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Monthly Archives: November 2017

Glögg Season is here!

November 30, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Glögg and Pepparkakor with Bronte Aurell

We’re so excited for the festive season! Time for advent parties.

Every Sunday up to Christmas, we Scandinavians love to meet around eachothers’ houses for mulled wine and ginger biscuits. It’s a huge thing in Scandinavia and even when we live abroad, this is one of those traditions we find hard to break.

To host a glogg advent party, simply get yourself some Nordic mulled wine, ginger biscuits – and then either Lucia saffron buns (Norway and Sweden) or Æbleskiver (Denmark) – and you’re good to go. Absolutely max hygge season.

Recipe: Mincemeat Buns

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Mincemeat Buns

For a super British Christmassy twist on your classic cinnamon buns we have replaced the traditional all cinnamon filling with mincemeat. Yes, it can be done and it is rather nice, too.
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Keyword: buns, christmas
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

Basic bun dough:

  • 25 g fresh yeast or13g dried yeast
  • 250 ml whole milk heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F)
  • 80 g butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 40 g caster/granulated sugar
  • 400-500 g white strong/bread flour
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten

Filling:

  • Use a jar of mincemeat as filling then roll and shape as normal - see below.

Instructions

  • If using fresh yeast, add the warm milk to a mixing bowl and add the yeast; stir until dissolved, then pour into the bowl of the food mixer.
  • (If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm 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).
  • Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar. Allow to combine for 1 minute.
  • In a separate bowl, weigh out 400 g/3 cups of the flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add half the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes. 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. You can always add more later.
  • Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towel or clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.
  • Spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.
  • To make traditional swirls, 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.
  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 6-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature.
  • If you prefer a  loaf, roll up into a thick log then slice lengthways so you have two half rolls. ‘Plait’ the two halves, cut side up, and place in a lined bread tin.The loaf baking time depends on your oven. Turn it down slightly and watch that it doesn't brown too much.
  • While the buns are baking, make a simple sugar syrup: In a saucepan, heat 50ml water with 100g sugar until bubbling and completely melted. You can also use golden syrup and just melt it a big in a saucepan.
  • When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) (if using) on top of the buns and cover with a damp tea towel. The tea towel stops the buns from going dry. We also like these just sprinkled with icing sugar which gives a nice, frosted feel.
  • Good luck!

Pimp my Gingerbread House 2017

November 23, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Pimp my Gingerbread House 2017

It’s time for the annual Pimp my Gingerbread House Competition, now in it’s 7th year.

Every year we ask you to take a gingerbread house kit (you can get one here or at that place that sells great value book cases… and at many other stores). We want to see what you can do with it! This competition is not about the basic baking of a gingerbread house – but much more about what you can do with what comes out of a packet (or two, if you want to make one house out of several packs).

You can decorate, chop, move, glue, add-to, mix together, chop in half, dip in glitter – whatever you want, as long as you use the basic set as a base. In the past, we have had anything from Zombie houses, Norwegian stave Churches, an X-Factor house, Murder in the Gingerbread House, Dragons, Trolls and even an almost life sized Sandi Toksvig made out of icing who lived in the house for a while.

This year, we have narrowed the categories a bit. We have two categories:

1. Adult – creative, stunning, detailed – we’ll choose one main winner.
2. Kids (any age – we’ll judge it based on whether it’s a 3 year old who loves unicorns or a 14 year old who loves glitter). One winner in this category also.

What you need to do:
Make a gingerbread house, take a few photos – then send them to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 18th December 2017 – we’ll pick a winner and let them know by email so we can get the prize to them on the last shipment before the big day (hopefully) or for pick up in store before 23rd December. If you choose to tag it on social media, please use either #Pimpmygingerbreadhouse or #PMGH

The Prizes

Adult: A massive lovely box of treats – from Bronte’s book North (signed), ginger biscuits, chocolates, mulled wine, marzipan and much more – value around £75

Kids: So many sweets your parents wont talk to us for a good long while.

The small print:
Two prizes offered, one for each category. We will post some pictures on instagram but not all. We reserve the right to post pictures you send in. No alternative prize, no cash alternative. One winner per category. No purchases necessary (any gingerbread template will be accepted as long as it is in similar shape with the basic one we also sell. This is a fun competition, not Masterchef – enjoy it and have fun. The winner will be picked by 3 of us and we’ll have a vote and our decision is final.

