Finland summary

I was looking back on my posts in May and realised just how many Finnish, or Finnish inspired, baked goods I made.  Perhaps (obviously?), my favourite would be the cardamom and coffee macarons.  Though give me anything sweet with cardamom and I am a happy girl.

My faithful baking companion, The Great Scandinavian Baking Bookby Beatrice Ojakangas, may be returned to the shelf for now but I am sure she will make an appearance again soon.

In the meantime, here is a quick re-cap of what I made last month during my Finnish baking adventures.  This list surely now includes some of my new favourites.

1. Cardamom macarons with coffee cream
2. Hannatädinkakut :: Aunt Hanna’s Cookies (p138)
3. Karjalanpiirakat:: Karelian Rice Pasties (p272)
4. Mustikkapiiraat :: Blueberry Filled Buns (p237)
5. Omenapiirakka :: Finnish Apple Pie (p240)
6. Pulla :: Finnish Cardamom Bread (p70)


Cardamom macarons_single

With macarons completely occupying my mind due to my upcoming wedding, I was worried they may overshadow my Finnish baking adventures this month.  So inspired by all the creativity and ideas for my wedding macarons, I wondered if I could somehow combine something Finnish with a macaron.

I think I did.

The Finns are reported to be the largest coffee drinkers in the world.  So I knew coffee had to feature as a prominent flavour.  Cardamom is a very common spice used in Finnish (and Scandinavian) baking.  I love the flavours of both so was more than happy to trial the combination.  And let me just say, I am in macaron heaven.

I used the same Italian Merignue technique I have been using recently.  And I must admit, with about 6 weeks past since my last batch, it is amazing how quickly it all feels so new again.

But it fortunately all came together, and I can present, the “Suomalainen (aka Finnish!) macaron”.

{ Cardamom macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
130g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Ground cardamom
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the spice.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with extra ground cardamom.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Mocha Mousse } recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

* Ingredients *

6 oz / 180g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons espresso coffee powder
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream

* Directions *

Beat the cream until soft peaks form.  Set aside.  In the top of a double boiler, set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolates with the coffee.  In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until the mixture is thick and pale.  Heat the sugar with 1 tablespoon of water over a low heat until the sugar reaches 238F or 115C.  Slowly pour onto the egg yolks.  Then add in the chocolate mixture until just combined. Fold in the whipped cream, gently but thoroughly.

:: Update ::

dmblgit_green june 2009A big thank you to Marija of Palachinka for hosting the June 2009 Edition of DMBLGiT (Does My Blog Look Good in This?) event. Thank you also to the other judges this month for their time.

My cardamom and coffee macarons were awarded Overall 2nd Place.

There were many outstanding images in the running this month, and I am excited to have won this award.  Thank you!  (Make sure to check out all the other winners and entries.)