Liquorice Marzipan – my Christmas addiction

Licorice or lakrids as we say in Danish is a favorite of mine when it comes to sweets as well as alternative food spices. I use it regularly when i make my own sweets and as regular candy, my mom sends me a package once in a while, so I can build a stock.
Since I moved to Atlanta in April I haven’t really had any time to play in kitchen, but now that Christmas is around the corner, I have taken a few days out of the calendar to prepare the usual christmas cookies and candy.

I use liquorice products from Johan Bülow, a Danish entrepreneur how with an amazing drive and high quality products, and if you spent $90 or more you get free shipment world wide. However, if you don’t feel like spending that much money for a product you don’t know you can buy some cheaper liquorice powder (can be found in some middle eastern stores or online) and make the liquorice syrup your self (melt some salty liquorice in a little bit of water and wupti, you have made your own syrup).

The marzipan for this recipe is totally similar to a regular marzipan, but with half of the syrup replaced with liquorice in stead of simple syrup. So give it a try, it’s different but so delicious perfect for several Christmas treats 🙂


Ingredients (7 oz.)

3.5 oz. almonds, blanched
1 tbsp. simple syrup (find recipe below)
1 tbsp. salty liquorice syrup from Johan Bülow
1 drop almond extract
2 tsp. raw liquorice powder from Johan Bülow

Simple syrup:
9/10 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
4/10 cup water

Place all the ingredients for the simple syrup in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let boil for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup thickens a bit. It is important not to let the syrup reduce to much as it will give you trouble when you are about to make the marzipan. Transfer the hot syrup to a heat- and air tight jar. You will only need 1 tbsp. for this recipe, but you can store the syrup for next time or for other purposes.

Liquorice Marzipan 1Place the blanched almonds in a blender and blend until it turns into flour. For me it takes 45-60 seconds, but my blender is pretty tired these days. I recommend that you take a look at it after 30 seconds. You can always give it more, not less.
Transfer your almond flour to medium mixing bowl and use a finger to make a hole in the middle.
Pour simple syrup, liquorice syrup, almond extract and raw liquorice powder into the hole and use your finders to mix it all together. Keep mixing until it stops being sticky and turns into smooth and uniform mass. Before you know it, you have a perfect and really tasty liquorice marzipan. If you feel that the mixing process takes too long you can transfer the mixture to a blender/food processor and run it high speed for approximately 30 seconds. This solution is only recommended if you have a blender/food processor with a strong motor. Other wise you might end up ruining the machine.

Liquorice Marzipan 2

Wrap the marzipan in cling wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before using it. This will allow the liquorice taste to be absorbed into the almond flour and create a beautiful sweet and salty flavor.

Liquorice Marzipan 3

Suggested use:
(1) Divide into 18 equally small pieces and roll them into ball. Cover with tempered white chocolate and drizzle with raw licorice powder and lemon zest,
(2) or these alternative liquorice wreaths from Sweet, Sour, Savory.

Liquorice Marzipan (18 of 19)

Bon Appétit friends!

Ingredients (200 g)
100 g almonds, blanched
1 tbsp. simple syrup (find recipe below)
1 tbsp. salty liquorice syrup from Johan Bülow
1 drop almond extract
2 tsp. raw liquorice powder from Johan Bülow

Simple Syrup:
225 g sugar
75 g corn syrup
100 ml water

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Caramelized Apples for Halloween Party

Last Night we hosted this years halloween party (again) and was dressed as Baby Firefly and Captain Spaulding from the movies A 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects – it was nothing less than a fabulous party where everyone was dressed up and our apartment looked like something from a horror movie!Halloween 2013 (26 of 57)

Normally we invite everyone to dinner with following party, but this year we decided not to through dinner but only party and snacks. Besides chips and dip we had made small pumpkin look-a-like clementines with celery stems and caramelized apples 🙂
Caramelized apples is not something that you would see anywhere in Denmark, while glazed apples is served everywhere for christmas.

When making caramelized apples you can use many sorts of caramel. Normally we make our own caramel but sometimes it is nice to try something else and it turned out to be delicious!
It is quite sticky (but sooooo delicious) so next we will definitely use some longer wooden sticks so it gets easier to eat the apple directly from the stick instead of cutting it in smaller pieces 🙂

Pumpkin Clementine

Ingredients (12 apples)

12 apples

2 cans (14 oz.) condensed milk

1 cup roasted almonds, chopped

1 cup roasted walnuts, chopped

12 wooden sticks

 

Place the two cans with condensed milk in a large sauce pan and cover it with water. Turn on the heat and let cook for 3 hours. Make sure that the cans are covered with water during the entire cooking time – if not, there is a risk of explosion. Remove the cans from the sauce pan after 3 hours and let cool completely before opening.Caramelized Apples 1

While caramel is cooling you can prepare the apples. Clean the apples in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towel. Replace the apple stem with a wooden stick.

