Nectarine Pie

 

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Usually I get excited for autumn which is my favourite season above all. When it gets here I’m all about scarves, candles and apples and cool weather. I just wish it would wait a little bit longer. As much as I love autumn, I’m not quite ready for summer to be over. Particularly since I don´t feel it´s been a summer at all this year with low temperatures and lots, lots of rain. But luckily the last weeks we´ve had several days of sun and heat, and I was reminded that I’m not ready to move forward into autumn yet. I want more summer!

The good things about autumn though, is the abundance of (Norwegian) plums and apples which are my favorite fruits. On the downside, it´s the end of nectarine season, which is another favorite of mine. So the last days I`ve been buying a lot of nectarines, just in case it would be my last chance.

They are no longer at their peak, but still delicious, and this weekend I decided to put some of them into a pie. Before they are gone. Luckily plums will be there to fill their gap. For a while, at least. The season is way too short for stone fruits…

This nectarine pie might be my last chance to celebrate stone fruit for awhile. Be sure to make it before the nectarines have vanished for the year! Each bite of this sweet, decadent pie tastes like summer. Even if summer never was here, this pie makes it feel like it.

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Nectarine Pie

Prep time
1 hour 30 mins
Cook time
1 hour
Total time
2 hours 30 mins
Pie crust:
150 g all purpose flour
115 g cold butter
3 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch/22 cm pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Filling:
4 nectarines
100 g marcipan
1 egg
50 g sugar
1 tpsp cornstarch
pinch of salt

Slice the fruit in half and remove the pits. Place the nectarines flat side down and cut into thin slices. Place the sliced nectarines in a large bowl and toss with cornstarch and half of the sugar.

In a small bowl, stir together egg, grated marcipan the rest of the sugar and salt.

Pour the filling into the pie crust.
Arrange the sliced nectarines on top of the filling in any way you like. Or don´t arrange them at all, and just toss them over. Still pretty, and equally tasty – but less fuss.
For once I took the time to make a litte effort arrenging the fruits.

Sprinkle with sugar and bake on 180 C for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before slicing (the filling will thicken as it cools).

Enjoy with a dollop of creme fraiche and savour the sweet, juicy taste of summer!

Notes:
The pie was very sweet, so I think one easily reduce the amount sugar, or even omit it. The nectarines are sweet on their own, and even more so after they´re baked, and the marcipan also adds sweetness. But don´t leave out the marzipan, as it makes the filling sweet, but also buttery and creamy. So that will be at your own risk.

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Danish”Hindbærsnitter” – frosted raspberry pop tarts!

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I have tasted Hindbærsnitter twice in my life. Today, making these, and a year ago, when I made my first batch ever of Hindbærsnitter. This was embarrassingly enough also my first taste of hindbærsnitter after 5 years in Denmark, where these sweet pop-tart-looking things appear and are sold in every bakery  you go by. And lord knows I´ve been around those Danish bakeries quite often, so I´ve had several opportunities to try them out. Buuut there were always some Cinnamon-rolls or other tempting goods that got in the way, so I never really got around to it. But last summer I made a lot of raspberry marmalade, and I needed to put it to use, so I thought of the so-called Hindbærsnitter and decided to give it a go. And it was good, I tell ya… And I couldn´t help but thinking: What took me so long? Why haven’t I tasted them before?

(Well I´m not sure if this really counts: I mean, I´ve only tasted my own , never a true Danish hindbærsnitte, so for all I know, my version might be waaaay off. But I don´t think so, though. I´ve done my recipe research, so I think a Dane would approve…)

And fast forward to today, I´m where I was a year ago. I needed an excuse to keep me busy inside, as it´s pouring down outside, and to treat myself with something sweet…  After all it´s suppose to be my summer holiday, and with this weather and temperature I thought I deserved a day on the sofa, accompanied by baked goods, coffee and a good book. So I stayed inside making raspberry marmalade and went on baking Hindbærsnitter. Luckily, they came toghether quickly and without much effort, so the rest of the day could be spent relaxing enjoying the results…

Like I remembered, they were lovely. Really sweet both by their look and taste. I might have gone a little overboard with the frosting, but who cares. Days like these crave sugar…!

Hindbærsnitter

  • 250 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250 g cold butter (chilled and cubed)
  • 250 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • + about 300 g raspberry jam

Frosting

  • 400 g confectioners sugar
  • + water or lemon juice

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the dough: Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the egg. Mix just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Refrigerate for 3o minutes.

