Baking · Comfort Food · Desserts & Puddings · Swedish

Kladdkaka or Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake

This cake is so easy to make that even the kids can be allowed to have a go. It was my birthday yesterday and my youngest daughter who we don’t normally let loose in the kitchen made this for our evening coffee. Simply divine!

Kladdkaka, a sticky chocolate cake, is a traditional Swedish fika (our word for the daily coffee/tea breaks we enjoy and love to share with friends and family) favourite. Almost impossible to ruin (unless you leave it in the oven for too long) and very quick and easy to make. It doesn’t even take very long to clean up after.

The cake is delicious served warm with ice cream, whipped (or even clotted) cream, but can also be served cold just as it is. When you have surprise visitors popping in, you can pop a cake in the oven and be ready to serve it just over half an hour later. How cool is that! =)

Ingredients:

  • 100 g butter
  • 2 1/2 dl (1 UK cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 dl (0.6 UK cup) plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • icing sugar to decorate

Directions:

  1. Turn the oven on at 175° Celcius (350 F/gas mark 4).
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  3. Take the saucepan off the hob and stir in the sugar and the eggs.
  4. Add all other ingredients (apart from the icing sugar) and mix to a nice smooth “gooey” consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture into a breaded or papered oven tray.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 20 minutes

You should end up with a fairly low cake that has a slightly crispy crust and a sticky inside. Once it has cooled down a little you can sprinkle some icing sugar over it and serve with cream, ice cream and/or berries and/or fruit. Or whatever else you might like to serve with a chocolatey sticky cake, really. I promise it’ll be a hit! =)

Atkins/Low Carb · Baking · Bread · Swedish

Sour Dough Bread or Swedish Surdegsbröd

sour-dough-bread

Sour dough bread is a very healthy, and very tasty, bread that is quite common in Sweden. It is very easy to make, but it does take its time to make. Once its baked you have a tasty bread that stays fresh for up to a week. At least. Save a piece of the sour dough in an air tight box or jar and you’ll have the base ready for next time.

Sour dough:

  • 4 tbsp rye flour
  • 2dl finger warm water
  • Mix flour and water and leave to rest in an air tight jar or box for at least 48 hrs. Do not put it in the fridge – it has to be warm!
  • After 2 days, add another 2 tbsp of rye flour and leave to rest for another 24 hrs.

Directions:

  1. DAY 1 – In the evening, take your sour dough and mix it with 3dl finger warm water and 200g rye flour. Leave to rest over night.
  2. DAY 2 – In the morning, take away 1dl of sour dough, put in an air tight jar och box and put in the fride for next time. Add 3dl finger warm water and 200g rye flour to your dough and leave to rest for 5-10 hrs.
  3. DAY 2 – In the evening, add 5dl finger warm water, 1 tbsp salt, 2dl flour and 500g rye flour. Leave to rest for an hour.
  4. Cut the dough in four and mould into loaves.
  5. Put the loaves in greased or papered baking trays and sprinkle them with a little flour.
  6. Leave to rest for about 40 mins until you can see little holes emerging in the dough.
  7. Set the oven to 250 degrees C.
  8. Put the loaves in the oven and reduce the temperature to 200 degrees.
  9. After 40 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and leave the breads in for another 10-20 minutes.
  10. Take the loaves out and let them cool.

You can freeze the bread, but it stays fresh for a long time, so unless you’re a small household or nor very hard on the bread you can keep it wrapped in a plastic bag for at least a week.

Baking · Comfort Food · Swedish · Sweets

Negerbollar, or Swedish Chocolate Balls

chokladboll_stor1 These little balls have been my favourite sweet treat for as long as I can remember. We always used to call them negerbollar (negroe balls) which, admittedly, was not a very politically correct term. I just read in a paper the other day that the word has now been taken out of the Swedish Academy’s Dictionary and the balls are now to be called chocolate balls.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g butter
  • 3 dl oats
  • 1 1/2 dl caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp strong coffee
  • dessicated coconut

Directions:

  1. Leave the butter out to get room temperature (or micro wave it a little)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Roll into little balls
  4. Rolls the balls in the coconut to give them a nice coating
  5. Keep cold and serve with coffee or eat them just the way they are

Enjoy!

Baking · Swedish

Swedish Ginger Snaps, Pepparkakor

pepparkakor

With Christmas, or Jul (Yule) as us Swedes call it, closing in, I thought I’d share one of my seasonal favourites with you. There is no Jul without Pepparkakor!

These Ginger snaps are lovely biscuits that can be eaten all the year. Lovely just the way they are, they can also be decorated with iceing as in the picture, or eaten with butter and/or cheese. Try them with Gorgonzola for a true taste bud treat. Or put them in the Christmas tree!

The dough needs to rest for at least a day, so it has to be prepared in advance.

This recipe will give you roughly 300 delicious snaps.

