold from the fridge, depending on your preferences. When cold it's slightly more crunchy and chewy, almost like a cookie in texture. 

For the topping
2/3 cup (150 g) salted butter (if using unsalted, add another pinch of salt to batter)
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) light syrup
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (100 ml) milk or half & half
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 (120 g) tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup (90 g) rolled oats
1/4 tsp sea salt flakes

For the rhubarb
400 g rhubarb (ends trimmed), about 5 stalks
zest from 1 small organic lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp (40 g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter together with syrup and milk. Set aside to cool completely.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, oats and salt. 
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.
5. Cut the rhubarb into 1/2 - 2/3 inch (1 1/2 cm) pieces. In a large bowl, toss rhubarb with lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Put the rhubarb in a deep-dish pie plate (8-9 inches / 22-24 cm) and pour the topping over the rhubarb. Smooth topping with a spatula.
6. Bake in the center of the oven for 45-47 minutes or until topping is golden and rhubarb filling is bubbly. Let cool for a while before serving with vanilla ice cream.

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March 23, 2016

Butterkaka - cinnamon bun cake with almond paste and vanilla custard

I've come to realize that the Swedish classics are grossly underestimated, in my book at least. I mean, the cinnamon bun and the semla are definitely on my top ten list of favorite pastries. Maybe even my top five list. So I'm kind of working my way through the classics and thoroughly enjoying it.
If you're a fan of cinnamon buns (and my guess is that you are), you will looove this recipe. It's exactly like cinnamon buns except filled with homemade almond paste (the classic recipe uses the "regular" cinnamon bun filling though) and vanilla custard.
And I know that everyone who ever made this recipe in Sweden makes a joke about it. 'Butter' means grumpy in Swedish. Tasting this will not make you grumpy. Quite the opposite. On the other hand, Swedish is kind of a funny language. We use the same word for 'married' as we do for 'poison' ('gift'). Strange. And yes, I am aware of the fact that 'kaka' means something completely different in certain languages.. In Swedish it simply means cookie or cake. Today's Swedish lesson. But I digress.

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February 25, 2016

Blood orange galette with frangipane and an almond crust

I see blood oranges (even blood clementines!) everywhere these days and I knew some of them were coming home with me. I wasn't sure how to tell if they are actually red inside though (sometimes the skins are a bit darker but not always!)? Because I wanted red ones, yes, I'm very superficial that way. I only managed to grab a couple though and the rest were orange inside. Oh well.

I must say I had my doubts about baking blood oranges like this in a galette. But I can happily report that they turned out really, really delicious. I thought they would become dry and dull, but quite the opposite. Especially together with my favorite flaky almond crust and the creamy, sweet frangipane filling underneath. It most certainly doesn't get better than that. Ok, maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I was never really a huge fan of pies but the past few months have really turned me around and made me into the biggest pie fan! Seriously, there is nothing more delicous or satisfying to bake than a pie. Can you believe I just said that? I think you will find out why very soon..

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February 17, 2016

Toscakaka - Swedish almond caramel cake

As a Swede who bakes a lot, what I'm about to say next is a bit embarrassing.
I have never baked a toscakaka before.
Why, you wonder? I have no idea.
But now, I must say I'm very glad I finally did. Better late than never, right?
Not only is each slice a buttery, moist, fluffy, crunchy, caramelly piece of heaven, it's also incredibly easy to make.

I thought I'd come back (as you may have noticed, I haven't blogged in quite a while) with something really fancy, like a crazy layer cake or something, but I quickly realized that was way too ambitious for the state I'm in (Exhausted! Uninspired!).
Cause it's kind of hard to get back, so I thought I'd make something very easy without compromising flavor. It worked out well, I must say. I think I happily announced finishing my new book about four months ago? Forget I even said that. Still working on it!
While I'm working on finishing that book, you go right ahead and make this cake. Ok?

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December 13, 2015

Lussekatter - Buttermilk saffron buns (recipe in English and Swedish)

I enjoy Christmas baking so much, but this year, there hasn't really been much time for it. So far.
These are a must for me though, no matter how busy I am, I always find the time to make these and pop them in my freezer. I actually just realized there are only two left in there.. I need to make another batch. I generally find most types of Christmas candy too sweet anyway, I mean I adore caramels but I just can't handle the sweetness. These Lussekatter though, are just perfectly sweet. I adore them.

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November 17, 2015

Pear cardamom cake with brown butter frosting & chocolate glaze

Ok, so I'm officially in Christmas mode from now on. I took the plunge yesterday and started listening to Christmas music.. I felt kind of guilty for some reason. Lit candles, clementines and Christmas music is the best way to get myself into the spirit so that's what I've been doing even though it's still quite early (who am I kidding, bring on the Christmas tree already!).
And obviously, this cake which really is the best cake I've had in a while. It might not look like much but, oh, those flavors! Again with the cardamom, I know, but I just can't help myself. And browned butter, pear and chocolate of course.

This weekend I was lucky enough to have my sweet friend Joann Pai visit me in my little town. We had a really great time together, shooting, talking, eating cake, pancakes, cinnamon buns, Indian food and whatnot. Funny thing is, I'm just so used to working alone that I get kind of nervous when someone is watching me work. I'm almost asking for permission to move things around, like "Ok, so I'm gonna put this here....?". I'm glad we were able to get some shots of the cake since the weather wasn't showing its' best side that day. We were also glad to have this cake, obviously.

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