Swedish Chocolate Balls

Homemade Chocolate Balls

This is a Swedish delicacy and a very loved treat in our house! Chocolate Balls! So easy to make, why we don’t make them all the time is because I basically eat 80% and share 20%. The girls and I made them for our Cancer Research bake sale that took place in the shop a couple of weeks ago and wow they were a huge success.

Now as always when I bake treats from home I use dl. 1 deciliter is 0.1 L or roughly 100 ml. This is a straight forward recipe, one bowl which is just how I like it when I bake!

Swedish Chocolate Balls

  • 100 g room temperature butter (use nice baking butter)
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 3 dl rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder ( please use nice quality, no sweet drinking cacao)
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (can be found in Flying Tiger or use vanilla extract but just a dash)
  • 2 tbsp cold coffee (obviously stronger the better ;) )

Mix it all in one ball, should be sticky and doughy not wet like a batter. Leave it in the fridge so it sets. I normally do a couple of hours. The roll in to small balls which you then roll in either Swedish Pärlsocker (Pearl sugar) which I always get while home, but you can get it from Totally Swedish . Or alternative roll the balls in desiccated coconut which is very very tasty indeed. Then I store mine at home in the fridge or the freezer.

These are beautiful with a cup of strong coffee. Enjoy

Charlotte xx

Rice Kids Event

We are delighted to announce the first of hopefully many fun events at Spektakulär! Rice is one of our best sellers – there can’t be many of you that don’t have one or two of their bright, happy melamine pieces in your home somewhere and they are a constant seller for us.

I am always trying to persuade Charlotte to open a Riceteria – a colourful and funky cafe that uses and sells Rice products but within a super cool cafe environment – cake, coffee, c’mon! Anyway, I digress (again I know – focus Watt.)

On Friday 5th April we are holding a kids event where your tiny ones can come and decorate a rice cup with an exciting selection of sticky, glittery things then take it home and use it as a flowerpot, pen holder or just as a very splendid table decoration. Not only do they get to have a bash at being creative, you get cake and we do all the clearing up – what’s not to love.

There are 3 time slots – 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm and tickets are £3. It will probably be fine for you to drop in but if you book we’ll know how much baking to do!

Hope to see you there xx

Bake Sale Fundraiser

Hello lovely ones, Ruth here again. Many of you will know that our fabulous Charlotte has been walking 10,000 steps a day throughout March to raise money for Cancer Research #walkallovercancer. I have been keeping an eye on her progress (from the comfort of my sofa, toast in hand) and not only has she been hitting her steps target, on a couple of days she has done over 20,000 and many more around the 15,000 mark! Amazing woman!

She has discovered many beautiful walks in and around our city and I know she has really enjoyed being joined by friends along the way, all in support of such a great cause.

Cancer affects so many of us. My mum has had breast cancer twice, my unbelievably awesome friend beat it in a mindblowingly dramatic fashion and other friends have thankfully had it diagnosed early through our brilliant NHS. Cancer Research do amazing work and without the funds raised by people such as Charlotte, well, it doesn’t bear thinking about to be honest.

We have been so touched that our customers and local businesses have sponsored Charlotte on her epic journey over the last month and as one final fundraising push we are holding a bake sale this coming Saturday (March 30th) in Spektakulär where you can come in, eat cake, donate (honestly, every tiny amount counts) and hear about Charlotte’s daily ramblings. Walking that is, not her usual ramblings.

It starts at 10am and will finish when the cake is gone and if you have ever experienced Charlotte’s baking then you know you are in for a treat – it is fantastic! She hilariously suggested this morning that I bake too. Don’t worry, I like you all too much for that…

See you Saturday xx

FIKA FRIDAY

We are absolutely delighted to invite you to our FIKA FRIDAY! By now you should know that FIKA is the Swedish word for Coffee and Cake :)

Once a month starting this Friday 1st March we will invite you to a FIKA FRIDAY. This is a FREE event, it is a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends or family while browsing the shops. Enjoy a coffee and a homemade Swedish treat on us. Check out the new designs in the shops and let us help you find wonderful treats for yourself or gifts for your loved ones.
We are thrilled to welcome you in for a chat and FIKA. Bring a friend and please do spread the word. The more the merrier as they say!

