Sunday, 27 January 2013

Madagascan Vanilla Paste Cupcake - Recipe

For the longest time I had issues with doing nice, well risen cupcakes. They often turned very low and flat. I told Helene about the issue and she asked which tin I use for them. I used one that I bought ages ago and it turned out to be a bun tin :)
I went to buy a cupcake tin and decided to make vanilla cupcakes. I was especially excited as I had recently bought Madagascan Vanilla Paste from Vanilla Mart. I usually use vanilla sugar, bought from Sweden, but Helene gave me the tip to use vanilla paste instead. I have tried a few of the cupcakes she used the vanilla past in, and they were absolutely delicious. The recipe I used for these cupcakes are Mary Berry's perfect Victoria sandwich. But halved the recipe as I used her recipe to bake cupcakes and not the actual cake.

115 g self raising flour
115 g butter
115 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste (from Vanilla Mart)

1- Start by preheat the oven on 180 C degrees.
2- Beat the butter and suger in a bowl until creamy. Then add one egg at a time and mix for 10 seconds each. Add the vanilla paste and mix well.

3- Sift the flour and baking powder and fold it gently into the wet mix. 

4- Spoon the mixture into paper cases until half full in a cupcake tin. 

5- Bake them in the oven for 22 minutes until golden brown. You can now let them cool on a wire rack and then add a frosting of your choice, but we just ate them together with a nice cup of tea and it was such a difference from any vanilla cupcake I have had before. The vanilla taste was so delicious.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Prawn Cocktail with a twist - Recipe

During the weekend, I did a 70's classic dish, the prawn cocktail. This classic retro starter was perfect to have as a light meal as we had a late brunch on Saturday. The prawn cocktail does remind me somewhat of a Swedish sandwich, ägg- och räkmacka (egg and prawn sandwich), which I have not had for sometime now and will definitely make soon. 

As I like to change recipes slightly I did this prawn cocktail with a twist. So this is by no means any classic recipe for the prawn cocktail. It is, however, a very straightforward recipe and super easy to put together as nothing needs to be cooked really. 

I was inspired to do this dish when I went with husband to the restaurant chain, Giraffe. I ordered their prawn cocktail and it had a delicious and tangy bbq-ish taste with tortillas in it and I simply loved it. Just had to give it a go myself. I love Giraffe simply because they offer a variety of international dishes and I always find something new and tasty to try out. That is really a chain that I like to visit often. Besides, the prices are quite ok.

The recipe

Lettuce, few leaves, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
2/3 cup of light mayo
few drops Worcester sauce
0,5 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
1 cup prawns, peeled and cooked
2 tbsp lemon juice

1- I used frozen prawns so I quickly stir fried them with some smoked paprika and black pepper for few minutes and put them to aside.

2- I diced the avocado in 1 cm pieces and added lemon juice over, as it prevents it from turning brown. I mixed it with the diced tomatoes and added some salt and pepper.

3- In a bowl, I mixed the mayo, ketchup, Worcester sauce, barbecue sauce, smoked paprika and black pepper. Then I added the prawns to the mayo mix and mixed well.

4- Last step is simply to put everything together in 2 glasses. I put layers of lettuce in the bottom of the glass, added a layer of avocado and tomatoes as well as a layer of the mayo mix with prawns. Sprinkled some smoked paprika  and dried dill over it as well.  I served it with a toasted bread. 

It tasted really good and that bbq sauce added a tangy and pleasant twist to it. This will definitely be a meal I will do often when i want something fresh, light yet creamy and quick to make.


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Light Chocolate Cake with Coconut and Almond Glaze

Chocolate and coconut is a combination that can never go wrong and an all time favorite flavor combo of mine. Just think about the bounty chocolate bar. My next cake recipe is a light chocolate cake with a sweet and delightful coconut and almond glaze. It is quite an easy cake and doesn't take much time at all. I hope you give it a try.


Ingredients for the cake:
100 g caster sugar
100 g self-raising flour
2 eggs
100 g butter
2 table spoon coca powder
1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla paste

Ingredients for the glaze:
4 dl desiccated coconut
3 table spoon roasted almond flakes
1 dl golden syrup
1,5 dl sugar
2 dl double cream
50 g butter

1- Begin with whisk butter and sugar for the cake until creamy in the consistence, then add one egg at a time and whisk for 10 second each. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.


2- Sift the flour, vanilla sugar and cocoa powder and fold it in the wet mix. Then put it in a cake tin (see above photo).

3- Bake the cake for about 15 minutes until done. Check with a knife if it is done or not. 

4- While the cake is baking in the oven you can make the glaze. Simply add all the ingredients in a sauce pan and on medium heat. Let it come to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.


 5- Take out the cake when done and spread the coconut glaze over it and put it bake in the oven for another 12 minutes until golden brown.

                                                    I like to serve it with a glass of milk :)

Enjoy !

New Year's Day Dinner - A Bird with Side Dishes

The Christmas holiday was just what I and the family needed. Gave enough time to rest and try new recipes! On the new year's day we decided to make a big family dinner. We all had different ideas and recipes to try out and couldn't make up our minds. So, we ended up doing different appetizing dishes that would tickle everybody's taste buds.

We began by going to the butcher to pick a big and luscious turkey. Now I have not purchased a whole turkey before so I was not sure if it was a turkey or a big, massive chicken we bought.  But, it looked nice and that was enough for us. We bought it the day before and marinated it with butter, spices and herbs. The bird was in the oven for over 3,5 hours and when it was time to cut it up, there was a huge debate whether it was a turkey or a big chicken. Since I couldn't make up my mind, I simply called this dinner for: A bird with side dishes.

We roasted the bird in the oven for few hours, then added carrots and potatoes in the same oven dish. The flavors were heavenly. For the side dishes we made:
- bruschettas with tomato and mozarella cheese
- nice green salad with iceberg salad, tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumber and paprika
- stir fried tomatoes, aubergines, mushrooms, paprika and onions
- hummus and tzatziki
- salmon and cream cheese canapes
- baked pasta

Everything tasted really good and we were stuffed after the dinner. We rounded of with leaf tea and some nice sweets and played charades. It was a lovely day with family and definitely needed. 
I will at some point post the recipes we used for this dinner.