Thursday, May 31, 2007

C&C - Chai and Cookies

I haven’t been to India….yet….but India has found a way to me. Chai is Indian spiced milk tea and it is the most amazing milk tea made of black tea and different spices like cardamom, anis, cloves…sugar and milk. There are many ways of preparing Chai but after trying for some time I got the spice combination I like the most. And on a chocolate-craving day Chai Hot Chocolate is a perfect rescue.

And what goes better with Chai if not cookies. I made cookies called “dreams” in Swedish. And as I was into spices already I also added my precious cacao-beans I bought on a farmers market in Mexico. And “dreams” turned into “dreams with wonderful touch of true chocolate taste”…so I called them “true dreams”.

These cookies are made with baker's ammonia and that is the only way to get the "dream" texture that makes them so distinguishable from all other cookies. 

I will be enjoying my Cookies and Chai Hot Chocolate while checking all wonderful recipes of this month’s “Waiter there’s something in my…”

Chai Hot Chocolate

serves 2

5 dl milk
3 cinnamon sticks (all together15 cm)
1/2 tbs green cardamom pods
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 pinches ground ginger (2 ml)
2 pinches crashed anise seeds (2 ml)
1 pinch ground cloves (1 ml)
1 tbs Darjeeling black tea
70g dark chocolate

In a saucepan mix milk and spices and heat to a simmer. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it steep for another 15 minutes. Heat it up to the boiling point and add tea, let steep for 5 minutes.
Chop chocolate finely, take the tea out of the milk and add chocolate to the milk, whisk until smooth. Return to the stove and heat until desired temperature.

True Dream Cookies

100g butter
2,5 dl sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 dl corn oil
1 tsp baker's ammonia
4,5 dl four
1,5 dl cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 150˚C. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla sugar for 2-3 minutes. Add the oil gradually. Mix together flour, baking soda and cacao nibs and add it to the butter mixture. When everything is mixed make about 50 balls (3 cm in diameter), flatten them a bit and place them on a parchment paper. Bake cookies for 20 minutes and when they are done place them on a wire rack until they get cold.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Waiter, there’s something in my…Mexican Stuffed Sweet Peppers

It is my first WTSIM (Waiter, There’s Something In My…) and I am so glad that I found a great recipe to contribute with. I chose a recipe that is called Stuffed Sweet Chili Peppers.

I used red and yellow Sweet Pointed Peppers and they were stuffed with a mixture of ground meat, vegetables, cooking banana, almonds and raisins. Usually stuffing that includes ground meat has rice as well and it is not one of my favourites, so this recipe was an excellent alternative. The only thing I will change next time is peppers, I will only use yellow ones, felt like they fit more than the red ones.

Mexican stuffed sweet peppers 
Adapted from "Cosina Mexicana"
4 sweet peppers
100 ml (60 g) of flour
3 eggs
oil for frying

1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
1 medium boiled potato
200 g of ground meat
2 tbs of chopped olives
2 tbs of chopped almonds
2 tbs of chopped raisins
1/2 cooking banana
salt and pepper
some oregano

To prepare: peal potato and cook it until it gets medium boiled. Cut banana in four pieces and fry it in a bit of oil until it gets golden. When potato and banana are done cut them in small pieces and set aside. Wash and clean peppers, take out the seeds and membranes. I usually cut a T in the pepper and take out the seeds and membranes with a small spoon.

To make stuffing:
Cut onion and garlic and fry them in some oil without them getting color. Add tomatoes and potato and after 5 minutes add the meat. Cook for another 20 minutes and add the rest of ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes more and when it's done stuff the peppers. Let rest while preparing the frying batter.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add yolks, flour and a pinch of salt. Blend carefully until everything is mixed well.

Heat the oil to medium hot. As I like my peppers to be a bit crunchy I used just a bit more oil than when you fry eggs. But if you like peppers to be soft you can always finish them in the oven after frying. Frying is just to make the batter nice and golden.
Take stuffed peppers and turn them around in the flour until covered. Dip in the egg batter and fry until they get golden. Put them to drip off the excess oil on kitchen paper. Bon appétit!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Yet another Mexican obsession of mine…amaranth! This tiny seed is more than perfect. Amaranth has been used by ancient Aztecs and is still used in Mexico. Most commonly candy bars called "Alegría" are made of it. But amaranth can be used in many, many other ways: you can make porridge, you can make flour of it, you can pop it and make sweets or add to your cereal, you can cook it just as you cook quinoa

For all these reasons I am really fascinated by this little grain and as a plus it is also ultra healthy, gluten-free, vegan, heart-friendly, just name it. And the best thing ever, I can buy it in my local supermarket here in Sweden.

