When you wait and start to worry

When you wait and start to worry your instinct tells you something is not right.

In Memoriam to Stefan Bertil Jonsson, my loving Swedish husband. I will continue his SwedishChef is in the House blog and finish the cookbook project. I hope to have you all around to support me.


August 20, 2018

I received a very disturbing news this morning on my fb messenger. It was from a friend and colleague of my husband working in Kuwait.

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and this short note of 61-words made my world stop. I wish I could turn back time.

How I wish I could

How do you deal and cope with grief? How do you manage emotions when you are left without goodbyes or goodnight? How do you track and shadow the last few days of your loved one? How do you sort things out when things happen suddenly? The good loving memories are all that you have left. And my blog will be my journal as I cope through this longest wait..

“You are an author not a trainer. So finish the cookbook and let everyone know how to make real Swedish cakes.” The Swedish Chef always reminds me after finishing his serving of cake.

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And to dear friends and followers , support me in the GOFundMe campaign for Stefan. You can read about the campaign update here.


Croissants Flaky &Homemade

The bageri girl have spent more than two hours familiarizing herself with the recipe. But in reality, it’s been 5 years of failed attempts to make croissants.
      “Making croissants should be done at least 2 days in advance to avoid rushing the laminating and proofing of dough. The Longer time the dough relaxes, the better the flavor develops. It is also important to keep butter solid as you work with the dough. You can always keep laminated dough in fridge or freezer until ready to use.”
     “So we will have breakfast after two days? Find a shorter version of the recipe. We are not baking for the whole town.” said the Swedish Chef.
     “But I need to master the technique so I can see the layers and good holes in the crumbs,” insisted the bageri girl.
    “No Charmaine, we are not eating just crumbs and holes. We want to have something for breakfast. I’ve heard enough,” grumbled the Swedish Chef.
   “The croissants have evolved from buttered rolls to boomerang rolls to flaky rolls. More to improve but we are getting there,” said the bageri girl as she turned the big bowl of dough on her work area.
Not even listening, the Swedish Chef walked away with his kanelbullar.
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2013 butter roll croissants


2015 boomerang croissants


2018 flaky croissants

The Recipe and Patience Test starts here :
INGREDIENTS: servings 16 -20 crescent rolls
1/4 cup very warm water but not boiling water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast one packet
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup warm milk not boiling
1 egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
100 g salted butter softened
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 TBSP of water)  and or melted butter, for brushing
Make the dough :
In the bowl of a stand mixer or large glass bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix until combined. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes until it smells like bread and is foamy.
In a larger bowl, Mix flour, sugar,salt,  warm milk and egg. (It will look a bit moist and crumbly.) Add foamy yeast and mix dough together to form a sticky ball of dough, it will be sticky at first but will develop into tacky dough as you work on it.
Knead the dough for about five minutes until the dough comes together and you’ve reached the stage of low to moderate gluten development. Do not over knead. You do not want too much gluten development because you will struggle with the dough fighting back during laminating. Use just enough flour on your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.  You do not want to form gluten, you are just trying to form a rough ball of dough.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until it forms a relatively smooth ball.
Grease the bowl that you mixed the dough in and set the dough back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough relax in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Prepare and shape the butter:
While the dough is relaxing in the fridge, prepare the butter block.
Cut the cold butter (directly from the fridge) lengthwise into thick slabs. Arrange the pieces of butter in a ziplock bag to form a square of about 15 cm x 15 cm. Now pin press and pound lightly until you have a final square of 17 cm x 17 cm. refrigerate the butter slab until needed.
After 1 hour, remove dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle that’s about 1/4th inch thick.
Place the butter block in the middle of dough, leaving an inch around the sides of the rectangle, being careful not to break through dough with butter.Fold one half of the rectangle towards the center and fold the other half over as well on top of the first layer so you have three dough layers.
Roll** out dough again to a long rectangle (being careful of the butter—roll gently) and fold dough again into thirds like a book. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush. Brush off any excess flour. Fold in thirds like a letter, as above, stretching corners to square off dough, forming a rectangle. Place back in freezer for 30 more minutes to 1 hour to relax dough and It is very important the butter stays solid.
**Start rolling from the center of the dough towards the edges, and not from one side of the dough all the way to the other side. This technique helps you to keep the dough at an even thickness. You can also rotate your dough 180 degrees to keep it more even, because you tend to use more pressure when rolling away from you than towards yourself. You can use these techniques during all the rolling steps of this recipe. Aim at lengthening the dough instead of making it wider and try to keep all edges as straight as possible.
Fold the dough letter style, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes (fold one third of the dough on top of itself and then fold the other side over it). Repeat the rolling and folding two more times (ending up with 27 layers of butter in total), each time rolling until the dough is about 20 cm x 60 cm. After each fold you should turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling again. The open ‘end’ of the dough should be towards you every time when rolling out the dough
Each laminating step should not take more than a few minutes. However if, due to initial inexperience for example, it should take you longer, you can fold your dough letter style, cover it and refrigerate it for 20 minutes and continue the rolling process after this rest. It is very important the butter stays solid.
Repeat this process two more times for a total of three folds (and 30 minutes in the freezer) After the three folds, you can either proceed with the directions or you can wrap your dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight or up to three days.
Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Rotate 90 degrees
Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Rotate 90 degrees
Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
Refrigerate until day 3
Rotate 90 degrees
Roll out to 20 cm x 110 cm
Dividing the dough and shaping the croissants :
Three hours before you are ready to serve, form and proof the croissants: Remove the thawed dough from the refrigerator. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat and set aside.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll into a 12×40-inch rectangle about 1⁄8 inch thick. Use a straight edge and a paring knife or pizza cutter to carefully trim 1 inch from each of the long sides; save for another use. Cut the remaining dough into triangles. Stack them and work one at a time on each triangle.
Working one at a time, Cut a notch in the middle of the short end of the triangle. stretch the triangle slightly to extend them Then, starting at the base, roll the two wings by moving your hands outwards from the center tightly all the way to the tip to form an even, straight-armed croissant shape. Try and roll the dough very tightly at the beginning and put enough pressure on the dough to make the layers stick together (but not so much as to damage the layers of course). Press slightly at the tip to adhere and to make a slightly flattened base for the croissant to rest on.
Proofing and baking :
Continue rolling the croissants in this manner, then transfer them, spaced evenly apart and flattened side down on the prepared baking sheets (no more than 6 croissants per baking sheet depending on your croissant size.) Arrange the shaped croissants on baking sheets, making sure to keep enough space between them so they will not touch when proofing and baking. Give the croissants their first thin coating of egg wash.
Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise and proof for 1-2 hours. let rise until the croissants are puffed, very gassy, and about doubled in size (they should slowly spring back when poked with your fingertip and jiggle slightly like gelatin when the tray is shaken)
Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees C. Before baking, brush each risen croissant with the beaten egg wash. Bake croissants for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (Some ovens will take 18-22 minutes, depending on croissant size. Some baking tips : heat up  double fan big convection oven at 200ºC, when heated up put the croissants in the oven and directly lower it to 175ºC. Bake for 10 minutes at 175ºC, they will have a nice brown color by now, then lower the temperature to 150ºC, and bake them for another 6 minutes. Leaving croissants a few 5 minutes to cool in the oven after baking time will also give nice crust and color.)
Best eaten while warm and fresh of course. Croissant we don’t eat or share within a day we freeze. We put them in the preheated oven (180ºC / 355ºF) for 8 minutes straight from the freezer.
Once made up into croissants you can freeze the dough and store it for as long as two months.  Just put the frozen croissants in the refrigerator overnight to defrost and let stand for an hour and a half before baking.
Here’s a shorter version I found to be tested :
150 g lukewarm milk (not to hot,you’d kill the yeast)
14 g active dry yeast (2sachets)
40 g sugar (one handful)
Mix it all up and leave 15 minutes or until frothy
300 g flour (strong white ) = 2 cups
6  g salt (a big pinch)
Mix roughly , until combines but as little as possible. Ball up, put in fridge for 8 hours.
125g unsalted butter in thin slices
Squeeze around the edges to bind them then roll to 6-8mm with rolling pin. Do a single fold then freeze for 30 minutes
Repeat twice (3x single fold)
Rest in fridge  1-2 hours then roll 5-6 mm
Cut triangles and roll
Place on a tray with silicon paper,
Brush with egg wash and grow for 2-3 hours
Egg wash again and bake @210 C for 12-15 minutes
Hint : To have fresh croissants in the morning, mix dough at 8am, fold butter in at 4pm, shape at 8pm and keep in the fridge.
In the morning, proof, bake and EAT
If you don’t get nice layers, try adding 3 grams of vinegar in the dough.

