FIKA FRIDAY!!

Kärleksmums

Oh this beauty has many names (this is my free direct translation for you, I am sure it is not the real one). Mocha Squares, Chocolate squares but this Kärleksmums is my favourite name, Kärlek mean Love and mums is yummy so LOVEYUMMIES or as Stina says LOVEYUMYUMS, let’s go with Loveyumyums shall we ;).

It is such a lovey bake, super easy and swift. One of those I grew up with. Always a favourite at the party and yes it has a dash of coffee in it and yes I give it to my kids (go on, judge away…)

So as we seem to not eat all our bakes every week (I really miss sharing with my friends) I will half this recipe today and use a smaller tray. This is made in a large tray which is great for parties but as we are only four people I will try to make less of it! Can’t wait to bake this for a real FIKA FRIDAY in the shop.

Ingredients, please remember I use dl. So 1 dl is about 100 ml.

Chocolate cake base:

  • 200 g butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 dl caster sugar
  • 4 dl plain flour
  • 1 dl cocoa powder (always go for a nice quality with little sugar in it)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (use 1-1.5 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 dl milk

Topping:

  • 75 g butter
  • 1.5 dl cold coffee
  • 4 dl icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (just use a dash of vanilla extract)
  • Coconut or sprinkles

Turn on oven at 200 degrees.

Melt the butter and let it cool, mix egg and sugar in to white and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and sift over the egg and sugar mix. Add the milk and then the melted butter while stirring during the whole time (we do not like egg lumps). Once all mixed in to a nice even batter pour it in to the tray that is already covered in baking paper. In the oven for 20-25 min, It needs to be cooked but also moist so do not over bake it please. Once out let it cool a little while you prepare the topping.

Topping, melt the butter first in a pan and then add the rest of ingredients. Melt it all together, try to not let it boil. Once ready pour over the sponge and let it cool a little. Then sprinkle the sprinkles or coconut on top. We always had coconut and it is something special with it and the flavour is perfect, but colourful sprinkles defiantly makes me smile! However after our taste test I will say coconut! Go coconut!!!

Enjoy! Now it’s time for Friday G&T!!!

Charlotte x

Fika Friday Recipe

Swedish Birthday Cake Bake

On Saturday our youngest daughter turned seven. She is a true superstar and she makes us laugh everyday, but to have her birthday in the middle of the lockdown was a tricky challenge. More emotional than anything really! She is a proper “hugger” and she really missed hugging her friends. So we prepared a really nice birthday corner in the house and I do have a habit of buying gifts when I see them. I had picked up a guitar in a charity shop a couple of months back and a neighbour sold a guitar stand for a couple of pounds which has been a great gift as we all have started to play the guitar and downloaded a learning app. Once a week I go to the shop to check on it and to make sure it is ok (sadly this time there was a water leak at the back of the building and all the water coming down our backshop window, landlord is on it), and took the girls with me to let her chose a maileg soft toy which she love.

On her birthday we had a small zoom party which was extremely chaotic but it made her happy. Plus we baked her a birthday cake. A Swedish cake!

What is a Swedish birthday cake? Well they do come in all sizes and shapes but mainly it is a sponge cake cut in three layers with two fillings and wipped cream on the top. You can decorate it as you like but at Midsummer you really should have strawberries! The layers in the middle can be anything you like but I would use vanilla cream and jam. However I used to experiment a lot when I was younger and I think my favourite was a layer of chocolate mousse and one layer of vanilla cream and then the topping was melted chocolate. If you have cream as topping you can decorate with whatever you like, sweets or berries. I personally love the berries as it is already quite sweet cake and I like the freshness from the berries.

