Tag Archives: scandinavian

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
    - +

Compost, Recycle, Re-use

July 27, 2018 | Leave a comment

Did you know? The take-away coffee cups we use in the café are 100% compostable. Yep, that includes the cups themselves, the lids and the stickers we use, too. So do us (and the planet) a favour and put them in the food bin, will you? It is not a new thing – we have been doing it for almost 8 years because.. well it just made sense, then as now.

Even better, bring your own cup and we’ll use that! Really good coffee in your favourite mug (you know, the one that says ‘I <3 Spreadsheets’) is an everyday kinda luxury.

 


 

Order online? We try to keep things as simple as possible here too – the cardboard and the paper we use is all recyclable.

Bubble wrap – recyclable in some areas, you better check with your local council.

Polystyrene (if you order frozen items) is recyclable in some areas – you’d better check with your local council.

The big ice packs can be reused as often as you like – here are some good ideas from the maker of them: https://www.icertech.co.uk/packaging-coolant-guide/

Don’t need them anymore? You can recycle the plastic – but the gel inside has to go in the bin for now. Do not pour it down the sink as it can block your drains.

If you order chilled food we also include ice packs to keep the food fresh. These can be re-frozen and re-used as long as they are not damaged, in which case, for now, they have to go in the bin.

How to make the best ever real Scandi Cinnamon buns

July 19, 2018 | Leave a comment

How to make the best ever real Scandi Cinnamon buns

We call them Kanelbullar, or just bullar (buns). In Danish, Kanelsnurrer – twists – or snegle, snails. We eat these with our coffee, late mornings or afternoons. It’s the treat you see in all Scandi coffee shops. It’s our favourite thing, ever. 


So, here are some facts: 

Real cinnamon buns, the ones Mamma makes at home, are made using a yeast dough, not a laminated dough. Real buns are strong, full of cardamom and cinnamon. Real buns don’t have icing on them. There are as many different buns in the world as there are people who make them. This is because the essential ingredient in cinnamon buns is love. Yes, love. Everybody bakes differently, and adds some of themselves in the kneading, so the result is… Buns that taste the way they were made. Why do you think Mamma’s buns are always best?

 I’ve been making buns since I could find my way around the kitchen. The recipe has evolved and grown, but always I go back to the same things: Good cardamom, lots of spice, lots of love and never skimp on the butter. This recipe makes a big batch of buns. You can halve it, but if you have a freezer, I say don’t bother: make a full batch, freeze some and pop them in the lunch box or simply just take one out and wait 20 mins and you have a lovely bun with your afternoon coffee. Alternatively, give some warm buns to your neighbours. Trust me, as long as you put a bit of love into it, they’ll love you forever. Kanelbullar really are a magic currency all of their own. 

Bronte’s Cinnamon Bun Recipe 

Makes 36 buns.

Servings 36 Buns

Ingredients

Bun Dough:

  • 50 g fresh compressed yeast (or 26g active dried yeast granules).
  • 500 ml whole milk heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F) – no more or the yeast will die
  • 150 g butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 80 g caster/granulated sugar
  • 900-1000 g white strong bread flour
  • 3 generous teaspoons ground cardamom I like it strong – and use freshly ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten

Filling:

  • 200 g butter soft
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp ground cinnamon (25g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g soft brown light sugar
  • 1 Egg for brushing.
  • Pearl sugar to decorate.
  • Golden Syrup and Date syrup equal measures (100ml of each)

Instructions

Method:

  1. Cream all the ingredients for filling together until smooth and set aside.

Make the dough:

  1. If using fresh yeast, add the luke warm milk to your mixing bowl in a stand mixer and add the yeast; stir until dissolved.
  2. (If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to become bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook).
  3. Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar and mix for a minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, weigh out 800g of flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes.
  5. You may need to add more flour – you want the mixture to end up a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your finger if you poke it. It is better not to add too much flour as this will result in dry buns – and you can always add more later. The mixture has enough flour when it starts to let go of the sides of the bowl.
  6. Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes – or until it has doubled in size (this time can vary depending on the temperature in your kitchen).
  7. Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and using a rolling pin, roll out one lump of dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.
  8. Using a spatula, spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.

Traditional Swirls:

  1. Simply roll the dough lengthways into a long roll and cut into 15-16 pieces, place on a lined baking tray, and leave – covered – to rise for another 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining lump of dough.

Beautiful Twists:

  1. Want to make cinnamon bun twist, like in the photo? Just scroll down to see how to twist (video at the bottom of the page). The twists are shown at around 4 minutes in.