Recipe: Danish Æbleskiver (little Christmas pancake treats)

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Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)

Technically a little challenging the first few times you make these, but well worth the effort, these little pancake balls are super delicious and fun to make.
Danes love eating Æbleskiver on Sundays in advent and all through December - this recipe is from Bronte Aurell's cookbook 'Fika & Hygge' (Alternatively, we stock ready made ones in the cafe during Christmas season, so pop by and grab a bag or two).
You can vary your pancake balls as you see fit - we've made them with saffron, chocolate sauce, savoury (Noma famously used to make one with a little fish sticking out of them)... But these are the most traditional version.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Danish
Keyword: gbbo
Servings: 30 pancakes
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 medium lemon grated zest of, to taste
  • 50 g butter melted for frying
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • raspberry jam for dipping (optional)
  • You need: an 'æbleskive' pan Japanese takoyaki pan. If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead. You can get basic pans on Amazon.

Instructions

  • Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk, double cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including the cardamom.
  • In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff using a handheld electric whisk on high speed.
  • Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and lemon zest. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.
  • Place the pan over high heat to warm through and add a little melted butter to the pan to stop the pancakes from sticking. If you are using an æbleskive pan, carefully add enough batter to each hole so that it reaches about 0.25 cm from the top. If you are using a normal frying pan, add spoonfuls of batter as you would if making normal small pancakes. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the edges become firm then, using a fork or knitting needle (knitting needle is easier!), gently turn the pancakes over to cook on the other side. If you have filled the holes too much, this can be tricky – you’ll get the hang of it after a few.
  • Once browned on both sides (3–4 minutes per batch), keep the cooked æbleskiver warm in the oven until you have finished frying.
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little pot of raspberry jam for dipping.

Recipe: Havregrynskugler / Chokladbullar / Oat & Chocolate Balls

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No-bake easy Scandi oat & chocolate treats

Chokladbullar / Havregrynskugler / No-bake Oat & Chocolate Treats
Here’s an easy recipe for you. No baking required.
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Keyword: nobake
Servings: 40
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 250 g butter
  • 400 g rolled oats
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp strong cooled coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • Desiccated coconut sugar sprinkles or pearl sugar, to decorate

Instructions

  • Blitz all the ingredients, except the coconut, sugar sprinkles or pearl sugar, in a food processor, or mix by hand (but allow the butter to soften before doing so).
  • Put the mixture in the fridge to firm up a bit before using or it can be a bit too sticky. Add more oats if you feel the mixture is too soft.
  • Roll into 2.5cm diameter balls, then roll each ball in either desiccated coconut, sugar sprinkles or pearl sugar.
  • Firm up in the fridge before eating — they will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Notes

Recipes taken from The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99). Photo by Pete Cassidy.
    Delicato Delicatoboll 6-pack – Chocolate Oat Pastries 240g
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    £3.09
    Torsleff Vaniljesukker – Vanilla Sugar 100g
    £3.19
    Gevalia Brygg Mellanrost – Medium Roast Filter Coffee 450g
    £6.09
    Dansukker Pärlsocker – Pearl Sugar 500g
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    £2.09
    Fazer Cacao – Cocoa Powder 200g
    £3.39

Recipe: Gingerbread Buns

November 16, 2017 | Leave a comment

Gingerbread Buns

For a wintery, Christmassy twist on your classic cinnamon buns we have replaced the traditional all cinnamon filling for the classic gingerbread spices. Very, very good with a cup of strong coffee.
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

Basic bun dough:

  • 25 g fresh yeast or 13g dried/active dry yeast
  • 250 ml whole milk heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F)
  • 80 g butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 40 g caster/granulated sugar
  • 400-500 g white strong/bread flour
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten

Filling:

  • 120 g soft butter we use salted, here
  • 50 g white caster sugar
  • 50 g light brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp gingerbread spice mix depending on how spiced you like it ready mix or make your own - see below
  • Cream all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

Gingerbread spice mix:

Instructions

Here’s how to do it:

  • If using fresh yeast, add the warm milk to a mixing bowl and add the yeast; stir until dissolved, then pour into the bowl of the food mixer.
  • (If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm 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).
  • Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar. Allow to combine for 1 minute.
  • In a separate bowl, weigh out 400 g/3 cups of the flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add half the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes. 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. You can always add more later.
  • Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towel or clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.
  • Spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.

To twist or roll?

