Saturday, February 25, 2012

Le Cake... Apricot,Almond and Lemon Bread

Part cake.Part bread kind of like a spork...

LE CAKE! Such it is. Again, I have found this bread recipe I wanted to share with you all. It is as wacky as it possibly could be. Black pepper, chili powder, lemon..What? How so? Why?  Well, let's just try to give this little French delight it's praise. I have to admit. I am a breadaholic and proud to be. I seem to be featuring a lot of bread on this blog, but hear me out... Bread is gorgeous and needs some much needed attention.
This interestingly odd recipe comes to you via David Lebovitz via Susan Loomis book Nuts in the Kitchen  Harper Collins.
Susan Loomis is a  American cookbook author and runs her very own french cooking school in France called On Rue Tatin.     

Organic unsulphured  apricots available in most groceries. They are dark in color naturally.
You may choice another form of dried fruit or nut for the ones recommended. If using apricots, Susan recommends you use apricots that are unsulphured if possible.  Chili powder is optional you may omit if the idea is a little to much for your taste-buds.


1½ cups(200g) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 rounded teaspoon sea salt
1 rounded teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs, at room temperature
8 tablespoons (110g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
7 ounces (210g) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
6 ounces (180g) Gruyere,Comte,or Emmental cheese. I used Racclette, finely grated about 2 cups
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
grated zest of one lemon
1/3 cups (60g) almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C. Butter a loaf pan, line it with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. Stir the black pepper.(if your using chili powder, add that here as well.)
peppery flour 

foaming the eggs
3. In a bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, whisk the eggs until frothy(about a minute) then stir in the dry ingredients. Mix in the melted butter until thoroughly blended,then fold in the dried fruit, cheese, fennel seeds,lemon zest, ans almonds.

4. Scrape the batter into the the prepared buttered load pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

All in cheese, fruit, nuts, flour lemon,spices, butter
5. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then tip it out onto a cooling rack. Wait a few more moments, then remove the parchment paper and let cool completely before serving.

cake, bread ..... LE CAKE..or bread..? You decide.
Cut the bread into slices with a sharp bread knife, then cut the bread diagonally into triangles. Serve as a nibble or as an tasty morsel before dinner.

Fresh right out of the oven...mumsigt!!
This cake  will keep well wrapped up to three days at room temperature. Do not refrigerate the cake or it will get dry. It can be frozen for a least one month.

I loved this cake about 20 minutes right out of the oven. It is a fantastic treat for yourself. I would make this anytime we have friends around for a drink party. It is a very enjoyable little moreish goody you can give yourself anytime of the year. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fat Tuesday In Sweden...Shrove Tuesday.. CHERRY-Almond Cobbler

Fat Tuesday 21.02.2012
It is that time of year again in Sweden. The impeccable delicacy called Semlor. A cardamon spiced bread bun filled with almond paste and topped with heaps and heaps of glorious whipped cream. Complete with a little top hat and topped off with a good sprinkling of icing sugar. The Swede's sure know how to please a former fat girl...Fettisdagen as it is know here is an excuse to get all fattened up before the season of Lent.
I know it as Shrove Tuesday also known as pancake day. It is a the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I wanted to try something a little different this year, and make a tribute to the flavors of Swedish Semlor by using David Lebovitz's fab recipe for Cherry-Almond Cobbler. Cream, almond paste, flour and just down right goodness. I hope you approve.
I am not to certain why Sweden makes such a big deal about religious holidays. Much of the Swedish  population are secular and have little association to any form of religion or the beliefs in higher powers. I have learned to accept their roll in historical days, but it is quite bizarre to witness.

The Goat is my biggest critic. The Goat as a few of my regulars know. Is my veg head goatee sporting husband and Semlor lover of the highest degree . He has rated this recipe the best thing he has EVER put in his mouth and quite frankly I would have to agree.

