Happy Fat Tuesday!

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Or happy Pancake day!

Or happy Mardi Gras!

Or just, happy lets-stuff-our-faces-and-celebrate-day! (Like I would need a special day for that!) All over the world people are stuffing themselves getting ready for lent, since I’m not really that religious, I just take this opportunity to stuff myself, guilt free! Depending on where you come from, you celebrate it differently, in Sweden we eat something called Semla.

It’s sugar, it’s fat, it’s carbs, it’s delicious!

I found and tried this recipe for the buns, it’s similar to the one I have at home. They turned out fine, I probably wouldn’t use as much flour at once, but I like my dough to be a bit sticky while it’s resting and work in the last flour in the end. There’s nothing worse to me then dry buns.

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Fresh soft buns, I could eat them just like this, it’d probably be healthier, better not!

This is basically how I make mine, I cut off a “lid”, this time I shaped my “lids” into fun shapes. Then I scoop out the bread inside the bun and place it in a bowl. I mix the scooped out bread with almond paste, a splash of milk and some whipped cream. When it’s properly mixed together I put it back in the bun.

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The almond mix paste it probably my favorite thing about the Semla.

If they look small, it’s because I made mini Semlor. They are pretty filling, so I made them smaller. After I’ve put the almond paste back in, I whip my cream, yes I whip it myself, apparently that’s very strange in America. Today I colored my whip cream too, I was feeling childish!

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Decorated with some Valentine’s hearts

I might have had some (read all of them) for breakfast.

And some extra almond paste.

Totally guilt free!

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Happy Fat Tuesday Everyone, where ever in the world you are!

Carolina

Gravlax part 2 & scalloped potato gratin

So, this is long overdue, I promised to show how the salmon turned out, but I got lazy and forgetful, sorry.

I accidentally left the salmon in the fridge a bit too long, and I might have added a bit too much salt, because the salmon got a bit too dry at the edges. But I just cut off those pieces, so if it happens to you too, don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with the salmon.

Take out the salmon from the bag over a sink, it will be filled with liquids from the salmon and you don’t want that all over you, so be careful. Brush or rinse of the salt completely. Then slice into thin slices.

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And there you go, beautiful homemade Gravlax! Yummy too!

I served the Gravlax with scalloped potato gratin. It’s so simple to make, it practically cooks itself in the oven. But remember to give yourself time, because sometimes, depending on the potato, it can take forever to be done.

What you need is:

Potatoes

1 small onion

About 1 cup of heavy cream (add more if needed)

Salt, pepper, garlic

Cheese

This recipe is good for 3-4 people. Slice potatoes into thin slices (the thinner the faster the cook in the oven), chop onion, mix spices into the heavy cream. Butter a form, add half of the potatoes, all of the onion and half of the cream. Add the rest of the potatoes and cream.

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I wanted to try something new, as always. So I added blue cheese, I love blue cheese, so I thought it’d be a good idea!

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So blue cheese and then lots of shredded cheese!!!

I think I had mine in the oven for almost and hour and a half, might have been longer. At 425°F. It tasted great, however, it would not have won a beauty contest! The blue cheese kinda messed it up, it was delicious, but maybe next time I’ll stick to no blue cheese, to make it look pretty.

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So there you have it, Gravlax and Scalloped potato gratin!

Enjoy

Carolina

Gravlax

A simple typical Swedish dish, we usually eat around Christmas or Easter. In America a lot of people eat it on top of a cream cheese bagel. Which is pretty god damn delicious too! Only problem is that it’s so expensive to buy here, so I make my own!

It’s super simple to make, you need:

1 kg raw Salmon

200 g of Salt

150 g of Sugar

Some pepper

Last time I did this recipe, I thought it came out too sweet, (i.e too much sugar), so I added some more salt this time.

Take a nice big middle piece of the salmon.

Mix salt, sugar and pepper. If you want to add some other spices, go for it. I added some pepper mix that I had. It’s very common to add dill as well, but I prefer it without sometimes.

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Wet your hands with some water and rub the salt mixture against the salmon, one side at the time.

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Wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. If you can, put something heavy on the fish while it’s in the fridge. I placed my fish on a plate and put another plate on top of it and a cartoon of milk on top of that. It’s suppose to be pressed tightly together.

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Let it sit in the fridge for 24 – 48 hours, before you slice it. When have the time has past, turn it around. I’m letting mine sit for 48 hours, so tomorrow I will flip the salmon around and on Thursday I will show you have to turned out!

