Review; Quick Milk – Flavoured Milk Straws

The United states of America is one of the countries in the world that consumes the most flavored milk. It is certainly not healthy, but I am not going to lie to you – i love it. In it’s most artificial, sugary, plastic, unhealthy, fabulous taste.

I found this straws called Quick Milk at my local supermarket. They’re very similar to Got Milk? Straws. It’s straws with flavoring beads inside. They come in three different flavorings. Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate. I bought one of each and carried them home for some tasting!

All of them tasted great, and vanilla was my favorite! The sad thing that draws down the point is that the flavor fades rather quickly,  so when you’ve drunk half your glass of milk, the flavor is very weak.

Chocolate 3/5    Strawberry 4/5   Vanilla 4/5

 

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Strawberry Basil

For midsummer we made a variety of drinks, Moijtos, Blackberry Basil and Strawberry Basil. This is a very tasty drink and goes well to spicy bbq foods as well as a drink for dessert cheeses.


STRAWBERRY BASIL VODKA DRINK  serves  1
1 part Vodka
2 parts Club Soda/ Tonic Water
1 tablespoon sugar
3 strawberries
5 leaves basil

METHOD
Muddle the strawberries with the basil leaves and sugar in a highball-glass.
Fill the whole glass with (preferably) crushed ice and add vodka. Fill up with tonic water.

enjoy!

DEVILED EGGS

One of the most delicious appetizers are Deviled Eggs. If you like mustard and spicy food, you’re going to love these.

DEVILED EGGS    20 bites
10 already boiled eggs, cooled off.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup yellow mustard (I use french’s)
salt & pepper
cayenne

METHOD
Start off by halving the eggs and carefully take out the egg yolks with a spoon, without hurting the egg. Put all the egg yolks into a bowl and mash up with a fork. Add the mayonnaise and mustard and work into a smooth creamy batter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop of pipe (with a piping bag) the egg yolk mixture into the hollows of the egg and sprinkle with lots of cayenne!


No one will be able to resists these tasty, creamy and tangy eggs, if desired, add cayenne in the egg yolk mixture too, for spicier eggs!

Hot, hot, HOT wings!

As I’ve said before, It’s Midsummer here in Sweden and it has reached it’s perk. Everything plant is blossoming and there’s greens everywhere! And when you’re having a drink before lighting the barbie, it’s nice to have some finger food to snack on while chatting with relatives and introducing my love to everyone. Since my brother is really into spicy food, I figured something spicy, yet delicious, would be ideal.
SO: For Midsummer I made Hot Wings, which is kind of like Buffalo Hot Wings, but they’re baked – not fried. They are real easy to make and doesn’t require much effort. They’re best if you allow them to marinate in tabasco and other seasonings before baking them in the oven.

HOT WINGS RECIPE   serves 4-6
2 pound Chicken Wings
1/2 flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Marinade: 
2 ounces hot sauce (such as Frank’s, Louisiana or Tabasco)
1/2 cup rub spice mix  *see note*
1/2 cup canola oil (rapeseed oil)

Sauce:
4 ounces hot sauce
One stick butter (125g)

METHOD
Start of by cutting up your wings. Search for the joint and cut into winglets and drumettes. Put in a large mixing bowl.  Mix the hot sauce, rub and canola oil to a smooth marinade, pour over the chicken and refrigerate at least one hour, preferably over night.

Preheat oven to 350f/175c
Line a baking tray witch parchment paper. Drain the chicken and toss in flour combined with baking soda, lay out the floured chicken. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until fully cooked, turning once half way.
….Meanwhile: Prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, and add the hot sauce.
Take out the chicken and let cool slightly. Put the chicken into a bowl and add the sauce, toss, and serve!

You can make them up to two days ahead and later warm them up on a low heat!

To cool of your palette you can serve with vegetables and blue cheese dip!

*NOTE*: you can make your own rub buy using equal parts of Chiliflakes, Ancho Chili powder and Cayenne.

BLUE CHEESE DIP RECIPE
2 cups creme fraiche or thick yogurt
1/2 cup mayonaise
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt, parsley and pepper to taste!

It’s simple – put everything in a bowl, mix, taste!

