July 19, 2018 | Leave a comment
How to make the best ever real Scandi Cinnamon buns
July 19, 2018 | Leave a comment
How to make the best ever real Scandi Cinnamon buns
June 7, 2018 | Leave a comment
Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche
A great side dish for a crayfish party – this traditional cheese tart is really lovely served with caviar dressing.
For the pastry:
For the filling:
You’ll need a tart tin (25-28cm diameter) with a loose base.
Leave it to cool before slicing. Serve cold or lukewarm.
Västerbottenpaj goes well with romsås, a caviar sauce. Alternatively, if you can get real bleak roe (Löjrom), serve the tart with a spoonful of this, some crème fraîche and finely chopped red onion.
Romsås Caivar Sauce:
In a bowl, mix together 3 large tbsp. crème fraiche and one jar of red lumpfish roe (80g). Leave to set in the fridge, then stir again just before serving.
May 27, 2018 | Leave a comment
Mother’s Day – For all those lovely Scandi Mammas
Mother’s Day was celebrated the first time in 1908 following an initiative from Anna Marie Jarvis who wanted to honour her mother for her work during the American civil war. The celebration became official in 1913, and set to fall on the second Sunday in May which is the day most countries observe it. In the UK it is celebrated the fourth Sunday of lent, as it originated as a day for Christians to visit their ‘mother’ church.
Regardless of when it is celebrated, a special day to treat your Mamma should be acknowledged – a sweet card, maybe some flowers or a treat are all safe ways to make her feel special. And as we think nothing quite says ‘Mamma, you’re the best’ like baked goods – here are some of our favourite recipes for a Sunday dedicated to mamma.
Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / The ScandiKitchen Cookbook
May 10, 2018 | Leave a comment
‘Bløtekake’ (also ‘Bløtkake’) literally means soft cake – and is Norway’s version of a Victoria sponge. The difference is that a Bløtekake is lighter – as it is traditionally made with a fat free sponge, ie. a type of Genoise sponge.
Layered with seasonal berries or fruit and whipped cream it is a traditional celebration cake in Norway – enjoyed for any occasion from birthdays to weddings, anniversaries and leaving parties. Easy to tweak to your preferences and great to look at. Ticks all the boxes in our book! You can use any sponge cake recipe you like – this is the one Martina’s Norwegian mormor (maternal grandmother) has been using forever. The mix of regular flour and potato flour makes for an extra tender crumb.
You will need for the cake:
For the filling / assembly:
Whisk eggs and sugar until pale, light and fluffy – we recommend a hand mixer for this – 5-10 minutes. Mix your flours and baking powder and sift into the egg mixture, then fold carefully to combine. Try not to lose the volume you got from the frantic whisking.
Pour into a well buttered cake mould with loose base covered in baking parchment.
Bake at 190-200 degrees for 30 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool for 10 minuted before removing the mould. Let cool completely before using.
Slice your cake into two or three layers using a long serrated knife (or whatever works for you – just be careful to do it evenly all the way through). Splash each layer with a few tablespoonfuls of milk or orange juice to keep them moist and lovely.
Whip your cream with the vanilla sugar until soft peaks form – then, using manual labour, whip it for another 10-20 seconds until stiff enough to hold its shape. It is easy to overdo it with a mixer so we like using doing it by hand to finish. Rinse and prepare your fruit / berries and have ready in a bowl.
Place your bottom layer on your serving platter / cake stand and place strips of parchment paper all the way around, covering the plate. With a spatula, spread 1/4 of the whipped cream evenly across the cake (1/3 if only two layers). If using jam, dollop this evenly across the cream. Spread 1/3 of your fruit/berries over the top in an even layer. Repeat with the next layer, if your cake is 3 layers. If only two layers, proceed to the next step.
Place your final layer on top of the cream/jam/berry and try to align it neatly so it is not leaning that way or the other. Cover the top of the cake with the rest of the cream – covering the sides if you like. Arrange the remaining fresh fruit / berries across the top any way you like. Any extra ones can be dotted around the serving plate. When you have finished with the cream and berries, carefully remove the parchment paper to reveal the clean plate.
Best eaten immediately.
