Tag Archives: recipes

Our new book: ScandiKitchen Christmas

September 14, 2018 | Leave a comment

Our new book: ScandiKitchen Christmas

At Christmas time we get really, really busy. Our Bronte especially, as she often ends up in the café, writing down festive recipes for homesick people on pieces of till roll. It is that time of year when people want to know just how Mamma used to make the rice pudding and how Granddad used to cook the Christmas ham.

So, Bronte decided that her 6th book should be a book about Christmas. It also happens to be her favourite time of the year. A book takes quite some time to write, which sneakily meant that Bronte’s Christmas last year started in November and ended in mid February. By this time, her kids were going bananas due to all the festive music and tinsel still present in her little kitchen in Queens Park: “I needed the inspiration” she reasoned. Really, she just loves Christmas and relished being able to drag it out.

What’s in the book? It is split into different sections:

  • The Christmas Pantry
  • Advent Gatherings (æbleskiver, canapés, glögg, lussebullar etc)
  • Biscuits and edible gifts (chocolate balls, klejner, serinakaker, ginger biscuits and more)
  • Christmas Eve (Norwegian and Danish pork, ham, Turkey, cabbages, duck)
  • Smörgåsbord (salmon, ham, herring, 3 meatballs, Janssons, salads)
  • Christmas bread (vörtbröd, flatbread, limpa, skorper, Kringle, Julekake)
  • Desserts (rice puddings, pavlova, logs, cloudberry cream, kransekake)

It is always hard to make decisions on what to include, so Bronte decided to take the lead of all the wonderful people who follow us on social media and asked what recipes they most often have to go look for – as well as how often she gets asked for specific recipes in the café.

Here’s a sneak peak of the introduction (click on the image to get a readable version):

The book is released 9th October 2018. You can get it on Amazon UK, Amazon US and CA… It is also out in German.

Most importantly, you can get it online at our place (we will have signed copies) – and you can also pop by the café and buy it there – and if Bronte is around she is always very happy to sign it for whoever you plan to give it to.

We do hope you like the book – it was most certainly written with love.

The Kitchen People x

Ps when you have the book, and if you like it, please do pop a review on Amazon (for this and any other of her books). It makes a massive difference to the authors.  Thank you.

 

Kagemand – Danish Kids Birthday “Cake Man”

September 6, 2018 | Leave a comment

Kagemand - Danish Birthday Cake (Danish Baking Feature)

Kagemand – Danish Birthday Cake

Ask any Dane about a traditional birthday cake and chances are they’ll try to explain the Cake Man or Cake Lady. What on earth is that, you ask! It is exactly as described: a cake base, in the shape of a boy or girl, decorated with lots of sweets and treats. While it’s mostly a kids’ cake, adults do like it too.

These cakes have never really travelled – we’re not quite sure why. They didn’t even make it to Sweden or Norway – it is a truly Danish thing that has stayed there. For many years, we’ve had Danish ex-pats ask us to make these and ask us for the recipe – and now, finally, we’ve made one of each and decided to pop the recipes up here as part of our Danish Baking Feature that we’re doing in August and September this year (Sweden and Norway will follow later).

There are several traditional bases you can choose, depending on what you like. Here, we give you the recipes and basic instructions for:

  • Danish Pastry base (Wienerbrød)
  • Brunswick Bun base (Brunsviger)
  • Sweet rolls base (Boller)
  • Choux pastry base (Vandbakkelse)

To be fair, you can actually make it any which way you want – and cut it into whatever figure, but these are the most traditional versions – and, as is the tradition, decorated with the help of a kid, usually the birthday child in question. Thank you to Elsa, 8 (nearly 9) for the help with these Cake men (quite a few sweets went into her belly instead of making it onto the cake, it has to be said). By the way, Elsa says to remind you all that her birthday is September 23rd and she’d like a telescope, Hogwarts Lego and tickets to the Alan Walker Concert at the Roundhouse in December (?!).

These recipes can’t be found in our books – although a lot of the base recipes can (we will make sure to make this clear later in this post).