When you take it out of the fridge, scrape of the spices before you slice the salmon into thin fine slices.

Carolina

Swedish sticky cake – Kladdkaka

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This is the cake that take 10 minutes to mix together, ten minutes to bake, ten minutes to cool down and ten minutes to eat! Well almost anyway, here in America I’m still trying to perfect it, my oven here isn’t quite the same as back home in Sweden and I can’t really get the stickiness to come out just right, but it’s always delicious.  I have never had any leftovers, usually because I eat whatever is left myself. It’s chocolate, it’s sticky, it’s, it’s… perfect!

This is a very classic recipe, I think all of my friends in Sweden has a different one. One of my friends added salt in hers, just a teaspoon or so, but it turned out just as good.

Here goes, grab:

100 g Butter

200 g Sugar

2 Eggs

90 g Flour

3 tbsp Cocoa (or however much you want… yes, that’s a hint to add more!)

1 tsp Vanilla sugar (or extract, vanilla sugar is something we have in Sweden, that I’ve yet to find here)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F

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2. Melt butter, remove the pot from stove and mix in sugar and eggs. (You don’t need a bowl, you can just mix together all the ingredients in the pot). Add flour, cocoa and vanilla. (Taste! Want more chocolate, add! That’s what I always do!)

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4. Butter the pan you’re using for the cake, I use a round one with removable sides. Pour in some coconut, you can use bread crumbles if allergic, and shake around in the pan so they stick to the form.

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5. Pour the batch into the form and into the oven you go, well the cake anyway. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or more. I baked mine longer, because it came out too sticky. You want the edges to be firm, but the middle to be gooey and sticky. In case you would happen to take it out too soon and think it’s too sticky, then let it rest a couple of hours in the fridge and it will set.

Otherwise dig in!

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Now that’s yumminess!!

Carolina

Swedish Christmas Candy

Like I mentioned in my previous post, Swedes like to stuff their faces around Christmas, especially with sweets. This year I decided to try my hands on white chocolate fudge with dry roasted coconut and marzipan dipped in chocolate.

White chocolate fudge:

100 ml Heavy cream

255 g granulated Sugar

100 g Butter

1 tbsp Honey

75 g White chocolate, shredded

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 cup shredded coconut

In a pot, boil together cream, sugar, butter and honey. Let boil until the mixture reaches 125°C / 257°F. Stir the entire time as the mixture boils. It will take some time for it to reach the correct temperature, so be patient. The mix will about triple in size as it’s cooking, so make sure to take a big enough pot. When the mixture is ready, take it of the stove, let it cool for a minute or two, then stir in the chocolate and vanilla. When all chocolate is melted pour the batter into a buttered form clad with parchment paper and let it cool. Quickly dry roast the coconut in a pan, I burnt my first batch, so I had to do a new one. Spread out the coconut in the fudge and let it cool in the fridge, then cut into small pieces. Because I burnt my first batch of coconut, the fudge had already dried when I put them on and it would stick, so when I cut the fudge the coconut simply fell off, so I chose to remove it completely.

Yummy chocolate fudge, also know as "Nathalie-Ate-Them-All-Fudge"

Yummy chocolate fudge, also know as “Nathalie-Ate-Them-All-Fudge”

Marzipan dipped in chocolate, uh I was suppose to flavor the marzipan with glögg and orange juice and other things, but I totally spaced out when I was baking. Do not watch TV when you’re baking, you forget what you are doing! Anyway so these are basically just marzipan dipped in chocolate. But they are still delicious if you like marzipan, which I do, have I mentioned I am a sugarholic?? SUGAR!!!

Work your marzipan in to the shape you want them.

Work your marzipan into the shape you want them.

If you guys want to flavor you marzipan before you dip it in chocolate, then it’s very simple, just take a little marzipan and a teaspoon of whatever you want to flavor it with and work it in. You can have the marzipan in a plastic bag, while you are working it, that way it won’t stick to your fingers. Taste and if you want more flavor, simply add!

Dip them in yummy lovely chocolate and decorate with whatever you love

Dip them in yummy lovely chocolate and decorate with whatever you love

Nathalie was having a moving in party, so I gave her some of the Swedish Candy as a moving in present.

Get fat Nath... I mean, uh, Happy new home Nathalie and Chris!

Get fat Natha…, uh, I mean, Happy new home Nathalie and Kris!

