Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kardamummaboller/Kardamummabullar/Cardamom buns - Swedish Cardamom Rolls

Boller, Bolle or bulle means Sweet buns, the attraction of Swedish Coffee time or fika. Swedish Fika aka Coffee breaks is like Chinese Tea time, it is intertwined with their daily lifestyles. They say, it is very common to meet a friend/or getting to know a person, over coffee and a bulle than beer for the weekend. It is said even many companies have coffee meeting rituals in the afternoon. Wish i was born there!!!
Coming to today's attraction, cardamom buns, oh my i drool as i spell that name. There are variety of bulle's the popular being Kanelbullar/Cinnamon buns and the next Karademummabullar/Cardamom buns. These can be made with chocolate, raisins too. 
I have tried those sweet cinnamony buns previously for We Knead to Bake event. These buns are inspired from the same recipe. I have used the same measurements, just replaced the cinnamon filling with cardamom filling.
I must say, the whole family fell in love with this cardamom bun, we were in a state of trance! Every bite in to this soft, sweet, a bit sticky buns transported us Forth & Back to Heaven & Earth. No, i m not exaggerating the taste. You must taste it to believe it!
Do remember to remove the outer cover of the cardamoms and take only the seeds  and make a powder of it. If you are going to follow this recipe you might need 1 tbsp of cardamom seeds. I have used my mortar-pestle to powder them. 
The sponge is made of whole wheat flour, so i have added 1 tbsp of gluten, if using All purpose flour, skip that part. 
The sponge is made the previous night and rested for 8 hours in the refrigerator. This makes it easy to make these buns for the next day morning or evening snack. Do try and let me know how you loved them.
Reading Sources here, here and here
For the Sponge
1 cup Whole Wheat flour
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm milk

For the dough
1 cup Whole Wheat flour
all of the above sponge
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder, freshly pounded
3 tbsp butter

For the Filling
5 tbsp butter
4 tbsp brown sugar
1.5 tsp cardamom powder, freshly pounded

1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cardamom powder


  • Heat everything until the sugar melts, keep it aside until use. Better to make it at the end, so it is still warm when you brush the buns with this.
For the sponge

  • Mix in all the ingredients for the sponge. Since i have used whole wheat flour, i needed 1 cup milk, if using all purpose flour, you might require only 1/2 cup milk. Mix all the ingredients together, stir using a wooden spoon.
  • Refrigerate the contents overnight. The flour will double in volume, so make sure the container is big enough to hold it.
To make the dough.
  • Next day remove the sponge from the refrigerator an hour before making the dough. I have used my food processor to make the dough. 
  • In the food processor, add all of sponge, wheat flour, sugar, cardamom powder and start kneading. As the dough starts to form, add the butter and knead for another 2-3  minutes. Remove kneaded dough on to a well-oiled bowl. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, make the filling. Mix all the ingredients together and keep aside until use.
  • AFter the resting time, dust the working surface with flour, roll the dough into a rectangle measuring 15x30 rectangle. I made the mistake of stretching the dough too thin, so the buns were flat. 
  • While rolling the dough i made the mistake of stretching it too thin, so my buns weren't fluffy, but little flat. But neverthless the taste was spot-on. So remember even if you dont follow a scale, do not stretch it too thin.
  • Spread the filling on to the rolled out dough. fold the dough into half. cut the dough itno 8-10 strips. 
  • Cut each strip ressembling pants,leaving one end intact. Twist each strip and roll them into a ball, tuck the loose end under the roll, resembling a cute bun.  

  • Repeat the same with rest of the dough strips.  Let the buns rest for 10 minutes. Brush the top of the rolls with milk.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Once done, remove the rolls from the oven, Brush the top with warm syrup, let it rest on the wired rack. Serve them warm with coffee.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Risalamande - Danish Rice Dessert with Almonds and Cream- Christmas Dessert

