For the fun festivities of Eurovision, I decided to bake a few dishes from the host country, Sweden. The first is Ostkaka, a baked cheesecake made with cottage cheese. Not as sweet as it's English or American relatives, but I found it great for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with some berries.
The second dish is the brownie's yummy stickier cousin, Kladdkaka. It’s a very simple cake to bake, but you have to be very careful with the baking time – it needs to be soft in the center, as if you cook it for a few minutes too long, it becomes like a dry chocolate cake. To be honest, on this attempt I baked mine for 1 minute too long so they weren't quite as perfectly sticky as needed, but still ended up very moist and delicious.
I found these recipes quite hard to find online, so if you know improvements/adaptions of the recipes, or if you know any other amazing northern European baking recipes, I'd love to hear from you.
- 680g (24 oz) cottage cheese, strained through a sieve to remove excess liquid *
- 4 eggs
- 60g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 60g (¼ cup) plain flour
- 120g (½ cup) ground almonds
- 1 tbsp amaretto
- Berries or fruit compote
1. Preheat the oven to 220c/ 425f/ gas mark 7. Grease a deep 20 x 30cm baking tray.
2. Whisk the eggs with the caster sugar until light and fluffy. This only takes a few minutes.
3. If the strained cottage cheese is very lumpy (which I find happens with English cottage cheese*), blend briefly in a blender until smooth.
4. Fold in the plain flour and ground almonds, followed by the strained cottage cheese and amaretto.
5. Pour into the prepared dish and cook for 30 minutes. Check the cheesecake, and if the top is becoming very brown, cover with kitchen foil.
6. Cook for another 10-20 minutes, until the top feels springy to the touch.
7. Serve warm with a fruit compote, or berries.
*I found that cottage cheese from the UK turned the cheesecake a little grainy, so if you can, use another kind of curd cheese – you can find twarog in most polish shops, which would work excellently. Even better would be Swedish cottage cheese, but I personally don't know any UK retailers who sell it.
- 100g (7 tbsp) butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 150g ( 1 ¼ cups) plain flour
- 4 tbsp good quality cocoa powder (I used Green and Blacks)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f /gas mark 4. Grease and line a 15cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Fold in the flour, cocoa, vanilla and salt. When no more flour speckles can be seen, pour in the melted butter, and fold in until you have a dark and smooth chocolaty mixture.
4. Pour into the cake tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the cake often! It needs to be soft in the center, but not gooey. Once you can press the mixture and the top cracks slightly, it is done.
5. Serve warm with berries and yoghurt.