These cakes were named after Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804 - 1877), the national poet of Finland. Every year on and around his birthday, 5th February, these cakes are sold all over Finland and are hugely popular.Traditionally, they are baked in cylinder 5cm diameter shapes, around 6-7 cm high. You can of course get your hands on these all over Finland, but a good alternative can be found online in silicone 5 cm diameter and 5cm height. You can also use other shapes, such as muffin tins, but your baking times and yield will vary slightly.Recipes for Runeberg often specify the use of breadcrumbs. I actually use finely ground breadcrumbs made from Leksands rye crispbread – but you can use any dry breadcrumbs – but I find the lovely rye adds a lovely nutty flavour to the finished cake. This is our version of the little cakes.
Baking tin:Cylinder 5 cm x 5 cm holes or similar sized muffin or other shapes.
Turn the oven to 180C
Whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy, the add the egg and egg yolk and mix again until completely combined.
In a bowl, add dry ingredients except the crispbread breadcrumbs - and then sift into the egg mixture – add the breadcrumbs and cream and fold again until smooth. Add 50ml of juice or water and mix – the mixture will still be quite thick.
Lightly butter the cylinder baking tins and then fill just over half with mixture. If you use tins with holes around 5cm x 5cm, you will get 8 cakes from this batch.
Bake for around 12-15 minutes or until done – the little cakes will rise quite a bit during baking.
Remove from the oven. Brush the most level ends of the cakes with a bit of Amaretto, for extra flavour.
Level out any wonkiness so the cakes can stand. Cut a hole in the middle to fit approx. 1 tsp jam into each.
Mix the icing sugar with a bit of hot water until you have a thick paste. Put it into a plastic bag and snip off the corner and pipe a line around the jam. Leave to dry.
Buns’n’Brexit is back 1st February 11:00-16:00 at our cafe in London.
Thanks to all of those who’ve come to visit us these past many sessions at our cafe. Since our first Buns’n’Brexit café, we have assisted over 300 people with scanning their ID and pointing them in the right direction for applying for Settled Status.
We are still being asked to host more session. So, by popular demand, we will be back to help again, this time the day after the Brexit date: 1st February 2020.
This will take place on Saturday 1st February from 11:00-16:00 at our café ScandiKitchen near Oxford Circus in London.
No booking necessary – just turn up with your ID or passport and we will held you scan with our Android/iphone devices. We will then point you in the right direction of what to do next. We’re here for you if you just want to someone to be with you through the process – because we understand it can be daunting and, frankly, rather upsetting to have to do.
Please note we are NOT a legal service and we cannot provide legal advice or advice on specific/individual cases (although we can refer you to someone who can help). We are volunteers and can help with the scanning of your ID and basic questions about using the app.
Here’s what we can help with on the day:
Scan your passport or ID card using our Android/iphone devices (you need to do this in order to apply to the EU/EEA Settlement Scheme if you do not wish to send it in).
Show you the next steps after this.
Guide you how to log on to the GOV system and fill in the online form.
Our purpose with this session is mainly to help people get the process started. So many of us have felt anxious and worried about this – so we wanted to help give a nudge and helping hand – and at the same time eat some cinnamon buns, have a chat and connect with others in our community. We’re all in this together, after all – and we DO understand how you feel.
Any EU/EEA citizen in the UK can apply if they wish to remain and work in the UK after Brexit – although there are a few exceptions to this (do read the info on the GOV website). The status you will get depends on how long you have been in the UK, although the government has assured that anyone who is living here before the UK leaves the EU will be allowed to continue to do so (with some amended rules – do see the link to the official site).
What you need to bring to get started: Your ID (passport or ID card) and your National Insurance Number. In a lot of cases, this is sufficient information. In some cases, you may be asked for supplementary information to verify your status (often proof of work/address for the past 5 years – tax records, council tax bills, bank statements etc). You can either complete this at a later date at home once you know if this is the case, or bring information along, if you so wish.
The sessions runs from 11:00-16:00 at ScandiKitchen Cafe, 61 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PP on 1st February 2020. Any questions, you can email email@example.com.
Everyone, whatever nationality, are welcome to pop along for a chat and helping hand. We welcome everyone.
Bye for now
The ScandiKitchen Volunteers: Eva, Tracy (Immigration Officer) & Bronte x
* Iphone IOS app for ID Check is now available on iphones 7 and later only.