Make the tarts: Divide the dough in half, and place on a lightly floured work surface.  Roll the crusts with a rolling-pin into a size of 12×25 cm and  3-4 mm thickness.

Bake in a preheated oven until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Be sure to keep an eye on them, time depends on how thin you roll them) Allow to cool on the baking sheets.

Meanwhile, stir together the confectioners’ sugar and water/lemon juice and make a spreadable frosting. It should be quite thick. Spread one of the cooled tarts with frosting and sprinkles. (I used freezedried berries) Spread raspberry jam out on the other pastry.  Sandwich them together, the frosted pastry on top of the raspberry spread. Press them a little together if you manage, and cut into (in)appropriate sizes.

Serve once the frosting is completely set or not, if you can’t wait (like me) and like it a little soft and sticky. Now all you need is a blanket and a cup of hot beverage, and something to read, and the summer-rain can just keep coming…cause I´ve got hindbærsnitter, the perfect accompaniement on a rainy day!

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Rhubarb muffins

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Rhubarb season is finally upon us! My favorite season? At least one of my favorite vegetables! Yes – it´s a vegetable!!!

When rhubarb arrives and you see various recipes for rhubarb crumble, lemonade and muffins – it´s a sure sign of spring and a promise of summer. I might try out a new recipe each year, but I usually fall back to crumbles and this old classic: My mother´s rhubarb muffin. Mum knows what she´s doing already, so no need to change or tweak this. It´s simply perfect.

So when I visited my parents yesterday, I made a request for some rhubarb, and in my defense the saying says to pick it within midsummer which is only a few days away….So I took home a large bunch to do some baking. When my father saw me and the rhubarb he suggested the muffins. He loooves them. So do I. Actually, everyone does. So the idea was planted in my head: What better way to start rhubarb-baking-season than with a real family classic!

So, today, equitted with rhubarb, eggs, butter and apron I realized: The recipe is in my recipe book which currently is located in copenhagen! And my mother is out of town!!! What to do? Well, luckily, it´s not the only rhubarb-muffins-recipe on the planet (one of the best, perhaps) so I turned to google as I often do and found what seemed like a good replacement!

And indeed it was! Actually, in a way this is a more extravagant version of the usual…

Maybe a little less gooey, but my go-to-recipe is so gooey you need a spoon, so that´s maybe a little overexaggerated for some! 😉 Anyway – both equally delicious!

I hereby declare rhubarb-season for opened!

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Rhubarb muffins

Rhubarb compote/ Rabarberkompot
10 oz rhubarb / 300 g rabarbra
1/2 vanillabean/ ½ vaniljestang
2.5 oz sugar / 70 g sukker

Clean and cut the rhubarb in inch-sized chunks. Pour rhubarb, sugar and vanillaseads and bean in a pan and stir. Cook on medium heat until everything is soft and compote-looking.

Rens rabarbraen og skjær dem i skiver på 2-3 cm
Ha rabarbra, sukker, vaniljekorn og den halve tomme vaniljestang i en gryte – og rør det sammen. La rabarbraen simre ved middelvarme til de er møre og minner om en grov pure.

Muffins

3 eggs / 3 egg
6.5 oz sugar / 180 g sukker
8 oz flour / 220 g mel
2 tsp vanilla sugar / 2 tsk. vaniljesukker
1.5 tsp baking powder / 1,5 tsk. bakepulver
5 oz butter (melted) 150 g smør (smeltet)
4.5 oz marcipan finally chopped / 120 g revet marsipan

Whisk egg and sugar until creamy. Stir in the dry ingredients and the melted and cooled butter. Finally fold in the chopped marzipan. Divide the batter in muffin cups, and top with a spoonful of the rhubarb compote. If desired, sprinkle with crumble!  Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 F.

Pisk egg og sukker til en luftig masse.
Rør alle de tørre ingredienser i og det afkjølede smør.
Vend til sist revet marsipan i muffindejen.
Fordel deigen i muffinsformer. Top med rabarbrakompott og drys en teskje crumble over.
Bag ved 180 grader i 20-25 min.

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My first bread pudding!

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It feels kind of wrong posting this now, on such a sunny spring day when I usually eat light summer food. The smell of cinnamon and baked apples, suddenly put me in an Christmas mood and (almost) longing for autumn! But there´s still a crispness to the air, which means that mornings and evenings are still cold, and best enjoyed with a sweet breakfast or dessert. Enter Bread Pudding!

