anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘baking

A Strawberry Cake to Celebrate Swedish Midsummer

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Summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, and that’s cause for celebration. This week is one of sunshine stretching into the evening, carpets of wildflowers in the midst of grassy fields, bare feet and picnic blankets.

For me, it marks the celebration of Swedish midsommar, which will be celebrated this Friday. The traditional midsommar spread of food is one of my favorites, featuring some of my favorite dishes like marinated cucumbers, pickled herring (which you can even use in a savory cake), and plenty of knäckebröd.

But my favorite part of midsommar has to be dessert. Strawberry cake is one of the most common desserts on the Swedish midsommar table, and it puts seasonal berries front and center. It’s a simple dessert, topped with plenty of whipped cream and bright red berries.

I like to make the cake with cardamom, and even marinate a few strawberries in honey and cardamom to use as the center filling. The cake is cut in half, so that you can layer it, but if you want to make an even fancier cake, consider making two of them and layering them.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 21, 2017 at 07:35

Cupcake Feminism?

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I’ve got a whole article devoted to questions of cupcakes, feminism and sexism in the world of food over on The Kitchn this week. Here’s a little excerpt:

I asked my friend Lisa Knisely for her opinion. I was introduced to Lisa when she worked at the magazine Render, and I respect her opinion on these topics, as she’s well-versed on the complexities and nuances. Beyond holding a PhD in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, she works as a freelance writer and tackles these topics on a daily basis.

“Baking, particularly of the domestic sweet and pie variety (as opposed to the uber-fancy and technical professional pastry chef kind), is a kind of culinary work we particularly associate with a feminized form of care and nurturing in our culture,” says Knisely. “I think a lot of baking businesses employ a kind of gendered marketing and ideology to advance women bakers and it makes sense that they do because many of us have powerful associations of baked goods with love and care from women. And that kind of love and care through food is powerful, awesome, life-sustaining stuff that should be celebrated.”

“But,” she went on, “I don’t see why men shouldn’t be doing about half of this kind of culinary care labor, too. If men were half of the cupcake makers in our culture, either domestically or professionally, that would change the whole field of gender identity and kitchen politics.”

I would agree with Lisa. As a culture, we love to define people and put them in boxes, and that certainly happens with professions. There are many professions which people assume are inherently male; the language that we use is a good reflection of this. For example, why when we read an article about a chef, do we assume that the chef is male? Female chefs are just chefs after all, just like female filmmakers are just filmmakers and female pilots are just pilots.

Read the full article here (I’ll warn you, it’s a long one!).

Written by Anna Brones

May 21, 2015 at 01:09

Recipe: Make Dried Citrus Peel

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Dried Citrus Peel by Anna Brones

I’ve been turning all of my leftover orange and clementine peels lately into dried citrus peel. Perfect for baking with, adding to tea, etc. Basically anytime you want citrus zest and don’t have any fresh stuff.

It really is as simple as washing the peels, removing the pith, and drying out in the oven for a couple of hours. Just pop them in at 200°F (95°C) and wait until they are nice and dry. Get the full instructions on Foodie Underground.

Written by Anna Brones

February 4, 2015 at 12:51

Bake a Ginger Spice Cake This Weekend

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Ginger Spice Cake, illustration by Johanna Kindvall

Johanna Kindvall (my collaborator on the forthcoming book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break) and I have a recipe up for a tasty ginger spice cake on Foodie Underground, as well as a little background on Swedish holiday baking.

Plenty of links to recipes in there, which means you now have your official weekend baking to do list! Just in time for Christmas…

Illustration: Johanna Kindvall

Written by Anna Brones

December 20, 2014 at 09:01

Recipe: Flourless Hazelnut and Chocolate Coffee Cookies

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sprudge-baking-hazelnut-and-chocolate-coffee-cookies-1-740x493

Last week I played around with hazelnuts, cocoa powder and coffee. The result was… addictive. The recipe is now over on Sprudge, so hop on over and bake away. Because who doesn’t like cooking with coffee??

Written by Anna Brones

June 17, 2014 at 12:06

Recipe: Gluten-Free Apple and Date Buckwheat Scones

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buckwheat scones

I have been in the midst of wrapping up a cookbook with my friend Johanna (more on that here) so there have been a lot of butter and flour combinations in my kitchen as of late.

While that is all well and good (just like Julia Child, I do happen to believe in butter, as long as it’s real butter), sometimes I just crave making something that has nothing to do with standard baking ingredients. A little olive oil here, a little gluten-free flour there.

There is beauty and creativity born out of restriction, after all.

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Written by Anna Brones

September 7, 2013 at 07:33

Recipe: Banana Avocado Bread with Flaxseeds

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Sometimes it’s worth going a little over the top with the healthy ingredients. Which is why when I was challenged to revamp a classic family recipe for banana bread I turned to avocado.

And of course it’s best consumed warm and topped with freshly made chocolate hazelnut spread.

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Written by Anna Brones

March 5, 2012 at 11:32