Ingredients:

  • 300 g butter
  • 5 dl caster sugar
  • 1 dl syrup
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate soda
  • 2 dl water
  • 15 dl white flour

Directions:

  1. Leave the butter out to get room temparatured
  2. Mix butter, sugar and syrup
  3. Add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bicarbonate soda and mix.
  4. Add water and mix into the butter/sugar/spice.
  5. Work the flour into the mix and knead it properly until you have a nice biscuit dough.
  6. Wrap the dough in foil and leave in the fridge for at least a day.
  7. When the dough has ‘rested’ for at least 24hrs, take as much as you need and flatten it out with a rolling pin.
  8. Make biscuits either using templates cut them out with a knife. They can be round, heart-shaped, or look like Christmas-trees, men, women, pigs, stars or whatever you can think of.
  9. Put the biscuits on a paper and bake them in the oven for 4-5 mins in 225*
  10. Allow them to cool off and decorate them or eat them plain, whichever you prefer.
Swedish · Vegetarian

Mannagrynsgröt or Swedish Semolina Porridge

This is probably, next to risgrynsgröt, my kids’ all time favourite breakfast. And some days they want it for lunch or tea too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 dl milk
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • a pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan, add a pinch of salt, and bring to boil.
  2. Add the semolina and whisk properly for about 4-5mins whilst allowing the porridge to thicken and set.
  3. Serve with milk and sugar/cinnamon, apple sauce or whatever tickles your fancy.
Comfort Food · Desserts & Puddings · Eggs · Swedish · Vegetarian

Pannkakor or Swedish Pancakes

In Sweden it’s an old Thursday tradition to have yellow pea soup for tea and pancakes for pudding. Personally I find the pea soup to be one of the more disgusting dishes we have (and I do think we have quite a few we shouldn’t mention), but pancakes on Thursday is a tradition we’ve embraced in this house.

Pancakes are so versatile! They can be eaten hot or cold. They can be eaten the way they are with just some sugar, syrup, chocolate spread, ice cream, whipped cream, custard, jam, jelly, berries, fruit or whatever else you could think of putting on top of or inside them. They can be turned into cakes by making stacks of them with thin layers of yummy stuff in between. And they can be rolled up into crepes and filled with something sweet or something savoury.

Me man doesn’t like his food to be sweet. He claims food is supposed to be savoury and puddings are supposed to be sweet. (Sweet & Sour is not even in his vocabulary! lol) One good thing with pancakes is that they work so well in a compromise cuisine kitchen. You can make sweet and savoury ones. Served with bacon, or fried  with some chopped  bits of bacon in them. Or rolled into crepes and filled with minced meat, mushroom sauce, shrimp stew, chilli, chicken ragu etc. The options are endless.

The best thing about pancakes if you ask me is that you can make a huge batch and keep in the fridge for breakfast, lunch boxes or after school snacks. Or you can roll them up and freeze them. I always triple this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 5dl milk
  • 4dl white flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 50g butter (optional)
  • 0,5 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Whisk milk, flour, eggs and salt together.
  2. Add 50g melted butter (not necessary but I find that using butter in the pancakes means you need very little fat to fry them) and whisk until well mixed.
  3. Fry pancakes in a hot skillet: Pour small amounts of mixture into skillet. When the top is dry – ie when all the mixture has gone solid – flip over and fry for up to a minute on other side.
  4. Or… Bake in oven: Pour mixture into a non-stick baking tray and bake in oven at 200* for about 20-30mins (until golden brown).
Baking · Bread · Swedish

Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

This one is here for the benefit of my sisters and my kids. I guesstimate that I’ve made around 20000 of these little buggers so far, so I’m not very likely to forget this recipe. Ever. But I’ve always said that kids need rolls, and these are just the best!

I normally make about 150 of these at a time and stick some in the freezer, but here’s a recipe for 1/3 of my normal batch… =)

Ingredients:

  • 50g fresh yeast
  • 1dl caster sugar
  • 5dl milk
  • 200g margarine
  • (2tsp ground cardamom)
  • 1,6kg white flour
  • 1egg

Directions:

  1. Break yeast into little pieces in a bowl
  2. Pour sugar over and allow yeast to melt in the sugar
  3. Melt margarine in a saucepan
  4. Add milk and allow to get finger warm – hot enough for you to stick your finger in there without burning it
  5. Pour milk mixture over yeast (add cardamom if you want ot use it) and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  6. Work flour into the liquid until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough.
  7. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 30mins.
  8. Put dough on ‘floured’ surface and knead the dough.
  9. Cut into two halves.
  10. Use a rolling pin to work the dough into a rectangular shape, roughly 30 by 60cm.
  11. Spread margarine over the dough and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and caster sugar (easier if you mix it in a bowl first as otherwise the cinnamon may be unevenly spread).
  12. Roll up into a +60cm long ‘sausage’ and cut in 2,5cm slices
  13. Put each slice on a baking paper (or in baking cups) in a baking tin – five rows of four rolls
  14. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for another 30mins.
  15. Paint with beaten egg and bake until beautifully golden brown (5-10mins) at 230*

If you like to experiment you can try these with different fillings. I’ve done them with berries, with cardamom, with marzipan/perzipan (v-e-r-y niiiiice!!), with chocolate and with custard and iceing (in Sweden we’d call that butterkaka).  For Christmas I also add saffron to the dough.