23 May 2016

Chocolate and Raspberry Chia Pudding

On my last visit to Sweden just after Easter, I came across a fabulous blog, Zeina's Kitchen (in Swedish). She's not been going for long, but is very talented and her blog won the People's Choice Award in the Food Blog Awards of 2015. The thing that particularly appealed to me then was her recipe for chia pudding, very similar to the one I've been doing, but made with chocolate and raspberries and to a thicker consistency. Not to mention much more attractive than mine. So when my parents came to visit at the end of May, I decided to try this out and I even bought special glasses to serve it in.


Actually they are disposable margharita glasses. But it was rather tasty, especially with some fresh strawberries and kiwi fruit diced on top.


So without further ado, here is the recipe. I doubled the recipe and made one small addition to Zeina's recipe, I added sweetener to the chocolate pudding, as it wasn't quite sweet enough.


7 - 8 portions

12 tbsp chia seeds
8 dl almond milk (sweetened)
4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp honey
2 tsp xylitol sweetener
8 tsp cocoa powder
4 dl fresh raspberries
2 kiwi fruits
7 - 8 large strawberries


  1. Place 3 tbsp chia seeds in one bowl, and the other 3 tbsp in another.
  2. Add 2 dl almond milk to each bowl and stir.
  3. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp honey to each bowl and stir in.
  4. Add the xylitol and cocoa powder to one of the bowls and stir through.
  5. Measure up the raspberries, place in a deep dish and mash up with a fork, then transfer to the second bowl and stir through.
  6. Cover the two bowls with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
  7. Spoon alternate layers of raspberry and chocolate in serving dishes.
  8. Peel and dice the kiwi, wash and dice the strawberries and decorate each serving.

It is also possible to use frozen raspberries, the same amount, but they need to be thawed before mashing and mixing in and the amount of chia seeds needs to be increased slightly as they contain more liquid than fresh ones.


The chocolate chia pudding is a lot less than the raspberry chia pudding, so keep that in mind when preparing to serve. IMG_4997

What surprised me was the combination with the fresh fruits on top, that really made a difference I think. We had the first four portions as dessert and the rest I had for breakfast in the following days, which was very nice, but I didn't bother with the fresh fruit then, so not as tasty as the first dessert. I also noticed that the chia pudding with fresh fruit doesn't last as long and towards the end, there was a distinct fermented tinge to it, so I should probably have stuck to a single batch.

Marinated Tuna

Finally after around 15 years, my Dad finally agreed to come and visit us. Not that we aren't on friendly terms, he's not keen on travelling much. Mum's last visit was when we bought our house some 11 years ago, so also definitely time for another visit, if nothing else to see how different the house now finally looks. She does like to travel and does a lot more now that she's retired.


Thus I worked out a very intensive schedule for their visit, to try and catch up on lost time and cram in as much as possible that they would both enjoy.

For their first dinner after arriving, I decided to scale up a lovely starter recipe from Mary Berry Cooks. The recipe looked easy enough and the photo was very pretty and I could feed both Mum and Dad, since Mum doesn't eat meat and Dad does. The original recipe is for starters, I trippled the amounts to get a full meal.


180 ml soy sauce
90 ml balsamic glaze
90 ml sesame oil
6 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1.2 kg tuna steaks
225 g sesame seeds
sunflower oil for frying


  1. Mix together the soy sauce, balsamic glaze, sesame oil and muscovado sugar in a large and wide-bottomed bowl, then set half of it aside as a dipping/drizzling sauce.
  2. Cut the tuna steaks into strips of about 3 x 3 cm and place in the mixture to marinate for about an hour.
  3. Place the sesame seeds in a flat bowl and heat up some sunflower oil in a pan.
  4. Fry the strips, turning them carefully so they don't break. A couple of minutes on each side should do.
  5. Remove from the frying pan and turn in the sesame seeds to coat well.
  6. Serve with the saved part of the soy sauce mixture for dipping or drizzling.

I served these with Jersey Royal potatoes and steamed asparagus and my usual egg sauce. I'd also been lucky to find black sesame seeds and used half black and half white, which I thought looked rather pretty.


The amounts were way too much for 4 people, but it was very tasty and wonderfully easy to do. The soy sauce mixture was also very nice for other dipping as well, I'm sure it would work nicely with spring rolls or such.

16 May 2016


Flarn is a thin baked wafer-like delicacy, quite popular in Sweden. The French word is tuile and I'm guessing the English version is the snap. I've never made these before, the shaping of them after baking has always seemed like something quite difficult to do. Lundulph is quite partial to the oat flans available to buy in IKEA's food shops and most supermarkets in Sweden. There are several variants in my big book of cakes and earlier this week, I decided to try my hand at two of them, as one of my colleagues was going on maternity leave and another was visiting my office and I wanted to take the opportunity to bake for both of them.


Now the cake book has a few recipes that I've not liked much, but then there are others that have been really good and the two recipes I tried this time are actually really good.

