festive eat, sweet eat

Easter chocolates and DIY dyed decoration eggs

i’ve had four hectic weeks. hardly having any meals at home since days at my internship has been long (and there’s been a fantastic chef that making lunch for the office every day…). plus i’ve been working on this really fun project with a friend, that we’re soon to release. so i wouldn’t say that the coming weeks will be less hectic but i will try to make room for some cooking again – maybe when going home for easter? however i started with the easter candy one week early, couldn’t keep myself. here you go.

Easter, tiny pumpkin seed chocolates | piecefully

Easter, tiny pumpkin seed chocolates | piecefully

Tiny pumpkin seed chocolates
150 ml pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp raw cacao
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp agave syrup
pinch sea salt

toast the pumpkin seeds until they have “popped”, make sure not to burn them. set aside. the coming part you need to be quite quick and attentive so that you don’t burn the sugar. melt the coconut sugar on low temperature, when starting to melt add most of the cocoa, half the agave syrup and mix. directly add half of the pumpkin seeds the rest of the syrup an cocoa and mix again until the seed starts to be covered. sprinkle with sea salt, add the natural pumpkin seed and set to cool.

Easter, DIY natural dyed decoration eggs | piecefully

dyed easter eggs for decoration
eggs (as many as you plan to dye)
needle
white wine vinegar
salt

the colors:
purple beetroot works fine (however i used left over frozen pomegranate seeds)
yellow turmeric (powder)
for the golden I cheated and used gold spray…

to empty the eggs make a hole with the needle at the top if the egg – and a little bit larger one at the bottom. now blow from the top until the shell is empty (make sure to use the eggs for cooking or baking!). rinse with water, and blow that out as well. on the stove put water, a dash of vinegar, som salt and the choice of dye in a pot. fill the empty eggs with some water and put in the pot. bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 15 minutes – turning the eggs now and again. discard the water, let the eggs cool and then empty them of water. tadaa.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2014. All rights reserved.

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eats, festive eat, salt eat, sweet eat

Cinnamon Popcorn & Apple Chips

i know i might be late but i’ve had a popcorn epiphany. popcorn anything. any day of the week. this is my latest favorite. it’s like christmas and fall in one and the same treat.

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apple chips (a small amount)
two good apples

popcorn (single serving)
1 1/2 tbsp popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp agave syrup (or maple?)
2-3 pinches of sea salt
a small handfull of apple chips (bought or homemade)

for the apple chips.
wash and dry the apples. cut in 4 wedges and remove the core, then slice each wedge in 1 mm thin slices (making small triangles). put on baking paper, making sure pieces are not on top of each other. now dry in the oven at 75°c for approximately 5 hours (or until crisp). to let steam out put a wooden spoon/kettle-holder in the oven door, that keeps it open.

now the popcorn.
start by popping the popcorn on the stovetop in the small amount of canola oil. medium high heat and the lid on, continuously swirling the kernels. when popping stops remove from the heat. powder with cinnamon, drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with sea salt. stir and then mix in the apple chips. indulge.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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baked eat, eats, festive eat, Sweden, sweet eat

Tangy lemon tart with mazarin and pistachio

when it comes to desserts and sweets i prefer things with some kind of crispiness. cakes with whipped cream and jam are ruled out – i prefer an easy crumble any day of the week. the sweet thing with sweet pies is that they have unlimited possibilities in terms of variation, and what can actually go wrong when you have butter, sugar and fruits or berries?

clouds | piecefully

this was an experiment inspired by Therésia’s theme of the month; citrus, that turned out surprisingly well – the sour tanginess of the fresh lemons is well balanced by the sweet almond paste, and the pistachios gives it a nice twist. and apart from wedging the lemon pulp it’s really quite easy. that’s about what’s need to be said.

