Showing posts with label almond. Show all posts
Showing posts with label almond. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mini Almond Tarts with Lemon Mascarpone Mousse

A few weeks back, I celebrated six years of living in the US. It's been six amazing, eventful years and I'm so happy to be able to call this country my home. In honor of both Independence Day, and my Americaversary, I thought something red, white and blue was in order.
These little tarts are so light, acidic, and summery. The shells are made out of a cookie almond crust, and are filled with a home made lemon curd, that has been mixed with mascarpone and crème fraiche. Lemon curd is easily one of my favorite fillings to use in cakes and tarts. Lemon, sugar and butter - what's not to love?

I had been wanting to use these mini tart molds for a while, but hadn't really known what to make with them. They used to be my Grandmother's, who was known for her amazing banana bread and seven kinds of cookies, and given to my mother, who then gave them to me. These, and my grandmother's midcentury coffee can in a bright pink, orange and purple pattern (think early flower power), are among my favorite things. But then again, so are baking and drinking coffee.

Okay, I'll be honest. It was a pain to get these crusts out of the shells. I did butter the molds before using them, as the recipe calls for, but still I had to run a small knife around the edges to loosen the cookies. If there's one thing I've learned about baking, it's patience, patience, and patience. At least I can say that it was worth all of the hard work!

This recipe calls for pomegranate and lemon peel as a garnish, but since I was feeling particularly patriotic I decided to skip the lemon and add a blueberry on each tart. Happy belated birthday, America!

Almond Tarts with Lemon Mascarpone Mousse
from the magazine Hembakat

100 g butter, room temp
68 g sugar
1 eggyolk
250 g flour
50 g almond flour

250 g mascarpone, room temp
200 g crème fraiche, room temp
200 g lemon curd, room temp

½ pomegranate, seeds
1 tbs finely grated lemon peel

  1. Whip the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stirr in the egg yolk.
  2. Sift the flour and almond flour into the butter mixture. Sikta ned vetemjöl och mandelmjöl i smeten. Work it into a dough. Let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 395°F. Coat the cookie molds with melted butter.
  4. Form the dough into a long roll and divide it into 20 pieces. Press the dough into the molds.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes. Loosen the cookies from the molds while still warm.
  6. Filling: Whip together mascarpone, crème fraiche and lemon curd. It's important that they are at room temperature and that you don't whip it too hard.
  7. Fill the cookies with the mousse and decorate with pomegranate seeds and lemon peel before serving. 

Lemon Curd
from Leila Lindholm

135 g sugar               
50 g butter
1 tbsp. corn starch                
2 egg yolks

  1. Wash and dry the lemons. Boil the lemon juice from two of the lemons and the rind from all three, together with the sugar and butter. Strain the liquid to get rid of the rind.                   
  2. Mix the corn starch with the lemon juice from the third lemon, and stir into the liquid.
  3. Whip the eggs and stir them in to the liquid. Put the saucepan back on the heat, and let it simmer until the lemon curd starts to thicken.                    
  4. Pour the lemon curd into a bowl, and let cool before refrigerating.


Mandelmusslor med Citronmousse
från tidningen Hembakat

100 g smör, rumsvarmt
¾ dl strösocker
1 äggula
2 ½ dl vetemjöl
50 g mandelmjöl

250 g mascarpone, rumsvarm
2 dl crème fraiche, rumsvarm
2 dl lemon curd, rumsvarm

½ granatäpple, kärnorna
1 msk finrivet citronskal

Gör så här:
  1. Vispa smör och socker pösigt. Rör i äggulan.
  2. Sikta ned vetemjöl och mandelmjöl i smeten. Arbeta ihop till en deg. Låt degen vila i kylskåp i minst 1 tim.
  3. Sätt ugnen på 200 grader. Pensla 20 veckade mandelmusselformar med smält smör.
  4. Gör en rulle av degen och skär den i 20 bitar. Tryck ut bitarna i formarna.
  5. Grädda kakorna mitt i ugnen i ca 8 min. Lossa dem försiktigt medan de fortfarande är varma.
  6. Fyllning: Vispa försiktigt ihop mascarpone, crème fraiche och lemon curd. Det är viktigt att ingredienserna är rumstempererade och att du inte vispar för hårt.
  7. Fyll formarna med moussen och dekorera med granatäppelkärnor och citronskal precis innan serveringen.

