There’s a first time for everything aka cupcakes from a mix

Hi there,

I hope the spring has arrived to there where you are.

Here in Paris spring is acting like a true lady and changing her mind every other day about whether to make an entrance or not. Well, we had a few very nice days here so I shouldn’t complain but still… Spring please come to stay!

For a while a go I did something I’ve never done before: I made cupcakes from a mix.

I needed to bring something to an apéro a friend was hosting. Because I knew there’d be many people I don’t know I decided to bake. That’s always a good idea, right? But, I then realized that I maybe shouldn’t buy everything I need for baking to this tiny apartment of mine. And so, I went for a cupcake-mix.

You can probably guess I was a tad skeptical about how cupcakes made from a mix would taste. But, at least with the chocolate I used (milk-chocolate and toffee) the cupcakes turned out very good.

So sometimes it’s good to not take baking so seriously and remember that cupcakes are a great way to make new friends at a party. Never mind you didn’t make them from scratch. Sometimes you’ll just need some good chocolate and pretty cupcake cases.

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Bought these pretty cases from BonTon, one of my favorite stores here in Paris.

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The cupcake mix was from Hema.

The chocolate I used was Milka's toffee bubble.

The chocolate I used was Milka’s toffee bubble.

My tiny combination owen baked seven cupcakes a time.

My tiny combination owen baked seven cupcakes a time.

And I was a bit surprised that the owen actually baked the cupcakes.

And I was a bit surprised that the owen actually baked the cupcakes.

P.S Using A LOT of that good chocolate to the cupcakes doesn’t hurt, it never does.

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Goat Cheese Pie

Hi you,

I hope you are well.

It’s been a while. Apparently time here in Paris flies. I hope you don’t mind.

I have every intention of keeping this little blog of mine alive but as the spring approaches I assume that I will be spending less time inside in front of my computer and more time outside.

Well, enough with making excuses, let’s start making pie.

You might already know I really like pie. If you didn’t… Well, I really do.

Making pie is easy and fast. And with a simple salad, a savory pie is easily one of my favorite things to eat (if we don’t count things that include sugar).

Let’s bake, I say.

Goat Cheese Pie

Crust:

2,5 dl melted butter

1 small potato/ 50 g of mashed potato powder

0,5 dl oats

About 2 dl flour

3 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

1 onion

1 red pepper

2 dl cream

150 g grated cheese (I used emmental)

2 eggs

200 g goat cheese

First you make the crust.

Mix together everything but water together. If the doug seems a bit dry, add few spoons of water. If not, add a bit more flour first and then water. Again, mix.

Then press the dough into an oiled pie pan.

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Then do the filling by mixing everything together. But do leave about half of the goat cheese out, so you can use it to sort of decorate the pie.

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Pour the filling on top of the crust. The cut the rest of the goat cheese into thin slices that you then place on top of the pie.

Bake in 200 Celsius/ 390 Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes.

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Serve with green salad with balsamic vinegar dressing. (And if it’s friday, I’d have a glass of rosé too.)

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Enjoy!

Rolls with garlic butter or pesto

Hello you,

I hope there’s cake where you are. And that you’re already finished with everything important you needed to do this week so you’re already eating that piece of cake with a nice cup of coffee.

Me, I still have a few things to do before I can do the same.

I also hope you don’t think I don’t like sweet things like cake anymore because the last few posts have been the savory kind. I do and I have a few things I’ve been testing. So, it won’t be too long until I’ll share those but let’s make rolls with garlic butter and pesto first. Ok?

If you read the carrot roll post you might already guess I like rolls.

These rolls are made with practically the same kind of dough. The only difference is you’ll probably have to add a bit more flour now that you’re not adding the grated carrots.

Rolls with Garlic Butter or Pesto

0,5 l water

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

11 g dry yeast

3-4 dl oats

About 10-12 dl flour

About 0,5 dl vegetable oil

From here you’ll find what to do. It really isn’t hard. Well, it requires a bit effort when made by hand but it’s still not hard.

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When you leave the dough to rise you can do the garlic butter and the pesto (here’s a recipe for a coriander and ginger kind). I used store bought pesto this time.

Garlic butter

About soft 120 g butter

5 cloves of garlic

1 dl chopped parsley

Some salt

First I made the rolls with pesto.

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I rolled out the dough. Making savory rolls is just like making cinnamon buns.

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I used both red and green pesto because I wanted to see which one would taste better.

(They were both good but I maybe liked the ones with green pesto more. Maybe.)

Then you roll the rolled out dough and cut same size pieces of it.

