Saturday, 10 December 2011

Cloudberry Jam - without sugar

Cloudberries (D:multebær S:hjortron N:multe/molte) are very popular in the Nordic countries, not so much in Denmark however. Back in Australia I used to buy Swedish cloudberry jam at a Nordic store (NO, NOT IKEA). Cloudberries have a lovely tartness, and as such make a great alternative to marmalade. While citric acid is optional, it means that your jam will last longer, so I recommend using it.

Cloudberry Jam - without sugar
makes approx 200ml

250g cloudberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp agar flakes
50ml/2 1/2 tbsp xylitol
100ml water
1 t citric acid (optional)
1/2 tbsp rosewater essence (optional)

In a small pot,
lightly mash up berries.
Add water, xylitol, agar flakes.
Stir very well.
Heat very gently over med-low, stirring often,
15- 20 mins or until a runny jam consistency.
Turn off heat.
Add rosewater essence & citric acid.
Stir well.
Spoon into sterilised jar/s.
Refrigerate without lid/s until cool & set like jelly.
Put lid/s on.
Keep refrigerated.
Keeps for at least 6 weeks.

Warm Romanesco & Lentil Salad

I was hoping to be able to get a better picture in natural light, but I've had no such luck :(

My aim was to create a side dish that shows off the Romanesco. It seems a shame to hide such an amazing vegetable in something like a gratin.

Warm Romanesco & Lentil Salad
serves 3-4 as a side

800ml+ water
150g dried puy lentils (or other green or brown lentils)
400g romanesco
2 eschallots/shallots, diced
3 L cloves garlic, crushed
60ml/3 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Boil lentils in water, 15-20 mins or until tender.
Make sure lentils are always covered by water.
Drain. Set aside.
Steam romanesco 10-15 mins.
Gently break into florets (xmas trees!).
Set aside.
In a pan with a little oil,
Cook eschallot/shallot, garlic until soft.
Add tomatoes, rosemary. Stir.
Cook about 3 mins.
Add lentils. Stir.
Cook about 3 mins.
Add vinegar. Stir.
Check for seasoning.
Add romanesco.
Very gently stir as to not break up florets.
Cook med heat 5-10 mins or until heated through.
Serve while hot.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Please accept my apologies for having not posted for some time. I have so many things waiting to be posted, but it's that time of year where there is never enough natural light to take a decent enough photo :'(

Sunday, 9 October 2011


I've been meaning to post about a few things, but none of them were enough to warrant their own posts. So here's a round-up of a few bits and pieces.

Firefly Restaurant

(Ratatouille with Mushroom Polenta --- Chole Chaat)

When a new vege or vege friendly place opens up nearby I have to investigate. This place opened about a month ago. It's straight across the road from the new Torvehallerne (Food Markets) near Nørreport Station, so it's got a great location. It apparently turns into a 'night club' after the dinner service. This place seems to be the type of vege eatery that Denmark needs, with a modern, fairly minimalist interior & a menu that can appeal to both veges and non-veges alike. The food wasn't mind-blowing, but it was satisfying. I'll be going back soon to try out more of the menu and see how it's going after being open a little longer. I'm afraid I'm a little worse for wear after a late night so this is a pretty piss-weak review. Sorry.

Firefly - Frederiksborggade 26, 1360 Copenhagen K

International Vegetar Dag, Kbh

October first was International Vegetarian Day. The Danish Vegetarian Society, Aarstiderne, Naturli' and many other businesses and eateries took part. Sadly, I had a job trial to go to in the morning, which ended up lasting most of the day so I was only able to be around for the last hour. That meant that I missed out on a lot of the fun (food tastings). Free apples were to be had, as you can see. From other people's blogs (check Jens Drejer's post here) it seems like it was a charming affair so I'm pretty miffed that I couldn't be there earlier.

Aarstiderne Dogmekassen
While at International Vegetar Dag I (finally) signed up for an aarstiderne box. I went for the dogma box because we are not wusses in this house. I like to be challenged with some less common ingredients. So far I've been enjoying working out what to do with a romanesco from the first box. Aarstiderne (The Seasons) deliver organic produce directly to your door. They also include a recipe pamphlet each delivery.

Ekko Gourmet

I can't have yeast or sugar so that rules out most vege ready-meals for me. Urtekram products are what you most often find here in Denmark, and while I love them for plenty of things, I really hate them for adding yeast and sugars to a lot of their products. I bought these Ekko gourmet frozen vege nuggets & burgers on a trip to Malmö - they are free from yeast & sugar (except the à la Lindström burger), wheat free, soy free & vegan - and they are fantastic! Full of flavour, great texture, fairly cheap... I'm very anxiously awaiting their arrival in stores on the other side of the Øresund, but in the meantime I'm going to Malmö to stock up.

