Shirini Napoleoni

 

Have you ever had this puff pastry filled with cream filling and garnished with pistachios? Napoleoni is a very popular dessert in Iran which I always thought was inspired by France and the french pastry Mille-feuilles and also to be quite frank Napoleon was French so there is always that.

But the other week my sister did some research and lo and behold – it looks like Iranians were inspired by an old cake called Napoleon from the 19th century Russia! Apparently it was made to celebrate the Russian victory over Napoleon and the pastry crumps on top are suppose to represent the snow that helped the Russians defeat Napoleon. Honestly now that I look at it – it does resemble the Russian version more but then again who know really?

I used to to be intimidated by this cake because it looks all fancy and complex and I always thought this was one of those pastries you can only buy from bakeries. But honestly, it’s so simple to make and obviously it might require some extra work if you decide to make your own puff pastry but this recipe is a simpler version with a frozen puff pastry sheet.

So next time you have guests over, serve them a piece of this buttery flaky layered puff pastry with soft and creamy insides and you might witness your own victory. Bon Shabétit!

 

 

 

Shirini Napoleoni

- Napoleon Pastry -
This is a flaky layered Iranian pastry filled with a delicious sweet and vanilla flavoured cream.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Fridge time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Persian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla paste
  • 1 dl Caster sugar

Garnish

  • 1/2 dl Icing sugar
  • 1/2 dl Pistachio - chopped
  • 1 tbsp Rose petals

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 200° F
  • Divide the Puff pastry into 3 equal rectangle shapes + leave some leftover for the crumbs. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool. Using your fingers, crumble the leftover piece to as it's being used as topping.
  • Place the double cream, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk the mixture on medium speed until the mixture is stiff.
  • Using a spatula, place some cream on the bottom piece and spread it to the corners. Do the same thing with the middle and top piece.
  • Sprinkle the crushed puff pastry and then the caster sugar on top. Garnish with the chopped pistachios and rose petals.
  • Ideally, leave it in the fridge for 2h to chill before serving.
Keyword Cream, Pastry

Kladdkaka

Here is another blast from the past: Kladdkaka – Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake.

Swedish people love to fika which is basically ‘to have a coffee and cake break’. But it’s so much more, and it might sound like an exaggeration for some of you guys but for Swede’s it’s a state of mind and it’s such an important part of the Swedish culture. I miss this as I haven’t really seen this type of culture anywhere else. It’s lovely – to have an unspoken agreement and ritual where everyone makes time to stop and socialise and enjoy a sip and bite together. The fika culture is implemented everywhere, the work life, social life, private life and I just miss it a lot.

The good thing is that when you miss something you can try to bring it home and that’s just what I did when I baked Sweden’s most popular and beloved cake. It’s extremely easy to make and it’s so delicious as it’s deliberately under-baked to create a sticky middle, hence the word ‘Kladd’ which means ‘sticky’. There are so many varieties and different ways you can bake it but I prefer to have it similar to a store-bought version of this cake from the company ‘Frödinge’. I love their kladdkaka and after baking this cake a few times under lockdown – I finally managed to make it similar to theirs.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and turn out to have a lovely fika. Bon Shabétit!

 

Kladdkaka

This is a Swedish recipe for Kladdkaka, otherwise known as sticky chocolate cake because it's lovey and gooey inside. This is a one-bowl recipe that comes together quickly with only a few pantry staples.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Swedish
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 dl Granulated Sugar
  • 2 dl Plain flour
  • 4 tbsp Cacao
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Sugar

Garnish

  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Instructions
 

  • Put the oven on 175°C.
  • Melt the butter and set it aside. 
  • Crack the eggs in a large bowl and mix in the sugar. Mix it by hand! Don’t use an electronic whisk – as the cake won’t turn as sticky.
  • Mix the dry ingredients and add it to the large bowl and add the melted butter as well. 
  • Combine it even and pour the batter in a baking pan and bake in the oven for 12 minutes (exact!). 
  • Sprinkle some icing sugar before serving. I like to serve kladdkaka cold – so I leave it in the fridge for at least an hour but you can serve it hot as well. Add some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and serve it with some berries such as strawberries. 

