Tag Archives: baking

Semla Season 2017 – Everything You Need To Know

January 26, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Semla Season 2017 – Everything You Need To Know

After Christmas we always feel determined to start a new and healthier life – less chocolate and more spinach, but only until we remember the next big occasion in the Scandi baking calendar; Semla season. Semla is the Swedish answer to pancake-day pancakes, but in our completely unbiased opinion; a million miles better and far too good to only eat once per year.

We started selling these chubby marzipan and cream filled buns of glory in the café a few weeks ago – and as we are now only 1 month away from the big day, it is time to kick off and remind each other what the Semla is all about. We have collated some essential reading (all the important semla-facts), our favourite recipes, and our very own semla product bundles if you want to give them a go at home without the hassle of seeking out the products you need. Ah, you’re welcome. Public semla-service is what we do.

– 12 Things You Need To Know About Semlor –

– Princess Semlor – The 2017 Luxury Semla – Recipe –

Princess Semla Recipe Image

Classic Semlor – Swedish Marzipan Cream Buns – Recipe

Classic Semlor Recipe


 

Fancy doing some baking? Try our kits to get started;

    Prinsess Semla Bun – Bundle
    £25.39 £24.78
    - +
    Cinnamon Bun – Product Bundle
    £9.80 £9.08
    - +

 

Now, promise you try one. Come say Hej and have a coffee and semla with us in our café or make your own, just don’t go without. They are too good to be missed.

Princess Semlor – the ‘hit’ of 2017 (Prinsess-semlor)

January 13, 2017 | Leave a comment

Princess Semlor (Prinsesssemla)

Bakeries in Sweden love coming up with new exciting ways to do semlor buns for Lent. We’ve seen Semlor rolls, saffron semlor, berry semlor and this year, it is a hybrid Semla between the famous green Princess Cake (Prinsesstårta) and the heavy Semla cardamom bun.

When we heard about this, we just had to try it. What fun we had! Here is the recipe for you to have a go at making at home. Warning: A lot of sugar in this one – not very lagom at all! But really, really good.

Ingredients for the buns

  • 25g fresh yeast (or 13g active dry yeast)
  • 80g melted butter
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 40g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Approximately 300-400g plain bread flour
  • ½ egg for brushing

Filling:

  • 100g good quality Marzipan
  • A good dollop of custard or crème pâtisserier
  • 100g raspberry jam
  • 400ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • Icing sugar to dust

2 x packs of Green Marzipan pre-rolled (2 x 200g). This will give you enough for 10-11 semlor if thinly rolled. If you just want to make 4-6 semlor, just go for one of these and make the rest of the batch as normal semlor.

If you want to colour your own marzipan, please make sure you use food dye gel not colour – if the colour is too runny, it wont dye it properly and you will get a sticky mess.

Instructions

If using a stand mixer, set it up with the dough hook attachment. Melt the butter and add the milk, ensuring a lukewarm temperature of around 37-38ºC. Add the fresh yeast and stir until dissolved.

Add sugar and stir again. Add half of the flour as well as the salt, baking powder and ground cardamom. Add the ½ egg (preserve the other half for brushing before baking).

Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated and then start to add more of the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough that is only a little bit sticky. Take care not to add too much flour: you will get dry buns. Knead the dough for around five minutes in the mixer, longer by hand. Leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until doubled in size (30-40 min).

Turn the dough out to a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. Cut the dough into 10-12 equal sized pieces. Take care that the balls are completely round and uniform in size. Place on baking tray with good spacing between buns. Leave to rise for another 25-30 minutes.

Gently brush each bun with the remainder of the egg wash and bake in a hot oven (200ºC) for about 8-10 minutes or until baked through – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly and note that baking time may vary depending on your oven. Remove from oven and cover the tray with a lightly damp tea towel immediately – this will prevent the buns from forming a crust.