Note: You may be asked to sign a note on arrival confirming you are aware that we cannot provide any specific legal advice.
Every January, the excitement builds because our customers know it is almost time for ‘Semlor’ buns. Scandinavians celebrate the start of Lent in different ways, but all of us like to eat as many of these addictive treats as physically possible (rumour has it there are no calories in a Semla if you eat it with your eyes closed).
*If using fresh yeast, add it to the finger-warm milk and mix until dissolved. Then pour it into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
If using dried active yeast granules, sprinkle the yeast granules into the finger-warm milk and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer with a dough hook and stir in the melted butter. Add the sugar and stir again. Add half of the flour as well as the salt, baking powder and ground cardamom. Add half the beaten egg (reserve the other half for brushing before baking).
Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated and then start to add more of the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough that is only a little bit sticky. Take care not to add too much flour. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes in the mixer. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until it has doubled in size – about 30–40 minutes.
Turn the dough out to a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. You want a firmer but not dry dough. Cut the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Place, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet. Leave to rise for 25–30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
Brush each bun with the beaten egg and bake for 8–10 minutes or until baked through – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and cover the buns with a lightly damp dish towel immediately – this will prevent them from forming a crust.
When they have cooled completely, cut a ‘lid’ off the buns – about 1.5 cm/1⁄2 in. from the top. Scoop out about one-third of the inside of the bun and place this in a separate bowl. Mix it with the marzipan paste until it forms a very sticky mass – add a dollop of custard or Crème Pâtissière at this point to help it along. You want a spoonable, even mixture. Spoon the filling back into the buns, equally divided.
Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff, then use a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle to pipe cream on all the buns. Put the ‘lids’ back on and dust lightly with icing sugar.
13th December is the Lucia Celebrations all over the Nordic countries. It’s a big thing. It’s also known as the Festival of Lights – processions, candles, singing – the lot.
If you are Scandinavian and feel a bit homesick, click HERE before you start reading and keep it playing in the background. On repeat.
This is what December looks like in many parts of the Nordics
Because of this, we have an excuse to light hundreds of candles.
St Lucia means you get to dress up in white robes (grandma’s nightgown can work). Add a red sash around your waist – it’s a symbol of death, but lets not mention that – it gets all dark and macabre then.
St Lucia originally comes from Sicily.
She died in the year 304. Lucia of Syracuse, also known as Saint Lucy, or Saint Lucia, was a young Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution.
You get to fight to become the Lucia Bride (usually a girl, but now also sometimes a boy because, why not?)
It’s every little girl’s dream to be a Lucia bride
Swedes eat Lucia buns (Saffron flavoured buns with raisins in them). Swedes love Saffron so much that in December they try to sneak Saffron into as many treats as possible. From the traditional buns to any other cake that can possibly have half a gram of saffron added (even semlor buns)
Danes eat æbleskiver – literally: Apple slices. They little pancake balls, but they don’t contain apples. 100 million + are eaten in Denmark every year. Eat with jam and icing sugar. No saffron.
It’s also a very pagan celebration: it was the night when animals became possessed and could talk. Okay, not quite like these, but they are funny…
The processions start early mornings on 13th December and carry on throughout the whole day and evening. This means we get to drink THIS at 7 am. It has alcohol in it. The day starts here.
Which makes us look like this:
And Swedes drink a gallon of this, too.
And eat a mountain of ginger biscuits. Buy them ready made, or buy the dough. Nobody will judge you. Or make your own, whatever, you show off…
If you live in Scandinavia, you will attend at least one Lucia every year. If in Sweden, around 5 (and dodge a few).
Processions take place everywhere – from offices to old people’s homes, schools and more. If there is a hallway with a light switch, Lucia will happen
In Denmark, everybody is in white robes, but in Sweden, they also have star boys, gingerbread men and other fancy inventions. Some look happier than others.
Everybody will have candles in their hands but the Lucia bride will have a crown of candles. Real ones. On average, Lucia brides spend 6 hours picking wax out of their hair afterwards. It’s the price you pay for being the bride.
The best known song is Sankta Lucia. Most people know only the first verse. Here is a phonetic Swedish version.