Bread pudding is something that I´ve stumbled upon several times among my many English/American cookbooks, and certainly it´s been mentioned by Jamie and Nigella more than once when talking about comfort food. And I´ve seen pictures of this dessert-thing over and over, over the years. It always seemed intriguing to me, tempting in a comforting way, but not tempting in the way like chocolate, ice-cream, cheesecake or other desserts can do, so although I understood the concept and idea of this dessert, it never made it to the dessert table in my house, because of strong competition (and a chocoholic boyfriend). It wasn´t until a couple of years ago I finally actually got to try bread pudding, when me and boyfriend were eating out, and the menu was set, so no choices for us and no possibility to not choose bread pudding, if that should have appeared on the dessert menu. Luckily for us, it did, as bread pudding was the dessert on the menu that day and was served to us! Any other way, we would have missed out… We shared a mini loaf of bread pudding, and OMG, it was so extremely good! We scraped the bowl to get everything of the good stuff, and agreed it was the best thing on the menu that evening. Later, I got to thinking of baking this for myself and make my own version. Somehow, years went by, with no bread pudding being made. But a couple of days ago, a picture of bread pudding from my pie-book caught my eye. And a few days earlier I bought a sour dough bread which turned out to have ONE gigantic hole instead of the usually many few, making it difficult to use for spreads or fillings. So, what to do…? I don´t throw food, I get creative!

Croutons? Nah – boring. Plus, I don´t plan on having a salad where it could be used for the next days. French toast? Nah, that wouldn´t look good with that hole. But maybe something french-toast-like, like…. Bread Pudding! Yaaay! That´s what I´m making!

I´m glad I realized that this was an overnight project, because it´s oh so disappointing when your mind (sweet tooth) is set on something, and you don´t get it because “it needs time”. Since this was my first time doing this, i certaintly needed a recipe as a starting point. But since the recipe said 12-15 servings, and I´m only one (one person – though I definetely can take more than one serving…) I needed to adjust the amounts, and adding apple and the topping, I made my own version, and a very good one! The only problem was that I only had a family-sized baking dish, resulting in a not so tall bread pudding. But who cares – It´s my first bread pudding, cut me some slack. And besides, low height with a large surface equals more crispy topping!

Bread Pudding

120 grams sour dough bread

1 egg

50 g sugar

1 dl full cream

1.5 dl milk

1 apple

Topping:

10 g butter

20 g sugar

20 g oats

(Any white bread can be used, but I felt sour dough was perfect as the acidity balances out the sweetness. But if you want to go all in, for more sweetness, feel free to use whatever: toast-bread, brioche or leftover croissants or cinnamon-rolls, if such things exist!)

Instructions

Spray a 20×30 cm (9×13 inch) baking dish with nonstick spray.

Cut or tear the bread in cubes or chunks, and line your dish with one layer of bread cubes.
Cut the apple, and put it in a pan along with cinnamon, water and half the amount of sugar. Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and spoon the filling onto the bread layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect, Just spread the apples about.Top the apple with another layer of bread and pack tightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
Pour mixture over the bread. Cover with foil and let chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.When ready to prepare, take bread out of the fridge and let rest on the counte.

Preheat oven to 150 C/ 350F.
Prepare the topping: Mix together butter, sugar, and oats. Spread over the top of the bread. Again, doesn’t have to be perfect.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until bread is fully toasted and eggs are set. Let cool for at least 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature, with cream, yoghurt or  ice cream if so inclined. Enjoy!

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Brownies with walnuts and browned butter

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I´m home on holiday – again! I know!!! That´s the advantage of having my exam after Christmas – getting an extra vacation! So, that´s pretty nice… I came home last weekend to Celebrate my boyfriend´s mother´s birthday, cause she was turning 60, and having a big celebration. And the plan was to fly back on Sunday for my exam the following monday. But, it turned out, that after my exam there weren´t any lectures until February! And as the exam was a home-exam, well, why not stay at home in Norway writing it? After all, that is my primary home! So I did! And now I have a good week at home to do – well – bake? It´s not like I have anything else scheduled! Well, other than seeing family and friends, of course. But those things are very well combined. Last night, I had a friend over while my boyfriend was at football practice. Our initial plan was meeting at a café and then going to the cinema, but poor as we are, we decided on a night at home instead.

