Thursday, 28 May 2015
I recently spent a week in Stockholm, Sweden and wanted to share with you all the foodie sights I saw and ate during my trip. I know that everyone's holiday eating style and interests are different so I'll tell you a bit about mine first. My boyfriend is a vegetarian so this controls a lot of our eating out choices as not only do we need to go to somewhere that has a veggie option, but we need to go somewhere that has a veggie option he likes! I'm happy to oblige this as most restaurants nowadays have varied choices for vegetarians. In Sweden every eatery you go to will have at least one vegetarian option, and there are also several vegetarian only restaurants.
We started our first night in Sweden with ice cream! Daim is a hugely popular Swedish brand which I love so I couldn't resist it in ice cream form.
We found a vegetarian restaurant on our first day that I'd heard of in the guide books, but on arrivel my boyfriend was not impressed with it. So, we ended up in an Irish pub! It was called Wirstroms Pub and I had some really delicious beer battered fish and chips, while my boyfriend feasted on nachos. They had a great selection of food and it was really tasty.
We ate at a local Italian restaurant called Vapiano more than once as it was only a few doors down from our hotel, it was good value for money and the food was tasty. It is a chain restaurant with a number of branches internationally. They cooked all the food fresh right in front of you, which I liked as it meant you could customise the meal if you wished. Above is a prawn risotto which was delicious.
We went cycling around an area of Stockholm called Djurgården and came across the cafe of a Botanical Gardens. They had a gorgeous selection of cakes and other baked goods.
I went for a slice of rhubarb and cardamom cake with fresh cream. I loved the flavour combination and the cake was really moist, my only complaint - it needed more rhubarb!
We visited a place called Skansen, which is an open air museum focusing on Swedish history. They have historical buildings showcasing the trades of the past, I visited the bakery and it was so interesting to see the old style equipment and tools that was used to make the pastries and sweet breads.
As a baker, it was particularly exciting for me to see this and think about the huge changes in baking technology. The golden pretzel was the traditional symbol of bakeries which is why it is hung outside.
At Skansen they still make bread in the traditional way and they sell it on site. I purchased a cinnamon bun which I ate later and it was delicious!
We also had some lunch while we were at Skansen. I went for the hot dog which was served in a way I've not come across before. It had a cucumber relish on it, salad leaves and some crispy onions on top. I added some ketchup and it was delicious! I wasn't a huge fan of the relish but I liked the salad leaves and crispy onions. My boyfriend went for crepes with fruit compote and cream which he really enjoyed.
As a special treat we went to a fancier restaurant one night. It was a seafood place called Sturehof and came highly recommended in the guide books and online. It only had one veggie option, which was a potato gnocchi, and my boyfriend could take it or leave it. I had lobster which was stunning!
For dessert I got a caramel bavarois with swiss roll and raspberry sorbet. Possibly the poshest dessert I've ever eaten! It was delicious and I loved the mix of tangy sorbet and rich caramel bavarois. My boyfriend had a creme brulee which was delicious but quite a small portion.
The next day we had lunch at Chokladkoppen which is in the old town area of Stockholm. I had lasagne which was really tasty. The salad was unusual to me as it included a very creamy dressing, beansprouts and a slice of orange! It's interesting to see how food is served in different countries and I enjoy trying new things.
My boyfriend wasn't hungry enough for a full meal so he had a cinnamon bun, it looked gorgeous!
We also managed to fit in some ice cream afterwards. Ben & Jerrys did a flavour I've not seen before that was very Swedish - Cinnamon Buns. It was soooo good! My boyfriend most mourned the loss of this ice cream when we flew home. I hope it comes to the UK!
Now I must get onto the topic of Swedish Princess Cakes. Oh how I love these tasty treats! I saw them in every shape and size throughout the week. The one above is from a bakery called Schweizer Konditori and it was amazing!
I gazed at them in many a shop window as well as a variety of other amazing looking cakes!
They even sold pre-coloured marzipan and the rose decorations for the top in the supermarket! This would've been so handy when I made a Swedish Princess Cake.
Ok so apologies for the bad photos, but damn these burgers were the best I ever tasted! We walked to a place called Flippin Burgers one night and this place is so popular we couldn't even get a table (the wait was over an hour). So we got take out instead and ate it back at the hotel room. I've never eaten such a delicious burger. Seriously impressed.
Flippin Burgers also make ice cream milkshakes using Ben & Jerrys ice cream. I couldn't have one as they didn't have soy milk, but my boyfriend got a Strawberry Cheesecake flavour one. I had a few sneaky sips and it was stunning. Using Ben & Jerrys is a genius idea!
We checked out a food market later in the week called Östermalms Saluhall which was really cool. It was packed to the rafters with fresh produce, sandwiches overflowing with prawns, handmade chocolates and straight from the sea shellfish and salmon.
I love walking around food markets and just absorbing all the smells, sights and colours.
Our last meal of the holiday was at a place labelled as 'the best pizza in town'. And I can confirm it deserved it's title! It was called Dell Attore and there was a ton of pizza choice, over 20, we eventually settled on pepperoni with stilton and mozarella for me and my boyfriend had a variety of cheese on his pizza.
Well sadly our eating adventure had to come to an end at some point. We had such a great time in Stockholm and I enjoyed trying out all the new foods so much. If you get the chance to visit I highly recommend all the places I've mentioned above.