I am a keen baker, always baked but lately I cut it down a lot as I am also the one who eats it all (well I might share some with the family) and apparently it is not good for me to eat a whole cake (who knew)!

So I am sooooo happy I can bake and share it with you. Don’t take me wrong, I will try my bakes first to make sure it is tasty. My bakes will be traditional and modern Swedish treats. Basically because that is what I know. And that is what I am teaching my girls as well. I might adventure to try something new and if you think I really should know how to bake a Victoria Sponge well feel free to share your best recipes. One tricky thing with these recipes are that I only bake in DL. However 10 dl is 1 Litre and 1 dl is roughly 100 ml. I never weigh unless it is butter, but it says on the package and I am never spot on…crazy I know!!! I will share my recipes with you here on the blog, I just need to translate them first but they are pretty straight forward I would say :)

Looking forward seeing you tomorrow for our first ever FIKA FRIDAY!

Charlotte xx




Design Letters

Hej!

Design Letters Note Books
Hej! Personal notebooks!

What is going on, how is it June already? I really struggle to keep up! I can not believe our oldest daughter is almost about to finish P2. Time to get my notebook out and get more organised. I am a proper notebook person, love stationery and could easily spend a fortune on notebooks, pens, colouring pens or just nice things related to stationery! And I am a bit hooked with bullet journals at the moment!

Every time we are in Sweden I see Design Letters everywhere! Especially the children’s tableware which is just stunning! Then at a recent trade fair they had a stand and I just wanted to buy it all!!! It was hard to leave that stand!

So of course we are now super delighted to introduce Design Letters to our Spektakulär shop! We have started with the gorgeous personalised notebooks, action, brainstorm, sketch books and travel journal! Pencils and colouring crayons. I love all of them but somehow I just can not chose between C or my Swedish nickname L for Lotta. Maybe I should get them both or maybe the action book (aarggghhh decisions). But my absolute favourite collection is the baking/cooking collection. The recipe book and the DL (decilitre) measurements, they are just stunning! Since I use DL when I bake I would love these so much and it does help that they are so stylish as well. On my birthday list!

Design Letters - Cooking/Baking collection
Time to get baking

Design Letters creates amazing designs using the iconic Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen‘s hand-drawn typography from 1937. Everything from pencils to children’s plates and cups. We are so pleased with the response so far and are really hoping to add more of Design Letters to both the shops.

If you are looking for a nice gift then may I suggest the personalised notebook?!

Father's day
Gift Ideas

Design Letters
Time to get organised

Have a wonderful and stylish week :)

Charlotte x

 

LAKRIDS

Ohhhhhhh you got to try these!

I am not a hard core liquorice fan, I do enjoy it I mean I am Swedish after all (it runs in my veins) but when I am home in Sweden it is not what I need to fill my suitcase with (no then I fill it with chocolate and bread). So when I came across Danish Johan Bulow liquorice I did not have massive expectations but wow. You know when you put something in your mouth and it is just a pure pleasure experience, like a smell or flavour from childhood and you get all warm and happy inside. That is what happen to me! Zuzanna’s friend once said Johan Bulow is the king of liquorice, she is not wrong! Even Richard who is not that keen on liquorice enjoyed Lakrids (unless he is just pretending to keep me happy).

