Danish Dream Cake


(Norsk oppskrift: Dansk Drømmekake)

Finally Friday! Finally done with this weeks get-into-shape-program. Do you understand the full extent to being done with this week’s workouts? It means CAKE! Yup! Cake! Doesn’t cake undermine the workout, you ask? Honey, cake is the reason I work out. No cake, no workout.

Today I share with you a Danish recipe. Despite the total lack of licorice in this recipe (Danes have no filter as of what to put licorice in, see here), this seems to be a favorite cake in Denmark. And it is good, and it is easy. Therefore, a perfect cake to bake this weekend, the Dream Cake (Drømmekage):

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Ingredients:

  • 250 grams (9 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 250 grams (9 oz.) sugar
  • 50 grams (2 oz.) butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 ml (4/5 cup) milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

  • 125 grams (4.5 oz.) butter
  • 50 ml (1/5 cup) milk
  • 200 grams (7 oz.) muscovado sugar
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz.) coconut flakes (desiccated coconut)

Whisk eggs and sugar until light and fluffy

Melt the butter and combine the warm, melted butter with the milk. Then add the butter and milk mix to the eggs and sugar.

Add flour, baking powder and vanilla, and mix well into a smooth batter.

Butter and dust with flour your baking tin – or line it with greaseproof paper – and pour the batter in.

Bake at 200 C (400 F) for 25 minutes, place the tin low in the oven.

Make the topping the last ten minutes while the cake cooks in the oven: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk and muscovado sugar and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about a minute.

Add the coconut flakes and mix well. When the cake has been baking for 25 mins, take it out of the oven, pour on the topping, use a knife to spread the topping evenly on top of the cake.

Bake the cake for 10 minutes more.

Let the cake cool and then cut into pieces and enjoy. (I know I will!)

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Dansk Drømmekake


(English recipe: Dream Cake )

Som utlending I Danmark har jeg blitt godt kjent med dansk bakverk, og en kake som går igjen i alle situasjoner hvor du finner hjemmebakst er Drømmekake. Og det er ikke så rart, for ikke bare er den enkel å lage, den er også supergod, og passer således godt til navnet sitt.

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Drømmekake

  • 250 g hvetemel

  • 250 g sukker

  • 50 g smør

  • 3 egg

  • 2 dl melk

  • 2 ts bakepulver

  • 1 ts vaniljesukker

Topping:

  • 125 g smør

  • 0,5 dl melk

  • 200 g brun farin

  • 100 g kokosmasse

Pisk egg og sukker til eggedosis.

Smelt smøret og bland med melken, og hell blandingen i eggedosisen.

Bland mel, bakepulver og vaniljesukker og rør det i røren.

Hell røren i smurt og melet kakeform (evt kan du bruke bakepapir), og stek kaken i 25 minutter, nederst i ovnen på 200 grader C.

De siste 10 minuttene av steketiden bruker du til å lage toppingen:

Smelt smør, tilsett melk og brun farin og gi det et oppkok. Rør i kokosmassen og ta kaken ut av ovnen. Hell toppingen over kaken, spre fyllet utover.

Sett kaken tilbake i ovnen og stek i ytterligere 10 minutter.

Avkjøles i formen.

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Treasure


As I enjoyed my tea and scones today, it struck me again how much I like my china set. First off I think it is real pretty, but the fact that my dad picked it out and bought it all by himself in a country, Japan, on the other side of the world – is what makes it a treasure in my eyes. The Noritake China, pattern 5802 Arlene, can be replaced for 400 USD, so the monetary value isn’t great, even though it was only produced between 1957 and 1966. Which means that I can use it more than I do, as I have been afraid of breaking it. Now that I know that this is not a rare pattern, and it can be easily replaced, it will not be devastating to break it.

