Tag Archives: baking

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

We call them Kanelbullar, or just bullar (buns). In Danish, Kanelsnurrer – twists – or snegle, snails. We eat these with our coffee, late mornings or afternoons. It’s the treat you see in all Scandi coffee shops. It’s our favourite thing, ever.

So, here are some facts:

  • Real cinnamon buns, the ones Mamma makes at home, are made using a yeast dough, not a laminated dough.
  • Real buns are strong, full of cardamom and cinnamon.
  • Real buns don’t have icing on them.

There are as many different buns in the world as there are people who make them. This is because the essential ingredient in cinnamon buns is love. Yes, love. Everybody bakes differently, and adds some of themselves in the kneading, so the result is… Buns that taste the way they were made. Why do you think Mamma’s buns are always best?

I’ve been making buns since I could find my way around the kitchen. The recipe has evolved and grown, but always I go back to the same things: Good cardamom, lots of spice, lots of love and never skimp on the butter.

This recipe makes a big batch of buns. You can half it, but if you have a freezer, I say don’t bother: Make a full batch, freeze some and pop them in the lunch box or simply just take one out and wait 20 mins and you have a lovely bun with your afternoon coffee. Alternatively, give some warm buns to your neighbours. Trust me, as long as you put a bit of love into it, they’ll love you forever. Kanelbullar really are a magic currency all of their own.

Bronte’s Cinnamon Bun Recipe
Makes 36 buns.

50g fresh (compressed) yeast (or 26g active dried yeast granules).
500ml whole milk, heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F) – no more or the yeast will die
150g butter, melted and cooled slightly
80g caster/granulated sugar
900g-1kg white strong bread flour
3 good teaspoons ground cardamom (I like it strong – and use freshly ground)
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

Filling:

200g butter, soft
1 teaspoon plain flour
2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon (25g)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
100g caster sugar
100g soft brown light sugar
1 Egg, for brushing.
Pearl sugar to decorate.

Golden Syrup and Date syrup, equal measures (100ml of each)

Method: Cream all the ingredients for filling together until smooth and set aside.

Here’s how to do it:

If using fresh yeast, add the luke warm milk to your mixing bowl in a stand mixer and add the yeast; stir until dissolved.

(If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to become bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook).

Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar and mix for a minute.

In a separate bowl, weigh out 800g of flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes.

You may need to add more flour – you want the mixture to end up a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your finger if you poke it. It is better not to add too much flour as this will result in dry buns – and you can always add more later. The mixture has enough flour when it starts to let go of the sides of the bowl.

Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes – or until it has doubled in size (this time can vary depending on the temperature in your kitchen).

Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and using a rolling pin, roll out one lump of dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.

Using a spatula, spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.

To make traditional swirls, simply roll the dough lengthways into a long roll and cut into 15-16 pieces, place on a lined baking tray, and leave – covered – to rise for another 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining lump of dough.

Want to make cinnamon bun twist, like in the photo? Follow this simply video to make your cinnamon bun twists – the twists are shown at around 4 minutes in – but if you want to see the full video (half recipe), just click here:


Roll out the dough, and fold it once you have spread the filling on it. Make sure it is even and flat – then using a pizza cutter, cut out even sized strips. Hold one end of the dough while you twist the dough back on itself and allow it to roll into a twist. Always make sure the ends are tucked underneath or they will unravel during baking. Leave to rise for a further 20 mins before brushing with egg.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature: My oven bakes these on 180C fan in 8 minutes.

While they are baking, heat the golden syrup and date syrup in a pan until warm and liquid. If you cant get hold of date syrup, just use golden –but Date syrup does add a lovely flavour to the buns.

When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) on top of the buns and cover with a quite damp tea towel. The tea towel stops the buns from going dry and forming a crust – leave it on there for at least five minutes.

If you cannot get hold of nib sugar (pearl sugar), you can use chopped hazelnuts etc instead as an alternative.

