22 September 2009

Home Made Paté

My original post is here, but the link to the recipe seems to have disappeared, so I'm entering the recipe into the blog.


400 g chicken livers
25 g butter
1 large clove of garlic
1 sprig rosemary
1.5 dl double cream
0.5 dl muscadet wine
salt and pepper

  1. Fry the chicken livers in the butter together with the crushed garlic and the rosemary for 7 - 8 minutes until the livers are done.

  2. Remove the rosemary and put everything else into a blender. Add the double cream, wine, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. It'll have the texture of mousse.
  3. Pour into a jar, leave to cool, then place in the fridge overnight. It'll go solid, but will remain spreadable.

  4. It is possible to freeze as well.

Apple and Bilberry Crumble


This week, I'm in Sweden visiting my parents and have had an unbelievable luck with the weather, it's been a super Autumn, t-shirt and shorts weather to some extent even. And so, my Mum and I have been out in the woods foraging for berries and mushrooms.


There are loads of chanterelles at the shops and markets at the moment, but the ones in the photo are a relative called "trattkantarell" in Swedish or "trattis" as my Mum shortens it to and translates directly to funnel chanterelle. However it doesn't seem to have a common name in English. Wikipedia says this. The trattis I think has a nicer taste than the regular chanterelle. We picked a few handfuls, fried in a saucepan until the liquid had been released, then added a knob of butter and fried a bit more. Very yummy with oven baked salmon.

The berries we picked are lingonberries.


They are just ripening now and there were loads of large, dark red ones. They are good for jams or sauces for game and Swedish meatballs. We tried some with the salmon, but that didn't work too well.

We also picked some bilberries, they were also large and juicy. One of the apple trees in my parents' garden keeps dropping lots of wonderful aromatic and sweet apples now, so my Mum suggested I make a crumble. And so I did.


1 dl plain flour
2 dl porridge oats
0.5 dl caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp semolina
100 g unsalted butter
3 - 4 apples
250 g bilberries
2 tsp cornflour
0.5 dl caster sugar
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

  1. Place flour, oats, caster sugar, cinnamon and semolina in a bowl and mix well.

  2. Cut up the butter into small dice and add to the dry mixture, then work it in with your fingers until it is incorporated and crumbs form.

  3. Wash, peel and core the apples, then slice thinly. Butter a pie dish, about 25 cm diameter and line with the apple slices.

  4. Sprinkle the bilberries making sure the fruit is evenly distributed, then sprinkle caste sugar and corn flour.

  5. Again using your fingers spread the crumbles evenly over the fruit, it might not cover everything completely, but that's OK.

  6. Pre-heat the oven to 225 degrees C (gas mark 7), then bake the crumble for 25 minutes. The bilberries will release their juice and colour the apples purple.

  7. Serve hot with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


I wasn't the first one to get to the pie when it was ready. Mum had a bite before I managed to get a photo.

I think it'll be nice with chopped nuts, perhaps hazel or pecan. I was thinking of adding corn flakes for extra crunchiness, but Mum didn't have any. Still it as quite tasty.

13 September 2009


We (my parents, Bip and I) first made our acquaintance with aioli in Spain (and there they call it alioli). This is many, many years ago and a few years back, my Mum worked out how to make it and would always make loads and it would run out really fast.

Well, finally I've got round to making this myself, it's a lot easier than you might think. OK, so I used technology - the blender attachment on my trusty Kitchen Assistent.

I also had a couple of elephant garlics from a visit to this year's Chili Fiesta at West Dean. It's from the stand of The Garlic Farm and it's the first time I've seen these in real life - They are massive - think grapefruit size and each had "only" five cloves, but each was the size of a golf ball. They said the elephant garlic is milder flavoured and that it was ideal for roasting. I planted the cloves from one of the bulbs and used 2/3 of a clove to make aioli. That seemed to be about 2-3 regular cloves of garlic.


