Upcoming!

There are two posts on the way! My computer is acting up and it wont acknowledge my memory card for my camera when I “plug” it in. I’m trying to fix it though but I don’t want to upload posts without pictures, that’s just boring…

 

LOVE,

Carolina

Super smoothie!

I’m not a big breakfast person. If I eat anything at all, it’s usually just a bowl of All-Bran cereal with milk. End of story. Mostly because I’m just not hungry that early in the morning (hello, I have school and I wake up at like 6 o’clock in the morning). But during the weekend, breakfast usually happens around noon, which opens up a whole new dimension of possibilities. Smoothies are great, especially for people like me, that have a hard time actually making and eating breakfast. It’s liquid, so your strength wont be diminished by all that chewing, HA! And all the ingredients are packed with nutrients which wakes you up and nourishes both your brain and your body.

I love my my little mini grater. It’s adorable. OK, enough with the girly talk.

Here is the “recipe”:

Metric/US

1 ripe banana

2 dl / 0.85 cup juice of your choice (I used some fresh orange and pineapple juice that was left over from earlier)

½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoons low fat yoghurt

Blend the banana, juice and ginger until smooth. Then add the yoghurt and blend for 30 more seconds to whip some air into it. Done!

I don’t really use recipes for making smoothies, it’s mostly about using what you have and going with what flavours you like. But for the sake of education, I thought this would be nice. And yes, I had a macaron for breakfast, don’t judge.

Happy… blending! ;D

Apparently I can make macarons. Who knew? (chocolate & raspberry macarons)

Macarons. One of those desserts? cookies? UFOs? things that makes me scared to death (OK, not really, more like anxious) when I think about trying to make them. They’re so easily screwed up and so so so so so hard to make perfect. My first time was far from perfection but not really that off the beaten track. They turned out really great, not as smooth or symmetrical as I might have wished, but as a first attempt EVER (do I need to mention how proud I am of myself right now?), the end result was pretty darn good. No cracks, no hollowed out shells, just pure joy.

I chose a recipe by Pierre Hermé, I thought that would be the safest way possible to go. I kept the original recipe for the shells but changed up the filling a little. The original is for his Mogador macarons, only I substituted the passion fruit juice with raspberry purée. I also forgot the get powdered food colouring, I only had the liquid stuff and I was too afraid that would mess up the end result so the shells stayed plain.

I aged the egg whites for about 24 hours but when I made the Italian meringue it turned to soup, somewhere along the way there must have been some oil residue on one of my tools. So I had to start over with whites straight from the fridge, they still turned out fine though, but keep in mind, half the egg whites used were aged so I wouldn’t recommend skipping the process if you want to be on the safe side.

By leaving the egg whites out in room temperature for about 24-48 hours you end up with so called “aged” whites. So this calls for preparation.

I’d suggest you start making these at least two days before you plan on serving them. (That means: put out the eggs to age two days in advance, bake them one day before and let sit for 24 hours after assembly before serving).

This recipe made 30 finished macarons (60 shells)

Chocolate and raspberry macarons

150g ground almonds (I used store bought almond meal, same thing, less hassle)

150g icing sugar

55g aged egg whites (first portion, total amount used in the recipe is double = 110g)

optional: some pink or red POWDERED food colouring would definitely make these even prettier. Just add as much you think makes a nice shade of pink/red.

Italian Meringue:

150g granulated sugar

38g water

55g aged egg whites

Finish: cocoa powder

Sift together the ground almonds and the icing sugar in a large bowl. Add the food colouring to the first portion of egg whites, stir gently. Add the whites to the almond/sugar mix but do not stir. Set aside.

To make the Italian meringue: Whip the second portion of egg whites in a standing mixer (this is my preference but it’s not a must, it does make things easier though), until white and fluffy. While the egg whites are being beaten, bring water and sugar to a boil (approx 110C/230). When the sugar syrup is ready (110C), pour into egg whites, while they’re beating, in a thin drizzle, if you pour it in too quickly, crystals might form. Keep beating the meringue until it reaches body temperature (test it with your finger, just make sure your hands are clean and dry first).

