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Danish Honey Cakes

Danish Honey Cakes

One of my favourite Christmas treats have to be Honey cakes! Now if I was in Denmark I’d probably just go to the local bakery and pick some up, but that wasn’t really an option. So what do you do when you’re just craving Honey cakes! Well you bake them yourself!

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Now the traditional Honey cake, also known as Lebkuchen if your German, is a lengthy process  – you have to make part of the dough 8 weeks before you need it! Now with a baby that kind of foresight and planning is just unrealistic. One day I’d love to try and make them the traditional way though, as it does make for an extra yummy Honey cake! The very best of them, in my opinion, are made in the southern parts of Denmark in a little town called Christiansfeld, famous for its Honey cakes like Grasmere is famous for its Ginger Bread. If you ever find yourself in that part of the world do yourself a favour and take a detour, I promise they are worth it!

But seeing as I’m neither 2 months in advance nor situated in the southern parts of Denmark, I’ve Thankfully got a recipe that can be made in one day, it’s not as good, but it’s still pretty darn good! (I’ve had it tried and tested by J and he vouches for it 100%)

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Honey Cakes (Danish Lebkuchen) 

  • 450g of Honey
  • 450g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 10g of fresh yeast
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 200g of dark chocolate
  • 150g white chocolate (alternatively use white icing pens)

Melt the honey in a spacious pot. Mix the flour with spices and baking soda. Stir in the honey. Stir the yeast into the egg yolk. Add the yolk/yeast mix to the dough and allow it to rest 1-2 hours at room temperature.

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Roll out the dough, roughly 1 cm thick. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape for that matter) continue till all the dough is used up.

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Bake them at 180 degrees C. for about 10 min. Leave them to cool. Once cooled, Brush the cakes with melted chocolate and decorate with melted white chocolate or white icing, I used white chocolate. The Honey Cakes can be split and merged with apricot or orange marmalade to add a little extra to it. Store in a well sealed box.

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I wrapped some of the Honey Cakes in cellophane to give as little Christmas hostess gifts. I always find that homemade pressies (especially the edible kind) are well received! Now if you’re in the mood for more Christmassy bakes you should check out my recipe for Danish Rice Porridge and Christmas Pancakes!

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Carrot Cupcakes & Family Parties

Carrot Cupcakes & Family Parties

As much as I love Autumn, my relationship to Winter is a tad more ambivalent. You see I love Christmas, but apart from that I don’t do well with the shorter days, too much darkness for me. That is why I like to look back to warmer, sunnier times. Back in June, when the days where still long and the leaves still green, we threw Elliot a naming party for friends and family, with lots of delicious homemade goodies, amongst those Carrot Cupcakes.

Carrot cupcakes and family celebrating

Seeing as we live in England and all of my family is in Denmark, I really wanted to bring all the family together, Brits and Danes, and celebrate the newest addition to the clans. Neither me or J are especially religious, so a christening was quickly ruled out. A naming party seemed more in tune with what we envisioned. I wanted the party to be relaxed, like a garden party, no sitting at a long table having to hear one speech after the other. Just a get together, where our familes had a chance to get to know each other.

Family celebrating
Flying fun with Daddy

My vision was to create a Buffet inspired by the classical British Afternoon Tea. We ended up with 3 different sandwiches, fruit sticks and veggie finger foods. On the sweet side there was brownies, mini Carrot Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip cookies.

Carrot Cupcakes
A Buffet of Treats

All easily managed without needing knife and fork. I thought I’d share the recipe for the Carrot Cupcakes as they where quite the hit with big and small.

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 dl Oil (taste Neutral – so NOT Olive Oil)
  • 200g of Sugar
  • 50g Brown Sugar
  • 1,5 tsp of Vanilla powder
  • 250g Plain White Flour
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 0,5 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 250g grated carrots
  • 100g finely chopped Walnuts

Frosting

  • 100g Butter
  • 225g Neutral Cream Cheese
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • seeds of 1 Vanilla Pod

Preheat the oven to a 185 Degrees C Fan. Whisk together  eggs, Sugar, brown Sugar. Slowly add the oil. Add the dry ingredients, mix together. Finally add the Carrot and Walnut. Fill the mix 3/4 the way up in a cupcake baking tray. Bake for approx 20min or until surface is golden brown. While the cupcakes cool, whisk together frosting ingredients. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and Voila. If you’re feeling extra creative decorate the cupcakes with little Fondant Carrots.

If you’re feeling time deprived, but in desperate need of a homebaked treat this Caramel Hazelnut Tart is super easy, but so delicious. Enjoy the Baking!

 

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Caramel Hazelnut Tart & Hygge

Caramel Hazelnut Tart & Hygge

When the evenings get longer and the winds are howling outside, there is nothing I like more than to Hygge!

Hygge is a Danish word, well more than just a word really, it’s a feeling. It describes moments when you are having a real lovely time. To me Hygge would be an evening spent with family or friends, candles lit, brews at the ready and just having a lovely time, no stress, perhaps time to play a board game. Hygge to me could also be something as simple as cozying up on the sofa, snug under a blanket with J able to just forget about the everyday stress.

Having a Hygge time is Alpha omega for many Danes, I think J is becoming quite the fan too. Now a real Hygge evening requires a freshly baked treat! But with a baby time to bake can sometime be short lived, that is why I love this Caramel Hazelnut Tart it is so easy to make, and so very delicious!

