Tag Archives: danish

Danish Æbleskiver (little Christmas pancake treats)

November 23, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)

Danes love eating Æbleskiver on Sundays in advent – this recipe is from our cookbook ‘Fika & Hygge’

Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)

3 eggs, separated
300 ml buttermilk
100 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
250 g plain flour
grated zest of 1 medium lemon (or to taste)
50g butter, melted for frying
icing sugar, for dusting
raspberry jam, for dipping (optional)

You need: an ‘æbleskive’ pan, Japanese takoyaki pan. If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead.

MAKES 30

Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk, double cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including the cardamom.

In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff using a handheld electric whisk on high speed.

Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and lemon zest. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.

Place the pan over high heat to warm through and add a little melted butter to the pan to stop the pancakes from sticking. If you are using an æbleskive pan, carefully add enough batter to each hole so that it reaches about 0.25 cm from the top. If you are using a normal frying pan, add spoonfuls of batter as you would if making normal small pancakes. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the edges become firm then, using a fork or knitting needle (knitting needle is easier!), gently turn the pancakes over to cook on the other side. If you have filled the holes too much, this can be tricky – you’ll get the hang of it after a few.

Once browned on both sides (3–4 minutes per batch), keep the cooked æbleskiver warm in the oven until you have finished frying.

Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little pot of raspberry jam for dipping.

Recipe from Fika & Hygge published by Ryland Peters Small – priced £16.99. Photo by the amazing @PeteCassidy.

13 Scandinavian Insults

November 2, 2017 | Leave a comment

13 brilliant Scandinavian insults

Feeling a bit annoyed, need to let some steam off? How about you do so with these rather wonderful Scandinavian insults – many of which are under used thanks to the influx of English – but they sound oh so lovely. These are just a handful from a loooong list, we had to stop somewhere. Give it a go and tell us if there are any of these you use, or any we have missed.

  1. Klossmajor (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. Brick major – Someone super clumsy.
    klossmajor 
  2. Juksemaker pipelort (Norwegian) – Lit. Cheat maker pipe poo – Someone who cheats. The second half usually only added on by children.

  3. Snuskhummer (Swedish) – Lit. dirty lobster – used about dirty (old?) men staring at girls.
    snuskhummer
  4. Snoronga (Swedish, has Danish and Norwegian equivalents) – Lit. Snot child – someone snotty and spoilt; a brat.
    Snoronga
  5. Klaptorsk (Danish) – Lit. Clapping cod – Someone doing something very stupid; much like a cod attempting to clap .
    Klaptorsk 
  6. Vatnisse (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. cotton gnome – someone silly (with cottonwool for brains, perhaps)

     

  7. Narhat (Danish) – Lit. Fool’s hat – someone so stupid they’re not even worthy being called a fool, just the fool’s hat.
    Narhat
  8. Skitstövel (Swedish) – Lit. Shit boot – someone full of shit.
    Skitstovel 
  9. Kronidiot (Norwegian) – Lit. Crown idiot – As stupid as you can get. The leader of the idiots.
    kronidiot 
  10. Korkad (Swedish) – Lit. Corked – Someone stupid.
    korkad 
  11. Bytting (Norwegian) – Lit. Swapee (ie. Being swapped) – someone so stupid or evil you think they have been swapped for someone from the underworld.
    bytting
  12. Dumbom (Swedish) – Lit. Stupid barrier – Barriers are, in general, stupid because they are blocking the way, right? So a stupid-barrier is an insult you do not want thrown after you.
    dumbom barrier
  13. Mehe (Norwegian) – Lit. from Medhenger, meaning ‘with-hanger’ – someone who just follows and can’t think for themselves.Followers Mehe

How to Enjoy Autumn like a Scandi

October 18, 2017 | Leave a comment

How to Autumn like a Scandi

Or what we think about when it is biting cold, rainy and dark. It is the little things. From the smell of your coffee in the morning, to the fact that you can wear your old bright knitted socks that grandma made and perhaps spend some hours in the kitchen baking with cinnamon. Let’s go on…

