Tuesday, 1 December 2009


http://www.velbekomme.com/ (wonderfully easy to remember, nicht wahr?)

Hello dear readers! On the occasion of Christmas and my never really user friendly website address, I have finally decided to take the jump. From now on, you can follow my foodie ramblings on the address above.

The blog is keeping its delicious looks, but the new setup will allow me to make all kinds of wonderfulicious trimmings. Just you wait 'enry 'iggins, just you wait!

Anyway, thanks a lot to Blogger for a great two and a half years of impeccable service.

Se y'all on the webthing.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Happy Birthday Rolls

No, we're not celebrating the birthday of the roll, but with the roll. Big difference - I'm not crazy you know. Talking to my oven fresh cuties here is not my thang, even though they do have a lot of personality if I may say so. But if I were to talk to them, I'm sure they would say something in the line of "Thanks a lot b****! How would you like it if you had to spend 12 freaking minutes in a scorching hell hole?" Well, maybe that's why I don't talk to them. Anyway, this kind of roll is what most children have on their birthdays in Denmark, topped with melting butter and coupled with hot chocolate and whipped cream. And that's just the starter. The main course is a great sponge cake with icing and more whipped cream. If the parents are really naughty (or have a death wish) they OD the children with candy after that and whooptedo: 20 hyperactive kids with tummy aches.
Aaaanyway, these rolls are really yummy on their first day, so make sure you have plenty of them, while they're still velvety, warm and can serve as the perfect vehicle for softly yielding butter. And speaking of birthdays, this dough is also perfect for shaping one big dough-woman or man, baking and decorating it with icing sugar and the candy of your choice. Brings out the child in me every time.

Happy Birthday Rolls (makes about 12 depending on the size)
Recipe adapted from an oldschool cookbook on Bagværk in the "Menu" series from Lademann (1979).
  • 3 decilitres of milk (any kind will do)
  • 50 grams of fresh yeast
  • 75 grams of butter, diced and almost room temperature
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cardamom, powdered (the rolls won't taste like cardamom, but it gives a great taste base)
  • 500 grams of regular wheat flour
  • 1 egg, beaten together for glazing

1) Heat the milk in a saucepan until it's lukewarm (30-35 degrees Celcius). Then crumble the yeast into it and stir until it has dissolved completely. Add the butter and stir until it has melted. Add salt, sugar and cardamom, stir for a while and then add the flour bit by bit. Knead the dough until it has a soft, even and stretchy texture. Leave it in a bowl covered with a tea towel for 30 mins or until it has risen to twice its size. Remember to leave it somewhere with room temperature.

2) Take the dough from the bowl and knead the air our of it. If you're kind of nazi about having evenly sized rolls as I am, you can weigh the dough and divide the grams by the amount of rolls you wish to end up with. Then pull out lumps of dough and check that each of them has the chosen weight.

3) When you're through with dividing and weighing it's time to shape the rolls. I like to start kneading each lump and then, to create the nice even round shape, I take the dough and pull at the outer sides and shove them towards the bottom and into the center of the roll. I hope that makes sense to you, because I can't seem to find a better way of explaining it. If you do it right, you should be stretching the outer sides smooth and tucking in the "ends" into the bottom centre.

4) Put each roll on a lined baking tray and leave them to raise for another 15 mins. under a tea towel. Turn the oven to 220 degrees Celcius while you are waiting.

5) Brush the surface of the risen rolls with a lightly beaten egg and put them in the middle of the oven for about 12 mins. Make sure they don't turn too dark so look at them every now and then. Leave them to cool for 5-10 mins. and serve while they're still a bit warm so the butter will melt softly into the bread. Yummmm!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pear Tart With a Lemon/Marzipan Filling

I love love looove making tarts. It's the most satisfying thing ever because they always end up looking so pretty and round and Mother Goosey. This one is a hybrid of two recipes with a twist of Heidi on top.

Pear Tart With a Lemon/Marzipan Filling
The tart shell is exactly the same as I used in the French Lemon Tart. Prepare the shell following that recipe, including pre-baking it. Then make the filling below, which is a recipe from a random marzipan manufacturer with an added twist inspired by Smitten Kitchen: A whole half lemon blended into the mixture to add a bit of tang to the rich flavour.

