Chocolate and Sea Salt
I remember the first time I had chocolate with sea salt. Yuck. It was a piece if white bread with olive oil on, a piece of basil and a lovely chocolate truffle sprinkled with sea salt. It was very strange, even today I would never have olive oil with chocolate. But the sea salt has started to charm me.
While working at the Chocolate Café in Linköping I tasted LOADS of truffles and, to my surprise, the sea salt truffle was one of my favourites. Nowadays, both Lindt, Anton Berg and even Marabou sell chocolate with sea salt, but they do not impress me.
The salt emphasises the chocolate in such a great way. Now I always add a pinch of salt when baking something richly chocolatey. I even decided to replace the nib sugar in these chokladkolasnittar with sea salt flakes.
- 100g Butter
- 1dl Sugar
- 2Tsp Golsen syrup
- 2Tsp Cocoa powder
- 2dl Flour
- 1/2tsp Baking powder
- 1tsp Vanilla sugar
- Sea salt
Combine butter and sugar with a mixer. Stir together the remaining ingredients and then add them to the butter mixture. You want to mix the flour as little as possible when some kind of fluid is added to it, otherwise it will become elastic. Make two rolls and place on a baking sheet. Flatten them out and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in 175°C for 15-18 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies, even the slightest burn will make them bitter. Better slightly soft than slightly burnt. Let them cool a bit on the pan before cutting into diagonal sticks. They come out best if you then let them cool completely on the pan.
I served these to a very honest guest that I knew would tell me the truth if he liked them or not. You could tell by the look on his face that he had not tasted the sensation of chocolate and salt before, but boy did he like them!
Espresso Chocolate Chip Squares
This tasty recipe requires no extraordinary skills, not much time and very little dishes!
The first time I made these I thought the dough was very soft, so I added more flour. Do not do this!!! Apparently many American cookie recipes have much looser doughs than Swedish shortbread doughs, and that is how it is supposed to be.
Unlike the cookies, the batter isn’t that tasty, which means more cookies!
- 225g Butter
- 1.6dl Icing sugar
- 1/2tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 Cold espresso
- 4.75dl Flour
- 150g Chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
Mix the soft butter and sugar using a mixer. (The mixer is great since it combines everything quickly. You want this because mixing flour too much will activate the gluten in it and make the cookies elastic like bread). Add the espresso and vanilla. If you do not have vanilla extract you can substitute half a Tsp of the sugar with vanilla sugar. Combine and add flour, mixing as little as possible. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.
Put the soft batter in a 5l plastic bag and push it out in the edges, pressing out the air. Proceed by rolling the dough to a square shape, lift the plastic occasionally to let the air out. When the dough is about 1.5cm thick, cool it in the fridge until it is stiff enough to be held like a tray (or just an hour or so). Then, remove the plastic with a scissor, cut 5x5cm squares and place on a baking sheet and bake until golden on the edges for 18-20 minutes in 160°C.
The plastic bag technique saves you tons of dishes! Really convenient.
Serve with a cup of nice hot coffee.
National Day of Sweden!
Celebrated with a classic - gräddtårta!
Usually I would never use pre-made pound cake, custard powder, store-bought lemon curd or non-Swedish berries, but today that was what we had.
For this easy cake you need:
- Strawberry jam
- Vanilla custard
- Whipping cream
- Strawberries (or any berries of the season)
- Lemon curd
The jam does not have to be thick - it’s even better if it gets drawn in in the pound cake.
Assembly is easy, but remember not to let the jam go al the way out on the edges or it will ruin the whipped cream. Also, do not whip the cream too hard, it will not look smooth and taste a bit buttery. When icing the cake with the cream, try not to over do it. The fewer strokes the better. Usually when icing a cake you can freeze the cake or make a non-crumb layer but the whip cream is so soft that it shouldn’t crumble the cake (don’t press too hard).
The classic is made with strawberries and does not contain lemon curd, but this version was very nice too!
Some friends were coming over so I was asked to be in charge for the dessert. It had to be something delicious, summery and easy to make for (and with) many guests. So I thought: a freshened up tiramisu!
I really enjoy the rich mascarpone dessert and was reluctant to omit the cocoa and coffee liqueur that makes it so tasty! These ingredients (not being summery enough) had to be replaces with something incredibly delicious, so I wouldn’t eat it thinking about the original.
Passion fruit Very summery.
Macadamia nuts My new favourite.
Pear and vanilla liqueur You can’t do it without liqueur.
Okey, now I’m feeling it coming alive, but it needed that last touch. How about ginger? I didn’t believe in it at first but was willing to give it a try. Together with the sweet, fruity liqueur it was AMAZING.
Sadly, I don’t remember exactly how I did it; a lot was going on in the kitchen at the time. But something like this:
- 1,5 dl Sugar
- 3 dl Water
- 1 small chunk of fresh ginger
- 2-3 Tsp fruity liqueur
- 500g Mascarpone
- 3 Egg yolks
- 20 Biscuits à la Cuillier
- 10 Passion fruits
- 3 dl Macadamia nuts (unsalted)
- Instant coffee powder (ground)
Boil the sugar, water and sliced ginger on medium heat until the sugar is disolved and it thickens slightly (about 114°C). Let it cool entirely while mixing the mascarpone and egg yolks. Then add the liqueur to the ginger syrup (I used pear & vanilla). Assemble the dessert layered in portion-size cups and sprinkle some ground instant coffee powder on top. Enjoy!
If your macadamias are salted you should rinse them in cold water and then dry them in a pan in the oven (don’t let them burn!!).
P.S. It was so good I didn’t have time to capture a picture of it until everyone had eaten it! So I made another one. Took the picture. Ate it.