Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Gul Kake

..or Yellow Cake, as it were should you translate it to English.

In Norway, this cake is also called "Suksessterte" which basically means success tart. It's wonderfull, almost macarroon-like base is the beginning of something good...always.

My mum bakes this to perfection, but since she's back in Bergen and I am here in Glasgow, I gotta make sure I'll keep the tradition alive, eh? And I don't mind that at all!

The first time I tried to make this, I undercooked the egg-custard frosting, and this time? I cooked it for a minute too much and it curdled slightly, I have pinky promised myself that next time it will be perfect. I know what to look for now! Overnight though, thankfully the custard frosting set, and come the following day - it was pretty much spot on!

With only a few ingredients, and a little patience, you'll have an amazing cake in no time! The base also cools down fairly quickly, so you don't have to wait for long until frosting it.

Gul Kake
(Makes 1 cake)

I crushed some "Smash" chocolate from Norway to top it with!

For the base:
4 egg whites (save the egg yolks in a bowl covered with water and a little sugar, ready to use for the frosting later, keep refrigerated until then)
200g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the frosting:
4 egg yolks (the ones you set aside)
100ml milk
100g sugar (I used light brown)
100g light butter for stirring in

- First, pre/heat the oven to 175-180ºC.

- Now, in a bowl, whisk your egg whites stiff, and then add the icing sugar, before folding in the ground almonds along with the baking powder. Pour it into a cake tin (about 18-22cm diameter) and bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the surface is nice and crisp. Set aside to cool.

- Once the cake has cooled (about 20 minutes or so later) you can get cracking with the delicious egg custard frosting! Melt the butter and set aside.

- Heat the milk, egg yolks and sugar in a small saucepan over a medium low heat and whisk almost constantly for 5-10 minutes. Once it thickens, take it off the heat to prevent it from curdling - and stir in the butter, wait until it cools a little before frosting the base.

- Serve as it is, or with melted dark chocolate drizzled sparingly over it, or scatter some chopped nuts or crunchy sweets on top (I used the infamous Norwegian Smash! chocolate, yum!) For ideas, you can optionally google "suksessterte" soooo many beautiful examples there! I just prefer them a little plain, s'all ^ ^

I hope you like this as much as I do!

Oh, and today, I had the pleasure of having a little bottle of blackberry sparkling wine delivered to my door, now how about that? Remember the blackberry trip I went on with some friends? Well, turns out the most enthusiastic blackberry picker of the lot had a hard time finishing all the blackberry wine he made and needed a little help from his friends. And holy smokes - it was delicious! I used a little bit for braising some venison I got at a bargain, and the sweetness really shone through in the gravy I made for it. The wine itself though - so good on its own! Come to think of it - it would even have been really nice on the evening cake was had, mmmm ^ ^

I hope you have a great week so far! I myself had a trial shift yesterday which went well, but sadly not well enough, so now I'm a-looking for a job still, and making the most of my spare time. Also, I have become addicted to the Great British Bake-Off and over the course of a few evenings I have caught up on the most recent episode, like I said - making the most of it. I have done a lot of cooking and seen friends too, it's been good! Now I gotta turn on the "job search mode" button though, wish me luck!

Original source:
Iris (Grandmother's sister <3 )

- Jules aka Yellow Cake Addict

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Quinoa Ocean

Right, I reckon it's time for another one of those one-pot wonders now that we are in the Autumnal equinox and it is getting a little chillier outside.

I opted for quinoa instead of rice in this recipe, and I found a really handy "fish pie mix" of fish that I used which had cod, haddock and trout or salmon in it, it worked really well here, but you can choose to only use white fish or all around salmon, it'll be delicious either which way!

It's not a shows-topper, but more like one of those deliciously hearty feel-good stews that hits the spot any day you're in the mood for seafood.

Quinoa Ocean
(Serves 2)

1 small onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
400ml light coconut milk
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp vegetable stock (or one cube)
50g quinoa, uncooked
150-200g cod, haddock or salmon, cut into chunks (or use a mix)
100g green peas, frozen works a treat!

Optionally serve with some good bread for mopping, mmmm!

- Start by softening the onion and garlic in a casserole with a little oil for about 5-10 minutes until soft. Then pour in the coconut milk, stock and curry powder. Give it a good stir and make sure the seasoning isn't lumpy.

- Quickly rinse the quinoa and have it in the pot along with 100ml water. Cover and cook for about 12 minutes until the quinoa is soft, stir once or twice during this time.

