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Archive for June, 2012

Vetekrans – Swedish Tea Ring

Vetekrans aka Swedish Tea Ring is a very delicious coffee cake. The cake is called a coffee cake but there is no coffee in it, it just means it’s served with coffee or tea. The dough is surprisingly light in texture and the cake is simply just amazing when served right out of the oven, which I would recommend.

This recipe uses the cold rise method. It tells you to let your dough rest in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. I was pressed for time when I made this wonderful Tea Ring because my husband Joe was taking it with him to his Blacksmith meeting, so I could only let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour but it still turned out beautifully. The recipe makes a huge amount of dough which I thought was a bit much, so I cut off four 1 inch pieces of the rolled up dough and baked them separately as cinnamon rolls, yum! And as you can see there was still plenty for the Tea Ring to go around.

Word of advise: Just to simplify rolling out the dough, I marked off my work surface for how big the dough was supposed to be. I used four pieces of white sticker labels (you could also use small pieces of post-it-notes). Also, make sure the dough is rolled out as even as you can get it on your work surface. This will ensure your finished roll/ring will be the same thickness throughout. If you have a thicker area in your ring, baking can be a little uneven. 😉

This post will be submitted to YeastSpotting.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

vegetable oil, for greasing bowl

For the filling:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

Pour warm water (100-110 degrees F) into a bowl and sprinkle active dry yeast into water, let sit for 10 minutes. In the bowel of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the 1/2 cup melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, cardamom and dissolved yeast/water. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the flour in increments and mix until dough is smooth (you may not need all the flour). Lightly grease a large bowel with vegetable oil. Place dough into oiled bowel, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 2-24 hours.

Fit a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place dough onto a floured work surface and roll out to a 20 x 24 inch  diameter. Make sure dough is rolled out evenly without any high spots. Gently spread a thin layer of the softened butter all the way out to the edge of the dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the butter. Starting from the long edge, roll dough tightly as a jelly roll. Move roll from work surface to baking sheet and shape into a ring. Gently press edges together to seal. With scissors, cut 2/3 way through the ring at 3/4 inch intervals. Twist each cut piece so the inside is visible. Cover ring with a dry, clean tea towel and let rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow Tea ring to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Mix glaze ingredients together and sprinkle on top of ring. Enjoy!

Source: The Great Scandinavian Baking Book

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Greek Tzatziki Sauce

I have been eyeballing the Greek Tzatziki sauce for quite some time now. Does yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill not sound perfectly delicious to you? or does it sound a bit foreign and odd? Well I assure you that it’s a wonderful creation! If you decide to make this sauce I would recommend that you make it one day before you intend to use it. Place it in the refrigerator overnight to really allow the flavors to develop. Also, make sure to use a plain Greek yogurt which has a thicker consistency. If you decide to use regular yogurt, you’ll need to let the liquid drain from the yogurt for 2 hours before using, to get the thicker consistency.

Making Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki sauce of course goes perfectly with the Greek Gyro sandwich. The first time I tasted a Gyro was actually in Denmark when I was a teenager and it left a big impression on me because it was super delicious….nothing like I had ever tasted before. Since then I’ve had Gyro’s from time to time, some better than others, and I finally decided to make the Tzatziki sauce myself. This recipe is truly wonderful, even my husband who does not eat yogurt or cucumber, really liked it – imagine that! Some other uses for the Tzatziki sauce could be served with Pita wedges as an appetizer, goes well with lamb, fish, chicken, veggies and falafel. I hope you enjoy this sauce as much as we have 🙂

Greek Gyro

Ingredients:

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 english cucumber, seeded

1 teaspoon salt, to draw out liquid in cucumber

1 lb Greek yogurt, plain (1 1/2 cup or 450 grams)

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tablespoon dill, chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Gyro:

chicken, cut into bite-size pieces and cooked to your liking

onion, slice and cook until soft and sweet

Pita bread

lettuce

tomatoes

kalamate olives

feta cheese

Tzatziki Sauce

Directions:

To make Tzatziki Sauce: Peel cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds using a spoon. Chop or shred cucumber and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt to draw out the liquid. Place cucumber in a sieve to drain for at least 1/2 hour. In a small bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Once the cucumber has finished draining, add it to the yogurt mixture and give it a quick spin in the blender until you have your desired consistency. Place in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before serving to allow flavors to develop, or even better, leave it refrigerated overnight.

