I thought I would give you the recipe that is one of my guaranteed desserts when guests arrive! I love to introduce Finnish tastiness particularly the flavours from Finnish forests to anyone visiting our household. Usually this means forest blueberries, lingonberries or cloudberries. Lingonberry is a difficult one as it is so bitter that it needs something extremely sweet to go with it! It is also an interesting berry as it can be stored in its own bitterness for a long time and it does not go off. Lingonberries stay well for weeks in the pot in the fridge!
This lingonberry dessert is easy and quick but very delicious. When we had my dear Aussie husband’s friends over they just ate more and more of this heavenly combination. If you cannot get lingonberries to your hands you can prepare the same kind of dessert with fresh cranberries (or even with sea buckthorn) as they have the same kind of bitterness in them.
The picture above has been taken whenI served this lovely dessert with home made Anzac biscuits but my absolutely favourite combination with it is gingerbread biscuits. The christmas biscuits give a nice winter touch so I recommend to use those instead of oat biscuits.
1 can of condensed milk
1 pot ( 2dl =1 cup) of double cream (or soy cream)
1dl (1/2 cup) greek yoghurt (or soy yoghurt). You can use more depending how yoghurty you want the result to be.
1 tsp vanilla sugar
3-4 tbsp sugar
1. Preparation well beforehand (can be done on the previous day): Boil the sealed can of condensed milk for 2h under the water in a big saucepan. Add water if needed. Open the can carefully, pour the sauce to a bowl and let the caramel cool down.
2. Whip the cream and mix it with greek yoghurt, vanilla sugar and sugar.
3. Build the desserts: Crush the biscuits and add them to the bottom of the bowl, pour caramel sauce on top, add some lingonberries and cream mix on top and sprinkle some extra biscuits on top. You can also crush some dark chocolate for variation.
Yum! Healthy and good!
My dear Aussie man surprised me with this meal one weekend. After that we have had this same dish once in a week for three weeks. It is delighful, I mean absolutely delicious! Try it and you get addicted.
- 400-750g baby spinach, washed
- 3 tbs polive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 onions chopped
- thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chilli paste
- 2 tsp ground coriander (can add more)
- 1 tsp Kecap Manis
- 250g paneer cheese, cut into cubes
- 1-2tbs yellow curry powder
- 2dl double cream (in Finnish ”ruokakerma”)
- Cook the onions and garlic. Add spinach
- Add all the spices and cream.
- Add the paneer cheese.
- Cook it slowly in a casserole.
I could name my dear friend Päivi as the cheesecake chef of all. Like one of my chocolate cheesecake recipes, I also owe this whisky cheesecake recipe to Päivi. Last August Päivi and her husband invited me and my Aussieman for an amazing three course dinner. As a dessert she served this breathtaking cheesecake. I asked the recipe immediately, but for some reason I forgot to add it on my site.
My Aussieman loved this cake. He adores all the cheesecakes, but what could be better from man’s point of view than a cheesecake combined with some tasty whisky. I baked this cake for our party last autumn and guests ate it all..nothing was left (even though I secretly hoped I could have eaten some for brekkie).
I know that in Finland there have been wondering cheesecake recipes made of Bailey’s liqueur. By chance, a few days later after I tasted this delicous whisky cake for the first time my mum called and said that their family friends served them heavenly Bailey’s cheesecake the other day. I told her to wait a moment and I promised to bake the whisky cheesecake she wouldn’t ever forget. I baked it next time I visited Finland. My mum absolutely loved this cake and so did my dad (who is not that big fan of sweet desserts). The secret and weapon of this whisky cheesecake is that it is not actually very sweet. The taste of the cake is so unbelievably smooth and balanced. This cake suits also for people who do not like whisky as the flavour of whisky is very nicely combined with some cream cheese.
150 g crushed cookies (Digestive,McVitie’s)
50 g melted butter
2 egg yolk
¾ dl whisky
1 tl vanilla sugar
100 g caster sugar
250 g cream cheese
5 leaves gelatine
1 dl hot coffee
2,5 dl whipped cream
2 egg whites
50 g sugar
Crush the biscuits and mix with the melted butter. Shape the base for the cake by using the cake tin with the removable edges. Soak the leaves of gelatin in the cold water (according to the packet’s instructions) and dissolve them into the coffee. Mix the egg yolks, cream cheese, whisky and sugars together. Add the gelatin-coffee mixture and whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Whisk the two egg whites and 50g of sugar together until the mixture is foamy. Add the foam into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling on the top of the base. Leave it to sit in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight. (I found 5 hours enough). If the guests come in the evening the cake is good to make in the morning.