Unhealthy amounts of calories and food coloring

Yesterday we celebrated midsummer in Sweden, which basically is a celebration declaring that summer has reached it’s perk  (the middle of sumer) and that it’s just going to get colder and darker from now on. I’m still at my mum’s in northern Sweden so we threw a huge party for family and friends. We cooked a lot (!), so I will post many recipes from midsummer for a while. I want to blog at least every other day, but since I am visiting my mum and have to be social and my boyfriend just arrived I really have to be social.  Just to stick to the topic: what have unhealthy amounts of cal’s and food coloring?   That’s Right! A classic southern Red Velvet cake. Delicious red and moist sponge with a light taste of chocolate coated and filled with Cream Cheese frosting. Of course, you can use buttercream, but that just leads to a really heavy and sugary cake.

But when made with cream cheese frosting, it’s light, but still heavy. It can be made up to 3 days ahead.


CLASSIC RED VELVET CAKE   8″ pan, Serves 6-8.
the sponge

2 1/2 cup (250 grams) sifted  flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups  granulated white sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup buttermilk  *see note*
2-4 ounces liquid red food coloring (depending on desired amount of brightness)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

preheat oven to 350 F/ 175C

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, the sugar and stir it together. Add the canola oil, buttermilk, food coloring and slowly add the eggs – one at a time. Whisk, preferably with an electric hand mixer.
Pour into an 8″ pan, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until a stick comes out clean.

Let cool, preferably over night.

TIP: For a clean cut layering and easier frosting, put the whole cake in the freezer for about 30-60 minutes before frosting

*NOTE*  If you’re in Sweden and don’t have buttermilk, you can use a high-fat milk and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the milk and let set for 15 minutes. Otherwise, use “filmjölk” or Soured Cream. 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 sticks (150g) unsalted butter, at room temprature2 cup icing sugar
16 ounces cream cheese   !! refrigerated !!

Cream the butter until it’s soft, and slowly add icing sugar. Then add the cold cream cheese, little at the time. The Cream cheese frosting will stiffen up in the fridge later on.


Frost your cake – DONE! :-)

 

Choc-a-holic?


Celebrity pasrty chef Eric Lanlard has a programme called Glamour Puds which basically is a programme about just pastries! He makes the most beautiful high-calorie desserts.

Eric Lanlard, master patissier and twice winner of the prestigious Continental Patissier of the Year at the British Baking Awards, has earned himself an international reputation for superlative cakes with an impressive A-list clientele and a global fan base.

Having trained in France, Eric moved to London where he ran the patisserie business for Albert and Michel Roux Snr. He stayed there for five years before launching his own business and now creates cakes for his South West London cake emporium – Cake Boy.                                www.cake-boy.co.uk

So two years ago I mage his Sacher and Raspberry Cake with Framboise Liqueur. This cake is very, very rich since it’s all made out of chocolate ganache, which is clear and simple – chocolate truffle.

SACHER AND RASPBERRY CAKE

  • 2 X 20cm discs of pre-made sponge cakes
  • * A handful of fresh raspberries (about 250g) soaked in Framboise.

For the syrup

  • 250ml water
  • 300ml Framboise liqueur
  • 150g caster sugar

For the ganache

  • 250ml double cream
  • 250g dark couverture, broken into pieces

For the decoration

  • 150g dark chocolate broken into pieces
  • 1 block of couverture for shaving
  • Handful of raspberries soaked in Framboise
  • Chocolate pralines.

METHOD

How to make sacher and raspberry cake

1. To make the syrup, place the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and stir till dissolved. Cool and chill in the fridge for 30mins.

2. Meanwhile, make the ganache. Place the couverture in a heat-proof bowl. Place the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil then remove from the heat. Pour over the couverture and stir until the mixture is smooth. Leave to cool.

3. Transfer cooled ganache into a piping bag.

4. Remove the chilled syrup from the fridge. Dip the sponge cake disc in the syrup and place in the base of a round 20cm springform cake tin.

5. Pipe a third of the ganache on top and scatter over a handful of Framboise soaked raspberries. Pipe another third of ganache over the raspberries.

6. Dip the second sponge disc in the remaining syrup and place over the raspberry and ganache layer. Pipe the remaining ganache over the top and smooth evenly with a palette knife.

7. Chill the cake in the fridge for 4 hours then remove it from the tin.

8. Decorate as desired.

Sweet ‘n sour, lovely Rhubarb!

Rhubarbs are so delicious and here in Northern Sweden you can find them in almost every garden there is. They are 12″ to 40″ and have a red/green/pinkish color with massive green leaves. If you like me usually lives in an apartment you can find Rhubarbs at mostly any well-sorted grocery store. The Rhubarbs stalks are very similar to celery but taste very tangy, sour and sometimes a bit bitter.