  2. Roll out the dough, and fold it once you have spread the filling on it. Make sure it is even and flat – then using a pizza cutter, cut out even sized strips. Hold one end of the dough while you twist the dough back on itself and allow it to roll into a twist. Always make sure the ends are tucked underneath or they will unravel during baking. Leave to rise for a further 20 mins before brushing with egg.

Bake:

  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature: My oven bakes these on 180C fan in 8 minutes.
  2. While they are baking, heat the golden syrup and date syrup in a pan until warm and liquid. If you cant get hold of date syrup, just use golden –but Date syrup does add a lovely flavour to the buns.
  3. When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) on top of the buns and cover with a quite damp tea towel. The tea towel stops the buns from going dry and forming a crust – leave it on there for at least five minutes.
  4. If you cannot get hold of nib sugar (pearl sugar), you can use chopped hazelnuts etc instead as an alternative.
  5. The buns last only for 24-36 hours – as with all fresh bread – so freeze as soon as they have cooled down if you cant eat 36 buns in one go.

Recipe Notes

Note for cardamom and cinnamon: buy the seeds (already de-podded) online and grind as you need, using a spice grinder (you can do it by hand, but its hard work). Or buy pre-ground, but it loses potency quickly. For cinnamon, never skimp on the quality – buy good ground cinnamon – the cheap stuff is not great and you need lots more to get a good flavour.

How to make perfect cinnamon twists

The Only Aquavit Song You Need

June 21, 2018 | Leave a comment

Lyrics – ‘Helan Går’ Aquavit Song

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

Helan går

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

Phonetic version – sing as you read it:

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


Skål!

Mother’s Day Recipes to Treat Your Mamma

May 27, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Mother’s Day – For all those lovely Scandi Mammas

Mother’s Day was celebrated the first time in 1908 following an initiative from Anna Marie Jarvis who wanted to honour her mother for her work during the American civil war. The celebration became official in 1913, and set to fall on the second Sunday in May which is the day most countries observe it. In the UK it is celebrated the fourth Sunday of lent, as it originated as a day for Christians to visit their ‘mother’ church.

Regardless of when it is celebrated, a special day to treat your Mamma should be acknowledged – a sweet card, maybe some flowers or a treat are all safe ways to make her feel special. And as we think nothing quite says ‘Mamma, you’re the best’ like baked goods – here are some of our favourite recipes for a Sunday dedicated to mamma.

  1. Classic cinnamon buns. You can’t go wrong with these – like a hug in bun-form.
  2. Sally’s chocolate buns. In case you live with someone who are more chocolatey than cinnamon-y. Think cinnamon bun but with chocolate in place of the cinnamon filling.
  3. Chokladbollar – Chocolate Oat Treats – For when you don’t have time to bake, these no-bake classics are perfect. Chocolatey with hints of coffee and oats – a lovely little treat.
  4. Lingonberry and spice layer cake (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge). Looks gratifyingly impressive for the comparatively easy process – sure to score you tons of offspring-points.
  5. Seeded rye rolls (recipe in the ScandiKitchen cookbook) Perhaps not your typical treat – but just imagine how nice it is to wake to a house smelling of freshly made bread, the breakfast table set and the coffee brewing. Nothing to do for mamma but sit down. A loving gesture if ever we saw one. Just make sure you also take care of the tidying up – unfortunately any goodwill built up from enjoying a prepared breakfast is at risk of dissipating with each crumb that needs tidying.
  6. Crispy Waffles – For breakfast, fika or lunch. It is hard to beat a still hot waffle topped with whipped cream and jam!
  7. A cup of really good coffee and a card. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Write a card and say thanks for being mamma and bring her a cup of coffee or tea. This one is our current favourite.

Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / The ScandiKitchen Cookbook

Scandi Ice Creams – Now Available

| Leave a comment

The ice creams we remember from our childhoods plus some new favourites! Do you dare trying the salty liquorice one?

We’ve got everything from Piggelin to Københavner – to Dumle, Daim and more.

 

Available in store now – pop by and get yours before they’re gone!

13 Useful Scandinavian Insults

April 27, 2018 | 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 – like the wonderful ‘Suppegjøk’ (Norwegian) . Lit. Soup cuckoo – Someone ditsy and silly. ‘You’ve lost your wallet AGAIN? You soup cuckoo!’

