Cooking Swedish

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Two months ago, I signed up for Cooking British class which is to be held in October. Unfortunately, I received a call from At 19 Culinary Studio team while I was away for business trip explaining that the aforementioned class had to be cancelled due to low participation. Apparently, there were many participants who made cancellations & I was the only one left to attend the class. As stated in their rules, a minimum of 3 participants are required for class commencement as scheduled.

Due to this, I was offered to select another class of equivalent value or get a full refund if there isn't any class of to my liking. In the end, I picked Cooking Swedish which is a favourite class among most members. When the day arrived, I totally forgot that I had actually signed up for it & was rudely awakened by my alarm clock at 9am (not early but I'm not a morning person). Already running late, I scrambled to wash up & drove as fast as I could to the culinary studio. Upon arrival, I cooked up a white lie that my car had some problems just so that it didn't look too embarrassing that I arrived fashionably late. Nevertheless, the class didn't receive overwhelming response as I thought it should be because there were only 3 students who turned up (including me).

Chef Khai was the one who conducted the special Swedish cooking class for Ikea's contest winners. Due to overwhelming response, Chef Khai decided to organise a similar class for At 19's students. We started off with Jansson's Temptations, a fancy name for potato pudding. In essence, the potato pudding is made by cutting slices of potatoes & arranging it layer by layer together with anchovy fillet or bacon in a baking tin. Next, cream is poured into the baking tin to cover up the layers & then it's popped into the oven to bake to perfection. Garnish with some English parsley & voila! You have a new dish ready.

The second dish is a main course called Lindstromare with pickles cabbage & onion sauce. Lindstromare refers to beef patty in Swedish language for those of you wondering what it means. If you can't consume beef, mutton can be used as an alternative. First, the meat patty of your choice is marinated with egg, beetroot, onion cube & chopped parsley then seasoned to taste. The patty is then pan-fried until golden brown. Next, the cabbage is sauteed with butter & balsamic vinegar, season to taste. To prepare the sauce, we sauteed the onion until brown followed by black pepper. Demi glace is added & simmered until thick while adding seasoning to taste. No idea what a demi glace is? It's actually double cream. Finally, the patty is plated with pickles cabbage & onion sauce. Yum!

A meal is never complete without a wonderful dessert. In traditional Swedish style, Chef Khai demonstrated how to prepare a simple dark chocolate kladdkaka which is known as chocolate cake to the Swedes. Kladdkaka is a fairly simple cake to bake. All we needed was eggs, sugar, butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, self-raising flour, water, salt & vanilla paste. The eggs & sugar are whipped until smooth; then flour, salt, vanilla paste & water is added & mixed until well combined. Next, we put a few knobs of melted butter & cocoa powder into the egg batter, whisking it until glossy before finally adding in a teaspoon of vanilla paste. The batter is poured into a lightly greased 9 inch tart dish & baked in the oven preheated at 150 degrees Celcius for 35 minutes. Once ready, set aside the cake to cool slightly & finally dust a layer of icing sugar to serve. Just look at how beautiful the cake turns out...

Each of us took back our own creations to savour at home. The class ended at the perfect time at noon, when it was time for lunch & had plenty of appetite to gobble up all the dishes. Even then, I was struggling to finish my creations because the meal was wholesome. Now I just need to find time to practise & replicate this dish to perfection. XD