Sweet Cake with Lingonberries

Russian candy (kinuski in Finnish, kola in Swedish) is a common dessert sauce or cake frosting here. It’s made by simmering cream and brown sugar until they reach desired thickness. Sauce is usually eaten with ice cream and/or berries. Acid of the berries is a nice contrast to the sweetness of Russian candy.

I’ve also made a gluten free version of this cake by using gluten free flour mix (Semper Fin Mix) instead of wheat flour and substituting bread crumbs with gluten free bread crumbs, coconut flakes or crushed almonds. If you have a teflon tin, greasing is probably enough and you can omit bread crumbs.


Russian Candy and Lingonberry Cake

3,5 dl wheat flour
2 dl sugar
2,5 tsp baking powder
1 dl rhubarb jam*
1 dl oil
2 dl mineral water or other sparkling drink

for the cake tin:
margarine and dry bread crumbs

Mix wheat flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add rhubarb jam and oil and stir. Last add the mineral water. Grease a cake tin with margarine and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pour the batter to the tin and bake in 200 Celsius degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

lingonberry jam**
vegan whipping cream (+ sugar)

russian candy:
1,5 dl oat (or soy) cream
1,5 dl brown sugar

Cut the cooled cake in two or three layers. Whip the cream and season with sugar if necessary. Fill the cake with lingonberry jam and whipped vegan cream.

Mix the oat cream and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Heat on medium heat, constantly stirring, until it starts bubbling. Simmer constantly stirring until it’s thick enough. Usually it takes 10-15 minutes. How do you know it’s thick enough? Take a glass of cold water and add a drop of Russian candy. If it dissolves into the water, it’s not ready. If you can take it in your hand and it’s like soft plasticine, it’s ready. Quickly pour the Russian candy on top of the cake and spread with a spatula. Allow to set in refrigerator. Decorate the sides with whipped cream.

*You can also use apple jam or mashed banana instead of rhubarb jam.
**Other berries, like cloudberries, raspberries or cranberries go well with Russian candy too.


The Grand Finale of Vegan MoFo 2012

This post is the last post of VeganMoFo 2012. The month has passed quickly, and we hadn’t tried all the interesting recipes we have found from the old cookbooks. You may see recipes from 1920’s in the future too.

Cabbage rolls are tasty and filling. Making them is time consuming, but they’re definitely worth it. The usual filling is rice and  minced meat, but the old cookbook had a recipe with a mushroom filling. We’ve always baked the cabbage rolls in oven, but this recipe instructed cooking them on stove top. Nearly all cabbage dishes are served with lingonberries here in Finland, and we had these cabbage rolls with lingonberry jam, boiled potatoes and rosolli.

Cabbage Rolls with Mushroom Filling

1 cabbage

1 dl rice + water for cooking
1,5 dl salted mushrooms + water for soaking
2 tbsp oil or margarine
1 small onion
1 dl cream
pinch of white pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dry bread crumbs

margarine for frying
water or vegetable broth
1 dl cream
1-2 tbsp wheat flour (optional)

Boil the cabbage leaves until they’re soft enough to roll. You can either separate them first and then boil, or boil the whole cabbage head and then separate the leaves, I prefer boiling it whole. Cut the thick center vein thinner.

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. Soak the mushrooms until they’re not too salty. Then chop finely. Chop the onion and small inner leaves of the cabbage. Heat the oil in a pan and fry onion and chopped cabbage until lightly browned. Add the rest of the filling ingredients.

Put about 1 tbsp filling on each cabbage leave and roll. Melt the margarine in a pan and fry the first batch cabbage rolls until browned. Transfer them to a large pot. Rinse the pan with small amount of water and pour to the pot. Continue with the rest of the cabbage rolls, rinsing the pan after each batch. Cover the pot with lid and simmer until the cabbage is soft. Put the cabbage rolls on a serving dish, whisk the cream to the sauce (and add wheat flour mixed with small amount of cold water if you want thicker sauce). Simmer 5 minutes and serve the sauce with the rolls.