Caramel Hazelnut Tart

Caramel Hazelnut Tart

  • 180g Plain white flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 1/2 a tsp of baking powder
  • 100g melted butter

Filling

  • 175g Hazelnuts
  • 1 can of sweet condensed milk (I use Nestle)
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 2 tbs Sirup
  • 2 tbs of Whiskey (optional)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla sugar (or vanilla essence)

Turn the oven to 150 degrees c. Grease the tin. Mix Flour, Sugar and baking powder, add the melted butter. Mix together, until the dough has come together, but crumbly. Press your pastry it into the tin. Now to the filling, whisk together condensed milk, brown sugar, sirup, whiskey and vanilla. Pour the mix on top of the pastry. Sprinkle the whole Hazelnuts on top. Bake in the oven for aprrox 60 min.

Serve with a nice vanilla ice cream and a fresh brew! Enjoy!

Caramel Hazelnut Tart


 

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Apple Hunting and Yummy Birds Nests!

Apple Hunting and Yummy Birds Nests!

Yesterday I went Apple hunting with the nephew, there are these gorgeous Apple trees only a stone throw from my childhood home, absolutely beaming with ripe Apples ready for picking! Its lovely to be able to just go outdoors and pick Apples, my nephew was loving it! And it was a great way to also remind him where things come from, he can be quite the fuzzy eater, but he munched down 3 delicious apples and also got a nice bag to take home and use with in his packed lunches. Now I of course had a plan with the Apple hunt too! The aim was to get some Apples so we could make my Mums Yummy Birds Nests, the Birds Nest is in actual fact an Autumn inspired mini Apple Pavlova, super easy to make and so very tasty. The fresh, slightly Sour, Apple goes so well with the Cream and Chocolate!

Apple Pavlova
Mini Pavlovas with whipped Cream, fresh Apple and Chocolate aka Birds Nests!

Birds Nests (Apple Pavlova)

Meringue (7 Nests)

  • 200g sugar
  • 1 dl egg whites
  • 1 tsp Apple vinegar

Filling

  • 500ml double cream
  • 6 Grated Apples (we used the Danish Apple ‘Inge Marie’)
  • 150g Dark Chocolate

Turn the oven to 100 Degrees C (Fan 80). Whisk the Egg white until it’s stiff, add Vinegar and whisk again. While whisking, gradually add the Sugar and whisk until the Meringue is thick, white and stiff. Put the Meringue in a piping bag and pipe out 7 Nests onto a baking sheet. Bake for 1 Hour. Remove from oven and cool. In my opinion, the Meringue is best when it’s a bit gooey on the inside!

Grate the Apples on a grater, set aside. Whip the cream and mix in the Apple, cover with cling film and set to cool in the fridge. Chop the Chocolate. Once Nests are cooled, pipe on the ‘Apple Cream’ and sprinkle with the Chocolate and serve. Enjoy!


Upon creating this yummy treat I had the help of my faithful Taster 🙂 Looks like the little guy likes mummy’s baking.

Mummy's Apple Pavlova Assistant

Hope everyone is looking forward to a weekend spent with family and friends. I think if the little man allows it there will be more baking in the cards for us!

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Autumn Leaves & Apple Pie

Autumn Leaves & Apple Pie

I love autumn!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this season is my favourite! One of the reasons I love autumn is the great Veg and Fruit that come in season. I always try to do some seasonal bakes, and nothing says autumn more to me than a good Apple pie! Perfect for enjoying after time spent outdoors.

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This year I thought I’d try myself with a classical American Apple pie, so I turned to Roy Fares (she makes beautiful cakes!) her book ‘United States of Cake’ had a great looking recipe that I just had to try.

Best enjoyed with family and preferably whilst beating them in a game of ‘Partners’ 😉

 

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Hope everyone else is enjoying autumn as much as me!

 

 

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Happy Halloween And A Healthy Snack

Happy Halloween And A Healthy Snack

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, I love to watch the seasons change and I love all the goodness that autumn brings.

Come little leaves said the wind one day,  come to the meadows with me and play; Put on your dresses of red and gold, for summer is past, and the days grow cold – from “come little leaves” by George Cooper

Today was what I define as a classic autumn day! Howling winds outside hot chocolate and pumpkin carving inside!

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I just love it! The changing colours, the cooler air and how snuggling up on the sofa with hot chocolate is just what the doctor ordered! Today was one of those days and thankfully I got to enjoy it with my little family, carving scary pumpkins to light up the night, whilst we are snug inside.

As I’m sure you noticed the title said “…and a healthy snack”, sadly hot chocolate with loads of whipped cream will probably never be declared healthy, but using the leftover pumpkin seeds to create delicious pumpkin seed “crisps” well I dare say they might just qualify as healthy! So I thought I’d share the rather simple recipe:

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Pumpkin Seed crisps

  • pumpkin seeds cleaned and patted dry
  • sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • olive oil

Heat the oven to 50 degrees Celsius (fan) place the seeds on a baking plate with baking paper, coat the seeds with olive oil (just lightly) and sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper. Slow roast in the oven for approx 80 min or until the seeds look golden.

Enjoy them as a snack or salad topper!

 

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