Sunday, 24 November 2013

Ellen Svinhufvud's cake. It's almost royal.

Kakku ja kahvi

This cake is so sweet that you'll probably have a sugar rush for a whole week after you've had this. That obviously gives an indication that it's also very good. If you're on a diet, then this is not for you either. The whole cake has over 5000 calories in it. There's no certainty of where this cake has originated, but in the current form it was officially introduced by the wife of Finland's third president. Thus the name Ellen Svinhufvud's cake.


But let's start shall we. Begin the process by separating 5 egg whites. You won't be needing the egg yolks this time. Beat the egg whites together with 200 grams of powdered sugar. Beat until the "foam" is hard and won't escape the bowl even if you turn it quickly upside down. Add crushed almonds and nuts and mix carefully. Don't use a mixer when you're adding the nuts and almonds, because that could destroy the consistency of the egg white foam.  

manteli rouhe ja marenki
The mix is really good by itself , but try not to eat it all by itself. It will be needed for the cake. Spread it evenly on a parchment paper (the kind which is used for baking) which is on a baking tray. Put the tray in the oven that has been preheated to 125 Celsius. Let it stay there for about an hour, maybe a little longer. Keep your eye on the meringue so that it won't burn.

kotitekoinen marenki

While the meringue is in the oven, feel free to treat yourself for a cup of coffee. While you're at it, make another cup for the cake. It can be pretty strong so the flavor really come through later. Mix 1,5 desilitres of coffee, 1,5 desiltres of cream and approximately 1 desilitre of sugar together. Add a tea spoon of salt as well. In the end you should have a nice buttercream as a result. 

kakun täyte
Next you'll need 300 grams of room temperature butter. So erm... you'll need to take it out from the fridge well in advance. You can cheat a little bit like we did and put it in the microwave for a while. But not too long, because you don't want it to be boiling hot.

Now you'll need the mixer again as you need to mix the butter, coffee and cream. Don't go too fast or it'll all end up everywhere except for the bowl. And as a preparation for the finishing touches on the cake, you can now roast some almond chips. They do burn easily so be careful with them.


Once the meringue is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool down. After it's cool, you'll need to cut it into 4 somewhat equal pieces. A pizza slicer works quite well for this purpose. After that you still need to separate the meringue from the parchment paper which can be slightly challenging. 


The next step is just like laying bricks on a wall. Place a piece of meringue on the bottom and cover that with the buttercream. Add another piece of meringue and repeat until you have used all the 4 pieces. You should still have some buttercream left as you should now ice the cake with that, so that it looks somewhat even from all sides. Throw the roasted almond chips at the cake so they'll cover the cake nicely. 

marenki ja kreemi

koristeltu kakku

We would suggest inviting people over, because this will indeed last a long time if you're eating it alone. It can technically be frozen, but it's not at its best after that. Thus it's great for family functions where you'll have a bigger group of people together.


5 egg whites
200 g powdered sugar
100 g crushed almonds
50 g crushed hazel nuts
300 g butter
1,5 dl strong coffee
1,5 dl cream
1 dl sugar
1 tsp salt
1,5 dl roasted almond chips

Beat the egg yolks and powdered sugar as a hard foam. Add the crushed almonds and hazel nuts and fold them in carefully. Pour the to-be-meringue on a parchment paper on a oven tray and spread it evenly. Bake in 125 Celsius for about an hour. Let cool down and cut into four equal pieces. Melt sugar into the coffee and add cream. Mix the coffee with room temperature butter and mix. Place the pieces of meringue on top of each other, adding butter cream in between the layers. Ice the cake with the remaining butter cream and decorate with roasted almond chips.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Korvapuusti; a wonderful cinnamon bun

You know, sometimes you just want to have something sweet and there are not that many things that can top korvapuusti. The name "korvapuusti" actually has a double meaning. It of course means the cinnamon bun, but also if someone slaps you on the ear, that's also korvapuusti. So if someone wants to give you one, you might want to try and remember if you've been bad or nice to them. Kind of like at Christmas time.

You will need milk, wheat flour, butter, eggs, yeast and cardamom. To the so called filling you will need some more sugar and cinnamon. If you're baking more often, then these are quite basic ingredients so you might not even need to go grocery shopping.

Let the baking commence. Start by warming up 3,5 desilitres of milk and add 2 table spoons of yeast. If you're using the dry yeast, then the milk should be 42 Celsius. Mix the yeast with the milk and let it be for a second. Then add enough flour, around 8 desilitres, so that the dough will be still soft. Put a kitchen towel on the bowl with the dough and let it rise for half an hour. 

