Lifestyle / The Cookbook

Brontë Aurell’s Guide to Scandi Puddings

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From a Danish trifle to an apple and cinnamon cake, chef BRONTË AURELL is happy to part with some of her favourite recipes…


Danish apple trifle


Traditional Danish apple trifle from The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell


Serves four

Ingredients 

1kg (approx. 8–10) tart apples, such as bramley or granny smith, peeled and cored
140g caster sugar
200ml water
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
100g butter
120g dried breadcrumbs
300ml whipping cream


Method

1. Cut the apples into bite-sized pieces. Add them to a saucepan along with 4 tbsp sugar, the water and vanilla and cook over a gentle heat until completely soft — about twenty minutes. Add more water if needed during cooking. Leave to cool completely.

2. In a frying pan, melt the butter, then add the remaining sugar and stir. Add the breadcrumbs and keep stirring until the mixture is toasted through. Be careful, though, because the breadcrumbs easily burn.

3. When crispy, remove from the heat and spread on a plate. As the breadcrumbs cool, use your fingers to ensure that they don’t stick in clumps.

4. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

5. Layer your trifle (either in individual serving pots or in a big trifle bowl), beginning with a layer of apple, then the breadcrumbs followed by a layer of cream. Add a larger layer of apple and finish with the breadcrumbs (save a few to decorate). Top with the remaining whipped cream and decorate with the remaining breadcrumbs.

6. Opinion is divided about when to serve this. Some people prefer to serve it straight away while the breadcrumbs are still crunchy. However, we wait a few hours until the trifle has settled.


Kärleksmums cake


Kärleksmums love cake


Serves eight to ten

Ingredients 

3½ tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
100ml whole milk
175g butter
225g granulated sugar
2 eggs
225g plain flour or cake flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt

For the topping: 
150g icing sugar, sifted
50g butter
1 generous tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla sugar
4 tbsp strong filter coffee
50g desiccated coconut, plus extra to decorate
Coarse sea salt, to decorate
A 20cm deep round cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180/Gas 4.

2. In a bowl, mix together the cacao or cocoa with 100ml of boiling water to make a thick paste and leave to cool. Gradually pour in the milk and stir well until combined and smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well between each addition and taking care that they are completely incorporated.

4. In a third bowl, sift together the flour, vanilla sugar or extract, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

5. Add the flour and the cocoa mixtures to the egg mixture, whisking continuously, taking care to ensure that everything is well incorporated, but not over-beating or your cake will be heavy. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan, spreading evenly. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for twenty to twenty five minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean (take care not to over-bake).

6. Leave to cool slightly, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. To make the topping, put all the ingredients except the salt in a saucepan. Melt together gently, stirring until well combined. Cool, then spoon the topping on to the cooled cake and spread evenly. Decorate with the extra coconut and sea salt, then leave to set before serving.


Apple and cinnamon cake


Apple and cinnamon cake


Serves eight to ten

Ingredients

For the crème pâtissière:
500ml whole milk
½ vanilla pod
2 eggs
100g caster sugar
30g cornflour
½ tsp salt
25g butter

For the cake:
150g butter
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
4 eggs
200g plain flour
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
Pouring cream, to serve (optional)

For the topping:
25g butter
50g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm cubes
A sprinkling of sea salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
A 23cm springform or round cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment


Method

1. First, make the crème pâtissière. Heat the milk in a saucepan together with the scraped-out vanilla seeds. Add the whole pod to the pan, too, for extra flavour. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cornflour and salt. When the milk reaches boiling point, remove the vanilla pod and discard, and pour a quarter of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking as you do so.

2. Once whisked through, pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk, return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Let it bubble for just under a minute. Make sure you whisk as it thickens.

3. Remove from the heat and add the butter, whisking in well. Pour into a cold bowl, then cover the top with a sheet of baking parchment to prevent a hard edge from forming as it cools down. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

4. Then, make the topping. In a saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar and cinnamon and add the salt and vanilla extract. Add the chopped apple and stew for a few minutes to lightly start the cooking process, then take off the heat and allow to cool completely. This can be done a day in advance.

5. Preheat the oven to 175C/Gas 4.

6. To make the cake, cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla sugar or extract together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add to the butter and sugar mixture in three stages, whisking all the time. Ensure that all the egg is fully incorporated before adding more or the batter will curdle.

7. In a third bowl, combine flour and other dry ingredients. Sift into the wet mixture and carefully fold in until incorporated.

8. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly to the sides. Dollop the crème pâtissière on top and spread out evenly over the batter.

9. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apple from its syrup and scatter over the crème pâtissière. Reserve the syrup for drizzling over the cake once baked.

10. Bake in the preheated oven for around fifty minutes — it can be tricky to tell if the cake is done because the crème pâtissière will remain a bit wet, but if a skewer comes out clean, it should be baked inside.

11. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly before eating. Enjoy with cream if you so wish — and pour over some of the leftover syrup for added oomph (I like to add a little more salt to the syrup — it really lifts it).


Carrot cake


Carrot cake


Serves eight

Ingredients 

150g caster sugar
150g light brown sugar
3 eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g self-raising flour 
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
300g grated carrots
70g pine nuts

For the topping: 
300g cream cheese
100g icing sugar, sifted
50g softened butter
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 large lime
Grated lime zest, to decorate
2x20cm round cake pans, greased and lined with baking parchment


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3.

2. In a bowl, whisk the caster and light brown sugars together with the eggs until light and airy, gradually adding the oil.

3. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together, then fold into the sugar and egg mixture. Fold in the grated carrots, reserving a little for decorating the finished cake, then the pine nuts.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 min, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn out of the pans and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

5. To make the topping, beat all the ingredients together well (four to five minutes in a food mixer).

6. Arrange the first cake layer on a serving plate and spread over almost half of the topping evenly. Place the second cake bottom-up (so you get a perfectly flat surface on your cake) on top and spread the rest of the topping over the cake. Decorate with the reserved grated carrots and lime zest.


Easy chocolate oat treats


Easy chocolate oat treats


Makes about forty

Ingredients 

250g butter
400g rolled oats
175g caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp strong, cooled coffee
1 tsp vanilla sugar
Desiccated coconut, sugar sprinkles or pearl sugar, to decorate


Method

1. Blitz all the ingredients, except the coconut, sugar sprinkles or pearl sugar, in a food processor, or mix by hand (but allow the butter to soften before doing so).

2. Put the mixture in the fridge to firm up a bit before using or it can be a bit too sticky. Add more oats if you feel the mixture is too soft.

3. Roll into 2.5cm diameter balls, then roll each ball in either desiccated coconut, sugar sprinkles or pearl sugar.

4. Firm up in the fridge before eating — they will keep for up to a week in the fridge.


BRONTË AURELL runs the Scandinavian Kitchen in west London. She has published numerous Scandinavian cookery books and is a regular guest on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.


 

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