sunnuntai 5. huhtikuuta 2015

EASTER MAGIC


Easter time is full of magic. Last sunday little witches wandered from door to door, wishing happiness and wealth by performing an old poem. As a good luck charm the witches gave a willow tree branch, decorated with colorful feathers.



And as a "salary" they received chocolate eggs. That was last sunday, one week before easter.


And this sunday the choco egg collection expands. Last night, the same night when Jesus rose from the dead, the EASTER ROOSTER has laid chocolate eggs under pillows and in some households into the shoes! No matter how late you stay up, you never catch a glimpse of the rooster. All there is left in the morning are the eggs, not just any eggs, but the delicious chocolate eggs and some colorful feathers. PURE MAGIC!


LEMON MOUSSE EASTER EGGS

2 gelatine leaves
1/2 lemon
2 egg yolks
1/4 dl sugar
1/2 dl water
1/2 dl white wine
2 dl double cream
7 chocolate eggs
1 jar of mango- baby food

Soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water until soft. Grate the chest and squize the juice of a half lemon. Place the juice and grated chest into a pan with water, wine and sugar, bring to simmer. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add to pan and take off the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Mix until smooth and leave to cool.

Using a warm knife, cut off tops of chocolate eggs. Whip the cream. Mix whipped cream to the cooled lemon mixture. Divide among 7 choco eggs (or ramenkins) and place into the fridge for overnight, until set.

To serve, place half teaspoon of the pyreed mango in the middle of each egg to create "the yolk".


                               ❀ HAPPY EASTER ❀


sunnuntai 8. helmikuuta 2015

"BUN FESTIVAL"


Dear All,
Greetings from the northern edge of the Europe! I am happy to announce that
TASTE OF FINLAND is back, thanks to your activity and messages!
Not much has changed here, except, now I cook the Finnish delights with energy like never before; since I just graduated as a licensed chef.
"TASTE OF MY FINLAND" is the new name of the reborn Finn-food-blog, I sure hope my recipes and stories will tickle your taste buds. And, as always, I enjoy reading your comments, so, if there's anything on your foodie-mind, please use the comment box under each post or send me a mail; minnatalka@yahoo.com.


What a better way to restart the food blog than a mid-winter food festival?!
27th of February Finns celebrate the "laskiainen" = "sliding day" = "shrovetide", with appropriate garnish of traditional cream buns and slow cooked porky pea soup.

The tradition marked originally the beginning of a 40- day long Easter feast. "Laskiainen" was the very last chance to enjoy the rich and fatty foods for a long time. Although in the old days the "sliding" meant a slide into the feast, in modern, secular, Finland it simply symbolizes the slippery tobogganing event. (And the creamy buns!!!)


LASKIAISPULLA, the sliding-bun, divides the nation... You either belong to the jam-supporters or the almond paste-supporters. There's no such an opinion as "whatever" or "anything goes", it's one or  the other. 



Anyway, all the buns look the same, it's the taste that counts. (Doesn't this shrovetide-wisdom sound like a proverb?!) First you bake a cardamom-flavored bun, slice it, and then fill it with almond paste or rasberry jam and finish it with lots of whipped vanilla cream... The amount of cream is enough only when you realize with the very first look at the bun, that it's impossible to eat it without making a mess.


SHROVETIDE BUN

500 millilitres milk
1 egg
200 g sugar
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
22 g dry yeast
about 1000 g wheat flour
150 g butter, melted

You also need another egg for brushing the buns, whipped cream and jam or almond paste (for homemade paste; mix almond flour+cream to a paste), and icing sugar to decorate.

Mix the 42- degree (dry yeast activates in 42℃), egg, sugar, cardamom and salt in a bowl. Mix in another bowl all the flour and the dry yeast. Blend gradually milk with flour, and in the end also the butter. Knead until the dough becomes elastic and smooth. Set aside in a warm place, cover with a tea towel and let rise for 40 minutes.

Punch down dough and turn onto lightly floured surface, knead for 2 minutes, or until smooth. Pick an egg size piece (or slightly larger) of the dough and shape it into a ball. Place balls of dough evenly spaced (leave room to rise) on to prepared baking trays, set aside. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Brush buns with slightly whipped egg and bake in an oven of 200℃ for 10-15 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. Let cool before cutting and filling the buns with jam/almond paste and whipped cream. Dust with icing sugar, just before serving.


