Saturday, 29 June 2013

Coconut and Banana Cream Cake - Recipe

The past few days I have been very ill and got a terrible cold. So being in bed for most of the time, I had plenty of time to check video clips of my favorite youtube chefs. One of them is Stephanie Jaworski (Joyofbaking) who gives step by step instructions of how to bake various things. I checked several videos of different pies which she demonstrates. Her Banana Cream Pie looked very luscious and decadent, so I decided to give it a go myself, but as usual put my own little twist on it. 


I love the combination of coconut and banana, and therefore use both of these flavors, as well as chocolate and vanilla cream. Usually a pie is based with a shortbread crust, but I skipped this part completely and used a medium flan case, which tastes just like a layer of sponge cake. You can usually find them in the baking section in most supermarkets. This particular one comes from Sainsbury's. I wanted my cake to have a nice and fluffy base and not a hard shortbread crust as I am not a big fan of them. If you can not find one of these flan cases, you can always make a sponge cake and cut it in 2 layers and use one of them. Then, I did a vanilla cream by using the Marsian cream which is instant vanilla cream from Sweden. But you can make any vanilla cream you like and use it. I also made a very light coconut caramel sauce for this cake. A few easy steps, but what a lovely and decadent cake!!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 flan case (or a pie crust)
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp doouble cream
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1/3 of dark chocolate bar
1 big banana, diced
1 cup vanilla cream
1 cup whipped cream
coco powder


Method:
1- Begin with making the light coconut caramel sauce. In a sauce pan, add all the ingredients for the sauce and mix well: coconut, double cream, golden syrup, brown sugar, vanilla sugar. Stir the mix on low heat until light brown and put a side.


2- Make your vanilla cream or pudding. If you cant do any of them you can even use a very good quality custard. If it is to runny, mix in few spoons of whipped cream to make it light and fluffy. 



3- Dice the banana in thin slices. Warm the chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds until you can stir it into a smooth and spreadable consistency. Start the first layer of the cake case by spreading the melted chocolate on.


4. Let the chocolate set a little and then spread the coconut and caramel sauce on top of the chocolate layer.



5. After the first 2 layers, spread an even layer of the vanilla cream. Add the diced banana on top of the vanilla cream and press a little so it sets properly in the cake case and has vanilla cream around the banana slices.



6. The last layer of the cake is the whipped cream. You can either spread it on like I have done or pipe it nicely. Sprinkle some cocoa powder in the end and put the cake in the fridge to chill so all layers sets. 



7. Serve the cake with a nice cup of tea or coffee.



My inspiration for this cake comes from Stephanie Jaworski's Banana Cream Pie. She is a great inspiration for me when it comes to baking and I have tried several of her recipes by following her great youtube channel Joyofbaking1. Helene gave me the tip to follow her videos when I was not so successful with my cupcakes in the beginning of my baking trials. From then on, I always check her videos first when I bake as she usually always have a demonstration of anything I would like to bake. 


Enjoy!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Homegrown Herbs

My 1,5 year old basil plant

Being outdoors is a passion of mine and my family tries to go outside as soon as we have time and the weather allows it. I can't wait for the day we have a garden for me to be outside and start plant and get busy with the garden. We don't have a garden at the moment, but that doesn't stop me from planting things.

So far I have a 1,5 year old basil plant in the windowsill. Since we love pasta, I wanted to have fresh basil at home all the time. So, one day I bought a basil plant in soil from Sainsbury's and after use, replanted it in a bigger pot. I put the pot in the windowsill and it did not require a lot  of my time or attention at all. It turned 1,5 year. But now it is dying and i need new plants for my windowsill.



 I googled around the web and found really nice inspiring photos of homegrown herbs in the windowsill and now I cant wait to take on this project. First, I have to decide what plants to have indoors, and I am pretty sure of basil, coriander, rosemary and chives.


 However, there are so many different kinds that you can grow indoors. Will also need to purchase pots and compost and the actual seeds or herbs that are already planted in soil from one of the supermarkets. As the later alternative proved successful, I will probably go for that one. Will see how it goes, will keep the blog posted as soon as I have started! I think whoever that can grow indoor herbs, should definitely give it a go, as I found it very expensive to buy fresh herbs, so why not plant the ones you use the most at home. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Baked Potato with Creamy Swedich Chicken Curry Mix (Kycklingröra) - Recipe

You will find The Creamy Chicken Curry Mix with a baked potato in almost every restaurant or cafe in Sweden. It is a favorite among many, for lunch and dinner. Although it is not the most healthy option, I used to eat it a lot when I went out with friends. I miss having it on the menu here in the UK. But, it doesn't stop me from making it, so here is a very tasty recipe of these chicken curry mix. You don't necessary need to eat it  with baked potato, it is an excellent filler for a baguette to take with you to school, work or for a  nice picnic, as it is eaten cold.

