Rachel Khoo’s Swedish summer recipes

Make chilled cucumber soup and white chocolate coconut mountains

Images extracted from ‘The Little Swedish Kitchen’ (£20, Michael Joseph)

Best known for her Parisian-inspired dishes, the bestselling cookery writer Rachel Khoo has said “au revoir” to France and moved to Sweden in pursuit of love. In her latest cookbook, The Little Swedish Kitchen, she shares her favourite dishes made with local ingredients, including a delicious chilled cucumber soup – perfect for refreshing yourself on a hot day – and miniature white chocolate mountains for sharing with friends.

Chilled cucumber soup with beetroot yoghurt granita

There are a couple of days in the Swedish year when the mercury in the thermometer hits temperatures that could compete with a warm summer day in southern Europe. And on those days, nothing beats a refreshing chilled soup.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cooked beetroot (about 125g)
125g plain yoghurt
900g cucumber, chopped
4 tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus a few sprigs to garnish
4 tsp cider vinegar
Sea salt
1 beetroot, peeled, to garnish

Method

Start by making a granita. Blitz the cooked beetroot with the yoghurt in a blender. Pour into a large, flat-bottomed container and place in the freezer. After 30 minutes, thoroughly stir through the mixture. Place back in the freezer for another two to three hours, or until fully frozen.

Meanwhile, blitz the cucumber and dill in a blender until very smooth. Add the vinegar and season to taste with salt. Place in the fridge to chill.

When ready to serve, julienne the remaining beetroot into thin strips. Use a fork to scratch the granita up into snow. Check the soup for seasoning, then divide it into bowls. Top with the granita, some beetroot matchsticks and the sprigs of dill.

Top tip: The colder a dish, the more you need to season it. Freezing dulls the taste and therefore extra seasoning is required.

Get ahead: The soup will keep for a day in the fridge. The granita will keep for a week in the freezer in an airtight container. Take out of the freezer five minutes before serving to make it easier to fork up the crystals.

White chocolate and berry coconut mountains

Traditionally these coconut treats are densely packed just with coconut, but upon burning half my coconut while toasting it I ended up improvising with sesame seeds and ground almonds, only to discover how delicious these nutty additions are. The berries on top lend a bit of tartness, which balances the sweetness from the white chocolate and makes for a pretty little pink peak.

Makes 20

Ingredients

100g golden caster sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
120g butter
200g desiccated coconut
150g sesame seeds
50g ground almonds
3 medium eggs
350g white chocolate
125g lingonberries or redcurrants

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put the sugar, salt, lemon zest and butter into a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Set aside.

Pour the coconut on to a large tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven for five minutes or until fairly well toasted. Keep a close watch, and stir the coconut occasionally to toast it evenly. When the coconut is ready, take out of the oven and pour into a large bowl with the sesame seeds and ground almonds. Mix together, then pour in the melted butter and mix again. Add the eggs, then stir together until everything is well combined. Leave to cool slightly.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Form the mixture into 20 small pyramids (about 4cm high and 5cm in diameter) and set on the lined tray. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly golden on the peaks and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack while melting the chocolate.

Break up the chocolate and put into a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate has melted, dip the cakes into it and top each one with three or four berries of your choice.

Top tip: Dip in chocolate while the macaroons are still warm, as the chocolate will run down them better. White chocolate can be replaced with dark or totally omitted if you want to keep it simple.

Get ahead: These keep for several days in an airtight container.

‘The Little Swedish Kitchen’ (£20, Michael Joseph) is published on 26 July.

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