People who work for the NHS (and anyone in a vulnerable position)
If you work for the NHS and you have ordered from our online shop (that currently has a rather long 8-working day shipping delay), please ping us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to, we’ll make sure your order is pushed to the front of the queue.
We will of course also look after you if you are classed as ‘vulnerable’, but this is a little harder to oversee – so we need to do this on a complete trust basis. Email us if you need our help, and we will do our best.
Online delay - and general update about everything
Some news about everything in these times of COVID-19.
The London cafe is now operating as a GROCERY SHOP only. There is NO cafe service or cake or buns. Amended opening hours apply.
You can still pop by, but we allow max 5 people into the store at any one time – and we ask you sanitise your hands before and after shopping. Please keep a safe distance, as if you were back in Sweden queuing for the bus.
We have been inundated with orders. While this is great (thank you for your support), it has also caused some complications. Firstly, we didn’t expect it at all – and seeing as there were food shortages in Scandinavia, too, as well as border closures, this makes importing a little trickier. So, there are delays.
On top of this, we cannot – and we will NOT – compromise the safety of the packing team. We cannot just fill the room with elves for packing; we MUST assure they have a minimum space between them and that they have time to take precautions when packing to ensure your goods are as safe as can be.
For those reasons, we are currently (updated 21 March 2020) running a minimum 8 WORKING day shipping delay. Yes, this is a lot, but for the reasons above. We have removed all NEXT DAY options.
We are asking our cafe team to come help at the warehouse – but of course they need training too. So, things are slower, but we are packing and shipping.
We ask for your continued patience during this time. If you can’t wait and you wish to cancel your order, simply email email@example.com and we’ll take care of it. If you have questions, its the same email (bear with us, it might be a little while before you get a reply).
Our team is working really hard in order to continue to support our community and we WILL get through everything as long as we can continue to operate. During difficult times, we are doing the best we can – and our guys are absolute superstars in managing what they have to get through and how we now have to operate to stay safe. Above all, safety first.
Remember handsome warehouse Roland and his team? Right now they are very, very busy. Like Christmas, but without the expectation or planning to be.
On top of this we have promised any of our team who prefer not to work that they can go be with their families back home – and a few have chosen to do this for a while whilst borders are closed. This means we’re a little short staffed too.This means your orders are sending slower than usual (currently 5 working days before shipping). We have turned off ‘next day’ to make it fair for everyone. We are still keeping up all extra safety precautions, too, so this makes packing slower than usual.
With our café operation being limited, we plan to do some re-training and shifting team to warehouse, but these things also take a little time to do safely and responsibly.
Basically, we plan to stay open as long as it’s safe to do so and to serve our community across the UK.
But: we ask for your patience and understanding whilst we do this the most responsible and fair way possible.
Thank you for your support, your understanding and for simply being the BEST customers every to them BEST team, ever.
You’ve probably seen many announcements about companies updating their COVID-19 (coronavirus) policies today. This is ours.
From today, we have decided to only accept card and contactless payments in our café. This will greatly help the extremely dry hands of our poor cashiers, who have been washing and sanitising after every cash transaction.
We also wear gloves in our serving area.
Of course, we already had a vigorous sanitary routine that we stepped up over a month ago, including the extra sanitising of all common areas, door handles and touched surfaces many times a day.
On advice, we have very reluctantly decided not to accept reusable cups brought from home for the time being. You can still enjoy your coffee in a normal porcelain cup if you’re staying in the café (because we machine wash at more than 85 degrees and we have very clean hands). If you do prefer a disposable cup, just ask. Our disposable cups and boxes are compostable or recyclable wherever possible.
For customers of our online shop:
We are already highly accredited in our general warehouse practices due to our varied customer base, including individuals, supermarkets and other businesses. This is a super-high standard and we already apply strict sanitation guidelines as well as strict hand washing routines. For ScandiKitchen, this is just standard and nothing new. In addition, we are making sure the same rules apply to anyone who enters our warehouse building and for the couriers who enter the building to pick up parcels being shipped to you across the UK.
Safety ALWAYS comes first for both our customers and teams. We want to look after our guys physically and mentally in getting through this. It’s easy to lose sight of the main messages in all the worry and panic, but we are following government guidelines strictly in addition to our extra safety measures.
In all of this, everybody knows that a lot of smaller businesses will suffer greatly over the next few months, some to breaking point. So please don’t stop shopping locally, don’t stop getting your daily coffee, don’t shun your local florist, your favourite Chinese takeaway or your beloved independent pub while things are still open. More than ever, it’s time to #shopindependent.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
These are pictures of fresh yeast. We’d like to talk about fresh yeast for a bit, if you don’t mind.
Why is this interesting? Well, because fresh yeast is what most Scandinavians use when they bake buns. And bread. We’re not used to the dried variety and find it tricky to get right, so for this reason, one of the things we sell most of are these little packs of 50g compressed fresh yeast (45p a pack in our shop, btw).
But isn’t the dried variety easier, you ask. Well, maybe for some, but if you’ve grown up understanding how fresh yeast works and how it gives your cinnamon buns just the right consistency and crumb, then it’s hard to change. It’s not readily available to buy in most UK supermarkets, so hence we make sure we get it in fresh every week so the fresh-yeast-bakers of the UK can make their bread and buns just the way they like it.
How do you use it? You need to add it to the liquid of your bake – and wait for it to dissolve for a minute or so. It will NOT froth, like when you use active dry yeast, but simply melt. The thing to remember is that yeast dies if the liquid is too hot, so never add it to liquid more than 36c (or your buns will not rise). You can add it to cold liquid too, but it will take longer to rise.
That’s today’s baking lesson. Store fresh yeast in the fridge.
Got yeast baking questions? Comment below and we will try to answer as best we can.
More FAQ’s on Fresh Yeast:
How long is the shelf life?
It’s a short shelf life product that needs to be kept in the fridge. From production, it’s around 2 weeks.
Why do you import it? Can’t you get it in the UK?
You can – bakers use it – but it is not readily available as most people have been raised using dry yeast (pun intended).
Can I freeze it?
Yes, but it loses a bit of potency. Also, it goes liquid when defrosted, so freeze in a little bag.
Buns’n’Brexit is back 7th March from 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 around 400 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 Saturday 7th March 2020 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. We have a registered immigration advisor with us on the day, although due to the amount of people who usually turn up, it is hard to go in to details for more complicated cases – but we can refer you onto people who can.
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 7th March 2020. Any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Semlor socks and a bag full of goodies - enter now!
We have this amazing bag of goodies to give away to one lucky winner here on our blog.
Did you always fancy wearing socks with semlor buns on it and carry your stuff around in a cinnamon bun bag? Then this is for you. The lucky winner will get sock, bags, all these sweet treats as well as two signed books by Bronte Aurell (North and Bronte at Home).
To be in with a chance to win, simply answer this question:
Which of these is the biggest country by land area?
Rules: UK addresses only, one prize, no alternatives. No cash value. Competition run with Husmanssocks and ScandiKitchen. No cheating. For full terms, see website. One entry per email. One size sicks only (36-40). Judges decision is final. This is a separate competition to the one run on FB and insta (if you entered there, you can still enter this one).
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.
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…