MARGARETA – the name of the day

Smultrontårta 4

In the Swedish calendar, every day has a name or two, male or female, associated with it. The week that officially starts July 18 and ends with July 24 contains six women’s name in a row. First up is Fredrik though – I suppose he sees himself as the cock in the henhouse when followed by fabulous and honorable ladies like Sara, Margareta, Johanna, Magdalena, Emma and Kristina. The Swedes call it fruntimmersveckan or the ladies’ week. Or less nice, pee-week, as it is statistically proven to be one of the wettest weeks of the year.

This is also the week when weeklies are overflowing with delicious recipes dedicated to the cock and his hens.

Today MARGARETA was the name of the day, and Margareta, that’s me! So this is my treat, an ordinary sponge cake, nothing fancy, with raspberry and blueberry jam between the layers and covered with whipped cream. On top of that, freshly picked wild strawberries, and served with a nice cup of black coffee. Can’t be much better!

Smultrontårta 1_redigerad-2

Smultron 3_redigerad-1

So, if you have a Johanna, Magdalena, Emma or Kristina among your loved ones, why not surprise them with a homemade cake or tarte on their day.

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The Cinnamon Bun Day

Living above a bakery and café might have its advantages. In our case that means underfloor heating for free (from the ovens below) and a flat that is often filled with the heavenly smell of freshly baked rolls and buns. Quite disappointing though for unexpected visitors, as we rarely have any baked goddies to offer. On the other hand we can just run downstairs and buy something sumptuous – and at a discount!.

Those of you who have browsed through a Swedish almanac / calendar know that it not only lists Swedish names for each day of the year but also marks days of certain importance like the King,s birthday (!), International Women’s Day, May 1st etc. Today, Oct 4th, is another of those special days, a day dedicated to the cinnamon bun, the Cinnamon Bun Day.

The cinnamon buns are an almost daily feature of Swedish life and you will find them in cafés, on the go with a cup of coffee from “Pressbyrån”, at home and at the “fika-paus” (coffee break) at work.

The baker below us has kneaded his dough and baked his buns since 3 am this morning to be ready to meet the queuing mass at 6.30. No one wants to miss the opportunity to indulge a cinnamon bun at work today.

I myself made mine last night and here is my version of them, or versions actually.

One dough – three kinds of buns

Three kinds of buns

Basic dough 

  • 50 g yeast
  • 500 ml of milk (cold)
  • 200 g butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 50 to 100 ml sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • approximately 1.5 liters of flour

Methods, common for all three

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  • Crumble the yeast into a bowl and dissolve in a little milk.
  • Add the butter in small pieces, sugar, salt and cardamom.
  • Add flour and milk alternately, a little at a time and work the dough in a kitchen aid for about 6-8 minutes.
  • Place the dough on floured surface and knead lightly and divide into three parts.
  • Roll out one portion at a time into a rectangle about 300×400 mm.

#1 Cinnamon Buns

cinnamon buns

Filling

  • 100g butter
  • 50 ml sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Methods

  • Spread the butter evenly over the dough.
  • Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and roll the dough lengthwise and finish with the seam down.
  • Cut the roll into 2-2.5 cm wide slices and place in paper cups.
  • Let rise in warm place for 2 hours.
  • Brush with beaten egg.
  • Reduce oven heat to 225 degrees and bake for about 8 minutes or until the buns are golden.

#2 Cinnamon and muscovado buns

Muscovado buns

Filling

  • 100 ml muscovado or brown sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar

Methods

  • Mix all ingredients with a hand blender.
  • Cover half the dough with the butter mixture and fold over the other half.
  • Cut the dough into 15 mm wide strips.
  • Twist the strips and form a knot.
  • Place in paper cups and let rise in warm place for 2 hours.
  • Brush with beaten egg.
  • Reduce oven heat to 225 degrees and bake for about 8 minutes or until the buns are golden.

#3 Appel och coconut buns

Apple and coconut buns

Cut the rolled out dough into Squares, 80×80 mm.

Filling

  • 50 g butter
  • 1 1/4 dl coconut flakes
  • 3 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 2 tbps sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Melt butter, add the remaining ingredients and let the mixture get warm.

Topping

  • 75 gr butter 50 ml sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 75 g almond flakes or chopped hazelnuts

Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. Let simmer until the mixture thickens.