You just have to try it for yourself! I have a couple of favourites, first  I am a coffee drinker and I tried the Dark chocolate and Coffee covered liquorice, oh hello that one I enjoyed a lot! But also the freshness of the White and Passion Fruit chocolate covered is stunning! However the Pink LOVE, gosh taste bud heaven and it is totally true what says on the box “With these flavour-packed mouthfuls, you get to experience a broad variety of taste sensations. First the intriguing taste of raspberry, followed by the intensity of dark chocolate, and then – just when you thought the ride was over – the tickling heat of Habanero chilli liquorice swirls around your taste buds” my mouth just exploded in flavours, wow!

They have four chocolate covered flavours which seems to be main flavours

  • A. Chocolate Covered Soft Liquorice (Belgian Milk Chocolate)
  • B. White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Covered Sweet Liquorice
  • C. Dark and Coffee Chocolate Covered Sweet Liquorice
  • D. Roasted Almond Coated in Belgian Milk Chocolate and Raw Liquorice Powder

A
A. Chocolate Covered Soft Liquorice

B
B. White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Covered Sweet Liquorice

10653275_10152654616050358_3261021309378710829_n
C. Dark Chocolate and Coffee Coated Soft Liquorice

D
D. Almonds Covered with Chocolate and Raw Liquorice Powder

 

As well as the pure liquorice sweets (no covers)

  • 1. Sweet Liquorice: the one and only sweet liquorice you will ever need
  • 2. Salty Liquorice: this is the true love for any Salty Liquorice fans out there
  • 3. Red Liquorice: their answer to the american version, I would say it is better
  • 4. Habanero Chilli Liquorice: the spicy one (sadly not in stock just yet)
  • 5. Salty Chilli Cranberry Liquorice: created after request by the public (sadly not in stock just yet) 

As you are aware I do enjoy baking but I have never tried baking with liquorice. Seen recipes for years but since it is not as common as finding good quality liquorice here in the UK as back home I have just not done it. But now is the time for me to give it a go since we also stock the Raw Liquorice Powder .

Raw
Raw Liquorice Powder

On Lakrids website are some pretty amazing recipes. Think I should give these chocolate chip and liquorice a go, but the ice cream and oh wow even some brown bread with liquorice…oh my baking fingers are starting to itch!

recipes-dark-chokolate-chip-liquorice-cookies-lakrids-by-johan-bulow.jpg
Dark Chocolate Chip Liquorice Cookies

Have I tempted you yet?

How about these lovely ones. Lakrids seem to introduce a few limited edition flavours now and then, for example I was given the Salty Caramel Chocolate covered liquorice for Christmas, that went rather quickly. For Easter they have a Mint edition (I thought I ordered it but must have missed it, sorry). Last summer was a Elderflower, oh I hope they will bring that one back.

Let me introduce you to the LOVE flavours. Two outstanding and simply lovely flavours that is good for all year around. Does not need to be for Valentine’s. We all need love now and then, so why not treat your mum this Mother’s Day or instead of an Easter Egg from the supermarket. new house gift, get well soon, the little extra to a wedding gift oh you name it. We all need love and for some it is an easy way to say it with chocolate so why not with chocolate and liquorice?!

Love Pink: Raspberry and Dark Chocolate covering a hot Chilli Liquorice (taste bud heaven)

Love Cerise: Blackcurrant infused White Chocolate covering soft Liquorice (very fresh and pleasant taste, perfect with a cup of tea)

LOVE Raspberry
Raspberry and dark Chocolate covered Chilli Liquorice

LOVE balckcurrent
Blackcurrant and White Chocolate covering Soft Liquorice

I am not sure how I will be able to stay away from these. Selling things you love to eat is really hard. You just like to take another one and another one…so addictive! Self discipline Charlotte!!! On the other hand, I would not sell anything I did not love!

Enjoy!