Few points to note:

  • The size of one of these Cake Men is so that it fits on one of the wide oven trays – approx. 40 x 50 cm and these recipes fit that.
  • It’s helpful to draw out your base shape on the baking paper before you pipe or shape.
  • This is a kid’s cake – get them involved! This is not a cake where you will win awards for presentation, but a wonderful birthday treat where the birthday child can help out, whether he or she is 2 or 10.

Danish Pastry Cake Man

(pictured above)

Makes 1 – although there is likely to be a little excess of dough. Make some extra pastries.

1 x batch of Danish Pastry dough – Recipe HERE

1 x batch of Remonce filling – Recipe HERE

Raisins (optional)

Egg for brushing

50g covering marzipan or fondant

150g approx. Icing sugar

1-2 tbsp cocoa powder

Lots of sweets and a packet of sweetie laces for ‘hair’

This dough is the hardest of all the options to work with and few people tend to attempt it at home seeing as the local bakers make these to order all the time. However, making Danish Pastry might be on the tricky side, but the taste is worth it.

Follow the steps to make the dough.

Turn your oven to 225C fan.

Roll out the dough, carefully, to a rectangle size approx. 40 x 30 cm. Cut it into 3 strips lengthways. Pipe or spread a line of remonce filling in the middle – add some raisins too if you want – and then close the packet, folding the sides over the remonce, just. Flatten slightly – and – importantly – turn over so the fold is underneath. We do this because we don’t need the layers to flake up for this one, but if you prefer the flaky version, leave with fold up. It will look less neat, but give a flakier result.

Prepare a baking tray – ideally with slightly raised sides as it might leak butter into your oven otherwise.

You can either cut pieces of the dough (a stick man, for example) or –as we did here – make two C’s and put them together back to back to form arms and legs. We then used the last piece to make a round shape for the head, with the last bit as the neck, connecting in the middle of the two Cs.

Leave to rise for 10-15 minutes, brush with egg and then pop into the very hot oven. Bake until done – 20-25 minutes, but do check as oven times vary depending on your oven.

Remove from oven to cool down. Meanwhile, make the icing. Around 150g icing sugar to be mixed with enough hot water to form a liquid icing, consistency of thick treacle. Once done, remove a little to another bowl and add a few teaspoons of cocoa to colour it brown – you may need to add a bit more water. Spoon into piping bags.

Roll ¾ out the marzipan in a circle – this is the face. We find it easier to decorate the face with the chocolate icing before we move it to the kagemand. Add a tie, shirt or whatever else you fancy.

Use the white icing to make a pattern on the cake and then decorate with sweets while the icing is soft.

Brunswick Bun base (Brunsviger Kageman)

Recipe for Brunswick Bun can be found in Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge.

This base is essentially an open cinnamon buns. Shaped as a little man or just baked in a massive tin and sliced, this cake is very popular all over Denmark.

You can use the same based dough as cinnamon buns – find the recipe here but only make HALF a portion.

For the topping, you need:

85g butter, softened

120g dark brown soft sugar

2 generous tablespoons golden/light corn syrup

2 tsp ground cinnamon

a dash of vanilla extract or sugar

Lots of candy and some candy laces to decorate

100g icing sugar, to decorate

 

Line a big oven tray (40 x 50cm approx.) with baking paper.

Make the dough as directed. When it has rested, knead through. Draw your desired shape on your baking paper – please remember this dough rises and spreads, so leave good spaces.

Shape your cake-man, then flatten it down so it is around 1 cm thick only. Leave to rise for about 15 minutes.

Heat all the topping ingredients in a saucepan and allow to come right to the boil, then turn it off. Whisk well to combine to a smooth topping.

Using your fingers, poke holes all over the bun – this is for the topping to fall into. Using a pastry brush, add a general amount of topping all over – but reserve about 1/3 and set aside. Leave to rise again for another 10 minutes while you heat your oven to 200C.

