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My first raw chocolate experiment

January 30, 2011 1 comment
Raw chocolate, just waiting to get eaten! © Hanna Stolt

Raw chocolate, just waiting to get eaten! © Hanna Stolt

Today I decided to start experimenting with raw chocolate and more specifically – how to make it. Last time it was my boyfriend Kalle who made the raw chocolate and so of course the recipe’s still in his head and not on paper. This time I decided to really document the whole process :)

 

Ingredients

  • 150 g cocoa butter
  • 2 tbsp rose hip powder
  • 1 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 2 tbsp maca powder
  • 5 tbsp raw chocolate powder
  • 3 tbsp crushed cashew
  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 2 tbsp organic honey
  • pich of salt, bourbon vanilla powder and cayenne pepper
Kaakaovoi © Hanna Stolt

Cocoa butter

Crush the cocoa butter with a knife of grate it. Pour the chopped/grated cocoa butter into a warm water bath and let it melt. Just make sure that not even a drop of water gets into the butter! A tiny drop of water can make the butter clump up so that you won’t be able to use it and will have to start all over. Keep this in mind throughout the whole process. Metal dishes are great for melting the butter as the heat spreads evenly and the butter melts faster.

Kaakaovoi vesihauteessa © Hanna Stolt

Cocoa butter melting in a warm water bath

When the butter has melted, add the rose hip powder and mix well. Use a spoon to dose a thin layer of this butter – rose hip mix at the bottom of the chocolate forms. Put the form into the freezer to chill while you continue with the rest of the mix.

Rose hip powder

Rose hip powder

Ruusunmarja-kaakaovoiseos

Cocoa butter - rose hip mix

Lift the metal tin from the warm water bath. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. This is a great time to taste the mix and add flavor as needed. Such a lovely task!

The mixture is rather warm at this stage and we need to temper it in order to achieve a good texture for the chocolate. As I don’t (yet) own a tempering plate (marble plate), I tempered the chocolate mix right in the bowl. The temperature was well above 30°C when I started and I needed to get it down to 27°C so I started mixing the chocolate with a spoon. Not too much, just so that it cooled a little faster. Once the mix has cooled to 27°C, you need to put the dish back into the warm water bath and reheat to 32°C.

Kuivat ainekset

Dry ingredients: goji berries, cocoa powder, lucuma and maca powder and cashew

You can now take the chocolate form(s) from the freezer and again, using a spoon, fill the forms and put it back into the freezer for another 20 – 30 mins. The first layer of chocolate should be solid before you add the rest of the chocolate mix.

Ensimmäinen kerros suklaata on jähmettynyt pakkasessa

The first layer of chocolate has become solid in the freezer

You can store the chocolate in the freezer or your fridge for a few weeks.

The ready chocolate looks great with the layers!

Valmis suklaa

Raw chocolate

A bite of the chocolate reveals a lot to chew inside the confection.

Puraistu pala raakasuklaata © Hanna Stolt

Take a look inside

Easy and delicious sweet rye bread appetizers

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Saaristolaisherkkuja

Delicious appetizers

Here’s an easy starter and a party snack we like to do. These small appetizers look and taste great! You can make so many different variations.

Here’s an example (the ones you see in the picture):

  • chives
  • sweet rye bread
  • trout roe
  • red onion
  • Fresh cheese (leek or herb flavoring)

Use a round mold to cut round slices of the sweet rye bread. You’ll need two slices per appetizer. Smear the slices (all of them) with fresh cheese and then pile two slices on top of one another.  Decorate with a small amount of roe and finely chopped red onion. Finally you can add one or two straws of chives for a final touch.

It’s best to make these just before serving if you want to make sure the fresh cheese looks pretty when served. The taste doesn’t change if they’re stored in the fridge but the fresh cheese gets this dryish layer on top when stored. You can e.g. make the appetizers half-ready by smearing only half of the  bread slices, piling them and then smearing the top layer + decorating just before serving. This way you can win a bit of time.

You could also use gravlax, other types of roe, dill, etc for filling or decoration to create beautiful Scandinavian appetizers.

Smoked reindeer pies

January 29, 2011 3 comments
Savuporopiiras

Smoked reindeer pies

These pies are almost too good to be true! They’re perfect as a starter, a snack, for parties and for just about any reason or occasion you can come up with. The recipe’s from my mom.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Crust:

  • 125 g butter
  • 2 dl wheat flour
  • 1 dl strained rye flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 dl grated cheese
  • 1/2 dl water

Filling:

  • 100 g smoked reindeer
  • 1 small leek
  • 2 dl grated cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 jar sour cream
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 dl chopped parsley
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cherry tomatoes and/or olive slices for decoration

Preparation:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (of crust) with softened butter.
  2. Add water and mix just so that you get an even dough.
  3. Divide the dough in two. Roll it into a bar and divide into 12 pieces.
  4. Roll the pieces into small balls and press them into a muffin tin. You can dip your thumb in flour so the dough doesn’t stick so much. Press the dough up to 1-1,5 cm height, so not all the way up the muffin tin walls.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other half of the dough. You should end up with 24 pcs.
  6. Then for the filling. Cut the leek in half (longitudinally), wash the halves and cut them into three parts (again, longitudinally) and then slice the parts into thin slices. Soften in a microwave oven with full power for 1-2 mins.
  7. Mix the filling ingredients.
  8. Add the filling into the forms but only to the same height as the crust on the edges.
  9. Bake in 200°C on the lower level for approximately 20 minutes.

Enjoy.

