25 August 2017

Knäckebröd Pizza

Lundulph has become seriously addicted to Swedish crispbread and he's quite right, it is very tasty. And like many Swedes who live abroad, we as well as all our guests from Sweden bring packets and packets of crispbread. And on one of the packet, there was a recipe idea of using a round of crispbread as a pizza base. We almost missed it, because it was in such a small font, we thought it might be the ingredients and nutritional listing.


One thing to note is that many of the Swedish crispbreads have one side on which the bread was baked and which is reasonably flat. Then there is the other side, which has deep holes in it - this is the Sunday side. Monday to Saturday, you butter the flat side, but on Sunday you butter the Sunday side, so you get more butter. Not sure how true this is, but I like it either way.


1 round of crispbread
100 g fiery chilli pesto
1 handful of sweetcorn
1 handful of canned mushrooms
½ roast pepper cut into small thin strips
thinly sliced pepperoni
black olives

IMG_5398 IMG_5399
IMG_5400 IMG_5401


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C and place a large piece of baking paper on an oven rack and place the crispbread round on it with the Sunday side up.
  2. Spread the pesto over the round going all the way to the edges.
  3. Sprinkle the sweetcorn, mushrooms and roast peppers, then cover everything with the pepperoni. Finish with a few olives.
  4. Bake in the oven until the pepperoni slices shrink, but before they start looking dry, then remove, cut and eat.

In the baking, the crispbread soaks up some of the liquid and fat from the toppings and goes a bit chewy yet doesn't disintegrate and one round is just about right for two people. Very easy and tasty.

Lundulph says it's not as nice as real pizza, but was nice enough.

Also, in the photo of the ready pizza, it looks like the edges have been blackened - this is the pesto that went black, I baked it for a touch too long. I did better in the second one I did, but didn't take a photo of it.

16 August 2017

Cinnamon Pear Cake

During one of my rummagings through my recipe collection, I came across this recipe, which I carefully set aside for when pears would be in season and I could harvest some of the lovely pears of Lundulph's parents' tree.



1½ tsp baking powder
3½ dl plain flour
150 g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 dl caster sugar
3 large eggs
½ dl plain yoghurt

1 dl dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground cardamom
2 firm but sweet pears


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 °C. Butter and flour a large gugelhupf cake tin (25 cm diameter).
  2. Stir together the baking powder and flour in a bowl.
  3. In another, larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then whisk until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk in to incorporate fully before adding the next.
  5. Sift the flour mixture into the batter and add the yoghurt and stir through to mix thoroughly.
  6. Spoon carefully into the gugelhupf tin, making sure it's evenly distributed and level.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the muscovado sugar, cinnamon and cardamom.
  8. Wash and peel the pears, trim the stalk and cut into four wedges. Remove the seed core. If the pieces are too long, trim the thin parts to make them roughly the same length as the depth of the batter.
  9. Roll each pear piece into the muscovado mixture and push into the cake batter, space the 8 wedges evenly. The pears can stick out a cm or two above the surface.
  10. Sprinkle any leftover muscovado mixture on top of the cake.
  11. Bake the cake in the oven for 45 minutes, check with a skewer if it's ready before removing, but careful not to pierce a pear.
  12. Remove from the oven and let cool down a bit in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack, but still leaving the tin over it.
  13. The cake can be lightly dusted with icing sugar when serving.

This is a really tasty cake, I ended up making it twice in quick succession. There are two tricky bits to it - choosing suitable pears, that are sweet, but reasonably firm and not too juicy and pushing the pears in so that they'll end up in the middle of each slice of cake. I didn't succeed on either of these. The first cake had pears that weren't quite ripe enough, so there was a crunch to them and not much flavour. The second cake used riper pears, but this resulted in them going quite mushy in the bake, so I need to do more research on pears suitable for baking. And I also failed on the second point:


Lundulph wanted to have a stronger pear flavour too, but all in all, very tasty.

5 August 2017

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

We recently went to Australia and while at Brisbane Airport early in the morning of our return, Lundulph and I went our separate ways to hunt for breakfast. The food court we were in, didn't seem to cater much for breakfast. While Lundulph ended up queueing at three different food outlets just to put together something in the vicinity of a sandwich and a tea, I marched straight to the corner where the Vietnamese street food outlet was located and bought a lovely looking roll thingy with tofu and greens and opted for a spicy Hoisin sauce to go with it.

IMG_5389 IMG_5390

This turned out to be a revelation and a flood of ideas in my head for various fillings. So nice and fresh and filling and no guilty feelings of gobbling an unhealthy item!

Therefore, I set off for my two nearest supermarkets and their "special ingredients" sections, only to find disappointment - there was no rice paper to be found. Luckily there are a couple of Asian food markets in my nearest town, so as the heat wave kicked off in the South East of England, I armed myself with a Frappucino and went in search of rice paper. I struck gold in the second of the two shops and bought two packets, just to be on the safe side.

I'd also bought several fresh herbs that I like - basil, tarragon, dill, mint and chives. And a packet of stir-fry veg because it's a good mix of things and cut at the right size; some ready cooked and peeled king prawns for Lundulph and halloumi for myself. I'd also been to my local Pick-Your-Own and brought home a back of broad beans. So I searched on google about how to fold the rolls and got to work, following one of the many the instructions available.

After de-podding the broad beans, I fried them with a little butter and salt. I cut the halloumi into slices and fried in the same pan as the broad beans, then cut into strips and had everything else ready. Using my large pie dish, I half-filled it with room-temperature water. Using a large chopping board as base, I dampened the surface about the size of one of the rice paper rounds. I then dipped one of the rounds into the pie dish and "massaged" it a bit to get it pliable - this took only a few seconds. Then quickly onto the damp circle on the chopping board, line up a selection of the broad beans, stir-fry veg and herbs, then fold. For Lundulph, I lined up 3 prawns on per roll, and for me a couple of halloumi sticks for me. Then a couple of chives before completing the final fold of each roll.

It's good to work reasonably fast in putting the rolls together, or the rice paper wrappers will tear I found, so no photos of the folding process. I also found that the rolls would happily stick together, so I tried to keep them in one row only and not touching too much. I covered them with cling film and kept in the fridge until lunch. Lundulph and I ate 4 rolls each and Lundulph was surprised at how filling they were. At which point I realised that they were also very low carb, since I'd not used any rice or noodles inside. This of course made it difficult to dip and we ended up using tea spoons to drizzle sauce instead.

For dipping, I'd bought a ginger-chilli sauce and a Hoisin sauce and we also tried a satay sauce as well. Lundulph liked the ginger-chilli sauce best, while the Hoisin worked best for my spring rolls with the salty halloumi. We tried the satay sauce, but weren't too impressed with it in this instance.

Some further googling has revealed a lot of other ideas for rice paper wrappers that I'd love to try.