Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

I want to wish all of you a very happy and fulfilling new year 2013! It has been a wonderful year, full of good times and unfortunately (even in the past week) very sad times. I am still looking forward to another exciting year with my family and friends!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Gingerbread Cheesecake & Mulled Wine Glaze

A cake with a rich taste and strong flavours, yet still fresh and not too overpowering or sweet. The gingerbread base is thin and the creamy cheese filling has a light texture from added citrus fruits. The mulled wine glaze gives the cake a little contrast that goes well together with the filling.

Gingerbread Cheesecake

200grams gingerbread biscuits
60grams butter, melted
400grams cream cheese (full fat)
250ml whipping cream
orange zest
lemon juice
5 leaves of gelatine
0,5dl sugar
+ a splash of hot orange juice for the gelatine

Mulled Wine Glaze

3dl mulled wine or glögg of your choice
3 leaves of gelatine
+ a splash of hot wine for the gelatine

1. Put the leaves of gelatine in plenty of cold water to soften for 10mins. Crush the gingerbread biscuits and pour in the melted butter. Pat the crumble into a 24cm loose-bottomed round cake tin to make the base. Chill in the fridge while making the filling.
2. Soften the cream cheese in a bowl, add sugar, orange zest and lemon juice just enough to achieve a silky smooth mixture. Whisk the whipping cream separately in a clean, dry bowl and set aside to wait.
3. Heat up a small amount of orange juice, then squeeze the cold water out of the gelatine and place the leaves in the hot juice. In a thin string pour the gelatinous juice into the cream cheese and give it a good mix. Lastly fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese and pour into the cake tin. Spread it out evenly and let it set in the refrigerator until set, at least 5 hours.
4. Once the cheesecake is set, make the mulled wine glaze. Again start by placing the leaves of gelatine in plenty of cold water to soften. Heat a tiny amount of mulled wine, squeeze the leaves and pop them into the hot liquid. Using a spoon, pour the gelatinous wine into the room temperature mulled wine. This will be very runny, so take care when pouring it over the cold cheesecake. To end up with a nice glossy glaze, without any air bubbles, do not use a wire whisk to mix the gelatine into the wine.
5. Leave the cake to further chill in the fridge, preferably over night. The glaze is best not too solid, it should have a slight wobble to it, that way it has a nicer feel to it while eating it.
(The flavours and spices in the cake will come through more intensely if the cake is enjoyed after a couple of days of making it.)


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Sweet potato pie - Batatlåda

My version of a savoury sweet potato pie, a dish we enjoyed at our Christmas dinner. Local supermarkets have already some years ago brought in their own take on sweet potato casseroles, to accompany the other very traditional foods that people in this country like to feast on during Christmas...but this one is just a very simple bajan style potato pie, made to comply with my husband's taste buds!:)

Sweet Potato Pie  (makes one 1,5liter casserole)

2 large sweet potaoes
half a clove of garlic, minced
half an onion, finely chopped
cayenne pepper
black pepper
white pepper
salt, to taste
splash of whole milk
olive oil
(optional pinch of nutmeg/cinnamon/cloves)
+ breadcrumbs to top

1. Peel and chop the sweet potato into evenly sized pieces. Cook until tender, but not too soft. Drain almost all of the cooking liquor, but leave some in with the potatoes. Keep the pot covered and throw in a good knob of butter.
2. If not prepared in advance, chop the onion and crush the garlic.
3. Season the potatoes (as little or as heavy handedly as desired) and give them a good mashing. Add the garlic and onions and give it another mix. Add some olive oil and milk to get a consistency that isn't too loose or too dry, then pour the whole thing into an oven proof dish (any kind will do) and sprinkle with some breadcrumbs.
4. Bake the pie at 200degrees until golden brown and slightly caramelized around the edges. It will sizzle a little when done.

A nice and healthy option for dinner all year 'round!