Pop the cake in the oven – it will have filling spilling, this is normal. Bake for around 20 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and immediately use the rest of the topping, as needed all over, to ensure every bit is sticky and gooey. Leave to cool for a bit.

Decorate with sweets and treats and make an icing using icing sugar and enough hot water to make it the thickness of treacle. Pipe a face on the bun – we also like to outline this one with icing as it is otherwise quite a dark bake.

 

Bun Cake-Man or Cake-Lady (Bollemand og Bollekone).

So, when the parents think the other cakes have too much sugar or are too much of a fuss to make, they go for this option. We do love this – it is very cute, made out of little sweet buns.

You CAN use the same dough as for cinnamon buns – but it is quite cardamom flavoured and some  younger kinds don’t love that. Instead, this recipe for birthday buns from our book Fika & Hygge is really great. Depending on how big you want your bun-man or bun-Lady to be, you can stick with a small recipe as noted here – or double up and then just made extra buns with any leftover dough. They will be eaten, don’t worry.

Ingredients for buns

200 ml whole milk

50 ml single cream

25g fresh yeast (or 13g active/dry yeast)

50g caster sugar

400g white strong bread flour

1 teaspooon salt

1 egg

80 g, softened

beaten egg, for brushing

a large oven tray, lined with baking parchment

Topping:

100g icing sugar

Lots of sweets and candy laces for hair.

Mix together the milk and cream and heat to finger-warm (around 36–37°c). If using fresh yeast, add the yeast and warmed milk-cream to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.

(If using dried/active dry yeast pour the warmed milk and cream into a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy. Pour into the stand mixer with a dough hook.)

Add the caster sugar and stir again, slowly adding half the flour mixed with the salt, bit by bit. Add the egg and softened butter and keep mixing. Slowly add the other half of the flour. You may not need all the flour or you may need a bit more, but keep mixing until you have a slightly sticky dough that is starting to let go of the sides of the bowl. This should take around 5–7 minutes.

Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise for around 35–40 minutes or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead through with your hands, adding only a little more flour if needed.

Cut the dough into equal pieces (as many as you need for your bun-man or lady – usually 14, with one being bigger (for the head)) and roll them into uniformly round balls. Place on the prepared baking tray with a bit of distance between, but still in the shape of your bun-man or bun-lady – then flatten down slightly. Cover again and leave to rise for a further 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake in the preheated oven for around 10–12 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave to cool before decorating. Make a simply icing by mixing icing sugar with drops of hot water until you have a treacle consistency icing. Use a piping bag to make your patterns and the face, then decorate with sweets and treats.

To eat, break off a bun, cut open and spread on copious amount of butter.

Choux Cake-man (Vandbakkelse)

Finally, the Choux version of the Kagemand. This version, luckily, does not require splitting and filling with cream like éclairs, so it is pretty straight forward. You do need a piping bag and a large piping nozzle though, or is looks even more messy.

Ingredients for the choux pastry

250ml water

125g butter

125g plain flour

2 tbsp icing sugar

pinch of salt

3-4 eggs

Other

150g icing sugar

1 tsp cocoa powder

Sweets and treats and candy laces for decoration

Method

In a saucepan, add the water and butter and bring to the boil to melt the butter.

Meanwhile, sift the flour onto a piece of baking parchment with the salt and sugar. Mix the eggs together in a bowl and set aside.

When the butter has melted, whisk and then add the flour mixture in one go and whisk vigorously until everything is combined. Take off the heat, too.

Your mixture will start to let go of the sides of the pan. Leave to cool down for 15-20 minutes (speed up by moving to a colder bowl).

Meanwhile, line a big baking tray and pencil in the shape of your cake-man or cake-lady. Turn the oven to 200C fan.

When the mixture has cooled slightly, you can add the eggs. Using a wooden spoon, add one egg at the time and beat until incorporated. You may not need all the egg: You need so much so that the mixture can form good peaks, but too much and the peaks will flatten down and your choux will be flat. This is the tricky bit.