2-3 cloves of garlic
1 medium egg
about 400 ml grapeseed oil
2-3 tbsp water (if needed)
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

  1. Peel and cut the garlic in chunks and place in a blender, along with the egg and some salt.

  2. Blend on high and slowly start pouring the grapeseed oil.

  3. If it gets too thick, add water a tbsp at a time.

  4. Depending on how strong garlic flavour you want, you can stop blending before the 400 ml oil has been added, or you can keep adding more.

  5. At the end, add the lemon juice and more salt if needed.

I served these with the wonderful bread sticks from my Dough book by Richard Bertinet. I made two types from the dough batch recipe - one with sesame seeds and one with poppy seeds. I didn't follow the instructions of folding in three, but only folded in two. I got about 20 sticks out of that and they worked ever so well for dipping. I also made hummus and had some of the now very spicy olive oil from the pickled roasted chillies. I also put some olive oil, but that didn't quite compete with the other dips.

Hottest tip from my Mum - do not use olive oil! It goes solid in the fridge and can cause the aioli to separate and go funny.

And sorry no photos, things disappeared way too quickly for that.

Lunduph's Birthday once more

It is that time of the year, when Lundulph sort of catches up with me, age-wise. For a few months before reverting to being a trophy husband.

Now Lundulph loves marzipan and I've been promising him for ages to make him a Princess cake. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the most popular of Swedish cakes and is certainly the height of any cake party. It is traditionally green, dusted with icing sugar and decorated with a pink marzipan rose. It can be made pink with a white rose, in which case it is called Prince cake. Go figure. And of late, I've noticed lots of other colours as well - white and blue. There's also the option of writing a message in melted chocolate.

This year it's particularly lucky that my Sister Bip is visiting us, so I asked her to bring along some Swedish marzipan. Overly ambitious perhaps, but I'm sure the Swedish marzipan is different to English marzipan. But she did bring ready rolled green marzipan and a pink rose.

I've never made this before, but had a recipe for it in one of my old baking booklets. They are normally good, but not this time.

The base consists of 4 eggs, 2 dl sugar whisked white and fluffy. Then carefully stirred in 1 dl plain flour and 1 dl potato flour and 1 tsp baking powder. Now, I've not yet managed to find potato flour here, so I substituted for maize flour. This was to go into a 25 cm cake tin. I didn't have one, so I used my 20 cm cake tin. The cake mix did fill it up to about 3/4 and I know the rule is it must be only half full, to allow for expansion. The instructions also said bake at 175 degrees for 40 minutes. I added 30 further minutes due to the increased cake thickness. Still, it wasn't sufficiently baked and collapsed on cooling, so into the bin it went. Dang!

Rush off to the shops to get more eggs and a new 25 cm cake tin. Do the same again, but this time swap out the potato flour for plain flour. I tasted the first lot and it wasn't nice at all and was very yellow. This time the cake mix came to just under the middle of the tin - so far so good. Into the oven it went and stayed there for a 40 + 40 minute period. I took it out and when it had cooled, it shrunk back to half the tin depth. Bah!

So, I had to be very careful to cut the base in two and still it turned out it wasn't quite cooked in the middle. Also I could only cut it in two, not three as the instructions said.


The next thing that really should have set off the big alarm bells is that there was only one type of cream. This is just wrong. So I consulted my big baking book from Bo Friberg, which of course had industrial quantities, but at least stipulated strawberry jam, some sort of custard cream and whipped cream. It also said brush the base with cake syrup, which I quickly had to make. The custard was easy enough, but it didn't go solid as expected. Oh dear. Maybe should have skipped the cake syrup so the base would absorb some of the custard?