To assemble Gyro: Wrap gyro in aluminum foil and heat in toaster oven for a few minutes until warm. Add the warm chicken and onions. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce. Wrap loosely in foil to hold Gyro together and enjoy!

Source: adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

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Brunsviger

Brunsviger is a classic Danish coffee cake of sorts. It comes from Fyn (Funen) in Denmark, the island where Hans Christian Andersen was born. It is a soft yeast dough topped with a generous serving of butter and brown sugar. It’s traditionally served warm in the morning or with afternoon coffee or tea and it’s always best the same day it is made. If you have some left-over cake you can heat it up a little and it’s still delicious.

The challenge I had making this cake was that the pan size called for, was an odd size (16×20 inch) which I don’t have. So the first time I made this coffee cake I made it “free style” if you will, simply just forming it onto a baking sheet. But it resulted in a lot of the topping flowing off the cake and making a big mess in my oven. After a weeks time of pondering I gave it another shot and this time I decided to use my 9 x 13 inch pan which is not the “correct” size but it does have tall sides as oppose to the baking sheet, and I am happy to say that it worked out great. The topping stayed on top and really seeped into the cake. Make sure to make plenty of finger dimples in the cake because this is where the yummy stuff hangs out.  🙂

Brunsviger – 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk, warmed to 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C)

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 eggs

2 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Topping:

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup butter

Directions:

Heat milk to to 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C), sprinkle active dry yeast over milk, give a quick stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile melt butter and set aside.

Pour milk mixture into the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add eggs, sugar, salt and melted butter, stir to combine. Using the dough hook start the mixer on medium-low speed and add the flour in small increments. Note: you may not need all the flour. Scrape down the sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed and continue to add the flour until dough is soft, elastic and slightly sticky. Grease a large bowl with a small amount of baking spray or vegetable oil, place dough in bowl, cover with a clean dry tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan with baking spray and line with piece of parchment paper extending up to the edges of pan. Deflate the dough and pour into baking pan. If dough is a little too tacky cover your fingers in a light dusting of flour. Press dough evenly out into the corners of the baking pan. Cover pan with the tea towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

To make the Topping: Over low heat melt butter with the brown sugar. Stir frequently to ensure sugar is completely melted and butter in fully incorporated. Do not boil! Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Pour 2/3 of topping over dough and spread evenly. Press your fingers into the dough to make deep dimples. Pour the remaining 1/3 of topping over dough and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve Brunsviger warm. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from The Scandinavian Cookbook

This recipe has been submitted to YeastSpotting, a wonderful site filled with recipes containing yeast.

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Hyldeblomst Saft

Hyldeblomster (Elderflowers) has played a big role in Nordic mythology. It was believed that the goddess Freja lived by the Elderflowers and that the bushes provided protection from evil. The flowers were also thought to give relief from ailments such as toothaches, fevers, depression and insomnia. In today’s modern Denmark Elderflowers are still very popular but for different reasons. Today the mature flowers are used to make a wonderful tasty juice concentrate. The Elderflower bushes can be found growing wild in the woods, fields or parks and the time to harvest the fragrant flowers is in early June. I have never come across Elderflowers here where we live, then again, I haven’t really gone scavenger hunting for them either. In any case, I did come across some delicious Elderflower concentrate at my all-time favorite store IKEA and wanted to share with you this refreshing drink which is perfect for the hot summer days here in Virginia.

Hyldeblomst Saft – Elderflower Concentrate

Ingredients:

Makes 1 glass

Hyldeblomst (Elderflower) with Water

1/4 cup Elderflower concentrate

3/4 cup ice-cold water

ice cubes

lemon slice

Hyldeblomst (Elderflower) with Carbonated Water (and Rum)

1/4 cup Elderflower concentrate

3/4 cup carbonated water (such as Perrier)

ice cubes

1 shot Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum (optional)

Directions:

Making sure the water or carbonated water is ice-cold, mix with concentrate. Add ice cubes and remaining ingredients such as lemon slice and rum if desired. Enjoy!

Hyldeblomst Saft mixed in blender with ice.

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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