Friday, 26 October 2012

'Slapped ears' - Perfect for an Autumn afternoon

Now if somebody offered you a slapped ear you would most probably reply “No thanks”. Or run a mile. But if you should happen to be in Finland, don’t be rash with your refusal. For in Finland, Slapped Ears (Korvapuustit  in Finnish) are delicious cinnamon buns.

  • 450g  (750ml) plain flour
  • 85g  (100ml) caster sugar
  • 1 and a half  tsp. ground cardamom pods
  • 1 packet of fast-action dried yeast
  • 250 ml lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 75 g butter, softened

  • 50 g butter, softened
  • 4 Tbsps. caster sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. ground cinnamon

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk and half of the beaten egg (the rest can be used to glaze the buns).
  2. Knead in the softened butter  and carry on  kneading  until you've got a soft, pliable dough. Cover  with clingfilm or a clean tea towel and leave to prove for about 45-60 minute or until doubled in size. (The  best place to prove should be warm and with draughts – an airing cupboard is a great spot, if you have one).
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured worktop. Knead gently for a couple of minutes. Roll out  into a 30 x  60 cm rectangle. Then  spread  the soft butter over the dough and sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.  Starting with the long side, roll it up tightly, leaving the join under the roll.
  4. Now use a sharp knife to cut into six buns. The buns should be about 2 cm wide on the narrow end and 5 cm on the wide end. Pop them upright on a baking sheet. Press your thumb into  the middle of each bun
  5. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to raise for another 30 minutes in a warm place. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225 C/450 F.
  6. Brush with egg wash and pop in the over for 10-15 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown.
  7. Take the baking sheet out of the oven, cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let them cool for as long as you can resist from eating one.
Sit back and enjoy !

If you find that you can't get this recipe quite right, why not try a few nights in Helsinki where the patisseries will happily serve up this delicacy, or for a real treat enjoy one of these served over an open fire after enjoying an Arctic snowmobile or husky safari in Lapland.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Scandinavian Cooking attains Culinary Gold

The IKA World Culinary Olympics 2012  took place this October in Erfurt Germany. It ran for five days and  54 countries competed to make the most  visually appealing, sensationally tasting dishes.  The World Culinary Olympics were first held in 1900 and they are held every four years.

In the hot kitchen competition, team members are watched closely, as they prepare a three-course meal to feed 110 people in five hours. For the cold platter contest, the chefs prepare exquisitely crafted dishes, which are prepared in advance and judged wholly on their presentation.

Scandinavia proved to be the current culinary champions as Sweden won the gold medal and Norway attained silver. The Swedish winning entry included a cauliflower and broccoli terrine, herb-crusted venison with Scvecia (a Swedish semi-hard) cheese, porcini duxelles (finely diced mushrooms) and a dessert of autumn raspberries, yogurt meringue and almond cake.

If you want to explore Scandinavia, taste the fine food, see the beautiful landscapes and not forgetting at this time of year, enjoy the phenomena of the Northern Lights, take a look at our website or give one of our team a call to find out more about Nordic Experience.