HOMESICKNESS KILLER CARROT CAKE

I know Finnish winter can be tough..not just for poor foreigners but also for Finns..especially this winter when it has been snowing over 65 cm in the south and the temperature just keeps on staying under -10 degrees…Well my poor Aussieman was missing home so badly…feeling so homesick that the only comfort he was able to find was a real tasty carrot cake!

This recipe is from Good Food magazine. I tested it and it is unbelievable!!! Its amazing taste won’t let you down. It is moist, carroty and not too sweet! This recipe is devoted for all the women whose boyfriends or husbands are feeling homesick and they want to have something that tastes like home. And for the Finns, this is ”try to love your cold below zero home country” comfort cake!

CARROT CAKE

  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml oil
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon , zested
  • 200g carrots , finely grated
  • 150g walnuts, chopped, I RECOMMEND ALMONDS, CHOPPED
  • 227g tin pineapple pieces, well drained and chopped (optional)

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g cream cheese
  1. Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Line a 20cm, 10cm deep cake tin. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together and stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs with the oil and citrus zests. Stir in the carrots and fold everything into the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts and pineapple if using. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool.
  2. For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until soft and then beat in the cream cheese. Chill the mixture until it’s thick but spreadable. Spread a thick layer on top of the cake, making sure the side of the icing is flat and continues upwards from the side of the cake.

Sweet Potato Apple Purée

We had a girls’ night. We cooked 4 course dinner together and we had  a great wine selection for every dish. That dinner including drink suggestions is found in the section of Menu Suggestions. This Sweet Potato-Apple purée was one of the best discoveries of that night. My friend had heard about it somewhere and we decided to give it a try. AMAZING!

This is an absolutely delicious side dish for any meat, but especially for duck.  Simple, but tremendously tasty!

4 servings

1 sweet potato

1-2 apples

salt and butter

Cut the sweet potato and apples into cubes. Cook them in the water until soft. Purée the swedish potatos and apples together in the blender so that the purée becomes smooth and velvety. Season it with a pinch of salt and small amount of butter. The sunny colour is enjoyable view on a plate and the taste won’t let you down!!!

Uncle Tet’s Tonkatsu Curry

Japanese kitchen is not just the commercial world of sushi! In Finland Japanese kitchen is too often considered so.

When my aussie man wanted to surprise me with some Japanese Tonkatsu Curry, I had no idea what to expect. I had only heard some stories about his auntie’s japanese husband and his tonkatsu curry, but that was all. After finishing the dinner, I hardly found any adjectives to decribe how enjoyable flavours I just experienced. Surprisingly, this dish consists of the most common and simple ingredients and still its taste is addictive and incredibly delicious. Douzo meshiagare!

For steaks:

4 pork fillets

eggs

flour, breadcrumbs

For sauce:

3 onions

3 garlic cloves

1 big sweet potato

3-4 carrots

1 curry cube ( 75-100g Golden Curry or House Vermont Curry, medium or medium hot)

1 apple (cruhed)

1 tbsp yellow curry powder

Cut the veggies into uneven cubes. Cook the onions and crushed garlic cloves in a sauce pan. Place the veggies in a sauce pan and add some water to cover them. Start cooking them. Let it boil in a low temperature. Add some curry powder. When the veggies are softer, add the curry cube, mix so that the cube melts and incorporates into water. Let it cook for a while. Add the cruhed apple in the end.

Take few egg yolks and mix them in a plate. Roll the fillets in it so that the flours and breadcrumbs stick on them. Cook them on a frying pan. Add so much vegetable oil that they are almost fried but not totally under the oil. Cut the fillets into small slices before serving so that one is able to enjoy the meal by using chopsticks.

Serve fillets, with jasmin rice and home-made tonkatsu sauce.

This dish is perfect when you wanna serve something special for your guests!

Swede/Rutabaga casserole -Finnish Swedish Potato Bake

The name ”Swedish potato” is misleading, rutabaga is preferable if you wanna avoid confusion. Swedish potato doesn’t grow only in the glorious soil of Sweden! This veggie is one of the Finnish favourites too. At Christmas time the sweet smell of swedish potato bake floats around the house. For many Finns the smell of Christmas is the smell of swedish potato casserole.

The recipe below is well tested and tried. The casserole gets better and better when heated up for a second time. It turns sweeter and sweeter, more and more tasty.

My aussieman had never tasted swedish potato in his entire life. After tasting this casserole he fell in love.. He LOVES its taste.

If the way to man’s heart goes through the stomach, this recipe is my tip for all those who wanna find the way. Cook and enjoy the touch of Finnish Christmas!

(4-6 servings)

1 kg fresh swedish potato/rutabaga puree

1 egg

1 dl brown syrup

1/2 dl flour/bread crumbs

1dl cream (or light cream 15%)

50-100g melted butter (” BUTTER MAKES EVERYTHING MORE DELICIOUS!”)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp  white pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 c degrees. Grease the baking dish and breadcrumb it. Mix the ingredients. Pour the mxture into the baking dish. Cover it by sprinkling breadcrumbs. Cut few slices of butter on the top. Bake it in the oven for an hour.

Taste and fall in love.