Tuesday, December 28, 2010
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Thursday, December 16, 2010
Today we are lucky to have Carin here over from Created with Love. Carin dabbles in a variety of crafts including cross-stitch, felt and crochet. Her Scandinavian style shows through in her crafts and daily life, especially at Christmas! Like any good Swede, Carin loves Swedish meatballs and has a smorgasbord at Christmas!
Today she is going to share about 2 of her favorite smorgasbord desserts!
Hi, I’m Carin, and I’m so excited that Kathryn has invited me to take part in this series! It’s fabulous!
I was born and raised in southern Sweden, but am lucky enough to have relatives in both Denmark and Norway and feel blessed to have experienced traditions from all three countries first hand. I now live in the UK and try to keep some of the traditions that were the most meaningful to me growing up alive in my own family. That includes serving a julbord (a Christmas smorgasbord) every Christmas Eve.
Today I’ll share with you two of my favourite Swedish sweet Christmas treats; knäck and ischoklad. I vividly remember standing looking longingly at the trays of ischoklad and knäck as a kid, counting the minutes until they were served. Sweet treats of any kind were very rare in our household and made these all the more special. Even today I get a thrill when I see the trays in the fridge.
(Makes about 50, using the right size cases)
Ischoklad is a very popular Swedish Christmas treat which is also incredibly easy to make. It gets its name from the cool sensation you get when you swallow this delicious treat.
They are traditionally served in small foil cases, but since these tiny cases are hard to get hold of anywhere outside Scandinavia, I suggest using the smallest ones you can get your hands on. I have been known to use bon bon cases in the past. This time I also ended up using some left over knäck cases because I ran out half way through. They’re about the same size, just made from different materials.
100g coconut oil
How to make:
Fill a tray with the smallest cases you can get.
Break the chocolate into small pieces.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Mix till smooth and shiny.
Pour the ischoklad into the cases, then put the tray in fridge until they’ve set. When set, transfer into a storage container. Put greaseproof paper between layers. Store them in the fridge till ready to eat. Enjoy!
Variations: For an even cooler taste sensation, try adding a few drops of peppermint extract to the mix. You can also put some finely chopped nuts or marshmallows at the bottom of the cases before pouring over the chocolate mixture. If using dark chocolate, try adding some finely shredded orange peel or a tablespoon of instant coffee to bring out the taste.
(Makes about 70, using the right size cases)
Knäck is a traditional Swedish toffee which is also only really served at Christmas. It translates as “break”. It can be chewy or hard depending on how long you let the mixture simmer, but the harder version is the most common. Knäck is also traditionally served in small cases, though usually waxed paper ones. Again, bon bon cases have come in handy for me in the past.
200 ml Double (heavy) cream (not whipped)
200ml Golden syrup
2 tablespoons Butter (optional)
50-100g finely chopped flaked almonds (optional)
How to make:
Fill a tray with the smallest paper cases you can find
Put the cream, sugar, syrup and butter in a heavy based saucepan
Simmer for 15-30 minutes until a few drops of the mixture poured into a glass of cold water can be rolled into a ball.
Add the chopped almonds, if using, and pour into the cases. Warning, this part is quite messy. Don’t attempt to mop up any spills with your fingers because the mixture is VERY hot.
(If the mixture hardens too much before you’ve had a chance to divide it between all the cases, reheat it gently on the stove until it’s easy to pour again. Alternatively, if you have an electric stove, pour small quantities of the mixture into a measuring jug for pouring into the cases and keep the rest of the mixture warm on the stove using the after heat).
Store cold until set, then transfer into suitable storage containers. Put greaseproof paper between layers. Store the knäck cold until ready to serve.
Thanks Kathryn for giving me this opportunity to share two of my favourite Swedish Christmas treats!