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Archive for April, 2012

Varme Hveder aka Hvedeknopper

It’s an old Danish tradition to eat warm Hveder Thursday evening before Store Bededag (Big Prayer Day), which is on the fourth Friday after Easter (May 4th 2012). Store Bededag was introduced in 1686 to consolidate the number of prayer days that could otherwise be used as productive working days. The tradition is from a time when Store Bededag was a work free day and this included the bakers. So the bakers made Hveder the day before Store Bededag for the people to buy and they could then toast and eat them the following day when the bakeries were closed. However, somehow the tradition turned out that people ate the Hveder the night before, perhaps because they are so good.

Hvede dough

Today fresh Hveder can still be found in all baker shops, in the days leading up to Store Bededag or you can bake them yourself. The buns are meant to be eaten when they are warm and toasted which really brings out the flavors. When they are cold they seem a bit dull and heavy. You can top them with butter, jam, cheese or cold cuts. I hope you enjoy these Danish Hveder as much as I have, it brings back wonderful memories for me. 🙂

Varme Hveder

Hveder – makes 16

Ingredients:

125 gram butter (4 1/2 oz or ~9 tablespoons)

4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

3 deciliter milk (10 oz or ~ 1 1/4 cup)

1 egg

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

650 gram all-purpose flour (5 cups or 1 lb 7 oz)

1/2 deciliter milk – for brushing (~1 1/2 oz)

Directions:

Melt butter and set aside to cool down. Warm milk in microwave to 100-110 degrees F, add dry yeast to milk and let sit for 10 minutes.  In the bowl for your stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment add butter and milk/yeast mixture. Start mixer on low, add egg, salt, sugar and cardamom. Add flour in small increments until dough starts to come together (Note: you may not need all the flour). Place dough on a lightly floured surface and give it a quick needing to ensure it is homogeneous. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a dry and clean tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 16 equal portions, by first dividing the dough into half and then into halves again and so on. Shape dough pieces into balls by folding the edges under and into the center until they are round. The small opening at the bottom is placed down on the baking sheet. Space dough balls 1 centimeter apart (almost 1/2 inch). Cover balls with tea towel and let them rise for 30 minutes. As they rise, they will start to grow together, this is what you want. Preheat oven to 200 degree C (390 degrees F).

Once risen, brush rolls with a little milk and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool. To serve Hveder, cut in half and toast them. Top with butter or jam, cheese, cold cuts etc. Enjoy!

Note: Dough can easily be frozen after they are formed into balls by placing in a freezer safe bag. Once ready to use, defrost in refrigerator. Allow rolls to come to room temperature and then rise for 30 minutes before baking.

This post will be linked to YeastSpotting!

Source: slightly adapted from Kvalimad

Other sources: Naturbageriet

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Toscakake

I can see why this is a very popular Scandinavian cake, it very delicious and highly addictive! Some sources tell me the origin is Swedish while others state that it’s Norwegian so for the purpose of the post we’ll just call it Scandinavian.

Actually the Tosca cake reminds me of the Danish Drømmekage which has a similar topping that’s made with coconut. But we’ll talk more about that cake some other time. The base of the Tosca cake is a delicate and moist sponge cake with a topping that is crunchy and has a sweet caramel, nutty flavor. There are many different variations of this cake out there with the Tosca topping varying from almonds to oats to walnuts or any combination thereof. The cake is also quick and easy to make but careful not to over-bake it. In this version of the infamous Tosca cake I used chopped almonds and oats. You can serve the cake as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or some fresh berries.

I served this cake for the ABGT Blacksmith gang and after they were done with lunch there was one slice of the cake left. I felt my pictures had been a bit rushed and the whipped cream didn’t even make it onto the plate so I figured that I’d pick up some raspberries at the store and retake my pictures with that last slice. Now what I should have done was, take the last slice and secure it somewhere safe. Of course when I returned with the berries that last slice was gone. Lesson learned. 🙂

Tosca Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

125 gram butter (4.4 oz) (8.8 tbsp )

2 eggs

125 gram sugar (4.4 oz) (0.6 cup)

100 gram all-purpose flour (3.5 oz) (0.4 cup)

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

For the Tosca topping:

75 gram butter (2.6 oz) (5.2 tbsp)

50 gram chopped almonds (1.8 oz)

50 gram old-fashioned Quaker oats (1.8 oz)

150 ml sugar (5 oz.) (0.6 cup)

4 tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 175 degree C (350 degree F)

Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan with non-stick baking spray, set aside.

Melt butter, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Beat eggs and sugar on high until pale yellow and thick. Sift flour and baking powder into egg mixture, with a spatula mix gently until combined. Add cream and melted butter, mix gently until combined. Pour batter into spring-form and bake 30 minutes or until just starting to turn golden.

In the meantime make the Tosca topping. Melt butter, add almonds, oats, sugar, cream and flour, stir. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 2 minutes. Pour hot topping over cake and place back into oven. Continue to bake cake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool cake on baking rack. Serve cake with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh berries. Enjoy!