Sunday, 24 May 2015
In Sweden, the one baked good they are crazy about (besides cinnamon buns) is Swedish Princess Cake, also known as Prinsesstårta. I recently spent a week in Stockholm, Sweden and saw these gorgeous green cakes everywhere. I've made a full size one before after the Great British Bake Off featured them as a technical challenge, but I thought turning them into cupcakes would be really cute and fun! Plus it's a simpler way to get the delightful taste of the Prinsesstårta without making a full sized one.
I started by making the creme patisserie the night before so I could cool it in the fridge overnight. I've only made creme patisserie once before and the recipe worked beautifully so I decided to use it again. This did make far too much for the 7 cupcakes I needed, so I made another 12 the next day! So you may wish to half the creme patisserie recipe if you're making a smaller number of cakes. I heated 500ml whole milk with the seeds from a vanilla pod until it reached boiling point. I then took it off the heat and poured into a jug.
In my food mixer I whisked up 6 egg yolks with 140g caster sugar until pale and thick. I added 45g cornflour and mixed that in. I then put the mixer on a medium speed and poured the milk in slowly as it mixed.
I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it up whilst stirring continuously. There is a moment when it suddenly thickens, I started whisking it at this point to keep it smooth and stop any lumps.
I put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. I made sure the cling film was touching the creme pattiserie so that a skin doesn't form on it. I left it in the fridge overnight to cool.
The next day I made the cupcakes. I was taking them to a dinner party where one of the guests had a gluten intolerance so I made regular cupcakes with gluten free flour. Ideally I would have made genoise sponge cupcakes as this is the traditionally sponge. So it's up to you which to use if you try this recipe. I creamed together 120g butter and 120g caster sugar. I then whisked in 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
I added 120g gluten free self raising flour and 3 tbsp whole milk, and mixed in. If you don't need these to be gluten free, just use regular self raising flour.
I divided the cupcake mixture into 7 cases as that's how many I needed, but I reckon you could stretch the mixture to 8 cupcakes. As I mentioned before, as the creme patisserie recipe makes quite a lot so you can make a lot more cupcakes to use it up if you wish.
I baked on 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes until golden. I left them to cool completely.
While they were cooling I kneaded some green food colouring into 100g natural marzipan and cut out 2.5 inch circles. I got exactly 19 circles from this much marzipan. I left the marzipan out to harden up.
I used a tiny dab of water to stick a pink heart sprinkle into the middle of each marzipan circle. Traditionally a pink flower is put on top of a Prinsesstårta, but I had these pink heart sprinkles in the cupboard from Valentine's Day baking and I thought they looked really cute!
Once fully cool I used a knife to scoop out the middle of the cupcakes. If you have a cupcake corer you could use that instead.
I half filled the holes with seedless raspberry jam, about 1 tsp per cupcakes.
Then I topped them up with the creme patisserie and smoothed the top.
I whipped up a 250ml tub of double cream and piped swirls onto each cupcake. I kept the swirls flat so I could place a circle of marzipan on top.
I was so pleased with the final result! I found making a full sized Prinsesstårta really tough in terms or decorating as I'm not skilled with covering cakes in fondant/marzipan, but these cupcakes are so much simpler. Everyone at the dinner party loved the cupcakes. The Swedes really have it down, I mean, cream, custard and jam in a cake - how can you go wrong?!
I'm entering this Swedish treat into myself and Cakeyboi's baking challenge Treat Petite. Cakeyboi is hosting this month and the theme is Eurovision.
Swedish Princess Cupcakes (Gluten Free)
- 500ml + 3 tbsp Whole milk
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 6 Egg yolks
- 380g Caster sugar
- 45g Cornflour
- 240g Butter
- 4 Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 240g Self raising flour (gluten free optional)
- Green food colouring
- 100g Natural marzipan
- Pink sprinkles
- 65g Seedless raspberry jam
- 250ml Double cream
Start by making the creme patisserie the night before. Heat the whole milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod in a pan until it reaches boiling point. Then take it off the heat and pour it into a jugIn a food mixer whisk up the egg yolks with 140g of the caster sugar until pale and thick. Add the cornflour and mix in. Then put the mixer on a medium speed and pour the milk in slowly as it mixesPour the mixture back into the pan and heat it up whilst stirring continuously. It will suddenly thicken after approximately 5 minutes, start whisk it at this point to keep it smooth and stop any lumps from formingPut the creme patisserie in a bowl, and cover it with cling film so that the cling film is pressed into the bowl and is touching the top of the creme pattiserie. Leave it in the fridge overnight to coolTo make 14-16 cupcakes, creamed together butter and 240g of the caster sugar. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extractAdd the flour and if using gluten free flour add the 3 tbsp whole milk, and mix inDivide the mixture into cases and bake on 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes until golden. Leave them to cool completelyKnead the green food colouring into the natural marzipan and cut out 2.5 inch circles. Leave the marzipan circles out to harden upUse a tiny dab of water to stick a pink heart sprinkle into the middle of each marzipan circle. You can also use a pink flower, or leave plainUse a knife or cupcake corer to scoop out the middle of the cupcakesHalf fill the scooped out holes with seedless raspberry jam, about 1 tsp per cupcakeThen fill the other half of the scooped out holes with the creme patisserie and smooth the topWhip up the double cream and pipe swirls onto each cupcake. Keep the swirls flat, then place a circle of marzipan on top of each cupcake