Baking · Comfort Food · Desserts & Puddings · Swedish

Kladdkaka or Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake

This cake is so easy to make that even the kids can be allowed to have a go. It was my birthday yesterday and my youngest daughter who we don’t normally let loose in the kitchen made this for our evening coffee. Simply divine!

Kladdkaka, a sticky chocolate cake, is a traditional Swedish fika (our word for the daily coffee/tea breaks we enjoy and love to share with friends and family) favourite. Almost impossible to ruin (unless you leave it in the oven for too long) and very quick and easy to make. It doesn’t even take very long to clean up after.

The cake is delicious served warm with ice cream, whipped (or even clotted) cream, but can also be served cold just as it is. When you have surprise visitors popping in, you can pop a cake in the oven and be ready to serve it just over half an hour later. How cool is that! =)

Ingredients:

  • 100 g butter
  • 2 1/2 dl (1 UK cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 dl (0.6 UK cup) plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • icing sugar to decorate

Directions:

  1. Turn the oven on at 175° Celcius (350 F/gas mark 4).
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  3. Take the saucepan off the hob and stir in the sugar and the eggs.
  4. Add all other ingredients (apart from the icing sugar) and mix to a nice smooth “gooey” consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture into a breaded or papered oven tray.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 20 minutes

You should end up with a fairly low cake that has a slightly crispy crust and a sticky inside. Once it has cooled down a little you can sprinkle some icing sugar over it and serve with cream, ice cream and/or berries and/or fruit. Or whatever else you might like to serve with a chocolatey sticky cake, really. I promise it’ll be a hit! =)

Baking · Bread

Thyme & Tomato Bread

A nice hearty soup needs a nice freshly baked bread to go with it. Or at least that’s what I think. Today, I’ve been making enough soup and stew to feed the family and the whole neighbourhood. (I feel rich when I have food in my kitchen… =)) Looking at the lovely pumpkin soup I’d made, I  felt it would be a shame not to have a proper good bread to serve with it.

Thyme & Tomato bread (pic does not do the colour justice)

I looked through my cupboards and found some tinned chopped tomatoes and I harvested some thyme from our little herb garden. I chopped the thyme and mixed it with the tomatoes, 2dl olive oil, a bit of salt and a cup of hot water. Then I stirred 75g of fresh yeast (can be bought in Polish shops) into this mixture and made sure it was properly dissolved.

With the wet mixture ready to go, I added a handful each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and another handful of oats. Then I worked roughly 1,5kg of white flour into the mix until I had a nice moist dough that did not stick to my hands. I covered the bowl and allow the dough to rest for half an hour.

The dough now doubled in size was again worked together and cut up in three bits. One I turned into little rolls, and two into bigger flat breads. Again, I allowed them to rest for another half hour before baking in the oven at 250 degrees. 7-8 minutes for the rolls and 12-15 for the breads.

Last, but not least, we had newly baked rolls with real butter and a gorgeous bowl of pumpkin soup – all at a bargain cost of less than £5. What a feast!

Baking · Comfort Food · Desserts & Puddings · Sweets

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Fudge_Cake

This is an absolutely gorgeous chocolate fudge cake for one of those days when you just neeeeeed a choccie overload… =) Chocolate sponge sandwiched with chocolate and topped with even more chocolate! Yum scrumm for all us chocoholics out there…

Ingredients:

  • 100g spreadable butter
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 tbsp red vinegar
  • 100g plain chocolate, melted
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Icing: 225g plain chocolate, 100g butter and 142ml carton double cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Grease a round deep cake tin and line with baking paper
  3. Mix milk and vinegar
  4. Place all other cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  5. Pour in the milk mixture and whisk until smooth
  6. Spread into the baking tin and bake for an hour until firm in the centre
  7. Cool for 10mins, then turn out on a rack to cool completely
  8. Meanwhile, make the icing by melting the chocolate and butter together in the microwave for 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring after 90s. Stir until smooth then beat in the cream. Cool slightly.
  9. Halve the cake through the middle and spread half of the icing on the bottom half and sandwich together.
  10. Spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides of the cake
  11. If you want to, you can sift a little icing sugar over the cake and decorate with strawberries or something.
Atkins/Low Carb · Baking · Bread · Swedish

Sour Dough Bread or Swedish Surdegsbröd

sour-dough-bread

Sour dough bread is a very healthy, and very tasty, bread that is quite common in Sweden. It is very easy to make, but it does take its time to make. Once its baked you have a tasty bread that stays fresh for up to a week. At least. Save a piece of the sour dough in an air tight box or jar and you’ll have the base ready for next time.

Sour dough:

  • 4 tbsp rye flour
  • 2dl finger warm water
  • Mix flour and water and leave to rest in an air tight jar or box for at least 48 hrs. Do not put it in the fridge – it has to be warm!
  • After 2 days, add another 2 tbsp of rye flour and leave to rest for another 24 hrs.

