Stockholm: fika at Mr Cake

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On the top of my to-do-list for the long weekend in Stockholm was, of course, fika. And not just anywhere, but at a recently opened café by Roy Fares, incorporating American pastries with Swedish fika.

It’s a concept that totally works, and it’s nice to find things like American pancakes on the menu, as well as deliciously looking doughnuts and more traditional Swedish buns.

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We came here on the Sunday morning, rather late as I’d had to work a bit, and after a chaotic few hours it was so nice to sit in the sunshine and enjoy our (very) late breakfast. We had some bread rolls with ham and cheese, American pancakes with maple syrup (so yum), smoothie, juice and of course some sweet pastries.

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The piece de resistance here is definitely the red velvet croissant. And it’s utterly amazing. Imagine flaky pastry filled with the cream cheese frosting on a red velvet cake. It’s butterly, sweet (but not too sweet), flaky and creamy all at the same time. Yum, yum, yum!

We also shared a rhubarb and strawberry custard bun with crumble on top that was lovely, but nothing could beat the hybrid croissant of dreams. This place is a must for anyone visiting Stockholm.

Mr Cake, Rådmansgatan 12a, 114 25 Stockholm, Sweden

 

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Pancakes with asparagus and Parma ham

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I really enjoyed the repeat (thanks BBC!) of Simon Hopkinson’s The Good Cook, because I missed the series the first time around. I love the classic, but far from boring, dishes he cooks, and especially this dish made my mouth water instantly.

You need nice asparagus for this dish, but most importantly you need good-quality Parma ham (or prosciutto works just as well). I had this for dinner but it would work wonderfully well for brunch or lunch too.

 

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Pannkakor med sparris och parmaskinka, 4 portioner

Adapted from Simon Hopkinson’s recipe.

Pancakes:

100 g plain flour

2 eggs

pinch of salt

250 ml milk

50 g melted butter

Hollandaise sauce:

3 egg yolks, at room temperature

250 g unsalted butter, melted

½ lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

8 Parma ham slices

16 asparagus spears

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and preheat the grill to high.
  2. For the pancake batter, place the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk in the flour. Add the salt and half of the milk. Finally, whisk in the butter and remaining milk to achieve a thin, pouring cream consistency. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Melt a small knob of butter in a 20cm/8in non-stick frying pan. Once it is hot and sizzling pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. After 30 seconds you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over, cook the other side for a few seconds, and then slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
  4. Without greasing the pan again, repeat the process in stage three to make eight thin pancakes.
  5. For the hollandaise sauce, whisk together the egg yolks with a tablespoon of water in a stainless steel saucepan set over a very low heat, until thick and smooth.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk while adding the melted butter in a thin stream, leaving behind the milky residue that has settled in the bottom of the butter pan. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black peper and sharpen with lemon juice, to taste. Keep warm.
  7. Boil the asparagus in salted water until tender. Once cooked, refresh the asparagus in a bowl of iced water. Drain and pat dry.
  8. To assemble the délices, place a slice of ham on top of a pancake, then arrange two asparagus spears upon it. Roll up and place into a lightly buttered baking dish. Repeat with the remaining pancakes, parma ham and asparagus. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to crisp at the edges.
  9. Serve the délices on a serving dish and coat each one carefully with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce, running it along their length. Very briefly flash the délices under the grill until only just gilded by the heat.

Carrot cake pancakes

It is not the first time I got so inspired by a Smitten Kitchen post that I had to try it straight away. Yesterday I saw Deb’s latest post on carrot cake pancakes and last night I had it for supper.

These pancakes are of course even better for a lazy weekend breakfast or at a brunch with friends. Either way, you just have to try them. And of you’ve had a substantial lunch they’re pretty good for supper too (evidently).

The original recipe is from Joy the Baker but Deb at Smitten Kitchen made a few changes and I made some. My only change really was to omit cinnamon to the cream cheese topping and instead add lime zest to it, which I normally have with a carrot cake. To me it was the perfect touch of freshness the pancakes needed.

Carrot cake pancakes, makes about 15-16

Adapted from this recipe.

Pancakes:

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1 egg

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 cup butter milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)

butter for frying

Cream cheese topping:

115 g Philadelphia

1/4 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

grated zest from 1/2 lime

Mix flour, bicard, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Mix butter milk, egg and sugar in a smaller bowl. Add the grated carrots to the wet mixture then transfer to the large bowl and mix it all together. Leave to rest for a few minutes whle preparing the topping.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla and lime zest and combine.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Use about 2 tbsp mixture per pancake and fry 3-4 at the time. Keep the fried ones warm in the oven until you’re done with all the pancakes. Serve with a generous dollop of the topping. Dig in!