Notes

When you try to measure the flour, make sure to not pack the flour in the measuring spoon – it shouldn’t be compact as you might get more flour than necessary and your kladdkaka will turn out denser.
Keyword Cake, Chocolate, Easy, Quick

Kärleksmums

 

This whole thing with the lockdown has for some reason made me very nostalgic and I’m constantly finding myself baking and making things I used to eat when I was a kid.

The other day I was thinking of this cake I used to make every weekend when I was like 10 years old.

Kärleksmums (pronounced shair-le-k moo-hm-s) is another classic Swedish treat. If you’re translating it word by word it basically means ‘love yums’ – and yes you just learned how to say love in Swedish – which is always a nice word to know and this basically means this blog is the next rosetta stone – so you welc.

This is similar to brownies BUT a lot fluffier and moist and not as intense in it’s flavour. Personally, I love the little kick the coffee flavoured frosting gives the cake but if you don’t like the taste of coffee – just make the frosting without it.

I hope you’ll enjoy this Swedish staple. Bon Shabétit!

Ingredients:

Cake

150 g butter
2 eggs
2 ½ dl granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cacao powder
3tsp baking powder
1.5 dl milk
4.5 dl plain flour

Frosting and Garnish

40 g butter
4 tbsp brewed coffee, cold (you can’t skip this part if you don’t like the taste of coffee)
1 tsp cacao powder
3 dl icing sugar
Desiccated coconut

 

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • Melt the butter and pour it in a bowl and whisk in the sugar and egg until light and airy (I whisked it for 2 minutes using an electric whisk).
  • Add baking powder, vanilla extract, and cacao powder. Whisk it until it’s an even paste.
  • Mix in the flour and milk and mix until even.
  • Pour the mixture into a pan (with some non-stick baking sheet) and bake it for 15 minutes.
  • While the cake is baking – make the icing. Start by melting the butter, and add all the reaming ingredients to it and mix thoroughly. If you don’t have icing sugar, just grind regular sugar down to powder in a food processor.
  • Once the cake is done, take it out and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then spread the icing on top of the cake, then sprinkle with coconut. Cut into squares and enjoy with a hot drink.

 

 

Swedish Midsummer Cake

Happy Midsummer everyone! This is one of Sweden’s most celebrated holidays and as a fellow Swede I love to celebrate it no matter where I live. Traditionally, people pick flowers and create the cutest floral crowns, dance around a pole (not those type of poles – a midsummer pole), drink lots of booze and have a table full of delicious summer foods, including lots of fish (we’re talking all sorts – grilled, smoked, pickled, cured) and potatoes.

My favourite thing to eat from that table is a strawberry cake that is so delightful that if summer was a flavour – this cake would be it. The best part? It’s ridiculously easy to make.

So, if you want to have a post-midsummer party or just an excuse for eating more cake, go make this asap. Bon Shabétit!

 

Ingredients

Sponge-cake

4 eggs
2 dl caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 dl plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
butter (for the cake tin)

Decoration

200g strawberries
2 bananas
4 dl double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
15(ish) fresh mint leaves

 

Method

  • Warm the oven to 175 degrees.
  • Whisk the egg and sugar until light and fluffy, I whisked it for for 3 ½ minutes.
  • Mix flour and baking powder in a small bowl and gently fold them into the whisked eggs. Mix gently and then pour it in the buttered cake tin and bake for 27 minutes.
  • Turn it out from the tin and let it cool.
  • Once the cake is cold, cut it into 3 layers (you can easy do this via the knife and thread technique).
  • Whisk the cream and vanilla extract, until it goes firm.
  • Chop all the bananas and strawberries and start layering it – like a lasagna (cream -> banana –> strawberry and on to the next layer). Once you are done with the layering, you can add cream to the sides and decorate the top the way you want to. I made it like a hedgehog this year and added mint leaves on the side to represent the greenery of summer.

