Skoleboller

hello from norway!

right now, i’m in the mountains of bergsdalen, just a hop from bergen.

the land here is covered in colorful mosses, berries, and sti- little trails made by the local wildlife. sheep roam the hillsides while rain and melted snow keep everything green. people drop by neighboring cabins after hikes to drink the home-brewed beer that fills every cellar.

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i’ve had a great past few weeks filled with family, hiking, and of course, eating.

i’d forgotten how good the food is here. breakfast and lunch consist of nutty cheeses, goat or cow, and homemade jams over thick-sliced, whole-grain, homemade bread. dinner is typically meat or fresh fish with boiled potatoes, carrots, and lingonberry jam.  a dessert of sugared waffles, vanilla ice cream, rhubarb pie, or cake, all topped with berries, is paired with black coffee and aquavit.

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i’ve taken these past few weeks here as an opportunity to learn family recipes from my grandmother. school rolls- skoleboller -have been my dad’s favorite pastry since childhood, so i was compelled to make them before anything else.


Skoleboller- A Norwegian Sweetroll

makes 2 dozen

a family recipe translated from norwegian

ingredients:

 bread-

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup milk

custard filling-

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbs milk
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbs heavy cream
  • 2 tsp potato flour
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean stalk, seeded but reserved

icing-

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

shaved coconut to top

 

method of preparation:

whisk together dry ingredients, but yeast, and set aside.

prepare yeast by dissolving in 1/8 cup warm water.

whisk together all wet ingredients, including yeast. combine with dry ingredients.

knead dough until shiny, adding milk/flour as necessary. allow to rise for one hour.

to make the custard, whisk together all ingredients until thick. set aside.

to make the icing, whisk together all ingredients. the icing should be thick, so add milk/sugar as necessary. set aside.

divide raised dough into 12-24 even balls. many norwegian bakeries make hand-sized skoleboller, but homemade rolls are often smaller.

make an imprint, where the custard will be poured, in the center each ball. pressing your thumb down, while rotating the dough yields good results.

place rolls on a lined baking sheet.

allow to raise for 30-60 additional minutes.

preheat oven to 425°F.

proportionally scoop custard into the wells bake for 12 minutes.

once cooled, pour icing around custard well and sprinkle with coconut shavings.

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Classic Yellow Cake with Fudge Frosting

lately i’ve been obsessing over pictures of simple, aesthetic cakes.

11pm? cakes.

grocery shopping? cakes.

watching tv? cakes.

waiting for a cake in the oven? cakes.

these are the kinda cakes one could say are “too pretty to die”, to which i would respond “gimme”, while grabbing the nearest eating utensil.

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anyways, the story behind these cakes is otherwise quite simple. one was a birthday cake for my gal nia, the sweetest, most sincere woman i know, and the other was for selena, who flat out asked me for a cake. that kind of honesty is attractive, and because she is also the kindest human being ever born, i just had to make her one.

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sadly, i couldn’t get any photos of the cut cake, there was simply no time before it was devoured. that’s fine with me though, i take it as a compliment. all the photos i was fortunate enough to get were taken from 9-11pm, and 6-6:30am. thank god for raw files and natural light, amiright?


Classic Yellow Cake with Fudge Frosting

makes one 9″4-layer cake (i made two 9″ 2-layer cakes, but cake recipes are so customizable, any pan will do but the number of layers will differ)

recipe adapted from acozykitchen

ingredients:

cake- 

  • 4 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/4 cups  whole milk

chocolate fudge frosting-

  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted (may be increased for added stiffness)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • splash of whole milk
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

 

method:

preheat oven to 350*F and prepare 4 9″ cake pans with butter and a light dusting of flour.

whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. set aside.

in another bowl, beat butter until smooth. add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, a few more minutes. add vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides as necessary.

slowly add in flour mixture, alternating with milk. do not over mix.

evenly divide between prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick from the center comes out clean. let cool for 15 minutes before inverting.

for the frosting-

beat butter until smooth, then gradually add confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  add vanilla and splash of milk, mixing until fluffy and smooth. fold in chocolate.

assembly-

when layers have completely cooled, level them and place the one that will be the bottom layer on a serving plate. spread a layer of frosting on top then place the next layer over it. repeat with the other layers and use remaining frosting to cover the outside of the cake*.

*i like more rustic-looking cakes (if that’s even a thing), so i created swirl patterns on the top of the cake and created the ribs on the side by dragging a spoon (an offset spatula would be perfect) gently up the sides, one row after another. i also garnished the cakes with dried flowers i had laying around. i loved the way they turned out!

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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.

  

3-Salt Chocolate Disc Cookies

When someone turns to you and says “I think you need to make cookies. Soon“, you make them cookies. You make them the best darn cookies you can, and ever have. 

And that’s what I did. 

  

I made a few extra (4 dozen 😉), but that worked out well because I brought them to a house warming party- my own!- and packaged the rest up as gifts.

Cookies are always a welcome present, I’ve found. 
   
 

The cookie dough is heaven too. Even if you are a no-raw-eggs kinda gal/gent, make an acception. It’s gotta happen. 

P.S. This recipe looked super daunting, but trust me, it’s easy!!! 

~recipe based off Mindy Segal’s Cookie Love~

Makes ~40 cookies

Ingredients: 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.

