Friday, July 20, 2012

Flødeboller - better late than never

It’s been quiet on the blog this last week because the husband and I decided to go on a road trip to Mount Washington and afterwards on to Main to have some of the famous Maine lobster.

We had a lovely time and I learned 2 things.
  1. Check the weather reports for the top of the mountain before going there.
  2. A 2 pound stuffed lobster is a seriously big meal.

Before we went on our trip my husband had requested that I make some Flødeboller since he realized that they do not exist here in the US.
Why they don't - I do not know.
I would think many Americans with a sweet tooth would love these things.
I tried to translate “Flødebolle” into English but I really do not agree with the translation “chocolate covered marshmallow”. 
This is not at all what they are and it is certainly not a nice name for them.
If you translate it straight into English “Flødebolle” means cream bun, which is kind of funny because there is no cream in them.
The best way I can describe them, is that you should imagine meringue before it is baked, covered in a crunchy layer of chocolate and sat on a thin crispy base.
“Flødeboller” is a given for every kids birthday party (at least when I was a kid) and on a seldom hot summer day in Denmark you have to put one on top of your ice cream cone together with whipped cream or “Guf” (I’ll come back to that later in this post) and jam.
You can buy them in all the shops for no money at all, but then you get tasteless sweet chocolate, despairingly light meringue and a base that taste like cardboard.
But as always you get what you pay for. 
The last couple of years many deluxe “Flødeboller” has popped into the market and here you are in for a real treat in my opinion.
It is such a Flødebolle I have tried to make.

White Chocolate Covered Flødebolle

Dark Chocolate Covered Flødebolle With Coconut Flakes

Dark Chocolate Covered Flødebolle

The base
You can make/use any base you like as long as it is crisp and not too thick.
I would also go for something not too sweet because the meringue needs a contrast.
Being a Dane I went for a lighter version of our beloved Marzipan which is a paste made from blanched almonds and sugar.
I had to make my Marzipan myself because I haven’t found it in the shops here.
It ended up being a cross between Marzipan and a French macaroon.
The almonds gave a nice contrast and texture to the base.

2 large handfuls of blanched almonds
1 egg white
Sugar to your liking

Heat the oven to 200 C/390 F.
Blitz it all up in a food processor until you get a thick paste.
I used my fingers to pad out the bases – 12 in total.
Bake them in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until golden and set aside to cool.

This paste was a bit wet and adding more almonds and sugar/less egg white will give you paste that is easily handled and more like real Marzipan.

The meringue filling - also called Italian meringue
You need a electric whisk for this – preferably in a stand so you do not have to hold it your self.

3 egg whites (you can use pasteurized to be on the safe side)
150 grams/0.75 cups of sugar + 1 tspb sugar
1/2 dl/ small splash of water
Vanilla essence to taste

Makes sure that your bowl and wisk is really clean. It is a good idea to put a few drops of vinegar in the bowl and swirle it around to get rid of any fat recidue.
Dry if off with some kitchen towl afterwords.
Egg whites will not get fluffy if there is the slightest amount of fat or egg yoke in the bowl.

Turn the oven on to 200 C/390 F.
Whisk the egg whites fluffy with a tablespoon of sugar.
While it is getting fluffy take the rest of sugar and put it in a small pan with the water.
Let it buble until golden and foamy around the edges.
If you have a sugar thermometer or a good oven thermometer for meat, stick that in the pan and wait until it hits 120 C/ 250 F.
By now the egg whites should have turned nice and fluffy. 
Keep whisking while you add the piping hot sugar water in a slow stream and add the vanilla essence when you are done.
The meriunge will now be really warm and you should keep on whisking until it is easily forms small peaks and has cooled slightly – about 10 minutes.
Then add the mixture to a plastic bag, cut a hole in one corner and add the meringue to the base. I like them nice and high, but do it any way you like.
Put them in the oven for 5 minutes and keep an eye on them. You want them just set at the outside but you do not want them to have a golden color.
Let them cool.

