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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Vegan Chocolate-Zucchini Bunt Cake

Have you noticed a trend here?

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Chocolate. Chocolate is prevalent in most sweets I make.  As Isa Moskowitz wisely says in my favorite vegan cookbook, Isa Does It, how do people know that it is chocolate that mimics feelings of love? Perhaps its love that mimics the feeling of eating chocolate. I think the latter is correct…

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With all that chocolate, the zucchini is hardly noticeable. But, there is just enough in the cake to make you feel better about eating said piece of cake.  This is the kind that will have you sneaking little bites throughout the day, letting the morsels melt in your mouth. Its vegan too, so no harm can be done, right?

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-This recipe is slightly adapted from the one in the cookbook Isa Does It –

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup almond milk (room temp.)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil + extra to grease

1 tbs. vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

3/4 cup chocolate chips/chunks

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and generously grease a 12-cup bunt pan. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Then add the sugar and mix well. Making a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the apple sauce, milk, oil, and vanilla. Use a whisk to mix the liquids together in the well, then incorporate it into the dry mixture. Once incorporated well, fold in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour into the bunt cake pan and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes. The cake will be denser and less dry then most, so a knife in the middle should come out only somewhat clean. Let it cool for 10+ minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack until the cake is completely cooled.

P.S.- Bet you guys did not notice in the photos, but when inverting the cake, only half came out! This was the first time I’ve made a bunt cake, so next time, I’ll use more oil. If the same happens to you, don’t be discouraged- its the taste that counts! Oh, and don’t mind the eaten piece…

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Chia pudding; healthy and raw

Chia seeds are a super food, and are easy to incorporate into your diet. They are full of antioxidants, fiber, omega-3, and makes you stay full for a longer time than most other foods. They have been a huge health trend recently, and I gave in, adding it to my oatmeal, granola, and smoothies. It is great because it does not add much flavor, but is so healthy!

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Ingredients for the pudding:

1/3 cup chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of any milk (I used coconut milk, predictable, am I?)

3 tbsp. agave

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp. coconut shavings

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (or to taste)

Preparation:

Pour the milk into a large jar. Mix the chia seeds into the milk, eliminating any clumps. This is very important because it is not fun having clumps of dry chia seeds in your pudding! You can add in the other ingredients, mixing as you go.

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When you are done, put a bird on it  lid on it and place it in the fridge. How easy! The thing is, you have to wait for the pudding to solidify. This takes 3 hours at the least, but it is worth it!

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