Tag: baking

Kladdkaka update– HOT!


I just had to let you know– I made the Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake- Kladdkaka– last night and added 1 tsp of piri-piri infused oil (fairly intense heat). It was AMAZING. Really amazing. Ecstasy. It was like the perfect marriage of molten, sugary sweet chocolate and liquid red hots

It isn’t for everyone. My Man wasn’t a fan. He doesn’t like chili pepper in all things, as I do. Also, the combination of chili and chocolate, or sweet and salty, or many things we do in the US– these things aren’t common in the Portuguese palate. Then again, I simply don’t abide citrus in baked goods, so we all have things, right? Still, he didn’t dislike it so much that he couldn’t enjoy two slices. ;P

With this one, I recommend 20 minutes at 175C/350F. Top with loads of powdered sugar. It also freezes very, very well…and because it is so gooey and liquid, it is very easy to slice off a piece when frozen…and eat it on the spot. I checked today. For science.

Nonetheless, if this sounds good to you–this spicy, devilish cocktail of love– then I recommend you try it ASAP! It’s duct tape for the soul.

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Chocolate and Sugar fix– Swedish Sticky Cake/ Kladdkaka


Along with Tibetan Flatbread, falafel, chana masala, pizzas, and healthy cakes, this delicious sugary chocolate bomb has been making regular appearances this baking season.

It’s awesome. If you cook it too long, it is like awesome brownies. If you bake it just long enough, it looks like the photos in the pretty photo blog. If you undercook it, it looks like goo, so don’t do that.

I have been using my 10 inch non-stick springform pan for this one, and I’ve learned something. “Non-stick” doesn’t apply when eggs or an obscene amount of sugar are involved. Parchment or baking paper, tucked right on into the top of the pan, not only saves you serving woes and clean up hassle, but it also looks rustic-chic when you are serving this greatness. Hurray for that, aesthetes!

I have been using this recipe. I chose it because of the very, very pretty pictures, and because the proportions seemed like they would best work with my size pan. The ingredients and photos here are great. However, my most awesome iteration of the recipe only came when I used tips from other pages, like here.

Basically, you need to know-

  1. Whisking the dickens out of the eggs and sugar makes for the best crispy glazed top on the cake you could want.
  2. Whisk your flour, too…because lumps are a pain in the ass, and you don’t want them in the wet mix. Over mixing does bad things to the cake. You’ll end up with a sort of rubbery, dense, unhappy (but let’s face it– still tasty. Chocolate, fat, and sugar. It’ll still work!) cake.
  3. You then gently fold in the flour to this glorious whisked wonder.
  4. You add the cocoa and the vanilla to the melted butter, and whisk to dissolve.
  5. You then add the melted butter mixture to the sugar/eggs/flour mixture.
  6. Adding some cinnamon or even–gasp— some cayenne makes it just that much sexier. Because “mexican chocolate” stuff is fun. I’m sure Sweden is cool with it. Don’t worry.
  7. A dash of coffee in the mix works well, too. I recommend instant. (Less drama with liquids).
  8. 350F for 30 minutes is a bit too long for the gooey cake results in my pan and in my oven. It yields a crackalicious moist, sticky brownie cake, which might be more to your liking. I did this on purpose when I wanted to transport and share the cake at a children’s party. For home consumption, 20 minutes and a spoon is more my speed.

Ok. Now check out the ingredient list at Top With Cinnamon and get inspired by the photos. Then read the order of things at About.com…and review my tips 😉 Mostly, just make this cake. It’s good lovin’, and you can freeze half to keep yourself from hating yourself in the morning 🙂

I’m planning on making this again soon. My Man needs a steady diet of chocolate and red wine this week after the whole “Benfica” travesty this past weekend. And after the loss again on Wednesday. Plus, I killed my iPad, wind/rain/hail have taken over summer this week, and My Man, Grandissimo, and I all have colds. Hm. Tough times. Need chocolate.

First things first: Honey Oatmeal Scones!


I have a few other tidbits that I’ve been wanting to write about for the past couple of days, but let’s focus on the important stuff first.

Food.

Namely, honey oatmeal scones- perfect for this delicious autumn weather 🙂 Obviously, with the shift into fall, baking becomes mandatory for Gradissima ;p However, we just had a 4-day Halloween weekend, which means I’ve been on a stringent fat-bastard diet of sugar with a generous sprinkling of fats (and artificial colors, of course!).

I’m gradually weaning myself (gently…ever so gently) off the all-sugar diet, and today I managed a breakfast that seemed the perfect compromise: whole grain, seeded toast with chunky peanut butter…and a mug of hot chocolate. It was perfection.

Of course, I shoved four (packaged, store-bought) shortbread cookies down my throat with my mid-morning mug ‘o’ tea. Meh. It’s a give and take.

Anyway, baking for today needed to include oatmeal and some wholesome goodness… and to smell good…and to taste good (not too “health food”-y) so that my Man and his buddies at work will enjoy them when I send half the batch with my aforementioned Man tomorrow. (Fat-bastard detox baking rule #1 mandates that at least half the baked product leave the house as soon as possible to prevent self-loathing as a result of face-stuffing. But you all know this.)

Ok. Yadda, yadda, yadda, I googled and shopped around my favorite sites and compared ingredients and settled on THIS recipe for Gradissima-style bastardization.

Oh, Eggs on Sunday, thank you for this wholesome-y goodness 😉

Check this out:

Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Scones

MARCH 8, 2008
by eggsonsunday
breakfast_mapleoatmealscones_3.jpg

We love our scones on weekend mornings! Occasionally I like to mix it up a bit from the traditional white flour cream scones, though. You may know by now that I sometimes fiddle with substituting white whole wheat flour into baked goods; I try to do the substitutions only when the flavors seem like they can take it — i.e. I wouldn’t use whole grain flour in a delicate, light lemon cake. Maple and oatmeal, though? They’re made for whole grain flour!

breakfast_mapleoatmealscones_1.jpg

….

They look good, right? That’s an understatement. 🙂 Eggs on Sunday has lovely, 101 Cookbooks -style photography, so I’m not even bothering to get my camera to show you my scones. (They look pretty much the same as these, though my photography skills wouldn’t do them justice.)

So, I started with the Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Scones recipe, and then I tweaked it.  I’ll leave you to go to the original page for the recipe.

The substitutions and additions I made are these:

  • I replaced the maple syrup in the recipe with the same amount of honey.
  • I added about 1/3 c of ground hazelnuts and 1/3 c of wheat bran (farelo de trigo) to the dry ingredients (before adding the butter)
  • my yogurt and milk mixture was one 125g container of fat-free yogurt and a splash of milk (as opposed to 1/3c yogurt, 1/3c milk)
That’s it! Mine are golden, smell like honey-heaven, buttery-toasty on the outside, and impressively moist and light on the inside. You know you have a good base recipe when your tweaking works! And this one is also very easy to tweak if you’d like to make it vegan 🙂 (Soy-based cream would substitute well for the yogurt-milk mixture, or you could use soymilk and soy yogurt… and margarine works instead of butter… etc.)

Happy autumn, folks 🙂

Photos! An update on Knishes and Flowers and V day…


Ok. So photos aren’t entirely impossible in that kitchen. And sometimes there’s enough light to make something out of a photo 🙂

Behold, the knishes from lunch (a success, thank you very much!):

my lovely knish-y lumps, ready for the oven...

Ahhh….see the olive oil gloss? The red smudge of pepper? The brown flecks of linseed/flax seed? Mmmmmmm.. and they do look a bit like pastry-potatoes, don’t they? 🙂

Potato-ey filling

Now, here’s what came out of the oven:

Fresh lovin' from the oven...
Warm, flaky, carby goodness...

Lunch was good.

While I’m putting photos up, I thought I’d include a shout-out to My Man, my Lancelot… I know Valentine’s Day can be touchy, and I respect that. So, I waited to put up flower photos until that day had passed.

Now I’m braggin’. 🙂

First, a quick back-story. A few weeks ago, my man had a crazy week at work. Everyday was pretty much a shitstorm of extra work and bullshit politics. He couldn’t come home for lunch most days (we live about a minute from his office), and he was often late. It sucked. I felt so bad for him—he was working so hard (and I’m not working yet), and no matter how irritating the day was, he was always such a pleasure to have once he did come home. He’s magic. And at the end of the week, he came home a little late (because he picked up our laundry from the cleaners, of course) with flowers for me for being so patient (!)  Unbelievable.

Love token from my awesome Man

Then, of course, came Valentine’s Day. We’re budgeting like good newlyweds (reference back to the house/mortgages rants), so we had a sweet and simple V Day. I cooked, we had sparkling wine and candlelight dinner… and he brought be roses 🙂

The first Valentine's Day roses of our marriage...

Yeah, I’m sappy. Deal with it 😉 Happiness is awesome 🙂

Guest Post from Gal Pal- Portuguese-friendly Apple Bread!


The much-anticipated, very-delightful Apple Bread recipe from my gal pal in Azeitão is posted below! I’ve tried it, and it is crackalicious. She’s not exaggerating about how difficult it is to get our ‘weird’ foreign food to be tested, let alone approved by, the average older Portuguese person. (My mother-in-law, hand to God, once gave me the Portuguese-wiggly-no-finger and spat out a bite of my rosemary shortbread. And she’s a really lovely person. It ain’t easy.)  Let’s give her props for the victory!

 

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Living in Portugal is quite a trip.  The people here really value their history and their traditional recipes.  Beans and boiled meat stirred up in a giant pot is cause for a celebration, and experimenting with new recipes is just not done.  Why would we experiment when we have already perfected everything? Yep, actual quote from a Portuguese cook. She is well-renowned in the northern parts of Portugal for her fried pork meat using nearly 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening and onions.  Needless to say, health is not the primary concern of Portuguese cooks, and thereby, I feel that the excessive sugar in this recipe is justified:) 🙂  I am living here after all.

Getting a mother-in-law to even SAMPLE one of your strange, estrangeiro foods is difficult, if not impossible.  However, this recipe actually made a large Portuguese family smile this winter in the midst of -5 degree freeze and no heat.  Can’t beat that!

Please-the-Portuguese Apple Bread-shout out to allrecipes.com for the base of the recipe!  I have made lots of changes though.
Servings: 8-use one bread pan
1 1/2 c or 330g of flour. If you are cooking in Portugal, use farinha para pão
1 tsp or 1 cdc cinnamon
1/2 tsp or 1/2 cdc baking soda
1/4 tsp or 1/4 cdc salt
1/4 c or 159 ccs of vegetable oil or applesauce. Using the applesauce is healthier, but it does make the bread a bit drier.
3/4 c or 168g of white sugar
1/4 c or 57g of brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp or 1/4 cdc of vanilla
1 c or 2 small chopped apples
1 c or 1 small package of broken walnuts

In a big bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
In another bowl, mix oil or applesauce, sugar, egg, vanilla and apples.  Stir into flour mixture.  Add nuts and mix.
Grease the bread pan with butter.
Put mixture in the bread pan.  The dough will be pretty thick, and you have to hand-scoop it into the bread pan.
Cook the bread in the oven on 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius.  Or if you are the author of this blog, set your oven to the big flame:) 🙂
Cook for 35-45 minutes. Dump the bread onto the wire rack and let it cool for 15 minutes.