March 22, 2018 | Leave a comment
Scandi Easter Food – things we also eat.
Aside from the lovely leg of lamb or delicious fish dish that mamma normally dishes up, your pick and mix filled Easter egg and the stale marzipan that invariably ends up on the table, there are some foods that we love eating and making at Easter – some you can enjoy as part of your Easter brunch, others that are perfect for a relaxed afternoon fika or to enjoy when hiking.
Waffles – Waffle day is a wonderful day to celebrate. Not an actual part of Easter – but the day being the 25th of March, it always close to Easter so we include them here. Have them the traditional way, with jam (and brown cheese if you like) or with whipped cream and berries – or try something a little more adventurous, egg & bacon waffle for brunch maybe? Here are some more waffle-varieties to try.
(The origins of the day are somewhat obscure – but several sources say it started in Sweden as ‘Vår frue-dagen’, meaning ‘our lady (mother Mary from the bible, that is). Somewhere along the line this was turned into ‘våffeldagen’ due to its linguistic similarities – and today the religious background is lost to most people. But there you go – waffle day started as a day to celebrate the conception of Jesus. Now you know.)
Buns. Frankly, every season is bun season in Scandinavia, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great. In Norway you will often find a type called ‘solskinnsboller’ – sunshine buns – this time of year, to mark the return of the sun. Sunshine buns are essentially cinnamon buns with an added vanilla custard cream centre (although the same name can be used for other buns too – it varies regionally). So. Good. Recipe here.
Jansson’s Temptation – the Swedish dish with the wonderful name. Swedes love naming dishes after people (Biff a la lindstrom, flying Jacob, Wallenbergare..). Jansson’s temptation is a potato gratin with added ‘Ansjovis’ – sprats cured in a spiced brine. Truly delicious and goes really well with lamb. It is also common in Finland, where they call it ‘Janssoninkiusaus’. Try our recipe here.
Meatballs. Our old friends. As Scandi as they come and with regional varieties, these seem to sneak their way onto every celebration worth it’s ink in your calendar – especially in Sweden. Meatballs are always, always popular – and can be eaten both hot and cold. You can make your own or get them ready made.
Herring is a must in Scandinavia – especially with the slightly older generation – and you can either make your own or just get your favourites from the shop. Serve with good rye bread and perhaps some aquavit. New to herring? This one with dill, this one with mustard sauce or this one with curry (yes curry!) is lovely.
Kvikk Lunsj and oranges or Solo. Yes, it is a bit of a stereotype – but that doesn’t make it any less true. Norwegians eat Kvikk Lunsj when they go skiing or hiking over Easter, that is just the way it is. Often an orange too, because, you know – balance.
Kexchoklad. Slightly less set in stone than the aformentioned Kvikk Lunsj, but all the same kex choklad is associated with being outside and being active – and Easter is the perfect time do just that. Get outside, move, then chill in the sun with your choccy bar.
Easter smorgåsbord. There is no escaping it, a classic smorgåsbord is the thing to do in Scandinavia. A big table loaded with pickled herring, salmon, eggs in various forms, hams or meat dishes, veggie side dishes and plenty of good rye bread or lighter bread. Be prepared to sit for hours. If you don’t fancy going full Scandi you could always try just adding elements or adopting the idea – sitting down with a table full of of foods (and some token Franken-chicks for decoration) and friends is what matters most.
March 16, 2018 | Leave a comment
Solskinnsboller – Norwegian Custard Cinnamon Swirls
Of all the things to come out of Norway (brown cheese, knitted jumpers, a dabbing prince), these ‘Solskinnsboller’ buns must be amongst the tastiest. Don’t need another bun recipe? Listen. We think you do. These are named sunshine buns because they have the same effect – they make you happy. Buttery, soft cinnamon swirls with a gooey vanilla custard centre. Cinnamon buns = good. Custard = good. These buns? Criminal.