  • To make traditional swirls, 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.
  • Twists: Follow the video at the bottom of this post with how to make your cinnamon bun twists.
  • When you have done your twists, leave on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes to rise again.
  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 6-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature.
  • While they are baking, make a simple sugar syrup: In a saucepan, heat 50ml water with 100g sugar until bubbling and completely melted. You can also use golden syrup and just melt it a big in a saucepan.
  • When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) (if using) on top of the buns and cover with a damp tea towel. The tea towel stops the buns from going dry. We also like these just sprinkled with icing sugar which gives a nice, frosted feel.
  • Good luck!

Video

Are you wearing clean underpants?

November 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

Are you wearing clean underpants?

Read on, even if you did put clean undies on this morning: This is important.

Every year, for a few weeks, we collect money at ScandiKitchen café to buy a whole load of underpants. You see, as the nights get longer and colder, the homeless on the streets of London have an even tougher time than normal. While people are good at donating coats and scarves, trousers and jumpers, nobody ever donates underpants and socks. For good reasons too, mind you, but that doesn’t make the need for these items any less. We all need clean pants and socks. While we may smile and joke about the need for underpants, the fact remains: if you’re down and out, trying your hardest just to get through the night, feeling warm and comfortable all the way through suddenly means that much more.

Helle is a lovely Danish lady, living in West London. Every autumn she changes her name to The Pants Lady and starts asking people to send her (new) socks and (new) underpants. She does this tirelessly for months. The main shelter she works with is the The Shelter Project Hounslow for men (registered charity) (but excess pants and socks are distributed throughout other shelters in the capital, too).

Here’s a message from Helle:

‘This will be the 5th season of The Shelter Project Hounslow (TSPH). We always receive plenty of 2nd hand clothing but never – for good reason – any underpants or socks. And homeless men need that too, so some years ago I started collecting via friends, on Facebook, via Scandinavian Kitchen (where staff gave up their tip jar to collect pounds for pants). I wasn’t quite sure how men I don’t know would react to a crazy lady handing them pants and socks at the shelter though… These are proud, clever men from a range of backgrounds and cultures who for various reasons have ended up on the street. And here I was – with my bulging bags of smalls – a change of pants, while they try to change their lives.

The men would arrive at the shelter for the night and once settled in and warmed up, I’d drag one or 2 aside and hand them pants. Discreetly, quietly… Fast forward a couple of winter shelter weeks: The guys would arrive, sometimes with a new homeless guest in tow. Once the new guest was settled in, they’d drag him over to me saying: “You’ve got to meet PantsLady – she’ll sort you out.” And so literally hundreds of pairs of pants were handed out over 4 months. Each time, I’d often have to explain that there was no charge for pants. They were free, new, clean and donated by strangers. It’s “only pants and socks” – it’s never going to change anyone’s life, but it broke an often down cast atmosphere of hopelessness, loneliness and homelessness for these guys. It made a difference and it’ll make a difference again this year. It’s only pants and socks, but everyone deserves a clean pair.’

We’ll be collecting for underpants at the café from Monday onwards for a few weeks. We call it ‘A pound for pants’ because we can get a pair of pants for a quid (in some shops). Pop your change in the box by the till – the staff give up their tips for these two weeks and we (ScandiKitchen) match pound for pound what is put into the box.

You can also mail or deliver your (new, wrapped) underpants to us and we’ll make sure they get to the Shelter (post pants to ScandiKitchen Underpants Appeal, 61 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PP). If you have any questions for Helle the Pants Lady, you can contact her on this email: PantsLady@virginmedia.com

Thank you for supporting this cause

Bye for now

The Kitchen People
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Recipe: Rice pudding – the ultimate comfort dish

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Rice pudding - the ultimate comfort dish

To Scandinavians, rice pudding means comfort, winter and probably Christmas. In Denmark, though, we don't just eat it at Christmas, we eat it all through the cold, dark month.
The main difference between British rice pudding and Nordic pudding is that we don't put that much sugar in the actual porridge, nor nutmeg  - and we cook it on the stove top, rather than in the oven. Our chosen topping is cinnamon sugar and a knob of butter. Therefore, it can be a meal it itself, or breakfast or a treat for pudding.
In Scandinavia, rice pudding is also traditionally eaten at Christmas. In Denmark, bowls of hot rice pudding is often left out in the barns or attics for the 'Nisser' - the little house elves that we have to treat with extra gentle care during the festive seasons, or they will play tricks on us during the rest of the year (house elves are the ones who hide your remote control and steal your socks... Now you know).
Ris a la Mandes is a dish that is made from cold rice pudding. This dish is only served at the actual Christmas table. It is made with whipped cream and almonds, as well as cold pudding.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Nordic
Servings: 5
Author: Bronte Aurell