The buns last only for 24-36 hours – as with all fresh bread – so freeze as soon as they have cooled down if you cant eat 36 buns in one go.

Note for cardamom and cinnamon: buy the seeds (already de-podded) online and grind as you need, using a spice grinder (you can do it by hand, but its hard work). Or buy pre-ground, but it loses potency quickly. For cinnamon, never skimp on the quality – buy good ground cinnamon – the cheap stuff is not great and you need lots more to get a good flavour.

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche

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:
125g cold butter
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg (plus water, if needed – add a few drops if dough is not coming together)

For the filling:
250g Västerbotten cheese, grated
3 eggs
100ml whole milk
250ml double cream
½ tsp paprika, salt and pepper

You’ll need a tart tin (25-28cm diameter) with a loose base.

Method:

  1. Blitz your pastry ingredients in a food processor (egg and water at the end only) to form a dough, then leave to chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Roll out the chilled dough and line the pastry tin. Prick the base with a fork and blind bake using baking beans for 10-12 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for a further 5-6 minutes.
  4. For the filling, mix together everything except the Västerbotten cheese.
  5. Scatter the cheese on the base of the pastry, evenly all over – then pour over the egg mixture.
  6. Return it to the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It’ll puff up quite a bit towards the end, but will turn golden on top. It’s done when it is ‘set’ so do keep an eye on it.

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.

    Norrmejerier Vasterbottensost Rökt – Smoked Mature Cheese 165g
    £4.99
    Norrmejerier Vasterbottensost – Gourmet Piece 165g
    £4.99
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    Norrmejerier Västerbottensost – Mature Cheese 33% 450g
    £9.99
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Mother’s Day Recipes to Treat Your Mamma

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.

  1. Classic cinnamon buns. You can’t go wrong with these – like a hug in bun-form.
  2. Sally’s chocolate buns. In case you live with someone who are more chocolatey than cinnamon-y. Think cinnamon bun but with chocolate in place of the cinnamon filling.
  3. Chokladbollar – Chocolate Oat Treats – For when you don’t have time to bake, these no-bake classics are perfect. Chocolatey with hints of coffee and oats – a lovely little treat.
  4. Lingonberry and spice layer cake (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge). Looks gratifyingly impressive for the comparatively easy process – sure to score you tons of offspring-points.
  5. Seeded rye rolls (recipe in the ScandiKitchen cookbook) Perhaps not your typical treat – but just imagine how nice it is to wake to a house smelling of freshly made bread, the breakfast table set and the coffee brewing. Nothing to do for mamma but sit down. A loving gesture if ever we saw one. Just make sure you also take care of the tidying up – unfortunately any goodwill built up from enjoying a prepared breakfast is at risk of dissipating with each crumb that needs tidying.
  6. Crispy Waffles – For breakfast, fika or lunch. It is hard to beat a still hot waffle topped with whipped cream and jam!
  7. A cup of really good coffee and a card. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Write a card and say thanks for being mamma and bring her a cup of coffee or tea. This one is our current favourite.

Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / The ScandiKitchen Cookbook

Recipe: Bløtekake – Norwegian Celebration Cake

May 10, 2018 | Leave a comment

Recipe: Bløtekake - Norwegian Celebration Cake

‘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:

  • 4 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 60g flour
  • 60g potato flour (we use this one)
  • 1 ts baking powder

For the filling / assembly:

  • 50-100ml milk or orange juice
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 heaped teaspoon vanilla sugar (like this one)
  • 400g fresh berries and fruit of your choice (use whatever is in season – a mix of strawberries and raspberries is good, and some like sliced fresh banana in the middle, too)
  • Optional: 100ml of your favourite jam

Method:
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.

Assembly:
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.

Scandi Easter Foods – things we also eat

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.

Jansson’s Temptation

 

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.

Meatballs - Lingonberry Jam

Photo credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small

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.