Therefore the most common way to cook rhubarb is to add sugar orsome other kind of sweetener. Cooked with sugar, the rhubarb tastes sweet and sour at the same time, delicious. You can also dip it raw into sugar. But the most common way to eat it is in pies or compotes. Serve it with whipped cream, ice cream, sweet yogurt or just as it is. Try to find thin stalks, they taste the best!

Rhubarb Compte  serves 4

3 cups chopped Rhubarb (= around 600g)
1/2-1 1/2 cup Sugar  (depending on sweetness)
1 teaspoon ginger *optional
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest *optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract* optional

2 tablespoons of water

Peel the rhubarbs (only roughly), Chop them nto 1/2″ bites and toss them into a thick saucepan. Add sugar, water, vanilla*, ginger* and lemon zest* and cook on a medium heat 15 minutes or until tender.

Serve hot over ice cream, or leave to cool. Goes well for desserts and pie fillings and even to duck and pork meat.

If you only add 1/2 cup of Sugar to the Rhubarbs, they will be quite sour, but not bitter. Add more sugar if you’d like it sweeter.

VEGAN: Cake


When you’re vegan or have a special diet cooking and baking can seem more advanced then usual, but let me tell you: It really isn’t. You just have to find good substitutes for dairy, eggs and other animal products. This is a raspberry-lime cake with a lime sponge with raspberry mousse and lime mousse

Cake
2 cups nondairy milk (I use soy)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
3/4 cup canola oil (rapeseed oil)
2 limes, zested
1 cup vegan lime curd (apple sauce works fine!)
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Fillings
Raspberry mousse
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
7 ounces fresh raspberries

Lime mousse
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 vegan lime curd (or lemon curd)
2 limes, zest and juice.

  Buttercream icing
1 3/4 cups vegan margarine, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, divided
splash nondairy milk, room temperature
drop food color, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For cake, add nondairy milk into a large mixing bowl. Put in the vinegar, vanilla sugar, canola oil, zest of 2 limes and lime curd. Whisk together and let sit for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile in another mixing bowl, put flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.

Sift the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix together. Grease an 8″ tin with removable edge with a little oil. Place the batter in the tin and put in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a stick comes out clean. Take out and allow to cool (it’s a good idea to make the cake before the day of usage).

For raspberry filling, take 8 ounces of the cream cheese and mix with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and the raspberries. Set aside. For lime filling, mix remaining cream cheese and remaining powdered sugar and combine it with the lime curd, lime zest and juice.

For icing, add margarine to large bowl. Cream the butter until soft and silky. Gradually add the powdered sugar to preferred sweetness. If too thick, add nondairy milk. Add food color, if desired.

To assemble cake, cut the cooled cake into 3 even layers. Place a mousse filling on top of each middle cake layers, in desired order. Place cake in fridge to let mousse set, 1-2 hours. Frost the entire cake with buttercream icing, and decorate as desired.

I’ve decorated my cake with blue buttercream piping flowers as you can see on the picture. I made this for my birthday last year. Enjoy!

Last minute Graduation Cake


Last night I arrived to my mothers residence in Northern Sweden. They live in a tiny village and today my baby brother had his jr. High School Graduation! Hooray!
So I threw together a last-minute cake that is easy, light and just screams Summer.
I made the cake out of pre-made sponge, (of course you can bake your own but I just did not have time to do so) and layered with box custard and blueberry cream which is really, really easy and taste amazing!

Just whip up 1 cup of heavy whipping cream so it’s quite stiff and add thawed frozen blueberries. You can use fresh too, but they do not release as much color as the frozen ones.

I frosted and piped the cake with heavy whipping cream (about 3 cups) and added lots of delicious fresh berries. It took less than 15 minutes to put this cake together and It looks and tastes like you’ve slaved in the kitchen forever!


ICECREAM CARAMEL HYPE REVIEW


MAGNUM INFINITY CHOCOLATE & CARAMEL
Wow. doesn’t in look amazing?! The picture certainly does! I was so excited for this ice cream, I really was because I love chocolate and caramel ice cream! But to be honest, I was really disappointed by it. Usually I love Magnum’s Ice creams but this one was just so boring. You see the caramel ripple on the picture? Well, it doesn’t exist in real life. It looks like this:

So boring and the taste was absolutely too powerful. I didn’t like it, at all.
It gets 1,5/5.

