Monday, August 18, 2014

A Little Visit to Fuglebjerggaard

After our week in Spain, the husband still had a week off before returning to work at the beginning of August. We spent a few days in Copenhagen meeting up with my family again before they took off for different parts of the world. After my parents and sisters left, we drove up to the northern part of Zealand and stayed at my in-laws' summer house for a long weekend. Having driven past quite a few farms, I wanted to see if we could visit one and buy fresh vegetables or eggs or something. So I did a little search for a "gårdbutik" or a farm shop, and found Fuglebjerggaard

Fuglebjerggard is located in Helsinge just a little drive away from Copenhagen. It is actually owned by Camilla Plum, a Danish cookbook author. I had checked their website before going there and knew that you could pick your own fruit, depending on what was in season, and that they had a store and a cafe there. I mostly wanted to pick our own fruit!

We got to Fuglebjerggard at around 10:30 on a Saturday morning and set out to pluck some berries. Fuglebjerggard has a special section just for visitors to pluck (and pay for) their own fruit. While we were there, they mainly had some red and white currants as well as some gooseberries. There wasn't a lot of fruit left for us to pick, so next year we know to go a little bit earlier n July. In the fall though they will have lots of apples. We walked past rows of apple trees before getting to the berries.

We paid for our berries and then bought some chili seeds in their shop (to plant our own little chili plants) before heading to their cafe for some coffee and cake. The farm is a really great place for the family to go and visit on the weekend. You can wander through Camilla's gardens and see all the different organic fruits and vegetables she is growing. You can also buy many different seeds in her shop if you would like to plant your own veggies. They also serve homemade food with homegrown vegetables from their own farm at the cafe. I'm really looking forward to going again next summer and picking more berries! Going strawberry picking is a pretty common thing at home so I've been really wanting to do that here in Denmark. We missed it this season but will hopefully get to it next summer!

Hemmingstrupvej 8
3200 Helsinge

Friday, August 15, 2014

Light Brioche Burger Buns

Although I've started working full time this week, this first week I've only been scheduled to work 9 to 3. Next week is when the real full time hours start! We were thinking about having burgers for dinner on Wednesday evening and since I got off at 3, I decided to make our own burger buns!

And I must say, I am really proud of my little burger buns. They looked and tasted amazing, more like something you would get at a gourmet burger place and not like what you would buy in the grocery store. Our burgers were a mix of a BLT and a caprese salad. We made a basil mayo (by combining bashed basil with some store bought mayo), and packed the burgers with sliced tomatoes, avocados, bacon, lettuce and fresh mozzarella. Amazing! What's your favorite burger combo? What about making your own buns? It is so totally worth it. I used my Kitchenaid for this recipe, but you can also do it by hand. I have only written the instructions for how to make these buns with a stand mixer but do check out Smitten Kitchen's post!

Light Brioche Burger Buns (barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 6 to 8 burger buns, depending on how large you shape them. I got 6.

1 cup lukewarm water
3 tbsp slightly warmed milk
2 tsp active dry yeast or 17 g fresh yeast (I used fresh)
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour (or one with a higher protein content)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp or 35 g butter, softened
sesame seeds (optional)

In a bowl, stir together the water, milk, fresh yeast and sugar until everything is combined. If using dry yeast, simply let the mixture stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Meanwhile, beat one egg.

In the bowl for your stand mixer, stir together the flours and the salt. Add butter and rub into flour with your fingers, making crumbs. Place bowl in the stand mixer and pour in the yeast mixture and the beaten egg. Turn the mixer on to low and mix until a dough forms. With the stand mixer, continue to knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky but don't be tempted to add anymore flour.

After 8 to 10 minutes of kneading, shape the dough in a round ball, and return the dough to the mixing bowl. Cover bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours. My dough needed an hour and a half.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 6 to 8 equal portions. Feel free to weigh each portion if you want equal sized buns. Gently roll the dough into round balls and place on the parchment sheet, leaving a few inches between each ball. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap again and let it rise for another 1 to 2 hours.

Set a shallow pan of water at the bottom of your oven. Preheat oven to 400F or 200C. Beat remaining egg and brush on top of each bun. Sprinkle the tops of the buns with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning the baking sheet halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy your homemade burger buns!