I wanted my first attempt to make baklava to be for Christmas. The process is not a very difficult one, but it is quite time consuming and laborious. The best way to go about it, is to have everything prepared and ready on the work surface before getting started. My photos of the actual assembly are not the greatest, but hopefully it will give a small insight into how this sickly sweet fragrant pastry is made.


1 packet of filo pastry (450grams frozen)
300grams salted pistachios, shelled
200grams roasted hazelnuts, unsalted
250grams butter, melted
1tsp cinnamon
1dl sugar
(pinch of ground cloves is optional)


2,5dl water
2,5dl sugar
1,25dl honey
2tbsp honey
1 cinnamon stick

1. Thaw the packet of filo pastry sheets at room temperature for at least 2hrs before starting.
2. To make the filling, put the pistachios and hazelnuts into a food processor and blitz until the nuts resemble a small crumb. Little cubes sort of. Combine with the sugar and cinnamon.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave.
4. Roll out the thawed pastry sheets and cut them in half to make sure they fit into the pan. Keep the pastry sheets covered with a damp cloth, they must not dry out.
5. Make the first layer of pastry 7-8 sheets thick, making sure to brush each sheet of filo pastry with the melted butter.

6. Spoon a thin layer of the nut mixture on top and cover with two sheets of filo, each brushed with the butter. Repeat until there is no more filling left.

Keep count of the number of sheets, so that there are about 7-8 sheets left for the top layer. Finishing off the top layer, make sure that each sheet is brushed with the melted butter. There should be no dry pastry in sight!:)
7. Brush the top layer with more butter and then using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into small squares. Bake for 30-35mins at 175degrees until golden and crisp.
8. Meanwhile make the syrup. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Let it simmer on a medium low heat for 7 minutes or so, until slightly thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick and allow it to cool.

9. Pour the syrup over the hot baklava and leave it to cool for at least 4 hours before tucking in. Store the ready made baklava in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. (ours was all gobbled up in less than a week!:))  
Waiting to be eaten!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Surprise party & Spiced Mini Cupcakes

It has been a little busy the past weeks and I have been baking a lot for the holidays, but my favourite sweet treats for Christmas eve and the days to follow are yet to be made (desserts that cannot be made too much in advance). I had the most wonderful time a week ago Friday night, when we together with a couple of close friends surprised a friend of ours in form of a hen night. We treated her to a facial, manicure and make-up, all done by a professional. We enjoyed each others company, some sparkling and loads of food. This time all things on offer were made gluten free, to make sure everyone could have a bit of everything. There wasn't a lot of time for photography, so I will be posting some of the recipes without pictures.

The homemade gluten free snacks for the evening included:

Pasta Salad
Spiced Cupcakes with Frosting


Selection of (smelly) cheeses
Apples and grapes
Cantaloupe with Serrano ham

Here is one of the recipes:

Spiced Mini Cupcakes (48pcs)

100grams butter, softened
1,5dl sugar
2 eggs
2dl gluten free flour mix (i.e. semper fin mix)
0,5dl cocoa powder
1dl ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
0,5-1tsp each of cardamom, ground cinnamon and ground ginger


180grams philadelphia cream cheese
2dl whipping cream
icing sugar, to taste
1tbsp custard powder

1. Start by beating together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and fold it into the batter without over mixing.
3. Line a 24 hole mini cupcake tray with paper cases and pipe the mixture into the cases, filling them only half way. (I did the second batch on a regular oven tray, not having time to wait for the first ones to finish baking. It is just as good, as long as the paper cases for the cupcakes are sturdy enough, so that the cupcakes hold their shape while baking.)
4. Bake at 175degrees, until golden. (~15mins).
5. Once the cupcakes are cool, make the frosting by whisking the cream cheese with the cream, adding the sugar and sifting the custard powder into the cream to give it a firmer consistency. Pipe the frosting immediately and chill the cupcakes.
6. I decorated the cupcakes with some edible green glitter and some red and white candy cane sprinkles. They looked almost like little Christmas trees!:)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Julstämning - Holiday Spirit

Only a fortnight to go until Christmas and I am hoping to get loads more done in terms of baking for the family and making edible gifts. I have yet to decide whether to get a real Christmas tree or a fake one and I desperately need to finish decorating our home! This week we're also attending the children's Christmas plays at school and nursery and at the week-end I get to see my bestest girlfriends and have a little bit of a pre-Christmas get-together of our own, just us ladies! At this time I still wanted to give you all a little bit of holiday way.:)

Welcome! Välkommen!