- Now, add a little more water it the casserole is a little too thick, stir well, and add the fish and the peas. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with some bread for mopping and enjoy!

The weather is amazing today here in Glasgow, and so I thought I would feature a picture of the flowers I got from my friend the other day, aint they purrdy?

I have managed to do quite a bit today, mostly enjoyable things. I met up with a friend of mine and we went to this little market at Hillhead Bookclub where I bought a few bits and bobs, all handmade! Another friend of mine was having a stall there, so it was extra special this time - I'm so proud of her! We also enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Inn Deep outside in the sunshine by river Kelvin followed by a walk in the Botanic Gardens. Tomorrow I have a trial shift (fingers crossed!) so I'm just going to have a relaxing one. Also, I might have become addicted to the Great British Bake-Off, so I predict/fear that my evening will be spent catching up on the previous episodes, ooops!
Have you been up to much this weekend?

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 22

- Jules

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Rocket-Science Flatmate Rye Bread

Several times now I am sure I have told you about my flatmate's excellent bread making skills. In fact - it is so good that the other night when he had made an extra loaf from a batch I managed to eat almost all of what was left of it (toasted and with peanut butter...can you blame me?!). So! The next day, I decided that I would make it up to him by practising my own baking skills.

I have tried a few different varieties of bread and rolls over the last few years, but this time, I decided to try and do it the good ol' way, where science and fresh yeast is required, and then - I got stuck in! I asked my flatmate for some advice with the ratio, and then just took it from there. For the yeast, I used 50g fresh, but it might need a little more to rise even more.

Rocket-Science Flatmate Rye Bread
(Makes one bread)

300g strong white bread flour
200g fine rye flour
1-2 tbsp black onion seeds (optional)
1 tbsp runny honey (can swap for 1 tbsp sugar, to feed the yeast)
270ml lukewarm water (37ºC aka when you tip a drop onto your hand, you shouldn't feel it)
50g fresh yeast
1 tbsp (extra-virgin) olive oil

- Start by mixing the flours and onion seeds (if using) until combined, make a well in the middle.

- In a pot, heat up your water and oil until it reaches 37ºC. Take the pot of the heat and crumble the yeast into it and stir until it is dissolved. Pour into the well in the flour and add the honey/sugar. Stir well to combine, knead lightly and let it sit in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours until it's almost doubled in size (rye doesn't rise as much as normal flour).

- Now, punch the air out of it, knead it for about five minutes, and place in the breadpan (if using) and leave it to rise for a further hour.

- Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC, place a shallow tray with a bit of water in to allow the bread to steam slightly, place the bread in the middle of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, lower the temperature slightly (160-180ºC) and bake for a further 30 minutes to get that lovely crust fully developed.


Leave to cool slightly before serving...

Also, I wasn't sure whether or not to label this vegetarian/vegan, as it has yeast in it, perhaps some of my veggie friends can give me a little more insight here?
If you're only baking for yourself, why not slice it up and store in in the freezer for some other time? Just pop them in the toaster and they'll taste almost newly made again, mmmm ^ ^

What is your favourite bread recipe?

PS. I wrote a little mindful post about bread here some time ago.

Recipe by yours truly (with a little help from my friend)

- Jules

Thursday, 25 September 2014


Here's another one of those pesky Norwegian recipes. I made these for my birthday yesterday, and they actually turned out really well for a first attempt!

These lovely sweet buns with a hint of warming cardamom, with a custard cream center, finished off with icing and dessicated coconut - surely that is a lot of good things in one go?

"Skoleboller" means school buns, and if you skip the dessicated coconut, they'll be "Sommer boller" - Summer buns, because of the little sun in the middle.

I had to use two recipe references here, as the recipe for the dough used a store-bought custard filling, whereas it is SO easy to whip up that you might as well make it yourself!

PS. If you live in the UK, you can usually get fresh yeast in the Polish shops (I always go there for either that or kefir, or both!), lovely people *smiles*

(Makes 10-12)

For the dough:
600g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp baking powder
325ml milk
100g butter, melted
50g fresh yeast

For the custard filling:
1 egg
100ml milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tbsp cornflour

One egg
Icing made of icing sugar and a bit of water
Dessicated coconut

- Start by making the dough: Mix all the dry ingredients in a big baking bowl, and make a well in the middle.

