Drink: Salmiakki black Martini

After discovering the amazingness that is the FRUGO ‘Ultra Black’ , Polish juice drink, in the world foods isle at my local Tesco I was inspired to make this tasty lil’ drink . With the tasty flavours of grape, dragonfruit and chokeberry, it perfectly compliments the flavours of Nordic salty liquorice. Which had me thinking, I could concoct a cocktail using the Finnish Salmiakki Koskenkorva that I brought back from holiday.

You’ll need:

  • 2 Shots of Salmiakki Koskenkorva (if you cant find it, black Sambucca can be used)
  • 1 Shot of  Dry Vermouth
  • 10ml FRUGO ‘Ultra Black’
  • Dash of blueberry syrup (I got mine from IKEA)
  • Ice

Combine all into a cocktail shaker and shake until all have thoroughly mixed. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a handful of frozen blueberries.

 

Perfect for those classy eternal Goths out there (like myself 😉 ) or those who love liquorice!

 

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FRUGO ‘Ultra Black’

 

 

 

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Food: Nordic Blueberry Bagel

Continuing on the Nordic theme, this is a recipe for a satisfying sweet Scandi-themed breakfast.

This recipe was also an excuse to open my Oatly cream cheese/påMackan that I brought back from my recent holiday in Copenhagen & Malmö. It’s only available in Sweden atm, so you’ll have to substitute it for other Vegan cream cheese.

I thought, what better than to partner it with with a Scandi themed compote to compliment the cream cheese

To make the compote, you’ll need:

  • 1 tbs blueberry jam
  • 100g sugar
  • 125ml water
  • 1 shot of snaps/akvavit
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 50g blueberries
  • 1tsp cornflower, slaked in 1tsp lemon juice
  • Zest of quarter of a lemon

To make, simply put a pan on the hob on low and add the sugar, blueberry jam and water. When it all begins to dissolve, add in the blueberries, lemon zest, snaps and the spices. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the cornflower mixture. Take out the cinnamon stick by this point. Stirring, so it all comes together, cook out until it becomes a thick, sticky mixture. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Once the compote is sufficiently cool, cut and toast a bagel (I used a sesame bagel) then slathered on a thick layer of Oatly cream cheese/påMackan. Now its’ time to spread a layer of the delectable Nordic fruity spread. Add the lid of the bagel, pick it up and devour- with a coffee of course 😉 !

Enjoy!

 

Food: Chocolate, blueberry and liquorice tarts

To finish off my Icelandic themed Saturday, celebrating the end of the chillingly good Icelandic drama, Trapped, I decided to make some Icelandic themed, Vegan friendly treats.

Chocolate, blueberries and liquorice make an amazing combination, and they come together brilliantly in these little tarts.

Makes 4 tarts.

To make, you’ll need:

  • 2 packs of Oreo cookies
  • 80g Vegan butter, melted
  • 150g dark chocolate (80% minimum), chopped
  • 250g coconut cream
  • 1 tbs liquorice powder, sifted
  • 1tbs golden syrup (agave/cornsyrup will also work!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 handfuls of fresh blueberries
  • 1tbs blueberry jam
  • 100ml water.

Making these couldn’t be simpler. Start the bases by crushing up the Oreo cookies into rubble in a baggy and a rolling pin. I then used my mini food processor to get them into fine crumbs – alternatively, if you’ve got a large food processor do it in that. Once they are like breadcrumbs combine them in a mixing bowl with the melted butter. Press the black sludge into 4 tart tins – make sure you get into every corner and press it out evenly so that you get a level amount of filling in each. Place into the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir minimally, until it’s all melted. Take off the heat and set aside. Next, stir in the coconut cream until it forms a ganache. After it comes together, you can add in the golden syrup, salt and liquorice powder. Stir until it all comes together into a nice smooth and silky filling. Leave to cool, slightly.

The crusts should be ready by now. Take them out of the fridge and pour the ganache into them. Shake them, so they are level and them place back in the fridge, for a good couple of hours, if not overnight.

Just before you are ready to eat them. Take them out of the fridge and put a saucepan on the hob on a medium heat. Pour in 100ml of water and 1tbs of blueberry jam. It shouldn’t take long for the jam to dissolve and with a few stirs – it should come together into a nice glaze.