I promised her some baked goods, and had my mind on brownies. She´s pretty much a chocoholic (yeah – blame her…) and, well, ok, I was having massive chocolate cravings, so brownies seemed just right. And easy enough to gobble on when you´re deep down in the sofa, under the blanket, watching tv. Important. So, the one thing I was going to do that day, was baking a batch of brownies before her arrival. But did I manage? Nooo. I spent too much time gazing out the window. Facebooking. Warming my hands above the oven. Staring out the window again. And searching for recipes – brownie recipes. I had borrowed the Hummingbird bakery cookbook from my mother, and was planning to make the basic brownie recipe from that book. But then I had some extra time on my hands, and starting searching online for recipes…

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And then I found these. They looked insanenly good. I was a little surprised to see that the brownies were made of cocoa, not chocolate, I mean, being a brownie, and all! And still – they looked so chocolatey! But, than again, I do recall a super-moist chocolate cake made from cocoa, so that didn´t put me off! I was a little afraid that the basic Hummingbird brownies weren´t gooey enough, or fudgy enough to my like, cause I couldn´t really judge by the photos. And to me, that´s what brownies are all about. Fudge and goo – yes please! I realized that the ingredients and measures in the cocoa brownies were the same as another Hummingbird-recipe, the frosted one, though without the frosting… So, I decided on that one, and got to use the book after all! I just tweaked the methods, to go with Alice Medrich´s approach. And also with her addition of browned butter…..mmm.

So, I never managed to bake the brownies before my friend arrived. But what´s good, is that these brownies come together in no time! Cause we were gonna have brownies, that was for sure! I just whipped them together in a hurry after dinner, and within an hour, they were served! And maybe it was just as good I didn´t bake them in advance, because what´s better than warm, fudgy brownies, straight from the oven?It was the perfect accompaniement to Bridesmades, a glass of milk and good company!

Verdict: Fudgy? Check! Chocolatey enough? Check! Good? Hell yeah!
So yes, the brownies lived up to their expectation, and to the photos – Luckily!

Bake away!

brownie

Cocoa Brownies
(Adapted from Alice Medrich)

Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies

10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams, though some brands may weigh more) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (75 grams) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 170°/ 325°F. Line the bottom and all 4 sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick vegetable spray

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and continue to cook, whisking gently, until it is golden brown and the milk particles suspended in it are reddish brown. Remove the pan from the heat and stop the cooking by immediately adding the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Stir to blend. Let cool for 5 minutes; the mixture will still be fairly hot. (Well, I didn´t have time for that – instant chocolate cravings! And they still turned out beautifully!)

Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon or a silicone spatula after adding each one. When the mixture looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add all of the flour and stir until you no longer see streaks of flour, then beat vigorously for 50 to 60 strokes with the wooden spoon or the spatula. Stir in the nuts.

Spread the batter in the lined pan, swirling the surface if you like. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges almost clean (the brownies will still be soft and gooey even if the toothpick looks clean). Cool in the pan on a rack.

Lift the edges of the foil liner and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Slide a metal spatula under the brownies to detach them from the foil (or invert the brownies and peel off the foil, then turn the brownies right side up again). Cut into 16 or 25 squares. The brownies keep stored airtight, for 2 to 3 days.

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Blueberry scones

It´s easter!
That means I´m home back in Bergen, I have some time to kill while everyone´s at work, and later I have some more time because of the holidays which is perfect for some staying in-activities, such as baking. And, I have people to feed, plus room in the freezer for whatever leftovers there might be! Oh, the opportunities! And not to mention, I have a lot of stuff, like berries, in the freezer, so I don´t have to get out buying overpriced supermarket-berries. Or getting wet. And like I said, it´s easter, which means some easter-treats has to be made. Only in case the easter bunny doesn´t show up, of course.

Today is a perfect day for baking. The rain is pouring down, the shops are closed, and although my boyfriend was supposed to start his holidays today, he had to arrange a quick meeting in a café. How rude! Taking clients to cafés instead of me – on our holiday! Well, there´s only one thing to do. If I can´t come to the café, the café must come to me. Which is actually a better option in this weather. Now I only had to choose a café-like snack. Like always I´ve done some baking-research before I got home. The list of recipes to try, I´ve realised is a never-ending project, as people like myself keep adding tempting recipes, and I keep both buying and borrowing cookbooks. I don´t make it easy for myself. So many recipes, so little time! And the fact that I´m on a daily search for recipes – without any other reason than just for the sake of it – well, I better get baking!