 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve made chocolate chip cookies and how often I’ve failed making them chewy. When I say chewy, I want them to stay soft no matter how long they stay out… and chewy all the way through. The thing with baking is that – the measurements need to be followed religiously and that makes it really challenging for someone like me who likes to wing it in the kitchen.

During this lockdown some people learned to bake sourdough bread from scratch, 99.9% of the world population became banana bread experts – and me? I finally managed to make these damn cookies properly chewy.

Safe to say that weeks of recipe testing paid off and I highly recommend that you go and indulge yourself with these chewy cookies. Bon Shabétit!

Ingredients
(for 15 cookies)

125g butter, melted
1 dl granulated sugar
1 dl brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
3 ½ dl plain flour
150g dark or milk chocolate, or your preference

Method

  • Melt the butter and mix in the sugars and salt until it’s an even paste.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until it’s a cream-ish mixture
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix it even.
  • Chop the chocolate in different sizes and add it in and then chill the dough for at least 30 min in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put small scoops of the dough onto a baking sheet. Make sure you leave space so that the cookies can spread evenly.
  • Press the scoops down with a spoon and add some additional chocolate to the cookies to make them insta-friendly.
  • Bake for 10 minutes (This is crucial, don’t leave it for longer!!). Let is cool before you eat one… or 10. Bon Shabétit!

 

Walnut & Chocolate Banana Cake

This one is my family’s favourite. First of all, for me the combination of banana, walnuts and chocolates is heavenly. My favourite ice cream of all time was ben and jerry’s chunky monkey but they stopped making it due to ‘low levels of demand’ and THEN they have the audacity to bring it back but as a non-diary version and it’s just not the same knowhatiamsayin. I’m aware that this story has nothing to do with banana cake but this topic really brings out the inner Karen in me.

Anyways, so I decided to put this golden trio into a cake instead and nothing has been the same since *UBER dramatic*. No seriously though, a piece of this warm banana cake with a cup of aromatic black tea on a cold rainy day will give you the ultimate ‘Bon Shabétit’ ambiance.

 

Ingredients

75g butter, melted
2 ½ dl sugar
2 tbsp milk
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
100g chocolate (dark or milk… doesn’t matter), chopped
2 ½ dl flour
1 tsp baking soda
a handful of walnuts, chopped

 

Method

  • Put the oven on 175 degrees
  • Melt butter – let it cool down. Mix it with sugar, milk, salt and vanilla sugar.
  • Split the eggs and mix in the egg yolks.
  • Mash the bananas and pour it into the mixture.
  • Chop the chocolate and walnuts and pour it into the mixture.
  • Mix flour and baking soda and pour it into the mixture.
  • Wisp the egg whites until it gets stiff. (Also, this is where you do the mandatory ‘hold the bowl over your head’ to check if it’s ready).
  • Mix the stiff egg whites in the mixture and just mix it with a spoon so it becomes even.
  • Pour it in to a baking tray and bake it for 30-35 min in the middle of the oven.

 

 

Bon Shabétit!

No-bake crispy peanut butter and chocolate bar

A few years ago, my friend introduced me to these types of no-bake bars when she worked at a café in Sweden and I immediately fell in love with it. I always thought it was complicated to make – turns out I was very wrong. 

Honestly, can’t get better than this: 5 ingredients, no baking, cheap and delicious.

Ingredients

10 dl corn flakes
1 jar of smooth peanut butter (340g
2 dl syrup
1 dl sugar
200g milk chocolate bar

Method

  1. Crush the corn flakes to small bits.
  2. Heat a saucepan and fill it with the peanut butter, syrup and sugar. Cook it under medium heat until smooth.
  3. Add the crushed flakes and stir until mixed.
  4. Take a medium sized pan and add a non-stick sheet. Add the mix and flatten it out to a square and make sure the top is smooth.
  5. Melt the chocolate (I do it in the microwave) and spread it on top.
  6. Put it in the fridge for about 1-2h.

Bon Shabétit!