Not Enough Time to Whip Up Dessert? IKEA to the Rescue! November 15, 2009

Filed under: Desserts,Tip of the Day — sotsil @ 9:47 pm
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I had a wonderful IKEA experience last Wednesday.  Those of you who shop at IKEA know that it not only sells nuts and bolts and beautiful kitchen furniture, but also food.  And at very reasonable prices.  Emphasis on “very reasonable.”

Their meatballs and mashed potatoes (you can have fries instead of mashed potatoes) with a knob of their cranberry sauce – ah – it sure hit the spot! 

I wanted to get a mortar and pestle that was advertised in the paper, and I decided why not invite my brother for Swedish meatballs?  We got there at 1:45 pm and we deliberately timed it so we wouldn’t run into long lines.  Guess what?  I still had to wait in line for half an hour.  Looks like the word’s out that IKEA’s chefs know a thing or two about simple but good food.  I get this feeling that half of Montreal’s population goes to eat at IKEA.  I believe there’s another IKEA in the south shore.

On our way out, I decided to have a look-see in their food store and was tempted to pick up a book of Swedish recipes, but I had to resist.  You know what happens.  You keep collecting recipes but get to try only a third of your collection.  So I opted instead for a bottle of Swedish sparkling gooseberry drink and a box of princess cakes – Frodinge in Swedish.

princess cake 1

Imagine fussing over appetizers, cocktails, the main meal and home baked bread and then you realize you hardly have any time left to whip up dessert.  I’ve got a simple solution for you.  Run to your nearest IKEA and head straightaway for their food department (where they also sell hotdogs and cinnamon buns) and pick up a Frodinge.  If by chance they don’t have it, they also sell two other kinds of dessert.  Years ago, I tried their chocolate and almond tart with a top crunchy layer and that too was excellent!  They still sell it.

Saturdays are “elaborate meal” days at home.  That means I prepare something special for lunch.  This Saturday, however, I had some deadlines to meet including a funeral service I had to go to, but we still managed to have something special and had the most delicious, daintiest Swedish princess cake with mocha coffee. 

The picture below shows I  sliced apples in a hurry for this blog’s “mug shot.”  But when guests are coming for dinner, you can buy some raspberries and kiwis and arrange them artistically on a dessert plate – befitting a princess!  They would look attractive in a bed of tiny fruits and perhaps a thin layer of brown or white chocolate syrup.

These princess cakes have a sponge as the bottom layer, and a rich white cream with a sliver of jam.  The whole cake is topped with green-colored marzipan and a chocolate swirl on top.  A visual delight, not to mention the not-so-sweet, not-so-heavy taste.  It’s a wonderful slice of Sweden!

princess cake 2


Chocolate Roll (with a hint of Tia Maria) June 8, 2009

Filed under: Desserts — sotsil @ 7:30 am
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Before stumbling upon this recipe from Betty Crocker, I wasn’t fond of rolls.  I’d walk along the pastry aisle of the supermarket and snub them, not really enamoured with the thread of jelly swirling inside.  This recipe called for a few drops of  coffee liqueur. That was the only reason I decided to try it out.  Others would think of coffee liqueur as no big deal; if people add a slurp of wine or brandy into their food, coffee liqueur isn’t that radically different, is it?

Despite being a first timer in roll making, the recipe came together beautifully – no mishaps, no overruns, not even a tear when I rolled it up.  That’s because the instructions were well written; in fact so well-written that there was no need for pictures.  What can go wrong with a Betty Crocker recipe?  The advice of “sticking with the pros” was validated with this kitchen experiment.  When it comes to cakes and rolls, my confidence takes a nose dive. 

When the roll was baked, laid out and tasted, I decided, “this one’s a keeper.”  I was delighted that I took pictures.  I’ll insert them where appropriate…just for fun.  Let me assure you, though, that even without my pictures, you can’t ever go wrong with this one!

The recipe came from the Betty Crocker web site,, but I’ll reproduce it here for you (the comments in red are mine, and so are the pictures :):


3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon coffee-flavored liqueur (I used Tia Maria, but you can use any liqueur you have)

3/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour (we don’t have Gold Medal in Montreal so I used the supermarket brand)

1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Unsweetened baking cocoa (no, this isn’t a typo.  The first unsweetened baking cocoa above is for the cake; this one’s for sprinkling on the kitchen towel)

2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur

Cinnamon Whipped Cream (this is the filling)

1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with foil; generously grease. In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in granulated sugar. Beat in water and 1 teaspoon liqueur on low speed. Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, the baking powder and salt, beating just until batter is smooth. Pour into pan.

2. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cake; turn upside down onto towel sprinkled generously with cocoa.

choco roll1 Carefully remove foil. Trim off stiff edges of cake if necessary. choco_roll2

While hot, carefully roll cake and towel from narrow end. Cool on cooling rack at least 30 minutes.

choco roll3

3. Unroll cake carefully and remove towel. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons liqueur over cake.

4. In chilled small bowl, beat all whipped cream ingredients with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread over cake; roll up. Sprinkle with cocoa if desired. Refrigerate until serving time. Store in refrigerator.

choco roll4                     choco roll5