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August 13, 2018
The Royal Afternoon Tea was started out in the right order with some sandwiches, but the usual sandwiches as seen for afternoon tea in England, but the open sandwich style known from Denmark. As the menu for the afternoon was quiet long I decided to make small sandwiches, however, you easily scale these sandwich up for a normal size served for afternoon tea.
I served two different sandwiches:
The first sandwich was goat cream cheese spread onto rye bread and topped with pickled cucumber salad (another Danish topping, which is popular during Summer).
The second sandwich was small toast bread (Italian Crostini) with matured Cheddar and tomato and chilli jam.
As other suggestions for sandwiches for your afternoon tea you can also look into sandwich with smoked salmon and sandwich with avocado and egg.
August 12, 2018
For the recent Royal afternoon tea I decided as usual to make scones, as an afternoon tea without scones is not a real afternoon tea. I used with recipe on scones with cranberry and orange as starting point turning it into a classic version without any flavour addition in form of cranberry and orange.
These scones were served together with butter, strawberry-apple jam and a gooseberry curd made from red gooseberry.
I had Greek-style yogurt in my refrigerator, so therefore I used this type of yogurt. However, you can easily make these scones with a normal plain yogurt or thick milk. I think you can use what type of fermented plain dairy product, which you have in your refrigerator, so there is no need to buy a special type of yogurt for baking these scones.
Orange & Cranberry Scones: 9-10 scones
- 350 g wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 85 g sugar
- 85 g butter - diced into small pieces
- 175 g plain Greek-style yogurt - yogurt without addition of neither sugar or fruit
- egg wash
- Heat the oven to 200'C.
- Cover a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
- Add in the butter pieces, rub in the butter using only your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
- Make a hole in the mixture, where the yogurt is pour into. Knead the scone dough together, until it is soft.
- Roll out the scone dough in a thickness of 2 cm.
- Cut out the scones from the dough using a cutter. Do not twist the cutter, while doing this.
- Turn the scone up side down, when it is placed on the baking tray.
- Let the scones raise for 15-30 minutes prior to baking.
- Before making, brush the the top of the scones with egg wash (only the top, as this affect the raising of the scone during baking).
- Bake the scones at 200'C for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
- Cold down prior to serving.
August 11, 2018
After a long period of excellent Summer weather here in Denmark (plenty of sunshine and no rain) since the beginning of May, some more normal Danish Summer weather came knocking on the door this week-end in form of a lot of wind and some heavy showers. So it turn to be a perfect day to have my good friends from Horsens coming around for some "serious" afternoon tea enjoying my new Royal Copenhagen china (birthday gifts).
We started off with an Earl Grey Martini, which I got inspiration from watching the episode of Anne & Anders in Brexitland having focus on England. I twisted my version of the Earl Grey Martini with addition of bergamotte liqueur, which is a key flavour note of Earl Grey.
Earl Grey Martini
- Rye bread with goat cream cheese with pickled cucumber
- Small toast bread with matured Cheddar and tomato and chilli jam
After the sandwiches we continued with another classic afternoon tea item in form scones, jam and curd. The scones were yogurt scones. The marmalade was the strawberry-apple jam and a gooseberry curd made from red gooseberry.
The finishing touch to this afternoon tea was a cake selection in form of squash cake, strawberry cheese and finally some "Sukkertop" cakes from the local cake shop Vanilla here in Vejle.
Besides from drinking plenty of tea we did also taste my two last edition of herb-scented cordials (cordial with lemon balm and rosemary & cordial with selection of mint).
Now with a fully tummy from both cakes, tea and great company I can sit and enjoy these wonderful flowers, which I received as hostess gift together with "goodie bag" full of apples and plums from the garden of my friends in Horsens.
August 10, 2018
At the Summer preserves course our tutor Vivien Llody was selling her recipe book called "First Preserves - marmalades - jams - chutneys for 10 £. I thought it was a great souvenir and it is handy, so I could bring it back to Denmark in my backpack despite all my shopping for tea and gin in London and some new recipe books found in London with afternoon tea as topic.
I also got a dedication in by our tutor Vivien. Since my return back to Denmark I have actually been using some of the jam recipes making blackcurrant as well as red gooseberry jam without any addition of food ingredients !!!
I have actually found out, that making jam without the use of the wonderful pectin as a food ingredient in powder format, you have to rely on, that the natural pectin content in the fruit is enough for making the gel combined with a very high sugar content, close to 60% of the jam recipe is sugar combined with longer time, before the jam sets in its glass. So it more a challenge for making jam without the use of natural food ingredients and you do not always know for certain, if your jam/jelly will set or not.