Lemon/Marzipan Filling
  • 1/2 organic lemon with everything (apart from the seeds)
  • 150 grams of marzipan, grated
  • 100 grams of icing sugar
  • 75 grams of butter, in small cubes
  • 1 egg, beaten together
  • 1/2 decilitre of cream
  • 2 pears, sliced lengthwise
Set the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Blend the lemon with its peel still on, add the sugar and mix well. Throw in the remaining ingredients (except for the pears) and remember to grate the marzipan and beat the egg in advance. Then pour the mixture into the partially pre-baked tart shell (see link to recipe above) and arrange the pear slices in the filling as you like. I am ashamed to admit that I used tinned pears for the picture above. It was purely bad habit and it wasn't quite as lovely as it would have been with a pear that had more texture and charater left in it. Anyway, put the tart just below the middle of the oven and let it bake for about 40 mins. Check it with a pin. The texture should be firm, but slightly sticky. Make sure you also check its colour towards the end as it can turn dark pretty quickly. If it turns brown early, you can always place at large piece of tin foil on top of it (don't tuck in the sides, just leave it loose) or try with another baking tray above the tart. Leave to cool for 20 mins and serve. Perfect for those long November afternoons.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Danish Delights: Flødeboller

This is NOT a 10 minute treat. Not by a longshot. But oh my G does it hit the spot after 2-3 hours of messing about in the kitchen. While it may not be a beginner's recipe, it's not as hard as one might think. The only problem is the chocolate, but come on, when has chocolate ever really been a problem? Chocolate drippings everywhere just give you an extra excuse to taste the stuff as you go along.

Apart from the odd Swedish or German interpretations of the concept "flødebolle" (~ "cream roll" though no cream or rolls are involved), I believe they are mostly a Danish invention. At least I know we've been the ones taking it to a higher level during the last decade or so. Basically a flødebolle consist of three things: A waffle or marzipan base cut into circles, a filling made of whipped egg whites and sugar (a bit like Italian meringue) and a chocolate "cover". That's it. But when you buy them from chocolatiers in Copenhagen, e.g. A XOCO (the best place for innovative and immaculate chocolate in Denmark as far as I'm concerned - they call it chocolate gastronomy and that's pretty much what it is), you get so much more. The version I made was inspired by our recent visit to the probably most infamous 2 star Michelin restaurant here called noma. Their filling was raspberry flavoured and it really brought me to my knees. Let's get this party started:

Flødeboller (makes about 40 with a 4 cm diameter base)

Recipe adapted from a Mad&Vin ad

Meringue filling
  • 3 (pasteurized) egg whites
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 15 raspberries, mashed (you can choose to remove the seeds by pressing them through a sieve first)

  • 50 grams water
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 150 grams marzipan
  • 20 grams chopped almonds
Chocolate cover
  • 200 grams very dark chocolate, e.g. Lindt 85% cocoa which has a very nice acidity
1) Mix the almonds with the marzipan and use a rolling pin to roll it out on a slightly floured surface until it is about 4 mm thick. Cut circles into the marzipan using a small glass with a diameter of about 4 cm. Place an oven rack on some baking paper (for the chocolate drippings) and then place the circles on the rack. The leftover bits can be re-rolled and cut into squares and filled in the same way, but use them as tasters for later.
2) Whip the egg whites in a metal or glass bowl (important because of the heat later on) and add the sugar as they begin to turn stiff. Keep whipping until the mixture is nice and fluffy. Set aside.
3) Boil a syrup in a saucepan using the water and sugar. Let it reach 117 degrees Celcius and at that exact point, take if from the heat and whip it into the egg whites with an electric mixer, making sure you pour as slowly and as closely to the inside of the bowl as possible so it DOES NOT hit the mixer in the bowl. Be careful as the bowl can turn quite hot from the syrup. Keep whipping until it has colled down. When all of the syrup has been mixed, add the mashed/de-seeded raspberries and mix it well. At the end the mixture should be shiny, slightly "bouncy" and you should be able to form little peaks with the tip of your mixer. If not, keep mixing for another while.
4) Pour some of the mixture into a piping bag with a round-holed tip, squeeze it gently and twist it to keep the mixture in place. And here starts the tricky part. Squeeze out a little of the meringue onto one of the marzipan bases. MAKE SURE you squeeze it out evenly, because otherwise you will have trouble covering it evenly with the chocolate afterwards. A trick I learned along the way (did I mention this was my first time?) was this:
  • Place the tip of the piping bag on the middle of a marzipan circle.
  • Hold it upright and squeeze out an even blob that goes almost to the edge of the base
  • Stick the tip into the blob and squeeze some more, always lifting it slightly upwards as you go. This should result in layered "waves" of meringue that turn smaller as you reach the wanted height. Mine were about 7 cm tall. See above photo for details.
  • When all of the bases have been topped with meringue, leave them to set for 30 mins.
5) After about 20 mins. melt the chocolate in a bain marie (water bath) and leave it to cool to a "finger-temperature". You can always try pouring it onto one of your testers and see if the meringue melts. If not, you're ready to go. If it is too cold, reheat it gently, otherwise it won't run down the sides and cover the meringue properly. When you're pretty confident the chocolate is just right, pour it over each meringue top using a cup. Leave them to set. This is were I still need some clarification from a chocolatier because how the hell does one get the chocolate to cover completely? Even with all my precautions the flødebolle on the picture top right was still one of the prettiest of the bunch and that says a lot. Luckily I'm going on a chocolate course tomorrow evening and I will try to ask the chocolatier about this, so I might have some answers for you soon. If not, they are still extremely delicious in the more "rustic" version. The combination of the sweet meringue, and the acidity of the chocolate and the raspberries can't possibly be ruined by shaky design only. Plus, the almonds render the base slightly crunchy which is very very nice. Now go on, be bold and try it out. The reward is huge and mouthwateringly addictive! The flødeboller must be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They can keep for 2-3 days but then the sugar starts crystallizing on the inside and the raspberry juicy starts dripping slightly. Not bad tasting but definitely better when they're fresh.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Crispyfied Home Fries