- In a small pot, melt the butter on low heat and add the milk, once it reaches 37ºC (you can dip your finger into it and almost not feel the liquid because it is body temperature). Take the casserole off the heat and crumble the yeast into it, stir until it is aaaaall dissolved. Pour into the well and make a dough. Kneading it until well combined. Place in the baking bowl covered in the warmest spot in the house/flat/whereveryouare (my spot was in the cubboard with the boiler - why have I not thought of that before?!).

- Leave it for about hald an hour until it has doubled in size.

- Now, pre-heat the oven to 225ºC.

- On a floured surface roll out the dough in 10-12 pieces and roll them into little buns. Place them on a baking paper clad baking tray and repeat with the remaining buns. Make a little well in the middle (like with thumb-print cookies only a little bigger).

- On to the eggy custard! Have all the ingredients for the custard in a little casserole, and whisk it free from lumps, nice and smooth. After about 3-5 minutes it will thicken. Don't worry if it curdles, that's OK. Just take the pot off the heat and whisk in another splash of milk. The custard can be a little lumpy anyway, cause it's going into the well! Take one teaspoon's worth of the custard and place it in the well. Let it rise for a second time for another 10-15 minutes.

- Brush the buns with the egg, and place in the middle of the oven and bake the buns for about 12-15 minutes until nice and golden. Cool for a little bit.

Work station!

- Now comes the fun part! Make icing by using a cup or two with icing sugar and a little bit of water. Have a bowl of dessicated coconut next to it. First dip the top of the bun in icing (unless you wanna use a frosting bag and do it a little bit tidier - that's totally cool!) and then in the coconut - simples! Set them aside and let the icing dry a little, before serving.

Ta-Dah! (This was after I had quality checked, and thus there might be one missing...) Sweet, sticky fingers and happy faces is what you get if you prescribe them a skolebolle ^ ^

I cannot think of much that beats a nice, warm, sweet pastry on an early Autumns eve! What is your favourite bake, and have you tried these before?

I am so happy and humbled by how many people turned up to celebrate with me last night, and I couldn't have asked for a better present! I hope you have a great day *smiles*

Original source:
Haugesund Husmorsskoles Kokebok, p. 96

- Jules

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Dressing a lâ Iran & a Quarter of a Century Old

Today, I am a quarter of a century, and I feel - old...

I also went for a run this morning, and it was a bad idea - I didn't do that well and simply blamed it on turning a year older, not the fact that I haven't been running in...three months. I told myself that after though, and felt a little better for it. Yesterday I made a Norwegian cake that I will be sharing with you in the very near future, so keep your eyes out for it! Today I'm gonna get my baking on before having some friends over. I use this day as an excuse to invite people so I can feed them, and get my baking on - there's only so much cake I can eat by myself, and besides - it tastes SO much better in good company!

For now, I'll give you the recipe for a delicious little accompaniment that I made the other day. If you like yogurt based dressings, you will hopefully like this one as much! It has that subtle flavour of the sesame oil which works really well with the mint and currants, mmmmm.

The other night, I had a proper sit-down to think of what foods I actually have in the flat, searching for recipes that would only require for me to buy one or two things in order to make something.

Browsing through this really nifty recipe book I have, I came across a sauce, or a dressing more like, and I had all the ingredients AND was feeling peckish. Bingo! I found a lost little courgette in the fridge that I sauteed in a little bit of butter, garlic, salt and some dill (adding a bit of Scandi-ness to it all...) and served it topped with this delicious dressing, yum! The sesame oil in it really adds that extra flavour that makes this mix stand out. It was adviced to have it with salads and rice in particular.

I down-sized the batch and made enough to serve one to two people, it depends how much rice or salad you have that needs topped with it I suppose.

PS. I also added a bit more of everything in the dressing, because it looks and tastes nicer that way!

Dressing a lâ Iran
(Serves 1 to 2)

3 big tbsp or 100ml low fat natural yogurt
A squeeze of lemon juice
A few fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 heaped tbsp dried currants
A good pinch of salt

- Simply combine everything in a small bowl and garnish with a few extra mint leaves for show and serve with salads, or swirl through the rice to give it a little bit more of a flavour.

Like I said, I only had this as a snack and topped some fried courgette with it, and served it along side some home made rye bread and egg salad. You know what it's like when you are hungry and want - everything! Sometimes you just have to give in to it. And this time, it worked a treat! I will definitely be making this again, mmm.

This made for a delicious evening snack, and I managed to squeeze in my fifth vegetable for the day - score!