Spennende Maissuppe


(English recipe: Exotic Corn Chowder)

Normalt sett ville jeg stekt noe bacon eller chorizo og strødd over en maissuppe, men akkurat denne dagen hadde jeg ikke slikt i hus. Det ble derfor en ny variant, med chili, shiitakesopp og kokosmelk for å kompensere for fraværet av kjøtt. Suppa ble nydelig, og dersom du ønsker kan du selvsagt toppe den med bacon, chorizo, stekt kylling, krabbekjøtt, scampi, eller hva ditt hjerte begjærer.

sdrMaissuppe (4 porsjoner)

  • 600 g frossen mais (eller 4 små bokser)
  • 1 kinesisk hvitløk
  • 1 chili
  • 2 ss olje
  • 1 ss paprikapulver
  • 1 boks kokosmelk
  • 1 tørket shiitakesopp
  • 2 ss finhakket basilikum (evt 2 ts tørket basilikum)
  • Pepper
  • 0,5 – 2 dl grønnsakkraft
  • 2 ss finhakket persille (evt 2 ts tørket persille)

Varm opp oljen i en gryte. Ha i tint og avrent mais og stek til de begynner å bli gylne og “popper” litt. Rør inn salt. Ta av et par spiseskjeer av maisen og spar til garnityr.

Rør inn finhakket hvitløk, chili, revet shiitakesopp og paprikapulver, og la det steke et minutt. Tilsett kokosmelk og la det småkoke i noen minutter. Kjør suppen sammen med basilikum og persille i en foodprocessor eller med stavmikser til du har en jevn suppe. Juster konsistensen med grønnsakkraft, og smak til med salt og pepper.

Ha over i suppetallerkner, garner med resten av maisen. Server!

dav

dav

Exotic Corn Chowder


(Norsk oppskrift: Spennende Maissuppe)

I think it is quite rare that I present a vegetarian main dish like I do today. Normally I would fry up some bacon or chorizo to sprinkle on top of the soup, but I had no such thing to cook with. When I do meatless dinners, I do try to incorporate some shiitake mushroom, as that gives me the umami that I miss. So, there’s a tip for my fellow meat lovers, a lil’ shiitake makes the veggie-dishes oh so exquisite.

You can change the coconut milk for cream if you prefer, but I rather like the flavor the coconut milk adds to the dish. Also, no harm in topping the chowder with bacon, chorizo, friend chicken, crab meat, prawns or whatever your heart desires, devastation amongst your non-veggie guests are then easily avoided.

sdrCorn Chowder (4 servings)

  • 600g frozen corn (or 4 small boxes)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 chili
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon powdered paprika
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
  • Pepper
  • 0.5 to 2 dl vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the thawed and drained corn and cook until they start to golden and «pop» a bit. Stir in salt. Take off a couple of tablespoons of corn and set aside (to be used as garnish).

Stir in minced garlic, finely chopped chili, grated shiitake mushroom and paprika and fry for a minute. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes. Add the basil and parsley and purée the chowder in a blender until you have a smooth, thick soup. Adjust to wanted consistency with vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the corn you set aside, and enjoy.

dav

Training Update


OK, just an extra update from me here on the whole «getting into shape»-program I have started. I have survived another round of “Health Booster”, and I just want to say that when I am gasping for air into burning lungs, have an abnormally high body temperature and muscles and joints ache, and I generally feel like I am about to die – I usually go to the doctor and get diagnosed with double sided pneumonia, bronchitis, arthritis, gout and probably the plague. This is not the type of health you want to boost!

(If you, by oversight, missed the background for this update, then you can read it here: FUN RUN)

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Overworked
Conventional Wisdom

Big


I am so glad we got to visit Egypt before the trouble there started! Although they do not advise against travelling to the tourist-sites in Egypt, I would opt it out. Thus, I am happy I already crossed it out of my bucket list. Been there, got the pics to prove it!

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We went there in Des 2009, when the Karate Kid was 8 years old. I am considering writing a series of blogposts from Egypt, but right now I’ll only share pictures of some big friggin’ things:

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From this position we had good oversight of the Pyramides

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The Greatest _______ in the World
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#DevelopingYourEye

Helsingør (Elsinore), Denmark


Now that we have visited the Kronborg Castle, where Hamlet lived, spoke to ghosts, and died, I think it is only natural to pay the surrounding town a visit, Helsingør (Elsinore, as Shakespeare called it). Helsingør is situated on the northeastern tip of the island of Zealand, Denmark, at the narrowest point (4 kilometers) of the sound, (Øresund) between Denmark and Sweden.

