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Tag Archives: nordic

Swedish Princess Cake: 7 Random Facts

August 24, 2018 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About Swedish Princess Cake

1. 70% of all cakes sold from Swedish pastry shops are princess cakes in some shape or forms. About half a million are sold each year. 

2. Since 2004 the last week of September has been dedicated to the cake – yep – a whole week where you can indulge (although maybe best not to, not every day!)

3. Marlene Dietrich once warned against men who don’t enjoy cake (and food in general) – she deemed them ‘lousy lovers’.

4. The cake came about in the 1930s when the home economics teacher of the three Swedish princesses published her cookbook, named ‘the Princesses’ Cookbook’. The book contained a recipe for a green cake that was their favourite and it quickly became known as the princess cake instead. 

5. Sometimes you’ll see the princess cake in different colours. Traditionalists insists that the real deal has to be green – other’s say it doesn’t matter. Some places it will be called Opera torte if it is pink, Carl Gustaf torte if it is yellow, and any other colour simply called Prince torte. We don’t mind – they’re all delicious.

6. To jam – or not to jam? We like raspberry jam in ours – but this is a fairly new addition, it seems. We also like adding fresh raspberries in season. Traditional or not – it goes so, so well with the luscious vanilla cream and sweet marzipan.

7. In 2016, someone thought it would be interesting to see what happened if you cross a princess cake with the Swedish semla – the marzipan cream bun they eat for pancake day. We tried it – it was delicious. Like a mini cake, but all to yourself. 

Recommended products

    Dr Oetker Kagecreme Vanilje – Instant Vanilla Creme 3x85g
    £3.09
    Odense Marsipanlock – Marzipan Cake Cover 200g
    £5.59
    Karen Volf Lagkagebunde – Cake Sponges 3-pack
    £2.99

The Only Aquavit Song You Need

June 21, 2018 | Leave a comment

Lyrics – ‘Helan Går’ Aquavit Song

Because when Swedes party, they party with drinking songs. Aquavit songs, specifically. This is a popular one – we have included the original lyrics as well as the phonetic English ones (ie. how it sounds).

Helan går

Helan går
Sjung hopp faderallan lallan lej
Helan går
Sjung hopp faderallan lej
Och den som inte helan tar*
Han heller inte halvan får
Helan går
(Drink)
Sjung hopp faderallan lej

Phonetic version – sing as you read it:

Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley
Oh handsome in the hell and tar
and hell are in the half and four
Hell and gore, Chung hop father Allan ley


Skål!

‘Små Grodorna’ song – Midsummer

June 18, 2018 | Leave a comment

picture credit: talldungen.se

 


 

Dance like a frog and celebrate Swedish midsummer

No, we don’t know why either – but dancing around the beautiful midsummer pole like little frogs is a thing. There is no escaping it, when you celebrate Swedish midsummer, you dance around pretending to be a frog. So there. You might as well embrace it and learn the lyrics! First, the Swedish – second a commonly used (well…commonly is relative) English version.

 

Swedish:

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

 


 

English:

The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
No ears, no ears, no tails do they possess.
No ears, no ears, no tails do they possess.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

 

Happy Midsummer!

Celebrating? Check out our ready to go Picnic box to bring to the park – or our huge selection of Swedish midsummer foods from herring and aquavit to meatballs and cinnamon buns.

Lyrics found all over the internet – we are merely repeating them from wikipedia which has lots of translations should you want them.

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.

Zesty Prawn Crispbread Pizza

September 14, 2017 | Leave a comment

Prawn Pizza With Zesty Gremolata

A fresh and zingy pizza with plenty of flavour from fresh herbs, lemon zest, a mix of cheeses and fresh prawns.

  • 8 pieces Leksands triangle crispbread (or 1 round)
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion + butter/oil for frying
  • 50ml ricotta
  • handful finely chopped basil
  • 60g mozzarella
  • Big handful grated cheese (e.g. Vasterbotten)
  • 2 handfuls finely chopped parsley, zest from 1 small lemon, 1 garlic clove grated – mixed to a Gremolata
  • Big handful peeled prawns
  • Seasalt and black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Finely chop onion and fry in a bit of butter until soft – add sugar and let caramelise. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the onion, basil and ricotta – finish with the mozzarella and grated cheese.

Bake for 10 mins or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Top with prawns and gremolata – serve immediately.

Enjoy!

—–

Zesty Prawn Pizza

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

Bacon & Mushroom Pizza

September 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crispbread Pizza With Bacon & Mushroom

Autumn in Scandinavia means foraging – for berries, fruits and mushrooms – so seasonal dishes often centre, or include, around these ingredients. Mushrooms are a favourite – especially the more elusive girolles (chantarelles). The following recipe is adapted for supermarket foraging – but feel free to use any mushroom you like.

  • 1 round Leksands crispbread
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion + butter/oil for frying
  • 75g oyster mushroom
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g bacon or pancetta, fried until crispy
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60g mozzarella + big handful grated cheddar
  • rocket salad to serve
  • Seasalt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Finely chop onion and fry in a bit of butter until soft – add pinch of sugar and let caramelise. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Chop the mushroom and fry until golden.
4. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the onion, mushroom and your meat – finish with the mozzarella and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 10 mins or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Top with whisked egg yolk and rocket salad – serve immediately.

Enjoy!