    1. Klossmajor (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. Brick major – Someone super clumsy.
      klossmajor
    2. Juksemaker pipelort (Norwegian) – Lit. Cheat maker pipe poo – Someone who cheats. The second half usually only added on by children.
    3. Snuskhummer (Swedish) – Lit. dirty lobster – used about dirty (old?) men staring at girls.
      snuskhummer
    4. Snoronga (Swedish, has Danish and Norwegian equivalents) – Lit. Snot child – someone snotty and spoilt; a brat.
      Snoronga
    5. Klaptorsk (Danish) – Lit. Clapping cod – Someone doing something very stupid; much like a cod attempting to clap .
      Klaptorsk
    6. Vatnisse (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. cotton gnome – someone silly (with cottonwool for brains, perhaps). EDIT: also used about person that never stands up for anything or anyone, but always gives in (thank you Fredd!)
    7. Narhat (Danish) – Lit. Fool’s hat – someone so stupid they’re not even worthy being called a fool, just the fool’s hat.
      Narhat
    8. Skitstövel (Swedish) – Lit. Shit boot – someone full of shit.
      Skitstovel
    9. Kronidiot (Norwegian) – Lit. Crown idiot – As stupid as you can get. The leader of the idiots.
      kronidiot
    10. Korkad (Swedish) – Lit. Corked – Someone stupid.
      korkad
    11. Bytting (Norwegian) – Lit. Swapee (ie. Being swapped) – someone so stupid or evil you think they have been swapped for someone from the underworld.
      bytting
    12. Dumbom (Swedish) – Lit. Stupid barrier – Barriers are, in general, stupid because they are blocking the way, right? So a stupid-barrier is an insult you do not want thrown after you.
      dumbom barrier
    13. Mehe (Norwegian) – Lit. from Medhenger, meaning ‘with-hanger’ – someone who just follows and can’t think for themselves.Followers Mehe

 

 

7 Things You Didn’t Know About … Eurovision

April 12, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

7 facts about Eurovision

  1. Eurovision was set up as a way to unite people. I 1956, we were all to unite through song in Switzerland – and 7 countries took part. This year 42 countries will be competing (Russia is back after last year’s absence) – looking to unite through sequins and glitz, animal costumes and wind machines.
    Eurovision 1956
  2. When ABBA won in 1974 with Waterloo, the UK gave them ‘nul points’. Oh ho ho.
    abba smiles
  3. In 1969, there were 4 winners – that was before the tie-rule was introduced, so, United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and France all won. Nice, right?
    Eurovision 1969 winners
  4. In 1958, France won, but the one everyone remembers is Italy, with a song that you definitely know. Yes, you do. https://youtu.be/Z-DVi0ugelc
    Domenico Modugno Al Festival di Sanremo, nel 1959 (La presse)

    (La presse)

     

  5. Sweden has won Eurovision 6 times, Denmark and Norway have won 3 times, Norway has won twice and Finland just once. Iceland has never won.
    scandinavians rule eurovision
  6. In 2016, 204 million people watched Eurovision. Yes, that is more viewers than even Eastenders. Last year it was ‘only’ 184 million. But still more than Eastenders.
    eastenders angry with eurovisison
  7. Youngest ever winner was Sandra Kim. She was 13 when she won in 1986. She had a good mullet.
    sandra kim 1986
    The oldest person ever to enter was 95, so no – it is not too late!

Everyone Deserves a Proper Breakfast

April 5, 2018 | Leave a comment

A bowl for a bowl with Magic Breakfast

It is a very sad fact that 1 in 3 children in England go to school without breakfast. And another sad fact, that for 1 in 4 children, their school lunch is the only cooked meal they eat in a day.

For four years now, we have been working with the charity Magic Breakfast to help change these numbers.

Magic Breakfast works with schools in deprived areas to ensure that children who need it the most will get breakfast before going to school. They provide porridge, bagels, toast and cereal – and the kids can then start their learning with full tummies. Because how can you learn anything when your tummy rumbles?

 

So how can you help?

Paradoxically, by having breakfast. For each bowl of porridge we sell, one is donated by Magic Breakfast to a child who might otherwise go without. So that’s breakfast for you, and for a child in need. It means you can start your day well and make sure someone else’s day starts well, too.

Think porridge is boring? Well, you haven’t had it properly then. We make ours with a mix of oat and rye and serve it topped with your choice of the following (or plain, if you prefer a more humble start to your day);

  • Apple, cinnamon and vanilla with rye crunch and A-fil (Swedish natural yoghurt)
  • Blueberry compote, coconut granola and banana (the granola is homemade and may be our new favourite thing)
  • Cherry sauce and toasted almonds (think of it as Ris a’la Mande in breakfast form. Oh yes)
  • Fresh stirred lingonberries, orange blossom and pumpkin seeds (sweet, tart and crunchy)

Next time you pop by, come for breakfast. Every little helps – and every bowl means one less child has to go to school hungry.

Thank you for your support in this – make sure to head over to Magic Breakfast if you want to learn more.

 

Magic Breakfast

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