Plum pastry.

Tiny treats!

Traditional spiced buttermilk cake.

2nd Sunday of Advent

We have plenty of snow at the moment (totally loving it!) and that has really helped me along the way to get into a proper Christmas mood! To top things off, I was super delighted to find out that I had won first prize in a Christmas draw on one of the baking blogs I frequently visit. This was delivered ever so speedily, well in time for the holidays! :)

Such a lovely Xmas surprise!

Thank you again for a lovely blog, it sure is a joy to see what the two of you are up to in the kitchen!:)

The countdown to Christmas truly has begun. Hopefully all of you are enjoying it as much as I am!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Floral Christening Cake

Although I am already concentrating on Christmas and preparations for the holidays are well on their way, I had one more cake to make before getting too excited about the old Xmas. A little girl, born in September, got her name today and this cake was one of the treats on offer at the baptism celebration.

The cake is a sponge cake made of 5 eggs with equal amounts of sugar and flour(including 1tsp baking powder). Baked in a 24cm loose-bottomed cake tin at 165degrees. I made a tangy lemon mousse with cream cheese and whipped cream to fill the cake in two layers. (recipe for the lemon mousse can be found here.)
I coated the cake in vanilla flavoured butter cream and covered it with fondant. All the flowers are also made of fondant, apart from the sugar pearls and sprinkles. I added a little shimmer to the flowers and surface of the cake as well.

I want to wish this little baby girl a happy and healthy life, filled with good times and laughter!:)

Friday, 30 November 2012

Lemon and Poppyseed Cake

Christmas is closing in and I am really looking forward to cooking and baking for the holidays. Before cracking on with all of those gingerbread biscuits, plum pastries, spiced buttermilk cakes and the hearty home cooking, I wanted to give this tangy and very interesting looking cake a go. This recipe is based on a sour cream pound cake and makes a lovely bundt cake that gets more flavourful and tasty a couple of days after making it.

 Lemon - Poppyseed Cake   

4 eggs
150grams butter, softened
4dl sugar
4dl plain flour
200ml sour cream (gräddfil/kermaviili)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarb of soda
2 lemons, juice and zest
70grams poppy seeds

1. Prepare a large bundt pan by greasing and breading it with breadcrumbs. (I only had a small cake tin available, so I used the rest of the batter to make two tiny cakes as well.)
2. Beat the soft butter and sugar together until smooth. Keep beating and add one egg at a time, beating each egg into the creamed butter and sugar, before adding the next one.
3. Once the cake mixture is nice and smooth and all eggs have been added, pour in the lemon juice and zest, followed by the sour cream. Give it a good mix.
4. Sift the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and bicarb together in a bowl, then fold it properly into the cake batter, without over beating.

5. Transfer the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake at 175degrees 50-60mins, until a skewer comes out clean. (my smaller bundt took between 40-50mins, it really depends on the size of the tin and the efficiency of the oven in use.)
6. Let the cake cool a little in its pan, before carefully tipping it out of the pan onto a wire rack and letting it cool completely.
7. Dust the cake with powdered sugar or alternatively drizzle some lemon icing over it. 