Charlotte x

Semla (Classic Swedish Bun)

Right Christmas is over and it is almost Shrove Tuesday. Here in the UK it is also Pancake day but at home it is all about SEMLA. Seven Tuesdays before Easter but in Sweden you can sadly find a semla in a local bakery or cafe just after Christmas. You can eat them just as they are or in a “hetvägg” which is not my favourite. You basically make it all soft and gooey in warm milk (NO THANK YOU). I am not a massive fan of semla (gosh I can not believe I just said that), I mean I like them but one or five is enough during this time a year and I do not need them every day which is I admit a bit un-Swedish because the right thing to do is to eat a Semla a day from Shrove Tuesday until Easter! In my home town Alingsås, (Alingsås is also known as the one and only Cafe town, every second shop is a cafe) there is a competition who makes the best. The bun needs to be fluffy, perfect filling of almond paste and then the cream needs to be perfectly whipped, and for goodness sake make sure there is plenty of cream. Oh gosh the locals are hard critics and I think everyone turns in to a little bit of a Semla expert! You should see some of the comments they make in the local newspaper (eye-rolling).

Anyway here in Edinburgh is a little group of Swedish mums (and dads), most of us have a other half who is non-Swedish and this group was created to meet up and sing Swedish songs with our bilingual children. Now these days it is more about us grown-ups gossiping while the kids trash someone’s home. Our turn today and look at me I have baked Semlor and here is a recipe for you!

I like to say thank you to M who also made the bun big style and brought with her as well as L who made wonderful classic chocolate balls. I made mini Semla (no photo before gone). They turned out perfectly fine, I find the mini ones a better size really. Not too much and if still room just have another one (ten is too many).

Here is a recipe for you of the MINISEMLOR. I hope you will make it and please do enjoy it with a cuppa, or like us coffee.

Ingredients: Makes about 40 Mini Semlor

1 dl = 100 ml

BUN:

  • 50 gram butter (as always good quality and salted)
  • 2.5 dl milk (always go for full fat)
  • 25 gram fresh yeast (I get mine from Sainsbury’s, ask in the bakery)
  • 0.75 dl caster sugar
  • 1 tsp grounded cardamom
  • 1 egg
  • 8-9 dl plain flour (480-540 grams)

1 egg (as eggwash before baking in oven)

FILLING:

  • 200 grams almond paste (see below how to make your own unless you just been to Sweden and bought some)
  • 1 dl milk or cream
  • 3 dl whipping cream
  • if you like cognac or some sort of liquor (mix it with the cream)
  • icing sugar as dusting

HOW TO:

  1. Melt butter in pan, add milk and heat to 37 degress (finger warm). Make sure not to hot then the yeast dies, if too cold it takes a bit longer before proving.
  2. Crumb up the fresh yeast in one large bowl, add milk butter mix and make sure the yeast dissolves.
  3. Add the grounded cardamon, sugar, egg and most of the plain flour.
  4. Work the dough hard until it feels light and ready (like bread)
  5. Let prove for 30 min (make sure no draft)
  6. Work the dough and make about 40 even round balls. They are small so don’t panic.
  7. Put on a baking paper covered tray.
  8. Let prove again for 30 min (do not cheat)
  9. Heat up oven while the dough is proving to 250 degress.
  10. Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for about 5-7 min, make sure they have a nice colour
  11. Let cool
  12. Cut a lid in each bun and take out some of the inner bun to use for the almond paste filling.
  13. Almond paste mix, grate almond paste, dash of milk or cream (the 1 dl) and the bun inners, create a nice smooth mix and put back inside bun
  14. Whisk whipping cream and put on top of paste.
  15. Lid on top and add some icing sugar on if you like
  16. ENJOY

 

How to make Almond Paste

  • 250 grams un-blanched almonds
  • 2.5 dl caster sugar

Part boil and peel the almonds, grind to fine powder in blender, add the sugar and mix for 5-7 min until nice smooth and warm paste.

You know this might sound hard work but it really is not. Not worse than making bread or bake anything really. It is just the proving that might take a bit of time. Why not give it a go and impress your friends and if you have a Swedish friend well this will be a massive and grateful surprise and I bet you they will be delighted. Everyone likes a Semla!

Have fun

Charlotte x