Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pizza on a flat bread base

Yesterday we made a whole new kind of experiment. The Great Pizza Lovers decided not to make the dough with their traditional way, but to put together to favorites: pizza and the Finnish flat bread. So the base was to be made with a recipe taken from another Finnish blogger, Jenni. This pizza is ideal for busy days when you arrive home starving, the base is done in matter of seconds. The food was tasty, different than usually but very good. The flavors of the toppings were more dominant with this different base.

3 ml of cold water
½ tsp of salt
5 dl of barley flour

Mix together and spread the mixture on top of a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Make is as thin as possible. When spreading the base I used a fair amount of flour.

Tomato sauce:
70 g of tomate puré
½ dl of water
1 tsp of sugar
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of dried oregano

Mixed together and heated in a saucepan.

I baked the pizza in the hottest possible temperature my oven could give me, in other words 275 C, for about 12 minutes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Update & Vegetable puré soup

I apologise for the long silence here in the blog. I'm a teacher trainee this year and the teaching and the many lectures and deadlined take their toll and as I haven't even been completely healthy lately, baking has not been the number 1. thing on my to do-list. And even when I have done something, I have forgot to take photos and I prefer to post a story with pictures... On my waiting list of recipes, though, there is many a thing I want to try out and I will post them here once I've managed to get a grip of myself. I'm specially excited about British pastries at the moment, mostly because I have again been reading Harry Potter books. I want to try out treacle tart and other deliciously sounding stuff...

Today's update is a recipe that I have myself made up, for the first time showing such initiative. It wasn't the most complicated one, but nevertheless I'm proud of myself.

1 l water and vegetable bouillon cube (or a liter of vegetable bouillon)
3 large potatoes
2 large carrots
a mix of frozen vegetables (250 g) (mine had for example cauliflower and beans)
1/3 of the soft insides of white bread
2 dl of cream

Boil the potatoes and carrots until they are done. Add the vegetable mix and let it cook for another 5 minutes. While waiting, get the soft insides of the white bread. Pour everything, including the bread, into a standing mixer and add the cream. Blend until smooth and season with salt.

Monday, November 3, 2008


My favorite food would be pizza. With that in mind, I feel there is no need to explain this entry more.

This time, however, we tried a new recipe to make the base. In a Finnish-Swedish lifestyle program called Strömsö, the chef Paul got his much wanted stone-oven in a late-September episode and the first food done in the oven was pizza. With his dough we made our pizzas in the beginning of last week. Our intention was to follow his intructions regarding baking as well, so in other words first bake the base first only with tomato sauce, then put in the rest of the fillings and let it bake a little bit more, but we were so hungry that we didn't do that, we just put on the fillings and baked the pizzas once.

25 g of yeast (I used dried yeast)
250 ml of warm water
500 g of flour
½ tsp of sugar
½ tsp of salt
4 tbl of olive oil

This dough needs to be kneaded properly. I kneaded it a good while on the table before making a big ball out of it and placing it into the fridge to wait for the cooking part. After a couple of hours I moulded the dough with my hands to an appropriate size, filled it with yummy things and cooked it in a hot oven.

The photo is taken on the next day and this is indeed the best re-warmed pizza so far.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Apple tart with meringue

Autumn is a time for apples. As I a) had earlier made jam from apples, b) had only heard stories of apple pies made by other people and c) came across with a delicious looking recipe in the magazine I subscribe, the decision to bake something out of apples became reality on Saturday.

100 g of baking margarine
1 dl of sugar
2 egg yolks
200 g of Valio's apple-cinnamon flavored curd
3 dl of flour
2 tsp of baking powder

Filling: 850 g (4 big) of apples
1 tbl od lemon juice (I didn't have any, so I left it out)
1 dl of sugar
1 tbl of flour
2 tsp of cinnamon

2 eggwhites
2 tbl of sugar

Foam the margarine and sugar lightly. Whisk in the egg yolks. Add the curd and flour-baking powder mix. Mix the base smooth, fast. Use flour in your hand to spread the base onto the bottom and sides of a pie dish, diameter 27-28 cm. Place the pie dish in the fridge.

