November 2, 2017 | Leave a comment
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
September 7, 2017 | 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.
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;
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.
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.
|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.
Any we have missed out? Feel free to add more in the comments.
August 30, 2017 | Leave a comment
You know you’re Scandi when..
May 11, 2017 | Leave a comment
7 Random Facts About 17th May – Norway Day
April 10, 2017 | Leave a comment
7 random facts about Scandinavian Easter
March 9, 2017 | Leave a comment
The Essential Guide to Scandi Cheese – Part 1
We first posted this no less than four years ago, and considering how much we love cheese it is due a re-visit – we consider it our duty to share the with you the wonders of Scandinavian cheese. Over the next two weeks we’ll introduce six of our favourite cheeses.
To kick off we will give you a brief introduction to the many faces of Scandinavian cheese – because let’s be frank – Scandinavian cheese doesn’t have a very sexy reputation (with names like ‘Old Ole and ‘Old Cheese’ we really don’t get why).
Many of us have memories of sitting in a field on a summer’s day eating crusty French bread and sharing a kilo of creamy Brie (also French). In fact, some of us would like nothing more than to spend most of our days doing just that, had it not been for the eventual need to be moved around by a pick-up truck.
Fewer people have such glorious thoughts when thinking about Scandinavian cheese – in fact, most people associate Scandinavian cheese with Eurovision. The exception is those – very few – of us who know just how many amazing cheeses actually come from our northern corner of the world.
Cheese has been made in Scandinavia since the days of old Harold Bluetooth, and the vikings reportedly had a diet rich in milk, butter and cheese – and it was thought to be a sexual stimulant.
Here’s a brief introduction to some of the more famous Scandinavian cheeses.
1. Gammelost (Old cheese)
2. Danablu (Danish Blue)
3. Brunost (Brown cheese)
Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but, vasterbottenon average, Norwegians eat about 4 kilos each of this stuff a year so there must be something to it. It’s as Norwegian as trolls and fjords. It looks a bit like a block of plasticine, tastes a bit like caramel and is enjoyed on its own, on open sandwiches or with freshly baked waffles: all you need then is a patterned jumper and people will soon start calling you Håkon.
4. Rygeost (smoked cheese)
7. Gamle Ole (Old Ole)
8. Prästost (Priest cheese)
9. Leipäjuusto (also known as “squeaky cheese”)
10. Rejeost (Prawn cheese)
March 7, 2017 | Leave a comment
WIN a Mega Scandi Easter Egg
As we find ourselves in the deepest, lagom-est lent – we dream about all the sweets we’ll be eating once Easter is here (by Easter, we mean this Saturday. We have to quality check the sweets well ahead of time, you know).
Scandis are big on Easter. It is a reason to get together, be merry, enjoy some outdoors – or indoors – activities, and gather round a big table filled to the brim with all things nice and decorated with little deformed bright yellow chickens. And of course, munch away on your well deserved Easter egg after lent.
We think our Easter eggs are pretty epic – and so we introduce our annual ‘win a massive Easter egg competition‘. Yay! That’s right, you can win a 23cm diameter Easter egg chock full of our favourite Easter sweets and treats.
Fancy winning? Simply answer the easy question below;
Which colour is usually associated with Easter?
A.) Bright green
Send your answer by email to firstname.lastname@example.org before Tuesday 28th March 2017 at midday. One main winner, getting a big ScandiKitchen Easter egg, will be drawn from all correct entries.
The usual rules apply. UK residents only. No cheating. One main winner. No alternative prize and no cash alternative.
November 24, 2016 | Leave a comment
Pimp My Gingerbread House 2016
Every year in the run up to Christmas we run a competition – who can go crazy with a standard gingerbread house kit?
Take one basic Gingerbread house kit from Annas and pimp it up to the best of your abilities. Think outside the box: be as creative, crazy and elaborate as you want. Whatever your strong side, put it into the house.
When you are done, send us a picture and we will put the best ones up on Instagram and Facebook and the blog during December.
We have four categories:
Adult – Beautiful: This is the main award. The most beautiful house you can make from a very basic kit of gingerbread house.
Adult – Super Creative. This is the crazy house – like the house eaten by dragons, murder scenes, brothels, discos – whatever you can do to pimp up your house to silly standards with great use of imagination.
Child – up to 7 years old. It’s okay that your Mum and Dad help out, but here we do want to see real kids efforts. We know what seven year olds can do with a ginger bread kit – we want to see kids being allowed to unleash creativity. It’s fine to add Lego men and other toys to the mix or make a gingerbread house for your favourite dolls.
Young person 8-16 – We want to see your imagination run wild here. Make the house your own.
THIS YEAR’S PRIZES:
First prize this year in category ‘beautiful’ is £50 online OR in-store voucher for ScandiKitchen, a signed copy of our new baking book ‘Fika & Hygge’ and one of our fancy new mugs.
Adult – Creative – A hamper full of goodies and treats plus a signed baking book.
Children under 7: Sweeties. And more Sweeties. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us all the way through till January.
Young person 8-16 prize: Sweets. And more Sweets. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us and also a little jealous that it is all for you.
Send your photos to email@example.com before 16th December at noon to enter the competition. We look forward to seeing your creations.
The Kitchen People x