Now it’s time to incorporate the two components. Fold the meringue into the almond mixture with a rubber spatula. Make sure the two are well blended, any streaks of unincorporated meringue might cause cracks in your finished product.

Place parchment paper (or a silicone sheet is you prefer) onto a baking tray. Splash a couple of drops of water on before placing the paper in it, that will make sure it doesn’t move while you pipe. Spoon the batter into a piping bad. Using a plain round nozzle, pipe the batter into rounds of about 3.5cm, placing them about 2cm apart. Using a sieve, dust with cocoa powder. Rap against the kitchen counter (don’t tilt the pan or you’ll end up with your precious work all over the floor and probably alcohol poisoning from trying to drink your pain away) a couple of times to make sure any air bubbles in the macarons are popped. Let sit for about 30 minutes, before placing in the oven, to allow a skin to form. If you don’t let them harden, you wont end up with the “feet”.

Bake at 180C/355F for 12 minutes (a fan oven is preferable). During the last 4 minutes of the cooking time, open the oven door two times to allow any steam to escape. When they’re done, slide the whole sheet onto a cooling rack and let them be until completely cooled.

Chocolate raspberry ganache filling:

50g unsalted butter (room temp.)

275g milk chocolate

200g raspberries (125g raspberry purée)

a pinch of salt

If you’re using frozen berries, make sure they’re completely defrosted before you begin. Put the berries into a blender, or blend using a hand mixer, until smooth. Push the raspberry purée through a sieve in order to get rid of all the seeds. Put in a small pot and bring to a boil. Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces and melt oven a bain marie, when melted, add the warm purée, little by little. Add the butter in pieces and the salt. Stir until glossy and smooth. If needed, sieve again. Pour the ganache into a gratin dish and set in the fridge too cool and thicken.

Assembly: Match all the macarons together, making sure they’re divided into 30 sets of two shells that are similar in size and shape. Pipe a generous dot onto half of a macaron “set” and press the other half on top, distributing the filling between the two shells. Store in the fridge for at least 24 hours and take them out about 2 hours before serving them.

NOTE: When sifting the ground almonds, I ended up with some that were too coarse to go through the sieve. At that point, you can go two ways. If you used store bought almond meal, as I did, you can weigh the coarse “grains” and put those away, then way a NEW amount of almond meal, sift that and repeat until you have the demanded 150 grams.

OR, if you’re grounding your own almonds, just ground the coarser “grains” until they’re fine enough to pass through the sieve (you can do this together with some of the icing sugar to make sure it stays on the dry side). JUST BE CAREFUL, IF YOU BLEND THEM FOR TOO LONG, THEY’LL TURN INTO ALMOND BUTTER!

Happy baking!

Banana bread oatmeal

Banana bread is one of those foods that makes your insides giggle with joy. It’s too simple to fail at and too good to resist. And the fact that it has fruit in it makes you feel healthy a little better about gulping down half a loaf on your own. What? I don’t do that…

This treat however actually is rather healthy, the banana isn’t cooked for a long time so the nutrients are still there and the fiber from the oates and the flaxseeds (and don’t be afraid of flaxseeds, please, you wont be able to taste them but they are good for you) does you real good. All in all, this one is a WIN, as the kids say. Healthy breakfast that tastes like dessert, what more could you possibly ask for on a lazy Saturday morning?

Banana Bread Oatmeal

1 portion

Metric/US

7 tablespoons rolled oates (I use the high-fiber kind)

2 ½ dl OR 1 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 ripe banana

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons flaxseeds

1 pinch of salt (only if you used unsalted butter)

handful of walnuts

honey

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT THE BANANA in a small pot

Over medium heat, bring to simmer and let it bubble away gently for about 1-3 minutes.

While that is cooking, kill the banana with a weapon of your choice, I used a fork.

When the oat mixture has thickened, add the mashed up banana and stir.

Leave on heat for about one more minute, then you can transfer it to a bowl.
Serve with walnuts and a waterfall drizzle of honey.

