Hvitdame- the Traditional Norwegian  White Lady Cake 

aka my birthday cake.

aka the best cake ever.

and, yes, i realize that that was a bold statement, but it’s how i feel- at least until i make a better cake!

i’ll give you a few reasons why it’s my favorite, in term of layers.

  1. a dense sponge cake
  2. strawberry jam
  3. a beautiful hazlenut macaron
  4. more jam
  5. whipped cream
  6. marzipan

that’s right… six layers.

!!!

  

but what really gets me about this cake is its history. only made during special occasions- it’s become a lost art. when I decided to bake this, my norwegian famiy scoffed. hvitdame were only bought at bakeries, it was almost unheard of to make from scratch. but, i must say- it turned out pretty darn well. and the folks were very impressed.

  
  

so yeah, it was good.

recipe by ingrid espelid hovig

ingredients:

cake-

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

macaron-

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup raw hazlenuts

1 1/2 tbs flour

2 egg whites

filling-

1/2 cup jam of choice

3/4 cup whipped cream (preferably homemade)

to cover-

3 marzipan logs (21oz)- use leftover to make flowers or other decorations

method of preparation:

preheat oven to 350*F and grease/ line the bottom of an 8 in. cake pan with parchment paper

beat eggs and sugar together until doubled in size.

sift flour and baking soda together then carefully fold into egg mixture, carful to not deflate them.

pour into prepared pan and bake on middle rack for 30 minutes. let cool for a few minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.

begin macaron:

preheat oven to 200*F.

grind nuts into a meal in a food processor and stir in with flour and 1/2 cup of the sugar.

beat egg whites with the rest of the sugar until doubled in size. fold in hazlnut mixture, careful not to deflate the eggs.

pour mixture into an 8 in. cake pan and bake for ~40 minutes, or until crisp and dry.

cool on a wire rack.

whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

roll out marzipan into a thin layer, ~1/6 in.

assembly:

place cake on plate/stand, spread with 1/2 of the jam. place the hazlnut macaron on top and cover with the rest of the jam. smooth the whipped cream over the top and thinly on the sides. carefully drape marzipan over the cake, cutting of any excess. use this to make any decorations, such as flowers or braids.

  

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Tropical Granola

This granola gets addicting. Like having a cup, then another… every day of the week, until its gone. Then, its time to make some more!

Tropical-Granola

The thing I love about granola, is its diversity! There are so many ways to make it your own. Whenever I make this, I make at least 2 different flavors as experiments. This one so far has been my favorite!

Tropical-Granola

With chunks of fresh coconut and various tropical dried fruits, this granola makes me excited to eat breakfast in the morning! It is also makes for a great gift when stored in a mason jar or parchment paper bags.

Tropical-Granola

Who would not love and appreciate a jar of homemade granola?

Ingredients (Yields to 8 cups):

5 cups  rolled oats (Try Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup almonds

1 tbs. cinnamon

2 tsp. nutmeg

2 tbs. chia seeds

1/2 tbs. vanilla extract

1/2 of a small coconut, or 2/3 cup dried coconut shavings

2/3 cup honey

1 cup dried fruit (Pineapple and papaya work well)

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Chop the almonds into fourths and place in a large bowl with the oats, coconut oil, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut open the coconut using a small saw, carful to catch any liquid if you want to keep it. From there, cut the coconut in half again, so you have four pieces, which will make it easier to extract the coconut meat. once you have the meat from two of the fourths, cube them into small pieces and add to the mixture. Make sure to combine the ingredients well, then spread the mix evenly in the prepared pan in one single layer. Depending on the size of the pan, you may have to split the batch up. Drizzle the honey over the mix evenly. Place in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping and checking for a light golden color that signifies when it is done. Meanwhile, chop the dried fruit and add it in after the granola has cooled outside of the oven. Store in mason jars for extra cuteness.

Baked Oatmeal (Chocolate or Peach)

Say you are craving chocolate… in the morning. You don’t really want to sneak a bite of a bar or fudge, so you need to think of a breakfast food with a chocolate accent.  You search for something like this, and you arrive here. With chocolate “boatmeal”, or baked oatmeal.

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Eagerly, you fist-punch the air and begin. After you have eaten this chocolaty-oat delight, your mouth is not satisfied enough. Like.. like you need something fresh to distract from the chocolate. Then you search again, and arrive here again, but to make my peach baked oatmeal.

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Whoa, how was that for a prolog? Do you want some now? I sure do. I loved this contrast, making both chocolate and peach boatmeal (don’t you just love that word?). I actually had no peaches, so I used nectarines. They still tasted amazing!

