March 30, 2012

The conundrum of Cloudberry Jam


I gave my friend a bunch of food when we moved interstate. On my return six months later some of the items were unceremoniously given back to me.

"So... I'm gonna give you back that weird that jam because I don't know what to do with it".

The offending strange jam was a jar of Hjortronsylt aka Cloudberry Jam from IKEA

I grew up eating this lovely golden jam by the bucketful. My mother makes the best cloudberry jam in the world. It has whole red and orange yellow berries suspended in the most luscious sweet syrupy liquid. The version from IKEA is quite hard set but still has a distinct cloudberry taste.

For Miss S, should you ever stumble across this condiment again, here are my top favourite ways to use it:

1. Served with Swedish oven baked pancake. Slather knobs of butter on pancakes, dollop jam generously over the top. Enjoy! I might need to add a Swedish pancake recipe here shortly...

2. Served in yoghurt for breakfast. Stir in a spoon or three and enjoy. If you are lucky enough to get hold of Swedish Fil (like a thicker milder version of Kefir made with cow's milk) it's the best.

3. Warmed and served on top of vanilla ice cream

And a final note. I would never, and I mean never, use it as marmalade on toast. That's not to say it's wrong or would taste bad that way. In my book and for many other Swedes, it's just not how you eat it.

March 25, 2012

Fluffy Sunday pancakes


Make me pancakes, now! Mr N lovingly obliged and set to it. Not that it took a lot of convincing. He loves pancakes just as much as I do.
The only demand this time was that I wanted them fluffy. Something went horribly wrong when I made American pancakes last time and they were less than satisfactory. My fault entirely. I think I am just trained too well in the art of making thin and crepe like Swedish pancakes with no raising agent.

Anyway, the secret to making extra fluffy American pancakes is this: eggwhites. Folded into the batter at the last moment it makes divine, light as air pancakes. Jamie Oliver has a great recipe for an everyday version. The addition of blueberries makes them even better. If you have them at hand.

March 16, 2012

Easy Creamy Fetta dip

fetta dip 

This dip was great served as a side with the Spicy Garlic Chicken Wings. It would be equally tasty with crudites or chips for a party. Be careful with the salt as not all fettas are made equally. Mine was a very mild variety so the addition of a little bit of salt lifted the flavour of the dish.

Creamy Fetta Dip
Serves 4-6

50 g Fetta, grated (hard not creamy variety)
2/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
3 tsp milk
Pinch of salt

1. Grate the fetta into a bowl.

2. Add sour cream and greek yoghurt and mix well, adding an extra tablespon of yoghurt if needed. Use the milk to thin the dip.

3. Add salt and a pinch of pepper to taste.

March 15, 2012

Budget midweek dinner: Spicy Garlic Chicken Wings

Spicy Chicken 

This inexpensive chicken dish is lovely served cold or warm. The first time I made it was for our moving in party as part of a nibbles buffet, but it is equally yummy as a midweek summer dinner with salad. Chicken wings were about $1.70 a kilo and I got the butcher to take off the wing tips and make them into wings and drummettes.

I have modified the original recipe from Valli Little slightly, using less allspice as it was a bit too overpowering. I have also added salt as the original recipe was spicy but with no oomph and I used less Cayenne pepper because N doesn´t like his food hot. A bit of a warning - if you´re not a fan of garlic this recipe isn´t for you.

Spicy Garlic Chicken WingsServes 4 for dinner

1 1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (add full tsp if you like it hot)
1 tbsp sweet paprika
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt (about 3/4 tsp)
12 fat and juicy chicken wings and drummettes

1. Grate garlic with a microplane grater into a bowl, add spices, oil and a generous amount of salt to taste.

2. Place chicken in the bowl and bowl and make sure the pieces are covered. Marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking trays with baking paper.

4. Spread the wings and drummettes on the tray and bake for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through. Serve warm or cold 

March 10, 2012

Lemon and coriander hummus

hummous 2
Lemon and coriander hummus

Seriously, what is it with the spelling of this dish. I´ve seen so many different versions, in the end I just decided to chose one - Hummus - and leave it at that. My rant aside, here´s a rave. I absolutely love hummus, but it´s one of those dishes that can feel a bit uninspired and cheap at times. When I saw a recipe for a version with lemon and coriander on the BBC Good Food website I decided to give it a go. Now I have modified this recipe quite a bit as the original recipe was extremely tart and lacked depth. But the result is a truly delicious fresh dip that is inexpensive to make and will make enough to feed and army. Literally.

