250g ‘Pepparkakor’ ginger thins (or other Nordic style ginger biscuits)
75g whole almonds
1 x 400g tin of Carnation Caramel/Dulce de Leche
100g light brown sugar
Maldon sea salt flakes
300ml whipping cream
½ tsp vanilla sugar or extract
25g chopped dark chocolate
In a food processor, blitz the almonds until finely chopped (but not ground). You can do this by hand, but make sure you chop finely. Add the biscuits and give it a few pulses so they crush and mix with the almonds.
Melt the butter and add to the biscuits and combine well. Press the mixture into the tart tin and set aside.
In a saucepan, add sugar and butter and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the caramel and stir until combined, then take it off the heat and pour the mixture over the biscuit base. Scatter a small amount of salt flakes across the caramel filling before placing in the fridge for at least an hour (or even over night).
To finish the pie, whip the cream and vanilla until peaks form. Slice the bananas, toss them in a bit of lemon juice to prevent them from going brown too quickly, and arrange the slices on the top of the caramel base. Top with the whipped cream, neatly spread across the cake – and finish with finely chopped dark chocolate.
It’s December, it’s the weekend – this can only mean one thing: Glögg party.
We Scandinavians do love any excuse to pop over to each other’s house and have a tipple and some homemade cake or biscuit. Those dark December days are just perfect for this: Spend time with lovely people, letting them know you care – and serve delicious mulled wine to give everybody rosy cheeks before they head back into the cold air.
If you are in Scandinavian, you may attend 2 or even 3 of these parties in a weekend, because everybody hosts Glogg parties. You will find that the ‘Glögg’ mulled wine tends to be served in smaller cups in Scandinavia, mainly because we would otherwise be hammered by the time we reach Auntie Agneta’s house and we would, inevitably, end up making a comment about her slightly weird collection of garden gnomes. However, if you are outside Scandiland, you will probably just attend one or two a weekend, so feel free to go for it. Jut be warned: Glögg mulled wine will make your nose red like Rudolf and your ears will feel very warm. Basically, you turn into Elf if you overdo it. You’ve been warned.
Here’s how to host your own Scandinavian Glögg party this Christmas
Set the scene.
Think lots of candles, simple decorations… Hearts, spruce. No tinsel, just nice, stylish cosy Christmas decorations. Maybe a tree – but if you are going to do a tree, make it a real one. Scandinavians don’t ‘do’ fake trees. It’s better to have no tree than a fake tree. Did we mention candles? We did? Get some more. We over-do candles. Have you never seen the candle section in Ikea? Made for us and our candle obsession. If in doubt, buy some more.
Think less Wham, more ABBA. Michael Buble becomes an honorary Scandi at this time a year before we put him back in the cupboard on the 28th December. Use spotify and search ‘Scandinavian Christmas’ and you should be fine. Expect a few cringe additions. Blame Spotify.
Offer your guests ‘Glögg’ mulled wine. Glögg is not the same as British mulled wine. We will claim it is infinitely better (it is) – and this is because we use cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, dried Seville orange and cloves.
You can get the spices you need at our shop – or you can buy ready-made good stuff online. Swedes swear by all Glögg from Blossa. The red top is 10%, standard and works for all. The orange top is 15% and gives you a even redder nose. The see-through ‘Rum’ and ‘Cognac’ Blossas are 21% and you drink these in bigger glasses, in your arm chair front of the log fire. The purple bottle ‘14’ is the annual exciting new flavour – this year, it is Lavender (it’s nice, but nicer drunk a bit colder than normal Glögg).
To serve you glögg, heat it up so it is warm (not boiling, or the alcohol will evaporate) – and serve in little mugs of thick glasses. Add almonds and raisins.
If you are doing a Danish Gløgg party, you need to make or get your hand on some Æbleskiver. These are little doughballs, made from a pancake like batter. Serve warm with jam and icing sugar.
Biscuit wise, Danes favour ‘Brunkager’ (as do Norwegians) – and Pebernødder. Both are variations of ginger biscuits.
Swedes will expect you to serve Saffron buns. Delicious yellow wheat buns. We sell them at the café but you should have a go at making some at home – they are not hard to make and they taste amazing when just fresh out of the oven.
Want to make your own ginger biscuits? Get the dough and simply shape and bake. Easy peasy.
Want to fill up the fika table? Add other buns and biscuits. Swedes like to make ‘knäck’ toffee and the Danes love to make little marzipan and nougat petit fours. You can also make ‘Chockladbollar’ or ‘Romkugler’ no-bake treats. Find the recipe on our blog.
If you want to add a bit of a savoury element, maybe serve cheeses and crispbread. In particular, get hold of some really nice blue cheese and serve this with ginger biscuits: It’s a really, really nice combination.
Lastly, these events are usually in the afternoons, not evenings. After lunch, usually lasting a few hours, no more. Just so you can fit in 2-3 in the same day if you need to.
Take one basic Gingerbread house kit and pimp it up to the best of your abilities. Think outside the box – be creative, be crazy, be super attentive to detail: Whatever is your strong side, put that into the little house.
When you are done, send us a picture of our house and we will put the best ones up on Instagram and Facebook and the blog during December.
This year, we once again have 4 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 you 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 is an amazing T Tab Table Lamp donated by Skadium Design Shop in London (worth £239) – it is an amazing piece of design and will make any desk look super stylish.
We’ve also got a selection of great products from ISAK Design as the second prize for the Create Adult winner. ISAK are the people who make those great mugs we use at ScandiKitchen – see more about them here
Children under 7 prize: 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: Sweeties. And more Sweeties. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us all the way through till January, probably.
All entries MUST be made from a basic Gingerbread House kit. We stock the one from Anna’s, which is the preferred one, but if you use the IKEA version that is also fine (they are similar in shape and size). Basically, the basic shape of the house must be the same so we can see just how creative you can be with a pre-fab kit. Any entries not made from the similar in size and shape to the Ikea and Anna’s kit will not be accepted, sorry.
When you submit photos, you need to state what category you are entering into.
Only one entry per person
If more than one person submits the same entry, the prize will be shared (if you win the lamp, you will have to fight).
No alternative prize, no cash prizes, no exchanges.