Our new home has been draped in the most wonderful citrus scent since yesterday thanks to this baked goody! Winter is truly here, with all the snow one could want and the cake, it just fits in perfectly! :)

Have a great week-end you lot! x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Peanut Butter Glazed Chocolate-Chili Cake

The past two weeks have just gone by in a haze, moving house surely is a bit of a bother, especially with small children in the mix. This artery-clogging decadent chocolate loaf was just something I made out of the ingredients readily available in my store cupboard (read: moving boxes). I didn't want to go down the shop, I just wanted to get on with baking and this made a nice enough cake I reckon.:) I had planned to bake a poppyseed and lemon cake for my first cake in our new home, but then I just felt like fairly quickly whizzing up something for my boys as a mid-week surprise. (Fear not, I still fully intend to bake that poppyseed and lemon cake, but it'll have to wait until...tomorrow!;))

Chocolate & Chili Cake

4 eggs
2dl dark brown sugar + vanilla sugar if desired
200grams butter
200grams dark chocolate
2,5dl plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1 medium red chili, de-seeded and finely chopped

Peanut Butter Glaze

2 generous tablespoons homemade peanut butter (no salt/sugar added)
salt to taste
1tbsp sugar

+assorted nuts for decorating the cake

1. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan and set aside to cool slightly. Add the chopped chili into the chocolate and butter mixture.
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar until frothy. Keep whisking slowly while pouring in the chocolate/chili/butter sauce in a thin string.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder and gently fold it into the batter.
4. Line a cake tin (I chose to use a bread loaf) with some parchment paper and bake the cake at 175degrees for 45mins or until just set. Test with a skewer/toothpick. (It can be left a little gooey, but it doesn't matter if the cake ends up on the dry side, the cake will moisten somewhat when covered and left at room temperature until the next day.) Personally I like a succulent and moist cake, but each to their own.:)
5. When the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. At this point, unless using ready roasted and salted nuts, start by roasting a selection of nuts in the oven at 175degrees for 15mins until golden and fragrant. Add a pinch of salt if you like.
6. On a medium heat warm up the peanut butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and pinch of salt (no salt if using shop bought PB). The amount of milk needed is depending on what consistency you want the glaze. I only had skimmed (non-fat) milk, but I think whole milk would be better (or even cream! Dear me!) for this glaze. I probably poured in about 100ml or so.
7. Once the cake has cooled enough, coat with the glaze and sprinkle it with the toasted salty nuts.

This tastes great straight away when it is still a little warm, but EVEN better the next day once it has moistened up and the gentle heat of the chili nicely breaks through the rich chocolate!


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Pink & White Cakes

The company I work for celebrated their fifth birthday in Finland and my manager asked me if I was interested in baking these cakes for the staff, as a thank you for all their hard work. The company opted for a pink and white look and the cakes were designed accordingly to match the theme. Other treats for the lovely girls at work included sparkling rosé, pink and white marshmallows just to name a few.

There were no other requirements apart from the colour, which gave me the opportunity to choose what kind of cakes to make. I wanted to make one chocolate sponge cake with a blueberry-raspberry mousse filling and one regular sponge cake with a fresh mango mousse filling. (my favourite of the two is definitely the chocolate sponge!)

The sponges for the cakes were basic 3 egg sponges with equal amounts of caster sugar and flour(+1tsp baking powder) measured in glasses. 
I whisked the eggs and sugar until pale and frothy, then gently folded in the sifted flour/baking powder mix. I baked them at 170degrees until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake came out clean. I opted to bake them in 18cm loose-bottomed cake tins to achieve a higher sponge.
Both cakes were sealed with butter cream and covered with ready-to-roll fondant. I dusted the logos with a little glitter too!;)

The fillings:

Blueberry-Raspberry Mousse

150grams berries
180grams cream cheese
0,5dl sugar
2dl whipping cream
5 gelatine leaves

Mango Mousse 

150grams mango (fresh or frozen)
180grams cream cheese
0,5dl sugar
2dl whipping cream
5 gelatine leaves

Both mousse fillings are enough to fill one 20cm cake in two layers. I ended up having a little extra after filling the cakes. Luckily my husband and kiddies were only too happy to have some for dessert!