  1. Autumn is the perfect time to go full fledged HYGGE. Candles EVERYWHERE.
  2. We can finally wear all the knitted socks we own…

  3. …and our (Christmas) jumpers
  4. We can eat lovely traditional food such as Fårikål (lit. Mutton in cabbage – Norway’s national dish; mutton or lamb stewed with cabbage and peppercorns and not much else) and Korv Stroganoff (the Swedish sausage version of the stew named after a 19th century Russian count).
  5. ..and cover everything in cinnamon. Buns, apple cakes, porridge, crispbread..yum! 
    cinnamon buns - cinnamon rolls - skillingsboller
  6. We can go hiking like a Norwegian in bright, weatherproof jackets, with a Kvikk Lunsj to match. They taste best when enjoyed outside in the fresh air, you know (and on the inside, contains the Norwegian rules of the mountain to help you stay safe. If you can read Norwegian, that is).

  7. We can FINALLY wear our Sydvests (sou’westerns).

  8. And we finally don’t have to defend our multiple-cups-of-coffee-by-9am habit – the colder dark mornings being the perfect excuse.  
  9. Fredagsmys is back on the agenda; It is, year round – but in summer sometimes UTEPILS takes precedent (Utepils = the Norwegian concept of enjoying a beer outside whenever there is a sliver of sunshine and warmth in the air (read; warmer than 4 degrees)

    Fredagsmys fredagskos 
  10. And, some say it is a bit early, but it still makes us happy to start planning our Glögg parties…

  11. …and our gingerbread baking competitions..

    Just your casual Scandi gingerbread house production.

    (We know, we KNOW! The last two are strictly for The season that shall not yet be named. But when autumn is grey, dark and cold it is nice to let yourself be just a teeny bit excited about the next thing. We can almost smell the glögg! No, it is not too soon – we have some already..)

What else do you like about autumn? Anything we missed, pop it in the comments please.

How to give your apartment the ‘Copenhagen’ look

October 6, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

How to give your apartment the ‘Copenhagen’ look

When you first go to Copenhagen and you visit someone’s apartment, you usually end up in awe … ‘Are they interior designers?’ you ask yourself. ‘What style!’ you exclaim, tearing up your insides as you try to forget about your own bedsit hovel with magnolia coloured walls. Then you visit someone else, and you think ‘Oh, this place looks quite like Søren and Sofie’s’. Third time around, you know: there is a ‘style’. It’s a thing.

Ten ways to make your apartment instantly look ‘Copenhagen’ fab:

1. Rip up all carpets and sand your floors. Then paint them white.

2. Paint all your walls white. Yes, all of them, white. If there is a shade of white called ‘Scandinavian white’ or ‘Ringsted white’ or ‘Vesterbro white’, go for that, it’s probably whiter and better with even more white added, so go for that.

3. Paint all your skirting boards and doors white.

4. Remove all curtains and traces of curtains, because you no longer need them. If you can’t live without window coverings, add some (white or neutral) stylish blinds, but make sure that, when they are rolled up, you can’t see them.
 It must look like you have no curtains. Curtains are bad.

5. Get one colourful statement chair, ideally by a designer from Denmark. Anything with the word Jacobsen or Wegner is good. It will cost the same as a remote village, but it will be worth it because it’s just so beautiful and perfect. Buy a woolly sheepskin from a remote farm in Sweden and add this to said statement chair.

6. Have one normal chair next to your sofa where you add a stack of books or magazines with pictures of bearded men. Leave them there, in an ordered unordered fashion.

7. Put just one green plant in the window.

8. Your sofa must be a tasteful colour or stick to black. It must also be simple – none of this ‘all the way to the floor’ business. Legs – and nothing underneath. People must be able to see you have nothing stored under there and that your stylish white floors are also stylish and white under the sofa. Thou shalt not add too many cushions.