Methods

  • Spoon apple and coconut filling on each square and fold up the corners and pinch.
  • Place in paper cups and let rise in warm place for two hours.
  • Brush with beaten egg.
  • Reduce oven heat to 225 degreees and bake for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the plate and spread the topping over the buns and continue baking for another 4-5 minutes or until the buns are golden.

Buns in a basket

Anniversary celebration in the company of Tosca

Today, I was suddenly reminded by WordPress that a year had already passed since I published my first post on Cookies & Beans. That means I’m celebrating my first Anniversary as a blogger – and as a blogger blogging in a foreign language! Wow!

It has been an exciting (and educating) year that has given me a lot of new ideas and inspiration along with new world-wide friends. Thanks a lot for heart warming comments and “likes” and a special thank you to Conor Bofin on One Man’s Meat who was the very first one to comment on my first post. He seems like a nice guy and is great not only with words but also with ingredients as well as the camera, so please, take a peek at his blog and judge for yourself.

As a non-native writing in English it has been kind of nerve-wracking and I wouldn’t be honest if I said there haven’t been any problems. Some days they are piling up mountain high just feeling insuperable. How do you create a flow in the text in another language, and how do you get an entertaining and humorous tone when you do not know the nuances? Not to mention translating certain idiomatic expressions. A piece of cake, maybe, but would it be “a piece of cake” for you to understand what I mean if I say “easy like a plot”? Because that’s the word for word translation of the corresponding Swedish expression for just “a piece of cake”. Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes the result can be quite funny and sometimes just so wrong.

Speaking of cake, what is the first thing that comes into your mind when someone mentions the word ‘Tosca’? Yes, probably Puccini’s opera Tosca. And if I add the little word ‘cake’ to it, like ‘Tosca cake’? Would that sound like music to your ears too? To me it does though, and that’s what I’m going to make for my Anniversary celebration – a delicious Tosca cake, also known as ‘Swedish Almond Cake’.

Tosca cake

The Tosca cake is one of three very classic Swedish soft cakes. The other two are the Ambrosia cake and Kronan’s cake. I have searched on the Internet for the origin of this Tosca cake recipe and if there is any connection to the opera work Tosca. Was the creator of this cake an Italian baker maybe, inspired by Puccini’s music or perhaps by the beauty of Flora Tosca? Unfortunately I can’t tell, I haven’t found any answers confirming my theories.

Tosca cake

Toscka cake

Ingredients

  • 150 g butter
  • 200 ml sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 50 ml hot water

Almond topping

  • 50 g butter
  • 50-75 g flaked or chopped almonds
  • 100 ml sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions
Heat oven to 175 °

  1. Stir butter and sugar fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and stir vigorously.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar.
  4. Add water to the batter, then flour mixture.
  5. Grease a cake tin with a loose rim, about 1.5 liter, and coat with crumbs
  6. Pour batter into cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Almond topping

  1. Melt the butter and stir in the almonds, sugar, flour and milk.
  2. Heat the mixture while stirring until it starts to thicken, no longer.
  3. Spread the topping over the cake and bake for another 10 minutes.

Toscabit

Tosca cake and coffeeNow it’s time to lean back in your armchair or sofa with a nice cup of tea or coffee and let a piece of Tosca make wonders for both your body and soul.

Raspberry caves

Raspberry caves, or hallongrottor as we call them, is a Swedish classic pastry cookie filled with raspberry jam, and commonly found in most bakeries and cafés as well as on the Swedish coffee table.

Raspberry caves

Ready to eat and enjoy in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients

Makes 40-45 cookies

  • 250 g butter
  • 1.5 dl of sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 – 4,5 dl flour
  • 1 dl Marsan powder (this is a Swedish product for making custard sauce and may be difficult to find in other countries. Can be replaced by corn starch + 2 tsp vanilla sugar)
  • Raspberry jam, solid (or other favorite jam) for filling

Tips: If you want to hot these cookies up a little extra you can add 1,5 dl coarsely chopped hazelnuts before starting the food processor.

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degree C.

  • Cut butter in chunks and mix with the other ingredients except for raspberry jam, preferably in a food processor.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out into two logs.
  • Cut each log into 20-22 pieces.

  • Roll the pieces into balls and place in small baking cups placed on a baking sheet
  • With your thumb, press a rather large indent in each ball and fill with raspberry jam.

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies so they won’t burn.