Today is elderflower cordial day! Pick 25 heads of elderflowers on a warm sunny morning and shake to get rid of the tiny wildlife, then rinse. Put in a large bowl then add 2 chopped lemons, 3 chopped oranges, 2lb of sugar and 4 pints of boiling water, plus 2oz of tartaric acid. Cover and steep for four days, stirring whenever you remember, then strain and pour into plastic bottles. Keep one in the fridge then freeze the rest!
Well, it has been such a busy week here at Hyggestyle HQ! Bex was invited up to Soho House to take part on an expert panel on Scandinavian lifestyle trends (they have the biggest croissants she has ever seen, apparently), and then our Easter ranges were used to decorate a TV celebrity special.
We have also taken delivery of our fabulous new ranges by Krasilnikoff Danish Designs, and spent a lovely morning drinking tea and photographing the new stock in Sophie, our vintage VW campervan.
Created by Suzanna Krasilnikoff in her farmhouse near Copenhagen, all the items can be mixed and matched to create a lovely and relaxed summery feel. We are particularly thrilled to stock her Happy Mugs, lovely porcelain beakers that are great for juice for kids or your morning coffee.
Also new in stock this week is our summer jewellery collection; our new hoops and bangles are perfect for teaming with a black maxi-dress on the beach, or for those warm taverna evenings!
It was our turn to make the cake for the PTA cake raffle this week, so I (quite literally) plumped for my favorite tried-and-tested chocolate fudge cake recipe. Moist and squidgy, it is delicious with either a cup of tea in the afternoon, or with a guilty conscience at about 3am; if you still haven’t got over that marzipan binge at Christmas and can’t face the idea of an Easter simnel cake, this looks fabulous decorated with tiny chocolate eggs.
What I particularly love about this recipe is there is no creaming or melting of butter involved, you just chuck the ingredients in a kitchen mixer or use an electric whisk to combine into a smooth batter.
For the cake
175g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
150ml sunflower oil
150ml semi-skimmed milk
For the icing
100g softened unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
2 or 3 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line two 8 inch sandwich tins.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar, before adding the eggs and wet ingredients. Whisk to combine into a smooth batter and pour into the prepared tins, then bake for around 20 minutes until cooked and springy to the touch.
To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, then beat in the butter and enough of the milk to create a fluffy buttercream. Sandwich the cakes together with half the buttercream, then top with rest before decorating with tiny eggs (and in this case, one of our lovely Gisela Graham rabbit egg cups!).
This fabulous recipe for mulled cider is courtesy of our friends at Gisela Graham. Perfect for staying in this weekend and avoiding Storm Deirdre!
1.5 litres of good quality cider
400ml of apple juice
juice and zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla pod
1 tbsp of all spice
3-4 star anise
2 apples – sliced into 5mm rounds
1. Pour the cider, apple juice and the juice of the orange into a large saucepan, and gently heat to mull.
2. Add the orange zest, allspice, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and vanilla pod to the mixture & stir well. Bring to a simmer, then turn down and keep on a low heat for 20-30 mins, or pour in to a slow cooker and keep on a low heat. Ladle into mugs as your guests arrive.
Want to keep the mulled cider warm all evening? Once prepared, leave on a low heat in the slow cooker and prepare a ‘help yourself’ mulled cider bar, complete with ladle, sugar lumps or honey, additional fruit and for the brave, why not let them add a dash of bourbon or brandy. This way guests can help themselves and customise their drink to their own tastes.
So this month we have the pleasure of being featured in Sussex Life magazine, with Bex’s recipe for Danish rice pudding!
This fabulous dessert is traditionally eaten all over Denmark on Christmas Eve, and a peeled almond is often hidden in the serving bowl. Whoever finds the almond wins a prize, although if you have won, don’t reveal it until the whole dish has been finished!
The rice pudding can be made the day before you need it, which takes the pressure off slightly. The cooked rice is not too sugary either, with the sweetness coming from the luscious cherry sauce. Bex always has to make double quantities as her son Wolf likes to eat vast quantities of it while it is still hot, dusted liberally with cinnamon, sugar and finished with a knob of melting salted butter; eaten like this, it is known as risengrod, and is pretty much the epitome of hyggelig comfort puddings.