Lemon tart with mazarin and pistachio | piecefully Lemon tart with mazarin and pistachio | piecefully

crust
4 dl (400 ml) flour
125 g butter
75 ml sugar
1 tbsp water
1 egg

mix the dry ingredients and then pinch together with the wet ones until it’s a smooth dough. leave in the fridge for about an hour before rolling out and dressing a pie dish with it (ca 24 cm diameter). while waiting prepare the filling.

mazarin
300g almond paste, grated
125 g butter, at room temperature
80 g natural pistachio kernels, ground (i use a nut grinder)
3 eggs
lemon zest from one lemon
pulp from six small lemons

start with the lemons. zest one of them to mix with the batter. then cut away the peel from all of them and cut out “wedges” of pulp (only the pulp, leaving out the white “walls”). then mix everything but the eggs with a whisk. add in the eggs and give it another whisk. pour the batter in the crust and place the lemon wedges spread out in the batter. now bake at 175°c for 45 min (or until the tar gets a nice golden colour).

i got some crust and filling left and threw in a couple of plums in two small pie dishes, also a winning combo!

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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eats, festive eat, Places, sweet eat

Taiwanese tea and coconuts

Wistaria tea house in Taipei, Taiwan. built in the 1920’s. the building became a teahouse and gained its present name in 1981 and at that time it was meeting place for political dissidents fighting for a democratic Taiwan. it’s perserved as a historic monument and open for anyone to come for a cup of wistaria tea. i went there in december 2012 and i could literary have spent hours and hours sitting in the fantastic surroundings drinking cup after cup of their fragrant tea. every tiny cup was a small treat. thankfully i managed to bring some back home.

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at Wistaria the tea is traditionally brewed in tiny tiny ceramic pots, filled to the brim with leaves. the tea is then transferred to an open pot (“ocean”) before poured into the small serving cups. you get your own pot of warm water and can then pour yourself new tea as the discussions continue… just as the taipei artists, academics and literati does and have done. if you find yourself in taipei – don’t miss out.

another tiny treat that might be closer to home, and easier to try, are these pieces of chocolate covered coconut. like bounty but better and healthier, without both dairy and gluten. you make them in the swiftest of a moment and finish them off just as fast.

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Coconut and chocolate squares

one can coconut milk (400 ml)

ca 170 g shredded coconut

about 2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 pinches of sea salt

ca 150 g dark (70%) chocolate

chill the can of coconut milk in the freezer for 30-45 min. by doing this it is easy to scoop out only the coconut cream, leaving the “water” out. then put the coconut cream in a pot on the stove together with the sugar and salt. bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar has dissolved. steer in the shredded coconut. season with sugar/salt if needed. flatten out the mixture on a tray covered with baking paper (rectangular) so that is approximately 1,5 cm thick. leave to cool in the fridge a couple of hours or over night. cut the coconut in 20 pieces and dip in melted chocolate. before putting in the fridge to cool again sprinkle some sea salt ont top and garnish with shredded coconut/coconut flakes. they keep for about a week in the fridge. but don’t worry at that point there wont be any left. the recipe is an interpretation from this girl’s. thank you for the inspiration.

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eats, festive eat, in eat, salt eat, sea eat, summer eat, Sweden

Midsummer calls for pickled herring.

From past years.

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i’m off to Åland to celebrate midsummer. to eat pickeled herring, potatoes, strawberries and drink schnapps. this is my absolute favorit pickled herring. my grand mother introduced it to me a couple of years ago and we fell in love. the recipe originates from the southern parts of Sweden, Skåne. apart from being delicious it’s also incredibly easy to make.

Brantevikssill 

250 g pre-pickled herring
2,5 dl sugar
1 tsp salt
20 pounded white pepper kernels
20 pounded jamaica pepper kernels (“kryddpeppar”)
1 onion, chopped
1  red onion, chopped
1 tbsp lemon pepper (“citron peppar)
1 bay leaf
1 bunch dill, chopped
1 dl vinegar essence 12% (“ättikssprit”)
take out the herrings from the pickle, cut in desired pieces and let dry for a bit. prepare the remaining ingredients and mix the spices with salt and sugar. in a clean glass jar layer the herring, onion, dill and spice mixture until finished. put in the fridge and let sit for a day (or preferably two!). there is no need to add any liquid since this will be taken care of by itself. put it on the buffé table for midsummer. or serve up with some fresh potatoes, good hard bread with butter and salty cheese.
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