About phwriter11

I am an artist. My kind of art is Photography, Theater Arts and Communication, Fashion and Design, Digital / Multimedia and Writing. My husband and I travel to Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East. Imagine the hustle and bustle of catching flights and adjusting bioclocks. My blog is the only thing I can keep on one timezone.

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.

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Prinsesstårta

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Prinsesstårta

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Budapestrulle

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Budapestrulle

 

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Schwarzwaldtårta

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Schwarzwaldtårta

The Swedish Chef is in Paradise

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“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)

 

 

The Swedish Chef’s Valentine Cake

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This is a labor of love worth a thousand kisses. In between bowl mixing and batter whisking, the Swedish Chef smothered me with lots of love.

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“That’s how it is,” he says, confirming that with a kiss.

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Cake base( good for 2- 1inch 9x cake layers)
2 c cake flour
125g 70% Lindt dark chocolate
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1tsp vanilla
1 c milk
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c oil (1/3 c vegetable oil+1/4 olive oil)
1/2 c espresso coffee (or 1/2 c hot water+2tsp strong instant coffee)
2 eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt

To make the cake base:

Preheat oven 350F. Grease and lightly flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.3. In a mug, microwave chocolate for 1 min or until slightly melted. Add hot espresso and stir until chocolate dissolves. Set aside.4. In another bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in oil, milk, vanilla and chocolate- coffee mixture.5. Gradually add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture. Continue whisking until combined.6. Beat all together. This will be very thin. Pour and divide batter into two greased baking pans.7. Bake 20 minutes at 350F. DO NOT OVERBAKE OR IT WILL NOT HAVE THAT WONDERFUL MOISTNESS.

Cool for 1hour at room temperature, before frosting with mousse and ganache. While cake is cooling, prepare the mousse and ganache.

 

For Mousse ingredients:

150g bar best bitter dark chocolate (1 1/2 Lindt 70% chocolate)
 1 tsp instant coffee granules
4 large free-range eggs, just the whites
1 cup icing sugar or golden caster
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Grate 50g/2oz of the chocolate and reserve. Break the rest into small, even-sized pieces and melt over a bain-marie (double boiler or pan of simmering water). When chocolate starts to melt, add coffee until combined. Take the pan off the heat but keep the bowl over the hot water. Don’t worry if the mixture thickens – it will smooth out again later.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they’re standing in stiff peaks. (To test if     whipped cream peaks are stiff enough, you can hold and tip bowl over and it holds its form without collapsing.) Spoon in half the sugar, whisk again, then add the rest of the sugar and whisk until it looks glossy like meringue. Whip the cream in a separate bowl. (Cold bowl and chilled whipping cream results to quick stiff peaks.) Take the melted chocolate off the pan and fold in a heaped metal serving spoon of meringue to loosen the consistency, then tip the chocolate into the meringue and fold in lightly but thoroughly. Gently fold in the whipped cream until no more white streaks.
  3. Transfer to a clean bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Spread generous amount between cake layers. Make sure to leave a bit of mousse to cover the top of the cake.
  5. Drizzle ganache and sprinkle with chocolate bits.
  6. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours or overnight to set.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

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“Love is always sweeter when you bake cake together.” – Grandma Glasses

Happy Valentine’s Day!
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Ganache
50g dark chocolate
1tbsp butter
1/4 whipping cream
2tsp icing sugar

In a cup, put coarsely chopped chocolate with cream. Microwave for 30 seconds just to melt chocolate. Mix well. While still warm, add butter and sugar. Continue mixing until well combined. Shiny and smooth consistency is desired.( For thinner chocolate sauce, add 1-2 teaspoon of cream) Use as final frosting for cake. Chill for 2 hours or overnight to set.

It’s A Winter Wondering Tale

I felt cold air on my nose. I woke up and look around. No snow here.  I must be dreaming. Everything looks the same, except for one thing. It is Christmas Eve.

 

They told me to wait by the fireplace for the BigFatMan in the Red Suit. With a head-tilt, I looked at them, “But we don’t have a chimney here. I would rather be close to the warm stove where the smell of cookies is coming from.”

 

Then I heard the doorbell ring. “Who is it? Did we order pizza today?”

 

“Oh good! I thought I would not get it on time. Next year will be too much waiting,” said the Swedish Chef to the man by the door.

 

“Nope that’s not  TheBigFatMan in the Red Suit,” as I glimpsed at the man before he disappeared. That man is not fat and not dressed in red suit either.  But why did he give the Swedish Chef a big white bag? And then when I looked at the Swedish Chef, his face is beaming and he was grinning from ear to ear.

 

“I wonder what’s in the bag?” My senses dictate a fact. It’s definitely not bacon. They don’t have that here either. Maybe it’s a bag of sweet goodies. Or prinskorv  or falu sausages. Or roasted beef ribs. Or liver patty. Or cold meats. Or gravlax. Or dinner steaks.

 

Then I saw him pull out a black shiny thing out of the box. Now this is really getting out of shape. I was expecting something soft and fluffy, not a hard black box.

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“It’s the Force!” hollered the Swedish Chef to me. “Oh! That’s a holler of joy by the way,” as he grinned back to me.

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“Where’s  the button? Isn’t that suppose to glow in the dark like in the movies? Or maybe it will transform into a nice pudding pie after a few minutes.”

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“Drake, always remember some days it’s a grocery bag, some days it’s not. And a shopping bag doesn’t always mean it has meatballs in it,” whispered Grandma Glasses.

 

“ Am I hallucinating or have I developed 3D senses? Aha! I am having hunger pang attacks again. And no one is in the kitchen.”

Oh well, back to being patient. I don’t mind waiting for the julbord to be ready, if only the days are shorter and the nights longer. I know TheBigFatMan in the Red Suit has some rabbit meat in his big sack when he comes.

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