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December 27, 2012

Frozen meringue cake

This was our Christmas cake along with cranberry cheesecake. I spotted it in the latest Glorian ruoka ja viini (Gloria's Food and Wine) -magazine. It turned out pretty, but the taste was a bit too coffeeish for my tastebuds. Would work for total coffee lovers, though!


FROZEN MERINGUE CAKE

Meringue layers (4 layers):
6 egg whites
2 dl sugar
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
50 g dark chocolate

Espresso yoghurt filling:
1 can (500 g) Bulgarian yoghurt
6 egg yolks
1 dl sugar
2 dl milk
1 dl water
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
3 tablespoons cornstarch (e.g. Maizena)
20 g butter
2 dl whipped cream
chocolate truffles

Using air circulating oven is preferred, but if using a regular oven, the meringue layers should be baked in two lots. Set the air circulating oven in 100 C, the regular in 125 C.

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Put the yolks into a small bowl and cover with cellophane. Put the whites into a big bowl and whip for a short while until foam starts to appear. Add sugar and vinegar into the foam. Continue whipping for about 8 minutes until the foam is firm and shiny and the foam tops are sharp when lifting the mixer up. Cover two baking trays with baking paper. Use e.g. a plate to draw 2 circles (diameter 18 cm) on each paper. Divide the foam into four parts and put it inside the circles. Don't spread the foam yet.

Cut the chocolate and melt it in a bowl either in a hot water bath or in a microwave in low temperature (mix every now and then) for 1-2 minutes. Run the chocolate on top of the foam piles with a spoon. Flatten the mounds to match the sizes of the circles with a spoon. Don't flatten too much to make the chocolate stay in beautiful stripes. Bake the meringue layers in air circulating oven in two levels for about 1 1/2 hours. Let them cool down.

Make the filling. Pour the youghurt into a sieve covered with a filtering paper. Lift the sieve on top of a bowl and let the yoghurt drip while making the rest of the filling. Put the yolks, sugar, milk, water, instant espresso powder, cardamom and cornstarch into a saucepan. Heat it up while mixing until it reaches boiling point. When the first bubble comes up and the blend turns into kissel, lift the pan off the cooking plate. Add butter into the pan and mix until melted. Let the blend cool down. Mix it a few times to prevent crusting. When the blend is cool, combine it with youghurt. Whip the cream and mix it with the youghurt blend.

Fill the cake. Lift a meringue layer on a serving plate and spread 1/3 of the yoghurt filling on top. Repeat twice. Place the fourth meringue layer on the very top. Put the cake in freezer and let it freeze during the night. Take the cake into room temperature about 2 hours before serving. The cake should be cold but not icy. Decorate with chocolate truffels.

December 23, 2012

Christmas cookies in a jar

This is  a nice Christmas present idea. I fell in love with the taste of these cookies so already made another set using white chocolate not bad! 
 The whole week has been crazy running from one place to another. Finally it's time to relax and enjoy the holidays. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! <:P


CHRISTMAS COOKIES  (in Finnish here.)


100 g soft apricots (soft cranberries might make a nice variation)
2 dl (100 g) pecan nuts
100 g dark chocolate (white or milk chocolate also worth trying!)
3 dl wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
100 g butter
1 dl sugar
1 egg
2 table spoons light syrup

1. Cut the apricots, nuts and chocolate into crushed grain. Mix flours with baking powder and spices.
2. Froth butter and sugar. Add the egg while frothing. Add syrup, flour, and crushed grain. Mix the dough until even.
3. Make 30 cm long bar of the dough. Wrap it in cellophane and let harden in fridge for about 2 hours.
4. Cut the bar into 1 cm slices. Place the slices on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
5. Bake in 175 C in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the slices get a bit brownish. Let the cookies cool down and harden on the tray.

December 16, 2012

Snowy cupcakes


GINGERBREAD COCONUT CUPCAKES

150 g margarine
1 1/2 dl brown sugar
2 eggs
3 1/2 dl wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons gingerbread spice (I mixed cinnamon (1/2), clove (1/4) and ginger (1/4))
3/4 dl milk or cream
100 g vanilla quark

On top:
2 dl whipped cream
250 g mascarponse cheese
1 dl powdered sugar
1 dl coconut milk
coconut flakes

Whip margarine and brown sugar together. Add eggs one by one. Mix dry ingredients together and add them into dough with milk/cream. Add vanilla quark. Bake about 12-15 minutes in 200 C. Let the cupcakes cool down.

Topping:
Whip the cream until foamy and mix with other ingredients (except coconut flakes). Extrude the frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle coconut flakes on top.

 ...........

What makes my week is a day off in the middle of it. Especially if you get to spend the night before (the night you don't need to worry about going to bed early) with good friends you haven't seen for a while. AND if this all takes place in your friend-couples' beautiful new home you have been looking forward to see. Take a closer look at the house and the decoration style at Kaisa's stunning blog No home without you.

So, we gathered together on Independence day's eve and I was asked to take care of the sweet munchies. I knew Kaisa has a lot of black and white in her decoration, so decided to make cupcakes that fit in :). That sealed the deal with black papers and coconut flakes on top. And since Christmas is coming up, gingerbread flavour seemed a good choice for the dough. The gingerbread cupcake recipe is from the blog Kinuskikissa,  but I switched the gingerbeads on top to coconut topping, which is my own variation. This flavour combination was quite ok, but the outcome was a bit dry, these "snowy" treats tasted better after a night in fridge.

December 9, 2012

Gingerbread and giggling

Pre-Christmas parties are just the best! You get to gather together with closest friends, eat Christmassy treats (Christmas spices and flavours are the best ones!), burn candles and perhaps zip a few glasses of glogg or red wine. My pre-party season started in the last weekend of November. It was nothing planned, just asked a few friends to come over and made something nice to munch. 

Usually you can find a lot of party clothes at this time of year, since it's supposed to be one of the biggest party seasons. Yet I ran through several stores and found nearly only outerwear and jumpers. I was looking for something a bit festive but not too fancy. I found this fishnet top at Vero Moda, where I don't actually shop too often. It looks pretty basic, but when taking a closer look you see a hint of metal on the surface of the fabric.

Vero Moda tank, Gina Tricot jeans, Zara heels, vintage snakeskin clutch.
Pink vintage snakeskin clutch from Beyond Retro, Stockholm.
Vintage tiger-bracelet from 80's, my favourite one, from Flea Market Valtteri (which doesn't exist anymore, R.I.P.)
Blue cheese & persimmon gingerbreads: simple and fast but pretty and tasty!
Dolling up for the night.

December 2, 2012

Second hand shelter for winter winds

I think I've mentioned it before: a thrift store tour in Mikkeli is rarely a lost errand. Last time I found this brown leather jacket with fur hood. I really like how the leather is worn in places. Usually when you see these kind of loose fit vintage jackets in flea markets the size is 42 or up. So I was lucky to find this one in 36.

Ok, winter, bring it on!