When the buns have cooled down completely, roll the marzipan out thinly (use icing sugar to help you manage this stage). Very lightly dampen each bun all around so that the marzipan will stick – keep it super light or everything will go soggy. Cover each bun with marzipan – this is easiest if you cut a large round circle, add to the top of the bun and gently pull down at the sides all around to ensure an even cover. Cut away excess marzipan and reserve for use for other buns.

When all buns are covered, using a very sharp knife, carefully cut a deep triangle in each bun and pull out. Scoop out a little of the inside crumb (reserve crumb to mix with marzipan).

Add a small teaspoon of jam to each hole. Mix the marzipan with the crumb and the custard and mix to from a smooth, thick paste. I sometimes use my hands to do this, it’s easier. Fill each hole with marzipan filling.

Whip the cream and pipe it out on each bun in a circular motion. Put the lid back on top.

Using pink icing, make little roses – and then dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.

We’d love to see your creations – tag them on instagram with #scandikitchen and #princesssemlor

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Pimp My Gingerbread House 2016

November 24, 2016 | Leave a comment

Pimp My Gingerbread House 2016

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It’s beginning to smell like Gingerbread.. That’s right, it’s that time of year again – it’s time for our annual Pimp My gingerbread House competition!

Every year in the run up to Christmas we run a competition – who can go crazy with a standard gingerbread house kit?

The rules;

Take one basic Gingerbread house kit from Annas and pimp it up to the best of your abilities. Think outside the box: be as creative, crazy and elaborate as you want. Whatever your strong side, put it into the house.

When you are done, send us a picture and we will put the best ones up on Instagram and Facebook and the blog during December.

We have four categories:

Adult – Beautiful: This is the main award. The most beautiful house you can make from a very basic kit of gingerbread house.

Adult – Super Creative.   This is the crazy house – like the house eaten by dragons, murder scenes, brothels, discos – whatever you can do to pimp up your house to silly standards with great use of imagination.

Child – up to 7 years old. It’s okay that your Mum and Dad help out, but here we do want to see real kids efforts. We know what seven year olds can do with a ginger bread kit – we want to see kids being allowed to unleash creativity. It’s fine to add Lego men and other toys to the mix or make a gingerbread house for your favourite dolls.

Young person 8-16 – We want to see your imagination run wild here. Make the house your own.

THIS YEAR’S PRIZES:

First prize this year in category ‘beautiful’ is £50 online OR in-store voucher for ScandiKitchen, a signed copy of our new baking book ‘Fika & Hygge’ and one of our fancy new mugs.

Adult – Creative – A hamper full of goodies and treats plus a signed baking book.

Children under 7: Sweeties. And more Sweeties. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us all the way through till January.

Young person 8-16 prize: Sweets. And more Sweets. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us and also a little jealous that it is all for you.

The rules:

      • All entries MUST be made from a basic Gingerbread House kit. We stock the one from Anna’s, which is the preferred one, but if you use the IKEA version that is also fine (they are similar in shape and size). Basically, the basic shape of the house must be the same so we can see just how creative you can be with a pre-fab kit. Any entries not made from the similar in size and shape to the Ikea and Anna’s kit will not be accepted, sorry.
      • When you submit photos, you need to state what category you are entering into.
      • Only one entry per person
      • If more than one person submits the same entry, the prize will be shared.
      • No alternative prize, no cash prizes, no exchanges.
      • Entries must be received before 16th December 2016 at noon to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk
      • Employees of ScandiKitchen ltd not eligible to enter (Rebekka, we’re talking to you)
      • Winners will be picked by a jury of lovely people (most likely a selection of our customers – we usually pick 5 judges from Twitter to help us out).
      • The judges decisions are final.
      • Prizes can be sent to UK address only.

Send your photos to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 16th December at noon to enter the competition. We look forward to seeing your creations.

