It is definitely safe for you to say that I am currently pretty obsessed with Scandinavian sweets. I love Scandinavian design, too, but seriously, for the life of me, that will just never be a part of what I have going on. I live in a 100-year-old house and spending money on cute minimalistic pieces would be a waste, because they would inevitably end up with chocolate and dog hair on them. Just some #realtalk, okay? So, I will stick to sweets and spices. Not really sure how I ended up on this kick, other than I love cardamom a lot and Scandinavian sweets are really homey and just look really beautiful to me. I don’t have a connection to Scandinavia through my ancestry, though I have several friends with Norwegian heritage.
Our recent trip to Minneapolis was amazing, and we also ended up trying loads of Scandinavian treats, likely because there is a huge population of Swedish and Norwegian people. The restaurants pay huge homage to this culture. At an indoor market, I found a little bakery with a gift shop attached that sold lots of Scandinavian sweets and the kitschiest little trinkets. And also just tons and tons of lingonberry preserves. So many. Seriously. The one thing I did buy was the Nordic Bakery cookbook. I stood in the shop for about ten minutes ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over every page and started to take pictures of some recipes. We walked away to go to a different shop, and then I had a few more recipes I decided I needed pictures of. At that point, I just figured it would be stupid not to buy it. The woman running this shop was the cutest. I said I didn’t need a bag for my book, and she just giggled. “A Swedish man was here this morning and he said the same thing, in Swedish.” She repeated what he had said. It was adorable. “Isn’t that so cute?,” she asked. Of course it was adorable!!!! She kept giggling. There was a bucket labeled “LINGONBERRY PRESERVES” on a table behind her. It was obviously in use and probably held about 20 pounds of preserves. I would probs try to work for her if I lived in Minneapolis. Instead, I just have this amazing book now! Yay!
Nordic Bakery is a little shop in London, England. They do dark rye breads, traditional Scandinavian pastries, lots of little sandwiches, etc. The breakfast rolls other sweet rolls basically make me drool immensely. If you haven’t checked them out, or their cookbook, you really should. I immediately made their signature Tosca Cake. It’s a rich eggy, buttery cake with a crunchy caramel-almond topping. I wanted to keep the richness, but take out the diary to keep my belly happy. With the help of lots of coconut oil, that happened!
Recipe for Tosca Cake, altered from Nordic Bakery version
3/4 c full-fat coconut milk (canned)
6 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 c all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 400F. Grease a 10″ springform pan.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is foamy and thick. I use a stand mixer for this because I value my arms, but by all means, do this by hand for your upper body workout. This takes about 10 minutes with a mixer. Add the coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Add the flour and baking powder and fold with a rubber spatula to combine. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for about 40 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the topping.
Tosca Cake Topping
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (canned)
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 c sliced almonds
Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 7 minutes, until boiling. Cook on the boil for two minutes.
Remove the baked cake from the oven and pour the Tosca topping over the cake. Spread it to be even. Put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until it is bubbly and caramelized. Once done, let cool for about 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar for ultimate delicious.