August 09, 2018
As usual I was invited into the garden of my good friends in Horsens, which have plenty of bushes of blackcurrant for free picking. And I decided to test of a recipe on blackcurrant jam from the jam book "First Preserves". I got 8 jars of blackcurrant jams from this portion, which I am not able to eat myself ! Therefore I decided to bring some glasses of the jam to work, where I have been selling the extra jam jar for 15 DKK (approx 2 €) to my colleagues, and later in the Autumn I will donate the entire sum of money from this jam to charity (araceagainstbreastcancer.dk).
If you want to be 100% sure, that your blackcurrant jam will set, when you should have a look into these recipes: classic blackcurrant jam with twist of balcamico, blackcurrant jam with liquorice lemon and blackcurrant jam, where you have the natural pectin to ensure, that the gelling will take place.
Blackcurrant jam: - 8 glasses
- 1 kg black currant
- 850 ml water
- 1.4 kg sugar
- Prepare the blackcurrants by washing the blackcurrant, removing the berries from the strings, removing leaves and removing the dead flower end.
- Place the blackcurrants in a large cooking pan and pour in the water. Bring the fruit to the boil, and let fruit simmer gently, until the fruit is tender, approx 25-30 minutes.
- Prepare the jam glasses either by heating up in the oven or adding boiling water to them.
- Add the sugar into the fruit mass and stir until it is dissolved.
- Bring the jam to a rolling boil and boil hard until the setting point is reached. Stir the jam frequently.
- Test of set after 5 minutes using the flake test.
- When the setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. As the jam settles, push any scums from the surface of the pan to the side and remove it with a metal spoon. The purpose for the waiting step is well to build viscosity in jam, so the fruit pieces will be trapped inside the jam inside of be going to the top of jam.
- Gently stir the jam after the resting time and pour it into the prepared glasses, fill the glasses up to the brim. Remove any scum for the surface of the jam using a tea spoon. Close the glass with a lid.
- Leave the glass upright and disturbed to cool and set.
- Store at ambient temperature.
August 07, 2018
I think it is time again for sharing a photo with you of a recent new addition to my collection of green ceramic vases, which I again have located in the local shop Decorate. The price is just as small as the size of the vase, the vase costs 49 DKK (6.50 €).
August 05, 2018
Besides from the more traditional jams like this strawberry & apple jam we also learned how to cook chutney at the Summer preserves course.
Making chutney is another very time consuming process in your kitchen in many ways. First you spend approx 2-3 hours cooking the chutney followed by a 2 months storage time, before you actually can the chutney with your food.
While you spend the time making this chutney, you can at the same time just as well make a "vegetable" jam of tomato, ginger and chilli, at this takes just as long time to make. And you can easily have two cooking pots simmering on your stove.
You could not cook your chutney in a metallic cooking pan, stainless less is good. And the cooking spoon should not be metallic either, so use a wood or plastic spoon.
Rhubarb and ginger chutney: 4-6 glasses
- 1 kg rhubarb - trimmed and leaves discarded - cut into 3 cm pieces
- 250 g onions - peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic - peeled and finely chopped
- 100 ml water
- 1 lemon- only the zest
- 2 oranges - only the zest
- 7 g salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 375 ml distilled malt vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 30 g stem/pickled ginger - finely chopped
- 450 g sugar
- Start by adding the onion and garlic into a large cooking pan together with the water. Let the onions simmer with the lid on, until they are softened, approx 10 minutes.
- Put the rhubarb pieces, lemon & orange zest, spices, salt and vinegar. Bring it to the boil, and let it simmer gently until the mixture is pulpy, approx 45 minutes. Stir regular during the cooking process to prevent sticking.
- Add the finely chopped ginger together with the sugar to the pan. Carefully dissolve the sugar. The addition of the sugar really turns the chutney very, very liquid.
- Simmer the chutney gently again, until it is thick and there is no excess liquid on the surface. Stir regular during the cooking process.
- You can check, that the chutney is right by, pulling the spoon the top of the surface. The "hole" should remain without the chutney running together. The tutor Vivien Lloyd described it as Moses dividing the Red Sea !
- Pour the chutney into warm and clean glaaes and seal with vinegar proof lids. Store for 2 month, before you start to eat the chutney.