Cakes, Danmark, Food

Danish Spice Cake for Christmas in July

The Concept of Danish Hygge

The Danish word Hygge cannot be translated to one word in English, but my description would be,’ a cosy and contented feeling of wellbeing one gets when spending quiet time indoors with family and friends.

Tea and cake or a nice glass of wine in the evenings, may help to promote hygge. When I think of hygge, I think of a wood fire, sitting with my family and my dogs, perhaps a cup of Royal Ritz Loose-leaf Tea from the Tea Centre or perhaps a glass of Shiraz/Port in the evening.

It might be summer in the North, but here in Australia, we welcome winter and that cosy feeling inside our homes that adds a touch of Danish ‘Hygge,’ with a Danish Spice cake reminiscent of warm drinks by a fire, and a relaxed atmosphere.

teapot with teacups and candle

A Spice cake might also be a great compliment if you are planning a Christmas in July. Including cloves, cardamon and cinnamon, this recipe is packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, giving the immune system a mild boost.

A growing trend in Australia, a Christmas in July event, capitalises on the mild winters and is the perfect excuse to indulge in hearty Christmas dishes, Puddings and Mulled Wine. Foods that are harder to digest when the mercury passes 30 degress Celsius around December.

Bundt Cake Danish spice cake recipe

Spice Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 litre or 2 American cups Plain flour
  • 3.5 deciliters or 1.5 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground Cloves and Cardamon
  • 3 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • I/2 tablespoon Baking soda
  • 1 Egg
  • 350 ml or 1.5 cups of Kefir/cultured milk/yoghurt/sourcream
  • 2 dessertspoons of Lingonberry or Cranberry jam
  • 75 g or 2.5 oz Butter

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celcius [180 degrees fan forced], or 390 Fahrenheit [360 fan forced].
  2. Mix kefir and jam well in a bowl, electric whisk is always preferable.
  3. Melt the butter, let cool a tiny bit.
  4. Add melted butter and egg to the kefir and jam mix, mixing gently.
  5. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients until combined.
  6. Pour cake mix into a greased Bundt tin or cake tin of your choice.
  7. Bake for around 30-40 minutes. [Precise baking time will depend on the size of your dish, and on your oven. You know your oven best!]

Tips for measurement conversions: 

American

1 cup = 8 fl oz = 2.4 dl = 24 cl = 240 ml

British

1 cup = 10 fl oz = 2.8 dl = 280 ml

Australian

dl – 1 deciliter = 6 (scant) tablespoons

Two more Spice cake recipes containing immuno-boosting cinnamon, cloves and cardamon can be found on this post at The Home by the Sea.

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Cakes

Gulkake Yellow Cake Recipe

Those of you who have been following my blog for some time, will know that Norwegian and Scandinavian things are very close to my heart, so it will come as no surprise to read that I am sharing a Norwegian recipe with you.

Nowegian cake recipe

This is a traditional Norwegian cake with an intense yellow colour. Not too sweet but a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.

NB. This is not Julekake – or Julekake which sounds similar, is equally delicious and is served at Christmas time. No, this is Gulkake as in ‘Gul’ – the norwegian word for yellow.

In Norwegian:

Gul Blomst = Yellow Flower; Gul Trøye = Yellow Jersey therefore:

Gul Kake = Yellow Cake – well, you get the idea.

The intense yellow colour comes from the SIX egg yolks this recipe contains and that’s also the reason it’s a great time of year to make it, if you live in the southern hemisphere?

Why this time of year?

Because those of us around the southern Ocean, that is Australians and New Zealanders, are busily creating loads of Pavlovas to eat with friends. Pavlovas are often the first choice of dessert, for summer time barbeques, as well as Christmas menus, as it’s too darn hot for warm desserts like plum puddings.

Pavlovas may contain as much as 7 egg whites and you can rapidly get really sick of making omelettes with the leftover yolks. Therefore, making ‘Gulkake,’ is a great alternative to combine when making a ‘Pav,’ (as we like to call them).

You do know Australians shorten names for everything don’t you?