Another sliding day dish is the porky pea suop, slow food at its best. The taste gets better every time you reheat the soup, therefore it's a perfect  outdoor snack.


SPLIT PEA & HAM SOUP

1 pealed and chopped onion
500 g dried split peas
3 litres of water
500 g-1 kg ham bone
salt, pepper and dried marjoram to taste
Dijon mustard

Let the peas soke in water overnight. Cook them in the same water with ham bone and onion, until the meat is tender and peas soft, and the soup resembles a stew or a casserole. Shred the meat to bite-size, remove the bone, season with salt, pepper, marjoram and mustard.



No matter if you slide with your skis, ice skates or a sledge, as long as you spend the whole day outdoors and keep up the speed. As Finns wish to each other this time of the year "liukasta laskiaista"= "have a slippery sliding day!"









maanantai 24. joulukuuta 2012

✰ CHRISTMAS ✰


Today there's no baking, and no cooking.
Taste of Finland wishes everyone a very merry and most delicious christmas! ✰










✰    TASTE-TALES CONTINUE NEXT YEAR HERE:
http://isoaidinreseptilla.blogspot.com  http://makumuisto.blogspot.com  http://kokiksi.blogspot.com                                                                                                                                          ✰

























torstai 6. joulukuuta 2012

95 YEARS OLD SUOMI-FINLAND


Today we celebrate our 95 years old, independent fatherland. Old and young gather together to salute the war veterans in a torchlight procession. The cathedral of Helsinki is an unusually popular spot today, when the president and the first lady attend the independence day mass.

At 6 pm every household lights 2 candles at window so that they are visible from outside, therefore it's also a perfect time to go for a walk. At night the number 1 ball is held in the president's castle, live coverage is shown on the national TV. But anywhere you go, you'll end up in a celebration, tonight is one big cocktail-party.

♡ HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELOVED SUOMI-FINLAND ♡


CRANBERRY PARFAIT

2 egg yolks
2 dl granulated sugar
4 dl double cream
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
2-4 dl frozen (Finnish) cranberries + extra for decorating

CARAMEL SAUCE
2 dl double cream
1 dl brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons butter

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, let simmer over a moderate heat, constantly whisking, until sugar is dissolved and the sauce as thick as desired.


Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until frothy, whip the cream and combine all. Mash 1/3 of the cranberries and mix all, mashed ones and whole, into the parfait. Pour the mixture into a cake tin or serving dishes and freeze for 4 hour or until firm.

Transfer the parfait to the fridge 30 minutes before serving, so that it softens slightly. Sprinkle frozen cranberries on top just before serving. Serve with caramel sauce.


SMOKED SALMON SPREAD

warm smoked salmon
creme fraiche

Remove any bones from the salmon and break it up into small pieces. Add the creme fraiche and mix with a fork. Fold in the capres and chives.

Cut bite sizes of rye bread or slightly sweet archipelago rye-malt bread. Serve on top of the rye bread.




EASY SALMON WRAPS

150 g thinly sliced (Finnish)cold-smoked salmon
200 g Philadelphia cream cheese, garlic and herbs flavored

Set salmon slice on a work surface, spread the cream cheese at one end of the fish. Squeeze together and roll the salmon into a tight log. Cut the log into bite-size pieces.


REINDEER-WRAPPED CHEESE AND PLUMS

175 g cured (Finnish) cheese
100 g thinly sliced (Finnish) cold-smoked reindeer
80 g walnuts
100 g dried stoneless plums

Cut the cheese into bite-size pieces, lay the reindeer slices on a work surface. Cut each reindeer slice into two, put a plum and a walnut on top of each half, wrap each end of the reindeer over the cheese and nut, secure with a toothpick. Repeat until all the ingredients are used.












perjantai 30. marraskuuta 2012

SEASON OF CINNAMON AND GINGER


The temperature has finally dropped below zero, and snow is painting the landscape pure white. TALVI, the winter has officially reached Finland, and we love it! This marks also the beginning of the cinnamon and ginger -season; cookie baking, mulled wine tastings and cosy gatherings.