Finally I cracked the secret code, not of home made gold, no, but of home fries. Yes sir. After many years of slicing, dicing, boiling, frying, baking and deep frying potatoes with more or less the same flacid result (I like my fries to stay crispy, please) I cracked it. It was only a matter of combining two pieces of information that had been scattered in my brain for years: 

1) Olive oil can't handle high temperatures but other oils can.
2) When you bake stuff in the right oil, that very stuff turns crispy.

Hence the following recipe for:

Oven Baked Crispy Fries (enough for two lovers of fries):

  • 8 regular sized potatoes
  • 1/2 decilitre of rapeseed oil
  • Salt, pepper and additional herbs of your own choice
1) Turn on the oven to 225 degrees Celcius.

2) Fill a saucepan about 1/3 with water and add a teaspoon of salt.

3) Slice the potatoes in long wedges.

4) Put the wedges into the boiling water and let them boil on for 10 mins.

5) Take them out of the water, dry them gently with a paper towel and leave them to cool down slightly on a lined baking tray (I used the reusable baking paper as seen on the picture - very recommendable!). 5-10 mins. in front of an open window should suffice.

6) Spread about half a decilitre of rapeseed oil on the potatoes and make sure they are all thoroughly smothered in it. I used the simple, cheap kind of rapeseed oil that comes in a plastic bottle because the taste isn't as pungent as in the organic, dark golden kind I use for salads. Sprinkle it with sea salt  and pepper.

7) Put the baking tray in the middle of the oven and let it bake for 10-15 mins. before you take out the tray and turn the wedges over with cooking tweezers, your fingers or af fork to make sure they get an evenly baked surface. In my oven they turn brown faster on the side turning onto the tray, but that may differ. Return it to the oven and repeat until the potatoes are completely cooked, brown and kind of "bubbly" on all sides. Leave them to cool for five minutes.

8) Make your own seasoning to sprinkle on top. Here I crushed some cilantro/coriander seeds with extra sea salt and grated lemon zest. Very delicious with a simple crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt dip.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

10 Minute Treat: Hot Espresso-Chocolate

Looking at other people's blogs can be very inspiring. If you want a new way to pamper your guests on a Friday night, the possibilities seem endless. But what most of us really need, are ways to get us through our busy lives without having to settle for bakery cakes or ye olde spaghetti bolognese five days a week. That's why I've decided to share some of my little everyday tricks that fill out the vast space in between my more demanding kitchen projects. Here's the first one in a series of quick and easy ways of putting your inner snack beast to rest. This is one of my favourites: Hot Espresso Chocolate:


All you need is:

  • 2 espresso shots/small cups of strong coffee
  • 2 cardamom capsules (optional)
  • 2 decilitres of milk
  • A splash of cream (optional)
  • 40 grams of dark chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla sugar (optional)
  • A pinch of salt

1) Make two espresso shots using an espresso jug as seen above or here. If you don't have any such thing, I suspect a strong cup of fresh coffee or maybe even Nescafé could do the trick. I use two tablespoons of espresso for two decilitres of water. Throw in two slightly squeezed cardamom capsules (as pictured in the tin on the left) with the coffee (or in the coffee grinder if you have one) and make the espresso.

2) While the coffee is boiling pour two decilitres of milk (add a tiny splash of cream for that extra feeling of luxury) into a saucepan, add a pinch of salt, the vanilla sugar and heat it slowly. Meanwhile chop up the chocolate and add it to the milk when it has started building tiny creamy bubbles at the edges of the saucepan. Stir it until the chocolate has dissolved completely but don't let it boil.

3) Pour the fresh coffee into a nice cup. Whisk or froth up the hot chocolate (I use my Bodum French press but a regular whisk will do too) and pour it into the coffee.

4) Serve the drink and enjoy the instant comfort og two pleasures in one: Espresso and hot chocolate. If you're feeling adventurous I can recommend adding a touch of chili to the chocolate. That really takes it to the next level. But still, it shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to make this:

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Julie & Julia

Julie and Julia
(Our real life movie tickets, yup. Just so you know, I was in seat no. 7.)