Peel the apples if necessary. Remove the cores and slice or dice the apples. Put the apple pieces and the other filling ingredients to a sauce pan. Let them simmer stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes on low heat. Let cool a little. Check the sweetness of the filling, use sugar according to the sourness of the apples. Pour the filling into the pie dish. Bake in 200 C for about 18 minutes.

Whisk the eggwhites into a hard foam. Add the sugar little by little. Whisk until the mix is shiny and stays in the bowl even when it's upside down. Spread the meringue on top of the filling. Put back into the over for about 6-7 minutes more.

It was yummy, I served the tart with caramel sauce, which complemented the flavors incredibly well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chocolate Pots

To celebrate the fall break I had last week, and life in general, I made a purchase. I bought four little ramakins. I have desired to have such pots for a while now and so I wanted to use them as soon as possible. We spent a couple of days at a summer place relaxing in the middle of corn fields and no street lights and the end the day that included raking the leaves and having a wonderful sauna, I made Nigella's ChocoPots. The recipe can be viewed from the video attached. I didn't write down the recipe, so I didn't use specific measurements but worked according to my memory.

I got to say that it is not often when things are too chocolatey for me, but these were hard-core and I could have well lived with half a portion. I wasn't to be frightened with the overwhelming chocolate though and am perfectly ready to try these again, making only half as much as last week. The first impressions were heavenly and the first half I enjoyed tremendously.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Strawberry pie topped with meringue

My friend invited my husband and I to celebrate her birthday and in the invitation email it was mentioned that guests can by all means include something yummy on the table. Because of our very plentiful strawberry supply I wanted to bake something out of them. The discuss forum at the Martha Organization website helped me once again. Although I have not made meringue since being a teenager I wanted to try out this easy recipe. I used oil instead of butter and gluten-free flour instead of regular. I also used whole frozen strawberries but you can use fresh berries or pieces of frozen berries as well. Also fruit pieces could work well here.


1 dl of cooking oil
1 dl of sugar
1 egg yolk
1 egg
2 dl of flour (I used gluten-gree, as mentioned)
1 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of cardamom
½ dl of milk


1 eggwhite
¾ dl of sugar
ca. 3-4 dl of whole frozen strawberries
ca. ½ tsp of vanilla sugar

almond chips on top

Prepare the meringue first so that the base does not have to wait. Beat eggwhite and sugar into a thick foam. You might want to add the sugar little by little, but I didn't.

Stir oil and sugar together. (If you use softened butter, you should beat the butter and sugar into a foam.) Add the egg and the egg yolk and beat. Mix up the dry ingredients and add to the foam mixture together with the milk. Stir only so much that everything mixes together.

Pour the base into a greased pie dish. Add the strawberries and vanilla sugar into the meringue foam and stir. Pour the mixture on top of the pie base and spread it evenly with a fork. Sprinkle almond chips on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes on the lowest rack in 175 C.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ice cream!

I, a passionate friend of ice cream, have for a long time dreamed about trying to make ice cream at home. Last weekend those thoughts became reality. To be totally unorganized I managed to change the my plans many times as I was looking the perfect recipe and thinking about what flavored ice cream do I want to make. Finally I decided to take a risk and mix 'n match with the different recipes and our final flavor choice was maple syrup & walnut.

5 dl of milk (low-fat)
6 egg yolks
2 dl of sugar ( I used confectioner's sugar)
2 dl of cream

Beat the egg yolks and sugar. Heat the milk and pour into the egg foam and beat strongly. I used a hand mixer and next time will not do that; the milk got a little too foamy. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. It didn't actually and finally I lost my patience and just moved on to the next stage. Maybe the reason was my own recipe variety and different ingredients. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with baking paper and let it cool down at least for an hour. Stir it during this time. Whip the cream and place it in the fridge and crush the nuts, while you wait.

Freeze for 1-2 hours without a lid on or until it starts to harden. Stir it smooth with a fork. Add the whipped cream ( into which I added the maple syrup just before adding it to the frozen mixture) and walnuts and mix it up. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until the mixture is solid.