1 cup cane sugar

1 cup packed light muscovado or dark brown sugar

2 extra-large eggs, at room temp.

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp sea salt flakes

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups chocolate discs (53-64% cacao)

Sea Salt (Cyprus preferred) for garnish, optional

Method of Preparation: 

On medium speed, whip butter in a large bowl for 5-10 seconds. Add sugars and cream until mixture is aerated and pale in color, ~4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and bring together the batter with a stir or two.

Crack eggs into a small bowl or cup and add vanilla. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salts, baking powder, and baking soda. 

On medium speed, add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture, one “egg” at a time. Mix for 5 seconds before adding the next. Scrape down sides of bowl and bring batter together again. 

Mix in the dry ingridients all at once- apart from the discs- until the dough just comes together but is still relatively shaggy. Don’t over mix. Bring the dough together fully by hand. 

Fold in chocolate. 

Form dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. 

Heat oven to 350*F. Lightly coat a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or oil (I always use coconut oil). 

Scoop ~1 1/2 tbs worth of dough into a ball and roll top in Cyprus salt (optional). Space 1 1/2′ apart on the prepared sheet. 

Bake for 8 minutes, rotate tray, and bake for 4  more minutes. Additional time may be needed for edges to caramelize. 

Allow cookies to cool on the sheet for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool compleately. 

Repeat with the rest of the dough. 

  

Salted Caramel Popcorn

Today I ate four Swedish pancakes, two peaches, a brownie, half a cinnamon roll, multiple meringue cookies, three fish tacos, and a few handfuls of salted caramel popcorn. Roughly in that order. Roughly a balanced diet. Not really, but close. I think they snuck some greens into my tacos.  

   

This recipe here will right any wrongs achieved by ingesting that green leafy stuff. Use generously. 

Yields 1/2 cup thick caramel

Ingridients: 

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark) 

3 tsp sea salt

Method of preparation: 

Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. 

Add brown sugar and whisk together. 

Cook until at desired thickness and add salt. 

Pour over salted popcorn and toss 👋👌

  

Simply Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Well folks today was one of those days. One of those leave-me-alone-so-I-can-eat-my-chocolate-cake-and-watch-a-horror-movie kinda days. Then cry a bit. 

But cake always helps. 

 

There’s nothing too special about this cake- it’s not vegan, or made with zucchini, or even whole-wheat flour. But, it’s a pretty darn good cake. Just ask my neighbors! One friend is both gluten and dairy free, but she still ate a slice, saying it was “worth it”. Boy, was it worth it.

   
  

 

A cake like this can make anyone’s day. So make someone’s day today with a slice of this! 

~adapted from addapinch~
Serves 10

Ingredients for the cake: 

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 cups unbleached cane sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp expresso powder

1 cup milk, room temp. or warmed

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)

2 medium eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Ingredients for the buttercream: 

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened not melted

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (original recipe called for 5, but I found 3 1/2 was enough. Add more for extra sweetness and stiffness.) 

1/2 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp expresso powder

Method of preparation: 

Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease two 9′ cake pans with oil and a circle sheet of parchment on the bottom. If using side levelers, begin soaking them in water. 

  

Mix all dry ingridients in a large bowl. 

With your mixer on medium, add in wet ingridients except for boiling water. 

One well incorporated, carefully pour in boiling water on a reduced speed. Mix for another minute to bring air into the mixture. 

Distribute batter evenly between both pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick. 

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let sit until cooled off fully. 

Meanwhile, start the frosting by creaming together the butter and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. 

Add in sugar and milk a bit at a time. 

Mix in vanilla and expresso powder. 

Use 1/2 the frosting to frost the first level of the cake and then place the second layer atop the first. Gently push down starting from the middle of the cake, outwards. Use the rest of the frosting to frost the top. 

Serve with a smile. 

  

Re-Vamped Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake

Yaaaas. It’s finally here! Vegan, chocate-chip spotted, and quicker to make than ever! I’ve been dreaming about making a cake, then remembered this ‘ol recipe from last year. And boy am I (and dad + staci) glad that I did.

This super cute “mug cake” tales only 40 seconds to bake! Perfect for an I-want-cake-but-don’t-wanna-bake scenario. Also, you don’t have to sacrifice your diet- with agave/honey to sweeten, unbleached flour, and coconut oil as ingredients, you can feel good about eating it. And chocolate = endorphins and antioxidants, right? That’s my rationale, and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve got more awesome news!!! The blog now has email, Instagram, + Pinterest accounts! Now you can see all my foodie adventures and sneak peaks of recipes. On Instagram, I’m Justagirlwithaknife, and on Pinterest, Agirlwithaknife. Plus, the email is radcooksblog@gmail.com.

It’s pretty cool.

But enough about media- I want cake.

Serves Two ❤️

Ingredients:

6 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tbs + 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

6 tbs warm non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)

3 tbs melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbs agave/honey

2 tbs semi-sweet chocolate chips (non-dairy if needed)

Vanilla ice cream to top

Method of Preperation:

Mix together dry ingridients- except the chocolate chips- in a small bowl with a fork (yay!).

Stir in wet ingridients.

Fold in chocate chips.

Divide the batter between two coffee cups and microwave them one at a time for ~40 seconds- no more!

Top with ice cream and serve.