Tag Archives: recipes

Norwegian Smash & Kvikklunsj Brownies

May 22, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Smash & Kvikklunsj Brownies

For Norway Day in Southwark Park this year, Bronte made a batch of brownies and stuffed them with the most delicious – and iconic – Norwegian chocolates.
By popular demand, here are the recipes.

The base recipe is the same, so just amend the filling.

It also works as a SMIL chocolate brownie (add Smil and salted caramel topping), Firkløver brownie (add more hazelnuts) – and pretty much anything you can think of trying. It’s the most versatile brownie base recipe, ever.

If you prefer a very sticky under baked brownie, use even less baking powder. But we find that just one teaspoon helps a bit.

Ingredients
• 200g good-quality, 70% dark chocolate (OR a mixture of milk and dark – if you prefer a less bitter end result)
• 250g unsalted butter
• 275g caster sugar
• 3 eggs
• 80g plain flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 50g good-quality cocoa powder (we use Fazer Cacao)
• Pinch of salt
• 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or extract)

Smash
• 2 bags of 100g Smash (200g in total), slightly smashed (ha! We mean crushed).
• Ready made toffee sauce or chocolate sauce (for decorating)

Kvikklunsj
• 3 bars of Kvikklunsj, cut into pieces
• A good large handful of mini marshmallows
• 50g pecan or walnuts – optional

Method
Pre-heat your oven to 170C and line a brownie tin (20cm x 20cm is good, but similar size can also be used – note baking times vary by oven).

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water – or in the microwave. Set aside to cool a little.

Whisk the egg and sugar, then slowly add the melted chocolate mixture.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and vanilla sugar – and fold into the chocolate mixture. If using vanilla extract, add at end.

Add 1/3 of the fillings to the mixture, then pour into the prepared tin. Add the rest of the filling on top (except the toffee sauce – and hold back a few marshmallows/chocolate too for decorating before serving).

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the side comes out clean – the middle can still be gooey but it should not wobble when you shake the pan. Leave to cool, then drizzle toffee sauce and the extra topping, cut into squares to serve.

Remember Bronte’s mantra: Ovens are not created equal and baking times always vary. Check your bakes.

Open Sandwiches: Smørrebrød

March 26, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Open Sandwiches

Famous all over Scandinavia but especially in Denmark, open sandwiches has long been a staple of our diet and way of eating.

But what IS an open sandwich and why is it called an open sandwich when it isn’t actually a sandwich?

Let’s go back a bit…

A piece of bread was, way back in time, used as a plate. It was simple: Add the bread, then something on top and you had a meal. Usually stale bread was used – called Trenchers. Still today, bread with toppings are parts of many food cultures (Tartines in France, some of the pinxchos in Basque, and popular from Czech to the Baltics. In the UK, however, open sandwiches were never as popular, as softer white bread was used in favour of the darker, more wholesome breads – and, well, The Two sliced Sandwich gets its name from the 4th Earl of Sandwich whom, in the 18th Century, is reported to have ordered meat and bread in this way, as it allowed him to keep playing cards and eat his ‘sandwich’ at the same time without the use of a fork. In 2006, in the US, there was even a court case, concluding that ‘a sandwich has to be between two slices of bread’.

Well, why do we Scandinavians call them Open Sandwiches, then? Eh, we don’t. We call them Buttered Bread (Smørrebrød). You’re the ones who call them sandwiches. Anyway, we digress from the history lesson…

While open sandwiches are common place in Norway and Sweden, it is in Denmark where the whole thing really took off and became a showcase for the food culture. Nowadays, considered one of our national dishes.

During the 1800’s, suddenly, people started to decorate the slices of bread – rather than simple use them as a plate and quick fix bit of food. It became the fashion, even, and people would gather to eat grand creations in new Smørrebrød shops and cafes.

The Danish Smørrebrød falls into 3 categories:

1. Party Smørrebrød – elaborately decorated, lots of different toppings and spices and colours. This is the stuff you get in fancy Smørrebrød places, usually – or at parties. Usually, you eat just one or two, as they are quite large (and expensive – around £7-9 per piece is not unusual). Always eaten w knife and fork. There is a restaurant in Copenhagen famous for offering over 160 different options!
2. Homely Smørrebrød – served for Christmas, Easter and other high seasons. Still pretty, but you may get a few different kinds as they are smaller. Again, a knife and fork job. Never the hand.
3. Lunch Smørrebrød – quick slice of rye bread with pate and maybe some gherkins – or similar really simple toppings. These are eaten with the hand, can be put in a lunch box and made in a jiffy. These are known as Madder (‘foods’), Håndmadder (‘hand food’), Klapsammen madder (if they have bread on top).