9. Add all or some of the following: one rug (can be colourful), one or two designer posters of designer things (drawings of chairs or statues). One standing lamp (tasteful, sleek). The coffee table must be in front of the sofa and it must have thin legs. Two candle holders (the metal kind, from Illums Bolighus) OR one Lassen candle holder, one Lyngby Vase and one Kähler vase. The bookshelf is allowed to be from IKEA, but must be ‘Is it really from IKEA or not?’

10. Hide your TV in a sleek hideaway “I never watch it anyway” place, or even better, don’t have one.

This is an extract from Bronte’s book Nørth – How to live Scandinavian, now all in all good bookshops – and also available in our shop and online. Photo by Anna Jacobsen.

Vanilla buns, six ways.

September 27, 2017 | 6 Comments

Vanilla buns, six ways

Once you are bored with cinnamon buns, where do you go?

Vanilla is where it’s at. This week, we decided to make a few different versions using the same base dough and basic filling.

There are as many recipes for buns in Sweden as there are people who bake them. We like this one: it’s simple, it’s straightforward and it just works. It forms a great base from which to experiment with your own flavours and fillings. The addition of egg to the dough makes the dough richer than usual. We’ve upped the butter, too – again, you can reduce it but we think it works well with the vanilla.

This recipe makes about 36 Vanilla buns of medium size.

Dough Ingredients

50g fresh yeast

500ml whole milk, luke warm

200g very soft butter (melted also fine)

80g caster sugar

1000 g plain bread flour (or between 800-1000g, depending on the flour)  – we always use Swedish Vetemjol flour for perfect results.

1⁄2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg

 

Filling for Vanilla buns (filling #1, used also in 2-5)

175g butter (soft, spreadable)

4-5 tsp vanilla sugar (we prefer torslefs vanilla sugar)

Seeds from one vanilla pod

150g normal sugar

1 egg for brushing

100-150g of pearl sugar to decorate

 

The dough:

Heat the milk to 36-41 degrees and add in a bowl with the yeast, stir until dissolved. Add the butter, sugar, salt, cardamom, egg and enough flour to make the dough combine. You’ll need about 700-800g of flour – but add a little at the time, keeping the mixer on continuously (using the dough hook). Keep the rest of the flour back for kneading. Work the dough until it almost stops sticking and has a shiny surface – about 6-7 minutes with a mixer, longer by hand (add more flour if you need to). The dough should only just reach the point of not being sticky.

While the dough is rising, whisk butter and vanilla together until smooth and spreadable.

Leave dough to rise until it’s doubled in size (30-40 mins). Work through with more flour until dough stops sticking and can be shaped, then cut the dough in half and roll out the first piece in a rectangular shape (around 45cm x 35cm). Spread a generous amount of the vanilla butter evenly, then roll the piece lengthways so you end up with a long, tight thin roll. Cut 18 slices of the dough and place each swirl onto your baking tray – a good space apart from each other as they will rise again.

Repeat with second half of dough. Leave to rise for 20 minutes.

To make buns with the rest of the the dough:

Turn the oven to 220 degrees (a bit less if using a fan oven).

Brush all buns gently with remaining egg (you may need a bit more egg) and sprinkle a bit of pearl sugar on each bun. Bake at 220°C for about 8-10 minutes (turn the heat down a bit midway if you feel they’re getting too brown) for the buns – but for the longer rolls, turn the heat down slightly and bake nearer the bottom of the oven for around 20 minutes – take care not to burn them. As this dough contains sugar, the buns can go dark brown in a split second, so keep an eye on them.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, cool down under a damp, clean tea towel to stop them going dry. If you prefer a stickier surface, brush with a light sugar syrup or normal light syrup as soon as they are baked.

The buns freeze well (freeze in plastic bags as soon as they have cooled).

 

Filling option #2

Vanilla and Crème Patisserie

Either make a batch of crème patisserie or simply make a portion of instant vanilla creme – whisk 400ml whole milk with 1 sachet of power, leave to stand for 15 minutes and its ready to use.

Follow recipe as above – but before rolling the buns tight, spread a thin layer of vanilla cream across the dough, then roll and proceed as recipe.

