Saturday, December 5, 2009

BBM: Package has arrived!

This year I participated in the Blogging By Mail event that Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness organizes. The idea is that you send a package to somewhere in the world to another blogger and then you get another package somewhere else. There's usually a theme too. I have seen entries from other rounds of BBM in other blogs before now, but have missed the sign-up time and have only seen participants blogging the content of the packages they've received. It has sounded so much fun and I have been sad to miss it so just imagine my joy when I noticed a post in Dispensing Happiness that another round is coming up! This time the theme was indulgences. 5 items that help you rewind. I packed up and sent my package just before our trip to England and a week after that, this Friday, I got my own.

Nupur from One Hot Stove had shipped her 5 indulgences to me and what a wonderful package it was! And how excited I was to get it!

Inside there was a pretty little Christmas cards that had an explanation for each item in the package. And self-made too, I loved the idea of having paper clips as the skate blades! 

Here's the whole of what came out!

A little glass jar of saffron and a recipe for an Indian dessert that includes saffron. This was a real treat for me as I've never ever before had saffron! I can't wait to try it out the recipe of Shrikhand, it sounded delicious! Plus the glass jar is so incredibly cute! I can figure out uses for that once the saffron is all used up.
Nupur said in her note that she enjoys taking warm showers with a scented good soap. I can totally relate to that! This soap has Christmassy fragrances. This will definitely give a whiff of luxury to my life!

Don't you just love this little woollen sweater with a heart shaped button in front! Nupur had knitted this for me, as one of her favorite indulgences is knitting! Even the thought of this is enough to cheer up on a windy gray day, of which we've had our share of here in Finland. This sweater is meant as a key ring and that function it shall have :)

Oh the chocolate! You could resist these! I really do love chocolate and to have two kinds that I've never tasted before... of the joy! I will open up one or both of these to unwind while...
... reading this wonderful Martha Stewart magazine that was the last item in the package. I've already taken a peek and can't wait to have to time to submerge myself in the different recipes and ideas for decorating and gift packaging!

Thank you Nupur for this delightful package, you don't know how cheerful it made me! And thanks for Stephanie for hosting this great event!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

(Not so) Fast Food

For the last couple of days we've enjoyed the flavors of fast food - sitting at our own kitchen table. Today we made hamburgers and used the last posted recipe to make the rolls. I just made the rolls bigger than last time. On top of the bread I had hamburger dressing, ketchup, salad, pickle, tomato, the meat that cheese and blue cheese on top and a fried egg.

Yesterday's meal on the other hand was a Subway-inspired stuffed bread. Again, the bread was self-made, the recipe from the same book, and it was called rye baguette. Here is my husband's dish that included again hamburger dressing, ketchup, on one side grilled chicken from the fay before, on other ham, salad, cucumber, tomato and fresh pineapple.

4 long baguettes

Rising time: 30 + 50-60 minutes
Oven: 250 C, 10-12 minutes

50 g yeast
500 ml water
2 tsp salt
4oo ml fine rye flour
1000 ml wheat flour (I think I used about 800)
rough rye flour

Crumble the yeast. Warm the water to body temperature, add it in and stir as long as it takes for the yeast to dissolve. Add the salt and the flour. Knead and let rise under a towel for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in four and form a baguette from each piece. Roll in rough rye flour and place the baguettes on a parchment covered baking sheets, two for both. Let rise 50-60 minutes. Bake the baguettes in 250 C for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Breakfast rolls

Another recipe from my new cook book. Although name refers to breakfast, I made these on the side of a soup. They are ready pretty fast, as only the dough is let to rise for 30 minutes and the rolls are put into a cold oven. I used dry yeast and it worked well too. They tasted great and were so quick and easy too that I will definitely make these again. If these were made bigger, they would be excellent for home made burgers.

16 breakfast rolls
Rising time: 30 minutes
Uuni: 200 C, 20-22 minutes

300 ml water
50 g yeast
2 tbl oil
1 tsp salt
ca 900 ml flour

Warm up the water to body temperature, crumble the yeast and stir until it's wholly dissolved. Add oil, salt and about 800 ml of flour. Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes. Take the dough on the baking table and use the rest of the flour for the baking. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and place the pieces on a baking paper covered sheet. Place the sheet into the cold oven, turn on the heat to 200 C and bake for 20-22 minutes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Here comes the first recipe out of the book posted about below. The bread was a success with a a crunchy surface and a yummy taste. I made two loaves of bread, I added sun flower seeds to the second one.

