April 7, 2014

Strawberry cheesecake jars for Now you're cooking



I made these gorgeous little strawberry cheesecake jars yesterday. Delicious AND super easy to make!
However, I will not be posting the recipe here. Instead you can watch it being prepared live on nowyourecooking.tumblr.com/ on the 24th of April at 14.30 CET.

Now you're cooking is a three-day international live stream event by Electrolux to celebrate their new Expressionist collection. The event is completely dedicated to food, with lots of inspiring recipes, ideas and competitions. Don't miss it on the 22-24th of April!






March 31, 2014

Pavlova, Eton mess and "perfect" meringues




I kind of feel like I'm cheating on spring a little bit here. You see, many of these pictures are actually from last summer, but I never got around to posting them. Such a waste. And I hate wasting, whether it's food, photos or anything else.
I know that strawberry season hasn't begun yet (not in Sweden anyway) but it's definitely on its way. I could definitely eat strawberries everyday already, but there is something magical about waiting for the season when they're at their best (and not imported from halfway around the world).

I know I've said it before, but meringue, whipped cream and strawberries is my favorite combination ever. Obviously I bake several times a week, I eat a little bit of everything but then I give the rest away to friends (FYI mostly to my friend Emma's co-workers). However, when I make pavlova I pretty much eat the whole thing (my excuse is that it doesn't keep well in the fridge.. feel free to use that one if you want).

So here are som photos of "real life" as well, actually from midsummer last year. Dirty napkins, radishes and half empty/full glasses. Everything isn't always picture perfect. Fortunately.












Tips
-Preferably use a stainless steel or glass bowl, not plastic,  for whipping egg whites.
-Even a little bit of fat from the yolk or the bowl can ruin the whole meringue, so make sure the bowl and utensils are very clean and dry.

-Cold eggs separate more easily so make sure to separate them when they're still cold. Bring egg whites to room temperature before whipping to ensure best possible volume.
-It's best to use leftover egg yolks immediately, but if you're going to store them, make sure the bowl is clean and air-tight. Put whole egg yolks (broken egg yolks are ok too, just add less water, about a teaspoon or so) in the bowl and add some water. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
-You should be able to hold the bowl of glossy and thick meringue upside-down over your head without it sliding out (try if you dare!).

What to use leftover egg yolks for:
Berry cheesecake ice cream or any ice cream with a custard base
Pots de crème
Crème brûlée



Pavlova
with fresh strawberries
~ 6-8 servings

4 large egg whites
1 cup minus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp white wine vinegar

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
500 g fresh strawberries (about 4 cups)
Powdered sugar


1. Heat oven to 175°C (350°F). Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper.

2. Whip egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar, a little at a time, while continuing to whip. When mixture is stiff and glossy, add corn starch and white wine vinegar and stir until incorporated.

3. Divide the mixture betweens two large dollops on the baking sheet, spreading out mixture with a spoon or an offset spatula (remember to leave some space between as they float out a bit when baked).

4. Put the baking sheet with the meringues in the lower part of the oven and reduce oven temperature to 125°C (260°F). Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, then turn off the oven leaving the meringue to cool completely, preferably over night.

5. Whip cream with powdered sugar and lemon zest until soft peaks. Put the first meringue layer on a serving platter. Spread whipped cream on top and top with some chopped strawberries. Add the next layer and repeat the previous step. Powder with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.




Eton mess
with lime
4 servings

This meringue recipe makes chewier meringues which are perfect for Eton mess! You can, of course, also use the recipe below for a crispier version.

Meringues
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
finely grated zest from 1 lime (can be omitted)

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar, if desired
500 g fresh strawberries (about 4 cups)
a handful of red currants, if desired


1. Heat oven to 100°C (210°F).

2. Whip egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar, a little at a time, while continuing to whip. When mixture is stiff and glossy, spoon onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

3. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until you can remove them from the paper. 

4. Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla sugar until soft peaks. Layer chopped strawberries, currants, whipped cream and crushed meringue in individual serving glasses, or on a serving platter. Serve immediately.