Serves: 3

Ingredients:
2 chicken breast
1 tsp curry powder
1 dl mayo
2 dl greek yoghurt or add more if needed
2 tbsp Swedish cucumber relish (Boston Gurka mix)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1,5 tbsp curry powder or more if needed for the mix
1 red onion, diced
1 red paprika, diced
few sugar snaps, diced
2 dl sweet corn
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika powder
2 tbsp oil
3 big baked potatoes


Method:

1- Start by cleaning and dicing the chicken breast. Brown it in 2 tbsp oil on high heat and season it with salt, pepper and 1 tsp curry powder. Once done, put it aside.


2- Wash the onion, sugar snaps, paprika and sweet corn and dice them up. Put them in a bowl that will not get stained due to the curry powder. Add salt, pepper to taste as well as the 1,5 tbsp curry powder and mix. 


3-  Add the mayo, yoghurt, paprika powder, more curry powder if needed as well as the cucumber relish and mix well.



4- Once the creamy mix is ready and the chicken has cooled a little, add the chicken to the creamy mix.



5- Serve the creamy chicken mix with a hot baked potato.



Enjoy!

Masala Dabba - Indian Spice Tin


I love spices and try to acquire spices from every corner of the world in which I attempt to cook from. Usually, I buy a lot of different spices during my trips, like Ras el Hanut from Morocco or the 7 Spice mix and Kebab mix from Kurdistan. During my cooking I always use spices, other than salt and pepper, as to my taste I find it bland to just use these basic seasoning elements. The most frequent spices that I use, other than salt and pepper, are usually paprika powder, dried parsley and garlic powder. 

Masala Dabba
To my delight, I have discovered the Masala Dabba. This is a around stainless steal Indian spice tin with 7 small inner pots which is used to store 7 different spices in one place. When me and husband went to Southall few weeks ago, I saw this spice tin and decided to buy one for me as I love to cook Indian food and would love to have those spices that I use often in one place, to save time and space. If you use a set of spices quite often, this spice tin is excellent to use as you don't have to open up several jars to season your food. You simply have your masala dabba handy and take a little from each spice pot. 

Most Indian household will have one of these spice tins storing their most commonly used spices. Now I am sure that every Indian household will have their own special set of spices in their Masala Dabba and when reading about them, I found that you can use it to store almost anything you like; different spice mixes, whole leaves or whole or ground spices. The most used set of spices that I found online included: coriander, cumin, chilli, garam masala mix, turmeric, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamon and mustard seeds. I think this is an excellent gift to somebody who loves cooking and like to experiment with different spices. I have previously given away spice racks which included different spices to friends and family and they were very appreciated gifts. Therefore, I definitely would recommend one of these Masala Dabba in your kitchen.


My Masala Dabba includes the spices that I use the most in my Indian cooking as well as when I cook other cuisines. These spices are: Garic powder, turmeric powder, a mix of cumin and coriander powder, fenugreek powder, garam masala, ground ginger and mustard seeds. 



I just used it to make my lovely tikka masala, time to go and serve!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Prawn, Egg and Mayo Sandwich (Räkmacka) - Recipe

The Swedish Räkmacka is a very famous sandwich with prawns in Sweden and found in almost all cafes and and places that serve food. It is a favorite sandwich especially when you are traveling or on a road trip. I have eaten it countless times whenever we went somewhere and wanted to grab something quick and filling in a nice cafe on the road. My favorite place to eat the prawn and egg sandwich has to be when we used to take the ferry to Denmark.

This prawn, egg and mayo sandwich is an open style sandwich, which is the case of most sandwiches in Sweden. I am used to that and like it that way. It is also more healthy, as your sandwich has less bread if you want to go for less carbs. It is very easy to put to together and takes no time to make. To me, the bread for this specific bread has to be the Swedish Polarbröd which is a round compact sandwich bread, yet very soft and juicy and perfect for the prawn and egg sandwich. The closest I have seen here in UK is the Warburtons Soft Sandwich Thins. It has same texture and similar soft and juicy taste.


Serves: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

4 warburtons sandwich thins
1 cup of cooked and peeled prawns
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
lettuce
lemon, sliced
dried dill
orange paprika, sliced
mayo
roasted onions
butter

Method:

1- Spread some butter on each sandwich.



2- Wash the vegetables and boil the eggs to your taste and slice everything.


3- Start to arrange the vegetables on each sandwich. Sprinkle some of the roasted onions on the buttered bread and place the lettuce on top of it. Continue with the some mayo, tomatoes, paprika, egg slices and some more mayo. Finish of with the prawns and some slices of the lemon. Sprinkle over some dried or fresh dill.



Enjoy!