NOTE: If you do not want any added sugar in your oatmeal, substitute the 1 tablespoon of caster sugar for an extra banana.

“jag älskar dig = I love you”

I brought out our juicer and made myself an apple and carrot concoction, it worked quite well with the “porridge” (I don’t like that word). You really should try this recipe, not to sound smug or anything, but it’s amazing. *Pats self on shoulder*

Happy cooking!

My very own recipe for CARROT CAKE

Let me start by saying that I have a good feeling about this one. I’ve had (and still have, although my capacity for updating seems to be about as consistent as subways in Stockholm during the winter season) a few blogs during my long long long short life time, but blogging is difficult when what your writing about is either:

A: Lacking a coherent theme

OR

B: Doesn’t actually appeal to you interests in a way that will make you WANT to update (this is crucial)

Baking is a passion of mine and my aspirations of attending a certain prestigious and hell-a expensive culinary school in Paris, is about the only thing I have to look forward to after graduating upper secondary school. Yes, it will require a lot, and that truly means A LOT, of hard work in order to pay for said studies.

Following your dreams is not an easy thing to do, but I’m not really in much of a hurry, I’m only eighteen and I’d like to give the nine-to-five lifestyle a go before I go back to school again. Do some heavy drinking, some heavy dancing and some heavy sleeping pilates, get a job and acquire some life experience.

This recipe is the first in the line of many (hopefully) on this blog due to the fact that this was the first recipe I engineered (fancy word, huh? impressed yet?) myself. Carrot cake is a classic and there are probably thousands of ways you can make it, everybody has different opinions. With or without raisins? With or without nuts? Should you grate the carrots finely or coarsely? Should you blanch the carrots before adding to the batter? It. Never. Ends.

This is my version and it is the only one I use, once I find a recipe I’m perfectly happy with, I don’t even glance at others (OK, not true, I glance, but I rarely sway). Happy baking!

Me being super focused whilst trying to pipe the cream cheese frosting correctly onto my sister’s birthday (carrot) cake. If you’re wondering what those blobs are on either sides of the “16”, they were supposed to be hearts… Yes I agree that my decorating skills need to be improved, luckily my relatives are not picky.

Carrot cake:

Metric/US

3 organic eggs

3dl OR 1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3dl OR 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (if you’re using vanilla extract, add it to the egg mix and not to the dry ingredients)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground (dried)  ginger

1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

150 grams OR 5.30 oz butter

1 pinch of salt

4 1/2 dl OR 2 cups grated carrots (I do not grate them coarsely)

Cream cheese frosting (to die for):

120 grams OR 4.25 oz softened butter

8 dl OR 3 & 1/2 cups icing sugar

1 teaspoons vanilla sugar

1 lime (zest and juice)

200 grams OR 7 oz cream cheese (philadelphia)

HOW TO:

1. Turn on oven to 150 degrees CELSIUS (OR 300 degrees FAHRENEHEIT).

2. Melt butter for batter – set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs and sugar until white and fluffy.

4. Combine flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder, spices and salt. Sift into egg batter and fold in.

5. Add melted butter and grated carrots.

6. Pour into a breaded tin (Round and spring sided with removable bottom and about 24 cm OR about 9.5 inches in diameter).

7. Bake in the middle of the oven for approx. 50 minutes. (When the cake is in the oven, you start making your frosting for later).

Check after half an hour and then every now and then to make sure it doesn’t end up to dry. (You may have to bake it for longer than 50 minutes though). Test with a cake tester, it shouldn’t come out sticky.

8. Leave to cool (it really can NOT be even slightly warm when you spread the frosting on it, but don’t go overboard and put the cake in the fridge or even freezer to cool – that will only make it dry. When the whole cake is done, frosted and all, you can store it in the fridge but make sure it’s covered or it’ll go dry and dull).

Really hard instructions for making the frosting:

1. Combine all the ingredients, whip until (kinda) white .

2. Let sit in fridge until set and no longer runny.

3. Spread/pipe onto your cake.

4. DONE.