Contrary to popular belief, I do, on occasion venture out of my kitchen. So last Sunday, I and my flour-dusted hair took T to the local movie theatre. Luckily we went to see Julie & Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The two main characters Julie and Julia discover the eternal truth that cooking is the most rewarding pastime ever. Though I'm not a weeping fan, I think Streep was really great in the role of Julia Child, the saga queen of the cooking revolution in post war America and author of the cooking bible "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". Not that I knew her before I saw this movie, but she was a real character and it seems that Streep really nailed her, so to speak. There might just be an Oscar in it for her. As for Amy Adams, she plays a young blogger in post-9/11 New York who decides to cook her way through said bible in just one year. It was very eery that Hollywood had managed to churn out something that I could actually relate to to that extent. I mean, a woman around thirty starts a blog with the help of her lovely husband, writes about cooking and experiences its therapeutic forces on a daily basis. Hello! That's me! Only hang up I have was the very very annoying way Amy Adams' character Julie's husband chewed his food. I just couldn't watch it. His mouth was all over the place. I'm sure it was just actor Chris Messina's way of portraying that elusive experience of drool and yum in a manner befitting the movies. But me did not like. Anyway, it's a real heart warmer and that's not something I would usually be caught dead saying (as if that makes any sense at all). What are you still doing here? Go catch it before it's gone like the butter on Julia Child's frying pan.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

New York - Man, Did I Take a Bite Out of That Apple!

Yes yes yes, it's been ages since I went to New York but it took me some serious editing to cut my food experiences from one whole greedy week of eating into just one post. Suffice it to say that the pleasures of the palate were never ending in that city and we pretty much tasted everything in sight. I was very surprised at the quality of the food - was afraid there would be sugar and grease all over the place (Just kidding there. Having read a LOT of "The Girl Who Ate Everything" my expectations were sky high and still, I was surprised). So here are a couple of the highlights:

Left: Flourless (just a guess) chocolate mini cake with mocha zabaglione at the cafe in MOMA.
Top right: Delicious coffee and the fluffiest French toast imaginable with ricotta cheese filling at the local coffee joint on 86 E 7th str. (East Village).
Bottom right: Home made Oreos at a free flea market in Brooklyn (a bit sweet for my taste).

new york2
Left: Heart of beef on toast with plenty of yummy rhubarb butter at Diner on 85 Broadway (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). Generally a very very solid place for unpretentious and imaginative food that's very reasonably priced. (We paid 75 $ for two people having each one beverage and two entrees (the English definition of the word meaning "a smaller dish to get you started" and not the Amercian meaning which seems to be "main course"). That was more than enough to make us want to roll over and fall into sweet post coital slumber.
Top right: Farfalle with huge ass mushrooms and ricotta drool on top also at Diner (see above).
Bottom right: Japanese snacks made from peas that have been moulded into the shape of green snow peas. Very tasty, but a small taste. A bit like edamame beans. We bought them at a great Japanese supermarket called Jas Mart. 35 St Marks Pl. (East Village). Wonderful stuff indeed! I also got a tin of matcha tea that I have yet to use but still, I can't wait to make stuff turn green with it.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Blueberry Everything (& a French Lemon Tart)

I love blueberries! It might not be much of a revelation to you but to me it's right up there with trying chocolate for the first time. In the past, blueberries have just seemed to be this bland thing only Americans could rave about. But now, I've prodly joined the clan. Blueberries are cute, fairy tale like and have a really soothing, subtle and happyfying taste. And I only just found out.
It all started last weekend when I went with T to his parents' summer house in Småland (a region in Sweden). There we went on a very fruitful (lame pun intended) scavenger hunt for the berries. And boy did it pay to be rained on that day! After an initial dry spell, we found an area where the berries were so abundant that I went into a frenzy, picking greedily at double speed and sitting in awkward positions that my ancient knees didn't agree with. On that day the four of us picked about 800 grams of berries. Here's my very own blueberry home video:

But that wasn't all.
On the evening of the first hunt, I decided on a daredevil mission. I set out to make a French style lemon tart from two separate recipes to serve as a tangy counterpiece for the delicate blueberries. And guess what? It turned out to be the best I've ever made. The only thing is, I haven't double checked the recipe since, so please tell me if yours doesn't quite work out.

French Lemon Tart (recipe combo)
Tart Crust (from random marzipan manufacturer's brochure)
  • 150 grams flour
  • 100 grams butter
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • A pinch of salt
For the crust, mix all ingredients into a heavy dough, wrap it in Vita Wrap and leave it to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile, you can prepare the filling.