Ok lets crack on, here is the base recipe for the cake sponge. In Sweden you can buy ready made bases in the shop so a few years ago I started to research how to make the base as close to a cake sponge as possible and found this. It does not have butter or oil in it and is quite a dense but yet sweet base. Remember 1 dl is about 100 ml

Swedish Cake Base – Tårtbotten

  • 3 egg
  • 3 dl caster sugar
  • 1 dl hot water
  • 3 dl plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (use vanilla extract)

Mix egg and sugar very fluffy, add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar). Once all mixed add the hot water, bit by bit slowly while stirring so you do not get egg lumps.

Pour in to a baking mould in any shape you like. Traditionally a round but I have heart and rainbow shapes and I have also made letters before so doubled the batter and used a larger tray and then cut out the letter, which left some waste but the family does not mind eating the end bits.

Once it is cool down slice in three layers, I use a bread knife but if you have the proper tools then use them.

And that is the base, it is a super simple base but very tasty.

Then you can fill it with whatever you like. I remember my mum using mashed bananas which is nice if you like banana, cream mixed with fresh berries or homemade jam (or indeed shop bought). Traditionally vanilla cream or custard is used but yes you guessed it, vanilla custard here in the UK is not the same, you kind of need the one you use in profiteroles and I found a recipe online which you use raw egg yolks in and it is super easy but it is more for a summer pie or a warm spice apple pie in the autumn.

Big sister decorated the cake as a surprise and Lovisa was super delighted!

Enjoy!

Charlotte x

FIKA FRIDAY BAKE

KLADDKAKA

Kladdkaka, it even has its own day in Sweden now. This is my go to recipe. A super swift and easy, the one I know the ingredients by heart. And the one you can mess around with and it will still taste amazing every time.

There are so many different versions how to make Kladdkaka, but this is my recipe. The secret to a good kladdkaka is not to beat the eggs. So do not use a electrical mixer. And it should be gooey in the middle, I never bake them longer than 15-20 minutes. These are perfect straight from the oven with whipped cream, ice cream or just straight from the baking tray with a spoon (yes I have done that). But they are equally good the day after as when they cool down they create a very nice sticky flavor in the middle and crisp outside. Mmm yummy!!

The story behind a kladdkaka is basically that someone was making a brownie and forgot to add baking powder! Some mistakes are indeed good mistakes!! However I am not sure that is true as I have heard a few other stories as well!

Right lets get on with it! Remember 1 dl is 100 ml!

Oven on at 175 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 100 g melted butter
  • 2 egg
  • 3 dl sugar
  • 1.5 dl plain flour
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla sugar (use 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder (good quality, the darker and less sugar the better)

Then you can add nuts, sweets or like we did today some chopped bits of dark chocolate. At Christmas we add pepparkaks (gingerbread) spices (ginger, cardamon, cinnamon and gloves) and it is just heavenly!

Mix egg and sugar, let sit while you melt the butter. Then add flour, vanilla and cocoa powder, gently stir and last add butter. Pour in to baking mould and straight in the oven. Bake for about 15-20 min. It should be a bit wobbly in the middle but not raw looking. We made cupcakes today so I baked them for 8 minutes.

ENJOY!!

Well this treat will be at the shop for our first FIKA FRIDAY once we reopen again! Mmm it smells pretty good here. All week we have created Easter cards and letters to our local friends and we will go out for a little walk and deliver these. But first its FIKA time

Charlotte xx

Community LOVE

Walking to work on a Saturday morning and getting a phone call that tells you your shop has been broken in to is not a nice experience. There are a lot of things going through your head. I need to call the police, which number to use, insurance, landlord or not, get a hold of Richard, knowing his bloody phone is not working as it should. What is the damage, and as we were closing one shop this weekend it was basically empty so am thinking it is probably ok. Trying to stay positive with 25 minutes still to walk. But then you get the second phone call from the actual police telling you it is the other shop, the one that is jammed packed with fab designs. The police were waiting for me and they were so lovely and supportive. A person was really determent to make it in and he did but it made such a mess. The safe was stolen but it was basically empty (wish I could have seen his face when he open it) but it is the mess that is left behind. And the brick!