Starting with this scone recipe. These scones immediately made it to the top of my baking list, pushing down brownies, pound cake and other things that have been lined up for quite some time – poor things. But sometimes, you see a picture of something so appealing, you can´t get your mind around anything else, and there´s only one thing to do. Bake it. Get it out of the system. See if they taste as good as they looked at the picture. And of course, compare yours to the original. Uglier, prettier? It´s usually the first. But these turned out quite decent, if I may say so.

Taste wise – well, I don´t have anything to compare with, but I thought they were pretty darn good! The recipe calls for partly whole wheat flour, which I substituted for rye flour. (That´s what I had) That made them more filling and hearty, without feeling overly “healthified”. They´re still sweet and moist, but just perfectly balanced. You could easily have these for breakfast – or any other time of the day!
I enjoyed mine fresh from the oven with a cup of tea for a late lunch. I couldn´t resist adding some butter (can I ever?) – butter melting into warm baked goods – seriously, how can anyone resist?
Even so, they are flavourful enough on their own, so they don´t necessarily need anything. But I imagine a dollop of whipped cream wouldn´t hurt either. So you can dress it up or down, and serve it as breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert! Or all of the above. Go crazy!



Berry Almond Scones
(slightly adapted from thevintagemixer)

1 stick (8 tbsp)butter, cold, plus 1 Tb melted
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
½ cup milk
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 cup whole wheat/rye pastry flour
½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Instructions

Yields 8 generous blues-killing scones
Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 220 C/ 425˚ F.
Grate the frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater.
Whisk together the milk and Greek yogurt in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. In another bowl, combine the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almonds in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

Add the milk-yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined. Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times. Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll the dough into a 12-inch square.

Sprinkle the berries evenly over the surface of the dough, and gently press down so that they are slightly embedded in the dough surface. Fold up the edges of the dough up so that all of the berries are concealed inside the dough. The dough should resemble a ball. Flatten the dough and gently form into a circle (about 7 inches by 7 inches). Using a sharp, floured knife, or a sharp dough scraper/chopper cut the circle into 8 equal triangles (like pie wedges). Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar or more sliced almonds. Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at 10 minutes before serving. If you can wait that long!

Nutella rolls


So – finally my family pack of nutella was put to use! Or some of it, at least. That thing is huge! Like I may have mentioned earlier, I have a thing for big food, or food that come in large sizes or packages. I´m drawn to anything supersize when it comes to food. I´m just fascinated by food that goes beyond the usual or ordinary sizes, whether it´s nutella, apples, cinnamon rolls or pepper grinders. Don´t judge me!

This time, it´s about nutella. Once I saw that jar of 1-kg nutella, I knew it was coming home with me. And by US standards, 1 kg probably isn´t all that, but here it is. I´d never seen anything like it! So to me, 1 kg is a-lot, especially considered that I normally don´t buy or eat nutella. So I really didn´t know why I bought it or what to do with it, but I had to have it. Some girls shop for shoes, I shop spreadings. So I got it home and put it away. I googled for recipes, and decided that nutella rolls would be a good way to start. But somehow, I never got around to it. After some time I had to move it from my kitchen into my little pantry of things I seldom use. Probably a bad idea, cause you know, out of sight, out of mind. I would have kept it in my kitchen as a reminder to use that freakin thing, but due to extremely limited storage possibilites in the kitchen, priorities had to be made. But now, finally, the time has come to nutella rolls. We´re going on a foodexpo with my class tomorrow, and I´m bringing these for the 3-hour busdrive. To spread some nutella-joy! Maybe not the most transportable baked goods there is, though. So the verdict: What can I say? They were worth waiting for! Oh my… Sticky, gooey sweet hazelnut bliss!
And if you top it off with some roasted hazelnuts, and some extra nutella (just to glue the hazelnuts, of course) – well, that´s as good as nutella gets! Try it!

Nutella rolls (25-30 rolls)

1 kg all purpose flour
200 g sugar
200 g butter
6 dl milk
12 g dry yeast (50 g fresh yeast)
1 ts baking powder
1 ts cardamom

Melt the butter.
Add the milk and warm it up until it´s lukewarm.
If you´re using fresh yeast, dissolve it in the warm mixture. Set aside.

