Sweets play a big role in Sweden. We are addicted to our pick ‘n mix (which is actually far better and represented in every single supermarket), love our cars and other chewy sweets.
When I run out of Swedish sweets I resort only to chocolate, as British sweets usually disappoint in comparison. Also, the only chewy British sweet that I really like; Bassett’s wine gums, you hardly ever see here apart from at the airport..
But even though I don’t know how to make perfect wine gums at least I can vary the chocolate with this amazing chewy toffee.
The recipe is straight forward and pretty standard, but it still tastes amazing! The easiest way to make toffee is to use a sugar thermometer; the toffee is ready once the sugar is boiling, at 120C. Or you can pour a spoonful of toffee mixture in a glass of cold water. If it easily shapes into a ball it is ready.
Chewy vanilla toffee, makes about 50 sweets
Translated from Johanna Westman’s recipe from the book Julgodis (Christmas sweets).
200 ml double cream
100 ml golden syrup
300 ml caster sugar
100 g butter
1/2 vanilla pod
Line a rectangular dish with parchment paper. Mix cream, syrup, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod, and add both seeds and pod to the pan. Bring to the boil and cook until 120C. Pour the mixture into the lined dish. Leave to cool. Cut into shapes and wrap in parchment paper or cellophane.
I have seen cake balls in a few different blogs, among others the great Flickan & kakorna, and wanted to give it a try myself.
When I made the love yummies the other day I can out of icing sugar and couldn’t ice the whole cake, so I used the left over cake to make cake balls. You just crumble it and mix it with frosting, roll into balls and dip them in chocolate. Easy peasy, and the result is delicious!
I like them fridge cold the best, they are pretty rich as they are and at room temperature it is a bit too much.
Cake balls, makes 15
1/3 oven tray cake
150-200 g frosting (I used Betty Crocker’s vanilla)
200 g milk chocolate
Crumble the cake into a bowl. I thought is was easiest to do this by hand. Mix in the frosting. Roll into balls. Melt chocolate in a bain marie, put sprinkles on top. Leave to set in the fridge.
When I was at Uni in a town called Lund in the south of Sweden I worked part-time as a waitress at this small hotel in the countryside. It is a lovely manor house and had recently been made into a hotel and restaurant business when I started to work there. The three chefs were great and created lovely food from local produce. The house could be quite cold in the winter and the warmest place was of course around the stoves in the kitchen. We used to stand there a lot drinking hot cocoa or Jerusalem artichoke soup, try a bit of this and a bit of that.
And every year in December we would open up the big banquet room as a temporary restaurant for the julbord, basically a Christmas themed smorgasbord. There was enormous amounts of food here, from pickled herrings, to Christmas ham, homemade sausages and of course a sweet section to finish it all off with. People always went mad coming here, both with the food and the snaps (much needed to help digest the food). I remember of course trying most things we served, but not all in one go as our guests. And this peanut butter flapjack is a recipe I kindly asked one of the chefs for. I haven’t made it for years and was surprised how nice it is, now that I made it again.
Chewy, soft and crunchy – all at the same time. With a hint of peanut butter and a layer of chocolate on top. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?!
Peanut butter flapjack
50 ml caster sugar
50 ml golden syrup
250 ml cornflakes
75 g smooth peanut butter
75 g dark chocolate
Bring the sugar and syrup to a boil. Take away from the heat and add peanut butter and cornflakes. Spread out onto parchment paper in a tin. Leave to cool in the fridge. Melt the chocolate over boiling water and spread on top of the flapjack. Let it set and cut into squares.
Last year I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com and really wanted to try it. I didn’t have time however, but made sure to have time to make it this year. It is lovely, and the marshmallow fluff helps to make it set. The only downside is the boring beige colour, but the flavour is great, so once people have tried it, they won’t care about the colour. And if you want to make the fudge look more appetizing, may I suggest wrapping them in coloured cellophane.
Click on the link above to see the recipe.
Cute truffles with snowflakes!
When I was home in Sweden last (in October) I found a few old folders with recipe clippings that I’ve found over the years. I decided to go through them all and only save the really good ones. This was a recipe that made the cut, but I have no idea where it is from. Lovely truffles, but I would like an even stronger muscovado taste. Might experiment with that last year. Can’t believe it is already a week into December, so this year I definitely won’t have time.
Start with the cream and sugar
Next add the chocolate and lastly the butter
Roll into balls and dip them in melted chocolate
Muscovado truffles, makes 20-25
200 g dark chocolate
100 ml double cream
25 g butter
3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
75 g dark chocolate
Chop the chocolate. Combine cream and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the butter and stir until smooth and glossy. Put the mixture in the fridge to cool down. Roll into small balls, dip in melted dark chocolate and let dry on parchment paper. Add the snowflakes before the chocolate sets.
Another sweet recipe from Matplatsen. I removed the honey from the recipe though (forgot I mean) but they turned out really well anyway, so will stick to this from now on. They are definitely sweet enough!
Milk chocolate fudge
300 ml double cream
300 ml caster sugar
100 ml golden syrup
50 g butter
100 g good quality milk chocolate
Pour cream, sugar and syrup into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until the temperature is 120C. Remove pan from heat and add the butter. Boil for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it has melted. Pour into a parchment paper lined tin. Leave to cool in the fridge and cut into squares.
I took a day off work on Tuesday to have a whole day to myself baking Christmas goodies. I suspect I am a bit obsessed with baking because I forgot to eat and to sit down and relax, I had so much fun in the kitchen. I got a lot done though, and everything was really nice and tasty! Still have a few things in the fridge to finish off, but still pleased with how much I managed to do. I had to run the dishwasher (though small) 4 times, that’s how much washing up I created, haha. So happy to have a dishwasher!
I will definitely post a few Christmassy recipes here the next couple of days. The first one is Rocky Road. I know that there are loads of different versions, but pleeease try this one. It is amazing, I promise you will fall in love with it. This version isn’t completely my own, the creator is a Swedish tv-chef called Leila, and I found the recipe on a blog called Matplatsen, where Victoria had made a few changes to it. And me being me I of course had to make a few changes myself… Just can’t help myself.
Dumle toffees (it is a Finnish brand but you find them all over Scandinavia)
Of course you need to try one to make sure they're ok. Phew - they were!
Place them in a bowl
Mix it all together and leave spread out on parchment paper to set in the fridge. Cut into squares and serve!
People, try this! It is sooo nice that my best friend Emma and my mother have asked me already to make it when I get home for Christmas. And of course I will.
2 bags of Dumle toffee (I think Rolos would work too, or any other chewy toffee)
2 handfuls of marshmallows
250 g salted cashews
100 g salted pastachios
400 g milk chocolate
100 g dark chocolate
Put the toffees in a bowl, cut the marshmallows in half with scissors (or use mini ones) and add them and the nuts. Melt all the chocolate together over boiling water. Add it to the nutmixture and make sure everything is coated with chocolate. Spread it out onto parchment paper in a square/rectangular dish. Keep in the fridge to set. Cut it into squares and serve. Enjoy, I know you will!