Snack

Hindbærsnitter (means raspberry slices) is a popular cake in Denmark. The idea is simple: two layers of butter dough, raspberry jam between, sugar glaze on the top. Why not to play around with the shape?
Mix 300 g all purpose flour, 200 g butter, 100 g icing sugar and 1 egg. Let it stay for a couple of hours or overnight. Roll out to 3-4 mm thickness and use your favourite cookie cutter. Place the cookies carefully on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven on 175 ºC for about 10-15 minutes. They should stay light - watch out, they get burned easily!
Cool the cookies down and glue 2 and 2 together with raspberry jam or use your favourite jam (mine is crab apple).
Finally, make glaze if necessary. Melt 30 g butter, 30 g icing sugar, 100 g white chocolate and a 2-5 spoon water (add gradually). Melt slowly and stir often. When the glaze becomes soft and creamy, coat the top of the cookies with a glaze brush. Also, you can add colour to the dough or to the glaze or finish the cakes with topping sugar.


For Christmas


For Valentine's day

You can buy these small cookies everywhere in Denmark before Christmas: in bakeries or in supermarkets. But of course, home made is the best. And it is easy to make.
Mix the ingredients: 280 g all purpose flour, 110 g sugar, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 orange's zest, 120 g butter, 1 egg. Let the dough stay for a couple of hours or an overnight. Cut it into 8 pieces and make about 2 cm diameter "snakes". Cut it about 1 cm thick pieces - they are like coins. Place them on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven on 200 ºC for about 10 minutes.
After cooling down, keep them in a metal box.

It is probably also possible to make this wonderful dip with oven-baked eggplant. But if you ask me, the smokey taste is essential.

  • Wash the eggplants properly - you will not peel them.
  • Pack them into aluminium foil and grill them directly on the coal at the end of a BBQ session. It should be baked well but not burned - this is the biggest challenge.
  • Let the packs cool down, then unpack them.
  • Mix it in a bowl with the finest olive oil, pepper, salt, minced garlic and sour cream. Use blender.

The dip gets even better after one day in the fridge. Serve with naan bread.

The BBQ season has started. I love it because practically everything and anything can be grilled and get a lovely smokey taste. One of my favourites is naan bread.

  • Mix 250 g white flour, 2 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda or baking powder (I use half and half).
  • Add minced garlic or Nigella seeds (optional).
  • Add 2 tablespoon olive oil and 1-1.5 dl milk or yoghurt.
  • Make a dough and set aside for at least 1 hour (can be more). It will not rise but become softer.
  • Cut handful loafs and roll them out to 3 mm thickness on a generously floured surface. The shape can be oval or round.
  • Place the dough on the grill, cook until it gets lightly browned. Then turn over and cook the other side, too.

This is a salty Hungarian delight. Here is the basic recipe as I learned it from my granny:

    • Mix 3 g fresh yeast with 1 dl milk and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let it stay in a warm place until the yeast pops up on the top of the milk (about 5-10 minutes).
    • Measure 500 g flour, 2 tablespoon salt, 200 g butter and 1,5 dl sour cream in a big bowl.
    • Add the yeast mixture to it and make a nice, soft dough.
    • Cover with a tea towel and let it grow for about 45 minutes (or, until it gets double sized).
    • Roll the dough out, spread a thin layer of butter on 2/3 of it and fold as is shown on the photos below (in U-direction).

      • Put it back to the bowl, cover and let it grow for another 30 minutes.
      • Beat an egg in a smaller bowl. Roll the dough out to 2-3 cm thickness. Cut the dough with a round cookie cutter and dip the top of the puffs in the beaten egg.
      • Place them on a baking tray and add grated cheese on the top.
      • Bake them on 200 ºC for about 20 minutes, or, until they get golden brown.

Variations - topping:
Instead of adding cheese, you can dip the puffs in sesame or poppy seeds.
Or, mix sour cream with paprika and spread it on the puffs before baking.

Variations - dough:
With potato: The ingredients and the proportions are slightly different, but the method is the same. 300 g flour, 150 g fresh, warm, mashed potato, 60 g butter, 1 egg, 2 tablespoon salt + 3 g fresh yeast, 1 dl milk, 1 teaspoon sugar.
With spices: add a generous amount of ground cumin and dried, crumbled dill to the flour before making the dough. It goes well with sesame topping.

Variations - folding:
After rolling out and spreading butter on the dough, season it generously with chopped wild garlic or stewed cabbage (as it is prepared for cabbage pasta).

I believe that there are many other variations and every kitchen has its own specialty. Pogácsa is a lovely snack for friends gathering, served with wine or beer. After a soup, pogácsa makes a nice second dish of a light dinner. Pogácsa is also great as part of the luch box.