Lemon Filling (from Smitten Kitchen)
  • 1 lemon
  • 200 grams sugar (the 300 grams in the original recipe are highly unnecessary)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (I used potato flour - worked as a charm)
  • 115 grams butter, melted and cooled

(My recap of the recipe) Cut up the whole lemon (skin and all, but no seeds), and blend it into a smooth paste along with the sugar. In a new bowl, mix the lemon paste with the remaining ingredients until you have an even mixture. Keep it in the refrigerator until you start rolling out the dough for the crust. Set the oven at 200 degrees.
Take the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured table. Start rolling out the dough into a round, thin sheet. Transfer the sheet to a regular sized tart pan and gently press it into place in alle the flutes and corners of the pan. When all the edges have been trimmed, take a piece of baking paper the size of your tart pan and roll it into a ball (makes it easier to work with). Unroll it again and place it on the pie dough in the pan. Then cover the paper with ceramic baking beans, or, if you don't have any such silly things, regular old hard chick peas will do. The reason you're doing this, is to prevent the crust from bubbling up and cracking as well as getting an even dose of heat throughout the crust. Put the tart pan in the oven and leave it there for 10 mins. Then remove the ceramic beans/chick peas and bake for another 5 mins without them. Pour in the lemon filling, but make sure to leave about 1/3 centimeter for it to rise. I baked it for about 15 mins with half the filling and then, when it had "curdled" on the crust and shrunk back a little, I added the rest and let it bake for another 10-15 mins. or so. I don't know exactly how the original recipe ends up, but my haphazard method resulted in an almost hard, chewy and really really delicious filling with the most buttery, flaky and brown tasting tart shell I've ever made. I hope you'll experience the same. And don't forget to serve the tart with fresh blueberries.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Recipe Tryout: Cheese Straws from Smitten Kitchen

Behold: The latest recipe tryout from another food site: Cheese Straws from Smitten Kitchen.
With this one I have nothing else to say than: Why aren't you trying it already? It's got cheese, it's a finger food and it's dead easy to make. Go here for the recipe (and to compare our photos).
I would like to mention that the inclusion of the red pepper flakes seems a bit superfluous as they don't really stand a chance against the strong flavour of the cheddar. Instead I would opt for some oregano and garlic to spice things up and give the straws a more colourful appearance. Or I would split the dough in two or three batches with each their flavour. One with chili flakes, another with oregano and garlic and yet another with sesame seeds. And as we speak I'm in the middle of a tiny experiment with the dough. I'm waiting to see if it can stand waiting for a week or two in the freezer before being baked. If so, it would make it even more suited for parties. I'll get back to you with the result.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Pimp My Salad

In many ways the BYO food-party is a great invention. It's economic, eclectic and sometimes it's even exciting. But, and here's the catch, far too often "I'll bring a salad" really does just mean that someone will bring a salad. Salad. As in lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and maybe even some tinned corn. Yawn! There's just no excuse for that. Throwing together a great salad is the easiest thing in the world and it doesn't even take a recipe. Just round up your favourite fruit and vegetables, slice them up nicely and bam! You've got a money shot.

Still, I know that the creative juices don't always come a-flowin' when we want them to and that's why I've jotted down a few ways for you to pimp up your fresh salad:

There's no end to the delight an unexpected slice of melon or apple will bring to an otherwise boring assembly of veggies. I personally prefer apples because I always seem to have them lying around the kitchen (and I like the crunch), but melons, strawberries, apricots, nectarines, plums, pink grape, oranges, grapes etc. are great too. And don't underestimate the power of colourplay on the plate. It does wonders for the appetite.

I always love balancing the crunch and juice of the vegetables, the sweetness and tangy-ness of the fruit with a nutty touch. Whether it be in the shape of peeled and roasted almonds, soy-salted sunflower seeds or just plain sesame seeds, it's all good. Plus, if you have roasted them and toss them into the salad bowl shortly before serving it, the heat from the nuts tend to bring out the other flavours in the salad. Very Jamie Oliver.

Especially in summer salads fresh dill, basil, coriander, mint, chives etc. can bring some delicate and more complex flavours to the mixture. Dill is great with apples and celery, coriander in just about everything and basil is lovely with sweet ingredients. For the dry kind, crushed rose pepper works well with grapes and dried rosemary/Provence spices are great for a salad with chunks of roasted chicken. Naturally, any salad needs a slight touch of salt and pepper too.

Finally, you've assembled the perfect salad and just want it all to blend together. I would recommend that you go slow on the oils and hit the more fruity or acidy liquids. They tend to keep the salad fresh for longer and you don't get that greasy feeling afterwards. A tablespoon of elderflower cordial or some white balsamic vinegar makes for a delicious "blender", but you can experiment with any number of juices from apples, oranges, lime fruit, raspberries, red currants etc.

Obviously this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven't even begun talking about real dressings and salads with meat or yogurt/other kinds of "coating". That'll have to wait for another time. Until then, chop along and bring a salad that's pleasing to the eye and the imagination, as well as the palate.
For more inspiration I can really recommend the book on salads by the Danish chef and food entrepreneur Claus Meyer called Claus Meyers Salatværksted (as far as I know, it's only in Danish).