Enjoy with a cup of coffee or by itself!
I used to cook this green pea soup for myself when I was studying hard, working at the same time and had hardly time to enjoy my time in the kitchen. This is a simple, quick, but tasty soup even if the colour is quite crazy -striking green. Green pea soup is healthy too and fresh, perfect for summer days. It is the full cream that makes it flavoursome! This kind of green pea soup is very French, to be exact very Parisien. It has gotten its name from the suburban area of Saint-Germain where people were farming green peas in olden days. The recipe is my modification of one recipe found in my old cookbook ( that used to be like a bible to me !!!). Try and enjoy! Duplicate the amount of ingredients if needed.
1 onion (sweet one)
200g (1 package) frozen green peas
2,5 dl water
3 tbs cream
salt and backpepper
1. Cut the onion and cook the cubes in the sauce pan with some butter. Add green peas water, salt and pepper and cook the soup under the lid approximately 10-12 minutes.
2. When the peas are soft purée the soup with an electric mixer.
3. Heat up the soup again, add the cream.
4. Serve it with crutons or with crunchy bacon crumbs!
Last time when I visited one of my friends (who is also an excellent cook), she served frozen chocolate cheesecake. I couldn’t resist that cake, after every bite I just wanted to take another one and another one. In Finland this cake is also known as Nina Lincoln’s Frozen Chocolate Cheesecake. It is an amazing invention. Chocolate cheesecakes are sometimes too heavy. Whereas this one whilst being frozen is totally the opposite. It almost feels like eating creamy chocolate ice cream on the top of the biscuit base. This recipe is quite an easy one, although the baking takes some time. The cake has to sit in the freezeer at least 4 hours before serving. In fact, if one wants to make sure that the cake has been nicely freezed before melting it again for serving, one should keep it in the freezer over night. This is my summer version of chocolate cheesecake. On a hot day one can hardly imagine anything so delicious as a cold chocolate cheesecake. It replaces ice cream any time. Give it a try! It is yummy!
9 Hobnob or Digestive biscuits
35 g butter
200g dark chocolate
200g cream cheese
150g caster sugar (approximately 1 1/2 dl)
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 1/2 dl cream
1. Make the base at first. Crush the biscuits, melt the butter and combine them to make a nice biscuit base.
2. Melt the chocolate. Mix the cream cheese, add 100g of sugar and vanilla sugar.
3. Take the yolks and add then into the cream cheese mixture. Add the melted chocolate into this mixture.
4. Whisk the egg whites so that they turn into a nice fluffy foam. Whisk the rest of the sugar (50g) into this egg white foam. Add the egg white sugar mixture into the cream cheese chocolate mixture.
5. Whip the cream and add that into the mixture.
6. Pour the filling on the top of the biscuit base and place it in the freezer over night.
Serve the cake after it has melted for a while. Half an hour gives enough time so that the cake stays cold but becomes soft.
Vol au vents are one of my specialities. If I know that someone who really appreciates good food is coming for a visit, these vol au vents are what I serve. I experienced these lovely seafood treasures during my time in France. One can modify the recipe by using different fillings and sauces. In Strasbourg where I did my student exchange, these seafood vol au vents were served as starters at the STUDENT RESTAURANT! Believe it or not but these kind of delicious treats were only considered starters in there then came the main course and dessert too…by only 3,5 euros. A little bit different from Finland if I’d say so.
The first time I promised to cook for my dear Aussie man, I made these seafood vol au vents. He said that I tricked him by serving these kinds of delicious small gourmet snacks. I reckon one could say that the pleasant and delectable flavour of vol au vents really does put a spell on its eater. My dear Aussie man keeps on asking me to cook this starter again and again. They are one of his favourite of all (even though he has many many other favourites). The nice texture of puff pastry goes so well with seafood that it surprises me every time. These are best served as starters or nice snacks with drinks. They also look fancier than they actually are, but this is the thing that you never tell your friends and guests!
VOL AU VENTS
Cut puff pastry into squares. Take half of them and cut a round circle in the middle of the squares. You can use for example small espresso cup to make the round hole in the middle of the squares. Set the squares with the holes as hats on the rest of the squares. Seal them by squeezing them well together. Brush them with egg to make them shiny in the oven. Cook them for 20 min in 175-200 degrees.