Ingredients - oat snaps

Makes about 50
75 g unsalted butter
15 g baking powder
40 g plain flour
2 large eggs (around 125 g)
275 g caster sugar
175 g porridge oats


  1. Melt the butter and set aside.
  2. Sift together the baking powder and flour and stir to ensure they are thoroughly mixed.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes until really pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour mixture and fold in with a spatula.
  5. Add the oats and the melted butter, then set aside for about 30 minutes to let the mixture swell up a bit.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C and line 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
  7. Place the mixture into a piping bag, cut a hole about 1 cm wide and pipe walnut-sized blobs on the baking sheets, making sure there's 6 - 7 cm between as they'll float out quite a lot. I managed to fit in 9 per tray.
  8. Bake for 6 - 7 minutes, until the snaps start browning around the edges and have an even lace-like surface throughout.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for about a minute, before carefully removing onto a cooling rack. At this point they can be shaped over e. g. a rolling pin or into tubes or bottles, but you need to be quick, they go solid quite fast.
  10. Store in an airtight container when they've cooled completely.

Ingredients - coconut snaps

Makes about 40
125 g caster sugar
125 g unsalted butter
25 g honey, preferably with a strong flavour
125 g dessicated coconut
75 g plain flour


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C and line 3 baking sheets with baking paper
  2. With the fingers of one hand work together all the ingredients to a smooth paste.
  3. Spoon out 15 g balls onto the baking sheets, making sure there's 6 - 7 cm between them, then flatten each ball to about ½ cm thickness. I managed to get 8 in per tray.
  4. Bake for 6 - 7 minutes, until they go golden brown around the edges and have an even lace-like surface throughout. Watch them, because they will burn within seconds.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to stand on the baking tray for about a minute, before carefully removing onto a cooling rack or shape over a rolling pin or roll into tubes. Again, work quickly as they go solid very fast.
  6. Place on a wire rack to cool, then store in an airtight container lined with some kitchen tissue to soak up some of the butter that'll come out in the baking.

What can I say - these were absolutely delicious and Lundulph didn't really want to let me take them in to work. He said they were very moreish and almost impossible to stop eating once you've started. They certainly were popular at work too. And there were some left for when Lundulph's parents came to visit - they also struggled to stop eating them.

I've also realised why all recipes for such snaps always say to bake ridiculously low numbers on each tray. Yes, they spread massively, but not just that, it's for when they're baked and need to be shaped - there is about a minute at most to shape all snaps on a tray and if you have 8 - 9 of them, you won't make it, but if there are just 4, then there's time, especially of making tubes. I left the oat snaps flat, and I placed the coconut snaps over my rolling pin and food rings to make them look a bit like pringles.

These snaps turned out to be the most popular bake I've taken to work, I think and word spread and loads of people came round my desk for a taste. Luckily I did leave some at home for Lundulph and for his parents when they came to visit us a couple of days later. All summed up in one work - moreish, almost impossible to stop once you've started.

Satay Chicken Salad

Now that Spring is in full swing and Lundulph and I have spent several week-ends cleaning and rejuvenating our patio, I want to cook things we can eat outside. Tonight was not to be sadly, it was just a little too cold, but we've had several meals at our little table outside and it's been very nice.


I've had this recipe card from Waitrose stuck to the Fridge for a very long time and it's no longer on the Waitrose website. It's overly enthusiastic about preparation and cooking times as well as some of the proportions, but it was good enough as a start and there's room for improvement.


600 g chicken breasts
2 smallish carrots
6 - 7 radishes
half a small white cabbage (grapefruit size)
half a cucumber
2 salad onions
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
100 g satay sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
100 g frozen peas
2 tbsp water
150 g rice noodles
½ dl dry roasted crushed peanuts
1 lime (optional)


  1. Trim the chicken breasts and cut into strips, about 3 cm thick, then set aside on a grill pan. Pre-heat the grill.
  2. Peel and julienne or grate the carrots thinly.
  3. Trim, wash and cut the radishes into thin slices.
  4. Remove any wilted outer leaves from the cabbage as well as the stalk, then shred finely.
  5. Peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise, then using a melon baller, remove the seeds and discard. Slice the cucumber thinly as well.
  6. Trim and finely cut the salad onions.
  7. Place all the sliced vegetables in a bowl and stir through to mix.
  8. Brush the grapeseed oil on the chicken strips and grill until fully cooked, turning a couple of times.
  9. As the chicken is almost ready, place the frozen peas in a bowl with a couple of tbsp water, cover and microwave for a minute, stir and then for a further few seconds to get them warmed through. Then drain and stir in with the other vegetables.
  10. Heat up the toasted sesame oil in a large pan and fry the rice noodles to warm them through. Then stir into the vegetables.
  11. When the chicken is ready, remove, cut the strips into bite-sized pieces and stir together with the satay sauce to get them coated all over.
  12. Stir in the chicken along with the crushed peanuts into the vegetables and serve immediately while the chicken and rice are still warm, with a wedge of lime to squeeze over.

This was a really nice and tasty surprise. What originally attracted me to the recipe was the photo on the card, I hadn't bothered to read it. When I did, I was a bit disappointed, as it didn't read like a "real" recipe, but I didn't have any better ideas, so I went for it anyway and I'm quite glad I did, it was a really good meal.

It's almost needless to say by now that I've made alterations to what the recipe card states, as I wasn't able to get hold of the special brand of satay sauce that the card was advertising and I forgot the lime, as Lundulph came home and was hungry, so we just sat down and ate straight away. When I remembered the lime and mentioned this to him, his comment was, that it would not have worked. I disagree, but didn't get to prove my point.

The recipe stated that it was 4 portions. I'd say more like 5 or even 6, so after we'd had our dinner, there was still quite a lot left, which went into the fridge. The fresh vegetables in the salad meant that it couldn't be reheated, but frankly it worked quite well cold as well, I took some with me for my lunch the next day and it was just as tasty as the night before.