A real ‘must’ when visiting Fårö, the little island just north of Gotland, is a fika (coffee and cake) at Sylvis döttrar, a bakery and café on the island. My friends mentioned it like an institution; it must have been around for years, so we made sure to visit in the afternoon.
The place was very popular with a long queue of tourists waiting to buy their baked goods, but we were not all that impressed.
Both mother and I are keen bakers and we all found the cakes a little basic. And some slightly dry. I got a sense that the café was past its prime, living on its reputation from years ago.
A real shame, when so many people come here for fika all summer long.
Sylvis döttrar, Fårö Bukleks 1526, 624 67 Fårö, Sweden
Growing up in the south of Sweden we made many trips to Denmark and Copenhagen. Before the famous bridge we took small ferries but the bridge certainly made it even easier to visit.
The café where Maria, Daniel and I had cakes during our last visit, has been a long standing place for me to visit when visiting Copenhagen. My mother’s friends first introduced it to me as their breakfast place, a tradition Maria and I made our own as well. But since then it’s changed shape a few times.
This visit we found out it’s a proper patisserie with award-winning cakes which we thoroughly enjoyed while resting our legs out in the shade. You see, the absolute best thing about this place is the location. You just take a turn off Strøget through a small street and voilà you have a nice little oasis without tourists.
We were definitely impressed by the cakes (left with white chocolate, almonds and raspberries, top with chocolate and passion fruit and bottom a tarte with chocolate, creme patissiere and strawberries) but less so by the plastic menus.
After the cakes we walked around the city some more and looked in a few shops before going for dinner (review to come). It was one of those perfect days when you have no plans but end up finding new great places (and old favourites).
Konditori Antoinette, Østergade 24, 1100 København, Denmark
Chocolate in any shape or form is always a crowd pleaser (especially amongst the chocoholics I work with!) and as predicted this cake was no exception. The bottom of the cake is fairly heavy and dense, with delicate meringue on top – a great combination. It’s best served together with some lightly whipped cream.
Chocolate meringue cake, serves 10
Adapted from Donna Hay’s recipe.
240 g dark chocolate, chopped
180 g unsalted butter, chopped
4 eggs extra, separated
90 g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 g plain flour, sifted
½ tsp baking powder, sifted
40 g ground almonds
220 g caster sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
3 tsp cornflour, sifted
25 g cocoa, sifted, plus extra for dusting
Preheat oven to 160ºC. Lightly grease a 24 cm round springform tin, line the base with baking parchment.
Place the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. Place the eggs, extra egg yolks, brown sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 3–4 minutes or until pale and thick.
Add the chocolate mixture, flour, baking powder and almond meal and fold gently to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35–40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to 180°C. Place the extra eggwhites in the clean bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking until dissolved. Add the vinegar and whisk for a further 2–3 minutes or until the meringue is thick and glossy. Fold through the cornflour and cocoa and spoon the mixture onto the partially cooked cake. Spread evenly and return the cake to the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the meringue is golden and crisp.
Allow the cake to stand at room temperature for 15–20 minutes before gently running a small knife around the edge and removing the ring. Allow the cake to cool at room temperature and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Dust with the extra cocoa to serve.
I made this wonderful cake for the office just before Easter (hence the chocolate eggs on top) and it became everyone’s new favourite cake! Initially I was using a recipe from Swedish pastry chef Roy Fares but as I didn’t have all the ingredients I only used his recipe for the meringue and ended up trying pastry food blogger extraordinaire Linda Lomelino’s recipe for the filling and chocolate sauce (although slightly adapted) – and the combination was amazing! I’m still really keen to try their respective versions of chocolate pavlova but this mishmash of recipes worked really well!
I also made this lovely rhubarb cake, served with store-bought (but fresh) custard.
And these wonderful oat and raisin cookies. But the piece de resistance was definitely the pavlova!
Chocolate pavlova with maltesers and chocolate eggs, serves 8-10
Adapted from Roy Fares’s and Linda Lomelinos’s respective recipes.
75 g dark chocolate
140 g egg whites (4 egg whites)
220 g caster sugar
8 g / 1 tbsp corn flour
4 g / 1 tsp white wine vinegar
250 g cream cheese
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
5 dl whipping cream
60 g caster sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
100 ml water
1-2 tbsp cream
1 bag maltesers
1 bag chocolate eggs
Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl, melt either over boiling water or in the microwave. Pre-heat oven to 150C.
Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar bit by it while beating until stiff and glossy. Add the corn flour and vinegar and mix carefully with a spatula. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and create a marbled effect by folding the mixture 2-3 times with a spatula. T
Divide the meringue between two baking parchment covered baking trays, shaping round discs, approx 20 cm in diameter.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven while its cooling. Let the meringue discs cool completely.
Mix sugar, cocoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the cream and let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the cream and beat until thick and fluffy (but don’t over-beat it). Spread out the cream in between the meringue discs and on top of the cake. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and decorate with maltesers and chocolate eggs.