1 bread

Rising time: 40 minutes
Oven: 275 C for 15 minutes and 15 minutes in the afterheat

500 ml water
25 g yeast
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbl oil
250 ml of coarse flour (for example rye or whole wheat flour, I used 100 ml of rye flour and 150 ml of whole wheat flour)
1150 ml of wheat flour (I only used 900 ml, the dough didn't take in more)

Warm the water to body temperature. Add in the yeast, then sugar, salt and oil. Finally add the both flours. Form the dough into a baking sheet long bread and let it rise covered with a towel in room temperature for 40 minutes. Bake the bread in 275 F for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the bread bake for at least another 15 minutes.

My newest purchase

At the annual summer fest of LEAF I made a new but already very close friend, the book that I'm next going to introduce. "Heavenly bread - a different kind of recipe book for those who care" (I haven't found a English translation of the book, hence I'm just translating from Finnish) edited by Anna Braw has alreade proved itself to be a real treasure. The book consists of 200 bread reciped, of which the already tried ones have been wonderful and also of other things worthy of interest: interviews, stories behind the recipes, quotes from The Bible, aforisms, tips for baking and how to treat bread and endearing photographs! I have absolutely fallen in love with this book already and believe it to give me and others joy for a long time to come!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mud cake with licorice bits

I made this cake for Midsummer and we enjoyed it with fresh raspberries. I took the recipe from another Finnish blogger. This was yum and exactly what we needed to have in the mids of all the rain. Something that is warm, full and fresh at the same time.

100 g butter
150 g dark chocolate

150 ml sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
3 eggs

150 ml of flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Any sort of soft licorice

Melt the butter and chocolate on a low heat in a saucepan. When the chocolate is completely melted, take off from the heat. Add the sugar and vanilla sugar and stir. Add the eggs one at a time and stir in between.

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix well.

Cover a ca. 22-24 cm in diameter baking tin with baking powder and grease it. Pour the batter into the tin. Drop the licorice bits in and on top.

Bake the cake in 160 C for about 30-40 minutes until it has set so that it (barely) holds together. Do not bake the cake to be too dry, it's best when it's moist.

The blogger, whose recipe this is, stated that the cake is best when it has had time to cool down some hours or over-night. We just ate it as it came out of the oven. The rest was eaten the next day, both versions were really good.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A sort of (Finnish) brownie with my twist

I made these (maybe Finnish) brownies a while ago. Usually the frosting has coffee in it, but I replaced it with orange juice as I'm not a huge fan of coffee.

4 eggs
3 dl sugar
150 g margarine/butter
200 ml milk
2 tsp vanilla sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3 tbl cocoa powder
500 ml flour

200 g Marabou's Daim chocolate

4oo ml (227 g) confectioner's sugar
2 tbl cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar
50 g of melted margarine/butter
orange juice from 4 tbl up to when the consistency is right

Beat the eggs and sugar into a foam. Add the melted butter. Mix up the dry ingredients together and add them to the batter through a sieve in turns with the milk. Add the crushed chocolate and stir it in. Pour the batter into a baking sheet covered with baking paper and bake in 200 C in the middle of the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Put together the dry ingredients of the frosting. Add the melted butter and orange juice in turns little by little until you have the right consistency. Pour the frosting on top of the little cooled down cake and spread it with a knife or a spatula to a even layer. Sprinkle with dried coconut or sprinkles. Let the frosting set and cut into squares.

Oven Baked Fries

The theme of the weekend before last was BBQ. The weather was fine and both on Saturday and Sunday our small coal grill served as a means for cooking our dinner. For a side dish on Sunday we had oven baked fries. In the lower picture you can also see sausage and veggie skewers.

I made the fries according to this recipe by Joy with the alteration that instead of Herbes de Province I seasoned the fries with sea salt, paprika and chili.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whipped lingonberry porridge

For a long time I had wanted to have this wonderful whipped lingonberry porridge, the treat I remember from my childhood. I assume this is a Finnish thing? Anyway, one weekend I decided to finally turn the idea into reality. As I don't have lingonberries in my own freezer, I got some from the store and this porridge was delicious!

1 l water
1,5 dl semolina
1,5 dl sugar
200 g lingonberries (frozen)

Pour the water and the lingonberries into a saucepan. Heat up to a boil. Add sugar and the semolina while whisking hard. Let bubble for 5-10 minutes stirring now and then. Let the porridge cool down completely by placing the saucepan in cold water. (I let it cool down outside on its own as I made the porridge in the morning and was in no hurry with it.) Whip the cooled down porridge with a mixer so that it's light.