First guests arriving in approximately six and a half hours, and I am exciting! Gotta get my baking on soon, that will also be a Norwegian recipe, as I found the other week that despite having these biased cravings of lovely fluffy sweet baked goods, I usually find a recipe for someone else. Time to go back to my roots, gotta mix it up a little bit!

Wishing you a lovely Wednesday!

Original source:
Friske Oppskrifter, p. 26

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Berrylicious Stir-Fry Lunch & Blackberry Chia Jam

Greetings good people! How are you doing?

Remember a little while ago when I mentioned I had been picking blackberries? Aye! Since then, I have managed to make a blackberry and Autumn fruit crumble (a little too tart for the blog, I need to practise as it certainly had potential and only needed a little bit of syrup really!), blackberry and chia jam, and on the day of the foraging, I whipped up a light meal almost as soon as I had frozen some berries and put the rest in the fridge.

Stir-fry with BERRIES? You better believe it, and it was pretty tasty too, if I may say so myself. For a main meal, I would suggest cooking up some noodles to have with it, and add some soy sauce, and oyster sauce with the vegetables and bacon when frying it up.

Berrylicious Stir-Fry Lunch
(Serves 1 person who feels a little peckish and has bacon that needs used)

1-2 tsp sesame oil
A splash of soy sauce
1/2 onion, chopped in whichever way you prefer
100g sugarsnap peas
3-4 rashers of bacon, trimmed of fat and chopped
A handful fresh blackberries

- Simply heat oil in pan with some soy sauce and soften the onions along with the bacon until the onions are done and the bacon is the way you prefer it.

- Now add the beans and sautê for a minute or two, you still want them to be nice and crispy but be lightly covered in the oil and get a bit of that flavour. Turn off the heat, swirl in the blackberries, and enjoy!

Chia jam!

Also, if you are wondering about what ratio I made the blackberry-chia jam (vegan!), it was 2 cups of berries, 3 tbsp xylitol/sukrin gold/brown sugar and 1 big tablespoon of chia seeds. Smash the berries, and then stir in the sweetner and seeds. Make sure it is well conbimed before storing in an airtight jar or container, it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, just like your normal berries would. Delicious on top of porridge, pancakes, or maybe as part of a filling for cupcakes?

Have you been picking berries or other such things this year? And do you have any tips what to use the remaining blackberries I have in the freezer?

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Creamy Vegan Chocolate Soft Serve

Good morning and happy Sunday!

Need your chocolate fix? Want to be healthy? Vegan? Arenotveganbutwouldntmindbeingadventurousinthekitchen? Need comfort food? Fed up with me thinking of thinks that might appeal to you?

OK, if you wanna tick one of more of these, then you are in for a right good treat, as I have finally come to make a deliciously creamy, chocolatey, healthy vegan soft serve. Let it sit in the freezer for an hour or two longer, and you have icecream!

It's easily doubled, tripled, or made up for a crowd - but maybe in the latter case DO share some with the others, yeh?

This recipe ticks off THREE (yes, three!) of tour five a day...in one serving, and is deliciously cocoa-y (because sometimes that is a word). Four ingredients, a bowl and a stick blender - it's all you need *smiles*

Creamy Vegan Chocolate Soft Serve
(Serves 1)

1 medium banana, peeled and chopped
1 medium avocado (about 100-150g)
5 dried dates, torn into pieces
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)

- Simply have all the ingredients in a bowl, and whizz smooth with a stickblender. Now you have a sort of vegan chocolate mousse. Transfer to a container that can stand in the freezer and leave for about an hour for soft serve, a couple of hours for icecream.

- Once frozen to your liking, take it out and servie with whatever toppings you want. I reckon dessicated coconut og chopped nuts with some syrup would be delicious, but I simply enjoyed it eu natural, with a little waffle heart on the side.

This contains a lot of healthy fats, plenty of vitamins, and it tastes absolutely delicious! You can have this as a dessert or even for lunch, seriously - enjoy!

I'll be making this again, probably really soon...like...tomorrow - hooked!

I also bought some mini poppadums the other day -

Next to them is an egg, just to show you how small they really are! I have been dry-frying them in a pan until they bubble up and go golden brown, perfect for dipping into guacamole, hummous or basically any other dip you can think of!

Today I'm going to see two of my friends, enjoy the sunshine and just....live! T'is Sunday after all *smiles* And you? I hope you have a lovely day! What is your favourite ice cream recipe?

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules