Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Fastelavnsboller with Berries

Breakfast, Brunch, Cake, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Fastelavnsboller with Berries

Fastelavnsboller with Berries

This is yet another take on the traditional fastelavnsbolle, a sweet cake like roll. Here with cream cheese and mixed berries. Fastelavnsbolle takes different shapes and forms. Some fastelavnsboller are plain like fastelavnsboller, some are filled with cream and custard like Marieboller - Fastelavnsboller or Fastelavnsboller - Choux Pastry

Fastelavn is a similar tradition as the American Halloween if you use a piñata in the form of  barrel.  Children get dressed up, and go a kinda trick and treating in the early afternoon. Well, they ask for money instead of candy, but it's only the young kid doing this. You can read more about the Danish fastelavns traditions here

Makes about 10.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 250 ml lukewarm milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 85 g sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cardamom 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 450 g all-purpose flour 
  • 75 g butter, salted and room temperature
  • 50 g cream cheese

Cream cheese filling:

  • 75 g cream cheese
  • 50 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 

Berries:

  • 225 g mixed berries (only the smaller berries)
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 

 

  • egg wash

Directions:

Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the rest of the ingredients, and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Let the dough rise covered for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Mix the filling and the berries in each their own bowl.

Preheat the oven to boil 435℉ (225℃).

Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 9-10 balls, I use a scale to get them to be the same size. (Just a tiny bit OCD😉). Let the balls rise for 15-20 minutes.

Make a silver dollar sized dent in each ball, making sure not to poke holes all the way through. brush the edges with egg wash. Spoon a small tablespoon fill-in in the holes, topping with the mixed berries.

Bake the fastelavnsboller for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let the fastelavnsboller cool on a wire rack before serving.

Enjoy!

Focaccia - Take 2

Bread, Brunch, DinnerTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Focaccia

Focaccia

It is no secret that bread is my kryptonite. Well, it's bread, cheese, coffee and red wine. But bread is a magic thing. It is magical that you can get so much flavor from a mixture of water, flour, yeast and salt. The fermentation makes all the difference. 

Last time I made a focaccia I opted for a more complex dough. It felt more greasy. This time I used the classic No-Knead Bread recipe, transforming it into a focaccia, and it turned out perfect.

Makes 1 bread.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 400 ml water finger-warm
  • 5-10 g live yeast (or little under 1 teaspoon dry yeast)
  • 500 g all-purpose flour or a high protein flour. 
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Toppings:

  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • rosemary like spices (or jalapeño)
  • cherry tomatoes 

DIRECTIONS:

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add a teaspoon sugar if you are using dry yeast, and wait until it starts to foam. Mix in most of the flour, befor adding the salt. Mix the rest of the flour in, mixing it until you are sure you have no lumps of dry flour. You do not have to knead this very sticky dough. 

Let the dough ferment covered on the countertop for 8-12 hours. The longer you ferment it, the more flavor you get. 

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Gently scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface. The dough will be very soft. With a spatula or bench scraper fold the 4 "sides" of the dough unto it self 3 times, to stretch the gluten and to build up the surface tension on the dough. Place the dough on a large parchment paper lined baking pan. Gently pat the top of the dough with a little olive oil, to prevent the dough from drying out. Let the bread rise for 60-90 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 425℉ (220℃). 

Pour some good olive oil on top of the dough and gently poke your fingers into the dough, making holes for the filling to rest in. This will spread the loaf out making it more flat and ready to receive the filling. Sprinkle rosemary and more oil over the loaf and press it into the holes. Gently press the tomatoes into the dough.  Sprinkle with a little more oil and a good amount of salt.

 Let the focaccia rise for another 30 minutes before baking it for 20-25 minutes at 440℉ (220℃). I baked mine on a baking stone, but still on the parchment paper for easier handling.

Let the bread cool in the pan before serving. 

Enjoy!

Pretzel Turtles

Christmas, Holiday, Sweets and CandyTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Pretzel Turtles

Pretzel Turtles

Theses turtles have become a part of my Danish Christmas celebration here in America. My sweet sweet neighbor gave me a tin of these every Christmas. I do not think Christmas woulds be the same without Pretzel turtles. Last year I was so recklees to move away from my sweet neighbors, and not only do I have to miss them, but I also have to miss out on this special Christmas Treat.  Now I had to learn to make them by my self. My version is with pecans only. They are nearly as good, they just need the sprinkle of Bobbie magic. Love you Bobbie. 

Makes 48 heavenly mouthfuls.

Ingredients:

  • 48 rolo candies (2x5.3 oz bags)
  • 48 mini pretzels
  • 48 pecan halves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300℉ (150℃)  degrees. Line an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay pretzels in a single layer on baking sheet then place one Rolo candy in the center of each pretzel. Warm in preheated oven just until chocolate and caramel have softened, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven then press 1 pecan into each rolo candy. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator and chill until chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (preferably in a single layer - the chocolate softens up just a little at room temperature).

Enjoy!

Danish Shortbread Sticks

Cake, Cookies, Holiday, ChristmasTove Balle-PedersenComment
Danish-Shortbread-Sticks.JPG

December 3th

This is a take on the traditional Danish Shortbread or Finskbrød as they are called. I really like the addition of the lemon zest, and the more modern look. Normally Danes do not like changes to their traditional food and cookies. 'It has to be exactly like my mom made it' - but some changes are for the better, like this one.

Inspired by a Blomsterberg recipe.

Makes 30.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 200 g butter, salted, room temperature  
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 60 confectionary (powdered) sugar
  • 1 lemon, the zest of
  • 275 g all-purpose flour

Topping:

  • 1 egg, 
  • coarse raw cane sugar 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375℉ (190℃)

Mix all the ingredients until it forms a dough, be careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic film, and let it rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 6 x 12-inch (15 x 30 cm) rectangle. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, set aside. Beat the egg, and brush a thin even layer on the dough. Sprinkle with a good amount of raw cane sugar. Gently press the sugar into the dough with the rolling pin. Put the dough into the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes. Cut the dough in half so you now have 2 squares 6x6-inches (15x15 cm) each. Cut each square in 14-15 long thin logs, 

Bake for 7-10 minutes, until light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Enjoy!

 

December 1 st.

ChristmasTove Balle-PedersenComment
 Decorating.

Decorating.

Happy December - Christmas is approaching 🎄🎅🏼

Here we go again, December 1 st. sneaked up on me again. This year I have no excuses. I didn't move, we didn't host Thanksgiving. Next year I will set an calendar alarm to warn me mid november, to see if that helps.

I started my Christmas cookie production today. I always treat my friends with a little box of homemade cookies, when we go to events during the holiday season. And People you normally tip. Americans tip everybody. Mailman, hairdresser, doctors, teachers, and and and.... eeeeeeverybody. This is still kinda new to me. But I still try to learn the unspoken rules here 9 years in. Most important person on my cookie list is my husbands boss. I do not dare skipping him 😉😉

This year I just want to bake all the basic Danish Christmas cookies like Vanillekranse, håkonskager, pebernødder, Danish gingerbread cookies, and Chocolate Biscotti. There might be more in the works, but let's see what happens.

I hope you want to join me on my December Journey into Christmas classics in sweets, cookies and food.

Happy December 🎄