Author: spqr

The best coffee in Toronto?

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cafe / drink

Today, I had one of the best coffee’s I have ever had in Toronto… at Thor Espresso Bar. It’s a small cafe on Bathurst south of King St. It has a sibling – Odin Cafe + Bar over in Corktown. I had a flat white. The coffee was ultra-smooth, and the micro-foam lasted the *whole* way down to the last drop, it didn’t break like it does in some places. Not a hint of bitterness. Advertisements

Haselnüsse kranz (or hazelnut crescent)

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baking / cake / recipe / Swiss food

The haselnüsse kranz, or hazelnut crescent/ring is one of my favourite cakes. It’s something my mother use to bake, often for my birthday, and honestly I have never baked on myself. It is a classic Swiss cake, although not the sort of sponge like cake. The dough is almost biscuit like. Growing up, it was usually made using almonds instead of hazelnuts due to availability. INGREDIENTS 300g unbleached white flour 2 tsp baking powder 100g superfine […]

Herefordshire cider cake

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baking / British baking / cake / recipe

It was likely the Romans that first introduced apples to Britain with sweeter, and better taste. After the Romans left, many of the orchards were abandoned with the invasion of the Jutes, Saxons, and Danes. It was not until the Norman Conquest in 1066, that new varieties such as Pearmain and Costard were introduced from France, and orchards were established in the grounds of monasteries. Southern England has ideal conditions for growing fruit such as […]

Melton Hunt cake

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baking / British baking / cake / recipe

I like Christmas cake, but sometimes prefer a “lighter” alternative. This year I made a small Melton Hunt cake. Melton Hunt is a moist fruit cake originating from the town of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England. It was first made in 1854, supposedly for members of the local hunt to eat while out fox hunting. It comes from the same area as Melton Mowbray pies, which makes sense when considering the hunt. I adapted the recipe in […]

Tips for baking biscuits (cookies)

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baking / biscuits / cookies / Swiss food

Here are some tips for baking biscuits (the British vernacular for cookies, because when I think cookies I think choc-chip type drop cookies). ♦  Use fresh ingredients – Good butter, and nice fresh free-run eggs. ♦  With fine dough, or dough rolled out thin, use caster (superfine, fruit, instant dissolving) sugar, not to be mistaken with powered sugar. It melts faster and incorporates more smoothly than regular sugar. Normal sugar can result in a grainy texture. ♦  Always […]

Clementine biscuits

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baking / biscuits / Nordic / recipe

These are shortbread like biscuits made with clementines, and patterned using a wooden roller. INGREDIENTS 350g all purpose flour ¾ tsp salt 250g cold unsalted butter 125g icing sugar zest 2 clementines 1 egg yolk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp milk 1. Mix the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and combine with the flour by hand until the mixture has the consistency of crumbs. Alternatively, […]

Baking Christmas cookies

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baking / biscuits / cookies

I began helping to bake Christmas cookies when I was probably three or so years old. It was a tradition, that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the cookies were baked, and then stored in vast containers in preparation for Christmas to begin. Of course, the containers were so vast, and stored in the hallway closet, that it was always easy to pilfer one or two without anyone being the wiser. Christmas was the […]

Swiss Nidelzältli (or fudge)

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recipe / Swiss food / Switzerland

These Nidelzältli or Rahmtäfeli are a form of Swiss fudge which come in either hard or soft varieties. This is the recipe for the soft variety, which just melts in the mouth. There are many recipes for Nidelzältli, the hard ones tend to use milk, and the softer ones a mixture of cream and milk. Some contain vanilla sugar, others honey. For the soft Nidelzältli, mix together 250ml of cream (35% fat), 100ml of milk (2%+), and 300g […]

A patterned roller for biscuits

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baking / biscuits / kitchen tool

Sometimes its time to try something new with baking. I have a whole bunch of shape cutters, but how to make biscuits more interesting. The answer is a patterned wooden (beech) roller like this one (made in Russia). I bought this roller from Etsy. Simply roll out the dough, then run the roller over the surface, imprinting the pattern. It works best with doughs that don’t rise substantially, as otherwise the pattern tends to disappear.

Nordic gingerbread with orange zest

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baking / biscuits / cooking / Nordic / recipe

Gingerbread biscuits seem to be a staple in Nordic countries, especially around Christmas time. They differ from Germanic gingerbreads in that they are much thinner, and often quite crisp. These biscuits are gingerbread with a hint of orange zest. It produces anywhere from 60-100 biscuits depending on the size of the cutters used. This is a super easy biscuit to make, and I have added it to the collection of Christmas biscuits that I bake. […]