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Nougatmandler

Nougatmandler

Nougat is a sinfully delicious paste that is used quite often in Denmark. Nougat can be made from sugar or honey, toasted almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and/or pistachios. There are a number of different variations of nougat but the one I am using here is a soft nougat made with hazelnuts.

The melted Nougat is added in three additions and then gently tossed and separated with confectioners sugar.

Nougatmandler is quick and easy to make. Make sure the ceramic bowl you’re using is chilled all the way and be aware that you may have to place the bowl back in the refrigerator for a few minutes, in-between each addition of the warm melted nougat. The final outcome is a crunchy toasted almond  hidden in a soft shell of sweet nougat. Makes for a perfect little snack.

Nougatmandler – Nougat Wrapped Almonds

Ingredients:

100 grams whole almonds with skin on

100 grams nougat

50 grams confectioner sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, place almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove almonds from oven and place in a ceramic bowl in refrigerator until completely cold.

Place confectioner sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Over a waterbath melt the nougat. Bring the cold bowl with almonds out of refrigerator and add 1/3 of melted nougat, stir with a small rubber spatula until nougat starts to set and thicken. Add the second 1/3 of nougat and repeat stirring. Place bowl back into refrigerator between nougat additions if needed. Finally, add the last 1/3 of nougat and repeat stirring. Pour nougat almonds into bowl with confectioners sugar and gently, using your fingers, work the confectioners sugar around each almond. In the end, place almonds into a sieve and gently tap the excess sugar off the almonds. Store almonds a covered container in a cool location. Makes for a wonder snack, enjoy!

Source: Mette Blomsterberg

Soft Nougat

Soft Nougat

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Raspberry and Granola Parfait

Raspberry and Granola Parfait

Recently I went on a short trip to Fort Myers, Florida and I stayed at the beautiful Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort. The hotel was gorgeous, the weather was hot and most importantly, the pool was refreshing.

Ahh lounging at the pool.

Ahh lounging at the pool.

The trip was all-inclusive and so of course the food was plenty. I have to say that their breakfast spread was amazing with anything from traditional American breakfast to a more European style breakfast with salmon and various lunch meats to plenty of fresh fruit. My favorite breakfast item was a Parfait which was layered with granola, yogurt and fresh berries. I had the Parfait on the morning of my departure, which was very early, and so I brought it with me to the airport. It made for a great on-the-go breakfast but it could also be a refreshing snack or even a light lunch or dessert. With yogurt, fresh fruit and granola made with honey, you just can’t go wrong.

Granola made with oats, coconut, almonds and honey.

Granola made with oats, coconut, almonds and honey.

Ingredients for Granola:

2 cups old fashioned quaker oats

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a 15 x 10 inch baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

Combine oats, coconut and almonds in a small bowl. Place honey, brown sugar and cinnamon into a cup and stir to combine. Pour honey mixture over the oats and stir until completely moistened.

Spread oats out onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice. Turn oven off and let the oats sit in the oven for another 10 minutes. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Ingredients for Parfait:

Vanilla flavored greek yogurt

fresh raspberries, or fruit of your choice

Granola (see recipe above)

To assemble Parfait:

In a tall glass, start with a layer of yogurt, then granola and then fresh berries. Repeat layers to fill glass. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Florida sunset.

Florida sunset.

Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

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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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Florentine ew

I first made these Italian cookies for Christmas a couple of years ago and it was Love at first bite. Since then, they have become a “several times a year, kinda thing” at our house and they dissapear faster than any other cookie I make. They are nutty and crispy with a hint of orange, 2 cookies held together with a generous layer of chocolate. Orange and chocolate, does it get any better than that?

Almonds

Almonds

Danish Christmas Tradition: St. Lucia (Saint Lucy’s Day)

St. Lucia is believed to be a saint who suffered a martyr’s death around AD 310. The tradition of celebrating St. Lucia was imported from Sweden during WWII as a passive protest against the German occupation. St. Lucia is celebrated on December 13th and it is seen as a procession lead by one girl wearing a crown of candles on her head followed by other girls who hold a single candle in their hands. All the girls are dressed in white and they sing “Sankta Lucia” while walking slowly and carefully. The St. Lucia procession is performed in schools, hospitals and nursing homes where they bring great joy and excitement.

Bring to a rolling boil

Bring to a rolling boil

Florentine Cookies (makes 28 small sandwiched cookies)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups sliced blanched almonds (200 gram or 7 oz)

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

zest of 1 orange (about 2 tbsp)

1/4 tsp fine salt

3/4 cup sugar (155 gram or 5.4 oz)

2 tbsp heavy cream

2 tbsp light corn syrup

5 tbsp unsalted butter (70 gram or 2.5 oz)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

6 oz semisweet chocolate (170 gram)

Directions:

Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty. Stir together the almonds, flour, zest and salt in a large bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then pour mixture into almond mixture and stir just until combined. Set aside until cool enough to handle, 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons  (for 3 inch cookies) or rounded tablespoons (for 6 inch cookies) of batter and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 3 to 4 inches between each cookie since they spread.

Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and even golden brown color, rotating pan halfway through baking time, about 8 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

Chop semisweet chocolate and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch water to a simmer and set bowl filled with chocolate over the saucepan, making sure bowl is not touching water. Stir chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth.

Drop a generous amount of melted chocolate (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) onto the flat side of a cookie and press together with a second cookie to form a sandwich. Return to rack and let chocolate set completely.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Florentine Cookies

Florentine Cookies

Source: Food Network Kitchen

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Red Wine Gløgg

In the weeks leading up to Christmas there are many “get togethers” at work, in town, schools, clubs, friends and family stopping by to say hello. You can serve just about anything for your guests, really, or you could serve the traditional warm drink Gløgg and some warm Danish Æbleskiver. This combination is especially wonderful when you are coming in from the freezing cold outside.

Gløgg was imported to Denmark from our neighbors in Sweden and it started to take hold on the Danes in the years around WWII. There are many variations of Gløgg recipes out there and no one correct way to make it. Some contain brandy, cognac, port wine, vodka or snaps but the base is almost always red wine, although there are also some white wine versions, as well as non-alcoholic children’s versions. Back in the old days it was also thought to have some healing effects for winter depression, well at least for a short while 😉

Ingredients:

1 bottle red wine

1 cup white port wine

1 tablespoon Cardamom pods

1 stick Cinnamon

8 whole Cloves

4 pieces crystalized ginger

1 1/2 deciliter dark brown sugar (1/2 cup)

1 cup raisins

slivered almonds

Directions:

Place the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, crystalized ginger and sugar in the port and red wine overnight or at least 1-2 hours before serving. Before serving, gently heat the liquid on the stove but do not allow to boil. Run the wine through a sieve to remove the spices, then add the raisins and almonds to the wine and serve warm.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas ♥

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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