Have fun stuffing your faces everyone, I know I will!

Carolina

Mulled wine – Glögg

In Sweden, at Christmas time, we drink something called Glögg. Here it’s called mulled wine or spiced wine, it is basically that, spiced wine. It’s very popular in Sweden, for me it’s one of those three things that you need around Christmas, Glögg, gingerbread cookies and saffron bread. In other words we like to get drunk and stuff our faces with sweets around Christmas.

They make all sorts of Glögg, using white wine, red wine, whiskey or cognac. The most popular one is made with red wine, but since I can’t get a hold of any here in America. This year I decided to make my own, it’s not very hard, in fact it’s the most simple thing you can do.

This is what I used to make mine:

Red Wine (or white if you prefer, chose your own poison)

½ cup granulated sugar

Cinnamon sticks

Whole cloves

Vanilla bean

I threw in the vanilla bean for fun, since I had one left from baking saffron bread. It’s not a necessary spice to make Glögg, feel free to add other ingredients for your own personal flavor, like orange peels, chocolate etc.

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1. Pour your wine in a pot with the sugar, let it simmer until the sugar is melted, DO NOT let the wine boil, then the alcohol will boil away. (Unless you want alcohol free.., why would you want that?!)

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2. When the sugar had dissolved, add cinnamon sticks, about half a handful of cloves, the vanilla bean and vanilla seed.

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3. Let it simmer on low heat for about an hour, then take the pot of the heat and let it stand for 24 hours at least with the lid on. The longer it stands the more taste your Glögg will get.

4. After 24 hours or so, you are ready to get a little tipsy, the Swedish Christmas way!

Carolina

Gingerbread house

When I was a kid, I used to decorate gingerbread houses with my brothers, I mostly remember trying to put as much candy on the house as possible and at the same time, secretly shoving candy into my mouth when mom wasn’t watching. Ah, good times. As I got older, I started baking gingerbread houses with my grandmother. My grandmother is an amazing cook and baker; she’s the one who gave me this recipe, it’s very easy to follow and the dough always comes out amazing.

Go shopping for:

200g of Sugar

100g of Butter

5 fl. oz (roughly) of Molasses

5. fl oz of Heavy cream

1 tbsp Baking soda (dissolved in a little water)

4 – 5 Cups of Flour

1 tbsp each of the following spices: Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger (all spices should be bought ground, unless you absolutely feel like grinding them yourself, perhaps I’m just lazy).

When I say roughly, it’s because this is a Swedish recipe with Swedish measurements so I’ve changed it to American. Damn us Europeans and our metric system.  What’s important is that you add the same amount of molasses as heavy cream.

1. Leave the butter out for a good while before you start, so that it softens. Mix butter and sugar together.

2. Pour in molasses (remember to breathe through your mouth, molasses has a distinct smell) and heavy cream and mix.

3. Add spices, since I think molasses have such a strong taste I usually add more spices, then the original recipe says, about two tablespoon of each spice, or more. Again mix! 4. Add the baking soda that you have dissolved in some water.

5. Add Flour, little by little. At the end work the dough with your hands until it’s smooth and shiny. And your dough is ready to be baked! 1.1 Some recipes for gingerbread demands for the dough to rest for a day, but not this one. It’s easy to make and ready to use right away! Ginga lady 2 Putting houses together, there’s two ways. I’ve noticed that in America it’s common to use Royal frosting as “glue”, the problem with this is if the frosting is too thin (i.e. not enough powdered sugar in the frosting), then it will take forever for it to dry and the house will fall apart as you are putting it together. How I do it, very simple, I melt some granulated sugar in a thick-bottomed pan and use that as glue. Just be careful because the sugar is really hot and you can get burnt. What I like about melted sugar is that as soon as it cools, it hardens and will keep your house together forever, or you know, until you start eating it.

Oh no, I'm meeeelting...

Oh no, I’m meeeelting…

Remember also to have all you pieces to your house next to you when you’re putting it together, because you have to be quick. The sugar cools very fast. 3 I had a little helper helping me to decorate my many houses, little helper Stacy. When decorating your house, just have fun with it, use a lot of candy and color your icing in different colors. I love being utterly childish when I’m decorating them. Stacy

Stacy's colorful houses

Stacy’s colorful houses

I think Stacy was going for as much candy and icing as possible, according to her I was mostly just eating candy and not decorating, I guess some things never change. sista

Have fun decorating!!

Carolina