1 May 2024

Honey-glazed salmon with watercress salad

 Every now and then I flick through our local magazine. I used to read them quite thoroughly a few years ago, but they never really had anything useful and so I stopped. But sometimes there is a good recipe in there and I was lucky to spot this one the other day. It contained the magic ingredient watercress, so I had to try it out. I had a colleague who has a watercress farm at the end of his road and he would bring freshly picked watercress at lunch. It is a wonderful thing and this recipe reminded me of my colleague and the fabulous watercress.

2 portions

1 small red onion
3 tbsp cider vinegar
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp sugar
2 cloves of garlic
50 ml honey
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 salmon fillets (around 250 g in total)
1 avocado
½ lemon
80 g watercress


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Peel and slice the onion thinly. Place in a jar together with the vinegar, salt and sugar. Close the lid tightly and shake well, then set aside.
  3. Peel and press the garlic into a small saucepan. Add the honey and the chilli flakes, then heat up gently to infuse the flavours. Don't let it get too hot, just warm it up.
  4. Glaze the salmon fillets generously, then wrap in aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on their thickness.
  5. Divide the watercress between two large plates.
  6. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, remove the stone, peel each half and then slice thinly. Place on the two plates.
  7. Cut the lemon into wedges and divide between the plates.
  8. Give the onion jar a shake now and then.
  9. When the salmon is ready, place a fillet on each plate on top of the watercress and add pickled onion on top.
  10. Serve immediately with carbs of your choice.

The original recipe says to fry the salmon in a hot pan. This is a very bad idea, which I suspected, but did anyway. What happened was that the honey burnt quickly and the salmon went almost completely black. It was OK to eat, but the charcoal flavour was a bit too strong for me. So bake in the oven is the way to go. 

I boiled quinoa and it combined quite nicely with this salad. Lundulph was quite pleased with the result and the really nice surprise was actually the pickled red onion, it was delish! Well worth making for regular salads.

15 May 2021

Tangzhong Milk Bread

This is a recipe I came across two years ago on youtube and I keep looking at it and thinking that I really should try it out and then other things happen and take my attention away. I tried to find out what Tangzhong means and found this video, which seems very informative.


Cooked dough
40g bread flour
200g water

Main dough
580g bread flour
60g sugar
12g salt
10g dry yeast
10g dry milk
260g milk
50g egg
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
egg wash (1 egg yolk + milk)


  1. Mix the ingredients for the cooked dough in a saucepan. Turn on medium heat and keep stirring until mixture thickens to a smooth paste.
  2. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Bring out to room temperature about an hour before using.
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients for the main dough except the salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer to combine well.
  4. Then mixing at low speed, add in the milk, egg and the cooked dough and let the machine work until gluten has developed well.
  5. Then add the salt, a little at a time and once incorporated, turn out the dough onto the work surface.
  6. Spread the dough a bit, add in the soft unsalted butter, incorporate manually and shape into a ball.
  7. Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 40 minutes to an hour in a warm place or a proofing drawer.
  8. Test the dough by poking your finger into it. If the dough does not spring back, it is ready.
  9. Weigh the dough and divide into 6 equal parts. Shape each part into a ball, then cover again with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Roll or stretch each ball to an oval, about 1 cm thick and around 20 cm in length. Fold the top third over the middle third, then fold the lower third over that, a bit like a single turn when making puff pastry. Then turn the dough 90 degrees and roll dough into a tight roll, pinching it together at the seam. Repeat with the other pieces.
  11. Place 3 of the rolls into one bread pan, cover with cling film and let proof for 30 minutes to an hour.
  12. Brush with egg wash and bake in the oven, preheated to 180°C for 25-30 minutes.

    In this first attempt, I had no milk powder and I followed the video recipe, where the salt and butter were added at the start. So after some 20 minutes in the mixer machine, it still hadn't stopped sticking, but I chose to stop it because I feared the gluten would collapse. So I've made adjustments in the instructions above to save some time and get a good gluten development before adding the salt and butter.

    Once I'd placed it into the bread pans, I'd also started bakint biscuits in parallel, so I let the bread proof for 1 h, rather than just 30 minutes. I thought I'd over-proofed the bread, but not too badly actually, I did get some good oven spring and it poked up above the top edge of the bread tin. It did go a bit too dark and shiny on the top surface, I guess I didn't use enough milk in my egg wash, but the recipe didn't provide quantities and I just added about a teaspoon or so. When I took the two loaves out of the oven, Lundulph commented that it looks like a cake and should be iced.