Lemon Curd
från Leila Lindholm
ekologiska citroner
1,5 dl strösocker
50 g smör
1 msk maizena
ekologiska ägg
2 ekologiska äggulor
Gör så här:
  1. Tvätta tre citroner noga och torka. Koka upp citronsaft från två av citronerna samt rivet skal från alla tre, ihop med strösocker och smör. Sila sedan av vätskan.
  2. Blanda ut maizena med saften från din tredje citron och rör ner detta i vätskan.
  3. Vispa samman äggen och rör ner dem i vätskan, ställ tillbaka på spisen och sjud tills citronkrämen tjocknar.
  4. Häll över din lemon curd i en ren skål och låt svalna. 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Mazarintårta (Swedish Mazarin Torte)


I got a little homesick yesterday. Back home in Sweden, family and friends were posting pictures of everyone celebrating Valborg (also known as Walpurgis). Valborg is such a great holiday - whole neighborhoods and towns gather around huge bonfires at night to set off some fireworks and sing traditional Swedish songs to celebrate that spring has finally arrived. Growing up, it was always that night I got to break out my new white Adidas sneakers, because even though it was still freezing outside, it was officially spring.

So, to get into the spirit of Valborg, without setting anything on fire, I baked a Swedish Mazarin torte.

Mazariner are normally small, oval pastries made out of pastry dough with an almond paste center, and topped with a powdered sugar frosting. They have always been a part of my childhood, but this was the first time I've had it in the form of a torte.

This cake is very easy to make, but has an amazing almond flavor and complexity that sets it apart from your average pound cake. It's very moist, but still feels very light. My hubby even says it's  better than the ones he had in Sweden!

Traditionally you would use a few bitter almonds together with the sweet almonds in the batter, but they are really hard to find here in the States. It might have something to do with them being very poisonous when digested in large amounts. The almond extract that we use in baking is actually made from bitter almonds, which is why it works excellent as a substitute (and oh, it's not poisonous!). It has such a wonderful aroma, and I even love to put a little in my pancake batter or in my oatmeal in the morning.

This recipe also calls for vanilla sugar, which is very common in Swedish baking. It resembles confectioners sugar, but has been mixed with vanilla beans. You can find it at World Market and in other specialty stores that sell European products. If you have trouble finding it, you can make your own by putting 2 cups of white sugar in an airtight container. Take one vanilla bean, slice it open and mix the specks with the sugar and then bury the pod in the sugar. Cover, and let stand for a week before you use it.

To top this cake off, I used some edible flowers that I bought at Whole Foods in the herbs section. It's a beautiful way to take any dessert up a notch.

We tried our best to save half of the cake, but we just couldn't resist. Something tells me this will be a Raymer household staple.
Mazarin Torte
from the Swedish Baking Magazine Hembakat
7 oz butter 
>1 - 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
30 almonds (grind, or mix in a blender until grinded)
2 tsp almond extract
> 1 - 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
< 2/3 cup milk, cold

Frosting: (I doubled this)
> 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

2 tsp water
 Ps. Since this is a Swedish recipe with metric measurements, it was hard to get the exact amounts. I have used the symbols > and < to show when to use heaping cups and when to spare some.

  1. Preheat the oven to 355 degrees. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add the ground almonds and the vanilla sugar.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder and add to the batter. Stir in the milk and almond extract.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 inch spring form pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 min.
  7. Let the torte cool. Mix confectioners sugar and water. Pour over the cake and let it set before cutting it. Enjoy!
från tidningen Hembakat
200 g smör
3 dl strösocker
2 ägg
2 msk vaniljsocker
25 st sötmandlar
6 st bittermandlar
3 dl vetemjöl
1 tsk bakpulver
1 1/2 dl mjölk, kall

2 dl florsocker
2 tsk vatten

Gör så här:
  1. Sätt ugnen på 180 grader. Rör smör och socker vitt och pösigt.
  2. Tillsätt äggen, ett i sänder, och rör om.
  3. Rör ner de malda mandlarna och vaniljsockret. Tillsätt mjölet blandat med bakpulvret och till sist den kalla mjölken.
  4. Häll smeten i en smord och bröad form med löstagbar kant, ca 24 cm i diameter.
  5. Grädda kakan mitt i ugnen i ca 60 min. ¨
  6. Låt kakan kallna. Blanda florsocker och vatten till glasyren. Glasera kakan och låt den stelna innan du skär i den.