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!:)