Lingonberry sandwich

Lingonberry sandwiches are a little like French toast, but less sweet. (Actually, I’ve never eaten French toast, only similar Finnish dessert called poor knights.) We had these for breakfast, but they’d be also a nice snack, and they’re sweet enough for even a dessert.

Lingonberry Sandwiches

sour rye bread or setsuuri
lingonberry jam

Slice the bread. Melt the margarine in a frying pan and fry the bread slices until nicely browned. Spread lingonberry jam on top and serve.

Pink Porridge

Whipped lingonberry porridge is commonly eaten as dessert, but it can also be served for breakfast or as a snack. And it’s vegan. Similar porridge can also be made of red currants or other berries or fruits, but lingonberry is the most popular. The recipe below is for 2 or 3, but you can make a bigger batch, it stays good in refrigerator for days.

Lingonberry Porridge 

5 dl water
0,75 dl wheat semolina
0,5 dl sugar
1 dl crushed lingonberries

optional: soy or oat milk and sugar for serving

Bring the water to boil. Whip in the semolina and cook about 10 minutes. Add sugar and lingonberries, mix well and allow to cool. Whip (with electric mixer) until soft and light pink.

Porridge without berry skins: use 2 dl whole lingonberries instead of 1 dl crushed. Bring the water to boil, add the lingonberries and slowly boil them 20-30 minutes or until the juice comes out of them. Sift the skins out, bring the juice to boil again and make the porridge as described above. My mum uses this method, but I don’t mind about berry skins so I use the easier method.

The End of Vegan MoFo 2010

In the beginning of this month I planned to post everyday. It didn’t happen, but there were only few days without posting. Better than last year.

Here’s one more recipe for all our readers. The crust recipe is mine, the filling recipe is from a leaflet we got from supermarket ages ago. I still don’t know what’s the difference between pies, quiches etc. Maybe this is tart?

Lingonberry and Coconut Tart

125g margarine + little more for greasing the dish
3 dl wheat flour
0,5 dl sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cold water

margarine for greasing the dish
coconut flakes or bread crumbs (optional)

85g margarine
1,5 dl coconut flakes
0,75dl + 2 tbsp sugar
4 dl lingonberries (whole or partially crushed)

Heat the oven to 175 Celsius degrees. Crumble margarine, flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl with your hands. Add water and mix together to form a dough. Grease a pie dish (25-28cm diameter), sprinkle with coconut flakes or bread crumbs and spread the dough in it. Bake 10 minutes.

Melt the margarine in a pot. Remove from the heat and stir in coconut flakes and 0,75 dl sugar. Spread the lingonberries on the prebaked crust and sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar on them. Spoon coconut mixture on top as small lumps. Bake 20 minutes more. Allow to cool a bit before serving.

Berries in Bread

I try to bake most of the bread that we eat for several reasons. Having warm and fresh bread and saving money are the most important. Recently I found a recipe for lingonberry rolls from a magazine called Yheishyvä and thought I’d share it with you. I substituted flax seeds with ground flax seeds, because human body can absorb the nutrients from ground seeds much better. I also increased the amount of lingonberries and decreased amount of oil. I have also made these with sunflower seeds, and they were great too.

Lingonberry Rolls
(18 big or 24 small)

5 dl water
50 yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp syrup or molasses
0,75 dl ground flax seeds (or 1 dl sunflower seeds)
4 dl rye flour
6-7 dl wheat flour
0,5 dl oil
2 dl lingonberries (can be partially crushed)

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water. Add salt, syrup, flax seeds and rye flour. Knead the dough into a firm ball with wheat flour. Add the oil and more flour if needed. Cover with a towel and allow to rise.

Sprinkle flour on the table and put the dough on it. Put the lingonberries on top and fold the dough so the lingonberries will be inside it.Punch the dough down, lingonberries get mixed at the same time. Make 18 or 24 rolls, put them on baking sheet, cover with towel and allow to rise about 10 minutes. Bake 10-15 minutes in 225 Celsius degrees.