SUNK TAR LOU, SEE YA
Nut and gore tune-off yet
Ruined gourd ox-stew, vah
Cring you’d some sulfer yet
School gore, now roux vah
Doughy wort murk a whose
Steeger met end-a-juice
Sunk tar Lou, see ya
Sunk taaaar Lou, see ya!
You will cry. All of a sudden, Christmas has arrived…
Have a great Lucia – see you at the cafe for Lucia buns and festive cheer. And Gløgg, there will definitely be Gløgg…
Okay, so, after a long time, we finally wrote the Finnish one (Find the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian ones here).
Actually, our Nanja wrote it and she is very Finnish… so blame her if it’s all wrong. You’ll find her in the store down the road, queuing for free buckets.
Add your own ‘How to be more Finnish’ in comments below.
Mind the personal space. Finns like to keep a good 2 metre gap between them and the next person. Try and get closer, you may quickly notice Finns back away. Respect the space. Kiitos!
Do not talk to strangers. While the general rule in Finland is to avoid human interaction entirely where possible, this especially applies to actual strangers. Never sit next to a stranger on a bus as this might result to having to speak to them (A Finn will probably miss his stop on purpose just to avoid the conversation).
Do not make eye contact. If you have to talk to a stranger, at least make sure not to make eye contact. Look down at your shoes when speaking to someone. If you are particularly extroverted, you may look at the other person’s shoes when speaking to them.
Remember that Finns are better than Swedes at everything. Especially ice hockey (Blame the Russians for everything else)
Take your shoes off when entering a house. Every Finnish home has a special little room to leave your shoes in and you will not be let in the house if you leave your shoes on.
Drink a lot of coffee, more than any other person on this planet. Drink the most. You need all the caffeine to avoid people. Drink it without milk and sugar. Shake your head at people who take milk in their coffee.
Give up phrases such as please and thank you. Instead of saying ‘Could I have the butter, please’ you can just go with ‘butter’.
Pick and mix is for Saturdays. Go to the old school DVD rental places to buy it as they have the best selection (even if they no longer have any DVDs and it feels a bit sad. Still, pick’n’mix)!
Always be punctual. Finns are never, ever late. Never. EVER.
Listen to heavy metal music. Even if you’re like, 6 years old. There is a heavy metal band for every age group in Finland.
Please note this is a Swede trying to imitate a Finnish drunk person. It is not at all funny (by the way, Sweden is rubbish at Ice hockey).
Only drink alcohol if you intend to get drunk. Why else would you do it?
Get passionate about free buckets. Occasionally big Finnish companies might offer free buckets with purchases – and during occasions like this you can spot big queues outside the stores. Finns really love free buckets. It’s a thing in Finland. Buckets. Free buckets.
Zero degrees outside is acceptable t-shirt weather. After all, the Finnish summer only lasts for a day, so every opportunity wasted it a possible summer gone.
Have a sauna at least once a week. In the sauna that is already built in to your own house, social club or the local Burger King. You must be naked in a sauna and observe Sauna rules at all times. Sauna is sacred time.
Have sisu. Finns have a lot of sisu and it’s defined as being a mix of bravery, stubbornness, determination and resilience. Sisu means get up and stop whining when you have been beaten to the ground. Get up, stop whining and GET IT DONE.
Only with good sisu will you actually survive a winter in Finland.
Always use a cheese slicer. Never, ever a knife. NEVER.
Partake in sports such as Swamp Soccer, Wife Carrying, Ant Nest Sitting competitions and more. All in a day of fun for Finns (note: always beat Sweden, no matter what sport).
Treat everyone as an equal. Even the Finnish president has to clear his driveway of snow by himself.
The Nordic Law of Jante applies to Finns too. Never accepts compliments and do not be visibly proud of your achievements. Fit in with the group and do not challenge it.
Get extremely overly excited when Finland is mentioned internationally, for any reason, especially positive ones.
Only cross the road when the light is green – even if there’s no cars around. Nobody jay-walks.
Make all foreigners try really salty liquorice. Because this is where the fun in life can really be found.
Don’t forget to comment. Kippis!
Aarne & Elsa Rye Chips – Sour Cream & Spring Onion 150g
A wonderful hybrid of lussebullar saffron buns - and our favourite Semlor
We’ve been making these hybrid buns at the cafe lately – and people are really loving them – so we thought we’d give you a bit of a hint on how to make them at home.