Directions:

  1. DAY 1 – In the evening, take your sour dough and mix it with 3dl finger warm water and 200g rye flour. Leave to rest over night.
  2. DAY 2 – In the morning, take away 1dl of sour dough, put in an air tight jar och box and put in the fride for next time. Add 3dl finger warm water and 200g rye flour to your dough and leave to rest for 5-10 hrs.
  3. DAY 2 – In the evening, add 5dl finger warm water, 1 tbsp salt, 2dl flour and 500g rye flour. Leave to rest for an hour.
  4. Cut the dough in four and mould into loaves.
  5. Put the loaves in greased or papered baking trays and sprinkle them with a little flour.
  6. Leave to rest for about 40 mins until you can see little holes emerging in the dough.
  7. Set the oven to 250 degrees C.
  8. Put the loaves in the oven and reduce the temperature to 200 degrees.
  9. After 40 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and leave the breads in for another 10-20 minutes.
  10. Take the loaves out and let them cool.

You can freeze the bread, but it stays fresh for a long time, so unless you’re a small household or nor very hard on the bread you can keep it wrapped in a plastic bag for at least a week.

Baking · Desserts & Puddings · Fruit & Berries

Quick Cheesecake w Lime Glazed Berries

strawberry_blueberry1

This is a heavenly dessert that is close to a cheesecake but much easier to do. You can choose what flavour (if any) you want and decorate it with whatever suits your chosen flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 10 digestive bisquits
  • 50g butter
  • 4tbsp sugar
  • 800g cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • flavouring (try juice and zest of a lime, Bailey’s cream, finely chopped stravberries, a vanilla pod or whatever tickles your tastebuds)
  • 600ml double cream
  • decorations (choose whatever matches your flavouring – for my lime cake I caramellise blueberries and strawberries – see instructions below)

Directions:

  1. Turn the digestives into crumbs in a mixer or by beating them in a bowl
  2. Caramellise the sugar in a saucepan
  3. Add butter and digestive crumbs and stir quickly
  4. Spread the mixture in the bottom of a spring form
  5. Mix cream cheese, icing sugar and your chosen flavouring into a smooth mixture
  6. Whisk the double cream fluffy and fold into the cheese mixture
  7. Spread over the bisquit base
  8. Leave in the fridge for 3-4 hours to set
  9. Decorate and serve

Lime glazed berries:

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • juice of a lime
  • berries

Caramellise the sugar in a saucepan and add the lime juice. Stir and fold in the berries quickly – don’t let them get hot! Spread over the cake and leave in fridge to set.

This cake serves 8 people

Baking · Comfort Food · Swedish · Sweets

Negerbollar, or Swedish Chocolate Balls

chokladboll_stor1 These little balls have been my favourite sweet treat for as long as I can remember. We always used to call them negerbollar (negroe balls) which, admittedly, was not a very politically correct term. I just read in a paper the other day that the word has now been taken out of the Swedish Academy’s Dictionary and the balls are now to be called chocolate balls.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g butter
  • 3 dl oats
  • 1 1/2 dl caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp strong coffee
  • dessicated coconut

Directions:

  1. Leave the butter out to get room temperature (or micro wave it a little)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Roll into little balls
  4. Rolls the balls in the coconut to give them a nice coating
  5. Keep cold and serve with coffee or eat them just the way they are

Enjoy!

Baking · Swedish

Swedish Ginger Snaps, Pepparkakor

pepparkakor

With Christmas, or Jul (Yule) as us Swedes call it, closing in, I thought I’d share one of my seasonal favourites with you. There is no Jul without Pepparkakor!

These Ginger snaps are lovely biscuits that can be eaten all the year. Lovely just the way they are, they can also be decorated with iceing as in the picture, or eaten with butter and/or cheese. Try them with Gorgonzola for a true taste bud treat. Or put them in the Christmas tree!

The dough needs to rest for at least a day, so it has to be prepared in advance.

This recipe will give you roughly 300 delicious snaps.

Ingredients:

  • 300 g butter
  • 5 dl caster sugar
  • 1 dl syrup
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate soda
  • 2 dl water
  • 15 dl white flour

Directions:

  1. Leave the butter out to get room temparatured
  2. Mix butter, sugar and syrup
  3. Add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bicarbonate soda and mix.
  4. Add water and mix into the butter/sugar/spice.
  5. Work the flour into the mix and knead it properly until you have a nice biscuit dough.
  6. Wrap the dough in foil and leave in the fridge for at least a day.
  7. When the dough has ‘rested’ for at least 24hrs, take as much as you need and flatten it out with a rolling pin.
  8. Make biscuits either using templates cut them out with a knife. They can be round, heart-shaped, or look like Christmas-trees, men, women, pigs, stars or whatever you can think of.
  9. Put the biscuits on a paper and bake them in the oven for 4-5 mins in 225*
  10. Allow them to cool off and decorate them or eat them plain, whichever you prefer.