Cherry-Almond Cobbler  Ready for desserts David Lebovitz Ten Speed Press

Makes 6-8 servings

Frozen turned out fantastic. still crunchy and sweet
6 cups(21/4 pounds/ 1 kg) sweet cherries  fresh or frozen but pits removed
2 tablespoons(30 grams) sugar
Juice of ½ lemon

Almond paste
1 cup (140 grams) all- purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
7 ounces (200 grams) almond paste, crumbled
1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar
½ cup ( 4 ounces/115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon of vanilla or ALMOND EXTRACT
½ cup (125 ml) whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.
Mixing the sugar and the almond paste together to form little bits
To make the filling, in a shallow 2 quart, 2 liter baking dish, toss the pitted cherries with the two tablespoons 30 grams of sugar and the lemon juice.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder; and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the almond paste and the 1/3 cup (65 grams)
sugar on medium speed until the almond paste is broken up into fine pieces.
The finished smooth batter
Beat in the butter, then the egg and vanilla or almond extract. Add half the flour mixture, followed by the milk, then the remaining flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
Spoon over and ready for the oven

Spoon the batter evenly over the cherries in the baking dish. Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the topping comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Thank you Almond paste for being so darn amazing...

Serve cobbler warm or at room temperature with whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream, and a small sprinkling of icing sugar to give it a little extra pizzazz. Store left overs in the refrigerator and re-heat to serve again. This is the best cobbler I have ever had in my mouth!!

Variations: Try MANGO AND BLACKBERRY make filling with 5 pounds (2.5 kg) mangoes peeled, pitted, and cubed, 2½ cups (12 ounces/340 grams) blackberries, 2 tablespoons (30 grams ) packed light brown sugar,½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and the juice of one lemon. To make MIXED BERRY substitute  6 cups ( about 1 3/4 pounds/795 grams) mixed berries for the cherries. For APRICOT AND CHERRY. substitute 1 pound (450 grams) apricots, pitted and cut into eights, for the half of the cherries. The sky is the limit!

Have a day of indulging on Tuesday no matter where you are. See you again soon on It's all about the food.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ostkaka.. What?? Cheese cake.. Yes, that's right.. Just like someone's grandma

Simply delicious and well worth the try

Everyone technically has a grandparent. Some of us are blessed with a grandparent who spoils them rotten with love and affection, and a plate of cookies here and there. I am sure if I had grown up here in Sweden. My farmer living grandparents would of had this on their kitchen table a few times. Swedish Ostkaka is a comfort food. It's soft creamy texture with a nibble of ground almonds. You sure can feel the love in this dish.
The locals serve this lukewarm with a dollop of heavy cream jam, frozen berries, fresh fruit,syrup or with your favorite poached fruit.
It is as easy as 1-2-3. and this would be a great recipe for someone needing an extra hug today. Please feel free to mix up your choices of soft cheese. If you have availability to quark use that as well. I couldn't get my hands on any at my local store, so I opted for Philadelphia cream cheese and marscapone. All very related in the soft cheese family.

500 grams of quark or any other fresh soft cheese such as Philadelphia,marscapone
50 grams of almond meal or 50 grams of grated sweet almonds
*NOTE: If you choose to leave the skins on you will have a much more intense almond flavor. Here is a link to how to remove the skins.
3-4 eggs
50 grams all purpose flour
300 ml full fat milk
100 grams sugar 

soft cheese at it's finest

1. Heat your oven to 175 degrees C or 340 degrees F
ground almonds. 
2.Mash up your soft cream cheese in a bowl and set aside.
Adding the mashed soft cheese with the egg mixture
3.Grate your almonds or using already prepared almond meal measure out and set aside.
Well mixed and curd like ready to pour and bake

A long pan is perfect for this.
Pour into prepared pan and set in oven to bake
4. In your stand mixer or hand held Add your eggs and sugar and  milk.Mix until all is incorporated and you get an creamy lumpy mix(see above photo.). Add in your flour, ground almonds.Add your soft cheese and blend until you get soft curd like mixture.

Cooled and ready to serve. So good!
Swedish style. Nothing wrong with a little comfort
5. Butter a oven loaf pan that can hold at least 1½ liters or divide into two loaf pans. Pour into your prepared pan/pans and set in the oven and let bake for around one hour. it should be slightly golden brown and a little giggly, but firm to the touch.

It will fall slightly after you remove it from the oven to cool. Let sit to set until warm and serve. Be creative and add whatever toppings you and your guests will enjoy. I could eat this for evening meal. Many Swedes have this in their mid day FIKA which is like a coffee break with some sort of baked goods and good conversation. Please give this a try. I was patiently surprised by how darn delicious this is. Simple yet so delicious on my palate.

* I want to thank my dear friend Doris in Austria, for kindly pointing out I missed a few details. Thank you for being my saving Grace. I hope it is all ok now. Nicole