First, you need to make a batch of Lussekatter / Saffron buns. These are traditionally eaten during Advent in Sweden and parts of Norway. It’s a yeast dough flavoured with ground saffron for a super intense colour and flavour hit (you can find ground saffron in our shop or grind your own in a pestle and motar).
Semlor are cream and marzipan buns eaten during Lent in Scandinavia. We never really make these buns outside of season, so this is a fun way to bring them back in December, without anyone calling the semlor-police.
100g of almond paste minimum 50% almond. In our shop this is called mandelmassa. You can also make your own 50% marzipan at home.
A good dollop of custard or other vanilla pastry cream.
400ml whipping cream
1 tsp icing sugar + more to dust
Grate the marzipan and mix with the vanilla custard until it resembled a spreadable paste. You can add a bit of extra liquid if its too think (milk fine).
Whip the cream with the icing sugar until firm and put into a piping bag with a star nozzle.
Cut the buns open and place the ‘lids’ to one side. Spread the marzipan filling evenly across each buns, then pipe the whipped cream across so it covers. Yes, it’s a lot fo cream, but if you eat these in the dark it doesn’t count, we think. Place the lids back on, carefully, and then sift over a thin layer of icing sugar.
UPDATE 15th Dec 2019: THE ONLINE SHOP IS NOW CLOSED FOR XMAS ORDERS.
Any order placed will NOT be shipped until after Christmas.
Every Christmas season, we get really busy. This is because all Scandinavians in the UK suddenly need a bit of homesickness remedy. This means we have delays on “no rush” orders.
We wrote this little FAQ to answer some of the more frequent questions.
Why is my order late?
No-Rush orders are accepted with a 5-6 working day lead time before shipping. Most of the year, it’s 1-2 days, but when we get really, really busy – even with a triple team of what we have the rest of the year – it will be a longer shipping time.
What’s your current shipping time for “no-rush” orders?
Around 6 working days (we aim to ship all orders this coming week and clear all backlogs). This message was updated 15th December. This is because we are currently shipping frozen and chilled orders that are very big and require a lot of time to pack safely, sometimes up to an hour per order. Everyone wants their stuff before Xmas, so we ship as we receive orders.
How can I speed up my delivery?
We do not accept next day deliveries this last week. All orders are now shipped as no-rush to make it fairer for everyone. If you are really stuck, call us.
Why don’t you just hire more people to pack more orders?
We do. We have a team triple the size of normal. They work from 6:30 in the morning until 23:30 at night over different shifts. There is, however, a limit to space when our warehouse also has to hold all the stock to put IN the boxes. We actually can’t fit more elves in, nor more stock.
Can’t you pack faster?
Sure, but then mistakes happen and things break in transit. We would like to get most orders right the first time around rather than focus on repairing mistakes.
I have courier issues, what do I do?
Please, if at all possible, try to contact the local courier depot yourself to track your parcel first. This is by far the most efficient way (this is also what we will do when you contact us).
If you don’t get a satisfactory response, call us or email us and we will try to help. Maria and Madeleine are online weekdays from 8:30-17:30 on 02075807161 and firstname.lastname@example.org
The courier didn’t tell me they tried to deliver – why didn’t you call me?
We don’t get a notification for parcels – please do track your parcel, as we will only get a notification if a delivery is broken or refused, not if you happen to not be home.
Why did you remove an item from my order?
We don’t like to do this, trust us. We want to get it right. However, there can be several reasons for this: If an item have a shorter date than expected, if its damaged and we don’t have others, if the stock is out and we’re missing something. We’re sorry that this happens – but, like it does when you order from other supermarkets etc, it just happens once in a while.
But WHY didn’t you call me to tell me?
We actually do try, most of the time. We just simply have to make a call, seeing as we’ve got a huge number of orders to deal with. If its a large item we feel might impact your Christmas dinner, for example, we’ll always try to call – but if its a smaller item that we think won’t ruin your Christmas, then we might not. And we’re sorry.
Is the stock the same in the shop as online?
No, we have 2 different systems. We may be out of stock online of a product, but still have stock in the shop. You can call the shop to check on 02075807161 – option 1 – but do try to avoid 13:00-14:30 as this is lunch-rush and we might not hear the phone.