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Snacking My Way Through London

It took me quite a while to digest my London experience (get it? "digest" as in eat, as in "Snacking my way through London"? Eigh? Okay, I'll leave you alone), but finally I'm done with the last crumbs from high tea, that leftover slab of pickled ginger from some pretty decent sushi and an early bakery breakfast. Let me break it down for you:
Top left: High Tea at The Wolseley. The price for a full Afternoon Tea was 19,75 £, which is pretty good for London standards as far as I know. The cakes were very delicate and light and the place itself was really worth a visit. Originally built as a showroom for cars it is furnished in an elegant art déco meets empire style with marble floors, black lacquer surfaces with gold detailing and dark wooden chairs. I can really recommend opting for the "separate" tea room looking onto the street as the large former showroom has terrible accoustics. Oh yeah, and you can spy on the passers by on the street;-)
Top right: Window display at a bakery in Hampstead. I am very sad to say that I only had an almond croissant here, because it was breakfast time and then the unwritten laws (by which I don't usually abide) of nourishment-before-sweets rule, which I guess doesn't really excuse the croissant so I'll just stop talking now.

Bottom left: Self service sushi bar called Wasabi on 58 Oxford St. This is a great pick for complementing the full high-street experience on Oxford St. When your shopper's has fallen to a low, just stop by this place, fill a box with your favourite individually packed sushi wonders and recharge. Note to other camera-junkies: Photography is not allowed here, something I only noticed after having taken 50 shots of the sushi selection.

Bottom right: Hot cross buns at the same bakery in Hampstead

Cooking For a Reception


On the occasion of my recent book release (the travel guide some of you might remember me chatting about last summer), I couldn't help but invite just about everyone I know on Earth to a reception. Much to my surprise the usual statistic of about 60 % yes-sayers didn't pull through and nearly everyone said yes yes yes. Lo and behold, T and I suddenly had about 50 people on our hands who, thanks to the weather gods, could do their small talking in the blooming court yard in front of our apartment. But what to do about the food, we wondered? We seriously loathe the usual cheese squares with tooth picks and carrot sticks really don't do the trick for us either. That's why we embarked on a nitty gritty journey through about 120 delicate nibbles-on-a-stick and for my part, about 80 tiny cakes. Above from the left are tiny luxury brownies, made on a recipe for the Italian Chocolate Cake also pictured here on my blog. And that's really a big part of my best trick: Many recipes for large cakes can be made into finger-size cakes or muffins without any big changes to the recipes except from the baking time. In this case I took a cake recipe that I usually bake in a round cake tray and poured the finished mixture in a large square baking tray with an adjustable metal frame around it to make it fit to the amount perfectly. After baking it I simply measured and divided it into equally sized "brownies" and that was it. The best part is that with our new freezer, I could bake the whole lot a week in advance and then freeze them. The flavour only gets better from setting for a while. Win-win, as I see it.
As for the cakes, the mini-muffins to the right (above), they are miniatures of the apple-maccaroon cake pictured here on my blog. The only difference is that I pipmed them up a bit using hard and slightly tangy plums instead of apples, because the marzipan-like flavour of the macaroons goes perfectly with the plumness of the fruit.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


...did I mention that my travel guide has finally been printed? Well, now I have. Mentioned it, that is. Though it's in Danish, there's plenty of self-explanatory and appetizing photos for the rest of you. Check it out here:

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Doing the Unmentionable: Serving Fruit Salad For Dessert

Those of you who know me, have probably noticed a certain stubbornness when it comes to desserts. For example T and I have a favourite mock-discussion on the topic of cheese and its, in my opinion false definition as a dessert. It is NOT and never will be a worthy substitute for a sweet treat after an enjoyable meal. And the same goes for fruit. Just plain fruit. What kind of dessert is that? Maybe that kind of thing flies in the tropics where you need something to quench your thirst rather than enhance it, but here, in the cold cold North, we need a good dessert to finish us off before enjoying that post-coital cigarette and early hibernation. So - when I asked my father the other day if he had any requests dessert-wise and he answered: "Something light, we're trying to keep it down you know. Maybe just some bitter chocolate..." I nearly felt like serving some of that un-comfortably dry 99% cocoa-"chocolate" that Lindt does and a glass of water to wash down the Sahara that follows. Well, almost. The point is, I decided on making a bowl of fruit salad that would satisfy his healthy diet as well as my own ambitions. This is how it turned out and I am happy to say, I had more than one portion of it myself:

Dessert Lover's Fruit Salad (serves 4)

Syrup (makes 100 ml. - can be doubled if you like your fruit soaked)
75 ml water
25 ml lime juice
100 grams white sugar (important for the colour)
Half a star anise

1 pink grape fruit, in fillets (see instructions below)
4 dark purple plums, thinly sliced
250 grams of fresh strawberries, sliced lengthways
10 leaves of basil, chopped
Chopped pistachios