Der kommer en vegetar til middag

(A vegetarian's coming to dinner) ...or maybe not. Scariest cookbook I've ever seen. It sounded so promising from the description at the library. Its aim seems to be making cooking for a vegetarian less daunting for the average 80s Dane. Mission failed.

And who chops their cucumbers without a chopping board anyway?

Vegetarisk Kogebog (1918)

From a really bad vegetarian cookbook to a really amazing one. This is a DANISH vegetarian cookbook from 1918 (a revised edition, even), it even calls for the mind-blowing ingredient 'agar-agar' in several recipes. I promise to share more from this at a later date. Denmark has no history of vegetarianism say you? Sit on it, says I.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fiery Ginger Cordial

I love all ginger drinks imaginable, especially ginger beer. It's almost a space mission to find ginger beer here though, let alone a sugar-free one. I've posted a ginger beer recipe before, but this one is for those with a love of fire!

It's great for making a fiery Dark & Stormy. I'm almost out of Sailor Jerry rum though..

Fiery Ginger Cordial
takes 1 hour 30 minutes
makes approx 400ml

100g fresh ginger
2 cloves
1 juniper berry
1 stick cinnamon
1 heaped tbsp dried ginger
zest of 1 organic lime
125ml/1/2 cup xylitol
juice of 1 lime, about 30ml
1 t citric acid
500ml water

Put dried ginger, juniper, cloves, cinnamon, xylitol, zest in a small pot.
Grate half the fresh ginger over pot, to catch the juices.
Add water. Stir well.
Cook over med-low heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Turn off heat.
Grate remaining ginger over pot.
Add lime juice. Stir well.
Cover pot.
Leave to infuse for 1 hour.
Stir through citric acid.
Strain into sterilised bottle.
Keep refrigerated.
Lasts up to 1 week.

• Mix with sparkling/soda water to make ginger beer
• Use as a mixer in cocktails

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes

500g of cherry tomatoes seems like quite a bit, but after 10 or more hours in the oven it won't be. I think I might try starting with 1kg next time. If you look closely at the photo you'll see that over half of the jar is already gone!

Citric acid should be easily obtainable from a large supermarket, if you can't find it there, try a health food or home-brew shop. It will help it keep for longer. It should keep for 4-6 weeks in the fridge.

The time the tomatoes will take to dry out depends on your oven and the tomatoes themselves so the time given is an estimation. Yours may need more or less time.

Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes
takes 10 hours +/-

500g cherry tomatoes, washed, halved
20ml/1 tbsp red wine vinegar
100ml + olive oil
1/2 t salt
1 t dried marjoram
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried rosemary
1/4 t citric acid

Preheat an oven to 80°C/175°F.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Gently coat tomato halves in salt, 1 tbsp oil & vinegar.
Place tomatoes on tray cut side up.
Bake 5 hours.
Turn tray around.
Bake another 5 hours, or until completely dried, but not burnt!
Mix together 100ml oil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, citric acid & a little salt and pepper in a small jug.
Place tomatoes in a sterilised jar.
Pour over oil mix.
If need be, add more oil until tomatoes are completely covered.
Store in the fridge.

P.S. I know I was all talk about ration-inspired recipes, but as things sometimes go, the last few didn't work out. Maybe it'll be revisited in the future.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Carrot Fudge

So, I'm back from my trip and am now broke. In the spirit of not having anything, and having developed a love for a TV show hosted by a pair referred to as The Supersizers, I'll be featuring some fantastic (or not ?!) British WWII Ration recipes. Albeit with some modern updates.

This carrot fudge was a typical treat. Carrots were a bountiful substitute for fruits and sweets. Originally it was made with only orange essence or a little squash, so this version is sweeter than the original, and I'm afraid that it only just counts as sweet. Think of how much of a shock the original must've been! I suggest adding a few tablespoons of a liquid sweetener, eg. agave syrup, when you add the orange juice, if you feel that you may be shocked by the lack of sweetness!