Once done, move to a piping bag with a large nozzle. Pipe your choux onto the stencil on the baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until done, but do not open the oven door at all for the first 20 minutes and ideally as little as possible during the last, as your choux can collapse.

When baked through, remove from oven and prick a few holes in it to allow the steam to escape. Leave to cool, then make the icing by adding drops of hot water until the mixture is treacle like texture. Remove a spoonful of icing and mix with cocoa to make a dark colour for making eyes etc. Add icing to piping bags, decorate with sweets and treats and of course the all important candy lace hair.

We’d love to see some of your bakes – tag us on Instagram with #CAKEMAN.

 

 

 

How to make REAL Danish pastry

August 31, 2018 | Leave a comment

Danish Baking: How to make…. REAL Danish pastry

Danish pastry as we know it – layers of buttery yeast dough – came to Denmark in the 1850s with bakers from Austria. These bakers came to cover a long, nationwide baker strike – and in the process, taught the home grown bakers a thing or two about pastry. Over time, the dough changed slightly – and became the Danish Pastry we know and love today.

In Denmark, Danish Pastry is actually known as Wienerbrød – literally: Vienna bread. In the rest of the world, it’s ‘Danish’.

At first, making your own Danish pastry can be a bit daunting – but it needs less folding than say a croissant dough, so in some ways it’s actually easier. It’s only folded three times – making it a total of 27 layers.

A word of warning: It will leak butter during baking, so be prepared for this and add a tray to cover spillage. But is it worth it? Oh yes, very much.

There are several components needed in Danish pastry making- all recipes are on this blog but not all in this blog post. We also advise you to invest in Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge which has all you need for Scandinavian baking – available on our website as well as on Amazon and all good book sellers. Recipes may vary slightly from here, but the basics are the same. Note that in Bronte’s books both general and US measures can be found.

We’ve borrowed some of the photos from the book here with credit to photographer Pete Cassidy.

Basic Danish Pastry Dough (Wienerbrød)

25g fresh yeast or 13g active dry yeast granules

150 ml whole milk, finger warm no more than 36c (97–98°F)

50g caster sugar

50g butter, softened

350g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)

1 tsp salt

1 egg – plus 1 yolk

 

For the layers:

350g butter, slightly softened (not too soft)

25g plain flour.

a baking sheet (lined)

 

You also need whatever fillings for your chosen pastry – see recipe for:

  • Spandauer squares
  • Tebirkes poppy seed pastry
  • Swirls (Coming soon)
  • Kringle (coming soon)
  • Kagemand – Cakeman (Coming soon)

Method

If you are using fresh yeast, add the yeast and whole milk to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.

If using active yeast granules, pour the milk into a bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly.

Pour into the mixer with the dough hook attached.

Stir in the sugar and softened butter, then mix the flour with the salt and start to add, bit by bit. Add the egg halfway through along with the remaining flour. Keep mixing with the dough hook for a good 5 minutes. The resulting dough should still be a little bit sticky.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead through, adding more flour as needed until you have a stretchy, workable dough and then roll the dough out into a big square 35 x 35 cm.

For the filling, mix the butter with the flour into a just mouldable ball using your hands. It’s important this mixture ends up being a similar consistency and workability to the dough – this will make it easier to roll. If your hands are too warm, use a rolling pin and beat the butter flat between two sheets of baking parchment. Flatten the butter out to a square around 25 x 25 cm, then place this butter square onto your dough at a 45 degree angle so that the dough corners can fold back in to cover the butter.

Carefully fold the dough corners over the butter until you have completely enclosed it – a bit like making an envelope! Dust with flour and very carefully roll out the package to a rectangle around 30 cm x 50 cm, then fold the layers the short way twice so you end up with a rectangle approx 30 x 15 cm (3 layers with butter). It is important that you roll carefully so that the butter stays inside the pastry package at all times.

Place the dough on the prepared baking
sheet, cover with clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. This will help the butter chill so you can keep working it.