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And if you’d happen to be baking these for a certain, soon approaching pink and red themed day… You could shape the rolls into hearts.

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And what does the garlic butter version look like?

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Not bad I think.

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But it was easier to not try to make these heart shaped. I suspect the amount of garlic butter used made that challenging. But I did not want to compromise with the amount of garlic butter used. So I stuck with the basic cut-out shape.

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Just like rolls these are better if you let them rise a bit before baking.

Before baking them in 200 Celsius/ 390 Fahrenheit I gave them a milk wash.

Then baked them for 10-12 minutes.

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These are good on their own.

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Or with a salad. Or with soup.

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They don’t mind the freezer so you could easily make a patch beforehand. If you’d be in example planning a pique-nique and would not want to make everything the same day.

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Enjoy!

Empanadas (with two different fillings)

Hi you,

I hope your week has started nicely.

Me, I’m waiting the spring more and more each day and, each day it’s getting closer. So the odds are I don’t have to wait long anymore. And the end of waiting would almost instantly mean pique-niqueing.

I love pique-niqueing. Would you have guessed?

These empanadas that I made while still in Finland would be perfect for a pique-nique. The filling options are pretty much endless but like in most cases I think simplicity worked well. This means I chose to fill mine with red onions, tomatoes, cream cheese and grated cheese and with grated cheese and ham.

Both worked well warm and cold. Though I did prefer them a bit warm because I like warm cheese.

You can also fry empanadas but I wanted to bake mine so this dough is for baking the empanadas in an oven.

Also, I wanted to make mine sort of bite size so I used a coffee mug for cutting the circles from the rolled out dough.

Empanadas (makes about 18) Adapted from here.

1 cup flour

0,5 cups wholegrain flour

0,5 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

250 g cream cheese

About 8 tablespoons butter

(And one egg for the egg-wash)

Filling option 1:

1 red onion

2 tomatoes

A few tablespoons cream cheese

100-150 g grated cheese (I used emmental)

Filling option 2:

150 g cold cut ham (that I cut to tiny pieces)

100-150 g grated cheese

1 tablespoon tomato puree

Sift the flour and other dry ingredients. Then in another bowl mix soft butter and cream cheese until well blended.

Then add the sifted flour and other dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

Put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Don’t take the whole dough of the fridge because it’s much easier to handle when cold.

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Roll out a piece of dough. Using any circle shaped thing cut circles off the rolled out dough. (Like I said I used a coffee mug.)

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Then you fill these circles with the filling of your choosing and fold the circle into half. Don’t over fill them.

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Then using a fork you’ll crimp the edges together.

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This step you’ll naturally have to repeat a few times.

Give the empanadas an egg-wash before baking them in 175 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Blueberry Cupcakes

Oh hi,

how was you week? Mine, surprisingly busy but in a good way.

I gotta confess that yesterday I missed baking a lot. And I can assure you that here in Paris is very easy to get your sweet tooth ache cured so it wasn’t about that but about baking itself.

While still in Finland I made these blueberry cupcakes.

To make the cupcakes I used frozen blueberries which means that the blueberries were quite “wet”. After adding the blueberries to the batter I remembered that I read somewhere once that it is a good idea to coat the frozen blueberries with little bit of potato flour.

The flour kind of seals the moistness of frozen blueberries and if you mix the blueberries carefully to the dough they might not brake. For this to work the blueberries still have to be at least some what frozen.

The next time I bake with frozen blueberries, I’ll try to remember.

Blueberry Cupcakes

1,5 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

2 eggs

2 dl sugar

60 g butter

0,5 dl milk

2 cups blueberries

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Beat the eggs, butter and sugar for a few minutes.

In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients that you then add to to the batter.

Then add milk and blueberries but don’t mix the batter too much at this point.

Bake in 175 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit for 13-15 minutes.

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These were good on their own and I bet that vanilla ice cream would accompany them well.

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But I frosted some of these with whipped cream that I added some quark to. Thick greek yoghurt would work as well I assume.

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And with that kind of frosting they are almost breakfast, right?

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Enjoy!

Restaurant Day

Hi you,

have you ever dreamed of opening your own restaurant or cafe?

I’d love to have my own cute little cafe and about a year ago, I did. And on the 17th of February, you could too.

Why and how? Well, Restaurant Day.

The idea is that on Restaurant Day anyone anywhere can open their own pop-up restaurant. Sounds like so much fun, doesn’t it?

It all began when on the 21st of May on 2011 when an idea by three finnish friends had travelled through social media. On the very first Restaurant Day there were almost 40 pop-up restaurants in Finland.