Gulkake – Norwegian Yellow Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 150 grams Butter
  • 150 g Sugar
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 2 deciliters Whipping Cream
  • 225 grams Plain Flour
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Baking powder
  • Sugar to decorate

Convert grams to cups here

Nowegian cake recipe

Method

  1. Whip cream til almost stiff.
  2. Cream butter and half the sugar in a large mixing bowl til white and fluffy.
  3. Mix the remaining half of the sugar with the egg yolks and whip lightly.
  4. To the creamed butter and sugar mix: add the flour and the baking powder a little at a time, alternating with adding the egg yolk mix. Mix well after each addition.
  5. Carefully fold through the whipped cream.
  6. Pour into a 20 cm greased and lined bar loaf tin or several small bar loaf tins.
  7. Top with pearl or fine sugar to decorate if desired. A sprinkle of cinnamon perhaps?
  8. Bake 175 degrees for *45 minutes for the larger tins, *25 – 30 minutes for smaller tins (NB: these * are fan forced oven temperatures).
  9. Stand 10 minutes before turning out.
https://www.thebakingchocolatess.com/conversion-charts-kitchen-tips-2/

Happy Baking from Down Under

#onecakeaweek

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Cakes, Food

Sticking with the Pudding – Sticky Date

Have you a particular dish that you know you don’t like, but have never really ever tried it?

Or perhaps you were once bitten, twice shy in regards to a particular food?

For me, that was Sticky Date Pudding.


I would swerve away from these dried out chewy concoctions at buffets and head straight for the chocolate mousse, pavlovas or berry desserts on offer. I am not really a fan of dates, anyway, unless they are in a Mocha Date loaf, one that I have made at home, myself.

Would you call that being a kind of food snob? Hand up – that’s me!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com


The thought that I was a food snob struck me in an idle moment yesterday, as I was adding the last of the brown sugar from its packet, atop my morning porridge.

As is my habit, I double-checked the information on the side of the empty brown sugar packet, prior to disposing of the packet, in case there was an interesting recipe that I might consider making.

“Oh.” I sighed with resignation, disappointed to see the suggested recipe was merely sticky date pudding. I tossed the packet aside to go in the rubbish.

Not interested in that, I thought.

Nevertheless, with the topic of pudding on my mind, I struck up a conversation with the M.o.t.h. (aka Man of the House).

“Do you like Sticky Date Pudding?”

“No, I don’t.” was his curt reply. “Never have,” he said, shutting down the topic fast.

I can only blame some kind of homemaker’s intuition that made me re-consider that recipe for sticky date pudding, or it could have been the brainwashing of those Zero waste bloggers.

I noted that cream was one of the listed ingredients in the sauce and making it would mean I could use up the leftover cream sitting in the fridge and not feel guilt at being wasteful.

Add to this, I do like to try new recipes and I had never made this before. I am making #onecakeaweek over at the Home by the Sea and a pudding would be a lovely addition to the theme.

What is the Health Benefits of Eating Dates?

Often maligned, dates are surprisingly good for your health. They may aid with digestion, improve bone health, lower cholesterol and are a tasty source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fibre. Amazing, really.

The umpteen health benefits of dates has made the delicious fruit one of the most sought after foods in the world of health and nutrition.

food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/10-dates-benefits-from-improving-bone-health-to-promoting-beautiful-skin-1258714

Critique of CSR Sticky Date Pudding Recipe

So, last night at the Home by the Sea, I made that CSR version of Sticky Date Pudding. Can you believe it turned out to be highly successful with the Moth and a completely delightful surprise for me. (Otherwise, it probably would not rate a whole blog post).

It was soft and delicate and there was not one sign of a chewy date, just a subtle fruity flavour with a freshly baked cake-like texture. The butterscotch sauce, which I was so wary of, initially, could be described as a creamy and buttery, ‘nectar of the Gods,’ with a molasses-like sugary flavour that oozed over the pudding, like velvet.

Why was I so tentative about Sticky Dates? This was not the same dried out chewy version of pudding, I always thought of, at all.

As you have surely guessed, I am now a convert, and the M.o.t.h. could not stop raving about it. In fact, so enamoured was he with this version of Pudding he was going back to the kitchen for a third helping, when I intervened suggesting he might like to keep some for the following night. (I was considering his waistline, of course!)


You can find the full recipe right now on my secondary blog- Home by the Sea.

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Do you have a food you disliked, or refused to eat, only to discover that, years later, it tasted way better than you thought?

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Friendly Friday – Comfort Food

My resourceful co-host Sandy from The Sandy Chronicles has allocated Comfort Food for the Weekly Prompt for Friendly Friday.

Chocolate and raspberries are a match made in heaven. And for me, any kind of berry and a dash of chocolate in any form is comfort food.

kremowki

To save confusion, you can find the link to the response complete with recipe on my secondary blog:

The Home by the Sea.

Friendly Friday
orange and cinnamon cake
Cakes, Community, Food

Ten Minute Orange Cake Recipe

Reminiscing about my Danish Grandmother who used to cook Orange cake for Sunday afternoon tea, I remembered how, as a child, I looked forward to visiting her house as I could smell the aroma of baking, as we arrived.

Anyone can find ten minutes to spare, right?

How long does it take to post on instagram with all those hashtags that must be included?