My shop is located on a busy side street with fantastic neighbours and the lovely Bia Bistot gave me contacts to phone, cake and coffee (a lot of coffee). A huge recommendation to Comely Bank Glazing who turned up within a couple of hours and replaced the window. As it was a Saturday our girls were dancing. A parent collected Stina while Lovisa and Richard came to get me and we all went home instead of hanging around a cold and broken shop. You go through a lot of emotions. I personally believe having your home broken into is worse, or a fire, it could have been so much worse.

But I felt really deflated when this happened and you go through a lot of emotions in one go. So I vented my frustration on social media. I needed to let people know we were closed but might have also just gone blaaaahhhhh.

Within seconds the love and the messages that flooded in, I could not believe it. My Instagram was filling up and so many private messages. I do not have the FB app on my phone so when I logged in I was in tears. So many people offered help and that is something I would struggle to ask for. But wow, friends, staff and fellow shop owners came in and helped me clean yesterday. Friends offered with playdates for the girls. My post was shared in local media and on a large local FB group. The community has sent us so much love and as I posted in one of my posts, one person knocked me down but hundreds pulled me up! You did! So thank you!

Lets help each other out, be nice and be kind to each other. That is what a great community is about and wow have we received some love this weekend. You helped me by showering me, my shop, my staff and my family with love. But you know what else you can do? You can help by support your little local shops, the independent cafes, the mum that works from the kitchen table setting up her own business. Pop in and even by just buying a £2.50 card will help. Log out from the amazon account and give the little ones some love instead. Head over to Bruntsfield or any fab area you feel it is time you visit (take the bus) and go for a wander. We all do need your support to survive! So lets all work together!

We are back up and running again and we are working on some great new ideas and will redo our shop ready for a busy summer. And yes of course we used the brick that was left for our new window display. Is it yours?

Is this your brick?
Please pop in to claim your prize*

*prize may include a mild duffing up and/or prison

** no cash equivalent as you’ve already had that

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the police via 101. Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Charlotte xxx

Glad Påsk!

School holidays – yay!! Long lies, chilling out, late breakfasts, hours of lounging ahead. Oh sorry, forgot, we have kids, scrap all that – we can but dream. Hope you all have some nice plans though even if it’s only doing the same stuff but in a different location – we all deserve a bit of a break from the everyday.

So, we know how we spend Easter – rolling eggs, eating chocolate, separating scrapping siblings, but how do the Swedish do it? Well, like most things they do it with great enthusiasm, style and a dash of witchcraft.

It would be a rare Easter gathering that didn’t involve some egg painting. This ancient tradition brings the happy colours of spring to the Swede’s Easter table and the eggs are then gathered together and used as a centerpiece. They are often later hung from trees or birch twigs with brightly coloured feathers and some are maybe scattered round the garden as an Easter hunt.

Girls Decorating the Påskris with mormor (Swedish Grandma)
Påskpyssel Easter Decorations with the cousins

A traditional Easter lunch is likely to consist of different varieties of pickled herring, cured salmon and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled anchovies baked in cream). The table is often laid like a traditional smörgåsbord. Spiced schnapps is also a feature of the Easter table. At dinner, people eat roast lamb with potato gratin and asparagus, or some other suitable side dish.

Påsklunch
Swedish Påsklunch being prepared
Family Påsklunch in Sweden

Just like here in the UK, Swedish Easter is filled with candy, chocolates, and toffee, delivered to the kids in large brightly colored påskägg – eggshells of cardboard or plastic – the bigger, the better. Every year Swedish kids are high as kites from skärtorsdag until late on påskafton, when the påskägg has been emptied.

Easter Treat

My favourite Swedish tradition is the Easter Witches. On skärtorsdag, Maundy Thursday, modern Swedish children dress up as påskkärringar (Easter hags) paint their faces, carry a broom and knock on neighbor’s doors for treats, much like American children do at Halloween.