There is still work to be done with the consistency of the ice cream, but it tasted delicious and this experience motivates me to try ice cream making again. Next time, though, I will work according to only one recipe and see where that takes me. Step by step, I hope, I will also try to ne unprejudiced with the flavors.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Carrot rolls

This is why I bake! This is why anyone does anything! Success! I have baked bread rolls every once in a while to give a little variety to our breakfast table. Never have my rolls been as fluffy as I have hoped for, though. Yesterday, after having a sudden inspiration to have home made hamburgers and hence using the left-over hamburger meat, I needed to bake sandwiches for them. So on I go to Google to find a perfect fluffy bread roll recipe. I ended up to the baking blog of Juhlatar and choose one of her reciped. As the inspiration came so quickly I didn't have all the ingredients at hand and I made impro choices with the content and size of the dough. They were liked, however, and so I decided to make a re-run today, and to follow the original recipe more true to heart. I made slight changes though and add the recipe the way I made it.

5 dl of milk
4 carrots (Juhlatar had 3 big ones, but I didn't have big carrots)
50 g of fresh yeast
2 tsps of salt
4 dl of wheat flour
a little less than 1 dl of cooking oil
8 dl of roll flour (a mix of wheat flour and crushed grains)

I peeled and grated the carrots. I warmed the milk in a microwave oven to lukewarm and added the grated carrots, the crumbled yeast and salt. I added the wheat flour to the mixture and mixed them up with my hand. I added the oil and 2 dl of roll flour. I kneaded the dough with my hand. I added flour as needed and kneaded first by hand, later with my hand mixer's dough hooks (I unfortunately don't own a proper mixer) as long as the dough was shiny and smooth. I run some warm water into the basin, put the bowl in and let the dough to double under a towel, it took about 30 minutes.

With oiled hands I shaped the dough into bread rolls and let them double on a baking paper before baking them, for about 30 minutes again. After the half an hour, I turned on the oven to 250 C degrees and placed the baking sheet in it as well. When the oven was ready, I drew the baking paper, and with it the rolls onto the sheet and put them into the oven, placing another sheet there to warm up at the same time. After a couple of minutes I lowered the temperature to 225 degrees. I baked them for 10 minutes and repeated the same thing with the second sheet of rolls.

I am more then happy with the end result.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chocolate-oatmeal cookies

I had had a drive to bake already on Friday evening and as Saturday took me to movies, to see The Other Boleyn Girl as a good English major should, and my schedule for going to town didn't allow stops to shop for candy, I decided to bake something for me to eat at the movie theater. I turned to my recipe file and did indeed find a suitable one after a moment of digging.

The recipe I found served as a reference and, I'm happy to say, I improvised in baking the cookies as we didn't have everything at home that the recipe included. I write it down as I did it.

100 g of dark chocolate
50 g of peanuts and cashew nuts
2 dl of flour
1 dl of oatmeal
1 dl of high-fiber bran mix
1 tsps of vanilla sugar
1 tsps of baking powder
little less than 100 g of baking margarine
a full tbs of peanut butter
1 dl of brown sugar
a splash of milk

Crush the chocolate and the nuts. (My "crush", especially with the chocolate, had the consistency of a flour as I didn't do this be hand.) Mix the dry ingredients together.

Foam the soft margarine, peanut butter and brown sugar. (In the original recipe one egg was to be added at this point, but I didn't have eggs in the house so I didn't add it.) Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

The batter was slightly too dry because there was no egg, so I added a splash of milk and mixed it up again. Then I formed cookies with my hands and placed them on a baking tray covered with baking paper.

Bake in the middle of the oven in 175 Celsius degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apple jam

My hubby's mom gave us a bag full of red apples last weekend. Receiving them, I must admit, I didn't have a very clear picture about where was I going to use them in, but the world is full of ideas and who could resist these:

So I decided for the first time ever to make apple jam, or in fact any kind of jam, myself. Internet proved itself once again to be an useful and a joyful invention as I was looking for a simple but delicious and preferably a quick recipe for a apple jam. The Martha Organization helped me once more, this time the answer was to be found in the discussion forums.

400 g of sliced apples
1 dl of water
4 tbls of sugar
1/3 tsps of vanilla sugar
1/4 tsps of cinnamon

The recipe was indeed very simple. I used an apple slicer to remove the cores and to cut the apples into slices. As 400 g, that was in the original recipe, was quickly done I doubled the portion. I put the sliced apples into a saucepan and added the other ingredients and let them simmer in mid-warmth. I don't have a recollection how long it took for the apples to mash, but I did have time to do other things in between. Finally, I mashed them to a even finer texture with a handblender and filled three glass jars with the jam.

