SMAKA – a Scandinavian restaurant in Central London

by Scandinavian mum

smaka-restaurant-london
Escape Central London, skyscrapers and busy streets and step into a Swedish forest… Smaka (meaning to taste in Swedish) is a Scandi-influenced all day restaurant and bar in Aldgate East, serving up a healthy breakfast and lunch as well as home cured salmon and the classic Swedish meatballs in the evening.

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Prinsesstårta Recipe and TotallySwedish’s 10th Birthday Party!

by Scandinavian mum

prinsesstårta
This Swedish layer cake is very festive and tasty; sponge cake, full of custard, raspberry jam, whipped cream, covered in a bright green marzipan and decorated with a beautiful pink marzipan rose. What more perfect celebration cake for TotallySwedish’s 10th Anniversary!? Read more

Prinsesstårta for Little B on her Birthday

by Scandinavian mum

Prinsesstårta (Princess Cake) is a traditional festive Swedish cake consisting of layers of airy sponge cake, whipped cream and thick pastry cream, topped with a 2–3 mm layer of green marzipan, sprinkled with powdered sugar and decorated with a pink marzipan rose. The original recipe first appeared in the 1930s cookbook “Prinsessornas Kokbok” by Jenny Åkerström, a teacher of the daughters of Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland. The cake was given the name Prinsesstårta or Princess Cake because the princesses were said to have been especially fond of it. Today this is still one of the most popular cakes in Sweden, served when there’s a celebration. The beautiful Prinsesstårta from the Swedish Bakery Bageriet London was a firm favourite for our little princess, served this morning on Little B’s 11th Birthday.


We are celebrating our witty, charming and kind Little B who is turning 11 today. We start the day “surprising” her: Parading into her room in the morning with cake, presents and singing “Happy Birthday to you”. After acting surprised and blowing out the candles, and having made the secret wish, she opens the cards and presents before we have cake for breakfast! The beautiful Prinsesstårta is not only a piece of art but it’s also so delicious. Shame there’s not a Birthday to celebrate every day!



And no, you still have to go to school even if it’s your Birthday!

Svenska Flaggans Dag

by Scandinavian mum

It is Swedish National Day today, Hipp Hipp Hurra!
Since 6th of June 1983 the Swedish people has been celebrating a official National Day. On that very same day a Swedish National Costume was introduced by HRH Queen Silvia of Sweden. Although the costume was in existence since the 1900s, it was not accepted as a National Costume until this day.

If you feel like celebrating you should try out a recipe on a “Smörgåstårta”. It is a kind of sandwich with so much filling that it more resembles a cake than a sandwich and it’s the perfect dish to serve on a day of celebration like this!
We recommend trying out a recipe on this delicious sandwich cake by NotQuiteNigella.com Fantastic party food -made for sharing!

A big congratulations to all our Swedish friends!

Fastelavn, the Sunday before lent

by Scandinavian mum

Fastelavn in Scandinavia will be celebrated, depending on the country, either today or on Tuesday.
We celebrate with three important traditions; carnival, rich food and with decorating our homes with fastelavnsris, shown in the picture to the left.
During the period of carnival all nurseries and schools in Scandinavia celebrate in one way or the other. The youngest children have a day of carnival, dressing up and inviting their parents for morning coffee and the rich and delicious sweet buns with cream that we call “fastelavnsboller” or “semlor”.
Scandinavian fastelavn traditions also have their roots from before Christian times. Following old tradition the children rise at daybreak, arm themselves with Fastelavnsris, decorated birch branches, and go about the house trying to switch all the “lazy” people they can catch lying in bed. This curious custom of switching with branches doubtless originated in an ancient pagan rite of bringing into the village the fruitfulness of spring. It also symbolises the change from winter and hopes for a fruitful spring.
Nowaday families, nurseries and schools make their own “fastelavnsris”, decorating branches with bright coloured feathers or sparkling tinsel and paper streamers of red, orange, yellow and green. We also add flowers or other colourful and decorative items. And luckily lazy people do not have to fear a Sunday lie in any longer as the “fastelavnsris” is only a decorative item in a vase on the the table these days.

Photo: www.terella.no

Fastelavnsboller
Fastelavnsboller is simply sweet buns filled with cream, served with a thin layer of icing sugar on top. Some also add jam together with the whipped cream. Tastes wonderful together with a cup of coffee for brunch or around tea time.


Ingredients:
The sweet buns
150 gr butter
5 dl milk or water
50 gr fresh yeast
1 dl sugar
12-13 dl strong white flour
½ teaspoon cardamome
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bakingpowder

The whipped cream
3 dl double cream
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar

Method:
1. Melt the butter, add water/milk, warm until 38C.
2. Add salt and just a little sugar to the yeast to let the yeast melt.
3. Add water/butter and stir well. Add the rest of the sugar and almost all of the flour. Knead until you get a smooth dough, add more flour if necessary.
4. Let the dough rest and rise to double size. (time may vary depending on room temperature etc. Be patient!)
5. Knead again and cut the dough into 25 small pieces that you make into rolls. Put the rolls on a baking trey, cover with cling film and let them rise again for 20-30 minutes.
6. Bake at 230C for 10-15 minutes. Leave too cool.
7. Cut the sweet buns and fill it with whipped cream, jam or marzipan after taste. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy!

Happy Fastelavn!

St Lucia and yummy Saffron Buns

by Scandinavian mum

Lucia day in Scandinavia is on December 13th – a very special day in the Scandinavian calendar.  Originally, St Lucia celebrated “the bearer of light” and the tradition today is still that a train of people dressed in white will walk in the dark bearing candles, singing Christmas carols.
A girl is elected to portray Lucia, wearing a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head, she walks at the head of a procession of the children, each holding a candle.
When the Scandinavian countries were Catholic, the night of Lucia was celebrated just as many other saints’ days were. The tradition continued after the Protestant Reformation in the 1520s and 1530s. According to the Julian calendar[citation needed], the night of Lucia was the longest night of the year. This is likely to be the reason why the tradition has lived on in the Nordic countries in particular, as the nights in November and December are very dark and long before the snow has fallen, and the idea of light overcoming darkness is thus appealing.

A saffron bun, or “lussekatt” (literally “Lucy cat”, after Saint Lucy), is a rich yeast dough bun that is flavoured with saffron and cinnamon or nutmeg and contains currants. In Sweden and Norway, no cinnamon or nutmeg is used in the bun, and raisins are used instead of currants. The buns are baked into many traditional shapes, of which the simplest is a reversed S-shape. They are traditionally eaten during Advent, and especially on Saint Lucy’s Day, December 13. Here are our recipe.
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