Repeat the folding process: roll to a rectangle and fold back on itself – you now have 9 layers of butter. Again, rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes, then repeat the rolling process again so you end
up with yet another rectangle in 3 folds with 27 layers of butter in total. After a final rest in the refrigerator, your pastry is now ready to shape into whatever pastry you want to bake.

At any stage during the making of Danish pastries, if your hands or the dough get too warm, step back and cool things down a bit, as this can spoil your end result.

Danish Pastry baking time varies depending on your pastry size and weather you are making a kringle, Kagemand (Birthday ‘Cake man’) or individual pastries – but as with puff pasty, baking it through is essential as nobody likes a soggy bottom bit of the pastry. Usually 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6 works – but if it is getting too brown too quickly, turn down a bit and/or cover with foil.

Recipe: Prinsesstårta – Swedish Princess Cake

August 2, 2018 | Leave a comment

Prinsesstårta - Swedish Princess Cake

By popular demand, we are now posting the princess cake recipe from Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge – with a few added hints and tips for making the perfect cake. It’s not the easiest cake in the world to make, let’s be honest. But you can do it! You just need some patience and a bit of guidance… And soon you’ll have the perfect Fika cake for your afternoon tea party – and what a beautiful centre piece it is on the table. 


The cake stems from the royal household in Sweden. Back in the 1940’s when the 3 princesses were young, the Home Economist was teaching them how to cook and bake. This cake was called Green Cake and was published in the book (The 3 Princesses’ cookbook) as The Green Cake but eventually it earned the name Princess Cake as popularity grew – for obvious reasons. 

There are a few secrets to making a good Princess cake – the first is to get the ratio right of base, cream and pastry cream and marzipan. Too much of either and it is just a bit sickly. The second thing is perfecting the marzipan – it is tricky. It may take a few attempts to be able to pull the marzipan around soft whipped cream without making a mess of it – here, patience, cold clean fingers and perseverance is key. We’ve added some cheat’s steps along the way if you want to make things easier for yourself. In fact, lots of people use a few cheat steps along the way - and we think this is perfectly fine. If you use all the cheat’s steps, you can actually whip up a princess cake in 15 minutes from start to finish – and one that still tastes good and will look great. 

The original recipe can be found in the book Fika & Hygge, by Bronte Aurell, published by Ryland Peters and Small, photography by Peter Cassidy.

Ingredients

You need:

  • 3 layer cake bases
  • 1 x portion of pastry cream around 600g
  • 600 ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 150 g raspberry jam
  • 200 g light green covering marzipan
  • pink and green modelling icing for flowers and leaves decorations
  • Piping bag spatula, cake stand.
  • Tip: Depending on your schedule you might find it best to make the pastry cream first so it can cool and have time to set whilst you get on with the cake layers - but this is up to you.

Layer Cake Bases

In our book we do not use baking powder – which is a genoise sponge – but if you are a little unsure add the mentioned 1 tsp baking powder and your rise is pretty much guaranteed. For more experienced bakers, try without (and you avoid the baking powder slight aftertaste and get a lighter result).

  • 25 g butter melted and set aside
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 g plain flour
  • optional 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract or seeds from ½ pod
  • 3 baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper (and ideally a few puffs of non-stick spray).

Pastry Cream

  • Makes 600g gram approx.
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod seeds scraped out
  • 1 whole egg plus one egg yolk
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 30 g cornflour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 25 g butter

Make your own marzipan:

  • 200 g finely ground almonds use ground almonds, then re-grind them a few ties to make them extra fine.
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 medium pasteurised egg white
  • Green food gel