Mix together the flour with sugar, cardamom, baking powder and eventually dry yeast. Pour the butter-milk mixture into the the dry ingredients, and incorporate. Add more flour if necessary. Once evenly mixed knead the dough in a floured board. Form into a large ball then place in a bowl covered in cling wrap. Place in a warm place and let it rise for 1 hour or until it doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl, deflate and roll into a floured surface. Thickness about 1/2 cm or so, but that depends on how you like the dough vs filling ratio. I like it 1:1 more or less. There must under no circumstances be short on the filling, that´s for sure! Spread on nutella, as much as you like, and get rolling! Cut them into suitable sizes, using a knife or dental floss. (This is a very loose recipe, I´m starting to see…) Mine were about 4 cm in height and 8 cm diameter. Place them tightly if you don´t want edges, or seperately if you do! Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden and irresistible!

And – voilá! It´s served! I do recommend roasting some hazelnuts to go with it. That extra crunch in combination with the soft melting nutella bun is just divine…

Chocolate cake for 2012

Happy new year everyone!
How was you new year´s eve? Full of festivities, celebrations, good friends and good food? Well – in that case, it was the opposite of mine. No, I´m not complaining, I actually had a great new years eve, it just didn´t turn out exactly as planned. But many good things in life happen by accident! Not that anything actually happened around here. Quite eventless, is a good way to describe the last day of 2011. We woke up quite late, or extremely late, to be accurate. We had spent the night at my parents after enjoying our christmas present for them, which was a basket full of quality cheeses, sausages and ham. Sneaky? Nooo… It was noon when we had our breakfast, but in our defense we slept really bad that night, or hardly at all. By this time our plans for the night were a little uncertain, since my sister had cancelled our original plan. Usually we spend new year at their house along with another couple, and me and my boyfriend are in charge of turkey (him) and cake/dessert (me – surprise!) So the turkey was alredy bought and I had my eyes on a certain cake. We thought of inviting some other people, as a 5-kilo turkey is slightly too much for two people, but as I was feeling a cold developing too, we decided that it would be best to take it easy. Low key-new years eve was our plan! And that plan, my friends, worked out indeed. Did you know you could watch the fireworks on tv? You don´t even have to get up from the sofa. Just place the food in front of you, enjoy the meal from the sofa, have a few films laid out, and you´re good to go! Well, we actually sat down by the dining table to eat – turkey deserved that, after all. But if we had planned this, we would probably go all the way with homemade pizza, and pizza, as you know, is best enjoyed from the sofa, in front of the tv. Well well, maybe next year! Or this year, actually.

The fact that we were going to have a 5 kilo turkey for dinner that night, didn´t stop me from making the cake I planned to bake for 8 people. You could think that a big dinner was enough, but I say a big dinner deserves a big dessert. Or to be honest, I´d be making this either way, no matter the size or shape of dinner. No way I´d let a New Years eve pass without cake! Unheard of! Oh no, I was making this cake. I couldn´t let it pass even if I wanted to, the pictures of it would haunt my dreams until I made it. I found the recipe via Tastespotting, on a random search for chocolate cake. And this appeared. I rest my case. Who can look at this and not make it? Certainly not me. I wasn´t going to let sickness and a 5 kilo turkey get in the way of me and this cake. So I made it. And I suggest you do the same…

Moist Chocolate Cake (Foodess.com)

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water, or simply 1 cup boiling water)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch baking pans and set aside. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract; beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in hot coffee. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

The cake turned out beautifully and tasty. The flavour was so rich and chocolatey. I was a little surprised by that, since there weren´t any chocolate, just cocoa powder. But I guess that´s what made that deep rich flavour. But…it didn´t turn out as moist as I´d imagined. I´d probably be perfectly happy with it, if I hadn´t seen those pictures of that insanely moisty fudgy cake. But I had. I think I know what did it, though. I didn´t add all the coffee, as I didn´t bother to brew more than I already had, (yeah, yeah, the lazy chef strikes again!)so the batter wasn´t as runny as supposed to. And I guess a runnier batter will make a moister cake, or what? I think that has to be it, cause I followed the recipe otherwise! Next time – cause there´ll be a next time, many next times – I´ll follow the recipe closely. And maybe subsitute some of the cocoa for chocolate? And definetely make more frosting. It´s a big cake, it needs its frosting. Especially to cover up for lacking moistness. Oh yeah, I´ll be making this over and over until perfection strikes! This recipe is a good starting point!