The event was hugely popular and on the next Restaurant Day on August there were already almost 200 restaurants in 30 cities and four countries. On the sixth restaurant Day there were already 800 restaurants in 15 different countries. Quite amazing, right?

So, the Restaurant Day on the 17th is the eight already.

I attended Restaurant Day number four on 4th of February last year. And it was just so much fun. Me and a dear friend who I had the cafe with thought that it might be fun.

But boy, we did not know what was coming. There were over 70 people who came and ate the cakes I had made.

The name of our cafe was Killed by a cake and all the photos are taken from Restaurant Days Facebook page.

Photo: Ella Kiviniemi

Photo: Ella Kiviniemi

Find Waldo me wearing orange tights… Ok, that was easy.

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Photo: Ella Kiviniemi

Photo: Ella Kiviniemi

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Photo: Ella Kiviniemi

Photo: Ella Kiviniemi

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Photo: Henri Ilanen

Though I loved having my own cafe I can assure you that going to pop-up restaurants is super fun too.

The idea is not to get huge profits from having a pop-up restaurant (there have been restaurants that have given their profits to charity). It is a day full of food, bakings, smiles and enjoying life.

To find out more you can checkout Restaurant Day on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

Here in Paris the only pop-up restaurant at the moment seems to be at L’Institut finlandais à Paris…

À bientôt !

Carrot rolls

Hi there,

I hope your monday is not the manic kind (I love the Bangles).

On this amazingly bright and sunny day there is one thing that I would love to be having with my caramel macchiato. Home made rolls.

I love making rolls and I especially love eating them. Oh. A fresh roll with butter. That’s simple but great food heaven.

I also happen to love carrots. And now that I think of it carrots might easily be my favorite vegetable. You can make so many good tasting things from carrot that the list seems endless: cake, cupcake, muffin, soup, puree… And they’re good raw, roasted, boiled…

So. The logical things is to make some carrot rolls.

Adding grated carrot to a roll dough is smart because you don’t have to use so much flour which kind of makes the rolls healthier.

First time I added only three medium sized carrots to the dough. But that wasn’t enough. Next time I added five which was much better but I gotta say I’d be tempted to try just a few more.

I like to leave my roll dough a bit loose. This works because the rolls I make don’t have to be the perfect shape.

Also, I like to wash them with milk instead of egg.

Carrot Rolls

0,5 l water

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon salt

11 g dry yeast

3-4 dl oats

About 9 dl flour

About 0,5 dl vegetable oil

5 (or more) grated carrots

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Firstly, the water should be a bit more warmer that hand-warm. To that water you mix salt and honey, and then oats.

Mix the dry yeast to in one dl of flour. Then you just start adding flour to water so that it becomes dough.

After you’ve added a cup or a bit more of flour the dough should be runny and resemble goo. At this point I usually beat the dough extra hard with a big wooden fork I use so that it gets enough air. If you have a kitchen aid (or something similar) this step requires much less effort.

You gradually add more flour and if you are mixing the dough by hand like me you’ll eventually need to get rid of the wooden fork and start mixing the dough with your hands.

At this point you add the grated carrots. Around the same time you should add the oil so that the dough becomes to be easier to handle.

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When the dough doesn’t stick to your hands that much anymore you can just coat the whole dough with flour and leave it to rest for 30 minutes or so.

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After the dough has risen you take it out the bowl and star making the kind of rolls you like.

Like I said earlier, I like mine a bit rustic. This means I just take a piece of dough and twist the ends into different directions.

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Again, let them rise before baking them. Then give the rolls a milk wash.

Bake in 200 Celsius/390 Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.

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Eat with butter and a glass of milk.

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Enjoy!

Bite Size Chocolate Cupcakes

Hi you,

I hope the sun is shining there too. After too many grey days I gotta say that sunshine is amazing. I feel like having much more energy.

Maybe that’s why I also found a recipe for these cupcakes that I did over the holidays. I thought I had lost the recipe that I wrote down whilst baking. I had the photos but as I did not remember the recipe at all I just though I wouldn’t publish at all.

That would have been a shame because this dough was pretty good for bite size cupcakes. I for one like bite size things. Small things just look so pretty and at parties are so easy to eat. No one will know that you just ate 15 a few too many cupcakes at once because they are bite size.

I tried these with three different frostings: cream cheese frosting, cream cheese frosting coated with cocoa powder and chocolate ganache with cocoa flakes on top.

My favorite was the cream cheese frosting covered with cocoa powder (I used the kind you would do cocoa milk from).

I’m not the hugest fan of cocoa flakes so that’s maybe why I did not go for those that much though the more cocoa flake tolerating people eating them said that they were really good.