You will need:
Quick and easy vanilla custard cream
Method: In a medium size saucepan, heat the milk until steaming (do not let it boil). Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, corn flour, sugar and vanilla until a thick paste. Whilst whisking, pour a little of the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture until combined. Continue adding the hot milk slowly until everything is combined. Return to the saucepan and let simmer over medium heat until thickened – whisk continuously to avoid lumps forming. Once thickened (you should be able to make soft blobs that don’t disappear immediately – it will thicken more when it cools) pour into a bowl and place clingfilm directly onto the top of the custard. This avoids a skin forming. Leave to cool completely – the fridge quickens this step.
Assembling the buns:
Make you cinnamon buns as normal and leave under a tea towel for 25-30 mins to rise a bit more. Place your creme patisserie in a piping bag or plastic bag.
Now, you need to make an indent in each bun to fit the creme pat in – press down in the middle with your finger (or something measuring about 2cm diameter) until you have even indents in every bun. Pipe a small amount of custard into each hollow. Don’t be tempted to use too much – it will just get messy (but still tasty). 1-2 tsp should be enough.
Bake at 220 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
February 8, 2018 | Leave a comment
Morsdag – Norwegian Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries – but only Norway celebrates it the second Sunday in February which this year falls on the 11th. Mother’s Day was celebrated the first time in 1908 following an initiative from Anna Marie Jarvis who wanted to honour her mother for her work during the American civil war. The celebration became official in 1913, and set to fall on the second Sunday in May which is the day most countries observe it.
There is little evidence as to why they in Norway moved it to February – but it is likely linked to the many official holidays already observed in May; May 1st, May 17th, Christ Ascension day and Pentecost which can both fall in May. With any luck, you will have 4 additional days of during May if they all fall during the week.
Regardless of when it is celebrated, a special day to treat your Mamma should be acknowledged – in Norway you’ll often see cards, breakfast in bed or a present of some sort. Many people also see it as an excuse to get together for some family time – but whatever you do, just make sure to give your mamma a teeny bit of extra attention. If you are lucky enough to be spending the day with her you might want to mark the occasion with a little treat? This year it coincides with Fastlavn Sunday (the Norwegian equivalent to Shrove Tuesday and when most people eat their buns) so a given suggestion is the Norwegian jam semla – but we have listed a few other options for you in case you know some weirdo who doesn’t like these.
Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge
15 shades of Semlor
So, we decided that seeing as Sweden keeps coming up with new fancy versions of Semlor, we needed to have a go, too.
The traditional Semla bun (Semla is singular, semlor is plural) is a cardamom yeast bun, filled with marzipan, whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar. Traditonally eaten around Lent – especially on Fat Tuesday (you may know it as Shrove Tuesday) – Semlor are the most delicious thing ever invented. We start serving them in January and we stop around Easter. Here is our best recipe – Classic Semlor.
It used to be illegal to serve Semlor outside of season. Swedes LOVE seasons. Crayfish season is August, Eurovision season is May and Semlor is around February (depending on when Lent and Easter falls). Only bake and eat these in season.
So, every year, bakeries in Sweden compete to come up with NEW Semlor. Even though, to be fair, people really just mostly prefer the original one – but once you have eaten 4 or 5 of those, a bit of variety is good. So, we decided to come up with some different ones, too. All of our semlor have cardamom flavour and keep to the main traditional flavour notes. Some we have been inspired by via other bakeries in Sweden – and some are our own creations.
We’d love to see what YOU can do – have you got an idea for a hybrid semla? We want to see a photo and hear all about it! Send us your suggestion before Fat Tuesday and you will be in with a chance of winning is big gift basket from our shop full of treats. Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Usual rules apply.
1. Pride Semla
This is our favourite from our testing day. It was pretty hard to make, seeing as we had to colour the dough, then roll it and then twist it and make sure it baked properly. We kept the filling original, but added glitter to the whipped cream (although you can’t really see it in the photo). We like to claim this one as ours, as we have not seen anyone else make #PrideSemlor. So there.
2. Lemon Curd Semla
We added lemon zest to the dough and lemon zest to the marzipan filling. Then a dollop of lovely lemon curd and whipped cream. Oh yes. Hail the Lemon Semla.
3. Saffron & Lingonberry Semla
This is almost a classic combo all over Sweden. Add saffron to the dough and it goes super yellow. Add the usual marzipan filling, but also add some lingonberries to the whipped cream. The tartness is wonderful against the sweet saffron flavour and marzipan.