Top each tart with a handful of blueberries and brush on a nice layer of the glaze. It shouldn’t take long to set and it will look so much more professional – straight out of an Icelandic bakery!

Now, devour and Enjoy!

 

Drink: A walk through the woods

Again, with this nice turn of weather I decided to make a forest inspired cocktail, today.

It’s a sweet drink, and deceivingly strong.

To make:

  • In a jug place some fresh mint, now pour 1 shot of vodka, I used Finlandia and 1 shot of Żubrówka- Polish Bison grass vodka.
  • Splash in some Malina (Polish raspberry syrup) into the jug.
  • Pour in about 200ml of Apple and Raspberry juice, and top up with a mixed berry cider- I used a bottle of Rekordelig Mixed berries. Mix.
  • Now, get two glasses ready- I used a couple of Mason Jars – Just because 😉 – and place a couple of mint leaves
  • Top up with the mixed cocktail, and top with frozen blueberries.

Skål!

Food: Skyr for breakfast!

Skyr, the Icelandic-super food, has been on my radar for a while. It is one of many reasons why the Icelandic diet, topped the Channel 4 documentary The World’s Best Diet, in November last year. I have wanted to try it, but it has proven to be very elusive within the UK,with there being only places in London, where they sell the white gold. Even America has Skyr with products like Siggi’s Skyr. C’mon!

The first place you can get it is at the Scandinavian Kitchen on Great Titchfield Street, one of my favourite places to go in London – to eat, Fika, and stock up on Scandi products. They even have a skyr mailing list, it’s that popular, notifying all skyr-lovers when it’s in stock. Sadly I am never in London when it is in stock there – understandably it vanishes quickly!

The next is the Icelandic/European Michellin Starred Restauraunt Texture, Portman Street, Mayfair. My wanting of skyr was so intense that for my 21st, Tom took us both to Texture for an amazing meal and to finish we had the skyr. Yum! So rich, like liquid cheesecake. I would want an IV of this! In any case, my hopes of finding anything even remotely skyr related beyond London were, naturally, set quite low. Until! The other day, in Asda something happened to catch my eye, it was skyr! Or, to be more precise, an Arla brand skyr-style yogurt. (Its skyr-style as only skyr made in Iceland can be called true skyr). But that’s good enough for me!

So, this morning (and for every morning until I”m completely sick of it), I had a breakfast of skyr with fresh blueberries and topped with rye bread crumbs (taken the idea from the skyr I had in Texture). All served in my Iittala Ultima Thule berry bowl by Tapio Wirkkala.

One minor craving, for the time being, satisfied!

Food: Today’s lunch

After working up a sweat on a walk in a nearby forest, this morning, myself and Tom were quite peckish. Being in the forest inspired me to make a Scandinavian lunch:

Egg & cucumber knäckebröd, drizzled with a mustard and dill dressing, lingonberry pickled onions and fresh dill sprigs. All served on my vintage Iittala Solaris plate by Tapio Wirkkala, just added to the Scandi-ness of it all 🙂

The cucumber was dressed in a mixture of sugar, white wine vinegar and akvavit, mmmm!

The dressing is lovely and silky, and really quick to make. It just needs:

  • 1tbs of rapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • sprinkling of dried dill
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh dill (chopped)
  • some sugar,
  • salt and pepper, to taste

just mix them together until it all emulsifies into a lovely sharp and punchy dressing.

The pickled onions, another easily made component, I made a couple of weeks ago, and it just gets better as many a pickle with time:

Simply cut up a red onion in half and separate into rings, then make a mixture of vinegar, sugar, water in a bowl Add in a couple of cloves, crushed cinnamon stick and a Star anise . I used a lovely lingonberry cider vinegar i found in IKEA, its so fruity!

We served it with a very appropriate Scandi-inspired cocktail made with:

  • 1 shot vodka (I used Finlandia)
  • 2 shots of Akvavit
  • a splash of blueberry syrup, from IKEA,
  • some lemon juice,
  • a sprig of mint

Topped up with elderflower flavour sparkling water. This makes a fruity and refreshing tipple!