I always eat this with milk or cream.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tosca cake

After a long pause in writing I finally have a new post for you. Baking hasn't been very active during this year, mainly because teacher training is taking up so much of my energy from time to time, that any extra activities, no matter how pleasant, have been quite minimal. My winter break, this week, has been spent, not to baking, but executing slight renovation plans for out bed room. We tore down the old wallpapers and added a coat of paint instead. For a job well done I rewarded us with this tosca pie on Thursday evening.

Temperature: 175 C

2 eggs
1 ½ dl of sugar
2 dl of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 ½ dl of melted butter or oil
½ dl of cream or milk

On top:
100 g of margarine or butter
1 dl of sugar
2 tbl of flour
2 tbl of milk
1 ½ (50 g) of flaked almonds

Grease and flour a ... cake tin of about 24 cm in diameter. Beat the eggs and sugar into a foam. Add in the flour and the baking powder, grease and liquid. Beat and spread the batter into the tin. Bake in the lowest level for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile prepape teh topping. Put the butter, sugar, flour and flaked almonds into a saucepan. Heat and stir carefully. Add the milk when the butter has melted. The mixture should be fairly thick. Spread the topping on the cake.
Move the cake in the middle rack and let bake at least another 15 minutes or until the topping has taken a little color.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Recently we bought a bread mold. Before that the bread I have made at home have usually been rolls, flat breads and sometimes baguettes or something else. The mold will broaden the possibilities of home made bread. The first try with the new mold was with the following recipe and very good the bread turned out to be too.

500 ml of water, temperature 42 C
1 dose of dry yeast
1 dl of flakes (I used bran and wheat crush)
1 dl of rye flour
8-9 dl of wheat flour (I used a little less, 7-8 dl)
2 tsp of salt
oil or butter for greasing (with silicone molds you only have to grease it the first time you use it and then every once in a while but not nearly every time)
1 tbl of treacle/molasses

Mix in the warm water the rye flour, treacle, yeast, salt and flakes. Let it be for 30 minutes covered with a towel.

Add the wheat flour into the mixture little by little. The dough should not be too hard! Let it rise for 30 minuted covered with a towel.

Grease the mold, if necessary. Put the dough into the mold. Let it rise for 30 minutes more covered with a towel.

Bake in 250 C for about 30 minutes.

As the photos tell, the dough was maybe a little too plentiful for our mold, so next time I'll probably make a slightly smaller dough. The bread was very tasty! Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Unfortunately the bread didn't last for long, it was eaten in a span of a few days. Well, more the reason to bake it again!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cinnamon ice cream

Last week was the right time to test my new ice cream book and from the many tempting options I chose as my first try this cinnamon ice cream. I figured it goes well with the winter season and it having a light touch from the flavors of Christmas without being too Christmassy. One good sound reason for this recipe goes back to my time in Germany last summer. There I tasted Italian cinnamon ice cream and was sold! Cinnamon has other pleasant memories to me from that same period of time.

4-6 portions

300 ml of cream
1 tsp of cinnamon powder
5oo ml of ready-made vanilla sauce or custard (store-bought for me)
1 tbl of lemon juice
50 g of confectioner's sugar

Pour the cream into a thick-bottomed pan, add the cinnamon and stir. Let it come to a boil nd take away from the heat. Let it cool down for 30 minutes.

Pour the vanilla sauce and lemon juice into a large bowl. Sieve in the confectioner's sugar. Add in the cinnamon cream and mix well.

Without an ice cream maker: Freeze the ice cream mixture in a bowl or a container without a lid on for 1-2 hours or until the sides start to get hard. Beat the mixture with a fork or with a mixer until smooth. Put back in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until hard. If you don't eat all at once, cover the container with a lid.

With an ice cream maker: follow the machine's instructions.

This time the consistency was pretty close to a "real" ice cream, I was even a little bit surprised about the progress from last time. After the first time in the freezer I divided the ice cream mixture into three smaller containers, which are enough for two. By doing this, I can take out a whole container from the freezer to soften without needing to worry that the part that won't be eaten this time is partly melted and then frozen again. It would take a while to make a portion from the whole batch because the ice cream froze to be really hard. Looking back, I would have beaten the ice cream at least one more time during the freezing becayse some of the cinnamon had descended on the bottom of the container and not spread evenly into the ice cream.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas presents

My apologies for the long silence. I did spend time in the kitchen before Christmas, but in the middle of the bustle forgot to take pictures of the things that came out from the oven and I don't want to post recipes without pictures. I'll just have to bake the same things another time so that I show them to you as well! But for motivation to spend time in the kitchen it has been helpful to spend a fortnight eating someone else's food (although very yummy!) and to increase it even more, I received these cook books as Christmas presents! I plan to have a new attempt for home-made ice-cream before long! :)
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