30 October 2014

Fiery Healthy Crispbread

A while ago I came across this recipe (in Swedish) and the photo looked really nice, so I put it on my to bake list.


I've been meaning to do another batch of crispbread for ages, but since Lundulph and I found that they sell real Swedish crispbread in our local farm shop, I've been buying these and putting off making my own time and time again.

But this week Lundulph has taken up my challenge to go a whole week without meat. This of course means that he'd be particularly hungry when he comes home, so it as a stroke of luck that I made this bread the other day. He could munch on it while I was finishing dinner.


½ dl almond flour or ground almonds
1 dl sesame seeds
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp psyllium husks
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 small clove of garlic, pressed
6 finely chopped sundried tomatoes without oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 155 °C fan and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, mix together almond flour, sesame seeds, chilli powder and psyllium husks.
  3. Add the oil, eggs, basil, garlic and tomatoes and stir through thoroughly.
  4. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet as thinly as possible, but making sure there are no "holes", about ½ cm.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the crispbread in there for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Take out and cut to desired size. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container.

Now I wasn't able to get hold of sundried tomatoes without oil. There were three different varieties in my supermarket, two of which had the tomatoes swimming in sunflower oil. The third one had just a little at the bottom, so that's the one I bought and patted them dry before chopping. What I also hadn't realised is that they were quite salty. The original recipe recommended adding salt and I added a little, but this was completely unnecessary. Check your sundried tomatoes!

Psyllium husks is also a new thing, I bought a packet ages ago with the intention of trying a paleo bread recipe which called for these. That is also on my baking list and I'll try to make it later on this week. The wikipedia page about them sounds a bit alarming in that these can get dangerous if not prepared with sufficient liquid. Well, both Lundulph and I have eaten this crispbread and are fine.

Unfortunately I managed to burn my first batch, as I baked it for 30 minutes. However Lundulph thought it was quite nice, thanks to being extremely hungry. He also thought that they were very salty, so I should perhaps rinse/soak the sundried tomatoes next time. Thanks to the chilli, there was a very good heat to them. I think they would be very nice with just mashed up avocado or hummus.

21 October 2014

Leopard pattern failure

As I had such great success with Lundulph's birthday cake this year, I decided to try another recipe from my peek-a-boo cake book. The second one as it happens, which was a fancy and advanced looking leopard pattern. Sadly this was a miserable failure and has been fed to the food bin. Partly I'm to blame for not reading the instructions, though on balance, I don't think it would have made a big difference at all. So I won't write down the recipe.

I did spend some time afterwards looking for a more suitable recipe. I wasn't successful as most seem to focus on the method, which is cumbersome, but not too difficult to do. Key is to have a thicker than normal cake batter, but not as thick as the one I ended up with. This is so the patterns retain their shape before baking. Also, I think it would work better if the pattern was made entirely of batter, not with chocolate like in my cake book, because it smudged when I cut the cake.


It had been my intention to make a cake for my Brother-in-law's birthday, however, when I established that the recommended 1 h 20 minutes was far from enough to bake the cake and after a further hour of baking I ended up with this:


I decided not to bring it along. Good thing my Mother-in-law had ordered a cake as well. I covered it with ganache before Lundulph and I tried it and he liked the ganache so much, he asked me to cut out the surface bits and throw away the middle. Of course when a cake has been baked for too long, it has a thick crust which tastes of burnt, but the ganache makes it sort of OK. We have dessert for a couple of days now. I also ended up with way too much ganache, so I'll either make another attempt at a leopard print cake or try making truffles.

I just feel terrible having to throw away a big lump of cake, but really it was quite inedible.


And so once more it was time to bake something for my last day at work. After flicking through my book "277 types of cakes", I decided on Brysselkex, which translates to Brussels biscuits. There's no mention as to how these in particular are related to Brussels and certainly googling in English doesn't give the same image results. However they do look pretty. IMG_4360

Makes about 60

160 g icing sugar
300 g unsalted butter at room temperature
400 g plain flour
2 tsp vanilla essence

100 g granulated sugar
1 drop of red food colouring
alternatively ready coloured pink granulated sugar


  1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then cut up the butter into chunks and work together to a smooth paste.
  2. Sift in the flour and work into a dough. Add the vanilla essence at the end, but make sure to get it well mixed in.
  3. Wrap tightly in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 h to firm up.
  4. If you can't find ready made pink granulated sugar, make it by spreading the food colouring on your fingers and mixing the granulated sugar. Gloves would be good here. Spread the pink sugar on a piece of baking paper.
  5. Take out of the fridge and shape the dough into sausages of about 3.5 cm diameter.
  6. Roll the sausages in the pink sugar, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up again.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C. and line 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
  8. Cut each sausage into biscuits, about 1 cm thick, then place on the baking sheets, with some space inbetween.
  9. Bake the biscuits one sheet at a time for about 10 - 12 minutes, until they start getting colour, but not so that the pink sugar starts to go yellow.
  10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool a bit on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack

I was very pleased with the way these looked, but when Lundulph and I tried one, it tasted very much like flour. Something I really should be able to work out by reading the recipe by now. A bit more sugar is required and I've adjusted in the ingredients list above. Also the instruction said to cut out pieces of 12 g each. Now this is quite hard to do when you don't have the option to re-do a biscuit if it's not the right size. So I ended up with 57 biscuits this time. I didn't measure the diameter either, I suspect it was more than 3.5 cm. So a bit smaller next time.

I wasn't sure about colouring the granulated sugar, but was lucky to find ready made pink coloured granulated sugar already and used up the whole of one 75 g jar. When I did an image search on Google, other people have used green or blue granulated sugar, but it seems pink is the traditional colour.

The biscuits are quite brittle when they are freshly made, so handle carefully.

On the whole my colleagues seemed to like them, because they disappeared well before lunchtime and some people took seconds and thirds. I should have made a double batch. But they definitely need to be sweeter next time. Lundulph suggested I put some icing on top, but that would have ruined the look.