While the dough is rising, you can beat 2 eggs with 200 grams of sugar until its nice and foamy. Add 210 grams of warm butter. You can warm it up in microwave, but don't heat it up too much. Together with the butter you can add also 2 teaspoons of cardamom and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix everything together. It tastes really good already at this point, so make sure you don't eat all the dough before you get to the actual baking.

Now that the dough has had enough time to rise, add the mix that you just prepared a moment ago and start kneading the dough. You'll need to add more flour to make the dough firmer. For this dough we ended up adding 5 more desilitres of flour, making the total count 13 desilitres. You might make it with less or you might need a bit more. You know that the dough starts to have the right kind of viscosity and consistency when it doesn't stick to the bowl and your hands like its life depended on it. Don't be afraid to get a bit rough with the dough first; it can handle it.

Next we'll need a space on the table where you can continue with the baking. Sprinkle some flour on the table and drop the dough on it. Start rolling it into a sheet of short. At first you can do this by hand, but later on you will need a rolling pin. Try to make the sheet quite square, 30 x 60 cm ideally. You'll need some more flour most likely, because otherwise the dough will stick to the rolling pin.

Let the sheet set for a moment and in the meantime you can melt some more butter and spread it over the sheet. Mix 100 grams of suger and 2 tea spoons of cinnamon and sprinkle the mix on top of the buttered sheet of dough and try to do it evenly. Roll the sheet into a roll and turn it so that the "seam" is on the bottom. Cut pieces from the roll that kind of resemble triangles. Ideally they'd be 2 cm wide from the narrower side and 4-5 cm from the wider side. Turn them so that you have the narrow side on top and press it down with your thumbs.

Set them on a oven tray, on a baking sheet. Make sure they have enough space to expand to all directions. Spread them with egg and melted butter mixture and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Put the buns in the oven that has been pre-heated to 200 Celsius and bake them about 10-15 minutes. Take them out and let cool enough so you won't burn your mouth and enjoy. They really are delicious.


3,5 dl warm milk
200 g sugar
2 eggs
210 g butter
2 tbsp yeast
2 tsp cardamom
approx. 13 dl wheat flour (not the finest sort you can get)
For the "filling" 100 g sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg and 2 tbsp of butter to "egg" the cinnamon buns

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Pumpkin soup; perfect for Halloween season

Since it is the autumn and Halloween just took place, what could be a more suitable food than pumpkin soup. Granted, it's not perhaps the most traditional Finnish food, but let's go with the flow and the season anyway. The unfortunate thing is that Halloween has already passed, so the chances are you don't have extra pumpkins lying around.

Nevertheless, you need pumpkin for the pumpkin soup, so a trip to the grocery store it is. You need 1 kilo of pumpkin and can thus leave the bigger ones for Cinderella. She needs to get to the ball somehow anyway, so let's not sabotage her big night, shall we. Other ingredients include 2 deciliters of cooking cream, 2 stalks of celery, one middle-sized onion, one apple and spices. Salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and paprika will do nicely.

Start by cutting the pumpkin in four pieces; first cut it in halves and then the halves into halves. Just be careful as the pumpkin can put up a bit of a fight. Scrape off the seeds and put them aside. Don't throw them into the bin though as you can still use them as well. Once you've scraped off the seeds, cut the pumpkin pieces into smaller pieces. Put them on a pan or an oven tray and roast them in 250 Celcius for 20-30 minutes. Let them cool off afterwards.

While you have the pumpkin pieces in the oven, you can clean the seeds. The easiest thing is to just put them on a kitchen towel, fold it and rub them "clean". Put the seeds on a oven tray, season with canola oil, salt and chili powder. Once the over is free again, roast the seed in 200 Celcius for about 10 minutes. The roasted seeds are perfect snack as such or you can have them with the soup.

Then back to the soup. You need to chop the stalks of celery, onion and apple. Sauté them with some butter or margarine for a moment. Add approximately 5 deciliters of water and let it set for a brief moment.

And back to the pumpkins. Now that they have cooled off, peel them and put them in a blender. Add also the chopped celery, onion and pour all the water, that you added to the pan after sauteing. Pour in also 2 deciliters of cooking cream. Once the soup is nice and velvety, season it with salt, nutmeg, paprika and a bit of cinnamon. And remember, if you like thinner soup, feel free to add water or cream.



  1 kg pumpkin
5 dl water
2 dl cooking cream
2 stalks of celery
1 middle-sized onion
1 apple
3 tbsp butter/margarine for sauteing