The chocolate cover

Melt 250 grams good quality (at least 70% cocao) chocolate.
I always use a Baine Marie for chocolate.
Baine Marie is basically a pot of boilings water on the stowe with a heat proof bowl that is slightely bigger sitting on top of the pot.
I usually let the heat proof bowl just touch the water, but some swear to only use the steam and allow no touching.
Bash up half of the chocolate and let it slovly melt in the bowl. Keep the water on a simmer.
Once it has melted you add the other half of the chocolate into the bowl and turn of the heat.
This should help give the chocolate the right temperature to handle.
Now comes the really hard part – covering the “Flødebolle”.
Some dip them into the chocolate, but I do not have nerves for this – what if it falls into the chocolate?
Some use a brush and brush the chocolate onto them, but I think this makes the chocolate cover to thin for my taste.

My method is to take any piece of kitchen utensil that would allow draining of chocolate and is big enough to balance on top of the chocolate bowl without you holding it.
Put a Flødebolle on top and poor chocolate over and let it drain back into the bowl so you do not waste any chocolate.
Put the Flødebolle on a piece of baking paper using two forks so you don’t get chocolate all over your hands and simply repeat.

If you are now thinking “What the hek is she talking about ” and feeling totally confused on the process use this link to see it in progress.
It's in Danish and his recipe is a bit different than mine but the process is the same and need no translation. 
He has a brilliant food blog and makes great food.
I do not have the ability to both cook and take pictures at the same time and therefore link to people who are more skilled than me when needed.

Once you are done covering your Flødeboller, you can put flakes of nuts, coconut flakes and freeze dries berries on them for looks and extra taste.
The coconut flakes are a classic topping and it tastes really good.

Let the chocolate coating go hard and crisp in the fridge where they will keep for up to 3 days.

I only used 200 grams of chocolate and therefore ran out. I had some white chocolate in the house and used this to do the last two. 
In my opinion they are too sweet with the white chocolate, but I have read about white chocolate Flødeboller with raspberry filled sugar cylinder in the middle and I think that might make them a bit more interesting.
I do not have the skills to make these kinds of sugar cylinders, but maybe just putting a whole raspberry in the middle would equal out the sweetness of the white chocolate.

Talking about Guf
Earlier I mentioned that the danes put something called Guf on top of their ice cream cones and I have not seen it anywhere here in the states - and I have tried quite a few ice creams shops already.
Guf is basically uncooked italien meringue - sometimes added a strawberry flavor - that you put on the very top of the ice cream cone.
The more traditional Ice cream cone is with whipped cream and jam on top, but Guf is much more popular.
This blog has a brilliant picture of what a danish ice cream cone looks like - the one in the pictures is with whipped cream, but you get the idea.

Hope you enjoy the recipes and if anyone out there know of a place in the US where they make Flødeboller (besides IKEA where they are called Skumtoppe) or use Guf on top of the ice cream - please leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Danish Dairy

If I might say so myself Denmark makes some of the most amazing dairy products.
You can get milk that is no more that 24 hours old and we preserve it in a different way than the rest of the would, because it normally has an expiration date of no more than 7 day.
And the butter is fantastic – yellow, salty and full of flavor.
I really miss Danish dairy products and that even comes from a Dane who did not drink milk growing up – which is unheard of in Denmark.
In average a family of 4 drinks a liter of milk a day (about 4 cups) and most kids get the choice of drinking regular milk or water with their meals.
Most of the milk I find here has an expiration date about 1 month after is has been picked up at the farm.
I know the reason for this is the climate and the long distances the milk has to travel on this vast continent – but the taste really suffers.
I was so lucky to find a local dairy farm that sells milks that is similar to Danish milk – only MUCH more expensive and 2 weeks until expiration date.

But back to Denmark and the usage of milk....
Calf from a local organic farm where my husbands cousin works - so cute. 