The tradition is said to come from the old belief that witches would fly to a German mountain the Thursday before Easter to cavort with Satan. On their way back, Swedes would light fires to scare them away, a practice honored today by the bonfires and fireworks across the land in the days leading up to Sunday.

So, there you have a not in any way complete, potted history of how our own #superswede Charlotte would be spending her holidays if she weren’t here. Have a lovely one wherever you are…

Ruth x

All images are from a Swedish family holiday 2017

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

Make Your Mother’s Day

When I was growing up we didn’t do Mother’s Day in our house. Of course my brother and I brought home the tat we were forced to make at school – enjoyable only for the break it gave us from Mr Woolridge and his fury at our inability to recite the 7 times table. Paper daffs, cardboard rosettes, mum figures made from loo roll inners – year after year of shoddily constructed offerings. Here you go mum, you’re welcome.

As we got older though we found that mum didn’t want Mother’s Day presents or even cards. She thought that if you needed to be told once a year to appreciate all her hard work, her unconditional love and the patience that we gave a daily battering to, then something was drastically wrong. So we stopped. No cards. No presents. No breakfast in bed. We thought nothing of it, that’s how it was. I know, I know.

Then I became a mum. Ellie was 9 months old on my first Mother’s Day. ‘She’ somehow forgot go to the shop and get me my first Mother’s Day card. First Mother’s Day – yep, I’ll say it again. First. Bit special. Y’know. I’m over it now obviously (so not) but from that year onwards, I bought my amazing mum cards and presents whether she wanted them or not. Bit of free advice here, err on the side of caution and get down those shops and maybe not just when the card shop tells you it’s time to think of her.

So, what to buy? You could go down the traditional flower route but we don’t sell flowers and this blog isn’t for nothing you know – it’s to tell you of all the wonderful gifts we have in Spektakulär Home and Spektakulär Gifts that are perfect for the wonderful mum in your life. Oh, where to start?!

Personally, feed me Lakrids Liquorice and you are guaranteed to be my favourite child (listening you two?) In 2007 the first Lakrids by Johan Bülow shop opened in Svaneke. The idea was to cook the liquorice in the shop, making sure that you could smell it in a radius of 100 meters. It worked. Everything was sold out within two hours. The last customer even bought the sample bowl on the counter. It is AMAZING!

Image by Lakrids By Johan Bulow

For lovers of natural body and skin care – we stock the luxurious and almost edible smelling range from Mirins Copenhagen. The company is one of our most loved and offers bath and body care products, using only natural and organic ingredients. All of their products are free of preservatives, free of synthetic additives and free of artificial perfumes.

All products are developed based on Herbalism and Aromatherapy, to enhance the mood in addition to pampering the body. Just gorgeous.

Image by Mirins Copenhagen

For something a bit different we have our Spira faces bags. We love these so much – the cushion range has long been one of our best sellers so we were delighted when they started producing matching bags. If you can find one that looks like your mum then you are totally aceing Mother’s Day and if not just buy her the Frank one – we all love a bearded, tattooed sailor (what, just me?)

Image by Spira Of Sweden

I have blogged about Lindform before but to save you the bother of trawling back through, let me describe this amazing brand again.
The inspiration for Lindform vases comes from Scandinavian nature with its organic tones and simple shapes. The company is a Swedish family business started on a small scale in 2007. They have since then grown to be a brand that is synonymous with Scandinavian design and quality. Each piece goes through several hand made processes resulting in wonderfully tactile, contemporary designs. Perfect as individual pieces and stunning in a group they have been a great seller for us here in Spektakulär since we introduced them a couple of years ago.

Image by Lindform

So, lots of ideas for you there and we have so many other ranges that would be perfect for making her day. Absolutely no excuse this year you lot…

Ruth xx

p.s. I spend a ridiculous length of time stressing over the apostrophe in Mother’s Day – is it your mother’s day or the day for mothers? I’d go the latter to celebrate all mums but gave in to majority rule #virgo x