Finally! It is finally time to reopen and it is with mixed feelings. It is not to just reopening and expect how it was back in March. Nope now it will be slightly differently but we will make it work.
Shop will be open part time, this is due to child care, well the lack of child care that is! It will only be me who will be in the shop while the wonderful staff will stay furloughed during the summer as there is more child care issues. However this may chance during the summer and we just have to go with the flow.
Part time mean three to four days a week, an evening a week and most likely during the weekend. Proper opening hours will be arranged this week.
Fantastic news are that our webshop will finally launch this week, any day now! And there will be a click and collect option so you can shop from home and nip in to the shop and collect your goodies. More info will follow and I will keep you posted!
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 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!
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
100 g melted butter
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.
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
So day 10! Well let us cheer up with a sunny picture from last year. Sunny outside ans sunny at Spektakulär!! Colour and happiness is part of our shop so we love it when all the wonderful designs come together so perfectly!
Oh dear! Already stopped writing, was supposed to write 30 days in a row!! To be perfectly honest with you I have not looked at my laptop or at any work since Saturday morning. I have lost a lot inspiration when it comes to the shop and am feeling a bit blue about it. However I just sat down to open my emails and I am amazed by all the lovely emails and also a couple of orders which is a great surprise. So I will go to the shop tomorrow, however I do everything I can not to go to the post office but am more than happy to post gift vouchers or deliver locally as we do not really spend anytime together.
So for the last few days we have been stuck indoors and I have organised a million thousand and six hama beads in to colours and it has taken me a lot of time. I just can not stop, it is supposed to be one of those relaxed satisfying things you do, but things like that stresses me out. My heart pounds so much faster and I tense up. Doing things that are supposed to be relaxing stresses me instead, like knitting, or paper cutting or painting. I just want it over with and I hate giving up. My plan is that we write Easter letter to friends and create Hama Bead chicks or Easter eggs and deliver while out walking but making one takes my kids hours and my patience has run out for today, so I decided to sit down with work instead and I am glad I did because I found all these fab messages and it really has cheered me up!
So how are you coping? We struggle a lot with the lack of outdoor space. Yes we can be in the shared garden but it is not just us using it. I am about to go for a long walk with Stina and Richard and Lovisa will go to the park to practise cycling. Last night I went out for my first ever Couch to 5K run…yup you guessed it! I was very glad when it was over and I felt I had run for days but in fact you only, very slowly, jog for eight minuets…really!!
So what am I supposed to blog about this week! Well Easter is coming up and as you know Swedish Ester is pretty full on. Used to be the third biggest holiday in Sweden and no not in a religious way. More about witches! So I will write you a little bit about traditions from home and what else, oh I do not know. Any special brand you like to see more about? Just give me a shout!
Enjoy the sun and your garden if you have one…am not jealous at all!
Colours!! Spektakulär has become a place where you will find lots of colourful designs. This is were you go to get a little bit of eye candy and also find great designs to brighten up your home.
In Sweden it is common to have a blank canvas as a base when you decorate your home. White is always a safe choice and I will just flick in here to tell you that the colour magnolia should be banned (I use it as a swearword)!! So let’s go with a nice base and then what we do at home is to use accessories. And one main thing we do is that we change our homes after season. Make your home colourful in the Spring using either soft welcoming tones such as light blues, warm greys or why not give it a huge splash of pastels. It should feel like you are bringing in Spring in to your home. There are easy ways to do this. Such as a bright vase with welcoming daffodils, or a new lampshade, curtains or indeed cushion covers.
I could tell you all about all the colourful brands in the shop such as Rice, Spira of Sweden and Pappelina. But today let me just show you these beautiful designs by one of our most colourful brands is AVEVA. Aveva means “by Eva” in Swedish. Eva is the fab designer behind this happy brand. Aveva is based in Sweden and focus on being sustainable while bring in a splash of colour in you home. We came across Aveva while we were in Copenhagen many years ago. A small independent shop were selling some of their lovely colourful trivets and we feel in love. That Aveva is also the most wonderful company to deal with just makes it such a enjoyable experience and I love every new design Eva create.
In our latest delivery we welcomed wool flower pots, garlands, trivets and the great cork coasters with a edge dipped in cheerful colours. As the best trend in a very long time “greenery” is still going strong we love the flower pots. The inside is coated with natural rubber which makes them waterproof. These are a great gift to give and one to receive or indeed a fab treat. I am delighted to let you know Aveva is the first brand we are focusing on to get up on our webshop, yes we are working on it but it is like a whole new language for me so please bear with me!!
Hope you are all super, Stina has already done most of her homework for today (YAY I ROCK), however I just struggle with Lovisa’s LACK of concentration trying to spell her words… So I have given up at the moment. Will let them colour and listen to David Walliams while I create lunch! I also realised I forgot to put my watch on while doing Joe Wicks earlier…darn! Now I have to walk a bit longer today and I was hoping not too.
See you all tomorrow, shall look through older photos and try to find some fun ones.
Was not sure what to post today, I think I need to sit down and write a list of what to post when. However this morning I was sent this from a customer. A little photo collage of Spektakulär at her home!
WOW!!!!! And I mean wow! What a wonderful treat to receive and a fantastic reminder that we do in fact inspire to create homely homes.
Thank you Sandra! This really made my day!! I love those Pappelina rug colours, the sea grass and storm are personal favourites!
If you have designs from Spektakulär, feel free to share them with us! It truly makes us happy and is a huge motivation to stay strong and keep going.
Have a wonderful day! We are chilling, think a little bit of the “fun” home schooling will take place today such a designing a playpark and write a short story! Otherwise not a lot, had waffles for brunch and I shall make more coffee and sit down with a book. I will walk over to the shop later to check post and make sure it is all ok and to get my 10000 steps for #walkalloveercancer.