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%
- 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!
potatoes (approx 20 small white)
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoon butter
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)
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.)
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!