Love

The Kitchen People x

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Look Inside: Fika & Hygge Baking Book

September 8, 2016 | Leave a comment

Our New Book – A Look Inside

Yes, we talk a lot about Fika & Hygge – especially now with our new book officially out. It is a baking book, with recipes from across Scandinavia. From small bakes and biscuits, to celebration cakes and elaborate buns there’s something there for any occasion, small or large – certain to add to the feeling of hygge. In addition, the beautiful pictures makes us all long for winter in Scandinavia (even the non-Scandis!) with crinkly white snow, lots and lots of candles, knitted jumpers and fika-time inside.

Here are a few of the ScandiKitchen staff’s favourite recipes from the book (we were lucky enough to do a lot of cake-testing for this one! All in the name of creating the best baking book possible).

That Banana Cake Therese

‘That banana cake’ is the banana cake we serve in our cafe. Wonderfully moist and full of banana flavour, with a light frosting that perfectly complements the dense cake. Worth hunting down brown bananas for.

Banana Cake - ScandiKitchen

 Sarah Bernard – Biskvier – Martina

Little delectable morsels of chocolate, chocolate cream and a marzipanny base. Unbeatable combination and great with a cup of coffee, or as a simple dessert with a scoop of good quality vanilly ice cream. Super rich – but I somehow manage to squeeze in at least three of these. They take a little time to put together, but the result is worth it!

Sarah Bernhard - ScandiKitchen

Gingerbread with Lingonberry – Roxanne

Soft spiced gingerbread cake layered with cream flavoured with fresh tart lingonberries and a hint of sweetness – just delicious. And very pretty too.

Gingerbread & Lingonberry Cake - ScandiKitchen

 

Have the book? Do let us know if you try any of the recipes – we’d love to hear about it.

It Is Waffle Weekend

June 30, 2016 | Leave a comment

It Is Waffle Weekend – Scandinavian Waffles (again)

We love waffles, we love to talk about them a lot –  and we are going to talk about them some more. Here are some tips for how you can eat them this summer.

Waffle maker with toppings

 

Nothing implies summer more than warm newly made waffles – topped with whipped cream and jam. But there are a variety of different toppings that can go on a waffle – here you can read more about the different ways to eat waffles.

Waffles with whipped cream and jam

And here is a lovely recipe for our favourite waffles.

Yummy, this make us want to have some waffles now – don’t you?

Waffle-Day & Useful Info About Scandinavian Waffles

March 23, 2016 | Leave a comment

Waffle-Day & Useful Info About Scandinavian Waffles

Waffles are a big thing in Scandinavia. Thin and heart-shaped they come with a boatload of strong opinions on how to eat them, when to eat them and what to put on them. There are as many opinions as there are recipes – as many recipes as there are waffle-lovers.

One thing we all agree on is how we feel about them. Waffles are – it seems – a truly nostalgic thing. Something we all remember from our childhoods. From a fika with the family, a well deserved break in the (not-so) strenuous Sunday hike, a treat in between matches in the annual week-long summer football tournament, or from any given Wednesday at your lovely, lovely work-place (where waffles often appear on Wednesdays for some unknown reason).

You may have some questions about waffles and why we waffle (pardon the pun?) on so much about them. That’s ok. Your waffle-fears may now be put to rest – we’re here to educate you about Scandinavian waffles.

1. What is a Scandinavian waffle and how is it different from a Belgian Waffle?

A Scandinavian waffle differs from the Belgian in many ways, most notably is the shape. Scandinavian waffles are thinner, and typically consist of 4-5 heart shapes joint in a ring, as opposed to the rectangular Belgian version. Heart-shaped = even lovelier, of course.
scandinavian waffle vs belgian waffle
The batter is also different – Scandinavian waffles tend to have a less sweet batter, often with a sour component such as sour cream. They should be crispy and slightly buttery with a slightly sweet flavour.