Filling option #3

Blueberrries

With or without the vanilla crème, add fresh or frozen blueberries to the dough before rolling. Simply scatter a handful of blueberries and then roll and slice.

Filling option #4

Tart berries

With out without the vanilla crème, add fresh cloudberries (or frozen) to the dough before rolling. Simply scatter a small amount of berries across, roll and slice.

Filling option #5

Marzipan & Vanilla knots

Roll dough out and in the recipe. Take half a packet of Mandelmasse, marzipan (or similar graded marzipan) and grate about 100g across the dough. (after you have added the vanilla sugar)

Instead of rolling the dough, simply fold it in half lengthways – then cut into 18 strips and make bun ‘knots’. You can check out this video for hints of how to make bun knots – it’s surprisingly easy and it distributes the filling well.

Filling option #6

‘Skoleboller’ – School buns.

Most popular in Norway, these buns are super lovely. For this version, you do not need the vanilla sugar – but you do need the crème patisserie.

Shape the dough into 36 round balls and place on baking trays. Press each ball a bit flat and make an indent in the middle. Add a large teaspoon of vanilla crème patisserie to each bun and leave to rise for about 15 minutes. Bake as directed in recipe.

Once removed from oven, let cool for a bit then pipe out some icing (icing sugar mixed with a teeny bit of warm water) on each bun. Place your desiccated coconut in a soup bowl and dip the bun, icing side down, into the coconut.

 

    Jästbolagets Kronjäst – Fresh Yeast 2 x 50g
    £0.99
    - +
    Torsleff Vaniljesukker – Vanilla Sugar 100g
    £2.99
    - +
    Dansukker Ljus Sirap – Light Syrup 750g
    £2.49
    - +

 

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

September 21, 2017 | Leave a comment

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

Sometimes, when we were little, this is all we wanted to eat. (Still is, sometimes). Recognise any of these, for yourself or your children? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Meatballs with macaroni and ketchup (your token vegetable).
    kottbullar makaroni
  2. Mince fried and served with macaroni. And ketchup.
  3. Lompe with nugatti (Norwegian Nutella)
    lompe nugatti

  4. Cheese toastie made in the waffle iron with lots of piffikrydd and some ketchup. Yum.
    cheese toastie waffle iron

  5. Just meatballs, for the picky ones.

  6. Falukorv with mash. Sliced, fired sausage mixed into the mash. Served with, you guessed it, ketchup.

  7. Hot dogs. Sausages in lompe or hot dog buns –your staple childhood birthday party dish.
    polse i brod

  8. Brown cheese. Just brown cheese, somtimes rolled into little balls. Mmmmm.
    brown cheese

  9. Fiskeboller fish dumplings with potatoes and a sprinkling of mild curry powder. All mashed together to a gloopy, yellow, mess. Boiled carrots or broccoli carefully shoved to the side of the plate.
    fiskeboller med karri

    Pre mashing.

  10. Rye bread with chocolate, slightly toasted so the chocolate melts. YUM.
    paleagschoklad

Remember these or have anything to add? Let us know and we’ll update the list.

We know what we’re having for dinner today!

Useful Scandinavian words to start using in English

September 7, 2017 | 19 Comments

 

The best untranslatable Scandi words you need to include in your everyday use from now on and forever

Image: The utterly brilliant satwcomic.com

We have some great words that deserve to be used outside their humble Scandi origins. Thank you to everybody who wrote in with suggestions – we got far too many words to use them all, but we have included our best ones here.

