Monday, August 07, 2006

A beautiful raspberry focaccia

What to do with a punnet of luscious Scottish raspberries? My Japanese friend Ryoko came for dinner last Friday, and I wanted to do something with raspberries that are everywhere at the moment - raspberries being one of the few berries that really thrive in the Scottish climate.

And then I saw this recipe in the August 2006 issue of the Finnish Pirkka magazine. Nicky's recent post about focaccia had left me longing, and this recipe seemed to fill the gap. I had all the ingredients in hand, so I rushed to the kitchen, rummaged in my cupboards, measured ingredients into a bowl, kneaded, waited, tried to be artistic with raspberries, waited some more, and finally emerged with this beautiful raspberry focaccia.

If you serve it with Brie, then you're also combining the pudding & cheese courses, so it's a lovely ending to any dinner party.

Raspberry focaccia
(Vaarika-focaccia)



(Click on the photo to enlarge)

300 ml lukewarm milk (or water, if you prefer)
25 grams fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp runny honey or sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom (seeds from approximately 20 pods)
4 Tbsp olive oil
700-800 ml plain flour (I used Doves Farm organic)

Topping:
300 ml fresh raspberries
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
50 grams butter

Crumble the yeast into the lukewarm liquid, then add salt, honey (or sugar) and ground cardamom. Add flour in 2-3 batches, mixing with a wooden spoon as you go. When you've added all the flour, pour the olive oil onto the dough and knead with your bare hands for 7-10 minutes, until the dough doesn't stick onto your hands and the bowl too much. You may want to sprinkle some more flour, but don't go overboard, as then you'll end up with a tough bread afterwards. Less is more!

Cover the bowl with a clean towel or clingfilm and leave to rise in a warmish corner of your kitchen for about 30 minutes, until the dough has almost doubled in size.

Dip the raised dough onto a slightly floured surface, knock out the air and form into a flat uneven circle. Lift onto a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Make indentions with your fingers, then scatter raspberries on top, pushing them into the indentions (click on the photo to enlarge). Sprinkle with sugar and vanilla sugar, dot with butter.

Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes, until focaccia is lovely golden brown.

The bread was wonderful & amazing - very soft-textured, with a wonderful cardamom scent, tasty with just a hint of saltiness, and the sweet, yet tart, raspberries giving a nice juicy burst. I served it with some Brie cheese (we used Organic Cornish Brie ), as recommended by the magazine, but it would also be lovely on its own.

It must have been good, because Ryoko treated me to an one-hour reflexology* session in return:)



* She's very good! She does home visits in the Edinburgh area, so if any of you is interested, then drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with her.

11 comments:

Julia said...

love rasberries, love focaccia...!
looks very soft and sweet...YUM :)
we have blackberries in the garden, think that will work very good as well! :)tnx for the recipe...

Pam said...

Looks really amazing Pille!!

Jasmine said...

I love the way it looks! I'd never thought of foccacia with fruit--must put that in my to try list...

j

K & S said...

This looks really good and very colorful :)

Jen said...

That looks great! Makes me want a piece for breakfast, with some fresh butter.

joey said...

Looks so yummy Pille! We don't have raspberries locally so they are very expensive here...so I will just enjoy them virtually through your lovely bread :) I can imagine it going wonderfully with the brie :)

Chloe said...

it looks really pretty. i love raspberries but they are so expensive here. i don't know why, as they are abundant in northern Greece especially.

angelika said...

That's really amazing, Pille. And I love sweet and salty, or fuity and salty combinations. I can even feel the soft texture when looking at the pic. Well done ! Knowing that your kitchen is not big at all I have to tell you that I admire what you can get out of it...

Ivonne said...

That is just too gorgeous!

Paz said...

Beautiful!

Paz

Pille said...

Julia - it was incredibly softly textured, but moist as well. Very nice!

Pam - thank you!

Jasmine - apparently in Tuscany they make sweet focaccia with grapes, called schiacciata. Mine should have been called sweet cardamom bread with raspberries, but I kept the original name:)

K&S - raspberries have a beautiful colour, don't they?

Jen - I'm sure it would have been lovely toasted with butter. I had few slices left for next day, and I covered them with Brie and included them in my lunchbox. Lovely..

Joey - sorry to hear raspberries are so expensive. I'm lucky to have raspberry bushes back home in my parents' garden, and they're also cheep here.

Chloe - again, sorry to hear they're expensive. And I'm surprised to hear they are abundant in Greece - my friends from Kavala & Larisa didn't seem to be too familiar with raspberries, and neither is my Turkish flatmate..

Angelika - thank you for your kind words! I agree, the slight saltiness that came trhough the cardamom scent, was wonderful. To be honest, I'm getting tired of my small kitchen - am looking forward to my move in October, as there's a great kitchen in my future home:)

Ivonne & Paz - thank you for your kind words!