Picture: TT via dn.se

 

Recipe: Solskinnsboller

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:

  • 1 quantity bun dough (your favourite – or our favourite, recipe here)
  • 1 quantity creme patisserie or thick custard (homemade or bought – but if the latter thicken it with a bit of cornflour first or it will be too runny.

Quick and easy vanilla custard cream

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 200 ml whole milk

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.

Morsdag – Norwegian Mother’s Day

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.

  1. Norwegian Jam Semlor AKA Fastelavnsboller. Cardamom scented buns filled with jam and lightly sweetened whipped cream. Get her favourite jam to fill them with.
  2. Sally’s chocolate buns. In case you live with someone who doesn’t appreciate the combo cream and bun (we know – they should simply be expelled from your household – but in the spirit of giving, we offer them chocolate buns instead). Think cinnamon bun but with chocolate in place of the cinnamon filling.
  3. Daim cookies. Addictive in their golden crispy chewiness and sweet enough to be the perfect excuse for a fourth cup of coffee, even on a Sunday. Plus they don’t require kneading.
  4. Lingonberry and spice layer cake (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge). Looks gratifyingly impressive for the comparatively easy process – sure to score you tons of offspring-points. For any Norwegians out there – this is like a lighter take on classic ‘krydderkake’ layered with a cream cheese frosting tangy with lingonberries. Mamma will be impressed.
  5. Seeded rye rolls (recipe in the ScandiKitchen cookbook) Perhaps not your typical treat – but just imagine how nice it is to wake to a house smelling of freshly made bread, the breakfast table set and the coffee brewing. Nothing to do for mamma but sit down. A loving gesture if ever we saw one. Just make sure you also take care of the tidying up – unfortunately any goodwill built up from enjoying a prepared breakfast is at risk of dissipating with each crumb that needs tidying.
  6. Rye and bluberry granola bars (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge) – attached to a promise of a hike, together. Fill a thermos with hot coffee, and you have the scene set for a lovely day spent outside. Don’t over complicate it – a walk to the nearest park and bench is fine.
  7. A cup of really good coffee and a card. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Write a card and say thanks for being mamma and bring her a cup of coffee or tea. This one is our current favourite.

Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge

15 shades of Semlor

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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 iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk. 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.

4. Kanelbullesemla

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.

Our Favourite Carrot Cake

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!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 400ml sunflower oil
  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (we love Tørsleffs Vanilla)
  • 11⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 11⁄2 tsp mixed spice
  • 400g grated carrots
  • 100g pine nuts

Topping:

• 250g cream cheese
• Juice and zest from a whole lime
• 75g icing sugar

Method

Turn the oven on 170 degrees Celsius.
Whisk the sugar and egg until light and airy, gradually adding the sunflower oil.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and fold into the egg mixture. Fold in the carrots and the pinenuts.
Pour into a large tin (about 25x35cm) and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until done (when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean). Leave to cool.

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

Things you wanted to know about Semlor but were afraid to ask

February 1, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Things you wanted to know about Semlor but were afraid to ask

Okay, maybe you’re not quite afraid to ask, but it’s more interesting than ‘Stuff you might know about semlor but let us just tell you in case you don’t”.

Here at ScandiKitchen, we’re always being asked about what these buns are, and why Swedes are so crazy about them. Here’s a handy 101 so you can impress your pals while you try to eat one.

What is a semlor?

First of all, it’s a semla. One semla, two semlor, and so on.

A semla is a cardamom bun made with yeast (yes, like a sweet bread roll, but nicer than you’re thinking right now). It’s served stuffed with very soft marzipan, a ton of whipped cream and a bit of icing sugar.

Yes, Swedish people love them. But so do Norwegians, Danes and Finns. In Norway and Finland, they serve them with jam instead of marzipan, which is also good. In Denmark, they use a slightly different pastry – mainly because Danes always need to be different. In Danish and Norwegian, a semla is called a fastelavnsbolle (two fastelavnsboller, etc.). In Finland, it’s known as a hyppytääaanaaanaaä. Or something like that. Maybe.*

Danish example:

But when?