At ScandiKitchen Café, we decided early on that we never wanted to be fancy – we simply wanted to make open sandwiches we wanted to eat. Not too fussy, but still pretty and full of flavour. So, ours are sort of a bit like the Homely Smørrebrød – and our selection is priced simply: Every one is £3, two for £5.50 and add a side salad to that and it’s £7. We do deals on more sandwiches, too, for the extra hungry. During weekdays we usually have around 12-13 different kinds, more on weekends when we make speciality traditional ones, too.

Rules? What rules?

Scandinavians love rules, so don’t be surprised: Smørrebrød has rules. Especially the Danish kind. Lots of ‘this goes, this does not’ so we thought we better tell you the basics:

1. Pickled herring is always first.

Herring is strong in flavour. It also easily soaks the bread in brine, which is not nice. Serve the herring on its own plate, as a starter to the rest of them. A shot of lovely Aquavit is usually enjoyed alongside it.

Some of the more popular choices are:

KarrySild – curried herring (its better than it sounds!) – on buttered dark rye bread with maybe half a boiled egg and some chives.
Marineret sild Onion herring – plain, just with dark rye bread and onion rings
Senapssill Mustard herring – a Swedish choice, usually served with crispbread in Sweden but Danes will always say that herring goes with dark rye bread.

We all agree it never, ever goes with white bread of any kind.

2. Other fish

After the herring, other fish follows. Prawn is an obvious choice. Its easy to make it look pretty, too!
If you serve it with boiled egg, in Denmark, it would go on rye bread. In Sweden, this is usually on white bread and is called Räkmacka (usually a big sandwich, a meal it itself – often eaten on the ferry on the way to Denmark, for some reason!).

A lovely way to make Prawn and Egg on Rye bread is a slice of dark rye bread, buttered – then top with 1 sliced egg, then a bit of mayonnaise and then as many prawns as you fancy. We serve this at the café, topped with lots of cress and lemon zest. It’s a best seller. Always use good prawns (we favour prawns in brine).

Smoked salmon – usually served on white bread. The same with gravad lax (cured salmon) – although the latter can also go on dark rye bread.

We like to add a bit of avocado now and then – and use different rye breads, such as the Finn Toast.

3. What about meats?

In Denmark, most places will display a rare roast beef piece of Smørrebrød – and truth be told, it doesn’t get much better than that! To make this, all you need is buttered dark rye bread, some lettuce and then arrange about 40g of thinly sliced rare roast beef on top. On this, add a good dollop of Remoulade – a famous Danish dressing, it works so well with beef. Top with pickles, tomato and grated horseradish and maybe some crispy onions. Simply stunning and amazing to eat.

Other toppings include:
Liverpate with pickles, mushrooms and bacon (dark rye)
Meatballs with red cabbage (dark rye)
Swedish Meatballs with Beetroot salad (crusty bread)
Ham & Asparagus Salad (dark rye)
Chicken & Bacon

And many more….

4. Open sandwiches are great for veggies, too. And Vegans.

Most rye bread tends to be dairy free, so it makes a great base for vegan open sandwiches too. Okay, not too many traditional vegan recipes, granted, but only your imagination stops you here.

Great veggie options:
Egg Salad –people often ask us what makes a great egg salad (Egg Mayo) – we say Good eggs, great mayonnaise, red onion, lots of chives and some mustard. Simply add to rye bread – yes, dark rye for egg.
Avocado and Tomato salsa – a simple Vegan option.
Västerbotten Crème
Sliced cheeses with jam or onion pickles

No-nos for Open Sandwiches / Smørrebrød:

• Do not eat with your hands. Unless your open sandwich is really simple, it is likely that you will be expected to eat it using cutlery and a plate. It is not an ‘on the go’ food.
• There are no Smørrebrød that have ketchup on them (that we know if)
• Don’t add a top piece of bread
• Don’t mix your proteins unless its traditional (no ham on the meatballs etc).

Good for you

Look. we do like to add mayo and other condiments on to the open sandwiches, but by and large, they are not that bad for you seeing as they are mostly made on dark rye bread.

On top of this, you are forced to take a break and sit down to eat and enjoy your open sandwiches – you will not be able to shove an open sandwich into your gob as you are waiting on the tube. Eating slowly and taking a break, well, it is good for you, too.

On top of that, open sandwiches and topless. They have everything on show – there is no hiding behind bad ingredients or any nasties: You can see what is on there. Pretty much a win-win-win in our opinions!

More open sandwich recipes to follow over the next few days.

Love, The Kitchen People x

Ps our lunch of open sandwiches is served 7 days a week from our London cafe. The nearest tueb stop is Oxford Circus. We get really busy, but the best time to get there is noon – when you have the biggest selection. Just saying…

15 shades of Semlor

February 8, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

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.