SEAFOOD SAUCE for vol au vent
2 1/2 dl chicken/fish stock
2 dl white wine
200g seafood mixture (mussels, prawns, squids, surimi=crab sticks)
1-2 dl cream (depending on how creamy flavour you want)
1-2 tbs lemon zest
2-4 tbs white flour or Maizena
salt and black pepper
1. Cook the onions at first.
2. Add the chicken stock and white wine and bring it to boil.
3.Add seafood mixture, then cream and lemon.
4. Don’t cook the sauce for too long otherwise seafood comes chewy. Add salt and pepper in the end and if you want the sauce to become thicker add a few spoonfull of flour or Maizena to get it thicker. Pour the sauce in the middle of vol au vents! ENJOY! White wine is the bomb with this dish!
This creamy and absolutely mouthwatering recipe is from the time of my exchange student year in France. French people just happen to know what is delicious and delicate. I think it is due to a fact that they don’t think about calories or low fat products. The flavour seems to be everything to them. Occasionally I thought that French people, particularly men, seemed to boast how much they have eaten at Christmas time and how big their belly has become. It meant that their cooking has been a succes and that they are not bungling amateurs in the kitchen!
I also learnt that the delicious sauce made of light cream doesn’t exist..or if it does, it can’t be good. If I try to put their attitude to words it would be: ”Low fat is cheating”. Be that as it may I learnt a lot of French kitchen during my time in there. In Finland how one advertises a good recipe is dependent on how healthy and low fat it is. You have to think that lentils in tomato sauce with wholegrain pasta is good -of course it must be good for god sake, it is healthy. The pleasure of eating is secondary in this northern country or at least it looks like it if you build up your image of Finnish eating habbits according to the recipes in the magazines and our cooking books. Whereas in France a good recipe is a delicious recipe. I have found the same attitude and appreciation of cooking in many other countries – in Australia too. Maybe it is stemming from the European immigrants -Greek, British, Italian- and their appreciation of kitchen that they brought in the middle of Pacific Ocean.
It has been a new experience for me that my dear Aussie man thinks that the bigger his belly is the happier he is. The belly tells that the food served at home is tasty and irresistable. This is exactly the same attitude I found in France. I wish Finns would discover and adopt that attitude one day too and give up their Winter War frame of mind that admires simple and modest eating and living habbits. Maybe this is wishful thinking but I can start to put it into practice by serving this fantastic but simple chocolate mousse recipe for all my guests.
When I tasted this mousse for the first time I was wondering what is in it -I should have guessed that nothing tastes so creamy as full cream beated with chocolate. This is an excellent and handy recipe because it doesn’t include any eggs. This full cream chocolate mousse doesn’t try to get its fluffiness from beated eggs, but cream makes it soft and pleasant. Try it. One can definitely apply the saying: KISS -”keep it simple stupid” – to this recipe.
Preparation: 20min, Cooking 6min, In the fridge 2 hours. In total 2 1/2 hours.
For 4-6 persons
2 1/2 dl cream
1. Melt the chocolate.
2. Mix the cream (non-whipped) and the melted chocolate together.
3. Let the mixture rest in the fridge for 2 hours.
4. Take the mixture out from the fridge and whip it with the electric mixer. It will turn into a beautiful mousse.
5. Serve it and enjoy its smooth and flavoursome taste!
I however have to admit that as much as I admired and enjoyed French kitchen during my exchange year: full cream, butter and amazing treats -yes, lovely -but a paradox of skinny beautiful French women stayed as a mystery for me!
This recipe saves my day quite often. I love seafood and so does my Aussie man. I also love creamy risotto. To combine these two favourites I created this seafood ristotto that I have served for our friends too. This risotto is difficult to blow. The secret of a good risotto is wine, in this case white wine. It creates the real Italian flavour that is hard to catch in any other way.
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 big onion
2-3 tbs fresh thyme (if you use dry one add only 1-2 tsp)
1/2 dl grated cheese (the best choice is Parmesan)
2-3 dl of white wine
3-4 dl chicken stock
3dl Arborio (risotto rice)
2 dl vegetables (frozen mix goes as well)
200g frozen seafood mix /or 100g frozen mussels, few crushed frozen squids, 100g frozen prawns
3-4 surimi sticks
2 dl cream (or light cream 15%)
salt and black pepper
1. Cook and glaze the onions in a saucepan.
2. Add the rice and cook them for a while.
3. Pour 1 1/2 dl of chicken stock and simmer the rice in low temperature.
4. Add 1 1/2 dl of white wine and keep on stiring. When the liquid has vaporized add 1 1/2 dl of chicken stock and 1 dl of cream. Add also thyme (chopped fresh thyme), salt and black pepper.