"Perfect" crispy meringues
This recipe makes lots of small meringues (or bigger ones, but then you have to bake them longer). If you want your meringues to look "perfect" and to keep their white color, this is the recipe for you! (Pictured below)

2 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
finely grated zest from 1/2 lemon


1. Heat oven to 80-90°C (approximately 180°F). Put egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl.

2. Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water (the water should not touch the bowl). Heat gently and constantly stir with a wire whisk until mixture reaches 60-65°C (150-150°F). If you don't have a thermometer, rub some of the mixture between your fingers to make sure the sugar crystals have melted. The mixture should feel quite hot to the touch.

3. Remove the bowl from the heat, add lemon juice and whip until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool (may take up to 10 minutes). Add lemon zest if desired. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip and pipe onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

4. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 50-60 minutes (this is for really small meringues, if you wish to make them bigger you need to bake them longer. The meringues are ready when they feel hard to the touch and you can remove them from the paper). Leave the meringues in the oven until oven is cool, preferably overnight (to make them even crispier). 


March 3, 2014

Semlor



Tomorrow is the big day.
The day to eat semlor.
I've already eaten three (ok, four) this year but haven't made my own until yesterday.
I've made them before,  and I don't want to bad mouth one of my own recipes, but honestly these are just so much better. They are hands down, the best semlor I've ever made. I must say I was almost surpised when I took the first bite. A light and fluffy sweet wheat bun with lots of cardamom, filled with homemade almond paste, topped with sweetened whipped cream and powdered sugar.
I've been working a lot with yeasted dough recently and I must say I've learned so much since making them last year.


February 13, 2014

Carrot cake deluxe



Just yesterday it snowed like crazy. The biggest snowflakes I've ever seen. 
Seemed like it would be winter forever. One hour later, it was all gone. 
I know it will probably be winter for another 2 months at least, but I already have that spring feeling. The days are brighter and longer and the light today was just amazing. I couldn't stop taking pictures and ended up filling my 8 gigabyte card (yikes!). On the other hand, how could you not have spring feelings when you find lilacs in the flower shop (yes, lilacs!!)? I'm not sure what the other flowers are, but they definitely make me think of spring. Delicate and beautiful.



February 3, 2014

A clementine cake and citrus curd



I've never been an adventurous person. I'm probably the least adventurous person there is.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love travelling, seeing new places and meeting new people.
But, I would never ever in my life consider sky diving, bungee jumping, or even going on a roller coaster (I did that once, when I was like 13-14 or something.. trust me when I say you wouldn't want to be the person sitting next to me). I also experience terrible motion sickness, something which I can even experience when watching TV. I hate flying too. The day before flying to Mallorca last year, Christian rented the movie "Flight". Yeah, not such a good idea.



 

January 22, 2014

Chocolate swirl meringues with nutella whipped cream



You know those combinations that are just pure perfection? The kind that makes you want to cry, or at least shed a little tear? Maybe you have no clue what I'm talking about. Maybe it's just me, because I cry when I laugh (you do not want to see me laughing when I'm wearing make-up -it's a mess), crying can definitely be a good thing. In this case, it is most definitely good.
Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but I can't say it enough.. meringue + chocolate + whipped cream = perfection.
Little clouds of perfection.
I have always said that tiramisu was my favorite, but now, I'm not so sure.
I think I have to change it into..

1. Anything meringue, cream and chocolate
2. Tiramisu
3. Cinnamon rolls or semlor.. undecided

I'll get back to you on that last one.

January 8, 2014

Churros with chocolate dip




Hope all of you have had a great start to the new year! I know I have. I've set up some goals for myself (no actual resolutions as "resolution" means you must do something) to strive for this year. Of course, some career goals but mostly personal goals such as to have more fun, travel more and to stop worrying about everything. 
I'm not sure if I've told you, but about six months ago I quit my day-job to do this full time (writing books, photographing, blogging etc.).  It was a great decision and I don't regret for a second but sometimes I miss having workmates so much. That part has been very hard for me. Some days I don't speak to anyone for ten hours! Maybe I should get a cat. I love cats.