2. Why do we celebrate the Waffle-day on the 25th of March?

Good question! Waffle-day is originally a Swedish thing, and the reason it is on the 25th of March is that the Swedish word for Waffle day – Våffeldagen – sounds very similar to ‘Vårfrudagen’ (Our lady’s day), which is the day Jesus was ‘conceived’. 25th of March = 9 months before Christmas Day.
‘But of course!’, the Swedes thought, ‘we need a dedicated waffle day but it would be confusing to have two days with such a similar sounding name. Let’s combine the two and make it one super-holiday where we can celebrate the beginning of Jesus AND eat waffles.’
(Did we mention how much we love the Swedes?) There you have it – a phonetic phenomenon is the reason for waffle-day being when it is. And some lovely Swedish logic.

3. What can I put on my waffle?

In Scandinavia, most people choose sweet toppings, including a variety of jams, whipped cream or fresh fruit and berries in summer. Waffles are not necessarily limited to sweet toppings though – try creme fraiche and smoked salmon for a lovely savoury waffle.

 

Here are 5 other ways to eat Scandinavian waffles;
  1. Waffle with brown cheese – melting, tangy/sweet brown cheese on a mildly sweet, waffle hot from the griddle. It is a beautiful thing. Top with raspberry jam for a sweeter finish. A Norwegian speciality. No, you can’t swap the jam. Some people also eat waffles with brown cheese and kaviar (yep – this stuff).
    Brunost_vaffel brown cheese waffle
  2. Hot-dog in waffle. Yep, you read that right. A steamed wiener-sausage wrapped in a sweet waffle. It’s a staple in Moss (in the middle of nowhere) and the Norwegian equivalent to a certain Gordon Ramsay is rumoured to be the man behind it, when he as a young boy worked in his uncle’s hot dog stand. Sounds odd, tastes delicious. Slightly sweet waffle paired with a savoury, meaty sausage. Yum!
    hot dog waffles
  3. Waffle with whipped cream and wild strawberries. This indulgence screams summer. Tiny, sweet, intensely flavoured wild strawberries – called smultron in Swedish with a ligthly sweetened whipped cream. Just..pure tastebud-waffle-bliss. In lack of smultron you can sub your favourite fresh seasonal fruit or berries or a good quality jam at a pinch.
    vaffel med rømme og syltetøy - waffle with sour cream and jam
  4. Waffle with butter. Yours truly – Martina, in this case – has the following method of ensuring the perfect amount of butter on the waffle; ‘Think of the little diamond dents in the waffles as windows. The goal of buttering it is to light up each window. In other words, fill each dent with lovely salted butter. This is tooth-butter meet waffle. A sprinkling of sugar if you so desire – then tuck in.
    vaffel med smør - scandinavian waffle
  5. Waffle with jam and sour cream. Your favourite sweet jam and a dollop of thick sour cream. Delicious. You will have more than one – just give in already. Napkin at the ready!
    vaffel med rømme og syltetøy - waffle with sour cream and jam

Now we want to hear your waffle-memories.

Perhaps you spent a summer frying waffles day in and day out to feed the hordes of hungry tween-agers playing football?

Or you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share? A favourite topping? Do let us know – we’d love to learn more.

Fancy waffles? We do, too.. Here’s our favourite recipe for crispy Swedish waffles, the recipe is a sneakpeek from ou new cookbook (out later this year). Or for instant waffle-satisfaction, shop our waffle mixes here – there’s even a gluten-free version there.

Recipe: Swedish Marzipan Cream Buns – Semlor

January 14, 2016 | 1 Comment

Recipe and photo from the ScandiKitchen cookbook, image credit: Pete Cassidy for Ryland Peters Small

‘SEMLOR’ LENT BUNS

Every January, the excitement builds because our customers know it is almost time for ‘Semlor’ buns. Scandinavians celebrate the start of Lent in different ways, but all of us like to eat as many of these addictive treats as physically possible (rumour has it there are no calories in Semlor if you eat them with your eyes closed).