Caramelized Apples 3

Open the cans with caramel and place it in a heat proof bowl. Melt slowly over a sauce pan of simmering water until it gets more soft. Whisk is necessary.
Dip the apples in the apples the caramel and roll them in chopped nuts afterwards. Place on a plate with baking paper and fridge until serving.Caramelized Apples 4

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (12 apples)

12 apples

2 cans condensed milk

2,5 dl roasted almonds, chopped

2,5 dl roasted walnuts, chopped

12 wooden sticks

Spinach and Almond Pesto

Pesto is one of those things that every one should have in their pantry. For years we bought it in the local super market, then we decided to buy it in the local Italian Deli and now we are making it our selves. It is as easy as boiling an egg and it only takes a few minutes.

This recipe is a pesto with spinach, almonds and parmesan cheese, but you can use all sorts of herbs, nuts and hard cheese.

That we chose to make a version with spinach, was actually because we had bought to much spinach at the local Farmers Market last wednesday and did not know what to use it for. So we decided to google ‘spinach recipes pictures’ and ended up with hundreds of pictures of meals containing spinach, but at that exact time none of it look appealing. Later the same day, we saw another blogger baking a cauliflower salad with basil pesto, and  we immediately new what to make of the remaining spinach 🙂

 

Ingredients (1/2 cup)

2 handfuls spinach

1/2 lemon, juice

1/3 cup quality olive oil

2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

8 almonds, roasted

Salt & Pepper

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Rinse the spinach thoroughly in cold water and leave it to dry on some paper towel (if you are in a hurry you can just dap it with paper towel to remove as much water as possible).

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth – it takes approximately 30-40 seconds. If you think that the pesto is a bit to thick and grainy, you can add more olive oil. Add one tsp. at a time, to prevent that it gets to thin.

Transfer to sterilized jar, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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Serve as a dressing for raw cut vegetables, with pasta, tapas, or combine with sour cream and use as an alternative the the usual burger dressing.

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (2.5 dl)

2 handfuls spinach

0.5 lemon, juice

0.8 dl quality olive oil

2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

8 almonds, roasted

Salt & Pepper

Raspberry Macaroons

yesterday I made an entry on how to make french macaroons. As I had to go our for dinner with my husband, I didn’t have time to make any filling and thereby finish the macaroons.

As I wrote yesterday, you can store the baked non-filled macaroons in an airtight container, and only fill the once you are going to serve now. Then you might think ‘why not just make the amount needed?’ – Well, for me it has to do with health related problems (I make large portions on a good day, so I can still serve delicious home made petit fours on less good days), but also because it is easier to work with this amount of cooked sugar. If you reduce the recipe, you might discover how easy the sugar gets burned trying to reach the right temperature, so be careful.

The measures for the filling are for all 60 macaroons, so remember to downsize the portion, if you are not serving all 60 macaroons 😉 If you choose to make all 60 at one time, they can be refrigerated for up to one week and still have the same crispy surface and a chewy centre.

 

Ingredients (60 macaroons)

200 gram almonds, blanched

200 gram confectioners sugar

200 gram granulated sugar

2 x 80 gram egg whites

80 ml water

1/2 tsp. freeze dried raspberries

 

Ganache

100 gram good white chocolate (I have used Amedei Toscano White)

50 ml cream

75 gram raspberries, frozen

 

Blend the almonds into fine almond flour in a hand blender or food processor. Then add confections sugar and blend again for at least 20-30 seconds. Shift into a mixing bowl. If there are anything left in the strainer, blend it further and shift again.

Take half of the egg whites and mix them into the blended almonds. mix until well combined and even.

In another bowl whisk the other half of the egg whites until they make soft peaks. Find a saucepan and add granulated sugar and water. Heat until the syrup reaches 230F, stir once in a while (use a digital thermometer). Pour the heated syrup slowly into the egg whites while whisking on medium-low speed. Be careful not to get burned on the sugar – it hurts like hell! When all the syrup has been added, turn up the volume of you mixer and whisk until the meringue has reached room temperature. It take about 10 minutes.

When your meringue has reached room temperature, add half to the almond mixture and mix well until combined. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold around – do not whisk, as this will ruin the batter! Fold until the batter is evenly combined and smooth.