We haven’t seen these before, but we’re pretty certain we’re not the first to make these! Delicious, totally over the top, too. A cinnamon bun, split in two, filled with marzipan and whipped cream. D-licious.
5. Pepperkakor Semlor
We added ginger biscuit spice to the dough (very nice), spice to the marzipan filling too – and vanilla cream and topped with a few Pepperkakor ginger thins. Not bad at all.
6. Lamington Semla.
If you’re going to be Aussie about it, it has to be Lamington. We covered the bun in chocolate, we rolled it in coconut. We added a bit of jam under the marzipan filling and filled it with cream. We saw one like this on the internet a while back but we can’t find it so we can’t tell you who did it first.
7. Mozart Semla
A Mozart Treat in Sweden is marzipan with pistachio, nougat and chocolate. Oh lord, this one is delicious: We added chocolate to the whipped cream. We added nougat above the marzipan. We added chopped, toasted pistachios. Mozart would have liked this.
8. Cloudberry Semla
Actually, this is for the Norwegians. In Norway, people love mixing cloudberries with whipped cream – it is called Multekrem. So, this is what we did: This baby is stuffed with marzipan and Multekrem. Oh yes, it’s good. Thumbs up from here.
9. Semla Wrap
We didn’t come up with this one. A bakery called Tossebageriet did, a few years back. It is a semla dough, but made as a wrap – and the marzipan and cream is inside. Not bad, although it is a faff making loads of the round wraps. Looks very different, though, which is great.
10. Profiterole Semla
We changed the dough to a choux dough – and added ground cardamom. We them opened it up and filled it with marzipan and whipped cream and topped with a dark chocolate icing. Bronte ate this and wanted more. It’s a yes from us. Profiterole Semlor for the win.
11. Princess Semla
This was the craze of 2017. It was everywhere. We made hundreds of these at the café. They are amazing – but it IS a lot of marzipan. Marzipan inside, marzipan outside. Cream and a little rose. The cutest semla of them all.
12. Nutella Semla
We added chocolate pieces and cocoa to the bun. We added chocolate to the marzipan and then added nutella on top of that. Then we melted nutella and whipped it into the cream. Did we mention that there is a lot of chocolate in this one? Choc choc choc semla.
13. Salted Caramel Semla
Seriously, we are aware the photo is a bit rubbish. We were trying to make sure there was enough salted caramel in this one. There is, we can testify to this. Salted caramel inside, outside and in the cream. We love salted caramel. It works.
14. Nacho Semla
This is the craze of 2018 in Sweden. We were not convinced, to be honest. Who wants Semlor chips? Actually, we made this and it’s pretty good. You can sit and eat a semla on the bus like this. In the cinema. In the office. It’s a snack-semla and we quite like it. Yeah, it’s a faff to make the chips (roll out, bake until almost done, use a pizza cutter to make the chips, back in the oven to dry a bit). But not bad at all.
15. The original.
We love this one. The one we hold close to our hearts: Big bun, lots of marzipan, cream and a dusting of icing sugar. Who could ask for more?
Don’t forget to send us your ideas. Maybe you have ideas for a hybrid of a British cake with a semla? Hot Cross Semla, maybe… or Bakewell Tart Semla. Sticky toffee Pudding semla? We look forward to hearing from you.
February 2, 2018 | Leave a comment
Bronte’s Lovely Carrot Cake
This is the carrot cake we serve in the cafe – it is the result of a cake challenge from a guy (Jonas) who is not a big cake eater (we know). The challenge? Make the best carrot cake ever. This is the result. Maybe not better than your mamma’s – but pretty good, if we may say so ourselves. Gently spiced, with crunch from the pinenuts and tons of flavour and moisture from the carrots plus a lush layer of tangy cream cheese topping – and very easy to make. Go on, give it a go!
• 250g cream cheese
Turn the oven on 170 degrees Celsius.
To make the topping, whisk all the ingredients well and spread over the cooled cake. Add some grated carrots and lime zest to decorate.
Photo credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small
February 1, 2018 | Leave a comment
Things you wanted to know about Semlor but were afraid to ask