Dessert Caviar (and my first ever video)

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Christmas is almost upon us, so now it is time to think of New Years eve, more specifically, the dessert!

If you need a show-stopper dessert detail, dessert caviar is your best friend. It is easy to make, looks complicated, pretty, versatile and you don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment.

These dessert caviars are inspired by the brilliant Heather of Sprinkle Bakes, but I have converted the recipe to metrics. To be completely honest, you should probably just click on the link and read her post and watch her video, because it is much prettier than mine. But come back here for the metrics ;)

To make the caviar you need to make a caviar liquid (a strongly flavoured liquid stabilized with gelatine) which is dropped into very cold oil with a pipette, where the liquid will set in the cold oil, forming a sphere.

You need:

90 ml of strongly flavoured liquid* (see end of post for suggestions)

8 sheets of gelatine (husblas)

rapeseed/canola oil

a plastic pipette

 

Pour oil into a container, and place in the fridge or freezer until very cold. I like to use two containers, keeping the one I’m not working with in the fridge. By using deep containers, the liquid can set before reaching the bottom, forming an actual sphere, rather than flattening out.

Place the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water, leave for 4-5 minutes. Change the water and leave for another 4-5 minutes. Repeat this step once more.

Heat up the liquid, take of the heat and dissolve the gelatin in the warm liquid. Use the pipette to drop the liquid into the cold oil (see the video).

I usually run out of patience before running out of liquid, but keep going until you have as much caviar as you want/need.

When you have covered the bottom of the container with caviar, place the container in the fridge for a couple of minutes (I usually have a second container in the fridge, which I make caviar in while waiting). After a few minutes remove the container from the fridge and scoop the caviar into a sieve. From here you can either rinse the caviar with cold water and use it, or place it in a container and cover it with oil, and keep it for several days in the fridge. Just strain and rinse with cold water before serving.

 

The caviar can be used as a decoration in/on all kinds of desserts. Try serving them with small blini-size pancakes and whipped cream, for a dessert version of a classic Russian dish, or sprinkled on top of a pudding or ice cream. Or perhaps encasing them in a jelly-dessert. Your imagination sets the limit.

*I have made the caviar with strong sweetened coffee, juice and a mixture of 25 g liquorice syrup and 25 ml water. In general, any strongly flavoured liquid should do the trick.

Spice cake, December thoughts and (lack of) snow

SpiceCake

December is halfway through, and I haven’t posted here for about a month. It is not that I don’t bake and it is not that I don’t want to blog, but I never seem to get around to taking pictures of the baking (sometimes I forget, sometimes I’m too tired and sometimes the baked goods didn’t turn out as pretty as I wanted them to) and a baking blog without pictures is a sad, sad thing.

This post will be sort of a life update, and then a recipe for spice cake – if you don’t want the life update, just scroll down to the recipe.

Since my last post (in which I described in detail my meeting Don Rosa) I have been quite busy at work, I have had a terrible cold (coinciding with the only, all too short, snow we have had), Kristian has started work, I celebrated my birthday, I got Christmas vacation from work, Kristian and I celebrated our anniversary and Thursday was my birthday.

Lets begin with the cold (and the snow).

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When I came home from work on Friday November 20th my throat was sore (Kristian had been sick all week,  so no surprise there). When I woke up Saturday morning I felt awful, and cancelled our plans in the evening, and spend the day inside feeling like crap. During the afternoon it began snowing, and after dinner I decided I needed to go outside and stand in the snow (which was set to disappear the next day), so I put on lots of clothes and went outside with my camera. I love, love, love snow, and so far that afternoon/evening is all the snow we have had.

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I was sick from the cold until Friday, so almost an entire week. (And now, my nose is runny and my throat is scratchty… again.).

 

On December 4th I had invited lots of friends over for homemade aebleskiver, which is basically a spherical pancake, traditionally served in December in Denmark. (I will post a recipe soon).

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It was great seeing my friends, I don’t get to see most of them as much since leaving the university. Now I am looking forward to celebrating New Years with some of them!

On Friday December 11th I had my last day of work before Christmas vacation, and I spend the entire evening baking and the entire Saturday decorating a christening cake for Sunday for one of my friends. (I will post pictures in a separate post). Incidentally, my department had their Christmas party that Friday night, where I, while absent, won a prize for greatest achievement in a non-sport discipline – for baking cakes. I’ve been there 7 months, and I am already the cake girl – I think that’s kind of cool!

Tuesday, the 15th, Kristian and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. It is kind of weird, on one hand I don’t understand it’s already been 10 years, on the other hand I have difficulties remembering when he wasn’t a part of my life. We celebrated with dinner in Tivoli in Copenhagen (as we have done often before).

Wednesday I baked 5 types of Christmas cookies with a friend, and completely forgot to take pictures of them…

Thursday the 17th was my birthday (29 years!), which I celebrated with a lovely dinner with some family (and found out that having 12 people over for dinner in our new apartment is no problem at all), with a delicious brownie for dessert – which I forgot to take a picture of…

And now Kristian has Christmas vacation as well, which is great!

 

Last, but not least, the spice cake recipe:

This recipe is my mother-in-law’s and she bakes it every Christmas. Usually it is baked in two loaf tins, but it can also be baked in a bundt pan as in the picture. The dusting of powdered sugar is totally optional, but it does look pretty on a bundt!