Carrot Fudge
makes approx 12 squares

140g carrots, scrubbed, finely grated
100ml orange juice
140ml water
1 tbsp agar flakes

Put carrot & water in a small saucepan.
Cook gently over med-low heat for 10 mins.
Add orange juice.
Cook a further 5 mins.
Turn heat down to low.
Add agar flakes, Stir well.
Cook gently, stirring often, until flakes have dissolved.
Pour into a flat rectangular container, around 500ml size.
Leave to cool for 10 mins.
Place in fridge to set.
When set, Cut into small squares.
Keep in the fridge.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Great Southern Land

I'm off to fly south, far south, to Australia. Not sure how much time I'll get to update this here blog over the next few months. I'm quite excited to just be back and catch up with everybody after being on the biggest and longest roller coaster ride of my life these past two years. I guess you'll all just have to wait and see what happens.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Gigantes Plaki: Greek Giant Baked Beans

You might have guessed that I've got a bit of a thing for Greek food. Gigantes are a type of Greek giant white bean, impossible to find so far North, but lima/butter beans are more than adequate for this recipe.

This would usually be made with fresh dill, but one day I couldn't find any fresh dill so decided to substitute dried dill. Use a really small bunch if you'd like to use fresh.

Gigantes Plaki
serves 2 as a main

700g gigantes or lima/butter beans, cooked (about 350g dried)
OR x 3 400g tins, drained & rinsed
500g tomato passata
2 stalks celery, diced
1 L onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
40ml/2 tbsp tomato paste
30ml/1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1/2 t chili flakes
1 1/2-2 tbsp dried dill
1 S bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
150ml vegetable stock
olive oil, preferably Greek

Preheat an oven to 175°C/345°F.
Oil an oven dish approx 20 x 30cm, 6cm deep.
In a pan over med-low heat,
Sauté bay leaves, onion, garlic, celery in oil.
When onion is soft,
Add tomato paste, chili, vinegar, passata.
Stir well.
Cook 20 mins over low heat.
Add parsley, dill, stock, beans.
Stir well.
Check for seasoning.
Add to oven dish.
Cover dish with foil or lid.
Bake in oven 30 mins.
Uncover dish.
Turn up heat to 220°C/430°F.
Bake 15 mins or until top has started to dry out.
Try to remove bay leaves before serving.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Ramsons Pesto

Ramsons is a type of green leaf wild garlic, related to chives. It's generally found throughout the Northern half of Europe. It's first evidence of human use is from a mesolithic settlement in Jutland. You generally have to go foraging for it yourself if you want it fresh as it's just started to undergo a revival in recent years, but I have seen it for sale in Føtex this week.

I've heard Claus Meyer call rapeseed oil the olive oil of the North - Yes, I do know he's somewhat of a pretentious git. I don't know how much he is aware that rapeseed oil, better known as canola oil to most English speakers, is actually a Canadian product. Wild rapeseed contains the toxin erucic acid and experimentation in Canada in the 1970s produced a rapeseed that was safe for human consumption. The name Canola comes from Canadian oil, low acid. It also sounds nicer than rapeseed oil.

Tusind tak for ramsløg, Rasmus!

Ramsons Pesto
makes about 100ml

40g fresh ramsons leaves
zest of 1/2 lemon
15 whole almonds
3 tbsp/60ml rapeseed oil
sea salt
black pepper

Wash ramsons well.
Process almonds until roughly ground.
Add zest, ramsons.
Process until roughly chopped.
Add oil little by little until desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Aromatic Orange Bitters

And so the theme continues...

I really like an aromatic bitters, like Angostura Aromatic, but I intended this bitters recipe to also have a slight orange aroma. I set about to basically combine, in my opinion, the best parts of an aromatic bitters and an orange bitters. Of course there is minimal colouring when you put this bitters into a drink, this is because it hasn't been loaded with colourings like a bought bitters would be. I'm going with calling this Aromatic Orange Bitters solely to irritate some mixologists and mixed drink connoisseurs. It should keep for up to a year.

Aromatic Orange Bitters
time 20 days+ - makes approx 500ml

1 organic orange, peel
1 organic lemon, peel
2t coriander seeds
2t caraway seeds
10 whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
350ml vodka
150ml water

Remove peel from orange & lemon with a vegetable peeler,
be careful not to get any of the white pith.
Place all, except water, in a sterilised 700ml pickling jar.
Seal tightly.
Leave in a cool, dark place for 10 days -
Shake the jar every day.
After 10 days, Remove spices & peels.
Place them in a small pot.
Add water to pot.
Cook pot over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Add to jar. Stir. Seal tightly.
Leave to infuse for at least 10 days -
Shake the jar every day.
(Leave for more than 10 days for a stronger flavour)
Strain. Discard solids.
Pour into sterilised bottle/s.

and now the drink...