Instructions

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4

  2. In a stand mixer with the whisk attached, beat the egg and sugar on high until you reach ribbon stage. This means when you can see the traces of the mixture when you most the whisk through it. It will take a good 4-5 minutes to reach this stage and it’s crucial – especially if you are not using baking powder, this is your only opportunity to get air into the mixture.
  3. Using a 20cm plate, draw 3 circles on your baking paper. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder if using. Sift this into the egg mixture and very carefully fold to combine, using a figure of eight, until all the flour is incorporated. Be very gentle at this stage, but thorough. Pour the cooled, melted butter down the side of the bowl at the end and give a final few folds to incorporate it.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 circles and gently use your spatulas to guide to the drawn edge.
  6. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until baked through and lightly browned.  Allow to cool down. To remove from the baking paper, if it sticks, wet your hands and allow to damped the underside of the baking paper, this release the cakes.
  7. Trim any edges so you end up with 3 perfectly round and even sized bases.
  8. Tip: You can use 3 x 20cm baking tins if you have.
  9. Cheat’s tip: Use ready bought layers – these from Karen Volf are brilliant. Comes with 3 layers and are ready to use. They are light and not too sweet – a really good option.

Vanilla Cream Patisserie

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla seeds.
  2. In a separate bowl, using a mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and corn flour.
  3. When the milk reaches just boiling point, take it off the heat and pour 1/3 into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the hot milk, return to the stove and bring to the boil whilst whisking. Whisk continuously as the mixture thickens and keep on boil for just under a minute (this removes the cornflour taste).
  5. Pour into a cold bowl and leave to cool and set for several hours in the fridge. To avoid a ‘crust’ forming on top, place clingfilm straight on to the cream, covering the entire surface.
  6. Cheat’s tip: Use an instant cream mix – we like this one from Dr. Oetker - just mix one sachet with 500ml whole milk, whisk for 1 minute and leave to set in the fridge. It has a nice vanilla taste and does not taste powdery – this is a great pastry cream alternative. You can also use this one for baking.

Green Marzipan Lid

  1. Here’s the admission: I usually buy green marzipan. Why? Because it’s easy and smooth and it’s ready to use. You can get one that fits a 20-cm cake here – Odense Green Marzipan Lid.

    Buy a covering marzipan from the supermarket and colour it green (should be minimum 25% almonds). To colour the marzipan, you must use a gel colour NOT a liquid green food colouring. If you use a green liquid colour, your marzipan will get sticky and hard to work with - and you will have to add a lot of extra icing sugar to make it workable.

  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth marzipan. Roll the mixture into a ball and wrap tightly with cling film. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using.
  3. Because this marzipan contains egg white, use within a day.

Recommended Products

    Dr Oetker Kagecreme Vanilje – Instant Vanilla Creme 3x85g
    £2.99
    - +
    Odense Marsipanlock – Marzipan Cake Cover 200g
    £5.49
    - +
    Karen Volf Lagkagebunde – Cake Sponges 3-pack
    £2.79
    - +

How to make a Swedish Sandwich Cake (Smörgåstårta)

June 28, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

How to make a Swedish Sandwich Cake (Smörgåstårta)

It’s often described as Sweden’s guilty secret: in all the Nordic Diet, healthy eating and green good-for-you flurry, we also have The Sandwich Cake.

We’re unsure of the exact origins, but suspect it may have come over from the States in the early sixties when housewives made similar ‘cakes’ for their cocktail parties. Someone must have brought it back to Scandinavia, and voila, it took hold and never went away. In all our obsession with rye bread and crisp bread, using soft white sandwich bread was – and is – seen as a huge treat. So, the Smörgåstårta became synonymous with birthdays and big celebrations and times to indulge.

If you google Smörgåstårta, you will see a variation of monstrosities – 80’s creations that would make any Sundsval housewife from 1984 weep with pride. Still today, this is what they look like – some with seafood, some with ham, cheese, pate, tuna and anything else you can think of. Smothered in mayonnaise and then decorated with twirly bits of cucumber and the odd radish rose.

Our Roxanne, who looks after our Logistics, used to make these for a living when she was a student back in Sweden. She tells us tales of a particular kind from her home town of Trelleborg – that has egg mayo, prawns, ham – covered in mayo and topped with roast beef. In one cake.

See, we told you: It’s quite something.

Here’s a selection of creations we found on the internet of different kinds….

