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

WELCOME AYAIDA!!

New brand alert!

Stylish Water Bottles!
The bottle in the front showcase the clever sports lid that can be purchased separately.

I am so super excited to welcome a fantastic new brand to Spektakulär!

This Danish family owned business was established in 2017. AYAIDA is the combination of the names of their daughters Aya and Ida, and the overall thought behind AYAIDA is to think about the next generation and consider every usage we do. They combine design, functionality and elegance with a mission – to relieve the planet from the exaggerated amount of plastic. And most of all they a making a difference for the people who are not having the same possibilities as we have here in Europe. The materials used in their products are carefully chosen to keep their customers healthy and to last for the longest time. They aim to inspire and minimise the “use and throw out” culture that we live in today.

These beautiful drinking bottles keep your beverages perfectly hot for 12 hours and cold for 24! They are 100% free from BPA, Phthalates and toxins. The bottles comes in three sizes, 500 ml, 750 ml and 1 L. And a super clever sports lid can be purchased separately.

All bottles comes with a lid with a silicone grip, in the middle the sportslid is demonstrated!

I was given one a month ago and I can not describe how pleased I am. It is comfortable to drink from, stylish, leak proof and my water is always cold. My friend who gave it to me suggested to use it for a bottle of cold wine…I think that is a great idea and I will definitely try it out in near future!!! Plus I am about to use mine for hot Ribena as I am about to drag my family to Pentlands for a long family walk to get my steps up. When I first got it there was a few scratch marks and I once took it out of my bag covered in colour pens (!!!) but it came right off and it still looks new which I am very impressed by!

So what are you waiting for? Time to invest in a proper bottle, use less plastic and look stylish! Plus did you know AYAIDA donate 100 L of clean water for every sold AYAIDA products. You do good for you, children in need and for our beautiful planet! I would say this is a fantastic gift to give!

UNICEF expects that 1000 children are dying every day due to the lack of clean water. AYAIDA think EVERY child has the right to be healthy and to be safe which is what UNICEF also is fighting for. AYAIDA is extremely proud to be a business partner with UNICEF! You can read more here on AYAIDAs website.

All images are by our lovely EMMA! https://www.instagram.com/emmakburnettphotography/

Charlotte 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

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

 

Spring time and Pappelina delivery!

Yes Spring is coming, February is almost over…wow that was fast! I still feel like Christmas is just a couple of weeks ago! Well Christmas is now packed away, both shops cleaned and some new Spring deliveries has arrived. Both shops feel fresh and I just can not wait for Spring to arrive! It’s hinting but then now and then we get reminded that nah still Winter!

Anyhow this week coming we expect a new delivery from lovely Pappelina! Pappelina has not introduced any new pattern designs this season but focused on colours instead and new size 60×85 cm and I personally think that was one smart move.

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New Pappelina Colours

At Top Drawer we saw the new colours and wow love them all. So am very excited about this delivery. As you know Pappelina is a Sweden based company. The rugs are made in Sweden, the plastic is made in Sweden. During the last few years they have grown incredible large and are now know all over the world. As a Swede growing up with hard wooden floors these makes perfect sense to me, but I must admits sometimes it is a challenge to try to sell a plastic rug to a person who has carpets. But hey I would not do it if I did not believe in them. These rugs are worth every penny, they are hand crafted in Sweden, they are easy to clean, soft under foot and best of all stylish and contemporary.

Spring is coming so why not make your home spring fresh with a lovely rug! We (Richard and myself) are still debating which rugs for our hallway. We have a 5 m hallway so am thinking one long or two or three rugs. But I also noticed our bathroom rugs needs replacing as well (kind of ignored it and hoped that after every wash they will look like they ones did). So I think we will start with that one before we decided which one/s for our hallway.

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Folke in Reds

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Dana in Blues

All images are from Pappelina’s FB page.

Before you think I can only have this rug in the hallway or bathroom or kitchen, please think again. Take them camping, why not in your office, under the big dining table, playroom, utility room? Check out our Pinterest Pappelina Board for inspiration.  We will let you know on our Facebook page when they new delivery arrives, however we already have a rather large quantity in store so pop in and check them out.

Charlotte x

 

 

And we are back!

Hejsan!

Both shops are back up and running again after the Christmas and New Year holidays! This time of the year just makes me a bit gloom! The lovely Christmas lights disappears….booo! I am pretty sure you are all well familiar with the Danish word Hygge by now! Wow must have been the word of the year! And guess what Hygge does not finish when Christmas is over, no no Hygge is more important now than before Christmas (not jut for Christmas you know). We do need something to look forward to during the dark month of January! So at the moment I light up candles every night and enjoy a lot of cosy time with my little family, games, books and films (my kind of cosy).

Yesterday Richard and I managed to sit down and have a little chat about 2016 business wise and we made a plan for what to do for January and yay stock take time :) Well that is only one thing on our huge list. We have a very exciting year ahead and this year we really like to get Lilla out there! Time to make sure you and everyone you know knows Spektakulär has a little sister and it is only two doors away. Perfect for Scandi gifts and treats for you young ones. But let me just say thank you for supporting us, you are amazing!

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This morning my little helpers are in the shop with me and they are on quality control to make sure the toys we sell in Lilla is up to standard and yes I believe our Oscar and Ellen Doctor’s Bag has passed the test :)

Charlotte x

 

 

Ingela P Arrhenius

A couple of weeks ago…no a FEW weeks ago Ruth sent me this, since the blog is something I seem to be very good at neglecting I have asked my jolly team to write guest blogs now and then. I guess it would be super if I posted them as well. Sorry Ruth (I bake you something)! So here you go, we are a dedicated fan club of the amazingly talented Ingela P Arrenhius and am delighted her illustrations and and designs are now a part of our Lilla shop. 

