22 Jun 2014

Danish Delights: Hindbærsnitter

HindbærsnitteThe above is a “hindbærsnitte” or “raspberry slice” directly translated. But oh – the amount of fun you miss out on with a simple translation like that! It’s not so much the raspberry part, because a raspberry is a raspberry (is a raspberry). It’s the “snitte”, which incidentally is my favourite word these days. First of all it can mean anything sliced, be it a slice of “smørrebrød” – the open-faced sandwich for which Danes are so famous. Or something sweet, such as a “makronsnitte” (a very sweet, baked, sliced goodie with macaroon and apple) or “walessnitte” (a slice of choux pastry, sometimes with white icing and red currant jelly). My favourite though is when it’s used with reference to fingers. Hence, “keep your fingers off the hindbærsnitter!” would be “hold snitterne fra hindbærsnitterne!”. Wonderful, right? Finally, there’s the snitte-twice-removed, which is when it means a foxy lady: “Now that’s one delicious little cupcake!” = “Se det er en lækker lille snitte!”. Also: A little bird just reminded me that a snitte can also refer to a line of coke. So there you have it. Not even Meryl Streep is that versatile. But I guess it doesn’t make you any the wiser as to the actual concept of the “hindbærsnitte”.

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10 Sep 2013

Bitches Brew (a flu-be-gone drinkable miracle)

Bitches BrewI’m in fairly good shape health wise (touch wood), but I am just as susceptible to a cold or the flu as the next guy. And let’s admit it, when do we ever have the time to just lie down and blow our brains into paper tissues for a few days? Never! Especially not while finishing your Ph.D.-thesis, ahem… While I sometimes kind of enjoy yielding to my body’s need for the foetal position, I have recently discovered the joys of fighting it. Now that I’ve also developed the Bitches Brew, it has become just a little bit easier. It’s a seriously strong ready-to-drink-lemonade containing the sweetness and punch of honey, vanilla, lemon, and ginger. Cheers!

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14 May 2013

Mini-Pavlovas

Mini-pavlova copyBeing half-Australian, I have a lot of fond and hazy memories of pavlovas, though most of them are from Denmark. They were these festive and monstrous meringue disks with piles of whipped cream, passion fruit and kiwi-slices on top. (Growing up in the 80s will do that to you either way, though possibly with more mini-umbrellas.) Anyway, they were also one of the things that made my Australian mother exotic back in the days when the cream of Danish youth had yet to go backpacking up and down the East coast of Australia. And when phenomena like Vegemite and smoko were still reserved to our family home and our trips Down Under. I still remember how we huddled around the phone for the Christmas call to my grand parents, each of us trying to strike up meaningful conversation with the minute price of 5 Danish kroner (about 65 cent €) looming over our heads.

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20 Apr 2013

Lemon and Meringue Dessert

As fond as I am of innovation and progress in the kitchen, there are times when I’m just as pleased to rearrange a classic from the repertoire. A while back T and I went all in to dish up a three-course menu for my cousin and her husband. Since I remembered that she’s a fan of lemon curd and T is too, I thought I’d remix some old staples, inspired by a marvelous lemon-and-meringue-blob of a dessert we once had at Restaurant Marv & Ben. Well that and a dash of laziness. It was prepared in advance and only took about two showy minutes to plate (everyone loves the promising flame of a crème brûlée torch).

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5 Feb 2013

Salty Liquorice Toffee

Did you know there’s a liquorice festival in Copenhagen this weekend? That’s why I’ve decided to share my tips for perfectly salty and serious liquorice toffee – homemade of course.

Yes, yes. Back in the toffee grind again, I know. But I don’t hear any complaints – not that I’m hearing anything much as it’s 9:30pm and I’m sitting on my couch. The most pervasive sound is the chattering from the upstairs TV and somebody’s not very dainty footsteps on the wooden floor. But I’m drifting. Back to the toffee. Above is the result of quite a bit of testing and trying. Since getting the often mentioned “Julgodis” book by Johanna Westman, that opened my eyes anew to homemade toffee, I’ve tried to find a proper replacement for the hard-boiled liquorice candy that she uses as the main flavoring ingredient in her salty liquorice version. Call me stubborn, but I think there’s something backhanded in homemade candy containing hardcore industrial candy. And let’s not get into chocolate as a counter-example. I’ll have none of that, thank you very much.

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29 Jan 2013

Nougat de Montélimar – First Stab


So I have this list of kitchen challenges. Yes, one of those, and a thing that I’ve really been itching to try out is Nougat de Montélimar (“fransk nougat” in Danish). Waaay back in the ancient and vaseline-lensed days of my childhood, my mother would get these flat round tins of turrón/torrone from work, which is the Spanish/Italian version of what you can see above. Roasted almonds enveloped in a glossy, meringue-adjacent honey boil-up of chewy-hard deliciousness. Hell, anything that needs three hyphens for a description must be good, right? My fingers (“the old flippers” as my grandmother would have said) certainly made the trip to the candy plate about a gazillion times, when I served the first round of homemade nougat this Sunday.

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