100 – 150 years ago in Denmark milk, like eggs, was spring and summer food. You could not get it year round and you had to make the most of it when it was available.
So the farmer’s summer diet was usually made up by some kind of porridge made from milk or porridge from grains with sour milk on top.
All summer long the girls would milk the cows 3 times a day and Madmor (the lady in charge of the farm kitchen) would make cheese and butter and of course different kinds of milk would come out of this process.
One of these byproducts is Kærnemælk (buttermilk) that is a result of making butter – to churn butter in Danish is called “at kærne smør” – there from the word kærnemælk.
Today Danish buttermilk is made by making skimmed milk sour and only by buying organic buttermilk in Denmark you get the taste of old fashioned buttermilk.
In the states I have not seen any organic buttermilk and most of the product that I have found are fat free – not my kind of product.
So the taste is not quite the same as I am used to, but it tastes all right.
Today you can get milk all year round and we no longer eat porridge everyday, but some summer milk recipes we have kept because they are simply so delicious.
On of them is Kærnemælks koldskål

Koldskål is a sweet cold buttermilk soup served with Kammerjunker - a twice-baked biscuit.
And because it is a beloved Danish summer dessert - also eaten as a whole meal on hot summer day - there are as many recipes as there are families.

Some make it only with buttermilk, some add yoghurt; some make it without eggs and some with eggs.
It all depends on preference and - probably – what you have in the fridge.

It was my first time making Koldskål and Kammerjunker, since I always just bought it ready made from the supermarket in Denmark.
But over here there is no such option, so no other choice than to roll up my sleeves and get cooking.


1 stick of salted butter (113 gram)
2 1/3 cup of flour (300 gram)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 eggs
½ cup of sugar (100 gram)
Zest of half a lemon
Cardamom to taste (About a tsp)
A splash of cold milk/water

Put all the ingredients, except the milk, in a food processor and blitz it together until it forms one big lump.
If it ends up more like breadcrumbs then add a splash of milk.
Put the dough in cling film an let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour. I could not wait and therefore just let it sit until I had made the Koldskål.
After resting you can either make small bunds with your hands or make the dough into a sausage and cut them into ½ inch (1,5 cm) pieces.
Put them on a baking tray in a 350 F (175 C) hot oven for about 10 minutes.
Take them out and let them cool until you are just able to handle them.
Cut them in two and bake one more time for about 5 minutes. 
Keep an eye on them – you want them golden brown.
Don’t worry if some of them brake into smaller pieces when you cut them in two - many Danes like to crumble them on top of their Koldskål.
Once they have cooled of they will be nice and crisp.
I forgot to put in the baking powder and perhaps they were supposed to rise a bit, but I think they turned just fine anyway.

Kærnemælks koldskål

Sour, sweet, lemony, with a touch of vanilla and beautiful yellow color from the eggs.

1 quart of buttermilk (946 ml)
1 quart of full milk yoghurt (946 ml)
6 pasteurized egg yokes
6 tablsp sugar
Zest of 2 small lemons
1 tablsp of vanilla extract

Wisk the egg yokes, vanilla, sugar and zest until light and fluffy.
Gradually whisk in the buttermilk and then add the yoghurt little by little, until you get the thickness that you prefer.
I used all of it.
You can eat it right away, but letting it rest in the fridge will allow the zest to flavor the buttermilk.

Next time I make this recipe I will properly ad more lemon zest, maybe even some juice and I will definitely go for a real vanilla pod instead.
I just haven’t been able to find any in my local supermarket.
I might also whisk in the yoghurt before the buttermilk to make sure that I don’t get any yoghurt lumps.

I had this for an early dinner with Kammerjunker, again as a late snack in a glass as you would drink milk and again this morning with Kammerjunker and strawberries.
The strawberries really add to the experience and I imagine that it would go great with banana as well – maybe as a smoothie…? Must try that later today.
Since my recipe contains eggs I will try to eat it all within 2 days. Even if they are pasteurized, I do not trust them for longer periods of times.
Leaving the eggs out of course make it easier to keep. 
Up till 5 days in the fridge I would think.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Pancakes are my husband and mine favorite weekend breakfast food.
And today was no different – once I opened my eyes I was in the mood for pancakes.
So in the spirit of the blog I decided to make both my normal pancakes and American pancakes.

American Pancakes

Here served with maple syrup and blueberries. This picture shows about half the amount this recipe makes.