 

250 g butter

2 eggs

375 g brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar

500 g flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon grounded cloves

1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ l milk

Beat the butter and sugar thouroughly. Add the eggs one at the time, beating after each edition. Flour and spices are mixed and added. The milk is added gradually, mix the dough thouroughly.

The dough is divided between two tins, and baked at 210 degrees celcius, for about an hour. Let the cake cool before cutting it. Dust the cake with powdered sugar if you like.

Meeting Don Rosa


As I talked about in my last post, I am a huge Don Rosa fan, he is by far my favourite “duck-drawer”!

This weekend he guested Art-Bubble in Copenhagen, and when I found out (roughly a year ago) I marked the weekend in my calendar, determined to try to meet him.

Don Rosa is hugely popular in Scandinavia (and Europe in general) and people regularly try to see him in vain when he visit, but I decided to give it a go (and tried not getting my hopes up).

So 9:30 saturday morning I was in line outside Rundetårn in Copenhagen, freezing because I hadn’t anticipated the wind. The line was already long when I arrived and had tripled by the time the doors were opened at 10!

I unpatiently waited in line to buy a ticket (I hadn’t bought one in advance,as I didn’t know which day I could make it) and practically ran up the tower (it always amazes me how far you actually have to go!) entered the convention room and breathlessly asked the first volounteer for directions to the line.

Safely in line I was given a ticket with my line number (85!), and could wander around the convention while I waited for the magic “76-100” to be written on the whiteboard, so I could get in the line for signing.  After 2 hours and 45 minutes the numbers finally changed, and I jumped into line. I had brought the first volume of my “Complete Works of Don Rosa” and purchased a print of the “Duck family tree” I wanted to get signed, and waited, more patiently, while Don signed for the mother and child in front of me. When it was my turn, I was completely star-struck. I sat down, I hope I smiled, handed him the cookies I had brought (oh, how I hope he liked them! They were wrapped, so the cookies themselves were not visible) and asked him to sign my book and the print. He was so friendly and nice, and what was probably two minutes felt like ten (and was at the same time over far to quickly). The volunteer sitting next to Don was kind enough to offer to take some pictures with my phone, for which I was (and am) very grateful! After signing my book and print, i thanked Don, and he told me to take some of the chilies from the basket next to him, which I tried doing while balancing my backpack, bag, book and print, and tried not to be in the way of the next person in line (I like to think I was succesful).


 When it was over and I found a quiet corner to pack my stuff together, and I realised I was shaking – the shaking wore of after 20 minutes and a cup of tea…

Meeting Don Rosa was huge for me, and the entire sunday it kept hitting me that it actually happened. I hope I’ll get the chance again some day.

I gave the chilies to my dad, who is both a chili enthuasiast and a Don Rosa fan – he was almost as excited as me!

Now we’ll see it he can make them grow!


And finally a picture of the cookies I gave Don, if you didn’t catch my last post:

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Don Rosa Cookies

By the time this post goes live, I should be standing in line, waiting to see Don Rosa at the Art Bubble Comic Festival in Copenhagen.

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I have loved Don Rosas stories since I was a child, and his collected works have a place in our living room bookcase, along with other ‘important’ books. (The rest of our books are in my office, we don’t have room for another bookcase in the living room)

I decided that the opportunity to meet Don Rosa was an excellent reason to make cookies, and settled on making cookies with the motives from Don Rosas “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck”. The cookies are my regular Sugar Cookies with royal icing.

I found the motives on the internet (thank you google), printed them out and traced them unto wafer paper with an edible marker. Som of the drawings are very detailed, they were not printed very big and wafer paper only has limited transparency, so my tracings are not perfect, and I can see ALL the little mistakes! But I didn’t have time to do them over (and I wasn’t sure it would turn out better), so I decided to keep going, and add them to the cookies.

Then I discovered that I didn’t have a cutter in an appropriate size, but managed to find one that could be used, if not with a perfect result. After baking the cookie, I realized I was almost out of icing sugar, so the cookies have a thinner layer of icing than I would usually use, which also gives a slightly more shabby look than I was going for.

But for cookies where all sorts of stuff went wrong, I actually kind of love them, mistakes and all :)

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Seeing Don Rosa in Europe is, as I understand it, not an easy feat. He is immensely popular, and a lot of people want to meet him, so I hope I will succeed tomorrow!

Wish me luck!

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Liquorice Swirl Muffins

Liquorice Swirl Cupcakes

My colleagues have discovered that being in the vicinity of me, often means being in the vicinity of cake. Recently, I brought giant Liquorice Swirl Muffins to the office, and one of my colleagues proclaimed that I was the world champion of cake-baking.

I am very much aware that I am not – but it warmed my heart :)

The muffins are a variation over the Cinnamon Swirl Loaf, inspired by Sallys Baking Addiction. I liked them in the giant version, Continue reading Liquorice Swirl Muffins

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

So, a few weeks ago I went to China. It was a business trip (my first ever), and Kristian actually talked me into going out and buying a suit for the occasion. I was a bit sceptical, but it turns out that suit pants (at least these) are really comfy! I usually fly in jeans (which has been my go-to comfortable trouser choice for years), but this time I took 9 hours of flight each way in suit pants. I didn’t even bring a pair of jeans! Continue reading Cinnamon Swirl Loaf