Tuesday, February 09, 2016

It's not Pancake Day, it's Shrove Tuesday cream bun day soon ;)

Vastlakuklid 2014
Photo by Juta Kübarsepp for the March 2014 issue of Kodu ja Aed magazine. 

It's time for semlor or lenten cream buns again soon - February 9th, to be precise. Remember, instead of pancakes, in Estonia and other Nordic countries cream-filled buns are eaten (semlor in Swedish, vastlakuklid in Estonian, laskiaispulla in Finnish). I've got three different recipes here on Nami-Nami, all delicious :)

Recipe for classic lenten buns
Recipe for chocolate lenten buns
Recipe for raspberry and marzipan lenten buns

So, are you having pancakes or cream buns next week? ;)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Traditional Christmas roast (oven-baked pork shoulder with honey, mustard and rosemary)

From the recipe archives (originally posted in December 2012. Still my favourite Christmas roast). My traditional Christmas roast / Traditsiooniline jõulupraad
Photo by Juta Kübarsepp for the December issue of Kodu ja Aed magazine, 2012 

What's your traditional Christmas roast (assuming you're eating meat)? Turkey? Goose? Duck?

In Estonia it's definitely pork, though roast poultry has become more popular during recent years. I've been flirting with roast goose and actually served duck leg confit on Christmas Eve this year. It was delicious.

However, for years I've been serving pork roast - a pork shoulder (kaelakarbonaad in Estonian) in a mustard-honey-garlic-rosemary marinade, to be more precise. I love that it's a pretty fool-proof recipe, simple to make, with lots of flavour. And - as an added bonus - any leftovers are excellent on top of rye bread on the days after the party, or as part of a salad. So if you're not making it for a big family feast, you can still make the same amount and simply make several meals out of it.

So here you go. Nami-Nami's traditional Christmas roast. On the photo above, it's accompanied by black pudding ('blood sausages') - another traditional Christmas dish.

Wish you all a lovely festive season!!!

Traditional Christmas roast
(Ahjupraad karbonaadist)
Serves about 10

2 kg boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
3-4 Tbsp honey
3-4 Tbsp Dijon mustard or Estonian Põltsamaa mustard
2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs (leaves only)
3 large garlic cloves
2 tsp sea salt

Finely chop garlic cloves and rosemary leaves, then mix with honey and mustard until combined.
Season the meat generously with salt, then spread the mustard-honey mixture all over the pork shoulder and massage into the meat.
Place the pork shoulder into a large ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place into a fridge or cold larder for 1-2 days.
Bring back to the room temperature about an hour before you plan to cook the meat.
If you have a meat thermometer, then stick it into the thickest part of the meat (you can do this through the kitchen foil).
Roast the meat in a pre-heated 160 C / 320 F oven for about 2,5 hours or until the meat thermometer has reached 82-85 C/ 180-185 F.
If you plan to serve gravy with your meat, then pour a cup of hot water into the baking tray half-way through the cooking. 
When the meat is cooked, remove the foil, season the meat once more lightly with salt and then bake for another 10-15 minutes at about 200-220 C/ 390-425 F, just to brown the meat  a little.

Remove the roast pork from the oven, cover again with a kitchen foil and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving into thin slices.

This recipe was also included in my latest cookbook, Jõulud kodus ("Christmas at Home"), published in Estonian in November 2011. 
I also included the recipe in the December 2012 issue of Kodu & Aed magazine. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

It's cinnamon bun day (kanelbullens dag)!

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

It's Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden today. Cinnamon Bun Day was established in 1999, or 16 years ago, when Swedish Home Baking Council (Hembakningsrådet) came up with the idea when looking for a way to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Many Swedes rush to their favourite bakery today and buy some kanelbullar - or bake their own. You'll find a good recipe for Swedish kanelbullar over on Sweden.se site (written by Anne).

I've previously given you recipe for my traditional cinnamon rolls (with step-by-step photos), as well as the hugely popular cinnamon pull-apart bread. Today's recipe is for Finnish korvapuustit ('Slapped ears') - more or less the same thing, just shaped and braided slightly differently.

Korvapuustit/Finnish cinnamon buns
(Soomlaste kaneelisaiad)
Makes about 16 large buns

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

450 g all-purpose flour (about 750 ml or 3 cups)
85 g caster sugar (100 ml)
1.5 tsp ground cardamom pods
0.5 tsp salt
1 packet of fast-action dried yeast (about 11 g)
250 ml lukewarm milk (1 cup)
1 egg (divided)
75 g butter, softened

Filling:
50 g butter, softened
4 Tbsp caster sugar
cinnamon

Topping:
pearl sugar (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, mix most of the flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and yeast. Stir in the milk and about half of the egg (leave some for brushing the buns before baking). Knead in the softened butter and the rest of the flour, if necessary. Knead until you've got a soft and pliable dough that releases from the sides of the bowl. Cover with clingfilm or a clean towel and leave to prove for about 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size. (The place for proving should be warm and draught-free).
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured table, knead gently couple of times. Roll into a reclangle sized 30x60 cm. Spread soft butter over the dough, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up tightly, starting from the long side, leaving the "seam" under the roll.

Now use a sharp knife to cut into buns, following the scheme here. The buns should be about 2 cm wide on the narrow end and 5 cm on the wide end.

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

Transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing them upright. Using your thumbs or a large pencil, press a dent into the middle of each bun, just like this:

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad

Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to raise for another 30 minutes in a warm place. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225 C/450 F.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the buns and golden brown.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven, and cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let them cool (a little) - this way they remain nice and soft.

Korvapuustit / Finnish cinnamon rolls / Soome kaneelisaiad