 

Ica

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

In recent years, many have tried to make the Sandwich Cake look a bit more current – including yours truly – but it is hard: You don’t want to play too much with tradition, but also, you don’t want to start bringing back hair scrunchies, Miami Vice and Melanie Griffith. It’s a fine balance.

Since I showed off one of our sandwich Cakes on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch the other day, we have had a lost of request for the recipe. So, here goes: There is no recipe. You make it up as you go along. But, to please you all, here is the recipe for the one we showed on the TV show. Just remember: You can make it any way you like – any shape, any size – just adapt the recipe to fit your party.

A few things to note and adhere to:

– White bread works well. You can also use wholemeal, but hey, why go wholemeal with a mayo cake? Rye bread does not work well.
– Butter the bread still, it will create a barrier and avoid it all going too soggy
– make the base the day before, then decorate on the day.
– Keep the layers tasty – although some people put both ham and prawns in one, it doesn’t taste nice. Keep it classic – I love seafood salad with salmon, for example, and egg.
– Make it on the tray you plan to serve it on – don’t try to move it once done.
– Plan to serve other things along side it – or else it gets too heavy. It’s a nice addition to a buffet with some salads and other bits.

This Smörgåstårta serves approx. 12 people with one nice bite per person.

Ingredients

12 slices of thick sliced white bread, buttered and crust cut off.

Egg mayo made from mixing:
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
½ tsp Dijon mustard
salt, pepper
Chopped chives OR cress (as you prefer)
Mayonnaise – to taste. I like it not too gloopy as I feel there is enough mayo in this as it is.

Skagenröra basic mixture
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh dill, chopped
1 small bunch of chives, chopped
A bit of grated lemon zest
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
50g Mayonnaise
50g Crème fraiche
A bit of freshly grated horseradish or a small bit (1/4 tsp) horseradish sauce
Salt, pepper

A mixture of prawns and crayfish tails OR just prawns – to taste (approx. 200g-250g in total). Again, you want to have a good amount in there, but ensure the mixture is not too gloopy. If you feel you need to bulk it out, you can add a few finely chopped seafood sticks in the mixture, too.

Mix and its ready to use.

Topping:
1-2 cucumbers
Smoked Salmon approx. 150-200g
Pea shoots, micro herbs, radish thinly sliced, prawns in shell or whichever toppings you feel will work well with your cake. On the one in the photo, I used pea shoots, baby watercress, radish, asparagus, dill, prawns and candy beet.

Plus, a lot of good, thick mayonnaise.

How to

On your serving tray, place 3 slices of bread in one length. Top with egg mixture (1/2 of it), then add another layer of bread. Now add your prawn mixture (you may have some left over). Add more bread, then the rest of the egg and the top with the last 3 slices of bread.

This stage can be prepared the day before – keep in fridge to set.

Using a serrated knife, trim the edges so it is a uniform sized cake. Using a spatula, smear Mayonnaise all over the sides and top – as thick as you prefer it to be.

Measure the height of the ‘cake’, then using a mandolin slicer or very sharp knife (or even a cheese planer), slice pieces of cucumber to fit all the way around. The mayonnaise will act as a sort of glue.

Once all sides are decorated with cucumber, add the salmon on top evenly, then add your other toppings. You can choose to do it in best 80’s food fashion – or try to be a bit more contemporary (although, as I did, you will likely fail, but it will taste nice!).

Only your imagination sets the limits for a good old Smörgåstårta

By Bronte Aurell, author of about 6 books on Scandinavian food.

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

Ingredients

  • 200 g good-quality 70% dark chocolate (OR a mixture of milk and dark – if you prefer a less bitter end result)
  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 80 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g 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
  • 50 g pecan or walnuts – optional

Instructions

Method

  1. 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).
  2. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water – or in the microwave. Set aside to cool a little.
  3. Whisk the egg and sugar, then slowly add the melted chocolate mixture.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and vanilla sugar – and fold into the chocolate mixture. If using vanilla extract, add at end.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.

Recipe Notes

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

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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 tube 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…

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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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