Next time I’ll make these I think I’ll try a frosting that would  have both chocolate and coffee in it.

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 eggs

2,5 dl sugar

100 g butter

100 g chocolate

0,5 dl espresso

3 dl flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

0,5 teaspoon salt

1 dl plain yoghurt

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First, make espresso. Then whip the eggs and sugar until foamy.

Then melt the butter and chocolate and add espresso. Let the mixture cool for a bit and then add that to the foam (don’t mix too much).

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Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the batter too. Last you’ll add the yoghurt.

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Bake in 175 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit for 8-10 if you make the small ones and 13-15 minutes if you make regular ones.

The recipe for the cream cheese frosting you’ll find in example here.

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And like I said coating the cream cheese frosting with cocoa powder is a very good idea.

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The recipe for the ganache you’ll find in example here and after you dipped the top of the cupcake into the ganache you’ll just sprinkle lots of cocoa flakes on top.

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Enjoy!

Peanut butter pie

Hi you,

are you well? I hope so.

Me, I’m OK. I’m searching for a flat from Paris to live in and that is one hard job. Seriously. It’s a lot harder than I though and I did assume it to be hard. Bummer.

If I had some chocolate know what I’d do with it. Yea, the obvious guess is I’d eat it but nope, not this time.

If I had chocolate I would make peanut butter pie. Just writing that makes me drool. If you like love Reese’s peanut butter cups then this pie is for you.

I made it for New Years eve and cut it to little pieces. People said that it tasted like Snickers. Dont’ know. Maybe it did. I just though it was one of the best things I had ever baked and I almost wasn’t baking at all. (That makes me think that maybe it was candy after all, hmm. Nope. A pie sounds more healthy so let’s stick with that.)

The photos I took don’t really make justice for the pie. I had planned to take photos of the tiny pieces of the pie but I accidentally ate those pieces I had put aside the next morning. Oops.

I do suggest you make this pie to people who you need to be friends with (just make sure they’re not allergic to peanuts). The sweetness of this pie will make them love you.

Peanut Butter Pie (Adapted from here and here.)

Crust

About 300 g toffee flavored Domino cookies (similar to Oreos so you could use in example Peanut butter Oreos)

About 120 g butter

Filling

0,75 cups creamy peanut butter

6 tablespoons butter

0,7 cups powdered sugar

0,5 cups fine graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons cream

Ganache

250 g chocolate (I used milk)

1 dl cream

Maldon sea salt

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First you make the pie crust. Break the Domino/ Oreo cookies into fine crumbs and mix with soft butter. Then press the dough into the pie pan. Put it to the fridge to wait.

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The you make the peanut butter filling by mixing everything together. I you feel you need to add more than three tablespoons of cream or add more graham cracker crumbs then do it. It really ain’t that serious with this lovely pie.

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Pour the smooth filling on top of the crust and again put it to fridge to wait.

Then you do the ganache. Put the cream and chocolate pieces into a kettle and very carefully let the chocolate melt while you constantly mix it with the cream. Remember, don’t let it get too hot just enough to make the chocolate melt.

Let the ganache cool for a little while before pouring it on top of the peanut butter filling.

Then sprinkle some sea salt flakes on top and put it to the fridge again to set. Wait for about 20 minutes and the pie is ready for eating.

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Enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Hi there,

did you eat a lot of chocolate over the holidays? Do you still have some left? It really doesn’t matter that much if you don’t… but I did.

And I wanted to use them for baking. Because somehow that seemed a better idea than just eating a big box of chocolate alone (I blame Christmas for it but luckily that feeling has since passed).

As there was that much chocolate involved these came out resembling big, soft cookies. In my book that was not a kitchen failure, definitely not. Though I like crisp cookies I also have room in my stomach heart for big, soft cookie kind of cupcakes.

These do not have the look of a fancy tea-party cupcake. These are more like sidekick for a big cup of coffee (ok tea too, but in a big mug).

Obviously, frosting might change this cupcake into something bit more fancy but I don’t think these really need frosting. There’s enough chocolate in them to make your sweet tooth very happy.

So put on your pyjamas, pick a tv-series to watch, make these and then eat with coffee.

Have a happy Saturday!

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

3 dl flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

2 eggs

2 dl sugar

60 g butter

1 dl milk

450 g chocolate

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Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Then in another bowl beat together eggs, sugar and butter until thickened.

Then pour in the dry ingredients and mix by just scooping the dough. Finally add milk and again mix it in without actually mixing the dough too much.

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Bake in 175 Celsius/350 Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.

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Enjoy!