Now it gets a bit tricky – the texture of the batter needs to soft, but not to soft. It still needs to keep the round shape when added to the baking paper, but it should be soft enough to prevent the macaroons from getting small tops. Did that make sense?

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on a baking tray with baking paper.  Turn the baking tray into the table top 8-10 times, to remove air bubbles from the macaroons.

Let the macaroons dry at room temperature for an hour. Bake at 300F for 13 minutes. Transfer the baking paper with the baked macaroons to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling or storing them.

 

Ganache

Chop the white chocolate finely and add to a heat proof bowl. In a saucepan mix together frozen raspberries and cream. Heat slowly until the raspberries are thawed, then turn up the heat until the cream begins to bubble. Whisk to release the raspberry juice into the cream. When the cream has a beautiful and even color, pour through a strainer over the chopped white chocolate.

Let rest for about 30 seconds before stirring to combine the raspberry cream and the chocolate into a creamy ganache. Set a side for 5-10 minutes or until the ganache has thickened. Fill the ganache in a pastry bag and fill one half of the macaroon and top with the other half.

Sprinkle the top of the macaroons with freeze dried raspberry and fridge for at least 20-30 minutes before serving. This way the ganache will thicken a bit more and give the macaroon a lovely consistency 🙂

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Bon Appétit!

Salad with Cauliflowers and Roasted Almonds

Are you a fan of cauliflowers too? Not many are and most people associate cauliflowers with a vegetable that is easily over cooked and boring. But that does not have to be the case. Actually, we rarely cook the cauliflower, as we think that the crispiness and fresh taste of the raw version is much better.

Later on we will add other versions of cauliflower salad, so if you have a an idea that you want to see realized, please write it in a comment, and we will take it in to consideration 🙂

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Ingredients (4 servings)

1 cauliflower, bouquets

1 red onion

1 handful basil leafs

1/4 cup almonds

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp. mayo

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. confectioners sugar

 

Begin with whisking together sour cream, mayo, vinegar and confectioners sugar. Whisk until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Set aside while prepping the rest of the ingredients.

Chop the onion and basil leafs and mix with the cauliflower bouquets. Then pour the dressing over the vegetable mix and mix well. Let rest in the fridge for at least 10-15 minutes, preferably 1 hour.

While the salad is resting, you have time to roast the almonds. Heat up a frying pan and add the almonds. Roast at medium heat for 4-6 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the almonds from burning. Remove from the heat, when the almonds begin to release their nutty and delicious aroma. Chop when cooled.

Add 2/3 of the chopped almonds to the salad just before serving. Mix well and arrange the salad on a beautiful plate and sprinkle the remaining almonds on the top.

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 cauliflower, bouquets

1 red onion

1 handful basil leafs

0.6 dl almonds

1.25 dl sour cream

1 tbsp. mayo

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. confectioners sugar

 

Louise’s Liquorice Cookies

Last night I asked my Facebook friends what they were doing. A former fellow student answered that she was  watching Best of Top Gear while eating American Cookies. She added that she had thought about replacing the walnuts with almonds, the dark chocolate chips with white chocolate, and then add some liquorice powder.

It sounded so delicious that I promised to try it out as soon as possible (she is finishing up her Master Thesis at the moment, so I don’t think that she has the time herself :-)).

I promised her, that I would name the cookies after her, if they were a success – they are not a success, they are some off the best cookies I have ever made (and tasted)!

Serve warm with a creamy vanilla ice cream or store in an airtight contain at room temperature for up to one week.

 

Ingredients (30 cookies)

1 cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tbs. vanilla sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 tsp. salt

1tbs. baking soda

2 tbs. hot water

4 tbsp. cold water

3 tbsp. liquorice powder

1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I use Amedei Toscano White)

1 cup almonds, chopped

 

Beat together butter and sugar until soft. Beat in one egg at a time, and stir in vanilla sugar afterwards.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water, add to the batter along with salt. Whisk in oatmeal, flour, liquorice powder and cold water.

When just combined, fold in chocolate chips and almonds.

Put large spoonfuls on a pan, and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 13-15 minutes.

IMG_5720Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (30 cookies)

225 dl butter

250 g granulated sugar

200 g packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tbs. vanilla sugar

250 g flour

2.5 dl oatmeal

1/2 tsp. salt

1tbs. baking soda

2 tbs. hot water

4 tbsp. cold water

3 tbsp. liquorice powder

150 g white chocolate chips (I use Amedei Toscano White)

2.5 dl almonds, chopped