Strawberry Sunday tartelettes with almond pastry

Summer Sunday is definitely the day for sweet tarts or tartelettes. This time I tried also a new pastry where half of the flour is ground almond. The end results was lighter (not less butter though...) and literally melted in the mouth. Definitely to be done again.

These little pastrycups are also a perfect standby treat. Just keep them in an airtight box for a week or so, and take out whenever you feel like indulging...  This time we filled them with rhubard curd (no surprise there I suppose), whipped cream strawberries, blueberries and some grated chocolate.

Almond pastry for tartelettes

150g cold butter
150g ground almonds
2,5dl icing sugar
0,5tsp salt
1tsp vanilla sugar
4dl flour
2 eggs
2tbsp almond liqueur

Rub the other ingredients than eggs together to form a sandy mixture. Add eggs and liqueur and form the pastry. Put into a plastic (bag) and into the fridge until the next day.

Use silicon pastrycases (or butter the metal ones). Cut slices from the dough (2 mm thick) and cover with them the cases. Push with fingers to form an even coating.

Bake in 200 (celsius) degrees oven for 10-12min. Let cool.

Fill with rhubarb curd, cream and berries. Grate chocolate on top. Enjoy.


Macarons - Fourth time is the charm

I tried and tried, three times - first I did not have the equipment needed, then I did not whisk the egg whites long enough, then I whisked them too much... I felt I'll never get the macarons look as they should but did not give up. After all, they tasted good so nothing was wasted (not in our house with 3 boys that love anything sweet - not to mention the mum)

Fourth time did the charm - I had bought new batteries for my kitchen scale and paid attention to timing. This time they were just perfect, on my home standards anyway. Great way to use the rhubarb curd as well.


175g icing sugar
125g ground almond
3 big egg whites
75g sugar

Whizz the icing sugar and almond together. Whisk the egg whites with the sugar until peaks stay up - not too hard though. If you want to colour the mixture, this is the time.

Mix the almond to the meringue mixture untill you get it falling ribbonlike from your spatula.

Put the mixture into a piping bag with a nozzle 1cm round. Pipe small rounds on the baking paper you've put on top of a baking tray. Once finished, knock the baking tray against the table a couple of times to remove all possilbe air bubbles.

Let the macarons wait about 20-30min before putting them to the oven. They need to form a skin on the top.
Put to oven 150 degrees for 15min, until they are set hard on the top. Let cool.

Fill with the rhubarb curd.

The not so successful

Rhubarb curd - the best ever

I love lemon curd and I thought nothing could surpass it. I was wrong.

Early summer is the time for rhubarbs in Finland. Tarts, cakes, sauces all take a rhubarby vibe at some point. When I needed something to put in a cake and macarons rhubarb was the natural choice.

I'm happy I did it. There is a special tangyness in this curd. Sweet and tonguecurdling sharp at the same time. I takes all my self control not to take a spoon and...

Rhubarb curd

3 rhubarb stems peeled and chopped
1,5dl sugar (or the preservation sugar)
3 egg yolks
50g butter

Mix the rhubarb cubes and the sugat in a pot and heat it. Leave to bubble calmly for 15min or until the rhubarb has practically dissolved.

Whisk the egg yolks lightly in a bowl.  Pour gradually in the rhubarb whisking all the time. Put the mixture back to the pot and continue heating stirring continually.

When the mixture thickens, whisk the cold butter into it in cubes. Put in a clean jar and leave to cool.

Try not to eat all at once.


Fishy cakes

Cakes are easy to transport and easy to eat with fingers, thus being the ideal food for picnics. This cake is not sweet but brings the salty and sardiney (is there a word like that?) taste to the feast on the sand or wherever you've laid your blankets.

Of course, these an also be eaten in the house. Try crumbling into a glass and covering with some herby mayonnaise. Not bad at all.

Sardine cake

2 tins of sardine (oil and lemon sauce)
100g grated gruyère
a couple of handfuls of green pitted olives chopped
3 eggs
2,5dl flour
2tl baking powder  +  1tl baking soda
1 dl milk
3rkl chopped chives
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 175 C.
Pour the oil from the sardines to a cup. Chop the olives and sardines, grate the cheese.

Mix the eggs, flour, baking powder and baking sod. Pour in the oil of the sardines and the milk.
Mix the cheese and seasoning.
Add the sardines, chive and olives and mix well.

Pour into a bread tin and bake in the oven for 45min. Let the cake cool before taking it out of the tin.


Not so good a blogger but a tasty salad

A year without posting in English - not so good...

Let's start again. With better luck (I hope) and more stamina to go on.
First to go - salmon wasabi salad

Wasabi and fish is a natural combo and not only in sushi. A few years back I got this period of wasabi-sauce with tuna steaks. Now that tuna is partly on the forbidden list (at least in Finland it is a bit hard to find the MSC certified or other sustainable tuna), it is time to vary. So salmon it is - at least for now - not bad at all either.

Salmon salad with wasabi sauce

Salad base
green salad (lettuce)
mint leaves
basilic leaves
coriander (cilantro) leaves
whole peeled almonds
a couple of carrots
salt + pepper + rice wine vinegar

Salmon in 1cm slices

Sauce : 
lemon juice
sunflower oil

Wash and dry the salad and herbs. Slice the carrots thinly with a peeler. Roast the almonds slightly on a dry pan and chop a little smaller. Slice the cucumber.

Mix the salad together. (Leave part of the almonds for sprinkling on the top in the end). Season and add the rice wine vinegar. Mix again.

Slice the salmon and roast the slices on the pan in a little oil.

Mix the wasabi, lemon juice and salt. Add oil gradually, mixing all the time. Taste for the heat you want. The taste evolves and deepens over time, so it is good to make the sauce a few hours earlier.

Put the salad base on a big plate. Add the salmon slices on top and sprinkle some almonds. The wasabi sauce can either be poured on the salmon slices or served in a separate bowl for everyone to add as they wish.