Friday, October 16, 2015

GLUTEN FREE AND DAIRY FREE PEAR CAKE

PEAR + ALMOND + WALNUT

pear cake  photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog: www.gretchengretchen.com
How I adore these small pears! I've been telling everybody that now you can get Finnish pears - go and get them before they ran out or the season is over. 
  
pear cake  photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog: www.gretchengretchen.com

I decided to bake a pear cake with same recipe I made a plum cake. I got the recipe from Nigel Slater's beautiful cooking book The Kitchen Diaries. It is my absolutely fave book as I told you in previous blog post where I told you about pork ribs we made with my husband from this very same book.

pear cake  photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog: www.gretchengretchen.com

Gluten free and dairy free baking has been very challenging for me. It is always hard to get very good and moist result...until I found oat flour from grocery shop. It's only what it is called - oat. Nothing else added.

pear cake  photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog: www.gretchengretchen.com


PEAR CAKE RECIPE BY KREETTA (changing/using recipe from Nigel Slater's plum cake/The Kitchen Diaries book)

6-7 small pears
butter 150g
indian sugar 150g
eggs 3
oat flour 75g (gluten free)
baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons
ground almond 100g
shelled walnuts 50g

You need a 20cm cake tin, about 6cm deep. Bake in 180 'C degrees about 35-45min.

Chop the walnuts and almonds. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Cut the pears at least in three but if you make them smaller they get more soft and that I recommend. Mine were too big so they could have been more softer...but in photograph they look very nice ;) Mix flour+baking powder and add them gently into the mixture. Fold almonds and walnuts into the mixture. 

Scrape the mixture into the cake tin. Place the pear pieces on the cake mixture. They will sink so it might not be so precise how you do it. Bake the cake. It's quite big so it's for 10-12 people.

pear cake  photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog: www.gretchengretchen.com

When you are photographing food, it is good to know when it should be done. This time it was the right moment to photograph the cake before it went to oven. After that it changed color to brown - even though it's it ok and pretty - I think I like the green pears more.

pear cake  photo by Kreetta Järvenpää blog: www.gretchengretchen.com


This cake is tasty and moist. You can serve it with vanilla ice cream or without. I think you can also serve it people without saying it's gluten and dairy free. One cake for all. Of course if there are people with peanut allergy or they are vegan - then you have to change the plan. My piece of cake is on my favorite plate by Arabia. Of course it's vintage and the design is called Maisema (Landscape).

Have a great and creative weekend!

xoxo
Kreetta

Sunday, October 11, 2015

PORK + STAR ANISE + HONEY


RIBS BY NIGEL SLATER

Ribs photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
My husband and I love to cook food but we seldom follow certain recipe literally. This time he did. I took photos and ate with big appetite of course (lucky me,haha)

Few years ago we found Nigel Slater's very nice coffee table cookin book called The Kitchen Diaries from one cosy coffee bar and restaurant in Copenhagen. The book is a year in Nigel's kitchen. He makes seasonal food and have to say he did it long before it came a hit. I remember when I saw the book I was amazed. Somehow it went straigt to my brains and I had to buy it. It's not the fancy one but there is beautiful and strong feeling through the book - thanks for the photographer Jonathan Lovekin. We found the book when we were coming back from our Interrail trip. We travelled by train from Finland to Croatia, Dubrovnik to final destination Kolocep Island. We stopped in Berlin, Zagreb, Split, Prag and Copenhagen if I remember right. It took three weeks. It was a wonderful journey - slow travelling with seasonal food.

Back to the ribs though...

Ribs photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com

This is simple recipe and I prefere that. 

PORK RIBS WITH HONEY AND ANISE BY NIGEL SLATER/ THE KITCHEN DIARIES

thickish honey 6 tablespoons
oyster sauce 3 heaped tablespoons
garlic 4 cloves
dried chilli flakes 1 teaspoon
whole star anise 4
salt flakes 1/4 teaspoon
black peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon
meaty pork ribs 1.5 kg

Make the marinade. Toss the ribs in the marinade. Let them rest for an hour or so. It won't hurt if they stay there overnight. 

Roast the ribs at 180 C for an hour and fifteen minutes. Turn them in the sauce from time to time. Ok, here comes important one: keep an eye on them that they don't burn. We burnt them a bit but the taste was still very good. They are ready when the meat is tender. 

Serve with rice. Enough for 2-3 people.

Ribs photo by Kreetta Järvenpää www.gretchengretchen.com
 
Today I'm going to make a version of Nigel's plum cake I tried from this book about two weeks ago. Plums have already gone but yesterday I found Finnish pears in grocery shop so I will use them. I like to save some of them for winter. Have to find a good recipe for that.

Have a relaxing Sunday my friend!

xo
Kreetta

Sunday, October 4, 2015

STYLING YOUR HOME WITH A FROZEN TREE


ART ON THE WALL


Autumn has arrived. When the weather turns a bit colder we stay more inside at our homes. We light up candels and spend cosy evenings in our living rooms. Then we look at our home with a bit different eye too. Maybe we want to change things, buy new things or change the order of furnitures. 

I use to have a very minimalistic decoration at my home but after I spent few months in Copenhagen my style changed. I fell in love with Danish style. Cosy and eclectic. You could see a person's history at his or her home and I think that was very interesting and I was very drawn to it. I'm sure if you are very minimalistic and you visit my home - you'd be overwhelmed, haha.

But this photo isn't from our home. It's from our friend's home. They moved to a new house and they have been decorating it very stylishly. As you can see they also like vintage style but modern too. I was very happy when I was asked to make a photo for them. This photo on the wall is taken few years ago during the very cold winter in Helsinki. It was a weird weather on that day. Actually the weather lasted few days. It was cold, crispy and thick frost on everywhere. Like a macig winterworld. How lucky I was because during that time I had a photoshoooting with meteorologist. Funny coincidence. We were photographing near the sea in one park. There I saw these beautiful trees. They were so perfect and simple. They bring to my mind a bit of Japanese wood drawing. I think after that winter we have had the same kind of weather only once or twice so this pic is quite special. Like my friends too.


xoxo
Kreetta

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