Risalamande, means rice with almonds, a traditional Danish Christmas Dessert. Love the simplicity of the dessert, the pudding as such doesn't have any sugar, it is served with warm cherry sauce and while serving little sugar is added. Every spoon of this pudding is filled with chunky almonds and aromatic vanilla. 
What made me make this delicious pudding is the ritual behind it. This rice dessert is served after Christmas Dinner, while sitting around the Christmas tree, exchanging  gifts, though the recipe contains lot of chopped almonds, while serving, a whole almond is hidden in one of the bowls served. Whoever gets that whole almonds gets a gift. I m trying to imagine the scene there, what fun it would be, keeping in mind the Christmas spirit,  I bet bowls of pudding would get finished hurriedly just to get that whole almond.
This fun game is what made me do this yummilicious dessert. We loved the pudding, my mom and dad loved the taste, they were surprised to that something similar to our pal payasam is made in the Nordic Culture. 
My hubby loved the warm sauce on top and the tangy taste the fruit sauce gives to this yumm pudding. A rich dessert, fit for the festivities and also for the fun.

Recipe Source Nordic Food & Living
For the Rice pudding
1/2 cup short grain rice
1 litre full fat milk
1 pod of vanilla

For serving Risalamande (Makes 4-5 serving)
20 almonds, blanched
125ml heavy cream
2-3 tbsp sugar
Cherry sauce/I have used strawberry sauce
Let us make the Rice Pudding first.
  • Wash the rice once or twice. Take it in a heavy bottom pan, add milk to it and let it cook in a medium flame until rice cooks well. 
  • While the rice is cooking, cut open the vanilla pod, scrape the seeds and add to it. You can also add the scrapped pods to it, this will give a nice aroma to the pudding.
  • Cover and cook, this will speed up the process. Keep stirring often, as the rice might stick to the bottom and burn. Once the rice turns soft. Take it off the flame. It was like a thick porridge, this will thicken even more as it cools.  Refrigerate until serve
To make the cherry/strawberry sauce
  • I didnt have cherries, so made a strawberry sauce. Add 10 strawberries and 4 tbsp sugar along with  2 cloves, and a cinnamon stick to a sauce pan.
  • Let it cook in its own juices for 10-12 minutes, once the berries/cherries lose their shape and turn all mushy, take it off the stove
Blanching the almonds.
  • I usually soak the almonds for  4-5 hours and then remove the seeds. If making in a hurry, add almonds to boiling water, take it off the stove. Let it sit for 2 minutes. Drain the almonds, rinse it once with cold water, they can be easily skinned.
To serve Risalamande
  • Chop the blanced almonds roughly. Whip the  cream and add it to the pudding, along with sugar and almonds. Serve the pudding in individual bowls topped with more almonds and warm cherry sauce.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Agurk Salat - Danish pickled cucumbers

I normally do Week 3 and Week 4 of our regular marathon, this time the themes i chose were available only in week 2 and week 3. So it is kind of back to back cooking for me at home. Next month we are running a mega marathon, 30 days of cooking, i m doing mega BM after a 1.5 years, though i had the list ready a month before, i have started cooking only this week. 
My mom and dad are here with me, my mom feels i m always in the kitchen, 😃 she doesn't know that i m cooking ahead, if she finds me cooking and posting the same day  for the Mega BM, she would think my husband is torturing me everyday😅
Coming to today's recipe, i chose Scandinavian cuisine for Week 3 of BM. The plus of this cuisine is you have a wide spectrum of cuisines to chose from. Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Danish and Estonian cuisine. Now having so many choices makes you dizzy most of the times, to put myself away from that misery, i chose simple recipes to showcase. I have a bread planned for tomorrow, hope i get time to make it. I have few bakes from the nordic cuisine in my kitchen here, the flavorsome pulla bread, Kanelboller/Cinnamon Buns, colorful st.lucia buns, Swedish Tea ring.
Today's recipe is a simple cut and pour one. These pickles will be ready in an hour. They taste yumm as such, usually served along meat dishes, to give that neccessary acidic taste, i bet they will be yumm with sandwiches too. We have many such vinegar pickles in our cuisine, let us add this cucucmber pickles to that list. Do try and let me know how you liked it.