  1. Lagom (pronounced [ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm]). A very Swedish word. It means not too much, not too little. Just the right amount. You can have a lagom amount of coffee, for example. How many meatballs do you want? Lagom, please. Your shower can be lagom hot. Your coffee lagom strong.  It expresses a sense of balance and satisfaction with having your needs met without needing excess.
  2. Knullruffs  A Swedish word meaning ‘messy hair after having sex’. Yes, we have a word for that. ‘Hi Brenda, you have knullrufs today – I guess your date went well last night?’
  3. Poronkusema  An old Sami word meaning ‘the distance reindeer can travel before needing to urinate’. Used as a distance measure, as in “ There’s a Poronkusema to his house’ (7 kilometres, in case you were wondering).
  4. Fika A Swedish word meaning ‘ to meet up for a cup of coffee and a bun/cake. You can Fika as a noun or verb – to fika or go for a fika. It’s casual, but you can fika with your friends, or even have a fika date. You can fika with colleagues at work or even fika with your family. It’s a social thing: you can’t really fika alone.
  5. Hygge (hyggelig)  The ultimate Danish word. It means a state of lovely cosiness, on your own or with people you like. Doesn’t have to involve food, but it involves good feelings and happiness. You can hygge in front of the telly, or you can hygge at the local café. In front of the log fire with a good book is a nice place to hygge, too. Same word in Norwegian is Kos / koselig.
  6. Tandsmør – A Danish word, meaning ‘tooth butter’. Meaning: There is so much butter on your bread that your teeth leave bitemarks.
  7. Sambo and Mambo – In Sweden, if you live with your partner, you have a sambo. Samman = together and Bo = live. If you live at home with your mother, you Mambo. Yes, really.
  8. Pilkunnussija – A great Finnish word, literally: a comma fucker. A pedant; a person who corrects trivial or meaningless things. A person who believes it is their destiny to stamp out all spelling and punctuation mistakes. As in ‘Seriously, don’t be such a pilkunnussija’.
  9. Jamsk – A Danish dialect word that describes feeling under the weather, a little bit tired and just not quite right and have no desire for food. (Pronounced with a soft j, not a hard one).
  10. Utepils – A brilliant Norwegian word that simply means: To sit outside and enjoy a beer.
  11. Juoksentelisinkohan – A Finnish word that means: “I wonder if I should run around aimlessly?”
  12. Kabelsalat – Norwegian. Literally, Cable Salad. When all your cables and leads are mixed together.
  13. Forelsket – Norwegian and Danish word that means: That intoxicatingly euphoric feeling you experience when you’re first falling in love. Pre-real-love. More than fancy, less than love.
  14. Linslus/Linselus – A Swedish and Norwegian word, meaning ‘lens louse’ – Someone who always wants to have their face in a photo.
  15. Palla – Swedish. To steal fruit off trees. Eg. ‘Hey Kalle, let’s go palla in Andersson’s garden– they have pear trees and plums, too’. No doubt word enthusiasts will now email us saying the English word is “scrumping”. But as far as we could work out, you can only scrump apples. Let us know if we’re wrong about that, though.
  16. Slutspurt – The Danish word for ‘clearance sale’ (you can find this one almost always somewhere written largely across the store’s front windows). Literally: Race to the end.
  17. Klämdag – Swedish word, literally meaning Squeeze Day. If there is a bank holiday then a working day and then another day off, that working day will become a ‘squeeze day’ – and we’ll all be off work.
  18. Sliddersladder – A Danish word for gossiping and chitchat. (The d is soft)
  19. Buksvåger – What you call someone who has had sex with someone you’ve already had sex with. A useful Swedish word.
  20. Ogooglbar – Swedish for ‘ungoogleable’ – something you cannot Google.
  21. Orka / Orke – Danish, Swedish, Norwegian: This verb is a tremendously common word meaning “to have the energy”: ‘Do you orka to go into Oxford Street this weekend? No, Kalle, I don’t orkar it’.
  22. Attitydinkontinens – A Swedish word, literally meaning “attitude incontinence,” meaning: Inability to keep one’s opinions to oneself. As in: ‘Sorry for that long comment I left on your page, I guess I had a case of attitydinkontinens.’
  23. Fredagsmys – Swedish. Every Friday, we do this: Fredagsmys means Friday Cosy. Eat nice food, sweets, get cosy. Only on Fridays, though. Usually involves tacos (for some reason).
  24. Badkruka – Swedish for someone who refuses to enter the water. As in: ‘Get in the lake, you badkruka’.
  25. Gökotta – Swedish – to wake up in the morning with the purpose of going out to hear the birds sing.