2 dl/1 cup flour
2 dl/1 cup milk (buttermilk is best)
2 eggs
1 tblsp. sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tblsp. melted butter

Mix all the ingredients together and, if you have time, let it rest for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Heat up a pan and fry them in butter for about 1 minute on either side.
You can tell when it is time to turn them over, because air bobbles will appear on the uncooked side.
The size varies when I have had them, but I normally try to get 4 in a pan at the same time.
Serve them with fresh blueberries, maple syrup and cold butter.

I often serve them with a blueberry-maple syrup, simply combining the 2 in a pan and heating them until the blueberries bursts and colors the syrup.
I am not a huge fan of butter on the pancakes and also often find that the pancakes suck up too much of the syrup – making them too sweet.
So I sometimes squeeze a fresh orange over them, making them nice and spongy, without the extreme sweetness.

My pancakes

Pancakes with lemon zest

These pancakes are French inspired, so the correct name would perhaps be “My Crêpes” but it is the way I have always made pancakes.
This recipe was "invented" when I was a little girl, home alone with a friend, and going through the cabinets to find something to satisfy our “lækkersult” (meaning hunger for something sweet/tasty).

2 dl/1 cup flour
2 dl/1 cup milk
1 tblsp sugar
1 pinch salt
Zest of 1 large organic lemon and/or orange
1 egg

Mix the batter together and, if you have time, set it aside for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Put a pan on high heat and put some butter in the pan. 
I sometimes melt the butter beforehand and coat the pan with at kitchen brush.
This way you keep the butter from burning because it has been cleared – the same way you would do when making béarnaise or hollandaise.

Make a test pancake – the rule in our family was that the first one was for the pancake chef. 
This way the chef could adjust if the batter needed more salt, sugar or maybe moister since you are looking for a batter that will easily coat the pan with a thin layer of batter when you tilt it.
Another good thing about the chef tasting the first pancake is that you can sometimes taste the last thing that has been cooked on the pan – especially curry tends to stick even after thorough cleaning.
But most of the “last meal taste” will stick to the first pancake and save your loved ones the bad experience.
Ideally you would have a pan just for sweets, but I always end up using that pan for something else when I am in a jam.

In my family we would often serve these pancakes with homemade “råcreme” which is a crème made from beaten egg yokes, sugar, vanilla and wiped crème, and fruit on the side.
But for breakfast my husband and I just use maple syrup or Nutella and Banana.

Traditional Danish pancakes are much like the crêpes, but sometimes a bit thicker and whenever a grandma or grandpa has made some for me – they used a lot of butter in the pan to make them crisp along the edges.
Some make the batter with beer and some with a bit of butter – like in the American pancakes.
And many would add an extra egg for a thicker batter.
Normally they would be served with jam or sugar.

I think every family has their own recipe - so the only way to find your own favorite is to make A LOT of different pancakes!

I hope you will all have a great weekend filled with good company and great food!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July Dinner

I hope everyone in the States had a lovely 4th of July yesterday with good friends, great food and lovely fireworks.
Since we are still new to the US, we did not get to experience a real American 4th of July, but we were so lucky to be invited to spend the evening with some of the other local Danes in the community and our lovely Canadian neighbors.
We agreed on a pot lock dinner and I had to bring a salad.
But me being me – I couldn’t just bring 1 and ended up making 3 to my husbands great despair, because it meant that we ended up being 15 minutes late.
(In Danish culture it is common to come at the exact time that you are invited to and preferable not more than 5 – 10 minutes late in social matters)

Be we got there and I think everyone survived in spite of my tardiness.

I had a lot of good thing in the fridge from my CSA farm and since a lot of the local produce simply does not exist in Denmark it was unfamiliar territory for me.
But hey – trail and error is a great way to learn and they turned out really well.
I hope you will enjoy them as much as me.