13 g dried yeast or 25 g fresh yeast *(see below)

250 ml whole milk, heated to 36–37°C (97–98°F)

80 g butter, melted and cooled slightly

40 g caster sugar

300–400 g white strong flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

FILLING:

100 g marzipan paste

good dollop of custard or Crème Pâtissière

500 ml whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

icing sugar, to dust

piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle

 

MAKES 12

*If using fresh yeast, add it to the finger-warm milk and mix until dissolved. Then pour it into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.

If using dried yeast, sprinkle the yeast granules into the finger-warm milk and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer with a dough hook and stir in the melted butter. Add the sugar and stir again. Add half of the flour as well as the salt, baking powder and ground cardamom. Add half the beaten egg (reserve the other half for brushing before baking).

Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated and then start to add more of the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough that is only a little bit sticky. Take care not to add too much flour. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes in the mixer. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until it has doubled in size – about 30–40 minutes.

Turn the dough out to a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. You want a firmer but not dry dough. Cut the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Place, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet. Leave to rise for 25–30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Brush each bun with the beaten egg and bake for 8–10 minutes or until baked through – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and cover the buns with a lightly damp dish towel immediately – this will prevent them from forming a crust.

When they have cooled completely, cut a ‘lid’ off the buns – about 1.5 cm/1⁄2 in. from the top. Scoop out about one-third of the inside of the bun and place this in a separate bowl. Mix it with the marzipan paste until it forms a very sticky mass – add a dollop of custard or Crème Pâtissière at this point to help it along. You want a spoonable, even mixture. Spoon the filling back into the buns, equally divided.

Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff, then use a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle to pipe cream on all the buns. Put the ‘lids’ back on and dust lightly with icing sugar.

12 Things You Need To Know About Semlor

| Leave a comment

Semlor are serious business in Sweden. Every year, usually starting as soon as Christmas is over and done with, semlor make their appearance in bakeries across Sweden. In Scandinavia we do not eat pancakes on pancake day. We eat big fat buns instead. Here are 12 things you need to know about the bun that makes Swedes go a little loopy.

  1. Semlor are eaten all over Scandinavia (but excessively in Sweden), Semlor are served up to and especially on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). This year, the big day is 9th February.
  2. A semla is a cardamom flavoured yeast bun stuffed with marzipan, vanilla and whipped cream. We also call them fat buns, to fatten you up before Lent. Although we’ll continue to eat them all the way until Easter. It’s a whole year until we next get a chance, you know.
  3. Semlor are strictly seasonal. Nobody ever makes them at any other time of the year except when it is The Season. This means not before 1st jan and not after Easter. Yes, we know a few Swedish shops have started doing it end of December, but those shops will be dealt with in due course by Semlor Polisen. 

    boris and semla

  4. It’s Semla (singular) and Semlor (plural)
  5. Semlor, and their season, is very serious business. It used to be law in Sweden when you could sell Semlor.
  6. How do you eat it? That is the big question. Do you lick the lid, eat the lid first or use the lid to scoop out the cream? Or do you just take a big bite? Or perhaps you use a fork? The possibilities are many – we can only suggest you try them all and find your favourite.
    50shades
  7. Hetvägg – Afficinadoes eat Semlor in a bowl with hot milk poured over. This is called hetvägg.
  8. Sweden once had a King Fredrick who died from eating too many Semlor. He ate 14 in one sitting, then died from severe indigestion. Okay, he also had a banquet of food before hand, but still… It was probably the semlor that did it (from Sweden.se).

    king fredrick death by semlor
  9. 45 million Bakery made semlor are sold in Sweden each year. This does not include homemade ones or supermarket ones. This is just bakeries. On Fat Tuesday alone, bakeries sell over 6 million. Note: 9 million people live in Sweden.
  10. Semlor a la mode Despite their tradition and history, semlor, too get caught up in trends. Last year was the year of the ‘semmelwrap’ – an attempt to modernize and make the classic semla less messy. It also makes it easier to eat on the go so you can eat even more semlor. This year it’s all about the ginger biscuit semla. No, we haven’t tried it – please report if you do.