I fell in love with Ingela P Arrhenius‘  work even before Lilla was a twinkle in Charlotte’s eye, when a close friend bought me one of her cards for my birthday 6 years ago – I still have it on my shelves! I have always loved anything retro and 50’s influenced and since we introduced her range to Lilla I have become completely Ingela obsessed!

Ingela is a freelance illustrator, based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has always loved to draw and loved anything with drawings on them – stickers, comics, even junk mail with illustrations. She was heavily influenced by her artistic parents – her mother makes silver jewellery as a hobby and her father collected art and movie posters – and she remembers a big cupboard in the kitchen which was always full of paper, colours, clay and crayons.

We introduced a few of her pieces when Lilla opened and we were delighted to find that our customers immediately loved her just as much as we did and so the range has since grown and grown! Our biggest hit in the early weeks was a gorgeous tin tea set – we all wished it came in adult size! Last week we had a big happy delivery of brand new Ingela delights – beautifully crafted wooden animals sets, suitcases,  kaleidoscopes, drums, puzzles, building blocks and the most amazing death-defying stacking acrobats – I had a very happy Monday going through it all!  We already stock posters, cushions, plates and cards with her cheeky, cheerful designs and now we have a designated Ingela area – that’s how much love there is for her here at Lilla! Come along to the shop soon and see for yourself, she will definitely brighten up your day!

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Ingela’s Tea Tin set for Omm Design

Thanks lovely Ruth :)

Charlotte x

The World of TULIPOP

Welcome to the world of Tulipop, it sure of a magical island. I personally adore this Icelandic brand! And our lovely Ruth has written a little blog for you! Enjoy!
map

Been anywhere nice this summer? Portugal? Greece? Next time how about somewhere a bit different? Somewhere where you can hang out with the coolest new friends in a magical place – come with me to Tulipop! 

The enchanting world of Tulipop, dreamt up by mother of two Signy and brought to life by her best friend Helga, is an original, beautiful and magical children’s range unlike any other. Launched in 2010, it is now an established, award-winning brand and all of us here at Lilla have our firm favourites. For me it can only be strong and silent Fred – he is adorably gothic and only eats one thing – ink-cap mushrooms, which accounts for his beautiful black colouring (he is also part reindeer – another reason why he’s the one for me!) His friends are a just as strange and wonderful. Bubble is a shy, dreamy little boy who spends his days reading romantic novels, playing hopscotch and eating blueberry pancakes. He loves all the colours of the rainbow and his favourite sweet is blueberry pancakes with a dash of maple syrup. Gloomy (don’t be fooled by her name!) loves surprises and playing pranks. She enjoys singing, twirling, writing secrets in her diary, telling ghost stories and catching fireflies – see, she’s far from gloomy! What can I say about Miss Maddy? This super-gifted, multi-talented prima donna is the star of the circus. Her world renowned signature stunt is a perfect split jump through a golden ring of fire and she likes nothing better than being told how wonderful she is! When not being generally super-splendid she loves to eat strawberry ice-cream soda with lashings of whipped cream and a cherry on top. Last but not least is someone else I have a soft spot for – Mr Tree. Also known as Woody, he is a mild mannered, good-hearted chap and the oldest of the Tulipop clan. He hasn’t got a bad bone in his body although some may find him scary because of his diamond eyes and two horn-like branches sticking out of his head. His only weakness is his obsession with gemstones and the most beautiful jewels in his collection were formed from tears of true happiness, as Mr. Tree has the gift of transforming tears into diamonds. Do you think living in an amazing world like Tulipop might be fun? We certainly do and Lilla has everything you need to transport you there – stationery, lunch boxes, bottles, cutlery, crockery sets, bags, lamps and much more. Come in and find your favourite (but remember, Fred’s all mine!)  
Ruth x

and now over to Ruth…

As you might be aware I am home in Sweden during the summer (as usual) and while I am away the lovely ladies are looking after the shop and also enjoying blogging a little. Time for lovely Ruth!

Summer holidays – yay!! When I was school age the summer seemed to go on forever and it was ALWAYS hot!  Not so much now it would seem – hmm, we definitely need things to keep our little things entertained when the weather isn’t playing ball.

I love Lilla, it’s a place of happiness and has wonderful stock but the company I fell in love with instantly when we were setting up the shop is Oskar and Ellen – they made me squeal slightly with excitement and definitely brought out the silly side of me. Charlotte and I did spend quite some time parading (prancing?) around in the heads and tails dress up kits but what I really love are their imaginative play sets.

There is a great range – pirate ship, castle, space rocket, circus (scary-ish clown included!) farm yard, airport, but my favourite has to be the stables. There are 2 booths inside for White Diamond and Black Beauty (or Angelina Jolie and Thunder as my daughter has just renamed them!) and Olivia the stable girl has a grooming brush to keep them in show condition and is obviously quite the rider as she has a first prize rosette. The outside is beautifully embroidered and everything packs away inside the stable so you can take it anywhere.

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Oscar & Ellen’s Stable including Angelina Jolie, Thunder and Olivia :)

I would have LOVED this when I was a kid – it’s never too late,  you will find me in Lilla throughout the summer, cantering around the shop with Olivia – come and play!!

Ruth x