When your day starts at 4am because your teething, sleep regressing baby boy felt that there was no point in postponing the inevitable, well then you truly need a sugary fix to get through the day! Now I don’t need much more excuse than that to start baking – baking is like therapy to me, but in this cake Elliot and I happened to be expecting his little bestie and her mum for lunch! aka perfect excuse to get baking. As most people know I’m a sucker for Hygge and Hygge calls for cake.
Cinnamon swirls Fixes Everything
So I had a rummage through the kitchen to see what ingredients I had in, and luckily I still had an excess amount of cinnamon left from all the Christmas baking – I do love Cinnamon, and one of my favourite bakes is the Cinnamon Swirl! I’ve been wanting to try this variety for a while, and no time like the present. Now if I do say so myself it turned out better than expected! Baking the buns in a tray, allowing them to “grow together” results in a really moist Bun. Perfect as a Tare-and-share cake and it can easily be scaled up. This batch filled my smaller round baking tin.
Cinnamon Swirl Cake
50g butter (unsalted)
1 dl whole milk
25 g fresh yeast
approx 250g plain white flour
Filling – Cinnamon Remonce
100g soft butter
50g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
2,5 tbs Cinnamon
4 tbs icing sugar
1 tbs milk
juice of half a lemon
Melt the butter, set aside. Dissolve the yeast into the milk. Add salt, sugar, 1 egg and Cardamom. When the mixture is even add butter, then flour. You want to add enough flour to be able to knead the dough, but the dough should be smooth. Leave it to proof for 3o min in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel or cling film. Whilst the dough is rising, mix together the ingredients for the filling, set aside. After the 1st proof roll out dough to a square (approx 35×45 cm) now butter on the filling, make sure to make it even and cover all the dough. Then roll up the dough, starting from where the square is widest. Cut roll into approx 10 slices (they should be about 3 cm wide). In a round baking tin lined with baking paper, place the swirls and leave to proof for 1,5 hours, again covered. Bake at 180 degrees C for approx 25 min or till golden brown. Once out of the oven, mix together ingredients for icing and swirl on top of the cake, I add lemon to the icing as I like the zingy contrast to the sweetness, but it’s not a must. Serve while it is still warm. Enjoy!
TIP I get my fresh yeast from the bakery at Sainsbury’s or Asda, sometimes you can be lucky to find it on the shelves in Morrisons, but I find that the bakeries are 9/10 happy to give you a little bag of their fresh yeast free of charge.
Every Christmas I love sending out Christmas cards to family and friends, to me the Christmas Card is more than just the generic “Merry Christmas”, in my family we’ve always had a tradition of the Christmas card being a way to sum up the year past and talk about hopes, dreams and plans for the year comming. I feel it’s even more important now that we live so far away from our families, even J’s parents are a good 6 hour drive away, his aunt is in NZ and I even have one sister living in Sweden! For us it’s a way to keep them up to date, the old fashioned way, slow mail! No “.coms” or snappy post, just a handwritten letter. This year I wanted to make it even more personal, and what better way than to get my little smiler dressed in his Christmas jumper for a little bit of “modelling”
Once I had the pictures I used the app “canva” to edit and add text to the pictures and then I just went to the nearest shop that offered self-service photo print. It was super easy I just plugged in my phone and it opened my picture folder to pick and choose what I wanted. I probably could have just written a letter on the back of the pictures, but it didn’t feel finished. Off to the craft section!
Bought a packet of readycut cardboard, a glue stick and envelopes. To decorate the cards I just used what Christmassy bits I already had – you could use gift-wrap, glitter, gifttags just as long as its festive! I used these cute stocking shaped gift tags and cut hearts out from giftwrap and Christmas trees out from leftover cardboard.
What you need:
printed pictures with a Christmas theme
gift wrap, gift tags or similar
it was quite budget friendly. To print the photos was £2.70, the cardboard was £1.50, glue £1 and envelopes £1. The rest I already had in the house. Now we just need to get them posted so they can arrive before Christmas Day.
What crafty projects have you been working on for December? I’d love to see pictures of it all! Feel free to tag me on Instagram and I’ll send some Christmas cheer your way!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
180g Plain white flour
1/2 a tsp of baking powder
100g melted butter
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!
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!
Birds Nests (Apple Pavlova)
Meringue (7 Nests)
1 dl egg whites
1 tsp Apple vinegar
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.
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!