Any we have missed out? Feel free to add more in the comments.

 

x

 

You Know You’re Scandi When…

August 30, 2017 | Leave a comment

You know you’re Scandi when..

  1. You wouldn’t DREAM of drinking the water from the tap without letting it run for at least 5 seconds. Otherwise you end up with the ‘pipe-water’ that has been sitting there for hours. Eugh.tap water
  2. You automatically remove your shoes when you enter someone’s house.
  3. You happily drink a glass of milk with breakfast, lunch and your evening meal (no, not dinner – the one after – kveldsmat/aftensmad).mr melk milk glass
  4. You insist on having your sandwiches topless. Less bread, more delicious filling, what’s not to like?
  5. You think 11.30am is an acceptable time to have lunch.
  6. You hoard candles for autumn and winter and secretly can’t wait for the temp to drop so you can light all of them. Hygge!hygge candles
  7. You spend hours struggling with the correct level of politeness in emails. Scandinavians are direct – in spoken as well as written language. Pardon us whilst we work on our manners.
  8. You still think it’s weird that milk comes in plastic bottles and not in cardboard.paskekrim melkekartong norwegian Easter milk carton
  9. You wonder where the crispbread section and tube cheese section in the supermarket is.
  10. Your dream Friday night is staying in and relaxing in front of a film or TV show. Tacos for dinner, sweets and snacks after.Pick and mix fredagsmys fredagskos
  11. You own at least 3 pairs of knitted socks from your grandma.
  12. You think liquorice, especially the very salty kind, is delicious. In chocolate, with ice cream, in vodka.liquorice salmiakki lakris
  13. You own at least one weatherproof jacket.allvaersjakke-norwegian

7 Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

April 28, 2017 | Leave a comment

Seven Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

‘Bagstiv’ is a Danish word for when you wake up the next morning, still drunk. Literally: Backwards drunk – in Sweden and Norway, its Bakfull and bakrus.

2. A drunk Dane might say he has a “Stick in ear” (en kæp i øret)

3. The Finnish word for hangover is “Krapula” 

4. The Old Norse Viking word for hangover was ‘kveis’, meaning “uneasiness after debauchery” 

5. In Denmark, if you drink a beer on a hang over, it is known as a Reperationsbajer – literally, a ‘repair beer’

6. In Danish, hangovers are known as Tømremænd  – literally, carpenters.

7. “Fylleangst” pronounced (foola angst) means “drunk anxiety” in Norway and is the unsettling feeling one has the day after drinking when you can’t remember what you did, how you acted or who may have seen you do it!

7 things you didn’t know were invented by the Nordics….

April 27, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 things you didn’t know were invented by the Nordics….

  1. You can thank the Swedes that we don’t always have to have elasticated waistbands in our trousers, because the Swedes invented the zipper. Thanks, Sweden.
    zipper glidlås lynlås glidelås
  2. The cheese slicer was invented in Norway in 1925 by Thor Bjørklund. We thank him every day for ensuring level cheeses. More people should use cheese slicers, really. How the rest of the world eats cheese, we do not understand.
    cheese slicer - ostehøvel
  3. The Finns invented the ice skates about 3000 years ago.
  4. ice skates Alfred Nobel (a Swede) invented dynamite. Hailed in the construction business, he became rich – and in the mid 1860s established the Nobel prizes to reward curious, brilliant minds. No one knows why the peace prize has to be awarded by a Norwegian committee, but that’s how it is.

AlfredNobelhome

  1. A Norwegian made the first fishnet underwear, from – you guessed it – old fishing net in 1933. Deemed ‘lightweight and practical’ – it keeps the wearer warm due to the thin layer of air that gets trapped in the mesh.
    fishnet top norwegian*
  1. The Swedes invented the adjustable wrench. And they call it a shift key.

Wrench skiftnokkel

    1. The Danes invented…. The Clapping Hat (klaphat). The hat that claps for you so you can focus on your beer. Thank you Denmark for your contribution.
      Klaphat clapping hat danish
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