Lemon, lime & bitters is an immensely popular drink in Australia, where it supposedly originates from. Apparently amongst Australian golfers it became a custom to have a refreshing lemon, lime & bitters after a round. There's also the equally popular soda, lime & bitters which is just using soda (sparkling) water instead of lemonade. Upon travelling outside of the great southern land I was surprised to have not encountered either of these drinks anywhere even though all the ingredients are readily available.

Lemon/Soda, Lime & Bitters
serves 1

20ml homemade bitters (5 dashes bought)
1/4 lime OR
15ml lime juice cordial
lemonade OR
soda (sparkling) water

Roll the bitters around a 300ml tall/highball glass,
making sure to get all over the inside.
(This means it will mix itself)
Gently squeeze in the lime juice, or pour in cordial.
Fill up with lemonade or soda (sparkling) water.
Garnish with the piece of lime.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Orgeat Syrup with Xylitol

You should all start to notice a theme in the next few posts, mixed drinks might be a burgeoning interest of mine. A drinks cabinet can be a very scary place for the sugar conscious. A purchase of some much lusted after tiki mugs in a far away, magical city known only as Stockholm requires the making of beverages to put in said tiki mugs. So where do you find those little extras, ikke tilsat sukker, that you need to make some divine drinks?

Orgeat syrup is most famously used in the classic tiki drink, the Mai Tai. It is basically emulsified almond oil and water so imagine a type of liquid marzipan. You can also use it in coffee, other drinks and desserts. Because there is no sugar in this recipe it is very fluid and appears more milky. If you have a real sweet tooth feel free to add a little more xylitol. This recipe should be refrigerated and will last up to a month if not longer.

Orgeat Syrup with Xylitol
makes approx 450ml

150g peeled almonds, chopped
50ml/2 1/2 tbsp xylitol
400ml water, preferably filtered
50ml vodka
20ml/1 tbsp rose water essence

Process almonds until roughly ground.
Add water, almonds, xylitol to a pot.
Bring to boil.
Turn off heat.
Cover pot.
Leave overnight - or at least 12 hours.
Strain through cheesecloth or similar.
Discard solids.
Stir in vodka, rose water essence.
Pour into sterilised bottle/s.
Keep refrigerated.

and now a few drinks..

Today's Trader Vic Mai Tai*
serves 1

30ml gold rum
30ml dark rum
30ml triple sec/cointreau
15ml lime juice
15ml orgeat syrup
garnish: fresh mint, pineapple..

Shake all in a shaker with ice.
Strain into glass over crushed ice.
Garnish with mint and/or fruits.
Serve with a straw.

*may or may not be the modern Trader Vic's recipe.

serves 1

45ml pastis
15ml orgeat syrup
water or sparkling water

In a tall 300ml (Collins) glass,
Add pastis & orgeat.
Fill with ice.
Top up with water or sparkling water.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Pumpkins aren't that common in Denmark.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar

Out on a shopping trip I came across this divine pomegranate balsamic vinegar, but it was 25kr/$4.70 per 100ml. That's a steep price for an unemployed lass. I managed to turn out 250ml for 25kr. Much better.

Pomegranate balsamic vinegar is perfect for dressings, desserts and anywhere you would use balsamic vinegar, either white or traditional. It should keep for about 6 months.

Pomegranate Balsamic
makes approx 250ml

1/2 pomegranate, seeds only
250ml white balsamic vinegar

Place seeds in a sterilised 500ml pickling jar.
Using a spoon, slightly bruise the seeds.
Cover with white balsamic vinegar.
Stir well.
Seal jar tightly.
Place jar on a warm window sill for 10 days.
Discard solids.
Pour into sterilised bottles.
Store in a cool, dark place.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Revithia: Greek Baked Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an often overlooked legume, but in the ancient world they were an absolute staple. More 'modern' thoughts about cookery and ingredients focus on animal flesh, and as such legumes are thought of as 'hippie food' or at best filler. Perhaps amongst the slightly more cultured chickpeas may be viewed as only good for hummus.

This dish is said to have it's origins in ancient Greece. Traditionally it would be cooked overnight in the village baker's oven. Sometimes it is saucier, in line more with a soup, but I personally like mine drier. You can serve this is as a main or a side. If you're like me you could probably eat the whole lot all by yourself.

"Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was originally given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more likely that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas."

serves 2-3 as a side

450g chickpeas, cooked or tinned (x2 400g tins, drained)
1 XL onion, halved & thickly sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, very roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1-2 t dried savory, or dried marjoram (if can't find savory)
1-2 t dried rosemary
1 t dried parsley flakes
4 tbsp/80ml olive oil, preferably Greek
4 tbsp/80ml water
1 lemon, juice only

Preheat an oven to 150°C/300°F.
Place chickpeas, oil, water in a large oven-safe dish.
Add bay leaves, savory/marjoram, rosemary, parsley, garlic, onion.
Season with salt & pepper.
Stir well.
Cover dish with lid or foil.
Bake for 90-120 mins.
Remove from oven.
Leave to cool with lid/foil on for 5-10 mins.
Add lemon juice.
Stir well.
Remove bay leaves, if you like.
Serve immediately.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Raw Cake with Runny Vanilla Cream

One of the joys of raw cakes is that you can make it entirely the day before and not have to worry about it tasting like it was made yesterday.

If you aren't worried about using entirely raw ingredients feel free to use non-raw agave syrup, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract instead. Lecithin granules, psyllium husks, cocoa butter, coconut oil should be easily obtainable at most health food stores. Here in Denmark you can buy psyllium husks in Føtex & Bilka - HUSK psylliumfrøskaller. You can also buy coconut oil & agave syrup in Irma, Føtex & Bilka. For lecithin granules (lecithin granulat) & cocoa butter (kakaosmør) I suggest asking in your nearest health food shop or ordering online through rawandmore, those in Copenhagen can get a pick-up service from their other store on Istedgade.

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Raw Cake w Runny Vanilla Cream
prep & 'cook' around 5 hours
serves 6-8

120g pitted dates
1 tbsp cocoa butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
60ml agave syrup
2 t vanilla powder
4 tbsp (raw) cocoa powder
60g brazil nuts, soaked in water 2 hours & drained

180g cashews, soaked in water 2 hours & drained
70ml agave syrup
1 tbsp lecithin granules
2 tbsp coconut oil
100g raspberries, if frozen; thawed & drained
1 t psyllium husks

50ml water
2 t vanilla powder
60ml agave syrup
1 1/2 tbsp lecithin granules
30g almond pieces

fresh mint or lemon balm (to garnish)

In separate bowls, soak brazil nuts & cashews in water for 2 hours.
Line a 20cm or two 10-12cm spring form cake tin/s with baking paper.

In a processor or blender,
Blend all ingredients until well mixed & roughly chopped.
Using a spoon, press down base into bottom of spring form/s.
Make sure that it is even & tightly packed.
Freeze 1 hour.

Purée cashews, agave, lecithin, coconut oil.
Add raspberries.
Purée until smooth.
Add psyllium husks.
Purée until mixed through.
Pour or spoon into spring form/s over base.
Make sure it is even and tap out any air bubbles.
Freeze 1 hour or until completely set.
1 hour before serving, remove from freezer.
Carefully remove sides of spring form/s.
Leave to thaw, if it's warm thaw it in fridge.

Purée all until smooth, creamy & pale yellow.
Leave covered in the fridge to thicken slightly, about 30 mins.

Slice cake.
Garnish with fresh mint or lemon balm.
Serve with a dollop of the cream.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

ANZAC Biscuits - vegan, sugarless

ANZAC biscuits for the vegan and sugar conscious amongst us. This recipe makes a softer biscuit than what my sugared recipe does. Xylitol is more commonly called birkesød in Denmark and is readily available in selected Matas and health food stores.

ANZAC Biscuits - vegan, sugarless
makes about 15

1 cup/90g rolled oats
1 cup/90g dessicated coconut
1 cup/150g plain flour
8 scoops 100% extract stevia powder OR
1-2 tbsp xylitol
1/2 cup/125ml agave syrup
1/2 cup/125ml neutral vegetable oil
1 t bi-carb soda
40ml/2 tbsp boiling water

Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F.
Line a large baking tray.
In a large bowl, Add flour, coconut, oats, stevia/xylitol.
Mix well.
In a large jug, Stir together oil & agave.
In a small jug, gently stir together bi-carb soda & water.
Stir together bi-carb soda & water and oil & agave.
Make a well in the centre of the flour, coconut, oats, stevia/xylitol.
Pour in oil, agave, bi-carb soda, water.
Mix gently until combined.
With well floured hands, Take 1 tbsp of mix and gently make a ball.
Place on lined baking tray, flatten with back of a spoon.
You may need to flour the spoon if mix is too sticky.
Repeat with remainder of mix.
Leave 5cm/2" between each as they spread out.
Bake about 10 mins, or until golden.
Watch closely as they burn easily.
They will be soft, but will harden when cool.

Thylacinus cynocephalus; Tasmanian Tiger
'The Mammals of Australia' (1863) John Gould