    semmelwrap

  11. Regional variations – In Norway, the buns are called fastelavnsboller and the buns are filled with thick whipped cream and raspberry jam – and dusted with plenty of icing sugar. In Finland, they are called laskiaispulla and are filled with jam – often bilberry. In Denmark, the dough is slightly different and they are filled with custard (also called fastelavnsboller).
  12. So, what’s the damage? One bun is around 500 calories. Yes, now you know. If you eat it in the dark, calories don’t count. And if you have two in short succession it doesn’t count, either. In any case you will probably be so full after having one that you’ll sleep through dinner – they are prone to bring on serious cases of paltkoma (food coma). Buns for dinner? Yes please.

    skarsgaard semlor

Get your Semla fix at the café daily from now until Easter. If you need larger amounts for Fat Tuesday, please pre-order iwantfood@scandikitchen.co.uk

Our Semlor cost £2.95 take away. Fancy making your own? Try the recipe from our book, Semlor – Swedish Marzipan Cream Buns.

Recipe: Danish Medaljer and Cremelinser cakes

March 19, 2015 | Leave a comment

Danish ‘Medaljer’ and ‘CremeLinser’ cakes

Makes approx. 8-9 ‘Medaljer’ and 12 ‘Linser’

Equipment needed:

Piping nozzle for cream

Yorkshire pudding tray

Round cutters 6-7 cm and 5 cm.

Dough

200g cold butter, cubed

350g plain flour

125g icing sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

 

Filling

Make this ahead of starting:

1 sachet ‘Kagecreme’ crème patisserie (approx. 500ml crème patisserie) – get it HERE

How to: Mix the content of sachet with 500ml whole milk. Whisk for 30-40 seconds, then leave to set for 15 minutes.

You can also use homemade cold crème patisserie for this instead, but we cheated a bit – and this powder is really good quality and is bake-safe.

 Assembly:

300ml whipping cream

4-5 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam

6 strawberries

150g icing sugar

1 tsp cocoa

Edible decorations of choice

 

Method

Make the dough:

In a mixer / food processor, add butter and flour and blitz a few times, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined and smooth. Fold together and wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Turn on oven to 180C.

Cut the dough in two pieces.

Medaljer – roll out and cut 18 round circles with the 7 cm cutter. Place on a lined baking tray and then bake 5-7 mins in the warm oven until slightly golden (taking care not to over bake).

Meanwhile, roll out the remaining dough for the Cremelinser. Use flour if it is a bit sticky.

Cut circles to line the base of the 12-hole Yorkshire pudding tray – the dough should go to the top line, neatly. Add a good heaped teaspoon of crème patisserie to each ‘Linser’. Roll the remaining dough out flat, then cut the smaller 5cm circles. Carefully top each Linser with the pastry circle and press down gently around the edges to close.

Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes or until done taking care not to allow the Liner to crack open and the custard to seep out (but if it does a bit, don’t worry, it will sink again when cold).

To assemble the Medaljer:

Make the strawberry whipped cream:

With a blender, blend 6-7 strawberries (or mash them very thoroughly with a fork). Whip the whipping cream with a tbsp. icing sugar, and add 3-4 tbs strawberry puree. Allow stiff peaks to form.

Lay out 9 baked circles on a tray. Add ½ tsp jam to the base of each circle, then a tsp of crème patisserie in the middle. Using a piping bag with a wide cream nozzle, pipe cream in a circle around the base of 9 of the baked circles. Keep cold.

Place the remaining 9 circles on the table. Mix the icing sugar and 1tsp cocoa powder with a few tbsp. hot water until you have a smooth icing – not too runny. If the icing gets too runny, add more icing sugar – you want the consistency so it will not spill over the edges.

Carefully add a dollop of icing to each circle and top with a few decorations. Carefully place the lids onto the ‘Medaljer’ and cream.

A perfect selection of real Danish cakes to serve with your afternoon coffee.

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