Red Russian Kale, Baked Beats and Goats Cheese

Red Russian Kale (as much as you like – I had about 10 leafes)
3 medium beets
1 Lemon
Goats Cheese
Olive oil

Wash the beats and bake them in the oven for about 40 minutes with oregano, salt and olive oil.
Blanch the green leafs of the Kale for 1 minute and quickly put them in ice water afterwards to stop the boiling.
This gives them a deeper green color and makes them nicer in texture.
Drain the leafs and make sure to get of as much of the excess water as possible.
Melt a good knob of butter in a pan on a medium heat.
Cut the lemon in half and fry them in the butter – the cut side down onto the pan.
When the lemon has a nice caramel like color, you turn of the heat and press all the lemon juice into the pan with a little extra butter, salt, pepper and sugar to your taste.
In general a dressing should be a little bit to sour and a bit to salty.

When the beets are done, you let them cool off and then peel the skin of.
If you are lucky, you simply cut of the top and press the beet hard between your hands and it comes right out of its skin.
I used an apple corer to make the beets into cylinder shapes, but luckily they taste the same not matter the shape, so do it as you prefer.

Cut the kale into mouth size pieces and dress them in the still warm butter and lemon dressing.
Arrange all the ingredients on a platter and drizzle pieces of goat’s cheese on top.

Red Russian Kale is not a vegetable I know from Europe and I would say that it resembles Grøn Kål (a common kind of curly kale in Denmark) but with a slightly milder taste and flatter leaves.

Green beans, Spicy Green Wave Mustard and Bacon

1 pound of green beans
1 good bunch of spicy green wave mustard
1 pack organic bacon or pancetta
Balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic

Nip the ends of the green beans and blanch them – again staight into ice water afterwards.
Once they have cooled of, strain them into a colander and let them drip dry in the sink.
Fry the bacon/Pancetta in a large pan. If you use pancetta, then help it along with a little olive oil.
They need to be nice and crispy.
Put the bacon aside.
Now you have a pan with bacon fat/pancetafat and olive oil. Use this to make the dressing.
Turn the heat of, but keep it on the stove.
Give your 2 garlic cloves a good bash and put them into the pan to flavor the oil.
Then you put balsamic vinegar (about the same amount as the bacon fat) into the pan and let it deglace the pan.
This warm dressing should have a slightly sweet taste from the balsamic vinegar – but ajust it to you taste.
Wash and cut the spicy green wave mustard into bite sizes pieces and have a taste. If they are really spicy, put them straight into the warm pan. This will reduse the flavor.
If not, then wait till the pan is a temperature that you can handle the dressing with your fingers.
Take the garlic cloves out of the pan and mix first the mustard and then the beans in the warm dressing.
Crumble the bacon on top and arrange onto a platter.

Spicy Green Wave Mustard is a form of lettuce that has a strong taste of mustard. It is somewhat similar to wild arugula in strength, but has much larger leafs and a dijon hot mustard taste.

Danish Cucumber Salad With Dill

4 cucumbers
1 large bunch of chopped dill
4 tablespoons of vinegar (I use apple vinegar)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half and then into big chunks.
If the pits are really big you can take them out, but I never do.
Mix the rest of the ingredients into a dressing in the bowl that you will serve the salad in.
Mix the cucumbers into the dressing and let it set for about 30 minutes on the countertop, mixing them when ever you get a chance in between cooking the rest of the meal.
This is a very traditional summer salad and it goes perfecly with chicken, but you can eat it with almost anything.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A legal alien...

New country, new language, new culture and a personal life that is turned up side down.
That is just some of the things that you are faced with once you decide to leave you home country and see what's beyond the horizon.
I am a Danish 20 something girl who, a few months ago, upped and left her life to follow her husband to Connecticut.
So here I am and I don't have a clue about what to do with all the free time I have on my hands......
So why not start a blog about how I meet this new culture? 
And all guides you find online tell you to write about something you are passioned about and for me that is FOOD.
On this blog I will try to tell about my adventures in the American cuisine and how it will allow me to get to know the American culture.
Furthermore I can't deny the fact that I am a Dane and already, 3 months into my adventure, I really miss food from home.
So I will also blog recipes from back home and hope that you will enjoy them.

Velbekomme! (Translation: Enjoy!) 

Dinner in China Town, New York