cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Salty + Sweet: Raisins

Norwegian Krumkake with Honey & "Rum" Raisin Mousse
+ picture book give away

Salty Sweet episode number two--yeah, we picked raisins; nature's little rabbit poos. tee hee. Raisin Mousse here at Salty's, and Raisin Macarons over at Sweet's. Enjoy.

It's coming onto winter in the Southern hemisphere, as it is coming onto summer in the north. Winter and fall are the seasons of preservation, when to make what bounty spring and summer held last. We can, we jam, we cure, and we dry. Well maybe not all we personally, i have never made a raisin before, but someone does, along with figs, and dates, and apricots; so that someone somewhere, during the off season, can yet find company with fruit. There is no greater a food group that i can praise aside from fruit, as i have said many times before, i am quite convinced that i could survive solely on a diet of mangoes and dried figs. Grapes, well, i prefer them pressed actually. But raisins none the less are delicious, yet highly unattractive health pills. Beauty is on the inside remember.

In the United States we don't associate raisins with winter or preservation, or what-have-you. We eat raisins year round as a convenient lunch box snack, thanks in near monopoly to California Sun-Made Raisins. Not that i complain, i could care less that there is one-globo size brand of raisins, they taste great to me, so why fuss. Either way, haven't we all at one point wanted to meet (or be?) the red-bonneted raisin girl? She looks so damn happy, staring off at some unknown gratification; or, perhaps she is exhausted by the weight of that grape basket she is holding. We'll never know. But we can assume she goes out at dawn with that basket to spread those plump little grapes over the hot rocks to dry in the California sun for our snacking pleasure. We all need childhood heroes; i wonder if she knows the Quaker oats man. "Just grapes and sunshine!" reads the box. How could you not love raisins.

I happen to prefer sultana blonde raisins, but my terribly shoddy grocery store was out of stock this week. how convenient. While i lived in France, raisins were as readily available, it appeared, as bread. Every grocery market stocked year-round dried fruit from the East--primarily form Turkey. Raisins secs, dried figs, dates, apricots--what the hell am i doing in France, i need to be in Turkey! 1.50euro for a whole bag. I recall purchasing a small bag of blonde raisins at a dingy market off the back end of Montparnasse, which i then proceeded to "eat and walk with" until a random man stopped me to say "those sure look good" (in French of course) i replied, do you want some? he, really? and i poured them into his hand. well that's fun. so from then on i offered freely to those who looked at me and my raisins, until the bag was bare. my relationship with the raisin was never the same again.

When Christy suggested raisins as our next topic, i thought, ah brilliant! they deserve! but--they are not very prominent in the baking world. hmmmm. Rum raisin ice cream is the extent of the love they get around here. Cinnamon raisin bread. Sprinkled on tapioca. hmmmm. I have been wanting to make Norwegian krumkake since i found someone i knew with an iron. Krumkake is a Norwegian cookie meaning bent cake, and are usually made during the Christmas season...hmm didn't get that memo. No matter, when do we follow rules. These are now summer cones.

But fill them with...raisin mousse? rum raisin mousse? How do you make raisin mousse? i'm thinking puree. I don't have any rum though, but i have cachaca. you don't know what that is? well, it sucks to be you, i've grown incredibly fond of it. according to the man at the Division street liquor store, i'm it's only purchaser. well more for me. But it tastes far better than rum and is slightly sweet, so those dry littler buggers need to take a swim. How about honey too. honey for my honeys. on y va.

you will need a krumkake iron, like a pizzel pan. yes it's a bit specific, but if you are rich, go for it. if not...say a hail mary and go look for someone willing to lend you one.

ingredients: .5 cup flour ~ .5 cup sugar ~ 3 eggs ~ .5 cup butter ~ vanilla or an extract ~ 5 tbsps water
method: cream butter and sugar, add eggs, add flour, then stir in extract and water. 2) bake according to your machine, and then fold into cones before they harden. done.

Honey & "Rum" Raisin Mousse:
ingredients: 2 cups heavy cream ~ 3 egg yolks ~ 1.5 cups raisins ~ 1 tbsp cachaca (or rum) ~ 2 tbsps honey ~ .5 cups sugar ~ 1 packet gelatin or 4.5 sheets
method: 1) puree the raisins in a processor, they will be incredibly thick, transfer them to a bowl and stir in 2 tbsps water, the cachaca, and the honey. set aside. 2) dissolve gelatin in .25 cup cold water. set to another side (hehe) 3) whisk .5 cups cream, yolks, and .5 cups sugar 4) add gelatin to pureed raisins, and then add to the cream mixture. mix well 5) whip remaining cream until stiff peaks, fold in mixture gently, and refrigerate. then pipe into your krumkakes.

i shaped some of the cookies around the bottom of a water glass to harden and form a bowl, mousse bowl! how cute. we need edible spoons now.

Remember, with our Salty Sweet posts, we are trying to make things a bit "interactive" eh? And therefore have a treat to bestow upon someone each time. This episode, fearing the lacklustre of a complimentary box of raisins, we are happy to offer one random reader this exceptionally intriguing display of English literature--"How do You Raise a Raisin?" by Pam Munoz Ryan. Though laced with a paltry rhyme scheme, the illustrations are quite bright. 32 pages chock full of raisin history, agriculture, and trivia. hot dog! I could care less if you have a child or not. The reading level may be ages 5 through 8, but i enjoyed it all the same.

so leave a comment both here and over at Christy's by Sunday April 26th to be eligible to win such a prize. you will never look at raisins the same way again.

a bientot


Siri said...

I've made krumkake a few times before, and am really impressed with your accomplishments here! I know how hard it is to make them the perfect doneness, not large enough, too thin, and broken. Your choice of filling sounds super intriguing- something I never would have thought of.

As always- great photos!


Christy said...

We're up!! We're up!! Your krumkake's making me sooo hungry!! great job with the raisin mousse and I do extremely admire your dexterity with the iron!! I reckon you are also the only person in Seattle AND Spokane combined who has ever purchased a krumkake iron. So that's how we spend all of our money, haha! And cachaca huh? Never heard of it ;p but i'll investigate to see if it's available here. Just a question though, is it Brazilian?? ;p

anna said...

Those krumkakes are very cute, I love the pattern on them! And raisins are wonderful - when I was growing up my mom would buy a certain organic brand and they were the size of prunes! I love golden sultanas as well. Any dried fruit, really.

Y said...

O I wish I knew someone with a krumkake iron! Those look so delicious! And the mousse with the honey and raisins? Awesome.

Amy said...

Wow. What a beautiful creation!

Carole said...

I don't have a krumkake machine but I bet I can find 100's of recipes where I can use this wonderful mousse. Thanks for the idea.

Miriam said...

Wow! Mallory, the krumkake looks delicious! And the mousse too I shall say...

Greetings from Spain (by the way, I now have an English version of my blog)

Anonymous said...

Det krumkake ser ut deilig! JEG vil gjerne spise seg for frokost.

elske mor

Mallory Elise said...

Siri you win the amazing book! im jealous i have to part with it :)

Anonymous said...

oh, I have to look for a krumkake iron !...
The raisin mousse looks a delicious filling too !

Siri said...

Hurrah! I win!

Did you know that I'm a new, but avid children's book collector and have no children myself.

Was that your mom with the little Norwegian message? If so- tell her it was super cute (but that she also said that the krumkake would like to eat itself at breakfast).


Arlette said...

great blog, and beautiful photos

Mallory Elise said...

merci tout le monde :)

Deeba PAB said...

I WISH I had a krumkake iron...what beauties you've made. They are precious, & something that dreams are made of!

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