Ingredients

  • 200 g pudding rice
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • ½ vanilla pod or
  • a bit of vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • salt

Instructions

  • Pour the water in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the rice. Bring to the boil and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring.
  • Turn down the heat to low and add the milk in one go. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the vanilla pod to the pudding (if using icing sugar, wait until the end before you add).
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as to ensure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • When the rice is cooked (keep tasting: You don't want overcooked rice) and the pudding is nice and creamy, add a spoonful of sugar as well as a good pinch of salt. Do not add the salt until the rice is cooked and the dish is almost ready.
  • You may find the rice pudding seems a little 'wet' - don't worry, it will thicken up as it cools and it will become a lot thicker. At any point, if you pudding starts to thicken too much, it means your rice are very starchy - just add more milk or water to thin it and continue cooking as instructed.
  • Serve with a knob of butter in the middle - and dust with cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon, 5 parts sugar).

How to count in Danish.

November 2, 2017 | Leave a comment

How to count in Danish

(also known as ‘how to confuse Swedes’)

While the Scandi languages are very close – we can all understand most of each other’s languages, especially after a few beers – there are certain areas where things just stumble and everybody is left lost. This causes all sorts of awkward situations. One such subject is counting in Danish numbers, because Danes count in something called vigesimal – which is basically counting in twenties rather than tens (not dissimilar to the French).

First, the basics: The ones, then the tens…

In Danish: En, to, tre, fire, fem, seks, syv, otte, ni, ti.

Swedish and Norwegian follows a logic structure of counting:

10 in Swedish is Tio. Twenty is Tjugo. Thirty is Tretio. Forty is Firtio. Fifty is Femtio. You see where we’re going with this – logically, adding ten (tio) on the end. It’s similar in Norwegian.

Now, the same in Danish: The singles are fine – and then…

10 = Ti
20 = Tyve
30 = Tredive
40 = Fyrre
50 = Halvtreds
60 = Tres
70 = Halvfjers
80 = Firs
90 = Halvfems
100 = Et hundrede

To understand, we need to look at the old word sinde, which meant ‘times’ (as in ‘multiply’).

We also need to understand that the root of the numbers work on twenties rather than tens. So, 60 is tres – coming from tre(3)-sinde-tyve(20)=tresindetyve=tres(60), [shortened to tres].

Eighty follows similar patterns, as it is of course 4 time 20 = fire(4)-sinde-tyve(20)=firsindetyve=firs(80)

Still with it? Okay, let’s complicate it a bit now. The halves.

Halv 3 = 2½, halv 4 = 3½, halv 5 = 4½
This means you take the twenties and then half of twenty, for example:
50 is Halvtreds = 2 x 20 + 10 (the half) = halvtredje-sinde-tyve – shortened to halvtreds (50).

70 is Halvfjers = 3 x 20 + 10 (the half) = halvfjerde-sinde-tyve – shortened to halvfjerds (70).

90 is Halvfems = 4 x 20 + 10 (the half) = halvfem-sinde-tyve – shortened to halvfems (90).

Still here?

Now remember that no Danes will ever count in the full words – they will only use the shortened version. Also, few Danes understand the logic behind the numbering system, meaning some teachers find it hard to teach maths to younger children, due to this structure – let alone explain it to a foreinger, let alone a drunk Swede stranded in a bar in Copenhagen trying to pay for his beer.

Also, just in case you need something else to set the system aside from say Swedish: In Swedish, you count with the tens first – then the singles. Example: Femti-fyra = 54. The same number in Danish would be Fireoghalvtreds, i.e. the singular number first. So, four-and-half-twenty-times-four-and-a-half-kill-me-now.

Lastly, you need to know that the Danish numbering system is not hyphenated like it is in say, English. So, 95 in English is ninety-five, and the same number in Danish would be written femoghalvfems (five and half fives – the og (and) linking the numbers together to form the final number.

How about ordering four half threes of eggs? 54. Or maybe we’re counting the pigs on the farm – there are three half fives (93).

In short, the Danish numbering system stems from counting in twenties and half twenties – and looking to make anyone who attempts to explain it wish they had never attempted to do so.

It is a constant source of amusement and confusion to the Swedes and Norwegians that Danes can actually work out how to count in the first place.

Next week: how to say 1st, 5th, 10th, and 40th in Danish. This is when it gets really complicated.

This week’s homework: Find a Swede or Norwegian and ask him to count for you in Danish and watch him squirm with uncomfortable feelings.

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