The result is so deliciously pink because I boiled the apples with the skin. I have heard many a story about the benefits of a skin in domestic apples and decided to include those beneficial ingredients into my jam as well.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The birthday cake for a licorice fan

My husband's favorite candy is licorice. For a baking enthusiast, first girlfriend, now wife, this caused minor problems in the beginning. Chocolate, which is my favorite, is so much easier to use in baking than licorice. After the first couple attempts it even seemed that licorice is not suited for baking. Since then my eyes have opened to the possibilities and last Friday when I baked my husband his birthday cake, the theme was licorice. I adapted the licorice muffin recipe by Kinuskikissa.

1 ½ dl of milk
Kick bars
150 g of margarine
1 ½ dl of sugar
2 eggs
2 ½ dl of flour
2 tsps of baking powder
2 ½ tbls of cocoa powder
1 dl of
Tyrkisk Peber crush

At first I greased and sprinkled the cake form with breadcrump and took out the margarine from the fridge to soften. If you don't have Tyrkisk Peber crush, I would crush the candies at this point. My advice would also be to cut the Lakritsimatto in pieces at the same time and not do as I did, which was nearly forgetting the whole licorice bar.

Next I cut the Kick bars into pieces and put them in the saucepan with the milk. I used non-fat milk, but others are fine too as well as cream. I let them heat up mildly until the licorice had melted into the milk, which took surprisingly long. I let the mixture cool down, but the milk was still somewhat warm when I mixed it up into the batter.

I foamed the margarine and sugar and added the eggs. I mixed the dry ingredients and the Tyrkisk Peber crush and added into the batter with the licorice milk.

According to Kinuskikissa's recipe the batter makes 12-20 muffins and because of that I was confident that with the same amount of batter I could make a cake. In addition, I didn't make the frosting, because my plan was to serve the cake with vanilla ice cream.

I kipped the batter into the cake form and sprinkled the pieces of Lakritsimatto on top and pressed them deeper with a fork.

I baked the cake in lower part of the over in 175 C for roughly 40 minutes.

The result was loved by the birthday boy, which made the baker a happy wife indeed. We didn't miss the frosting as the soft vanilla ice cream replaced the need and complemented the flavor perfectly. Kick-milk provided ab all-round licorice flavor. The pieces of licorice inside the cake soften to wonderful lumps, that you can't see but will taste. The Tyrkisk Peber also gave a nice salty and strong touch. The biggest flaw of the cake was that it was so fulfilling that you couldn't possibly eat more than one piece, but thinking positively, now we have a licorice dessert waiting in the freezer for two more times.

After such a delightful experiment I'm also happy that the favorite candies of both of us seem to be well suited together. The first time I baked with licorice I made muffins with an ordinary white batter. Later I have discovered that cocoa and chocolate indeed go well with licorice.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blueberry pie with strawberries by the Marthas

The day after the strawverry operation brought us guests that had more strawberries with them to give to us! I slightly changed my plans about dessert and blueberry pie ended up being a strawberry-blueberry pie. My favorite recipe for making a blueberry pie is the one I found online from the homepage of the Martha Organization. I came across it once as I was looking for a recipe for a big pie that covers to whole baking tray and I'm delighted about easyness and the foamy result.

The fantastic blueberry pie by Marthas (a whole tray)

1 egg
3 dl of sugar
1 cream viili, a form of
viili, but made of cream
2 dl of milk
6 dl of flour
3 tsps of baking powder
125 g of margarine (which I have often replaced with 1 dl of cooking oil)
ca. 7 dl of berries

Mix egg and sugar. Add the cream viili, milk and the mix of flour and baking powder and towards the end also oil or melted margarine. Spread the butter onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Sprinkle the berries on top. Bake in 200 C for about half an hour.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A proper wife!

Last summer I was so new a wife that in many sense I was just learning the art. Naturally I still have a lot more to learn, but this summer I took a step further than last summer and freezed strawberries. In my childhoom I have been helping in cleaning and freezing the strawberries and those 5 kg boxes full of that red gold of earth have always associated to "home" in my mind. Now, having done the same thing in my new own home I feel even a stronger sense of home. In doing the same thing that my mother has done proves it again that I have my very own home now. It's at the same time a wonderfully self-sufficient and a dependent feeling. I have my own home, but I'm very much dependent on this home and family and extremely happy about it.

