I am delighted to introduce my October blog collaborator, Siri from The Transplanted Baker. The title of her blog refers to Siri’s status as an American ex-pat living on the west coast of Norway. We decided to continue with the Norwegian theme with the art selection so we chose the famous painting The Scream by Edvard Munch. If any of you are familiar with the Ice Cream song by Johnson, Moll & King, I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!, then our recipe selection should not be much of a surprise. I proceeded with my savory theme by making salt & pepper sweets but be sure to visit Siri’s site for her recipe for Red Currant Ice Cream made from hand-picked, home-canned currants!

Edvard Munch, The Scream (Skrik), 1893
oil, tempera, and pastel on cardboard, 91 x 73.5 cm, National Gallery, Oslo

Edvard Munch is best known for his painting The Scream that is part of the series titled The Frieze of Life. The entire series of works embodied themes of life and death, love and fear as well as melancholy. Painted in an expressionist style, the painting depicts a figure in agony against a foreboding sky and the landscape of Oslofjord. The original title of the painting was the German phrase Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). According to the writing of Munch,

“I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature.” (1)

If you like baking and vintage aprons then you will love Siri’s blog, The Transplanted Baker. She has been posting a collection of bun recipes that range from Norwegian classics like Skolleboller to American favorites like Buttermilk Biscuits Spiked with Jalapeño and Cheddar in celebration of her own little bun in the oven. In addition to a vast assortment of recipes of anything and everything baking-related, Siri includes photographs of breathtaking Norwegian landscapes. I especially like her series of Yellow August photographs and those from her cherry picking adventure in Hardanger. If you ever dreamed of living in a place with idyllic mountain vistas and a creamy brown goat’s milk cheese called Geitost then I highly suggest living vicariously through Siri on her blog The Transplanted Baker.

{Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream}

adapted from A Homemade Life

1 c whole milk
2 c double cream
3/4 c vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp ground pink peppercorns

Combine the milk, 1 c of cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until hot but be sure to keep the mixture from boiling.

Whisk the egg yolks in a medium size bowl and place it in an ice bath (a larger bowl with 1 c of water and several ice cubes). Remove the hot milk mixture from the heat and let it cool for about 30 seconds before slowly pouring half of the mixture into the egg yolks while continuously whisking. Pour the warm egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture.

Cook over medium-low heat until the sauce begins to thicken and it will coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 5 minutes). Pour the remaining cream in a large bowl and place a strainer over it. Strain the milk/egg mixture into the cream and place into the ice bath. Let cool in the ice bath before stirring in the vanilla and pink peppercorns. Spoon into an airtight container and place in the freezer.

Check the ice cream after 45 minutes. Once it begins to freeze around the edges, remove it from the freezer and beat with a hand-held mixer. This will break up the crystals and yield a smoother ice cream. Once mixed, return to the freezer and repeat the process every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours until the ice cream is frozen. The ice cream is best enjoyed immediately.

{Bittersweet Chocolate Chips with Heather Salt}

adapted from the NY Times

2 c minus 2 TB cake flour
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c butter
1 1/4 c brown sugar
1 c + 1 TB sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
500 g 60% cacao content bittersweet chocolate
heather salt

Sift flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until light. Add eggs, mixing between each addition and then the vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients on a a low speed until just combined. Carefully mix in the chocolate pieces, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for 36 hours (up to 72).

Preheat the oven to 180C and line the baking tray with parchment paper. Scoop six golf-ball size balls of dough and place on tray. Sprinkle with the heather salt and bake about 18 minutes until golden brown but still soft. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.