5. When teh rice starts to be cooked add seafood mix, cut surimi stick cubes and frozen vegetables. Add also the rest of the cream, grated cheese -Parmesan- a bit of white wine and a few spoonful of butter.
6. Try it and add some salt and pepper if needed.
Enjoy this lovely risotto with some white wine -Sylvaner for exmple. You can also make some variation by adding tomato paste to get tomatoy flavour or use crunchy parma/serrano ham instead of seafood. The last one is a good tip. Grill parma ham in the oven and in the end sprinkle it on the top of the risotto. Yummy!
For the following recipe I thank my friend Päivi, who is a master chef particularly regarding to desserts! Just before last Christmas we had girls sauna night and she served this heavenly chocolate cheesecake for dessert. After one bite I was already in love and demanding the secret recipe to surprise my Aussie man -who bye the way LOVES cheesecakes -! I also wanted to make it up to him that I blew up the New York cheesecake by baking an eggy omelette instead of smooth sweet cheesecake only a few months before.. Here I want to share for you all this magical recipe with which you can surprise your darling anytime…if any man is reading my blog I warmly recommed you to bake this cake for your sweet heart tonight..The recipe is so easy that even a clumsiest chef manages to prepare it perfectly. To bake this cheesecake requires zero pre-knowledge of cooking or baking. That’s why there’s not even a chance to be like me with my New York cheesecake and end up eating an omelette!
For base you need:
150g Domino/Oreo biscuits
50g melted butter
For the cheesecake:
400g cream cheese
1 3/4dl caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 1/2 dl cream
200g dark chocolate
1. Heat up the oven for 160 degrees. Melt the butter. Crush the biscuits. Mix them and prepare the base. You can use a round baking dish approximately 20cm in diameter.
2. Whisk the cream cheese before adding any other ingredients. When it is running add the sugar, then the vanilla sugar, then the eggs once at a time and in the end add the cream (non-whipped).
3. Take half of the cream cheese mixture and put it on the top of the base. Add the melted chocolate into the other half of the cream cheese mixture and put this chocolate cream cheese mixture on the top of the white layer in a baking dish. Then mix the white and brown mixture with a spoon so that the surface starts to look marbled.
4. Put the cheesecake into the oven in 160 degrees for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes turn the heat off and letthe cake stay there another hour or so.
5. Leave the cake rest in the fringe for at least 2-4 hours. It is actually at its best on the following day!
ENJOY with some amazing red wine!
There are certain desserts that I bake when my Aussieman feels homecisk. One is the carrot cake that I have already added on my blog…the other one is Pavlova! This dessert is a sure choice for summer time. It takes for a quite a long time to make but it is worth it and your guests will love it! What is even better, it also contains a small piece of history.
Pavlova is a a meringue based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. There is still a debate going on where the origins of this amazing dessert are. Russians claim it their own, Australians present it always as their national dessert, but unfortunately all currently available research suggests the recipe originated in New Zealand. Tasty as it is ,it is understandable that everyone wants to claim it his own. Anyway for my Aussieman it is a taste of Australia in the middle of Europe. I think however that nothing beats this cake made of Finnish strawberries. Pavlova may be a fantastic invention, but what makes it even more special is the Finnish strawberries grown in the fresh air of this northern country. Their sweet, unique and inimitable flavour will finish the taste! Call me patriotic, but if you haven’t taste Pavlova with Finnish strawberries you don’t know what is the real Pavlova like!
4 egg whites
225g golden caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
2tbs caster sugar
2dl (light 15%) cream
1 kiwi fruit
1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment. Whisk the egg whites with electric beaters until they just form stiff and shiny peaks. Gradually add the sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time. Whisk really well between each addition. When all of the sugar is used up continue whisking for 3-4 minutes or until the meringue is stiff and glossy and stands up in peaks, then whisk in the cornflour and vinegar. Spoon the mixture onto the baking. Put in the oven, turn the temperature down to 120C/fan and cook for 11/2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside until completely cold.
2. Whip the cream add sugar and vanilla sugar.
3. Cut the strawberries nicely into thin slices. Slice the kiwi fruit as well. Decorate teh meringue first with the cream and set the strawberries and kiwi fruit slices beautifully on the top of the meringue.
4. Serve this absolutely beautiful and tasty dessert with champagne! My personal recommedation and love is Pol Roger!