FoodPress.com
This recipe was featured on FoodPress.com on February 9, 2011.
Categories: Party, Starters Tags: , , ,

Cold avocado soup

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Kylmä avocadokeitto

Cold avocado soup

We made this fresh soup from last weekend’s leftovers. It turned out just perfect!

Soup for two:

  • 4 avocados
  • 50 g natural fresh cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ l veggie broth
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • tabasco
  • white pepper
  • salt

Salsa:

  • 1 tomato
  • ½ onion (or shallot)
  • chervil / chives
  • black pepper
  • ½ (mild) chili
  • salt

This soup is so easy to make it’s almost embarrassing. Puré the avocado, fresh cheese, garlic cloves veggie broth and lime juice. Season with tabasco, white pepper and salt. Let it cool in the fridge before serving.

Salsa: Chop the tomato, onion and chili. Mix ans season with chervil (or chives), black pepper and salt.

Serve the soup with some salsa. You can make the soup a day before, the taste just gets better :)

Buckthorn cheesecake

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment
tyrnikakku

Buckthorn cheesecake

I’ve tested this cake with 20 of my friends and we all agreed it’s a winner. The recipe’s from a Finnish food magazine called Glorian Ruoka & Viini (issue 27, 2/2005).

(for 15-20 people)
Preparation and setting time 2h 30 min

Crust

  • 200 g Digestive cookies
  • 90 g butter

Filling

  • 50 g white chocolate
  • 1 dl natural yoghurt
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 sheets of gelatine
  • 2 dl double cream

Make double portion if you’d like your cake a little bit higher than the one in the picture.

Surface

  • 1 dl buckthorn purée
  • 2 dl water
  • ½ dl sugar
  • 4 sheets of gelatine

(I actually used 1 dl buckthorn concentrate + 2 dl water, ½dl sugar and 5 gelatin sheets for the surface and it turned out great!)

Preparation
1) Crush the Digestive cookies and mix with butter. Press the cookie mixture on the bottom of a cake tin with loose edges.

2) Let the gelatin sheets soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Melt the white chocolate in a warm water bath.

3) Mix yoghurt, chocolate, sugar and vanilla sugar. Squeeze the gelatin sheets and melt them in a small amount of boiling water. Let cool for a while and add into the yoghurt mixture. Whip the double cream and add to the yoghurt mix. Spread over the crust in the cake tin and let cool for at least 2 hrs.

4) Prepare the surface while the cake is cooling. Mix the buckthorn purée, water and sugar. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for 10 minutes. Squeeze them dry and melt them in a small amount of boiling water. Let the mixture cool for a while and mix it with the buckthorn mixture. Spread on the cake and let the cake set in the fridge.

I used kumquats, carambola and cape gooseberries to decorate the cake before serving. The original recipe had blackberries and redcurrants on top so it’s really your choice :) Use your favorites!. I’d thought about decorating the edges with grated white chocolate but finally didn’t have time. In the original recipe they’d used almond chips for decorating the edges.

Finnish donuts

January 27, 2011 1 comment

Munkit

Donuts

In Finland we have a tradition of celebrating the first of May.. a lot. Everyone who’s graduated from high school wears their white graduation caps and in most cases will get absolutely hammered by noon. On the softer traditions’ side you can find things like making donuts and mead – a special drink that is only made around this time of the year.

I’ve never made donuts before so this was a fun experience and required a few calls to my mom ;) The recipe’s from my grandmother who used to make donuts at our summer cottage – they always tasted divine.

Ingredients
0,5 l milk
50 g yeast
1 egg
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cardamom
2-2,5 dl sugar
250 g butter
wheat flour

And here’s how to make the best donuts ever:
Warm the milk until it’s hand temperature (if you’re using dry yeast the temperature will need to be higher) and add yeast. Mix carefully. Add the egg, salt, cardamom and sugar. Mix well. Add wheat flour little by little and knead the dough in between. Add more flour until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl or your hands anymore. Add the butter soft and cubed and knead the dough for a while still. Add the rest of the flour until the dough is ready.
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Let the dough rise properly.
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Then for the best part:
Form the donuts as you like. You can make “piggie donuts” by rolling rectangles of the dough, folding it in half and adding some apple jam in between and then sealing the package with a bit of water and forming the tips into “feet”. We used coconut oil for frying the donuts. It’s great for frying. I took small balls of the dough, rolled them into round buns and pushed my thumb through the bun so that I got a donut shape.
Next, I fried the donuts in coconut oil and dipped them in sugar. Just a small tip: if you don’t want to make “turbo  donuts” like I did, it’s good to remember that the dough swells in the hot oil.. ;)

Portobello mushroom starter

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Portobellosieni alkupala

Filled portobello mushroom

For many many years I didn’t like mushrooms at all. And I mean it. Then one day I ordered this dish in a restaurant that had a portobello mushroom in it. My world changed that night. – Or at least I got over my mushroom trauma. I absolutely loved the portobello mushroom! Needless to say, I really like this starter:

  • 4 big portobello mushrooms
  • 3 spring onion stems OR
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 pot of basil
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 0,5 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices of parma ham
  • 1 ball of mozzarella

Chop the spring onions and basil. Heat the olive oil on a frying pan and sauté the chopped onions. Season with chopped basil, salt, black pepper and balsam vinegar. Set the onion filling onto the mushrooms (remove the mushroom stems)  and rip some mozzarella cheese on top of the onion filling. Do use a ball of real mozzarella and not the ready ground mozzarella that’s sold in bags. They’re two different cheeses :) Bake in 250°C, until the cheese melts. Decorate with parma ham and basil leaves.

Original recipe from:
Viides Glorian ruokakirja (a Finnish food magazine)
Categories: Starters Tags: , , , ,