You can abandon convenience food a.k.a. supermarket style prepared cakes, in favour of a freshly baked treat and know that it is not difficult nor time-consuming.

And it tastes SO much better!

This cake took me less than 10 minutes to prep, due to speedy preparation in the processor.

Then you simply wait for the oven timer to ring, while you check your social media or email and voila! Time for tea!

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon this quick and easy recipe will have your mouth-watering for more. Apart from the sugar content, and a small amount of necessary butter, there are no extra unhealthy ingredients; plus it has the advantage of a bit of Vitamin C and delightful orange flavour.

Processor Orange Cake

A cake that is good for you! Yay!

Delicious as is, there’s no need to add any frosting or topping, eat it straight out of the oven.

A dusting of vanilla/icing sugar, or a simple mix of icing sugar and small amount of juice to soften to a clean frosting would be a nice option, if you aren’t counting calories or sugar content.

recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Caster or fine grain sugar, but ordinary sugar will do.
  • 1 cup Self Raising flour (Self Raising flour is the same as 1 cup plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 2 tablespoons extra of normal plain flour
  • 2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) soft butter
  • 2 eggs

Method:

1. Combine sugar, flours, and orange rind in food processor with butter. Blitz sporadically until just combined.

2. Pour Orange juice through the chute with motor on.

3. Add eggs and blitz till smooth. Not too much though or your cake won’t be light.

4. Pour into well-greased bar tin (something with a base about 12 x 22cm/ 5 x 9 inch) that has been lined with grease-proof or baking paper.

5. Bake in a Moderate Oven 180º C, ( 375º F), for 40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Ensure the cake cools for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack.

If would be nice with a Cream Cheese frosting.

When you are unsure of what to serve for tea, let them eat cake –

Orange cake – No fuss to ponder about.

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Community

Sweet Saturdays – Traditional Icelandic Cake

As I get a little older, (I am clearly a little in denial!), I have to watch the waistline a bit more than previously and thus look forward to the weekends to indulge in baking and eating some sweet treats, and sticking more to rabbit food rations, through the working week. This week I was reminded of the wonderful ‘Hjonabandsaela’ or Blessing of the Marriage cake at a lunch!  It is not only light and delicious, it is traditional comfort food at its best, and it originates from Iceland!20161011_101255

Fridays are the traditional wedding day in Iceland. The pagan Icelanders believed the day was dedicated to Frigga, who just happened to be the goddess of marriage! Engagements sometimes last for 3 -4 years, so after waiting that long,  it is little wonder that cake features prominently in the celebrations!

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At the wedding feast itself, a ‘Kransekake’ or traditional Scandinavian wedding cake, is eaten. This the wonderfully Scandinavian stack of crispy, concentric almond-based pastry rings, decorated with icing and flags, which looks and tastes incredible.

Another Icelandic tradition is for a groom to send presents to bride’s family, on the morning after the wedding.  Whilst the ancient tradition is by and large, forgotten in modern times, it is still customary for a bride and groom to exchange personal “bed gifts and cake.” The traditional religious ritual, the ‘Blessing of the Marriage’ is undertaken by the priest, after the wedding couple leave the wedding feast, when the bride and groom are finally alone! This is the cake for such an occasion!!!

This weekend’s sweet treat!

Hjonabandsæla -Blessing of the Marriage

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Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1  cup plain flour

1 cup dark brown sugar

150 gram butter

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cardamon (optional)

Rhubarb jam or other not very sweet jam such as cranberry.

Mix  thoroughly softened  (not melted) butter with the sugar. Add flour, bicarbonate of soda and oats

Press 3/4 of dough into greased tin. Spread jam on top, sprinkle the rest of the dough on top.

Bake in medium hot oven approx  30 -40 minutes.

To Make your own Jam

Bring to boil:

2 cups chopped rhubarb

juice of 1 orange

1/2 cup strawberry or cranberry (lingonberry) jam

2 tablespoon sugar

Cook 10  minutes and allow to cool. You can add more sugar if you think it is too tart.

NB Tips:

  • If mixing by hand, use quick cook rolled oats, instead of whole oats.
  • Instead of rhubarb jam, you can try cranberry, blackberry or plum jam.

Something to Ponder About

 

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Community

Oh so Light Cinnamon Cake

Cinnamon cake
If you want to bake a cinnamon Cake that is as light and fluffy as a sponge follow this recipe

If you want to bake a cinnamon Cake that is as light and fluffy as a sponge follow this recipe and you will be in for a real treat! And check here for another great cinnamon recipe and to find out Why Cinnamon is so good for you.

Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Cream the sugar and butter till light and fluffy in a separate bowl, and then add the flour mix .Add milk vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition.

