Archive for the ‘cakes’ Category

Cinnamon bread

March 24, 2008

Spring was supposed to arrive last weekend as Easter week came marching in. Alas, it didn’t. The week started out nicely with sunshine and temps hovering around 10-15 degrees, and I had my mind set on things crunchy, lemony and Spring like. It ended in the candle-lit-brunch-with heavy-rains-and-the-like department. Fortunately, there are remedies for these situations. In this particular moment we turned to cinnamon, butter and moscovado.

L had an all-day baking workshop with kitchen guru Camilla a couple of weeks ago, so it only seemed natural to try out one of the things they didn’t get around makingĀ do a repeat of one of the stars of the day: cinnamon bread packed with cardamom and buttery-sugar filling. Cinnamon rolls are a breakfast stable at many a Danish breakfast table on weekends, as it is in other parts of the gastronomic world. (Check out Keiko’s flawless cinnabon look-a-likes here). In stead of the normal roll-shape, this is a rather different take where you change a little and end up with a rather different result. The bread/loaf – call it what you like – is great for serving as the sweet part of brunch. We also used it alongside a traditional saffron infused bread (more on that later on when A Taste of Yellow approaches) for an afternoon treat.

Cinnamon bread
350g flour
10g fresh yeast
50g melted butter
1 egg
50ml sugar
half a tsp of salt

an egg for the egg wash

Dissolve the yeast in the luke warm milk; add the rest and knead thoroughly. Hold back on the flour, you might not need it all – keep the dough on the sticky side. Let the dough rest until doubled.

Filling (remonce)

75g softened butter
150 ml sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardemom

Combine all the ingredients.

On a floured surface or silipat roll out the dough into a square shape that will fit the bread pan when rolled up (approx. 20cm will fit this portion.) Spread the filling evenly and roll the dough. Make sure the ends aren’t opon. Otherwise all the filling will ooze out during baking. Place the dough in a buttered/non-stick/lined baking form and cover with egg wash. Let it rise until wobbly and bake at 200 C for 25-30 minutes.



Quince pie

February 6, 2008

This post is over due, I know. The quinces are quickly – here anyways – disappearing from the stores, and actually- hush! don’t tell – it has been a while since I made the pie. So much for the fast and furious internet…

I made the pie from the last apple quinces I could get my hands on. Yes, I know, I’ve been babbling on and on about quinces ever since I started this blog, but I just can’t help it. Really, I try – and then there they are again, ideas bumping around in my head of what to do with these fruits of magic. There is just something elusive and magical about them, that keeps on stirring my interest. Maybe it’s the way they are unapproachable when uncooked, maybe their sweet apple-like aromas?

Quinces take quite a while cooking and a lot of sugar, too. I made the pie partly from a recipe, partly on the spur of the moment. First, I made a quince compote. That took a while. And then a while longer. Actually, so long, that I had to stop cooking and continue the day after. So if you plan to do this, make sure you have at least three hours on hand.

The idea is the following: Wash the quinces (for a 24 cm pan 3 if using apple quinces, half as much if using regular) and remove the pit. Dice into 3 cm cubes and put into a pot and cover with water, two handfulls of sugar or so. Now, decide on what kind of spice you want to use. I recommend vanilla and lemon zest – both is great with quinces. Cinnamon is another, but after Christmas, you might have had enough. I know I have. Lemon zest is essential, I think, as the fruits need a little acidity.

Cook the quinces slowly until reaching a compote like consistency. It might take a while, as I mentioned. The pieces should retain their shape, you’re not making mash here. When happy with the compote, drain completely. Keep the liquid, it’s great on yoghurt or other places where you use sweet sirups.

Meanwhile, make the pie dough and refrigerate. You probably have your own favorite recipe for that, so I won’t bother. I didn’t prebake the pie, lazy me… – and the world didn’t come to a stop and the pie was great. So up to you. Fill the pastry shell with the compote and slice up a couple of apples very finely, discarding the pit, and cover the pie. Bake for 30 min. or so at 180 C until nice and golden. Serve with a little whipped cream and maybe a drizzle of the left over sirup. Tea is nice, too. Not fruity but black, Ceylon would be my choice.