Place the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan and boil them together until the mixture reaches a runny thickness that resembles cordial - don't allow it to get too sticky. If it does, you can dilute it with a bit of water until you reach the right consistency. Remove the star anise and let it cool in the fridge for a couple of hours or over night. When the syrup has reached fridge temperature (about 5 degrees Celcius) start preparing the fruit. Clean the plums and strawberries and slice them thinly lenghtways. Peel the grape fruit and cut off the remaining skin with a sharp knife until the pulp is bared. Then proceed to slice the fruit towards the centre in each little section. If the sections are very wide, you can make two fillets from each compartment. The finished fillets should be long and flat as pictured above. As this is a very wasteful way of using a grape fruit, make sure you squeeze the remaining juice out of the fruit core and either drink it or pour it over the salad. When the fruit is done, mix it well with the chopped basil and pour a generous amount of syrup over it. Leave it to set for about 30 mins. so the basil can work its perfumed magic on the salad. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve cool, maybe even with a dewy glass of muscat.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009


As you might have noticed, Eye Candy is going through the changes. But instead of becoming barren, I and my new web editor T are trying to pimp it up to a blooming new blog. We can't wait to air the final results. One of the first changes is the name: The name Eye Candy and I sort of grew apart and instead I've started dating this college guy who's totally into French literature and can name at least eight famous painters and stuff. Anyway, from now on, this blog is called


which means "enjoy" or "may you enjoy this" and is something we Danes like to say before embarking on a great meal.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Off To London!

Just a quick note to say that I'll be spending the rest of the week with a friend of mine in London. Hope to return with good pics and new food inspiration, as I've recently heard that there's more to the British cuisine than baked beans on toast and that wretched shepherd's pie (shudder).
Have a great week!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Beet Root Gnocchi


Well howdy partner! Boy are you in for a treat today. This is one of those experiments that paid off straight away, and mind you, I could fill a book with my less fortunate trial-and-errors. This is my spin on a recipe for pumpkin gnocchi from Delicious:Days. It looked so juicy that I had to wipe off the drool from my keyboard after reading it. Only, when I looked for pumpkins at my local green grocer there were none in sight. But then something brownish red entered the corner of my eye: Good old sturdy beet roots. And with a little afterthought, I ended up buying two big fellas for my gnocchi. I couldn't get over the sheer daring of it all. But what can I say, I'm a kitchen rebel with a very good cause indeed. Well. As for the recipe, I won't be writing it here as you can see it with the link above.
What I will tell you though, are the few changes I made to the recipe. As it says in the original "script", wash, peel and slice the beets to thin slivers. Cook them in the oven as stated in the recipe, but be prepared to wait about 20 min. longer for them to soften. I ended up throwing the beets in a chopper-thingy and putting the tiny bits of beets back into the oven to speed up the process. When they were finally soft enough to sort of purée (it was more like 230 grams of sticky paste), I added the rest of the ingredients (egg yolk, salt, pepper, but no nutmeg) and stirred until it became sticky and shiny. Even though I didn't have the 450 grams of vegetable purée the recipe asked for, it still needed a whole egg yolk. As for the flower, 50 grams were plenty for this mixture. Then I rolled it, cut it into individual gnocchi. Cute and fluffy little dumplings of sweetness. Nice. And even though there was quite a lot of flower on them, they cleaned up real nice as they say Hollywood.

Despite the slight resemblance to raw tuna or bits of meat, they were absolutely heavenly with the sage butter (also in the recipe mentioned above), plenty of flaky sea salt and parmesan cheese to counter the sweetness of the beets. Actually, I was so pleasantly surprised by the outcome, that I had to call T and let him in on my delight.
Now go on, give it a try in your own kitchen. It's totally worth the flowery mess.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Healthy But Interesting Spring Rolls (Tutorial)

This is a turning point in history. Yes, today's the day when the first ever tutorial enters these pages. But please don't hold these photos against me - it's kinda tricky juggling a camera, good setups, lighting and food prep with sticky fingers (and I don't mean the album). Anyway, here goes nothing:

In my sugar-and-cream loving mind, "healthy" and "interesting" have always seemed mutually exclusive. But there has been the occasional exception and today will be a celebration of one of them: Happy-crunchy Vietnam-style spring rolls with raw vegetables.

Vietnam-Style Spring Rolls (serves two people ~ 15 rolls)

1 large carrot, julienne (see picture below)
1 celery stick, thinly sliced
1 big handful of mint leaves, chopped
1 big handful of cilantro, chopped
1/4 fennel, finely chopped
1/2 spring onion, finely chopped
1 red snack pepper, finely chopped
1-2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 lime, juiced
White balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
15 sheets of round rice paper (22 cm - see picture below)


Start preparing all of the vegetables and make sure they are all nice and thinly sliced. You want the filling to be as easy to arrange as possible. Regarding the carrots, by all means cut them julienne style by hand, but I prefer using a julienne-peeler as in this photo. It saves soo much time and agony and gives that evenly shaped Asian look.