—–

Bacon & Mushroom Pizza

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

7 Random Crispy Facts

September 7, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About Crispbread

  1. Crispbread is common across Scandinavia, but especially so in Sweden, followed closely by Norway. 85% of all Swedish households have it at all times.
  2. Crispbread is Sweden’s second largest export – second only to Absolut vodka.
  3. Your average Swedish munches through 5.5 kg of crispbread every year – and crispbread is amongst the most missed food products for Swedes abroad. It may not sound much, but considering an average crispbread weighs about 12 grams, this equates to 458 slices every year. A crispbread a day keeps the doctor away.
  4. What.. IS crispbread? Crispbread is traditionally made with only wholegrain rye, yeast, salt and water, although these days you have a wide range of variety ranging from all-wheat to all nut and seed (to purist, these don’t count). However, when you say crispbread, most people will still think of your classic rye crispbread.
  5. In Scandinavia, crispbread is treated as any other type of bread. It can be topped with almost anything, and is a common part of breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks in between.
  6. Super versatile, you can have crispbread at every meal. Crushed over a bowl of yoghurt, maybe with some berries, for a naturally low sugar, high fibre and delicious granola for breakfast; topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese for lunch; used as pizza base for dinner (oh yes, crispbread pizza is a thing and it’s delicious. In Sweden you can even buy ready made frozen crispbread pizzas).
  7. In the UK, crispbread is often thought about in one of two ways; 1; as a cracker for cheese or 2; diet food. This saddens our crispy Scandi hearts and tummies. Because; crispbread is absolutely great with cheese, and is definitely much better for you than mass produced wonderbread – but Scandis eat crispbread because it is tasty (and you can top it with anything you like), convenient (it keeps forever) and good for you. You could eat 4 triangles of crispbread for every slice of white bread – and thanks to the high fibre content you will stay fuller for a lot longer. Meaning you may be able to resist that cinnamon bun later. Or not. But that’s ok. Balancing your crispbread with cinnamon buns is what the Swedes would call ‘lagom’.

Now, pass us the crispbread someone. Fancy some? Find our crispbreads here.

Crispbread as base = pizza in 10 minutes.

Packed Lunch – Scandi Style

| Leave a comment

 

Packed Lunch – Scandi Style

Packed lunch comes in many shapes and forms, but one that holds a special place in our Viking hearts is the packed lunch. In Norway especially is this a thing, mostly made up of a few slices of bread – homemade or bread rolls if you’re lucky – with whichever topping your sleep deprived parent managed to dig out of the fridge that morning. Finished with a scribble on the parchment paper that it is all wrapped in – ‘love you lots, MUM’. It never fails to both make your heart smile and your ears go red as you try to quickly unwrap your food and hide the evidence that your mamma loves you and is not afraid to tell your cool friends.

Norsk matpakke

Oh yes, the humble ‘brødskiva’ (also just ‘skive/skiva’: lit. – bread slice – used about any open sandwich) is deeply engrained in Norwegian culture and almost everyone will have fond – and not-so-fond – memories of these. Each sandwich topped with a special, bread slice sized piece of parchment paper (sold in the supermarket, called ‘inbetween paper’ – mellomleggspapir).

Feeling inspired to make your own packed lunch? We thought so. So here follows, our top tips for avoiding sog and 10 classic combos.

Generally for all;

  • A thin layer of butter or mayonnaise will protect the bread from soaking up the moisture of your topping – and will mean other sauces, such as mustard, will not disappear into the bread.
  • Something fresh and crunchy is always a good idea, but remember that vegetables are best packed separately and added when you eat – except lettuce which transports quite well.
  • Separate your sandwiches. Cut pieces of parchment paper to layer between your open sandwiches so they don’t stick together or you get your flavours mixed up (nothing worse than a bit of jam stuck to the underside of your ham sandwich!).

10 Classic Packed Lunch Sandwiches

1. Ham and mustard. Optional extras: Sliced fresh cucumber, cheese.

2. Salami and mayonnaise. Optional extras: Sliced tomato.

3. Cheese and red pepper. We like nutty Jarlsberg or mildly spiced Nøkkelost for this; wrap your pepper in clingfilm separately and add when ready to eat.

4. Cheese with jam – a mature cheese with a sweet jam works. Trust us.

5. Liver pate and cress or pickles (pickles packed separately – cress is fine to pre-pack)

6. Meatballs and beetroot salad. Leftover meatballs (as if..) in slices with creamy beetroot salad –delicious.

7. Smoked salmon. With cream cheese if you’d like – we also really like it with mustard.

8. Brown cheese and raspberry jam. Sweet, yummy and a bit sticky.

9. Hardboiled egg and herring (note – this one works best with a top piece of bread, too). Slices of hardboiled egg with a few very well drained pieces of herring – e.g. mustard herring – on top. Delish!

10. Cheese in a tube. Bacon, ham or prawn cheese – choose your favourite. Nice with crunchy cucumber or red pepper to top.

Matpakke norsk packed lunch

A very sad example.

A few crunchy carrots, slices of raw swede or an apple on the side – you’re good to go. Check out or packed lunch shop here – for breads, condiments, hams, cheeses and more.

 

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
  14. You can sing all the words to Helan Går (or at least look convincing whilst you mime)
  15. You wouldn’t dream of leaving the table without saying thank you for the food – and struggle to come up with an English translation that feels the same (no we haven’t cracked that one either)

Crispbread Pizza With Chicken

August 22, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crispbread Pizza With Chicken

We are big fans of using crispbread as a quick and easy pizza base. By using a round of Leksands as your base you can have pizza in 12 minutes – the mild rye flavour complements these toppings really well.

  • 1 round of Leksands crispbread
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 3 slices roast chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped – plus butter or oil for frying
  • clove of garlic
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 60g mozzarella
  • Good handful grated cheddar (or try it with Vasterbotten)
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard and a squeeze of lemon – stirred together
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Finely chop onion and fry in  a bit of butter until soft – add a pinch of sugar and the garlic and let caramelise. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the onion mixture, sliced fresh tomato, chicken chunks and apple – finish with the cheese.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Scatter with fresh rocket and serve with the sauce.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Crispbread Pizza

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

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