Global politics in a cookie jar

December 21, 2007

No, this isn’t a political post. Relax, nothing could be further from my mind these days busy with Holiday preparations than global politics. And it isn’t one of these health conscious food politically correct ones either. That would also seriously interfere with, well, pretty much everything food related these days where butter, sugar and cream are my closest friends.


Instead, what this really is about, is cosmopolitan cookies. There is a Danish traditional Christmas cookie, a sweet little thing, called a Jewish cake. Unfortunately, I’m not well versed enough in Danish food lore to tell you, where it got its name from. What I can tell you is, that the – at least on my blog – ever present Camilla Plum has come up with a recipe for Palestinian cookies. And for my cosmopolitan self, I think that is a great idea. Just like its counterpart, the Palestinian cookie doesn’t really have anything to do with Palestine but if you (at least the Danish ones of you all) want a little balance in your cookie jar, do try these little mouth cleansers of a cookie. They have a rather non traditional mix of spices but here in Danmark where everything these days are drenched in cinnamon and allspice, I have no reservations. The recipe calls for carraway, and they are important. You want to omit them, I know, so did I. But don’t! They make all the difference and take on a whole different character when used with things sweet.

Palestinian cookies (70-80)
From Camilla Plum’s Jul

140 cane sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
225g butter
200g all-purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6-7 tbsp water

Spice mix:
2 tbsp aniseed
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp carraway seeds
1 tbsp cardamom seeds (i.e. the seeds taken out of the pods)
100g canesugar

Mix sugar, lemon zest, water and butter in a Kitchen Aid until white and the sugar is dissolved. This will take a while! Combine the two different types of flour, salt and baking powder and sift it over the butter/sugar mix. Keep mixing and you’ll get a fluffy mixture. Put it in a plastic bag and cut a tiny bit of one corner and start making your cookies. They should be around 5 cm in diameter.

For the spice mix, combine everything a give a quick bash either in a mortar or spice grinder. Not too much, the mix should have texture. Drizzle over each un-baked cookie and bake for 6-7 minutes until golden at 180C in a preheated oven.

If you don’t have a mixer, combine all the ingredients to a ball with your hands on the table. Form a long cylinder and cook it in the fridge. When cold and hard slice it into 2mm thick slices and bake.

Chocolate tart

November 12, 2007

I met up with a couple of friends from uni the other day. The occasion was one of the guys going off to Copenhagen. He has enrolled in the army as a language officer and will probably be going to Afghanistan in a couple of years. I’m not sure really, how I feel about the whole thing, but we had a great time talking about old times and the upcoming elections. Jacques, the head chef of our little group, dished up with braised shanks of lamb with roasted potatoes and various sides. I chipped in with a chocolate tart for dessert.

While I was preparing the tart, I thought about naming this post something like “Never bake a pastry shell with a 6 months old”. I must admit that my initial thoughts about just whipping up a delicate, crisp pastry shell filled with moist chocolate filling had its blows. But thankfully it all turned out great. Jakob, the little sport, slept for a couple of hours just when I needed them the most. The tart turned out great – the apricot filling complementing the chocolate nicely. I used organic and thus non sulfur-treated apricots. They are sweeter than the non-organic variety and I’m not really sure what I prefer. I’ve made the cake once before using the non-organic kind and it seemed to me, that the tarter filling paired up better with the overall taste.

Anyways, the recipe is a breeze from the always superb Moro (I can’t wait to try out their new cookbook!). If you can’t find amradeen – I couldn’t – chop up apricots finely and sautee them in a little water until soft, then puree in a blender and add a little lemon juice for balance. It’s not the same as amradeen, the rolls of dried apricot paste I have seen in bazaars in Turkey and Syria, but it’s close enough.

Chocolate and apricot tart

1 sweet pastry tart shell – use your favorite recipe.

180g apricot paste/amradeen
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
135g butter
110g dark chocolate (I used Valrhona Caraibe 66%)
2 large eggs
60g sugar

Place amradeen, water and lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat until the amradeen is soft. Spread on the prebaked pastry shell.

Melt butter and chocolate in a bain-marie. In a seperate bowl mix eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy. Combine the two, it takes a little time folding them together. Fill the pastry shell with the chocolate filling and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-25 minutes. The filling should still be a little wobbly when you take it out of the oven. Cool and enjoy!