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You can choose to make both, or make only one kind, or even invent your own flavors. Let’s get started!

Ingredients for oatmeal base (makes 3 cupcake sized boatmeals):

1 cup of rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free version)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

2 tbs. melted coconut oil (1 tbs. in addition to grease)

1-2 tbs. honey or agave

1 tbs. coconut shavings

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/2 -2/3 cup of coconut milk

1/8 tsp cinnamon

Add for chocolate boatmeal:

1/8 cup-1/4 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet are the best)

1/2 of a banana, mashed

Add for peach boatmeal:

2 small peaches/nectarines, 1 mashed, 1 thinly sliced

1/8 tsp. cinnamon (1/4 tsp. in total as an addition to the base)

1/8 cup chopped almonds

To bake:

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the wet ones.

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Leave a few chocolate chips to garnish for the chocolate boatmeal,  and the sliced peach/nectarine, but add the mashed one.

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Grease cupcake tins or a bread mold with coconut oil and then pour the mix in all the way, for chocolate version, then sprinkle with chocolate chips. For the peach version, layer the mix with slices of peaches, ending with a slice on the top. There should be 3 cupcakes made from the peach, then 3 from the chocolate version. Cook them for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 380 degrees F. then on broil for 1-2 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes, or until they harden a bit, then remove with a spoon. If you are feeling fancy, garnish with a few fanned strawberries, honey, and/or a sprinkle of granola.

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My dog Gurdy wanted to be in the photo-shoot. She loves being around people and food!

 

Healthy Fudge- Your way

-This fudge recipe is adapted from Honey Mama’s Nectar Fudge

It is actually kind of interesting. Christy, the owner of Honey Mama’s, is my neighbor. She is super nice and seriously has a passion for this stuff. She sells to stores in Portland, and is expanding to Washington! She even ships… its a dream. And, you know the video, Honey Mama’s: Redefining Fudge, on her about page? I directed and edited it! She was awesome to work with. Anyways, you have to try her fudge. My imitation is good, but who can refuse fudge made with an old family recipe made by a wonderful woman, in a cute package?

Where my fudge diverges from hers is the accents. I have developed a spice and a fruit version, in addition to the original.

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As you can see, this fudge is like none other you most likely would have ever tried. It has no evaporated milk, butter, or sugar, well, apart from the honey (a much better alternative). It is also refreshing on a hot summer day.

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In the version above, I added raspberries from the garden. They add a tartness that goes well with the chocolate. After being in the freezer for a while though (I know, how awesome- this fudge does not have to be baked!) the raspberries freeze as well. Be sure to put the fudge in the fridge as soon as it sets.

The other version has a cozy spice flavor. There are spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, that give it an almost Thanksgiving-y feel. Yes, Thanksgiving-y. The beauty of it though, is that you can choose; berries or spice. Mint or Coconut shavings. Almonds or Walnuts or Hazelnuts. Or, make them all… like I did!

Recipe for a small plate of fudge:

1/2 cup of non-melted coconut oil (I think subbing this for another would NOT work- the coconut oil solidifies and is basically the whole form)

1/8 cup clover honey (Any honey would work, but thick is better. I used a thick blackberry honey.)

1/2 tbs. vanilla extract

1-2 tbs. cocoa powder (Mine was Freia baking cocoa powder)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

Additional optional ingredients:

a small handful of cut raspberries

or

1/2 tsp. mint extract

or

1/8 cup chopped nuts (Almonds are the best!)

or

1/8 tsp. (each) ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ani seeds, and 1 tsp. cinnamon

To make the fudge:

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, smoothing the oil clumps. Add any extra ingredients that suit your fancy. Don’t be scared to mix and match!

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Now, place parchment paper on a plate or in a bowl, for a thicker fudge. Pour the fudge onto the paper and let it cool in the freezer.

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For an alternative, more classy form of fudge, I poured some left over chopped almonds into the bottom of a measuring cup, then poured fudge on top, filling the cup. Then, into the fridge it went! I want to try using molds next time I make these. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder over the top for a nice look. When the fudge has stiffened, you can get it out of the cup by pouring hot water over the cup to melt the oil. Then, tap the top, and an upside-down fudge-thing apears!

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There! How easy was that? I made so much… The freezer is literally brimming with fudge. But, I had to test the flavors, right? That’s my excuse anyways. Beware, this fudge melts relatively fast, so eat it quickly, which I can assure you is no problem. For me at least…

Please comment with your ideas on different fudge additives/versions! I would love the suggestions!