Right, layer one - strawberry jam. Layer two - custard cream. The original recipe said custard cream on both of these, shaping the second one into a dome. Then covering with the third layer, then using the remaining custard all over the cake, before covering it with rolled out green marzipan. They had a very useful tip - use the bottom and the top parts of the base for layers one and two and the middle part of the base as layer three. This allows shaping the dome, without the crusty bit cracking. I didn't have a layer three, so I whipped the cream to stiff peaks, then spread it over the cream. It was still very runny and the stiff whipped cream sort of pushed it towards the edges, but I managed to shape a dome.


I finally unrolled the fancy green, scored along the edge as recommended and flopped it over my cake. It barely fitted to cover the cake and I really shouldn't have scored it. I took the additional precaution to brush the marzipan with egg white, to prevent it from soaking in the liquid from the whipped cream. Though this is more of a thing to do if the cake is made a day in advance.

However, using the third layer to form the dome is heavy duty cheating. So in a way, I'm glad that I didn't have a third layer to play with.

The end result worked ever so well, though.


And it tasted correctly. It is also very delicate and I really should invest in a cake slice thingy. There is barely anything left now.

Still, I'm very miffed at the base not working out and will check with my Mum to see what she does. She's made several Princess cakes for Bip, as it's her favourite too.

But, I should try again and with my original plan - to build up an almost hemispherical shaped cake. In fact, it took me a couple of years to find the right bowl for it. The idea is to cover the bowl with cling film, then place the rolled out green marzipan in the bottom. Fill up with whipped cream, a layer of cake base, custard cream, another layer of cake base, strawberry jam and a final cake base layer. Then flip it out of the bowl and in theory, voilà there it should be.

And I think the cake base for my Swiss roll should be more suitable.

11 September 2009

Last day before going on holiday

I've been unbelievably busy over the past couple of weeks. I keep saying that, as an excuse of not blogging anything and this time I'm 3 dishes behind and counting.

But since last Wednesday I'm on holiday for two weeks. My Sister Bip has come to visit and I've been spending time with her.

However, I thought I'd bake something as a good-bye thing to my colleagues and went for the popular Swedish "kokostoppar", which translates to coconut tops. There is a plethora of recipes, I decided on this one. And here is what they looked like straight out of the oven:


These were offered at my school in the café/playroom and were a favourite of mine. They are very simple and are also very good for wheat intolerant people, as there's none of that in them.


50 g unsalted butter
2 eggs
1.5 dl caster sugar
200 g dessicated coconut
grated zest of 2 lemons
1 tbsp dark rum

  1. Melt the butter and let cool down.

  2. In the mean time, whisk the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy.

  3. Carefully stir in the coconut, butter, lemon zest and rum.

  4. Leave to stand for 30 minutes in room temperature. The mixture should expand further still here.

  5. Pre-heat the oven at gas mark 4 (175 degrees C).

  6. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper and with the help of a couple of spoons or just with your fingers, form small pyramids (about the size of a walnut) and place on the baking sheets.

  7. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 15-30 minutes.

  8. Leave to cool completely. The coconut tops can be frozen.

I made a double dose on Monday night, I didn't have any lemons, so skipped the zest, I used medium eggs and I whisk in the coconut, butter and rum. Thus the mixture was stiffer than expected and it didn't expand during its resting. I started out fiddling beautiful shapes with two spoons and realised that I'd be stuck doing that all night and moved on to rolling the mixture with my fingers. I ended up baking them for 30 minutes and I increased the heat at the end to get the tips a bit browner, but in hindsight, I definitely over-cooked them, they need to be gooey in the middle and mine weren't.

From a double dose I got 42 tops. Lundulph and I had one each on the night and I left another one for him the next day, the rest came along with me to work and didn't last very long, so despite the mishaps, they worked ever so well. My boss thought they were like macaroons, but a quick shufty at the google, indicates that the coconut macaroons have flour and sometimes milk or cream. Lundulph was a bit upset that there weren't any left to take back home again. I was very happy that for once I could also cater for a colleague that can' eat any wheat products.

Some people recommend that the tips be dipped in melted dark chocolate, but I personally thing this is not necessary at all.