GINGERBREAD

500 g all purpose flour + extra for baking
225 g granulated sugar
225 g butter, room temperature
1 egg, organic
3 tablespoons dark syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon, grind
1 teaspoon gloves, grind
1 teaspoon ginger, grind
1/2 teaspoon bitter orange peel, grind
1 teaspoon cardamom, grind

Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl until well combined. Sprinkle flour to a baking surface and roll out the batter to a thin sheet. Press different shapes with a cookie cutter, line a baking tray with baking paper and bake gingerbreads in a 200 degrees Celsius oven for about 5 minutes. Cool on wired racks and decorate with sugar icing.



MULLED WINE

1 bottle (75 cl) of red table wine
2 dl water or fruit tea
1 lemon, chest and juice
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 cardamom
fresh ginger, size of your thumb nail, peeled and sliced
sugar according to your taste

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, warm the drink on moderate heat, DO NOT let boil. Sieve spices and lemon chest out, serve mulled wine when still steaming hot. Put sliced almonds and raisins on the bottom of each class, serve with a long spoon.


CINNAMON CREME CARAMEL
2 dl granulated sugar to coat the molds
5 dl light cream or whole milk
1 vanilla pod
4 organic eggs
1 organic egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon grind cinnamon
3/4 dl granulated sugar
in addition to that you also need creme caramel ramekins, or ovenproof teacups, and large enough baking dish to make a water bath for all the individual creme caramels

Melt the sugar in a pan, watch carefully not to burn it, remove from the heat when the color is deep gold. Pour immediately into small ramekins swirling around to quickly spread the caramel all over the base and to cote the sides as well. Hot sugar sets quickly, so be fast, but don't burn your fingers.

Heat the milk (or cream) and split vanilla pod in a saucepan,until almost boiling. Remove from the heat, remove vanilla and whisk together cinnamon, sugar and eggs.

Put ramekins in a deep baking dish and pour boiling water into the dish until it reaches halfway up the side of ramekins. Bake in a 175 degrees Celsius oven about 50 minutes. Remove creme caramels from the water bath and leave to cool before serving, preferably overnight. Store in a refrigerator.

Loosen the side of créme caramel with a sharp knife, put a serving plate upside down over the pudding. hold the plate and ramekin firmly together, quickly flip them over. Plate is now the right way up and the creme caramel pudding plops down with the caramel sauce.


OLD FASHIONED WINTER CAKE

5 organic eggs
100 g (about 1 dl) granulated sugar
100 g (about 1/2 dl) dark syrup
1/2 teaspoon grind cardamom
1/2 teaspoon grind bitter orange peel
1/2 teaspoon grind cinnamon
120 g (about 2 dl) all purpose flour

to decorate:
100 g dark chocolate
1/4 dl cream
sugar icing

in addition to that you also need butter to butter the cake tin and bread crumbs to coat the tin

Beat the eggs and sugar until foamy, add syrup, spices and flour. Butter the cake tin and add breadcrumbs, shake around to coat the base and the sides evenly. Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake in 180 degrees Celsius oven about an hour, until the cake is set and a toothpick stick into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Melt the chocolate, add cream and let simmer over a moderate heat until dissolved. Pour the choco sauce over the cake, let set first, then decorate with sugar icing.





keskiviikko 31. lokakuuta 2012

APPLE SEASON



Apples have been in season already since the summer ended, and will hold their lead the until the end of the year. The colorful fruits remind of the autumn, but red apples belong also to our traditional christmas, along with dried fruits and nuts.

This year the harvest has been plentiful. Trees have carried more fruits than the owners can pick and store, and apples have been handed out for free. Right now the apple flavor is on everyone's tongue!


CINNAMON-APPLE PIE

pastry:
3 dl plain (all purpose) flour
1/2 dl brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
150 g cold butter
1-2 tablespoons cold water

apple filling:
2 dl dark brown sugar (e.g. muscovado)
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
1 vanilla pod, split
8 apples, pealed, cored and quartered
2 dl double cream
70 g ground walnuts
2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Process the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor to combine. Add the butter, pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add then enough water to bring the dough together. Turn out onto a floured baking surface and form into a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Place the dark sugar and cognac in a sauce pan over a low heat, stir to dissolve. Add the apples and vanilla pod, increase the heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until apples are just soft, not mushy. Remove the apples from the syrup and let cool, discard the vanilla bean.