My husband started his summer holiday recently and as the celebration of it we had some of the fresh strawberries accompanied by thin Finnish pancaked and vanilla ice-cream. The pancake batter was a left-over from the previous evening and was sufficient for a one pancake, so there isn't a lot of pancakes, but it was all that we needed. The recipe is from my father-in-law and is indeed delicious:

4 dl of milk
1 egg
½ tsp of salt
2 dl of flour

Just mix it up and fry both sides with oil or butter. Make them thin and the size of the frying pan.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Breakfast rolls

I love home-made bread but we eat bread in such quantities that there's no point to bake just a little bit, it's more rational to bake more and freeze part of the breads and because I bake more at once, it feels like a big project and I'm not up to that at all times. After the time in Germany and eating something that someone else had planned for two months, it's rewarding to do something myself, something that I want and that's why I wanted to bake bread instead of just sweet. We don't have a vast-sized kitchen and doubly dough made into rolls takes up a lot of space so I decided to try a recipe of Kinuskikissa and use the same method for baking rolls, but adapting it slightly. Under is my own version.

ca. 16 pieces

5 dl of non-fat milk
50 g of fresh yeast
1 tbl of sugar
½ tbl of salt
1 tbl of cumin
½ dl of cooking oil
12 dl of roll flour (or just plain)
about 2 handfuls or sunflower seeds
about 1 handful of pumpkin seeds

Warm the milk to a body temperature. Sprinkle in the yeast and mix with a wooden spoon, until the yeast is dissolved. Add the spices and the seeds and add the flour in slowly, first mixing with the wooden spoon, then by hand. Add the oil towards the end in small quantaties. Let the dough rise under a kitchen towel for 45 min.

Before you remove the dough from the bowl, press the air out of it with an oiled hand. Spread the dough onto a baking paper into a plate the size of ca. 30 x 30 cm. Cut into squares with a knife. Let it rise under a towel for 15-20 minutes. Bake in 200 C for about 10 minutes until the bread has a nice colour. Fold the rolls to pieces.

I marked the amount to ca. 16 pieces, because I made the rolls of one row bigger as we intended to use them as rolls for home-made hamburgers, which by the way were terrific. It was a good invention to let the dough rise twice. Next thing I try with these is to make two trays from the same amount of dough, maybe they will rise even more. All in all, the bread made a wonderful breakfast, with the blueberry soup made by mu husband.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The starting of the blog with Daim chocolate muffins

Is there another possibility to start up a blog that is called Heart of Chocolate than with a recipe about chocolate? I'm a great friend of muffins and of Daim, I could even claim Daim as my favourite chocolate. Daim products are from the Swedish Kraft Food. I imagine that they are not commonly sold outside Europe, so here's Wikipedia's describtion: The Daim bar (originally known as Dajm in the original Swedish, and Dime in the UK and the Ireland) is a crunchy butter almond bar covered in milk chocolate that originated in Sweden in 1953, produced by the Swedish company Marabou. If I'm correct cou can buy the tiny little Daim candies, not the bars, from Ikea all over the world.

Anyway I had been very anxious to try out this recipe of a fellow blogger.

12 large ones, 15-20 smaller ones

1 bar of Marabou's Daim chocolate (100 g)
150 g of margarine or butter
1 ½ dl of sugar
2 eggs
3 ½ dl of flour
2 tablespoons of baking powder
2 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 ½ dl milk or cream

Crush half of the bar roughly. Foam the margarine and sugar. Add the eggs. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the batter together with the milk. Finally add the crush mixing it up with a bowl scraper.

Fill the muffin cups half-full, add a piece of chocolate to each as a heart and cover with the batter. Bake in 225 C for roughly 12-15 minutes.

I made 12 muffins from the batter. I used my 12-holed silicone muffin tray, which is absolutely marvellous! When you let the muffins cool down a bit, the silicone will also cool down and won't be hot because the tray is elastic, it's really easy to get the muffins out: you can just press them up from the bottom. The shape of the muffins stays nice and the batter won't stick to the edges of the cups. And despite it being elastic and of silicon, it is strong enough to support the muffins and they will rise upwards. These muffins tasted wonderful and were good company to us while we were watching Friends.
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