2 no’s Lebanese cucumbers
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, pounded
2 pinches of salt
  • Wash the cucumbers well. If you prefer, you can peel the cucumbers, but I have left it as such. I have used a 250grams jam bottle. Make sure the bottle is clean. Slice the cucumbers thin. Fill the jar with sliced cucumbers.
  • In a saucepan, take vinegar and add sugar, heat the solution until the sugar dissolves. I added 2 tbsp of water to dilute the strong flavor of vinegar. Take it off the heat. Add  salt and pounded pepper to the solution.
  • Let the solution sit for 5 minutes, and let it cool. Pour the solution into the cucumber bottle. Let it sit for an hour minimum. Keep it refrigerated and serve it along with meat dishes. These pickled cucumbers can be used in sandwiches too. They will stay good in the refrigerator for a week.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Neapolitan Sauce/Napoli Sauce

When life gives you tomatoes turn them into variety of sauces😆. I bring you yet another italian sauce with tomatoes. I  must say, that i m trying this neapolitan sauce, for the very first time. They are slightly different from the pizza sauce i made 2 days back. The tomatoes are blanched first, skin removed, and then cooked in their own juices along with little garlic and basil.
A simple sauce, i bet they would taste amazing with pasta. I tossed this sauce with rice noodles today, which was our dinner. Both the mint pesto and this sauce tossed with simple rice noodles vanished in minutes, the flavors were awesome. Do try this and let me know how you liked it.

Inspired from here
2 large tomatoes
1 fat clove of garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tsp dried basil or few fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1-2 tsp olive oil
  • In large pot bring water to rolling boil, make small slits on top of the tomatoes and let them sit in the hot water for 10 minutes for their skin to blister.  After 10 minutes, carefully remove the tomtoes using tongs, and place them on a flat plate, take care they will be super hot.
  • Let it sit for 2 minutes, then carefully peel the skin , mash the tomatoes roughly. Heat a sauce pan with olive oil, add chopped garlic to the oil, let it cook for a minute.
  • Now add the roughly chopped tomatoes to the garlic and let it cook in simmer flame in its own juices.
  • The sauce would reduce to a thicker consistency, add salt, sugar and herbs to it. Let it sit for 5 minutes more. Take it off the stove.
  • The sauce can be blended smooth or can be left chunky.i used my potato masher and mashed the tomates roughly, i got a sauce that is neither too smooth nor chunky. 
  • Let the sauce cool completely, store it in an air-tight container in refrigerator. Use it with your favorite pizza/pasta/sphagetti. I used it today to flavor our rice noodles and we loved the flavor.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mint pesto - Fresh mint and almonds Sauce/Chutney

I feel it is partiality if i don't do a pesto while celebrating the italian sauces as this Week's BM theme here in my kitchen. Classic italian pesto, is pounded in a marble mortar and wooden pestle made with basil/herbs, pine nuts, garlic, cheese and salt. I m not sure whether adding almonds or walnuts are modern way of making your pesto flavorsome or simply a cost cutting measure, i for sure do the latter. 
I recently made a coriander and mint pesto with walnuts, i love adding walnuts to pesto as i feel they give more creamy texture to it and in that process i add little less olive oil to my pesto. Today i bring you a fresh, flavorsome mint pesto, using almonds. The freshness of mint will just engulf you the moment you  taste a spoon of this green goodness. 
Pesto's are my favorite for another good reason, they are pretty easy to make, just dump and blend. I love such simple recipes, i sometimes cheat my friends and family by doing tons of such simple recipes when they come for lunch/dinner and they keep wondering whether i m a lady ravan(Hindu Mythology Ramayan Character) with 20 hands!!!😆
Ok, coming to the recipe, i made a small batch of this pesto and used it immediately to flavor  Rice noodles for dinner, it was finger-licking good, do try and let me know how you liked it.

Inspired from here
3 fistful of mint leaves
10-12 no’s almonds, blanched
2 fat cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp peppercorns
Salt to taste
  • Clean and wash the mint leaves. I have used 1 medium bunch of mint leaves, which when the stalks are removed will yield around 3 fists full of leaves. Sorry didn’t measure the exact amount, when I do  will update the post.
  • Take the mint leaves in a spice grinder or small jar of your food processor, add garlic, blanched and skinned almonds, pepper and salt.
  • Process until it turns to a coarse paste, do not add water while doing, add 1 tbsp of olive oil at a time and process the pesto.
  • Remove the coarsely ground pesto into a separate bowl. Toss it with your favorite pasta or add it your spaghetti and enjoy this flavorsome mint pesto.

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