I was very happy with the outcome of these cakes and chuffed that everyone at work liked the appearance and flavour as well. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Chocolate and Pear tart

My husband really has a big sweet tooth and chocolate is definitely one of his weaknesses! I chose to make something extra scrumptious for father's day and thought this combination of dark chocolate and juicy pears would most certainly go down a treat with the whole family.

Chocolate and Pear tart

for the pastry:

175grams plain flour
100grams cold butter, cubed
25grams icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1tbsp cold water

(the original recipe uses ready-made shortcrust pastry, which is great if you're pressed for time or unsure of making your own)


2 large eggs
125grams ground almonds
125grams butter, softened
95grams caster sugar
185grams dark chocolate, melted
3 pears (peeled, cored and quartered)

1. If making your own pastry, start by mixing the ingredients together in a food processor until it reaches a crumbly texture, knead a couple of times and then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out the pastry nice and thin, pop it into you 24cm tart tin (preferably loose-bottomed) and chill in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.(I had no space in my freezer, so I just let it chill in the fridge.)
3. Blind bake the pastry case at 200degrees until golden brown. Set a side to cool a little.
4. Lower the oven temperature to 170degrees once the pastry is done and mix together the ground almond, butter, sugar and eggs. While the melted chocolate is still warm, stir it into the filling mixture.
5. Pour the filling into the pastry case and gently press the pears onto the chocolate and almond mix. Bake for 40-45minutes until the filling is firm and the pastry has a golden colour to it.

Smooth chocolate and juicy fruit!

A rich and sweet tart that is great on its own with a cup of coffee or simply with a dollop of loosely whipped cream!

We really enjoyed our low key father's day, I hope you guys did too(?) :)

Have a great start to this lovely week! x        

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Apricot and Ricotta Cake

A lovely moist, smooth and fruity cake that goes well with coffee. Yesterday we had my relatives from out of town over for a brief visit, so this was a fairly quick and easy cake to throw together just before they arrived. I have been eager to bake something with apricots for a long time now (having that lonely tin of apricots in the store cupboard) and the visit was a great reason to do so. Looking for inspiration, I came across this particular recipe here.
I like baking wholesome stuff a lot of the time, so I amended this a little by swapping some of the plain flour for wholegrain and I substituted the white sugar with cane sugar. The end result was a slightly darker cake than the original one.

Apricot and Ricotta Cake

250grams ricotta
70grams butter, softened
2dl cane sugar
1,5dl plain flour
1dl wholegrain flour
1,5tsp baking powder
2tsp vanilla sugar
2 eggs
1dl orange juice
200grams apricots (fresh or tinned)

icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 175C and line a 20cm springform cake tin with some baking parchment.
2. Beat the soft butter and ricotta cheese together. Mix the sugar, vanilla sugar, flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Lightly whisk the two eggs with the orange juice. Continue by adding some of the flour mix into the butter and ricotta, alternately with the eggs and orange juice. Once all ingredients are added give the batter a good thorough mix with a spatula.
3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and top with sliced or diced apricots.
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes. To keep the cake from browning, it can be covered with some foil. I didn't, but hey..whatever tickles your fancy!:)
5. Leave the cake to cool in its tin for a bit, then transfer it onto a serving dish and dust with some icing sugar.

I can imagine this cake tasting even better the next day...unfortunately there was none left to know for sure! I suppose that's a sign of a good cake!




Saturday, 3 November 2012

Tarte Au Citron

The tart of all tarts. That is the only way of describing this lemon flan. It is definitely the most delicate, perfect combination of thin, crumbly pastry and sweet zesty filling.

The recipe is one of Mary Berry's and I got it here.