As soon as the carrots are done, drizzle them with the lime juice to prevent them from turning brown. When the rest of the vegetables are done, sprinkle the sesame seeds into the mixture and season it with vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix it again. The result should look a bit like this:

Now it's time for the fun part: Rolling the rolls, weeha!

Take one sheet of rice paper and soak it in luke warm water for a couple of minutes, or until soft and dangly. Spread it out onto a clean tea towel and pat it dry. Place about a tablespoon of the salad just slightly below the middle of the rice paper:

Fold the front half over the salad and try to prevent "air bubbles" under the paper (I'm not perfect there but hey, we're all learning). Then proceed to fold one side over the middle, creating a straight line going away from you

Fold it as tightly against the salad as possible so you don't end up with saggy rolls that won't dip into the soy sauce afterwards. Again, try to avoid any air stuck under the paper. Fold the other side tightly over the first. Then roll it firmly to the end of the paper:

And voilà, your very own healthy and interesting spring rolls to serve with soy sauce and sliced/roasted pork chops as below or any other way you like. Enjoy!

And that concludes this week's lesson. Now get back to doing whatever you were doing and let me crunch up those rolls by myself;-)

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Blogging Around


This time I won't even bore you with excuses for my absence. Suffice it to say that I'm still going at it in the kitchen and here's what I've been up to lately:

As I mentioned back in December, I had a visit from a good friend in Munich. What I didn't tell you was that she brought me a new cookbook by a fellow foodblogger from Munich. Which again brought me to check out her starting point on the internet: delicious days. Although not exactly stuffed with posts it is very VERY interesting to look at the recipes she does have. Not to mention her photos! The above photo is my version of what you can see here under the heading "How to turn rhubarb pink". It's a little puff pastry tart filled with home made vanilla custard and a slightly tangy compôte of rhubarbs and raspberries. They turned out really great and my initial fear of the store bought puff pastry turning yeasty-bitter and way too thick was put to rest. And even the next day they were very delicious indeed.
Follow the link to find the original recipe. Below are my comments and learnings from her recipe. Do yourself a favour and try it out - you won't regret it! My only let down was the fact that it ended up looking like a very familiar piece of Danish: The "Spandauer" (enjoy the mug-shot) which is a sort of round puff pastry thingy with twisted edges, filled with a stiff custard or marmelade and topped with icing sugar. That sort of made me a little less excited about the new discovery. A bit like the time I made some Spanish tomato marmelade and somebody asked if it was ketchup. Dammit!

First of all, there's waaay too much custard and compôte to fill 10-12 puff pastry cups. I used the store bought kind where you get six little "plates" of dough, of which I used three to make 12 small tarts. Granted, that's 50 grams less dough than the recipe says, but I still have enough filling left over to make another 12 tarts. So either make half the amount of filling or double the amount of puff pastry.

Monday, 5 January 2009

This Year's Model (well, last year's, really)


Just to show you how a "kransekage" looks, when it hasn't been on the floor...(compare to previous New Year's eve-post here).

And while I'm at it: Happy New Year and welcome to 2009! Hopefully it'll be a year filled with heavenly mouthfuls.

'Tis the Season, lah dee dah

Can you believe these shots? I can't, and I was there.
This is how we spent Christmas at my inlaws', including my mother. Or rather, this is what we ate during the holidays. For here in Denmark it is customary to rank food right up there with the gifts, and the older you get, the more "foody" it turns. Judging from endless Thanksgiving specials on just about every tv show from the States we're not the only ones to make holidays all about the food (who could forget those dinners at the Walsh residence, where Brandon would bring a homeless guy to the table and pass him the cornbread like he was Jesus or something?). Anyway, this is a peek into our traditions. The first shot is from Christmas night which we all celebrate on the 24th with a pork roast or a roast duck as in this photo. In my family we used to have turkey because my mother's Australian, but I do like a good duck too. Here it's dressed in the traditional cuff made out of cut, white paper and to top it: A fresh sprig of pine. Served with a Waldorf salad, caramelized potatoes and a sauce that was to die for (made on roquefort cheese, red currant gelly, cream and the tasty drippings from the duck-tray, [drool]).

Yup, that's my mother's hand going for the juicy duck. Can you blame her?

Next day's feast was a Christmas lunch, complete with roast pork, "rullepølse" (the pink thing in slices, a kind of pork roulade with a pepper filling. Sounds strange, but is delish when served with fresh onion rings and mustard), fried, pickled herring and carpaccio (admittedly not a classic in the Danish kitchen, but a classic all the same). Great stuff, I tells ya! And on a side note: How campy is that roaring fire place in the background?! But it warms the heart, doesn't it?

Merry Christmas, or "Glædelig jul" as we say in this country of ours.