Whisk the cream to a foamy whipped cream, add the cooled syrup and refrigerate.

Divide the pastry in half and roll each piece into a rough 3 mm thick circle. Line the base of an 18 cm pie dish with pastry. Spread the ground walnuts over the base and arrange the apples on top. Brush the tart edges with a little water. Cover the apples with the pastry lid, press the edges firmly together with a fork. Brush the top with water and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. With a fork, pierce tiny holes into the pastry. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown. Serve with vanilla cream.



APPLE JAM

1 kg apples
1/2 kg sugar (preferably jam sugar with pectine, but if it's not available, caster sugar will do)
1/2 vanilla pod, split
juice of 1 lemon
1 dl water

Sterilize the jars and lids on boiling water for at least 5 minutes.

Peel, core and shop apples. Bring sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and water to boil in a large pot. Add apples, let simmer until apples are softened.

Pour the apple jam into hot, sterilized jars, close the lids and let cool. Store in refrigerator.




HAPPY JOE CIDER

The latest joy for the Finnish cider drinkers is called "HAPPY JOE". The old fashioned looking bottles of local apple cider bring a smile on one's face, even before the first sip. The bottles are like fortune cookies, each cap hides a wisdom of happiness underneath. Like: "Smile happily and let the whole world wonder why", "Some pursue happiness, others create it", or "Happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything".

The sympathetic cloudy cider is a refreshing drink, but makes also a perfect autumn- marinade for any kind of meet or poultry.


APPLE SOUFFLÈ

2 egg whites
1 dl apple puree (or strained apple jam)
sugar according to your taste

you also need soufflé ramekins (or ovenproof teacups), butter and sugar to coat the ramekins

Butter ramekins lightly and sprinkle with sugar, coating them completely.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Wisk the egg whites to glossy and stiff foam, but not too dry, do not over do. Add first one-quarter of the egg whites into the apple puree. Add then the remaining egg whites (and sugar, if desired), and fold gently until blended.

Divide the batter among the ramekins, filling them until nearly full. Tap the base of each rameking on the work surface to ensure there are no air pickets. Level the surface of each soufflé by pulling a back edge of a large knife across the top or the dish. Whipe any drops of the outside away, otherwise they will burn, for sure. Run your thumbnail around the inside edge of each ramekin to make a groove (that helps the soufflés to rice evenly).

Bake the soufflés for about 15 minutes, until they puff out. Drop the temperature down to 180 degrees Celsius, once you put the ramekins into the oven. Serve straight away with vanilla ice cream.


APPLE MUFFINS

100 g butter, room temperature
1 dl caster sugar
2 eggs
1/4 dl milk
2-2 1/2 dl plain (all purpose) flour (the amount varies depending how fluid the apple puree is)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 dl crumbled walnuts
1 dl apple puree
175 g sliced almonds

Beat butter and sugar, with an electric mixer, until fluffy. Beat in eggs and milk. Mix baking powder with flour, and add the flour-mixture into the bowl. Beat until just combined. Fold in the walnuts and apple puree.

Divide batter evenly among lined muffin cups, fill each three-quarters full. Sprinkle tops with sliced almonds. Bake in a 200 degrees Celsius oven until cake tester inserted into centres comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.



EASIEST APPLE PIE EVER

8 apples
1-2 dl caster sugar (depending on how sour apples are)
1 dl water
1/2 vanilla bean, split

sweet shortcrust pastry:
225 g plain (all purpose) flour
150 g chilled butter + extra for buttering the pie tin
3 egg yolks
1-2 tablespoons cold water

Peal, core and halve apples. Bring sugar and water to boil, reduce heat and let simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add apples and cook until apples start to soften and caramelize.

Place the flour and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor still running, add egg yolks and process until combined. Add water and process until the dough comes together.

Butter the oven proof pie tin, arrange apples on the bottom, then cover with the dough. Bake in 200 degrees Celsius oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the surface turns golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.


HALLOWEEN APPLES

Who says kids don't eat apples any more ?!
These rotten ones, filled with candy-worms, disappear from the halloween setting the second you turn your back.