    After leaving it to cool down completely, it still felt very soft to the touch and I was very careful when I sliced it. It did indeed come out very soft and fluffy and as we tasted it, Lundulph's cheeks glowed and his eyes sparkled, which is the very best indicator that I've succeeded. An afterthought was that I should have used milk in the cooked dough paste as well, since I didn't have milk powder. The crumb texture wasn't as stringy as in the video, but I think that may be because I stopped kneading too early perhaps, rather than the lack of milk powder. I'll get some for next time and try again. We now have some beautiful slices of bread in the freezer, hopefully once they are toasted, it'll be possible to spread butter on them, freshly baked that would not have worked at all. I did give one slice a squeeze and it did unfold completely, which was quite pleasing. The only thing I didn't like is that it went so dark on top, next time I'll brush with milk only.

    In subsequent bakes, I've added milk powder and I'm not sure if it makes any difference or not. But even when adding the butter at the end, the dough should still be worked for at least 10 minutes with the stand mixer. It might not stop sticking to the sides either, but it will develop wonderful gluten. Needless to say, Lundulph has fallen in love with this bread as have I and I haven't baked any of my usual breads for a while now. I should perhaps adjust the amounts for 3 loaves, rather than two, so that it lasts a bit longer.

    Variation: Adding ½ dl of poppy seeds or sesame seeds along with the dry ingredients works quite well and the dough stops sticking towards the end of the kneading. At this attempt, I also skipped the chilling of the cooked dough overnight in the fridge. I didn't see any difference, it comes out as fluffy as in my orginal bake. I've also started using milk in the cooked dough, stopped shaping each loaf from 3 buns and also stopped brushing the top with egg/milk wash. I don't slice and freeze the bread until the following day, so that it is a bit more stable. As with other successful recipes, I've ended up doing this every other week now.

    Variation 2: Swapping out 100 g of the flour for the main dough with strong wholemeal flour and also replacing the egg with 40 ml milk. This still results in a fluffy bread, and a good to know, if there are no eggs in the house.

    Variation 3: Replacing 180 g of the flour with strong wholemeal flour is even better. Poppy or sesame seeds can still be added (½ dl), but then an extra tablespoon of milk should be added as well.

13 May 2021

Rhubarb Curd

Our rhubarbs have once again sprung to life with a vengence and I've been searching for things to do with them. Last year, I was able to harvest 3 times, despite the two flower spikes that also came out. I could have even harvested a fourth time, but resisted, mainly because I had a whole drawer full in the freezer. This year, there were three flower spikes, which I decided to cut off, even though it doesn't look like they are having any draining effect on the plants themselves. I also ripped out a few of the largest stalks in order to try this recipe, which I found a few weeks ago.

Actually, I've already tried this recipe, with some of the frozen rhubarb, and I can honestly say, I wholeheargedly agree with the gushing commments on the originator's website. This was a really scrumptious recipe. And today, I made it with fresh rhubarb, as per the original.

makes about 600 ml

400 g fresh or frozen rhubarbs to get 300 ml juice
1 tbsp cornflour or potatoflour
150 g granulated sugar
3 large eggs
170 g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
pink food colouring (optional)


  1. Trim, wash and cut the rhubarb stalks into 0.5 cm chunks, then process in a blender until they turn into purée.
  2. Place the blended rhubarb in a cheese cloth and squeeze out the juice.
  3. Mix together the corn-/potatoflour with the sugar in a large saucepan, then add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
  4. Dice the butter.
  5. Place on low-medium heat on the hob, add the butter and 240 ml of the rhubarb juice, then stir constanty until it thickens up into a custard consistency.
  6. Remove from the hob and stir in the remaining 60 ml of juice, the vanilla extract and pink food colouring, then transfer to jars.
  7. Place clingfilm on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool down completely.
  8. Store in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

Now, since I don't force my rhubarbs, they are green, not bright pink like the ones in the shops. Possibly they are also a bit more fibrous. So both my original batch as well as the one I made today became a pale yellow in colour, because of the egg yolks and butter. So in the first batch I added some food colouring, a bit too much in fact and it went bubble gum pink. Not very pretty. I also had more than 300 ml juice, and added some additional 90 ml, which made it a bit runny. But the flavour was fantastic - sweet and tangy and really fresh and both Lundulph and I could have happily eaten it straight from the jar. But I had 5 eggwhites to use up, so I made my angel food cupcakes and used the curd as topping. Just like with the lemon curd originally, this was a very good combination, apart from the runniness.

In today's batch, I resisted the temptation to add the surplus juice and it's now cooling down on the cement slab in the larder. Lundulph said to skip the colouring, he thought the pale yellow is pretty enough.