Recipe: Saffron Cake with pears

October 19, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Saffron Cake with pears

Across Scandinavia in December you will likely be offered a saffron-flavoured Lucia bun in honour of the Feast of St Lucia. We also make this beautiful, light saffron cake with pears – it’s a perfect autumn and winter cake with warm flavours.

SERVES 10

INGREDIENTS

• 30g breadcrumbs
• 50g butter
• 100ml whole milk
• ½g ground saffron
• 2 large or 3 small pears
• a little lemon juice
• 325g caster sugar
• 4 eggs
• 300g plain flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp of salt
• 50g Greek yogurt
• icing sugar, for dusting

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Grease a 25cm bundt pan or ring pan and dust it with the breadcrumbs, tipping out the excess.

Melt the butter and add the milk and ground saffron. Stir to combine and set aside to infuse.

Peel and core the pears and cut into bite-sized chunks. Add a dash of lemon juice, stir and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until thick, light and fluffy using a balloon whisk or a hand-held electric whisk.

Mix the remaining dry ingredients together and sift into the egg mixture. Fold in until incorporated.

Add the Greek yogurt and saffron-milk mixture and fold gently until completely combined.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Add the pieces of pear – these will sink down during baking.

Bake for around 30–35 minutes in the preheated oven or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the pan before turning out onto a serving tray. Dust with icing sugar and serve, sliced, with a good dollop of whipped cream.

Recipe from ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge, by Bronte Aurell (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99). Photo by the awesome Pete Cassidy. 

Verdens Beste Kake (World’s best Cake)

May 11, 2017 | Leave a comment

World’s Best Cake?

Norway has lots of great cakes – but we think that Verden’s Bedste really is one of the best ones. Perfect for Norway Day on 17th May.

Calling something the ‘world’s best cake’ is quite a statement, but not something taken lightly by the Norwegians. This cake contains the most delicious whipped cream, sponge, pastry cream and meringue – it’s everything you could ever want wrapped up together in one bite. This cake is so seriously good that it is often labelled the national cake of Norway. It is also known as Kvæfjord cake. Kvæfjord is a municipality in Tromsø in northern Norway, an absolutely stunning place with picture-perfect rolling green hills, rocky fells and deep blue fjords . To eat this cake in that setting: it doesn’t get better than that, at least not in our mind.

Recipe taken from ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge by Bronte Aurell (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99) Photography by the amazing Peter Cassidy.

Ingredients

  • 150 g butter
  • 130 g caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 150 g plain flour or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar OR extract OR use the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 100 ml whole milk

FILLING:

  • 150 ml whipping cream
  • 1/2 portion of Pastry Cream (you can use ‘Kagecreme’ – powder stirred with milk – ready in 5 mins – or make your own).

MERINGUE TOPPING:

  • 5 egg whites
  • A pinch of cream of tartar
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 75 g flaked almonds

a 35 x 25-cm/14 x 93/ 4-inch rectangular cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

SERVES 8–10

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3.

In a stand mixer (or using a hand-held electric whisk) cream together the butter and sugar until pale and light. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating to ensure everything is well incorporated. Sift in the plain or cake flour, baking powder and vanilla and fold in. Lastly, add the whole milk and fold again until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly and set aside aside for a moment.

Next make the meringue topping. Using a completely clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add the sugar very slowly, bit by bit, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). Spread the meringue mixture on top of the cake mixture. Scatter the flaked almonds on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the meringue is firm. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan then turn out carefully, so the meringue is still on top. Leave to cool completely.

Whip the cream until stiff and fold together with the pastry cream.

To assemble, cut the cake into two halves. On one half, spread the pastry cream mixture, then carefully layer the other half on top. Leave to set in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. The meringue will stay mallowy and the base soft.

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Recipe: ‘Pepparkakor’ Banoffee Pie

January 15, 2015 | Leave a comment

This is a nice twist to the traditional Banoffee pie. We usually have a lot of left over ginger biscuits (‘pepparkakor’) or broken biscuits – and this is a way I use the leftovers.

You will need a tin: 23cm diameter flan tin with a lose base.

Recipe: ‘Pepparkakor’ Banoffee Pie
Author: Bronte Aurell
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 250g ‘Pepparkakor’ ginger thins (or other Nordic style ginger biscuits)
  • 75g whole almonds
  • 130g butter
  • 1 x 400g tin of Carnation Caramel/Dulce de Leche
  • 100g butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 3-4 bananas
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • 25g chopped dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Melt the butter and add to the biscuits and combine well. Press the mixture into the tart tin and set aside.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
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