Tarte au Citron (8 servings)

for the pastry:

175grams plain flour
100grams butter, cold and cubed
25grams icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1tbsp cold water

for the filling:

5 eggs
125ml double cream
225grams caster sugar
4 lemons, juice and zest
icing sugar for dusting

1.  Start with the pastry. Add the cold butter, flour and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse until it has a textures that resembles breadcrumbs. Add the yolk and cold water, then mix briefly until it forms a ball. Knead the pastry two or three times, wrap it in cling film and chill for 30minutes.
2. Prepare a 24cm loose-bottomed fluted tart tin.
3. Roll out the pastry on a piece of parchment paper, to about 4cm larger than the diameter of the tin. Transfer it into the tin, gently pressing down the pastry into the corners and up the sides into the flutes. Lightly fold the pastry over the sides of the tin. Prick the base with a fork, but not all the way through. Cover it loosely with cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200degrees.
4. Once chilled, replace the cling film with foil and fill with baking beans or as I did, with uncooked rice. Bake blind for 12-15mins until set. Remove the foil and beans/rice and trim the excess pastry that is overlapping the tart tin using a sharp knife.
5. Return the empty pastry case to the oven and bake a further 10-12mins until golden and completely dry.
6. Set aside to cool, while preparing the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 170degrees.

Blind baked pastry case.

7. Make the filling next. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with a wire whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients and give it a good whisk until well combined.
8. Pour the mixture into a jug and fill the pastry case half way. To prevent spilling, place the half-filled tart onto the oven shelf and carefully pour the rest of the filling into the tart tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes until just set and so that it still has a slight wobble to it.
9. Leave the tart to cool and when the pastry seems firm enough, remove the tart from the tin. Place on a serving dish and dust with icing sugar.


Serve the tart warm or cold. It can be made two days in advance, but do not decorate it until ready to serve.

Bon appétit!         

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Dainty Chocolate Pops

These delicate, sweet little milk and white chocolate covered cake pops have a moist orange flavoured inside that just melts in your mouth. I had loads of the cake dough left after having made the Halloween inspired Pops , so I was more than a bit smug when I got to decorate these in a much more feminine and girlish (read: pink and sparkly) style.

The recipe for these pops is, like I said, the same as for the orange pops. The only other thing I had for making this version was the milk chocolate coating. I tried out a new product, (at least in supermarkets 'round 'ere) a milk chocolate sauce that goes hard once it comes in contact with cold ice cream or other desserts.
Obviously I also had some pink, white and silver sprinkles to finish these beauties off!

Wishing all of you a great start to November and for any male readers happy Movember! :) Stay happy and healthy!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Orange Cake Pops

Halloween is not a big thing over here, but I quite like all holidays and the decorations that go along with it..never mind that it is always a good excuse to get to bake fun things, different little treats, especially for the kiddies! These orange flavoured pops or cake lollies were pretty quick and straight forward to make, but decorating and the details can be a little time consuming. All in all, they are fun to make!

Hello or Hallo!:)

Cake Pops (40 pcs, big batch!)

sponge cake (4eggs, equal amount of sugar and flour + 1tsp baking powder, optional orange food colouring.)
200grams cream cheese, orange flavour (or natural cream cheese + grated orange zest)
white chocolate
liquorice sauce (hard topping)  or black candy melts
wooden skewers/lollipop sticks

1. Bake your sponge in a cake tin or an oven tray at 175degrees until a skewer comes out clean. Let the sponge cool completely.
2. Crumble the sponge into a bowl and add the cream cheese. Mix together thoroughly.
3. Take about a tablespoon of the dough for each cake pop and roll into firm balls. Put them on a tray and place in the refrigerator to cool.
4. While the cake pops are cooling melt the white chocolate (and candy melts).
5. Start the decorating by sticking a skewer into each dough ball, then dipping  them in your choice of coating.
6. Add sprinkles, sweets or other details before the coating has a chance to fully set. 
7. Keep the finished cake pops in the fridge.

Tuck in!

My intention was initially to just bake orange cake pops, both flavour and colour wise, coated in white chocolate and sprinkles. Then I remembered a pair of lovely sugar doctors and their brilliant idea using hard liquorice I thought I'd give it a go and let me tell you something, it was a really easy and fuss free product to use for this purpose! I will most certainly keep it in my store cupboard from now on!:)

Hope you like and Happy Halloween!