Blood orange and strawberry mousse tartlets






Just something that I quickly put together when blood oranges were in season.
Puff pastry. Simple strawberry mousse made with frozen strawberry purée and whipped cream. Lightly caramelised blood orange slices on top.


Spring is here and so is my sandwich cake.
It was actually news to me that there are people out there that find sandwich cakes  funny. Umm.. it's like a giant well-organised sarnie that has been fancied up a bit.





Smoked chicken and rocket smörgåstårta.
Serves 6 to 8

20 slices of toast

Chicken filling
260g smoked chicken (roast chicken works just as good)
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp Caesar salad dressing (yes, the creamy stuff from a jar)
3 tbsp sour cream

Rocket filling
two big handfuls of rocket
a sprig of basil
chives
200g spreadable cheese
35g butter

Garnish
20g butter
Leafy salad mix
Cheese-filled ham rolls
Finely chopped herbs (frozen ones are good too)



Start by making the fillings.
To make the chicken filling, simply process the chicken in a food processor together with mayonnaise, sour cream and Caesar sauce to a homogeneous paste.

To make the rocket filling, bring butter to room temperature and blanch rocket and herbs in boiling water for a minute, refreshing in cold water. When cooled, lift out of the water, squeeze dry and place into a food processor with the cheese. In another bowl, cream the butter. When the herb and cheese mixture is pureed, add it to the butter, bit by bit. Taste to see if it needs salt or pepper (some cheeses are salty whereas others are not).

Divide the toast into five piles, all consisting of four slices. Cut the slices into triangles. Take eight triangles, arrange as a pinwheel, trimming the outer tips, to make a circle. That is one layer.
I seem to prefer round cakes.

Place the first layer of toast on a platter, spread with one third of the chicken filling and top with another layer of toast. Now spread these with one third of the rocket filling. The filling should be thicker than what you'd normally put on your sandwich.
Continue to stack and spread until you run out of toast but should be left with one third of rocket filling (the last third of chicken filling goes on top). Mix the last third of rocket filling with the 20g of butter (to make it firmer) and stick in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then use it to cover the sides of the cake all over with rocket butter. Sprinkle with finely chopped herbs.

Just before serving, cover the top with salad leaves and ham rolls.
Vintage lenten buns.

The recipe for this year's lenten buns comes from an old cookbook. Dating from 1908. But the recipe itself is even older.





The bun

120ml warm milk
15g fresh yeast
2 tbsp rose water
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp spirit, 80 proof
260g flour
75g sugar
50g butter

Dissolve the yeast in warm milk with a spoonful of sugar. Wait till it starts to foam.
Now add the rose water, spirit, cardamom, salt and three-quarters of the flour. Knead well.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Cream soft butter with sugar until pale and fluffy, mix into dough. Add the remaining flour and knead well.
Cover and let rise again.
Knead the dough briefly and form into eight round buns, leaving enough room between them on the baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and let the buns rise until doubled in size. Bake in a 200c oven for about 10 minutes. Brush hot buns with egg wash once more, this prevents them from drying out while cooling.


For the filling (*a more common version)
bun crumb
100g marzipan
130ml double cream
vanilla
25g sultanas

Cut off the bun tops, set aside. Using a paring knife and a small spoon, scoop out the crumb, creating a good-sized cavity. Place all of the crumb into a bowl, mixing it with marzipan. Heat the cream with vanilla and sultanas. When cool enough to handle, mix into the crumb. Make sure it is an even, smooth paste and fill the buns.


To serve
400ml double cream
4 tbsp icing sugar

Whip cream with sugar and pipe a mound on each bun. Cover the buns with the reserved tops and dust with icing sugar.


*The book lists a second, more elaborate filling as well, which I will probably tackle next year.