Monday, August 11, 2014

This Week's Flowers

I started my internship today and my new employer gave all four of us new interns bouquets of flowers. How sweet of them and what a lovely way to start the internship and the week! It will be an interesting six months for sure!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My New Kitchenaid + Red Wine Chocolate Cake

As you may have seen from my Instagram, the husband and I went to pick up my new baby on Sunday! I mean Kitchenaid mixer. After returning some duplicate wedding gifts and using some gift cards, we were able to buy our first Kitchenaid. We picked a matte black beauty and I've been admiring ever since. And using it of course! I whipped up a batch of coconut oatmeal raisin cookies on Sunday afternoon and yesterday while our friend P was over, I made a batch of pizza dough for our dinner and a red wine chocolate cake for dessert. So now I've tried the dough hook, the whisk and the flat beater. I'm in love.

I'm not a big wine drinker and I don't appreciate it as much as many other people do but I wanted to try baking this red wine chocolate cake. As the husband and P said last night, it is a very fine and delicate cake. At first bite you taste the chocolate and then the flavor of the wine follows. Paired with a mascarpone cream, this cake was delicious. And as it is quite rich, we could only take a little slice each. This cake definitely feeds a crowd. I baked it in a 8-inch springform pan and well, we still have 3/4 of the cake left. Any takers?

If you love wine and you love chocolate, then this one's for you!

Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Whipped Mascarpone (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes one 8 or 9 inch cake

For the Cake:
6 tbsp or 85g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup red wine, any kind you like (I used a cabernet merlot)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Mascarpone Cream:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

To make the cake, start by preheating the oven to 325F or 160C. Line the bottom of a 8 or 9-inch springform cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease/butter the sides of the cake pan.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of your mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well before adding the wine and vanilla extract. The batter will look uneven and a little chunky. Don't worry!

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon right over your wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a spatula.

Spread cake batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, and maybe a few extra minutes if you are baking in an 8-inch form. The cake is ready when a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The top of the cake should be shiny and smooth. Cool the cake on a rack for 10 minutes before turning it out and leaving it to cool completely on the rack. The cake stores well at room temperature or in the fridge.

When serving, whip up the mascarpone cream. Whip the cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form. Dollop generously on each slice of cake.

Oh and a little FYI, the wine doesn't fully bake out of the cake :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Honeymoon in Sitges

Early Monday morning after our wedding on July 19th we took off for our honeymoon in Sitges. Originally, the husband and I had wanted to go to Santorini in Greece. We did not book things early enough so the flight and hotel prices had really gone up. I met with Tina for coffee in May and she suggested a few places we could look into and Sitges was one of them. I am so happy we took her advice because we absolutely loved Sitges.

Sitges is a beach town just a 45 minute or so train ride from Barcelona. We were there for 6 days and spent two days in Barcelona. We booked our flights and hotel through Expedia and stayed at Hotel Avenida Sofia & Spa just across the street from the beach. Although there are many hotels in Sitges, the town did not feel overly touristy. There were tourists, but there were also many Spanish tourists so it felt like a place Spaniards go as well.

The beaches went on and on. If one was too crowded we would just walk down to the next one. Our hotel had a rooftop pool so we spent the mornings there before making our way to the beach after lunch.

The food there was amazing. There were tapas and pintxos and there was seafood. So. Much. Seafood. Basically my dream come true. We had mussels, razor clams, calamari, and of course paella, which I ate 3 nights out of 6. Crazy? Maybe. But I say it eat while you can! For our restaurant recommendations we turned to Trip Advisor. And we were really impressed at how accurate the ratings were. The best meals (and paella!) we had on the trip was at La Marinada and at Restaurant Sitges Bon Estar (plus they had really wonderful service). If you are thinking of going to La Marinada or Bon Estar later in the week, definitely make a reservation. We tried to just walk into Bon Estar on Friday evening and they didn't have any open tables and made a reservation for the next night. While we were eating at Bon Estar, we noticed that all the tables had a reserved sign on it, the food and staff were really wonderful so I can understand why!

Sunshine, the beach, and amazing food. What more could we have asked for? It was so nice to just relax and spend time on our own after having guests and running around the week leading up to the wedding. After being in Spain for almost a week, we came back to Copenhagen to see my family again before they flew home and then spent the rest of the week/weekend at my in-laws' summerhouse.

Did you go on a honeymoon right after your wedding? And where did you go?