A thing I noticed is that the curd matured over time, so some of the smoothness disappeared towards the end of the two weeks it lasted. I must try freezing some and see how that affects it. It was fine with the strawberry curd I made last year.

I've also set a little bit aside and frozen it, to see how that fares. I also looked back at the other curd recipes I've tried in the past and I'll try to use the one I made with strawberries last year, it has a fraction of the butter, so should hopefully be healthier.

25 March 2021

Fluffy Japanese Pancakes for Waffle Day

After holding off for a few years, I'm back watching Ann Reardon's wonderful videos and when I saw this one, I just couldn't resist trying it out.

Fluffy Japanese Pancakes

The video actually looks at a fake video on how to make these fluffy things at home and also provides a recipe that really works.

As today is Waffle Day in Sweden, Lundulph and I are following our tradition of eating pancakes and although this type of pancake requires serving immediately after cooking, we had a 30 minute break after dinner, while I made these. But I'd prepared as much as I could before dinner and made sure to let the oven pre-heat while we ate our main course, so it was definitely a success.

Additionally, today Lundulph got his first injection of the Corona vaccine, so this was an extra treat for him and his cheeks did go rosy and his eyes went all sparkly.

I pretty much followed the recipe and the video. It calls for egg white powder, which I've never used before, so it was quite interesting. Ann Reardon also recommended using baking powder to help with stabilising things, if you're a beginner baker. I'm not, but I used it just to be on the safe side. I'll try without it next time.


Makes 4

2 egg yolks
1 tbsp milk
1 ¾ tbsp plain flour

2 egg whites
1 ¼ tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp egg white powder
1 tsp baking powder (optional)

Sweetened whipped cream
Blueberries, strawberries, banana slices
Maple syrup or honey


  1. Place a thick-bottomed baking sheet in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 10 °C.
  2. Prepare a piece of baking paper by brushing lightly with a neutral oil.
  3. Whisk together the yolks, milk and flour until a smooth batter.
  4. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites together with the sugar, egg white powder and baking powder if using. They should reach to stiff peaks stage.
  5. Using a rubber/silicone spatula, scoop out some of the egg white foam and gently whisk into the yolk batter to loosen it up a bit.
  6. Then pour the yolk batter into the whites and with the spatula fold in very gently and just until the two have combined and there are no streaks visible.
  7. Turn down the oven to 160 °C, take out the baking tray, place the prepared baking paper and pour 3 - 4 blobs using an ice cream scoop. Leave plenty of room between them.
  8. Place back in the oven and set a timer for 2 minutes 30 seconds.
  9. When the time is up, open the oven and add a second blob on top of each of the previous ones. Set your timer for 7 minutes.
  10. Prepare the whipped cream and fruit while the pancakes are baking.
  11. When the second timer is up, take out the tray and flip them over with a palette knife. Then bake for a further 4 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with the fruit, drizzled with syrup or honey and a generous blob of whipped cream.

Comparing to the video, my egg yolks were a lot paler and so the pancakes ended up paler and I was worried that they hadn't baked properly, but I was wrong, they were beautifully puffed up. Though I ended up with lots of left-over mixture when I used the ice cream scoop, so next time, I'll transer the whole mixture to a piping bag, so that I can control both shape and size more.

I only bought blueberries for these and I used maple syrup. It worked very nicely. When I served them, Lundulph wondered if these were Yorkshire puddings, because he thought they smelt a bit like that, but he cut them open, spread a lot of blueberries on top and covered with maple syrup and whipping cream. Since I got my whipping cream dispenser a couple of years ago, we've been having a lot more whipped cream than normal, because it's such fun to squirt onto our various desserts.

28 August 2020

Hob Nobs Attempt 1

The other day, Lundulph had an unexpected hankering for biscuits around 10 pm. I generally don't keep a regular supply of biscuits because we'll just keep eating them, but I promised Lundulph I'd make some the next day. He said he wanted hob nobs. I searched on the internet and picked this one among the top results that seemed to be quite easy to do.


Makes 25 - 30

150 g unsalted butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
150 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
150 g granulated sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120 g rolled oats


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (not fan) and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Gently melt the butter and maple syrup on low heat.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Stir in the rolled oats.
  4. Pour over the butter mixture and mix together into a dough, it will just about hold together.
  5. Divide up into pieces of about 20 - 30 g each and shape into balls as best you can. it'll be quite crumbly, so aim for a round shape, leave about 7 cm between as they will spread during baking.
  6. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, before carefully transferring to a cooling rack. They will be quite soft while warm.
  8. Store in an air-tight jar.