A semla is a seasonal bun, served around Shrove Tuesday (we call it Fat Tuesday) and then sort of pushing towards Easter a bit. And then they’re gone. These days, most places start in January and end before Easter. One of our Swedish friends found two semlor in a plastic tub on sale in a supermarket on 26th December, so you could say they’re a bit like a Cadbury’s Creme Egg in terms of the fury generated if they’re seen on sale too soon. Some people get really worked up about it.

Scandinavians love rules and regulations for things, so Semlor have a season and can only be served during that time. In Sweden, it actually even used to be illegal to serve a semla outside of the accepted period. Here’s a genuine newspaper article from 1952 where the police were called to deal with some out-of- time semlor.

What’s the big deal?

Besides the threat of bun-jail? A semla is cream and marzipan in a bun, so it’s delicious. It’s quite heavy and makes you feel all ouuuuahhhh inside, as if you’ve just shoved two fingers up at your diet. So it’s an excellent way to celebrate the end of January.

How do you eat one?

There are FOUR ways. Four. Your basic method is to lick the lid and use it to scoop the cream, then eat the bun.

When you feel more confident, eat the lid first then stuff your face and get cream on your nose and in your left nostril.

If you want a traditional old-style Swedish experience, place your semla in a bowl of hot milk and eat it using a spoon. (Seriously.)

Your fourth method is the most important one: shove it in your face. Inhale it.

How popular are they?

Around 20m (yes, million) are sold in Sweden each year. This doesn’t quite add up with the other statistic (see sweden.se for more) that the average Swede consumes five semlor from a bakery each year, because that would mean 45m buns per year, plus the homemade ones. Millions of buns. Billions of calories.

On Shrove Tuesday (called Fettisdag in Sweden, which literally means ‘Mardi Gras’ or Fat Tuesday to us), six million semlor are sold in Sweden alone.

Are they dangerous?

Why would a cream bun be dangerous? Well, it turns out that a semla is Scandinavia’s sort-of answer to Japanese fugu fish. A former king of Sweden did die after eating too many semlor. King Adolf Fredrik decided to follow a banquet of lobster and champagne with 14 semlor in 1771. Cause of death: indigestion.

Can I make them at home?

Of course you can. Here’s a great recipe. And that also means you can eat 3 of them in one sitting and nobody will know, only you may need to wear pants with stretchy waist band for a while if you over do it. Also, you can make them in October and you won’t go to jail.

I can’t be bothered to bake today, can I get them at ScandiKitchen?

Yes, and we’ll never judge you because this isn’t the Great British Bake Off. We’re selling them every day until Good Friday. But not later, because we’ll get a warning from the Bun Police. Find us here 

Did anyone ever make a big huge semla?

Someone in Sweden baked a 160kg semla in 2001, fact fiend.

Does Boris Johnson like semlor?

Yes, we think so. This may be photo-shopped, or it may not. Who knows. And frankly, who cares? Look, it’s Bun Boris.

Are there any famous people called Semla?

Yes, Semla Hayak, Semla Blair and Semla Norén. Måns Semlalöv. Many people love the Semlas. Sorry, Semlor.

Can semla-eating be sexy?

Yes. Also, if you bring your loved one semlor, they will love you even more. It’s a little known fact. Try it.

Can I get other varieties?

Yes, it’s actually becoming a Swedish sport to come up with different varieties. This year, someone even made a semla-flavour water. And semla flavoured beer. And Nacho Semlor.

Here at ScandiKitchen, we created 15 different kinds this year – read all about them here.

Keep an eye on our social media for when they’ll be on sale.

ScandiKitchen’s 2018 Pride Semla.

 

*Okay, we may have made that bit up.

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