Smoked Salmon Canapé with Fennel, Strawberries and Sichuan Peppercorns with Salted Sesame Brittle

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This is my entry for the Swedish food blogging event Cyberkocken, which is like Paper Chef – which is, in turn, a bit like Iron Chef. You’re given certain ingredients, and asked to come up with something fun. This time, the ingredients were salmon, sesame, fennel and a berry of some kind. Easy!

I decided to make a small canapé, a tiny appetizer that could be eaten in a few bites. You could of course make this a larger starter too. It’s elegant and with very interesting flavors – it all goes so well together. The sesame brittle makes a rather large amount – but it does make a very yummy candy. I used a recipe for nougatine from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum, and that worked out really well – it was just as I had imagined.

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Smoked Salmon Canapé with Fennel, Strawberries and Sichuan Peppercorns with Salted Sesame Brittle
4 small appetizers, or 2 larger

50 g smoked salmon
1/4 fennel
5-6 strawberries
1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
1-2 tsp coldpressed rapeseed oil
1/2-1 tsp sichuan peppercorns

Cut the samon into small strips. Slice the fennel as thin as you can, preferrably on a mandolin. Dice the strawberries. Mix everything with a bit of vinegar and rapeseed oil, taste to see that it’s to your liking. Season with crushed sichuan peppercorns. Divide on plates, and top with a few fennel fronds.

Salted Sesame Brittle

130 g sugar
110 g corn syrup (I use Swedish white baking syrup, which apparently is a very good substitution.)
1 tbsp salted butter
200 ml (0,8 cups – you don’t need to measure here, it’s not crucial) toasted sesame seeds
flaky sea salt

First, toast your sesame seeds if they’re not already toasted. This is easy in a large dry pan, but make sure they don’t burn!

Bring sugar and syrup to a boil while stirring. When boiling, stop stirring, and let it boil undisturbed until it’s a medium gold color. Watch very closely, once the color starts changing, it’ll be quick. Remove from heat, stir in butter and sesame seeds and pour onto a teflon or silpat baking sheet. (Which you can oil, if you’re concerned about sticking.) Put another similar sheet on top and use a rolling pin to get it as thin as you can. Uncover, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and let it cool completely before breaking into shards.

You can add a simple strawberry sauce to dot on the plate by mixing a few berries with a little white syrup, or sugar and water. Very tasty!

And since it’s Saturday, I’ll show you what it’s like for me to take photos with the cats around:

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