These turned out to be fairly similar to the Swedish havreflarn or oat snaps, though these were a bit thicker. Lundulph picked up on this and stated these were not hob nobs at all, however, I've seen him wandering around the house with the biscuit tin under his arm, so clearly they were still good. But this means, I need to find a different recipe.

16 August 2020

Pear Jam with Rosemary

Last week we visited Lundulph's parents to celebrate their birthdays with a picnic in their garden. Before we could do this, Lundulph tried to pick as many of the apples and pears as he could from the two trees, which dominate the seating area and are quite lethal at this time of the year, dropping large fruit randomly. Now I still have some apples from last year in the freezer, but no pears, so this year, I collected a bag of the largest pears and took home with the plans of making some sort of preserve.

I'd seen a recipe somewhere in my paper-based collection, while searching for other things and was very intrigued by it. Pears aren't that common as jams. The recipe also involved star anise, which I have, but use extremely rarely, so another reason to try this. As often happens I wasn't able to find this recipe again, so I searched on the internet and there are a couple that came up and seemed fairly good, but I also found this one that had rosemary in it and seemed even better, so I decided to do this instead.


1.5 kg pears, after peeling and coring
1 tbsp lemon zest (2 small lemons)
2 dl water
1 sprig rosemary
3 dl granulated sugar
2 dl soft dark brown sugar
3 sachets pectin (16 g)
1 tsp citric acid


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 120°C and place several clean jam jars and their lids in there to heat up and steralise.
  2. Dice the pears fairly finely, about 1 cm, and place in a deep casserole dish.
  3. Add the lemon zest and water, stir through to combine and bring to the boil.
  4. When the pears boil, cover the saucepan, reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Measure up the sugars and add the pectin, then stir well to mix.
  6. Once the 20 minutes are up, add the sugar mixture and the rosemary sprigs and stir carefully, cover and let simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat, take out the rosemary sprigs and stir in the citric acid, then carefully mash with a potato masher or blend with a blender.
  8. Taking out one jar at a time, fill it with jam and secure the lid tightly.
  9. Allow the jam to cool down to room temperature, then store in the fridge for up to 6 months.

I now have about 1.75 litres of lovely stuff and from licking the spoon, I can tell you it was very tasty. The recipe recommends this with a cheese board, but I'm pretty sure it'll work lovely on toast. The only thing is that due to the dark brown sugar, the jam is sort of brown and the original recipe uses just granulated sugar, but I didn't have enough so had to improvise. I will need to try the other recipe with star anise as well, if I can get more pears from Lundulph's parents.

A week later we tried the jam with some freshly baked bread. As it turns out, the pear flavour is almost entirely lost and the rosemary dominated. Also the jam hadn't set, but was more like a very sweet purée, so I've adjusted the amounts above to reduce the rosemary and increase the pectin. Lundulph thought it was OK, but if I'd used apples instead of pears, he wouldn't have known the difference. He wasn't particularly impressed with the rosemary and reckons I should skip it next time. I disagree, but it does need to be less.

Given the consistency it's turned out to be, I'll try to turn some of it into ice cream with the aqua faba foam, it might be nice.

6 July 2020

Chewy Biscuits

A few days ago, my Dad sent me a scan of a recipe for Swedish soft, thin bread. This came from the weekly magazine my Mum's been reading for several decades and it struck me, because I recognised the picture. What is going on here? I searched through old cuttings of recipes from the same publication and indeed I found that I already had this recipe, published about 11 years ago. Everything was the same, just some minor changes to the layout. Outrageous!


The good thing about all this is that I riffled through a good part of my recipe collection and spotted a few interesting recipes, which I set aside to action as soon as possible. Here is the first one, as it seemed fairly easy to do.


100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 dl granulated sugar
2 tbsp light syrup / golden syrup / runny honey
2½ dl plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla sugar
100 g milk or dark chocolate with or without nuts


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 °C (not fan) and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Whisk together the butter, sugar and syrup smooth and fluffy.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar and fold together to a homogeneous dough, but don't over-work it.
  4. Divide into three equal parts and shape each one into a long sausage, about 2 cm in diameter, and place onto the baking sheet, then gently press down to flatten.
  5. Carefully grate the chocolate and sprinkle generously over the dough.
  6. Bake for about 13 minutes until it starts going golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, then cut each length with a knife into diagonal biscuits, then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack.

These were very nice indeed. Since Ocado have their Scandinavian food section, I have a regular supply of the light syrup, which is so popular in Swedish baking. I actually baked these a bit too long and they went harder than I wanted them once they cooled down. However, Lundulph and I gobbled them up far too quickly.