This is ramsons (Allium ursinum, wild garlic or bear's garlic) season. I bought some seeds and sowed it in the backyard. Looking forward to get my own ramsons, but until then we took a trip to collect some leaves in the forest, where it grows wildly.

This is how I made the pesto:

  • Fry seeds in a dry pan. It can be any seeds you like - my favourite ones are sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Cool them down and ground them roughly.
  • Rinse and dry the ramsons leaves. Mash them in a food processor.
  • Wash a couple of organic lemons. Grate the skin and press the juice.
  • Mix ramsons leaves, seeds, zest and juice in a bowl. Spoon it in a jar tightly without leaving any air bubbles. Pour a little olive oil on it after every third or fourth spoon. Pour some olive oil on the top, too, close the jar and place it in the fridge at least for 24 hour.

This pesto has an intense garlic taste with a long, mild aftertaste of the fried seeds. Use it on pasta, toast, lamb or beef.
You can keep the pesto in fridge up to 6 months.

The other day I made a bowl of guacamole but forgot to buy tortilla chips. So, I had to make something to dip. Grissini is an easy and delicious choice. What makes it taste great is using high quality olive oil.

Here comes the recipe:

  • Mix 2 g fresh yeast in 1 dl milk with a teaspoon sugar.
  • Add the mixture to 400 g white flour.
  • Add 1 dl olive oil, 1 dl water and a tablespoon salt.
  • Mix it well and let it grow to double.
  • Cover the dough with a wet tea towel and let it grow for about 1-2 hours (until it gets double-sized).
  • Roll about 15 cm long, 0.5 cm thick sticks of it.
  • Place them on a baking tray.
  • After 10 minutes turn the oven on and bake the sticks for about 15 minutes at 190 ºC - or until they get golden brown.

Optionally, you can use seeds (for example sesame seeds or Nigella sativa) either in the dough or as topping.
Grissini is also great to hummus, cheese or vegetable dips and creamed soups.

My kitchen turned into a gingerbread cookie factory a couple of days ago. I enjoyed the smell a lot and it was very relaxing, especially the last - decorating - part. Here is the recipe:

  • Warm up 250 g honey and 120 g butter in a pot slowly and carefully while stirring, until it becomes liquid but not too hot.
  • Measure 500 g white flour and 100 g icing sugar in a big bowl.
  • Add 2 egg yolks, a pinch of salt, 1-1 tablespoon baking soda, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground ginger, a pinch of ground cloves and nutmeg. You can also add zest of one lemon or orange if you have it around.
  • Mix it well with the honey-butter liquid (I use my stand mixer).
  • Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it stay in a cool place (not necessarily in a fridge) for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • Roll the dough out to 5-7 mm thickness and use your favourite cookie cutters.
  • Place the cookies about 10-15 mm apart on a baking tray - they are going to grow!
  • Bake them in a preheated oven on 180 ºC for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Wait a couple of minutes before removing them from the pan - they are very soft.

The white glaze:

  • Beat 2 egg whites until it is thick and stiff.
  • Go on with beating and add gradually 400 g icing sugar.
  • Fill up an icing syringe and decorate the cookies.

The coloured glaze:

  • Add some drops of food colour to the white glaze.

This is my Christmas postcard this year. "God jul" means "Merry Christmas" in Danish.

Christmas has many aromatic associations. Candied orange peel is one of them. You can buy it or you can make it by yourself, have a wonderful smell in your house for a couple of days and then you can use the result for cakes, desserts, salads…
It is possible to buy orange around the year, but the best oranges can be found around December-January in the supermarkets. A beautiful orange is huge, has thick, bright skin and is juicy inside. As soon as you can find such oranges, buy them. Buy a lot.

  • Wash the oranges properly.
  • Slash their skins into quarters with a sharp knife.
  • Peel the quarters and remove the white layer with a knife.
  • Let the peels stay in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours or an overnight.
  • Wash and then cook the peels for a few minutes. Then rinse them with cold water.
  • Place the peels in a big pot. Measure their weight and add the same amount of sugar to them. Add as much water as slightly covers the peels.
  • Cook it slowly until the peels become translucent, glass-like - it can take a few hours. Keep an eye with the pot and add some water if it is necessary.
  • Place the orange peels on a porcelain or ceramic surface - it can be a plate or a tray - and let them dry. It goes faster if you place them close to a radiator. But be careful, they should not dry completely out.
  • When they are dry enough but still a bit soft and flexible, you can cut them into small dices or strips if you want. Place them in a glass and keep it in the fridge - you can keep it for about a year.

The syrup, you get as a side product, can be use to sweeten and flavour tea, desserts, lemonade, etc. Keep it in the fridge, too.