Just a tip. When you make this it´s a good idea to only put a little bit of the lemon juice in at a time as every lemon yields a different amount of juice. Better safe than sorry!

Lemon Coriander Hummus
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Serves 10-15

3 x 400g cans of chickpeas in water
3 fat garlic cloves roughly chopped
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
6-7 tbsp tahini paste
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1,5 lemons 20g coriander

1. Put everything except the lemon juice and the coriander into a food processor and whizz to a fairly smooth mix.
2. Scrape down the sides of the processor if you need to. Add lemon bit by bit to taste.
3. Season the hummus generously, then add the coriander and pulse until roughly chopped. Add more tahini if needed.
4. Spoon into a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, then serve with pita crisps or turkish bread.


March 7, 2012

Easy Hazelnut Chocolate Torte


This is such a typical Swedish recipe. Might not seem like it at first glance, but it´s another one of those super easy but yummy cakes that they do so well. It´s the kind of recipe that travels from home baker to home baker across the country, scribbled on a note, sent by email, passed on because it´s so darn yummy. I love this type of relaxed Swedish baking. This recipe is from a Swedish blogg called Lill-Ingers bakblogg. She has so many yummy cake recipes that I recognise from growing up in Sweden.

This cake was a massive hit at our recent house warming. Great served with blackberries too. Enjoy!

Note: Apparently this cake won an award at a local Swedish market back in 1988!

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Torte 

Serves 8-10


3 eggs
300 ml sugar (3dl)
150 g hazelnuts
1 tsp baking powder


3oo ml pouring cream (3dl)
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp good quality cocoa powder - preferably dutch
dark chocolate 

1.Turn oven to 175 degrees celsius.
2. With an electric mixer beat eggs and sugar until doubled in size.
3. Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until they resemble fine meal.
4. Mix the nuts with baking powder and fold into eggs and sugar.
5. Pour the batter into a largeish spring form tin that has been buttered and lined with baking paper. Bake in the lower part of the oven (not all the way at the  bottom though) for about 40 minutes.
6. Loosen the spring form and let the cake cool and then transfer to a plate. 
7. Whip the cream together with the rest of the ingredients until soft peaks form and spread onto cake. Grate as much dark chocolate as you wish over the cake.  

March 6, 2012

Feed a crowd - Mangomisu


I´ve wanted to make this ever since I saw it on the cover of Delicious some time ago. I finally got the chance when my family were visiting from Sweden. It´s a lovely mix between a tiramisu, cake and trifle. The raspberry sauce adds just enough tang to make an otherwise sweet cake something else. I´ve modified the original recipe by adding less cream as a lot of people who tried this before had issues with it being too sloppy. It was just perfect.

Recipe from Delicious magzine by Valli Little, modified by using  500 ml cream rather than 600 ml.
Ingredients (serves 6)
500g mascarpone cheese
500ml thickened cream
1/3 cup (50g) icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/2 cup (125ml) Grand Marnier
Juice of 2 oranges
Half a packet Savoiardi 300g savoiardi (see note) (sponge finger biscuits)
3 mangoes, flesh sliced 1cm thick
Raspberry sauce
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
Juice of 1 lemon
Line the base of a 22cm springform cake pan with plastic wrap or baking paper. Beat mascarpone, thickened cream, icing sugar, egg yolks and vanilla seeds with an electric mixer until thick and more than doubled in size.  
Combine the Grand Marnier and orange juice in a separate bowl. Dip half the sponge fingers into the juice mixture and layer in the base of the cake pan. Spread with one-third of the mascarpone mixture, and top with one-third of the mango slices. Repeat the process, then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture, reserving the remaining mango slices to serve. Cover the cake and chill for 2 hours or until firm.
Meanwhile for the raspberry sauce, place the sugar and 2 tbs water in a small pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly, then add the berries and lemon juice. Whiz in a food processor until smooth, then pass through a sieve. Chill until ready to serve. (You can store the sauce, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days).
To serve, carefully remove the sides and base of the cake pan and transfer the mangomisu to a platter. Decorate with curls of the reserved mango, then slice and serve with berry sauce.