Danish Recipes!

Happy Holidays everyone!

I recently had my 2nd annual International Thanksgiving dinner and boy what a success it was!  We had over 35 guests and dishes (traditional American along with 6 or so other countries represented).

My favorite, and maybe i’m turning slightly Danish, were the Danish dishes my friends brought.  First on the list is Risalamande, or Rice Pudding.  It has been a traditional dish in Denmark since 1900, and typically is served with cherry sauce.  It is absolutely delicious and I myself have been craving and subsequently surviving off of this dish for the past few days.  Find the recipe below, and note the most important direction, save one of the almonds before you chop it.  In Denmark when you serve this dish, it is tradition that whoever finds the whole almond in the dish wins a prize!  It is usually a sweet treat of chocolate of some sort, and is typically fixed so the almond ends up in the littlest ones rice pudding.  We did this at our thanksgiving, and my host hid 3 almonds in the dish and had 3 prizes of delicious chocolate for the winners!

  • Rice pudding
  • 3 cups water
  • 180g pudding rice (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 1 liter of milk
  • 100g blanched almonds
  • 2 vanilla beans – or vanilla flavor
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ liter whipping cream at 38%
  • Accessories
  • 1 serving warm kirsebærsauce (cherry sauce)

Rice pudding: Bring water and rice to a boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Cook the rice over a moderate heat and stirring for approx. 2 min. Add milk and cook the porridge on low heat, still stirring, for approx. 10 minutes. Cover and cook for approx. ½ hour – stirring occasionally. Keep covered in the refrigerator until it is cold – like the next day.  Take an almond from and chop the rest. Stir rice pudding, vanilla seeds, sugar and ground almonds together. Whip the cream to a light foam and fold gently into the porridge with the whole almond. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Season to taste.

My second favorite dish is known as Brunede Kartofler, or Caramelized Potatoes.  Another typical Danish Christmas dish, and extremely easy to make… however when I first attempted to make these, I somehow ended up mashing all the potatoes so it was more caramalized mush than whole potatoes.  I left this years dish up to a Dane and was treated with caramalized, whole potatoes.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
potatoes (approx 20 small white)
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoon butter

Directions:
Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain potatoes and place in refrigerator to cool. Once potatoes are cold, remove peel. In a pan over medium-low heat melt sugar. Watch sugar carefully so it does not burn. When sugar has melted add butter, please note that it will bubble up, stir to combine. Add potatoes and cook low and slow, gently stirring occasionally until potatoes are warmed through. Enjoy!

My third and last recipe isn’t really a traditional Christmas desert dish, however it is my favorite cake.  Drømmekage (or Dream cake) It is literally like eating a dream, is a delicious most cake and can be found most anywhere in Denmark.  It has a wonderful light coconut taste and a fluffy texture.  Delicious!

Drømmekage (9-12 servings)

Ingredients:
For the dough:
75 gram butter (2.6 oz.)
1 deciliter milk (3.4 oz. or 1/2 cup)
125 gram all-purpose flour (4.4 oz.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
125 gram sugar (4.4 oz.)
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

150 gram butter (5.3 oz.)
250 gram brown sugar (8.8 oz.)
1/2 deciliter milk (1.7 oz. or 1/4 cup)
200 gram shredded unsweetened coconut (7 oz.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 195 degrees C (380 degrees F). Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with baking spray. Add 1 tablespoon flour to pan, shake flour around pan to coat bottom and sides, discard excess flour, set pan aside.

In a small saucepan add butter and milk, warm over low heat until butter is melted, set aside. Sift together flour and baking powder, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add eggs and sugar, beat on high until mixture is pale yellow and very thick (5-10 minutes). Add vanilla beans and salt and beat until well incorporated. Add 1/2 of sifted flour mixture to eggs and, with a spatula, gently fold the flour into the eggs until smooth. Add 1/2 of butter mixture to eggs and gently fold in. Add remaining flour and then butter, folding it into the eggs. Pour dough into prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, prepare the topping. Add butter, brown sugar and milk to a saucepan. Melt while stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and then add coconut, simmer for 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn the oven temperature up to 210 degrees C (410 degrees F). Add tablespoons of filling to the top of the cake and smooth it out a little. (Do not pour all of filling onto cake all at one time). When oven has reached the new temperature, place cake back into oven and bake for another 4-5 minutes. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a baking rack. Enjoy!

November

Hello my blog reading world:)

I am back from Australia and am currently in a very confused state.  Oh the pains of love.  To stay here (in a cold, dark, rainy Denmark) or give it all up and move to Australia.

Writing that I am shaking my head at myself, I know what I need to do, I know I need to stay here and finish my Masters, its crazy though the feeling that I have to just give it all up and run.  Long Distance is hard.  Being on the absolute other side of the world is harder.  If only I had all the money in the world to fly to see him every other month, but flying to Australia is wicked expensive.  Daryl wont let me do that, and I know deep inside I wont let myself do that, its just this feeling is so overwhelming and the weather and isolating feelings the cold and dark bring here do not help when i’ve just come from a wonderful sunny (25-30 degree) Australia.