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the rice pudding
1 cup of pudding rice
4 cups of milk
1 ¼ cups of water
1 heaped tbsp white sugar
2 cups of double cream
1 tbsp flaked almonds
For the sauce
1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen cherries
3 tbsp of sugar
½ cup of water
5 drops of good quality vanilla essence
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with ¼ cup of water
To make the rice pudding, place the pudding rice, water, milk and sugar in a large, heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Once it is bubbling nicely, turn the heat down and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring constantly. As the pudding becomes thicker you will need to pay it almost constant attention to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom; I find a wooden spatula better for this purpose than a spoon as it ensures you don’t miss any stray grains of rice lurking on the bottom. Once the rice is tender, taste to check it is sweet enough for your liking, adding a little more sugar if necessary. Set aside to cool (overnight is fine).
Whip the cream into soft peaks, and stir one third through the rice pudding to loosen it. Fold through the remaining cream and pile the pudding into a large serving bowl. Poke the almond in and make sure it’s well-hidden then sprinkle with flaked almonds.
To make the warm cherry sauce, place the water, sugar and cherries in a saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix the cornflour with the ¼ cup of cold water to make a smooth paste and pour into the pan. Stir constantly until the fruit thickens into a glossy, silky sauce and serve warm alongside the rice pudding.
Julestjerner, or Danish paper woven stars, are one of the most iconic of Scandinavian Christmas ornaments, and are very easy to make once you have got the knack. They look wonderful piled up in bowls with a few fairy lights, strewn across your Christmas table, hung on the tree or strung together to make a lovely mobile. We hang a branch from the ceiling and suspend the stars and a few fairy lights from the twigs for an alternative rustic decoration!
Bex’s grandmother taught her to make julestjerner when she was little, and there are a couple of tricks that make folding them SO much easier. Snip the ends off the strips before you start weaving, as it will make the paper slip through the holes, then if the end starts getting bent and ragged, just snip off a little more. If you have never made them, start with the wider strips too, before moving on to the narrower ones as the smaller stars are fiddlier; if your eyesight is good enough you can even make them out of curling ribbon.
Hej from Hyggestyle HQ! So many people ask for our mulled wine recipe (and as the nights are drawing in it is perfectly acceptable to drink it much earlier in the evening), so we are re-posting it for your delectation. This week we have also taken delivery of some gorgeous mulled wine carafes from Sagaform Sweden; they have an ingenious little warmer underneath; simply pop in a tealight and it will keep your glögg warm for guests. Perfect for parties!
We also have some beautiful hand made mulled wine cups, made exclusively for us by Sage Ceramics. Available in cream with pretty red hearts, or a traditional Danish Nisse/tomte/Christmas gnome design, they would make a fantastic gift along with some luxury mulled wine sachets.
Most northern European countries have a recipe for mulled wine or gluhwein; what sets our Danish Glögg recipe apart for me is the addition of the slivered almond and raisins that you can eat with a spoon when you get to the bottom of the glass. Best served with a plateful of warm aebleskiver and a dice game, in my opinion.
1x750ml bottle of wine. Lots of recipes will say use expensive wine, as this equals good glogg, but to be honest you’re going to put so many other spices and flavours in there that I would save your best bottle for later on in the evening.
8 cardamom pods
1 cinammon stick
½ cup of raisins
½ cup of slivered almonds
The rind from 1 orange
¼ cup of brown sugar
1 cup of port
1 cup of brandy (if you really want to fall asleep with a warm feeling in your tummy)
Put the wine, spices, raisins, almonds, sugar and rind in a large saucepan and place on a low heat. You want to warm it slowly enough that the spices permeate the wine, but not heat it up so much the alcohol begins to evaporate. If it is a lunchtime affair, my mum will add a cup of orange juice and a cup of water, to make it slightly more fruity, and slighty less alcoholic. Skål!