When is the last day to order online?
15th December, with NO exceptions for late orders. This also applies to Customer Collect. Even if you do place the order, it will be queued and not shipped. A placed order does not constitute that we will deliver before Xmas.
What happens if I place an order after the cut-off date?
We cannot ship it before Xmas and it will likely be shipped after. We will email you first, though, to check this is fine. Or we will refund the order.
How can I make it easier for the Elves?
Thank you for asking. Add in the order notes if the order is not urgent at all will help them prioritise on the day they pick and pack.
Who are the elves?
We have a wonderful team of elves. You may have your box packed by Agnes, Greg, James, Harvey, Ida, Taija, Zsombor, Alex, Sanni, Nero, Reea, Ronja, Gureh, Istvan, Paula, Zoltan, Maria or Roland. If you find a little card from them, let us know via social media as being mentioned for a well-packed box is the bee’s knees (and they keep score).
Can I order now and send later?
No, we are trying to do as much in order as we can – and we don’t have space to store orders.
Where did I leave my keys?
They are behind the photograph of Auntie Gunilla on the mantelpiece. Or maybe check the fridge?
Why don’t you send chilled, frozen, alcohol and jars abroad?
Because we cannot guarantee the 24 hour transit and thus cannot guarantee the safety of the items. Glass breaks and a long journey takes its toll. Alcohol has different restrictions. We take no responsibility for orders containing these items when shipped outside the UK – even if you place the order with chilled items and you live in say, Ireland, we do not accept responsibility of those goods if the courier is late or breakages occur. Note we only ship UK and rest of EU – do never ship international outside this area.
It says that what I want is out of stock – will it come back in stock soon?
Usually yes, but we have 1200 different items and 24 different main suppliers, so delivery dates vary greatly. Ask us and we’ll give you a status email@example.com
Are you likely to run out of Tuborg/Gingerbread dough/Blossa etc?
Yes. We buy what we think we need so we don’t have to sell Christmas items in February. Sadly, some times we get it wrong and we run out early. We are def out of marzipan pigs online (a few stray ones left in the cafe shop), and also julebrus is out, but most other things are still in plenty stock.
If I place an order now will you send me short dated stuff?
No, we use stock that comes in and we if you have to wait a week, you will get new dates. Your order is packed the same day it is shipped, so it will be fresh.
Do you part-ship orders?
No, we are unable to do this.
Can you put stuff aside for me at the cafe shop?
It is an administrative nightmare so we had to stop it. We were making people more angry than happy. It was confusing. So now we simply don’t do it – you will need to pop by. The coffee’s good!
If you run out of an item I have on order, will you send it later?
No, sorry, we can’t. We will remove the item from the order. We DO try our best to contact you to see if this is okay, but sometimes an Elf has to make a call there and then if its best to send the order or delay it further.
What shall I get for my cousin Martin for Christmas?
He would like home knitted pair of socks. Get knitting. Yes, there is still time.
If I order online can I pick it up in store?
Yes, but this takes 2-3 days as the order still gets packed in the warehouse. You will be sent a shipping notice.
Can I leave it at the café shop until Christmas?
No, you need to pick it up as the café has even less space to store things than the warehouse. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.
So, we seem to have started this thing over on social media where we help you learn useful facts and sayings from the Nordics. We are going to start posting those here, too, so you can forward them onto others who could do with learning more about how we live.
Crumbles are fuss-free and taste even better on the second day, if there’s any left! An apple crumble is a British classic, but we’ve introduced a couple of elements from Denmark for a twist. The marzipan is decadent, but it is Christmas after all.
Keyword: apple, crumble, lingonberry, marzipan
Author: Bronte Aurell
6–7 sharp applessuch as Granny Smith
1teaspoongood-quality vanilla pasteor the seeds from 1 vanilla pod/bean
Peel the apples, core and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place in a saucepan with the vanilla and a dash of water, then stew slightly over a medium heat until starting to soften.
For the topping, place the sugar, butter, ground almonds, flour, spices and salt in a food processor (or do it by hand) and mix until it starts to crumble, but is clumping together slightly.
Add the apples to an ovenproof dish and top with the lingonberries. Tip over the crumble. Scatter over the grated marzipan and flaked/ slivered almonds, then bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes until crispy and the apple mixture has cooked through.