Pour into prepared kugelhof tin, ring or small loaf pans, or both, ( it makes a large mix and could well make a standard cake and 2 small loaf tins, 1200 x500mm)

NB – the cake is light and will take longer to cook in the centre, hence my use of the ring cake tin!

Bake 180 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes (25 mins for small loaf pans)

Lay out to cool and decorate with icing of your choice, or cinnamon sugar and melted butter

 

*NB. Tip: Be careful turning out as it is so light, it can easily break. After cooling for 10 minutes on a wire rack,  I invert a plate on the top of the cooked cake whilst it is still in the tin,  then flip over and carefully lift off the kugelhof tin.

Tantalizing TuesdaysGood luck and Enjoy the taste and texture whilst pondering the problems of the world

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Food

Lemon and Ricotta Ring Cake

There are many Italian cake recipes but this one has to be one of my favorites….

It is delicious, quick, easy and with the exception of ricotta cheese, you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry.

Thanks to Sophie Calloca for the recipe. It is brilliant.

Lemon Ricotta RingIMG_20150215_161353 (Small)

3 eggs

200 g caster sugar

4 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil

170 g Full fat Ricotta Cheese

1 Lemon Zest and juice

1 teaspoon  Vanilla essence (optional)

70 g Ground Almond

200 g Self Raising Flour

Preheat Oven 170 degrees Celsius

Grease and line a Ring or Bundt tin

Method:

Combine eggs and sugar and whisk for 2-3 minutes

Add the Oil and Ricotta cheese (It must be full fat cheese, not the low fat option!- Sorry) and mix well.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly combined

Place in tin and cook for 35- 40 minutes till a skewer placed near the center comes out clean of mixture.

Cool in tin for 10 minutes

Dust with cinnamon sugar and Icing sugar and serve!

Something delicious to Ponder About!

Sirmione
Cakes, Community, Food

Recipe – Lemon Madeira Excellence

Lemon Madeira Cake Recipe

Ingredients

220g butter

3/4 cup caster sugar

zest of  lemons

3 eggs

1  1/3 cup Self Raising flour; then make up to 2 cups with Plain flour

1/4 cup lemon juice

some additional sugar, (extra)

 Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer
  2. Add lemon zest and eggs  mixing well after each addition
  3. Stir in flours and lemon juice gently till evenly mixed
  4. Spoon into a greased and lined 23cm x 13cm x 7 cm loaf tin
  5. Top unbaked loaf with additional caster sugar
  6. Bake for 1 hour  at 150 degrees celsius. (30 mins for small loaf pans)
  7. Allow to cool in tin before removing
  8. Dust with Icing sugar to serve

Something to Ponder About

Community, Food

Apple and Cinnamon Bread

Apple and Cinnamon Bread

Delicious and nutritious apple and cinnamon cake you can make in a jiffy

We all know how good apples are for you. An apple a day…. etc. but did you know Cinnamon is also beneficial, not to say, delicious and tasty. That’s why I  am sharing the recipe for this delicious Apple and Cinnamon bread with you. ( well, it is more like  a cake, but bread sounds better!)

Cinnamon is astonishingly good for you. Would you believe that a mere teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 mg of calcium, almost one mg of iron, over a gram of fiber, and quite a lot of vitamins C, K, and manganese? It’s true. It also contains about half a gram of “usable” (non-fiber) carbohydrate. Scientifically speaking, there is only one true cinnamon, which is most commonly called “Ceylon cinnamon,” and comes from the plant Cinnamomum Zeylanicum. An alternative scientific name for Ceylon Cinnamon is Cinnamomum verum, which simply translates as “true cinnamon.”  [Source:http://cinnamonnutrition.com/index.html%5D

Several studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease. This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin K and Iron, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Calcium and Manganese. Read More here.

In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used for digestive ailments such as indigestion, gas and bloating, stomach upset, and diarrhea. More recently, modern medical research has turned its eye on cinnamon and is coming up with some intriguing results. It has a mild anti-inflammatory effect.

APPLE and CINNAMON BREAD

Ingredients:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (you can use more if you like)
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened) – about 110 g
2 eggs
1  1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1  1/2 cups Plain Flour
1  3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, (peeled and chopped)

Preheat oven 190 degrees Celsius and grease a 240 x 120mm loaf pan

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Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together
Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and add to the mixture.
Finally add the milk and mix well.
Pour half the batter in the pan, then layer half the apple and half the brown sugar and cinnamon mix.
Pour remaining batter on top and then the rest of the apple and sugar/cinnamon mix.
Swirl the brown sugar mix and apple a little through the mix.
Cook 30 – 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Delicious served warm with a cup of tea!
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Call it bread or cake, it is something to ponder about.