Prinsesstårta or Jordgubbstårta

It’s been four years since Grandma Glasses contemplated making the Swedish Prinsesstårta. After a successful bake of the Jordgubbstarta, she decided it is time to face her fear of failure making the Prinsesstårta.

“I will not stop until I conquer this cake,” Grandma Glasses muttered while going through the recipe.

“I can always buy a dozen eggs if I fail the first time. I know I can make a cake as pretty as those I see on the internet. Or even better than those we had in VeteKatten,” she mumbled to herself.

“I will not stop you on that. I will wait to see them baked and I finish all the cakes for you,” said the Swedish Chef.

If that was meant as a compliment or a challenge, let a clean plate decide. And whether it comes out good or not, the Swedish Chef always likes what Grandma Glasses bakes.


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Swedish Cakes in the House

Sugar rush! These are homemade sweet creations for the Swedish Chef , all time favorite Swedish cakes  Prinsesstårta, Budapestrulle and Schwarzwaldtårta.














The Swedish Chef is in Paradise

old town Hallstatt 331

“I love the mountains. There is something about the mountains..it’s just the feeling. I can’t really explan why.” The Swedish Chef said, while  gazing at the green silhouette of the majestic Alps mountains.

First time he was here was fifty-two years ago. And for this trip, we made sure we visit this little village again. This paradise, called Hallstatt, is an idyllic place. Visitors and locals are welcomed with breathtaking view of fairytale houses, impressive Alps mountains and the serene Lake Hallstatt.

What you read about Hallstatt is never enough to describe the real magic of being there. The experience can never be contained in one or two blogs or a hundred photos. With all its historic houses, cobblestones and manhole plates  I have inscribed this travel in my heart and mind to treasure until the next time we visit Hallstatt again. Or maybe Not.




Jordgubbstårta for the Swedish Chef

Where’s the cake? Just in time as I topped the cake with the last strawberry and a loving kiss, I greeted the Swedish Chef.

“Cheers and Happy Birthday to you!”


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Jordgubbstårta Delight

Four days to go before the Swedish Chef’s birthday. And it’s not complete without his favorite Jordgubbstårta. Overwhelming as the UEFA 2016 fever, the challenge is on. Stay tuned for more details on this. ( I will update post as soon as I get the chance.. )

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and the Jogubbstarta is ready



Swedish Crayfish Sandwich

Kräftstjärtar smörgås (crayfish sandwich) is one of the best Swedish food you have to try. You can make this in 5 minutes and finish it in 3 minutes. Yum!

kräftstjärtar mörgås (crayfish sandwich)

kräftstjärtar smörgås (crayfish sandwich)