Saturday, 17 January 2009

A Game of Gingerbread Tennis

Gingerbread cookies are very popular in Finland. A lot of them are eaten and baked during the Christmas time, but they really are something enjoyed all the year round and not just during Christmas.

I bought two packets of frozen gingerbread dough before Christmas and used one of them immediately, but for the past few days I had been pondering what to do with the other packet. Also, I happened to mention to my Dad that I might bring him something baked when we are going to meet for our weekly game of tennis tomorrow.

So, I decided on baking gingerbread cookies for my Dad, and what better than bake some gingerbread tennis rackets and balls! :) Especially, as the first Grand Slam of the tennis season is about to start in Australia. I only had a packet of pink icing sugar, so I ended up with some pink rackets and pink balls. :) And some butterflies, as that is what you propably have in your tummy before an important tennis match. Plus simply because I love my butterfly cookie cutter. :)

In case you want to try and make gingerbread all the way from making also the dough yourself Food from Finland has a recipe for Finnish style gingergread snaps. May I mention that Food from Finland is a great site, if you want to learn more about Finnish food.

And just for comparition. This is the real thing, and no, it is not pink! :) This picture I took at the 2008 French Open in Paris.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

1st Anniversary!

My goodness! I just realized Cinnamonda turned 1 a few days ago! It was January 13th 2008 that I posted my first post about puff pastry bundles. What fun this have been! And how time has flown! I have not always had time to post as frequently as I would have liked to, but 48 times anyway, this post included. :)

How should we celebrate? Some chocolate, maybe? Or perhaps a cake? I am still abstaining from anything chocolately, and I just posted about ambroisia cake. Hmmm... How about some nice coconut filled croissants?
Yes, coconut filled croissants it is! Easy to make, very easy to the taste buds! :)

I have used my "Seitsemän sortin leivonnaiset" cook book by ICA provkök a lot lately. Even this recipe is from that book. I have adapted the recipe just a tiny bit. In the original version milk is used instead of water, but I hardly ever have any milk at home, so, I usually substitute milk with water which I did also when baking these croissants. If you don't like coconut, feel free to use another filling, for example strawberry or raspberry jam.

Coconut croissants

makes 24

50 g fresh yeast
150 g (unsalted) butter (or margarine)
3 dl water
3/4 dl sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
ca. 1 l flour

For the filling you will need:
50 g (unsalted) butter (or margarine)
1/2 dl coconut flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (Well, this is the 1st anniversary of Cinnamonda, the recipe kind of had to have some cinnamon in it! :))
grated zest of 1 orange

some egg for brushing

1. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter. Mix with water. Let cool to 37 degrees Centigrade.
3. Pour the mixture onto the crumbled yeast. Mix until the yeast has melted.
4. Add sugar, lightly beated egg and most of the flour.
5. Knead with your hands or with a machine until smooth. Let rise for half an hour.
6. Prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
7. On a floured table knead the batter a bit more.
8. Divide the batter into three parts. Using a rolling pin roll out each part of the batter into a circle of ca. 30 cm in diameter. Cut each circle into 8 triangles.
9. Place a teaspoonful of filling onto the widest part of each triangle.
10. Roll the triangles into croissants starting from tha widest end.
11. Place the croissants onto a prepared baking dish, and let rise covered with a kitchen towel for another half an hour.
12. Meanwhile heat the oven to 250 centigrade (225 if you are using a convection oven).
13. Bruch the croissants with some egg.
14. Bake in 250 (225) for 6-10 minutes.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

New Year's Resolutions, Anyone?

I hope everyone has got a good start for 2009. I have had a relaxing, almost a fortnight's, vacation from work with a nice combination of Christmas and New Year's family traditions and shopping therapy!

I have also had time to test some nice recipies, which I hope to post about later. Today, however, I want to share with you the recipe for my new favorite cake! It is so easy to make, and it tastes so good that you simply must try this recipe! Please do, you will not regret it! :)

Oh, and did I make any New Year's resolutions? Yes, I did. After stuffing myself with all that lovely chocolate I bought from Amsterdam and Ljubljana, plus all the lovely Finnish chocolates I ate during Christmas, I have decided... drums, please!..I have decided to have chocolate free January! Yes, you read absolutely right, I will not eat a single piece of chocolate for 31 days! :) Umm, that means, 4 days down, 27 to go...

Ambrosia Cake

Recipe from "Seitsemän sortin leivonnaiset" by ICA provkök.

Preheat the oven to 150 Centigrade.

For the cake you will need:

125 g
liquid margarine or butter
2 eggs
1,5 dl sugar
1,5 dl wheat flour
0,5 teaspoon baking powder
some butter and breadcrumbs for the tin

For the icing:

3 dl icing sugar
2-4 tablespoons water or freshly pressed orange or lemon juice (I used lemon juice)
ca. 4 tablespoons candied (orange) peel in small pieces

1. Butter a round (25 cm) pie tin & prepare it with breadcrumbs.
2. Mix eggs and sugar until nicely fluffy.
3. Add flour, baking powder and margarine/butter. (If liquid margarine or equivalent is not available, melt the margarine/butter and let it cool before use.) Mix. then pour into the prepared tin.
4. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 25-30 minutes.
5. Let the cake rest for awhile, before removing it from the tin.
6. While the cake is cooling down, prepare the icing by mixing water of juice with the icing sugar. You should get a lovely, thick mixture.
7. Pour the icing onto the cake. Use a spoon or a knife to spread it evenly.
8. Decorate with candied peel.
9. Remember to let the icing harden before you cut the cake!
10. Yum- yum!!