Source: Cake from Anne’s Food, Topping adapted from Nami Nami

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Citronfromage

Citronfromage is a classic Danish dessert, a familiar old friend to all Danes. It can of be served any time of the year but I associate it with long summer days when the sun sets late in the evening. The mousse is a beautiful pale yellow color and it is filled with air making it a very light dessert. The tart lemon flavor is complimented with sweet whipped cream which gives it nice contrast. Make sure to serve the Citronfromage cold with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!

Disclaimer: this recipe is made with raw eggs, and as we all know, these days eating raw eggs is frowned upon due to a potential risk of salmonella food poisoning.  You can certainly use pasteurized eggs for this dessert but I chose to use fresh eggs lade the old fashioned way by a happy chicken. For more info on safe handling of eggs check out this FDA site, it has a lot of good information.

Citronfromage: serves 6

Ingredients:

For the Mousse:

1 tablespoon granulated gelatin

3 tablespoons cold water

3 organic lemons, juiced

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 eggs, separated

1/3 cup superfine sugar

generous 1/3 cup heavy cream

For Serving:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

For Candied Lemon Zest:

1 lemon

1/3 cup superfine sugar

1/4 cup water

Directions:

To make the Mousse: Place gelatine and cold water in a heat-proof bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, using an electrical mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale in color. In the bowl of your stand-mixer with the whisk attachment (or using a large mixing bowl with clean beaters), whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In another bowl beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

Place the bowl with the softened gelatin over small saucepan of simmering water to melt gently. Once gelatine is melted, add lemon juice and zest. While continuing to beat the egg yolks, add the gelatine/lemon mixture in a thin stream. Fold the stiff egg whites and whipped cream into the egg/gelatin mixture until smooth. Pour into individual serving dishes or a large serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to set for at least 3-4 hours.

To make Candied Lemon Zest: Using a zester, cut the peel from the lemon into long strips. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and set aside. In a small saucepan add water, sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel, bring to a boil and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lemon strips from the hot liquid. Separate the lemon strips from each other and spread them out on a baking sheet, allow to cool.

To serve: whip the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream with confectioners sugar until soft peaks form. Serve the lemon mousse cold with the whipped cream and candied lemon zest. Enjoy!

Citronfromage

Source: adapted from The Scandinavian Cookbook

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Stuffed Pasta Shells

I love stuffed pasta, actually I love anything pasta. But if the pasta is stuffed with just cheese, I am not a fan. So I like to mix something else in with that cheese, in this case, some spicy sausage and lots of fresh basil. The basil gives a wonderful flavor, and the spicy sausage adds a little heat and a better texture. It’s a win win! I hope you enjoy these Stuffed Pasta Shells as much as we did.

Ingredients:

6 oz jumbo pasta shells (1/2 box or 16 individual shells)

8 oz spicy ground sausage, cooked and cooled

15 oz ricotta cheese, part skim

1 egg

10 large basil leaves, chopped

1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese

1/2 tsp salt

your favorite marinara sauce

mozzarella cheese, for topping

Directions:

Cook sausage, drain off fat and place in refrigerator to cool.

Combine ricotta cheese, egg, basil, parmigiano-reggiano cheese and salt in a small bowl. Add cooked, cooled sausage. Stir to combine and place in refrigerator to keep cool.

Cook pasta in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a baking dish place a small amount of marinara sauce. Fill cooked shells with cheese/sausage filling and place in baking dish. Top with more marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Mazarinkage

You’re probably all wondering, why does she keep posting recipes with marzipan? Well, all I can say is that marzipan is immensely popular in Denmark and it’s a natural part of baking (and besides….I like it)

Mazarinkage is a classic Danish cake found in most bakeries. It’s a sponge cake made with Marzipan which makes the cake moist, sweet and compact. There are many different variations of this cake. Some make it with orange juice/mashed oranges, amaretto or with a nougat glaze instead of the chocolate ganache, all sounding very enticing. But for this post I wanted to keep it close to the way I remember the cake, simply delicious.

Mazarinkage - The ganache is still moist in this picture, and yes I stole a piece of cake before putting the ganache on 🙂

Ingredients:

For the dough:

100 grams all-purpose flour (3 5/8 oz)

100 grams cornstarch (3 5/8 oz)

1 tablespoon baking powder

200 grams butter, melted (7 1/4 oz)

200 grams marzipan, grated (7 1/4 oz)

4 eggs

200 grams confectioners sugar (7 1/4 oz)

For the ganache:

100 grams semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (4 oz)

1 deciliter half and half (3.4 oz or 0.4 cup)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, add flour, cornstarch and baking powder, set aside. In a small saucepan melt butter and set aside to cool. Grate marzipan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand-mixer, with the speed on medium, beat eggs and confectioners sugar. While continuing to beat, add cooled butter in a thin stream.  Add marzipan and then add remaining dry ingredients.

Spray with baking spray or butter a round 9 inch (23 cm) spring-form pan. Pour dough into spring-form and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

To make ganache: Add half and half  and chopped chocolate to a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat melt chocolate, stirring frequently until mixture starts to thicken. Remove cake from spring-form and spread ganache over top of cake. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Kvalimad

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