Rhubarb muffins

Hooray! First of all, it’s spring! And summer is here soon, though it feels like it’s already summer here today. 18 degrees C and sunshine – that’s summer, whether I’m here in Denmark or home in Norway. And secondly, and most importantly, rhubarb is in season! Nothing says spring or early summer more than rhubarb desserts and muffins. Although I love rhubarb in a strawberry/rhubarb pie, this soup, my mother’s rhubarb compote, rhubarb crumble……..this, is what exites me most! This is first on my rhubarb-list. Then comes the pie, that’s really good too…and it brings back memories from past summers, when my family have friends over and we just sit eating, talking, laughing and munching into the Norwegian summer night that never gets the chance to go dark, before the sun rises again. Lovely. But that’s another story. I’m a sucker for nostagia, especially the summer-related kind. Can’t help it. Now for the muffins. These darlings are a newer acquaintance, but instantly became a hit in my family, and I’ve been making them at least a couple of times every rhubarb season since. What surprised me the most when I first made them, was how incredible moist they were. We actually had to get a spoon, and scoop out the delicious muffin-rhubarb-goo and eat it like a mini dessert from a paper bowl. But the good thing about it, although I like to eat things with a spoon in general even if it’s not needed, I find it very comforting, was that we could really scrape every last bit of muffin out of the muffin cup. Very nice. And economic and ethically right, not to waste food. Which brings me to why I made these muffins right now. We have a group project at school to prepare a meal for about 200 people, sell it, and make all kinds of budgets, PR, hygienic controls. It’s quite a project. And it has to be a somewhat sustaineable meal. So we decided to go for a koncept of exploiting the nature in a good way, to go out and find edibles in the forest, your backyard or on the way to work for that matter. To use whatever’s in season, and to shop locally. So since rhubarb is in season, I suggested it, since a lot of people have it in their gardens. But mostly, to have an excuse to make them. What can I say, they are de-licious. And a smash hit with my fellow group members. And it looks really pretty. I’ve never had that purple rhubarb before, and it gave the muffins an almost plumlike pinkish colour. But tastewise, it’s all the same. Phew.


Rhubarb Muffins

100 g butter
2 dl sugar
3 eggs
ca 2 dl flour
1,5 teaspoon baking powder
0,5 dl rhubarb juice
250 g rhubarb 0,5 dl sugar
0,5 dl water

Cut the rhubarb into pieces and bring to a boil together with sugar and water. Boil until the rhubarb softens. Strain the rhubarb to squeeze out the juice. In a bowl combine the sugar and butter and stir. Add 1 egg at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Turn the rhubarb syrup carefully into the batter. (If you use the purple rhubarb, to make a marbled effect. Or just turn it in if you want a pink batter! If you use the pale rhubarb it doesn’t really matter.) (I also made a batch of unmarbled muffins, so you can skip the straining if you don’t bother or want to. That works too! But I think I’d do it, I think it makes them so deliciously moist.) Fill the cups 3/4 full, and top with a spoon of rhubarb in the middle. Bake for about 10 minutes for the small kind, and 15 minutes for large. Sift with powding sugar or make a simple glaze, and give them a whirl. And dig in, armed with a spoon for maximum pleasure…. They’re best eaten while warm, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Or served lukewarm, that also works. Or cold with a warm cup of tea as a late night snack when the Scandinavian summer air turns crisp. These are flexible babies! But whatever you do – just do it. Make them.

Agnes Cupcakes – Sea salt chocolate

FINALLY, the day for collecting our cupcakes arrived yesterday. You see, my friend and I bought these coupons where you got 6 cupcakes for the price of three sometime back in the autumn. We were planning on collecting them when my friend finally settled in her new appartment, but things got complicated, so that was delayed. We then decided to go get them some time before the holidays for a little pre-Christmas celebration. That never happened. So we decided on collecting them when our exams were done in january. That never happened either! But yesterday at school when it started to snow, we figured we definetely needed those cupcakes to survive spending the day at the library. Ohh, and am I glad we did! I bought apple, banana and sea salt chocolate, but I only tasted the last one. It was quite rich, but really, really good. Especially the frosting. So judging by that one flavour, I can higly recommend Agnes Cupcakes. And I’ve only heard other people rave about it. But cupcakes and studies go well together I can tell you! Or, actually not. We didn’t get much done, but we had a lot of fun, though. We had our little oasis in between all the dusty old books with colourful cupcakes and fresh coffee! Lovely! It certainly raised the bar for studying a bit…