Thursday, 28 August 2014

Coffee, Cardamom, Pistachio Cream Cake

Well, the name is a mouthful. As is the cake! Gentle comedy.

You may have noticed my lack of posting in August, a holiday hiatus, if you will. The Swede and I have been halfway around the world, and back again, but we are both firmly at home now. I plan to do some traveling-related cooking in the near future, but for now, cake!

So, I bought some pistachios the other day, so I decided to try out all the pistachio recipes that I had been hankering after over the last little while.

First installment: pistachio cookies. Second installment is this epic, flavourful, crazy cake. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, and the colour scheme is weird, but damnit if it isn’t one fine piece of baking. I’m really surprised that it isn’t Swedish recipe actually, it covers one of the main Swedish flavours (cardamom) and one of the main Swedish food groups (coffee). Changing the pistachios to almonds would probably be delicious and make it a Svensk trifecta.

For the coffee, I just made a little extra bit of filter coffee in the morning, but instant coffee dissolved in boiling water would work just as well.

One of my boyfriend’s faves, and he doesn’t give out praise lightly!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Cookie time! Pistachio and Dark Chocolate, and Cranberry with White Chocolate

I have a bit of an obsession with baking cookies.

From the irresistibly chocolately peanutty ones, to the classic choc chip, there is room for them all in my kitchen!

I do have a favourite “baseline” cookie recipe, to which all sorts of extras can be added, but I thought I would branch out and try something else, to see if it improved the finished product, or even if it changed it to a noticeable degree. My usual recipe calls for the butter to be melted first, cooled slightly, and then added to the sugar. This recipe called for the butter to be creamed with sugar, more like a cake recipe.

Chocolate and nuts - perfection

Fruit and chocolate - sweet and flavourful!

These turned out beautifully -  I will be using pistachio a lot more, this is part one of a three part pistachio extravaganza!

  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 100g pistachios
  • 75g chocolate chips
  • (I also decided to do white chocolate and cranberry cookies with the same recipe, so I used an additional 75g dried cranberries, and 75g white chocolate)


Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Stir together the flour, salt and leavening agents.

Beat together the butter and sugars for a few minutes until lighter in colour. Add in the vanilla and egg, and beat together again. Gradually add in the flour mixture.

At this  point I halved the mixture into two separate bowls, in one I added the dark chocolate and pistachio, and to the other I added white chocolate and cranberries.

Spoon some mounds of dough onto baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. I usually get six to a sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, allow to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes and then transfer to cool on a wire rack.

I may have eaten some when hot from the oven and it was goooood.

Packaged up for a picnic! Finally got new napkins.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Chocolate Orange Mousse

Channeling the Swedish chef up in here! It's nearly the weekend, so I thought I'd conjure up a little treat.

I love recipes that use some random ingredient to make something totally unlike the original product. This chocolate mousse is everything one could want: bubbly, thick, rich, and deeply flavourful.

And where does the perfect texture come from? Marshmallows! So, no faffing around with egg whites, this is pure divine inspiration.

I have made it a lot in the past, in plain chocolate flavour, as well as chocolate mint, which all work deliciously. The chocolate mint is a perfect after-dinner treat, but the chocolate orange is a big hug in a cup.

If I am being fancy, I will use these lovely glass honeycomb mugs that my mum has been known to kindly lend me. 

The mint version - my mum has the best things!

In the absence of those, I used some mini paper cups leftover from Christmas. A pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon in the recipe could really increase the festiveness if made in winter! Espresso mugs also work well, or small glasses, as well as ramekins.