Ben & Jerry’s Core Karamel Sutra

Ben & Jerry’s have created an ice cream collection called Core. It’s two kinds of ice cream – divided(!) by lovely core of some gooey sauce. Me and my boyfriend bought Karamel Sutra, which is supposed to be a caramel ice cream and a chocolate ice cream with a caramel core. Unfortunately ours had melted and then got freezed again, so it was kind of misshaped. Though, the taste was amazing! Sweet and soft caramel ice cream and the caramel sauce were divine! The only negative thing was the chocolate ice cream. It was just chocolate ice cream, with some small chocolate chunks. Would have been better with chocolate fudge brownie-ice cream instead. Because it was not worth the price. Otherwise, YUMMY!
It gets 4/5

Simple non-bake Cheesecake

When it’s hot outside and you don’t feel like standing in the kitchen or if you need a quick and easy dessert with no extra fuss, then this recipe is for you!
You can easily change taste on this basic recipe by adding perhaps cacao, raspberry ripple, limes, or any other fruit. Since it’s not baked, the flavor of the added fruit won’t change.

Basic Non-Bake Cheesecake (in an 8″ pan)

the crust
250g cookies of choice
100g of butter

the cheesecake filling
1 jar (396g, 14 oz) of Condensed milk
900g of Cream cheese
5-6 leaves of gelatin
1 lemon, zest and juice

Melt the butter and crumble the Cookies, easiest done in a food processor and add the crumbles to the melted butter, stirring.

Take out your spring tin and place the cookie crumbles in the tin, you want to have a crust 2″ up the edge of the tin.  Place in the refrigerator to cool of.

Soften the gelatin by placing the leaves in a bowl of cold water.

Start of by putting the Cream Cheese in a large mixing bowl with zest and juice of a lemon. Using a spoon, soften the Cream Cheese but be careful not to over-mix!
Add the Condensed milk and fold it in to the Cream Cheese mixture.

Take out 1/2 a cup of the Cream Cheese mixture and heat it up slightly, add the soft gelatin and stir out the lumps.  Then add the gelatin cream cheese to the Cream Cheese mixture and stir carefully.

Add the mixture to the tin and voilá!

Let set in the refrigerator for at least 2h.

Here I made a twist by adding swirls of puré made out of 225g of raspberries and the zest and juice of one lime. I mixed it up with my electric hand mixer.

Hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as i do,

Cecilia

American Pancakes

Pancakes will definitely make your Sunday breakfast a little bit better. It’s easy and gives you a light luxury feeling a late Sunday in bed. Serve with butter and maple syrup for the authentic classic, or ice-cream and berries for a dessert feeling.

American Pancakes serves 3-4

1 1/2 cup of Buttermilk*
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract *optional* 
2 eggs
2 cups of flour
1/2 of  Canola Oil (or Olive Oil for a more “buttery” taste)

Add the wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk lightly. Then mix in the dry ingredients.
Let set in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. Fry your pancakes in a skillet on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side with a lot of butter so it doesn’t stick.
Serve with butter, maple syrup and some fruit.

* If you don’t have buttermilk or live in for example Sweden, where we don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by replacing the buttermilk with high fat milk and add 2tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar. And let thicken for 10 minutes, voila – buttermilk!

Cecilia 

VEGAN: American Pancakes

1Oh, so I enjoyed the vegan American Pancakes! This recipe is real simple and doesn’t require an hour in the kitchen. You can serve these ones with pretty much anything you like. I served mine with blueberries, pineapple, maple syrup and shredded coconut.

American Pancakes (The vegan Version) servers 2.

1 Cup of Non-dairy milk, (I use soy.)
1 Cup of Flour
3-4 tablespoons of fruit puré of choice, (I use applesauce.)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix *optional*
1 teaspoon of vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar *optional*
5 tablespoons of olive oil.

Start by adding Non-dairy milk, vinegar and fruit puré into a bowl. Whisk and let “set” for 5 minutes. Add the Olive Oil, pumpkin spice mix*, sugar*. Stir.   Then add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Fry your pancakes in a skillet on medium heat. Turn them over when you see bubbles forming on top (about 2-3minutes).
Enjoy and serve with maple syrup and fruit!
Cecilia 

Bulgur Salad

By adding some few ingredients to already cooked bulgur you can come up with a simple yet so delicious quick salad that goes oh-so-well with chicken, meat or simply as it is!

Bulgur Salad
2 cups of already cooked bulgur
1 handful of dried apricots
1 handful of chopped pistachios 
1 pomegranate, seeds only
some coriander leaves

Start off by adding the already cooked bulgur into a bowl. Chop the apricots, pistachios and coriander and add them to the bulgur.  Add the pomegranate and toss.

Enjoy this simple salad as a side dish, to meat, fish, or simply as it is!

Cecilia