A friend told me that its all in my head- which is true, you decide how happy you will be and you create your own struggles.  I know all this, I just still have a hard time accepting the fact that school isn’t what I thought it would be.  I’m just not good with disappointment; especially if I’ve built something up in my head to be the greatest most awesome thing in the world– and then it turns out to be not so great like I thought it would be.  My friend also raised another point, Grad school work & life (or not work in my case) is easier and more freeing then any other time I will have in your life.  After this I will be bound to a 9-5 job which I may or may not like, and all the corporate nonsense that follows.  True, I may not be challenged right now but, writing a 20 page paper is much easier then dealing with corporate life.  He’s right.  Im dreading writing this paper and even more dreading writing this thesis, but hey- in the long run it is much easier and honestly, I’m really good at writing papers.  I just need to get an idea in my head and run with it, instead of sitting around daily pondering why I am here.  I know why I am here, I worked my butt off for a year to get here.  If school isn’t keeping me entertained, heck the exploration I’ve done of the world is.

List of Countries I’ve travelled too while living abroad.

Denmark (All around:)

Sweden (Stockholm and Malmo)

Germany (A small town called Muhlhausen)

Norway (Oslo)

Spain (Madrid)

Morocco (Marrakech)

Australia (Gold Coast, Brisbane & Sydney)

Holland (Amsterdam)

Dubai (stopover)

Singapore (stopover)

Austria (Vienna)
Czech Republic (Prague)

-Wow, I didn’t realize the list was that long.  And to think, there are so many more places that I want to go.  The rest of the countries on my list (for Europe at least) are; Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Croatia, Malta & Switzerland.  Totally do-able in this next year I think 🙂

When I move to Australia I want to explore Asia since it will be much more accessible to me over there.  I’ve done a lot of traveling, and at the end of the day, I really am blessed to be enrolled in a grad program that is (relatively) a slice of cake and allows me to actually do what I really wanted to while living over in Europe– Explore :):)

Australia.  I had the pleasure of spending my 25th birthday down under:)  I had a mini quarter life crisis, but then got over it by spending all day at the beach.  But really, it was an amazing day.  Daryl and I spent a long weekend (thursday through tuesday) at Santai Resort.  God I love Groupon!  We got a 5 day package for 400 dollars at a gorgeous resort in Kingscliff.  I’ve never spent any time in a place like this, it was so tranquil!  Just look at the pictures and you will know what I mean.  I spent most days down at the pool, or at the beach.  On Saturday we went to the horse races with Daryl’s firm, which was amazing.  The firm rented out a corporate box providing a 3 course meal and drinks to be had!  I must admit I did place a bet on one horse to win, and I doubled my money!  I only bet a dollar, but I got 2 dollars 20 back.  It was fun cheering on the horses and seeing if i’d won.  Also meeting Daryl’s fellow team of lawyers was an exciting social event.  It was a nice afternoon and of course the weather was gorgeous.  Back at the resort I spent my days longing around.  Monday was my birthday and I was woken up with a wrapped box next to my bedside.  I opened it up and it was a gorgeous Marc Jacobs watch!  I had been dreaming of this watch for a while.  (A Marc Jacobs store just opened up in the airport, and on my break I go and try on all the expensive watches… I guess Daryl caught on, he’s a smart one:)     We then went out to breakfast before we had a morning of snorkelling at a marine reserve on the Tweed Coast.  We were provided with wetsuits and snorkelling equipment and a quick how-to before getting on the small boat.  We then took the boat out to Cook Island, the marine reserve.  Under the Sea!  It was amazing!  I think about 10 minutes in we saw a turtle swimming around in the water, we saw nemo and dory fishes, and loads of other beautiful marine life.  It was a spectacular morning.  Around 11:30 we took the boat back and DOLPHINS swam up beside the boat!  About 15 of them I think, just swimming around and playing with us as we went back.  It was amazing, such a great birthday.  We went out for lunch in Kingscliff since we were starving after the snorkelling.  Then it was back to the resort.  As part of our Groupon package we had two 30 minute massages.  Daryl gave me his 30 minutes so I could have an hour for myself.  I’ve never had a massage before and wow, what a great way to end the day!

Daryl unfortunately had to study most of the time I was there, but made time to spend with me. It was just nice to be with him every night.   My good friend Irina is currently in Australia on a working holiday and I got to spend lots of time with her as she was also on the Gold Coast.  We went to a theme park, and Byron Bay and spent time at Surfer’s Paradise.  It was really a great trip.  I can’t say enough good things about Australia.  I can’t wait to move there (even though I can– hehe)

Well, I think that’s enough for this morning.  Here are some pictures from my trip… enjoy :):)