As I first tried Amaranth in an amaranth-chocolate bar I will also start my amaranth-recipe series with it. It is very easy to make it, hardest part being popping amaranth. As the seed is very tiny (poppy seed tiny) is very easy to burn it. It is almost like popping popcorn
but without oil, so make sure you have a lid ready.

What I do is the following: first I heat a 15 cm saucepan, it needs to be very hot, and add no more than 1 tablespoon of amaranth. Pop them, shaking the pan all the time, for about 5 seconds, lift from the stove and let finish popping.

The one on the left on the picture above is amaranth that has not been popped and the one in the right is popped one.

Amaranth chocolate bars

100gr chocolate (white, milk, dark)
10 tablespoons popped amaranth (or as much as you like, but not to much as the chocolate needs to hold it together)

Melt chocolate, let it cool a bit, it should not be hot when you stir in amaranth. Stir in amaranth, mix well and shape as you want. Let chill and is ready to serve!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Budapest role and strawberries

Budapest role is a wonderful cake that is very popular here in Sweden. The traditional version is made of soft meringue-cake and filled with whipped cream and mandarin/tangerine. It tastes lovely. But as the Spanish strawberry season has reached Sweden I decided to make a Budapest role with a touch of Spain, strawberries that is.

I made the basic meringue-cake, filled it with strawberry mousse and strawberries and named it Madrid role...had to give some credit to those strawberries for tasting strawberries despite the long journey to the North. In any case I am looking forward to the Swedish strawberry season which is getting closer and closer (mid June)…

I made strawberry mousse that takes slightly more time to make as it needs to be in the fridge over night. It always turns out great so I stick to the technique.

Madrid role
6 egg-whites
300 ml (250 g) of sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbs of cornstarch
100 g almond flakes

500 g strawberries
2 tbs lime juice
100 g white chocolate
300 ml cream
4 g of gelatine (2 leaves)

To make mousse: purée 250gr strawberries in a blender and add one tablespoon of lime juice, set aside. Put the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes. Chop chocolate and put in a big bowl. Heat 150ml cream up to the boiling point and pure over the chocolate, stir until blended. Add the soft gelatine sheets, blend until gelatine melts. Add strawberry purée and the rest of the cream. Cover with plastic foil and put in the fridge over night.

Next day start with the meringue-cake: preheat oven to 140˚C. Grease lightly parchment paper and dust with flour. Whip egg whites until soft peaks. Add 250 ml of sugar gradually and whip until stiff peaks form. Mix the rest of the sugar with cornstarch and add to the meringue. Mix in the lemon juice. Fill a pastry bag with meringue. Pipe lines on the parchment paper, the cake should be 30x30cm. Sprinkle with almond flakes and bake for 1 hour.

In the meantime prepare another sheet of parchment paper which you sprinkle with caster sugar. I also used sugar sprinkles with strawberry taste. When the cake is done, let it cool for about 10 minutes, invert it on the ready parchment paper and peel of the parchment paper where the cake baked on. Let it cool.

Cut the rest of the strawberries in smaller pieces and add one table spoon of lime juice, set aside. Take the strawberry mousse out of the fridge and whip it until the stiff peaks form, fold in the strawberries.

When the cake is cold spread the mousse over it. Role the cake to form a log and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blog Quesadillas

Being food-blog reader for some time I thought it was time for me to make some contribution as well. So inspired by all of you wonderful food bloggers out there I will be sharing my love for cooking, baking and eating on this blog.

Despite the name of my blog “Blog Quesadillas” I my self am not Mexican but my boyfriend is, and I have been living in Mexico as well. It was my wonderful boyfriend who came up with the name as he knows that Quesadillas are my top favourite there you go, perfect name for my blog. Delicious Mexican cuisine will be part of this blog but you can definitely expect quite international food-blogging here at "Blog Quesadillas".