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The area has been inhabited for a long time, and around 1200 the first church, Saint Olaf’s Church, was built. Helsingør as it is known today was founded in the 1420s by king Eric of Pomerania. In 1429 he established the Sound Dues, meaning all foreign ships passing through the strait had to pay a toll, which constituted up to two-thirds of Denmark’s state income. At the time, the Swedish side of the sound was Danish, therefore Denmark could control all activity in the sound. With this income, Eric of Pomerania built the castle Krogen that was later expanded and renamed Kronborg. (This is the castle we visited yesterday – Hamlet’s Elsinore.) All ships had to stop in Helsingør to get their cargo taxed and pay a toll to the Danish Crown, and of course this meant increased trade for the town, as the ships had to anchor here anyways. In 1672 Helsingør had grown into the third biggest town in Denmark. The Sound Dues were abolished in 1857.

A lil’ bit of trivia: The car ferry line crossing the sound, between Helsingør and Helsingborg, Sweden is the busiest in the world with more than 70 departures in each direction every day.

The Greatest Ferry Line in the World

Ambience

Crossing

Exposure

Hamlet’s Elsinore


Yes, this place actually exists! Except the castle’s name is not Elsinore, it is Kronborg Slot (added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list in 2000). You can come and see for yourself, it is in the town of Helsingør, Denmark, on the northeastern tip of the island of Zealand at the narrowest point of the sound, (Øresund) between Denmark and Sweden. The sound is here only 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) wide, so a fortification here has always had an immense strategic and economic importance, and it has been repurposed several times throughout the years.

The castle dates back to a stronghold, Krogen, built in the 1420s by King Eric VIII (Eric of Pomerania*). King Frederick II** transformed the stronghold into a Renaissance Castle from 1574 to 1585. Much of the castle was destroyed in a fire in 1629, but King Christian IV subsequently had it rebuilt.

*Related reading: Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless, where Erik of Pomerania becomes King through adoption by King Pantsless (Margrete I)

**Related reading: Roskilde Cathedral – The Renaissance Ruler, about Frederick II and his young Queen.

Per a legend linked to Arthurian myth, a Danish king known as Holger the Dane, was taken to Avalon by Morgan le Fay. He returned to rescue France from danger, then traveled to Kronborg castle, where he sleeps until he is needed to save his homeland. He mst be knackered and overworked to sleep this long! His beard has grown to extend along the ground. A statue of the sleeping Holger has been placed in the castle.

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Holger the Dane

The Ballroom was, when it was completed in 1582, the largest hall in Northern Europe. It measures a whopping 62 x 12 meters. The present floor and fireplaces are from the rebuilding 1924-38.

The chapel was inaugurated in 1582, but in 1785, as the castle was being fitted for use as army barracks, the chapel was fitted out as gymnasium and fencing hall, and the furniture was stored away. In 1838, the chapel was refurnished with the original furniture, and reinaugurated in 1843.

The Swedish army besieged and conquered the castle during the Dano-Swedish War of 1658-60, and the castle was deprived of many of its most precious art works. The Swedish conquest demonstrated that the castle was far from impregnable, so after the castle was back on Danish hands, the castle defenses were strengthened scientifically. After their completion, Kronborg was considered the strongest fortress in Europe.

From 1739 until the 1900s, Kronborg was used as a prison, and the inmates worked on the castles fortifications. From January 17, 1772 to April 30, 1772, Kronborg was the place of imprisonment of Queen Caroline Mathilde***, following the scandal of her affair with Johann Friedrich Struensee.

***Related reading: Royal Shenanigans, where I tell the story of the Royal infidelity that landed the young Queen in prison.

***Related reading: Roskilde Cathedral – Power struggles and insanity, the story of the mentally ill King, the imprisoned Queen’s hubby.

We do have to talk about Hamlet, William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, which is set here at Kronborg. In the play, it is called Elsinore, though that is actually the anglicized name of the surrounding town Helsingør. The play has been performed several times in the courtyard and at various locations on the fortifications. For those of you that are dire Hamlet-fans, here are some famous Hamlets:

The castle was opened to the public in 1938, and they host a fantastic Christmas Marked two weekends in December every year. I absolutely recommend visiting Helsingør and Kronborg Castle. And should you happen to be in the area in December, make sure you visit the Christmas Marked!

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Ambience
The Greatest Castle in the World
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