simple cake, take 1 (pineapple & coconut)

I’m a great believer in simplicity and I don’t necessarily think using shortcuts is bad if the result turns out good. So when I found a recipe for a cake that didn’t even require shaking, just baking, of course I had to try it!

The original called for canned pears and lemon cake mix, and it was good, although I found the lemon cake to give a sort of artificial flavor to the cake. My mind immidiately started whirring with possible alternatives and I’m still in the process of trying them out. So far, I’m not sorry to say, they’re all freakin’ delicious!

This, a pineapple/coconut-cake was the first variation I tried.

You’ll need:

1 can of pineapple bits in juice (app 500 – 600 g) including about 1/2 cup of the juice!

1 package of cake mix (plain)

1/2 cup coconut flakes

50 g butter

And here’s how to:

1. Spread the pineapple bits evenly over a  pie-form.

2. Mix the cakemix and the coconut flakes. Spread the mix evenly over the pineapple.

3. Pour the juice evenly over the cake.

4. Melt the butter. Spread it evenly over the cake.

5. Bake in the oven for 40 min at 175 °C/350 °F.

Let cool slightly and serve with ice cream. If kept in the fridge, it’ll keep fresh for days thanks to the “stickiness”. Once it’s cold, it’s splendid on its own.

beetroot salad

After a few weeks of Internet-deprivation, I’m now online again. It’s nice, but actually the time off-line hasn’t been all bad either. One of the nicer things was this salad. Enjoyed with a nice glass of cold white wine out on the patio, it was a definite culinary hit!

You’ll need:

1/4 kg beetroot

lettuce (I used marché and rocket/aragula)

200 g goat’s cheese

quinoa enough for two people

roasted pine nuts

And here’s how to:

1. Peel the beets and cut them into wedges. Boil them until soft (app 30 min).

2. Prepare the quinoa according to the instructions on the package.

3. Rinse the lettuce and spread it on a platter.

4. Spoon the slightly cooled quinoa over the lettuce.

5. Place the beets on top.

6. Cut the cheese into pieces and spread it evenly over the beets. It’ll melt slightly, which is exactly the point.

7. Sprinkle with oil and some balsamic vinegar. Add some pepper and salt and finish by spreading some pine nuts over the salad.

creamy rhubarb strawberry pie

This is me cooking at my most typical: I wanted to make a strawberry rhubarb pie because those are the most “summery” fruits I can think of. For some reason I was dead set on making a filling with almond paste. So I walked down to the store to get the things I needed and returned with no almond paste. So what do I do? Go back and get some? No, I go: “Hmmm, I wonder what I could substitute for it?” And then I came up with an entirely new recipe that I had no idea if it would work or not, which is a risk considering that I was going to bring it to a party a few hours later

Anyhow, it worked, cos I’m a genius!

You need, for the dough:

100 g butter

1 cup flour

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp water

And to make the filling you need:

150 g rhubarb

300 g strawberries

1 1/3 cup sourcream

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 vanilla pod

1/2 tsp cardamom

Here’s how to:

    1. Add the water and mix until it’s a smooth dough.
    2. Put the dough into a pie form and press it until it covers it and about an inch of the sides. Put in the fridge.
    3. Cut the rhubarb into slices.
    4. Slice the strawberries too.
    5. Put the fruit in the pie shell.
    6. Mix the sourcream with the sugar.
    7. Cut open the vanilla pod and scrape out the content usinf a teaspoon. Add it to the sourcream.
    8. Add the cardamom.
    9. Finally, whip an egg into the mix and beat it until thoroughly mixed.
    10. Pour the mix over the fruit.
    11. Bake in the oven for app 40 minutes at 350 °F/180°C.

    Let cool. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream or plain as it is.

    vanilla sugar

    Sure, you can buy ready-made vanilla sugar or vanilla essence, but quite frankly, why? It’s not as if making your own is very hard and believe me it tastes so much better!

    You need:

    A jar (if it’s pretty that’s naturally a big plus)

    A vanilla pod cut open and with the content scraped out (as it will be if you use it in a recipe)

    Sugar

    Here’s how to:

    1. Put the vanilla pod in the jar (yes, it’s OK to squash it to get it in).
    2. Fill up with sugar.
    3. Put on lid and wait for approximately a day.

    You now have your own vanilla sugar that is excellent when baking, in coffee or in almost any dessert. Personally I kinda like it sprinkled over Greek honey with some strawberries for a really simple dessert. Like you could do that with vanilla essence! 😉

    strawberry dream

    So, today is Midsummer’s Eve here in Sweden and that makes it almost compulsory to eat strawberries in one form or the other. This dessert contains a lot of strawberries, is easy to make and tastes absolutely divine (but then, anything with strawberries and cream normally do).

    You need (per person):

    1 shortbread (I used Walker’s but if you’re up for making your own, more power to ya!)

    app 4-5 strawberries (depending on size)

    a little Cointreau

    some vanilla sugar or sugar and vanilla essence

    whipped cream

    Here’s how to:

    1. Grab a glass
    2. Crush the shortbread
    3. Chop the strawberries and sprinkle a few drops of Cointreau on them and just a pinch of vanilla sugar.
    4. Mash the strawberries, making sure to make it really lumpy. There should still be whole pieces chopped strawberries in there!
    5. Put the crushed shortbread on the bottom of the glass.
    6. Put the strawberriies on top.
    7. Top with whipped cream.
    8. Feel like a domestic goddess and, since it’s Midsummer’s, reward yourself with a drink!

    some candy talking…

    As a kid I used to love candy necklaces. Admittedly, they didn’t taste that much but they were so pretty and I just loved gnawing on them. I hadn’t seen them for years and then this Saturday I spotted some in my local grocery store. I had to pick them up! They proved very useful when worn to a music festival later that day. After two hours on the rail, the sugar was a welcome boost!

    halloumi wraps

    Yay, summer is finally here! All those long, dark winter nights have been replaced with light and sun and warmth! Well, with light anyway, becuase the past few days have been horribly cold. But last week when the weather was fine we had a nice picnic by the water with wine and these very easy to make and easy to bring wraps.

    If you’re not familiar with halloumi, it’s a salty cheese from Cyprus that that has a very unique texture. Since it has a much higher melting point than oridnary cheese, it’s perfect to grill – it turns out nothing like your ordinary grilled cheese! If you haven’t, you should find some and try it. It’s delicious!

    Balsamico syrup is one of those things I over-use. I’m crazy about anything slightly acidic so I’m a huge fan of vinegar. This way, however, you get some of the tartness of a vinegar but with a lot of added sweetness and the texture of, say, mustard, which makes it much more easy to manage.

    You need (per person):

    1 tortilla (mine was flavoured with garlic and herbs)

    1 tbsp cream cheese

    lettuce

    5 cocktail tomatoes, coarsely chopped

    some spring onion, chopped

    100 g halloumi

    balsamico syrup

    a little olive oil

    salt, pepper

    How to:

    1. Rinse and shred the lettuce and chop the tomatoes and the onion.
    2. Slice the halloumi and grill it in a frying pan in a little oil until it is golden.
    3. Spread the cream cheese over the wrap and put the lettuce, tomatoes and onions on it
    4. Add as much balsamico syrup as you like and add a little salt and pepper.
    5. Finish by putting the slices of halloumi on top and wrap it up.

    Now, put on your bikini, grab a wine bottle and a blanket – and head out into the nice summer weather!