Posts Categorized: Drinks

Arctic Iced Coffee

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

Whoever said drinking hot drinks when it’s hot outside cools you down was an idiot. I’m looking at you Grandma!

I’ve heard this tale many times but am yet to accept that it actually works – and there’s nothing quite as unappealing as getting my sweat moustache on before breakfast.

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

So I’m taking back iced coffee. Forget the TV ads of twenty-something blokes in SUVs, fighter jets or tornadoes slamming-it-down-fast and think of a perfectly balanced espresso with a refreshing Scandinavian twist.

It’s less like a slap i the face and more like a gentle caress… from a snowman/lady.

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

The Pantry
One double shot of espresso
250 mls of cold, full-fat milk (see if you can’t get that one with the cream still on top – yum!)
1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
3-4 crushed cardamom seeds
Sugar to taste
5-6 cubes of ice
Cocktail shaker, (and signature shaking technique)

Espresso :: The Scandinavian Baker

Gently crush the cardamom seeds with the back of a spoon and brush the crumbs into a jug. Add the cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the freshly made espresso and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cold milk and transfer to a waiting cocktail shaker filled with the ice cubes.

Shake until the shaker becomes too cold and frosted to hold. Pour into a tall glass and dust with a few shakes of cinnamon.

Shake it :: The Scandinavian Baker

See you later boiling-hot coffee on an equally hot Summer’s morning and hello frosty new friend!

For an added delight, place a scoop of your favourite vanilla or coffee flavoured ice cream in the bottom of the glass and pour over the chilled coffee. Take that, day!

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

The Baker & Merchant

Poppy Seed Celebration Cake :: The Scandinavian Baker

A year or so ago, months of dreaming, planning, talking and tinkering all came together and  a bunch of us set out to make our mark in the big wide world with the help of the interwebs.

It’s been an amazing romp so far, so what better reason to throw a party and celebrate The Scandinavian Baker’s first birthday (hooray) and the anniversary of the local hand-made homewares venture Maker & Merchant. Happy birthday team! It’s The Baker & Merchant mash-up. (Sheer brilliance)

Maker and Merchant

It’s also the 50th anniversary of the iconic and instantly recognisable Finnish design classic, Marimekko’s Unikko – the poppy flower.

In 1964, the story goes that Marimekko designer Maija Isola defied founder Armi Ratia’s decree that never again would Marimekko produce a floral pattern. (That went well) On the back of that red- rag-to-a-bull moment Isola gave life to the design that would forever define the style of the company by painting the famous Unikko pattern in bold pink, red and black on white. The pattern has been in production ever since. What a way to arrive!

Marimekko Unikko Fabric :: The Scandinavian Baker

So it’s been a month of celebrations with even more to come. With a few milestones reached and in honour of the poppy it’s the perfect time to bake a celebration cake that’s close to my heart and pair it with a drink that tastes like it’s your birthday!

So make yourself comfy on your Maker and Merchant cushion and give three cheers to captains of industry!

Poppy Seed Celebration Cake

When I was a child there were no Women’s Weekly birthday cakes in the shape of a glistening pool or furry yellow bear for me. My Mum was never the willing baker; driven more by necessity than desire. And while at times I longed for the brightly-coloured butter-cream-whipped delights that graced my friends’ birthday parties, nothing ever beat the Poppy Seed Cake sitting pride of place at the centre of the table – wide-eyed children waiting patiently for a slice twice the size of anyone’s hand.

Blue Poppy Seeds :: The Scandinavian Baker

I cut my bakers teeth on this cake and it’s been there for every celebration throughout my life. It’s travelled with me and been baked in kitchens far and wide. It’s comfort, fond memory and tradition rolled into one extraordinary looking cake.  Now the blackened tin from my childhood (strictly reserved for this cake only) and the recipe committed to memory lives with me and I couldn’t be happier.

The Pantry

2 cups of raw sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups of canola oil
3 cups plain flour
1½ teaspoons of bi-carbonate of soda
1 can of evaporated milk (375 mls)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Poppy seeds (approx  ¾ cups)
One Angel Food cake tin with the narrow spout in the centre. (This part is essential. The cake won’t work in a regular round cake tin.)

Ingredients for Poppy Seed Celebration Cake :: The Scandinavian Baker

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Into your mixer place the sugar and eggs and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until well combined, lighter and doubled in size. Gradually add the oil in a steady stream and beat until well blended.

Sift the flour and bi-carb soda together. Add to the mixture, alternating with the evaporated milk, (at least four intervals). Folding together gently with a wooden spoon until combined.  Add the vanilla essence and mix in gently.

Add the poppy seeds, and mix well into the mixture until well dispersed.

Poppy Seed Celebration Cake :: The Scandinavian Baker

Pour into a well greased Angel Food tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45- 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. The cake may burn a little on the top, but this is characteristic of the style of cake.

Allow to cool for about 15- 20 minutes in the tin and then remove.

This cake is spectacular to look at, and best made the day before. Something magical happens when it rests overnight, transforming the texture and flavour from ordinary cake into a rich and surprising delight. It will keep for up to one week, but that’s unlikely. It’s hard to stop at a single piece, so be warned.

Poppy Seed Celebration Cake :: The Scandinavian Baker

While you’re patiently waiting for the cake to bake, why not start the party early with this delightful treat; dedicated to the lovely ladies celebrating over at Maker and Merchant.

Pomegranate and Basil Fizz (makes 1 – although that seems mean, so make enough for at least 2)

Pomegranate and Basil Fizz

The Pantry

Half a fresh pomegranate
2 nips of gin or vodka
1 tablespoon of simple syrup (or a teaspoon golden syrup if you’re too lazy to make the simple syrup yourself)
5 purple basil leaves (although green will also work splendidly)
Dash of soda water
Squeeze of lemon
Ice

Pomegranate & Basil Fizz

Cut the pomegranate in half and over a bowl using the end of a wooden spoon beat the skin to remove the seeds. With any luck the ruby jewels will fall into the bowl and not all over the floor.

If you’re making the simple syrup, place equal amounts of sugar and water into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Voila! Keep it on hand in the fridge for instant cheer.

Place the seeds, ice, basil, gin, lemon juice and syrup into a cocktail shaker (Put on the soundtrack to 80s film classic Cocktail) Shake it like a Polaroid picture and you’re ready. Pour in to a glass of your choice and top with a dash of soda water, a slice of lemon and a couple of extra basil leaves.

Raise a glass and toast your achievements. Because everyone has something to celebrate.

Home Grown Pomegranate :: The Scandinavian Baker

 

Ice Ice Baby

Sencha Iced Tea :: The Scandinavian Baker

It’s no surprise to anyone this side of the equator that Australia is having its hottest summer on record. The high temperatures have been sky-rocketing as we head out of the hottest year on record and into another. Yikes!

The Scandinavian Baker headquarters tipped +43.5c last week so there was nothing on this green (read: brown and crispy) earth that was going to convince me to turn on the oven.

The only thing left to do was to escape the heat any way possible, be it by pool, beach or… sigh… mega shopping centre.

The Finn and I escaped beachside with as much new summer fiction as we could carry and quenched our thirst with tasty tasty iced tea.

Sencha Green Tea :: The Scandinavian Baker

I’m a recent convert to homemade iced tea. Give me rich malty Assam by the steaming pot full any day – but make it green and chilled and I’d often opt for water.

One scorching afternoon, lounging by the Maker & Merchant HQ pool I was reborn. Green iced tea was my drink and so became my passion (this may have been a touch of sunstroke talking).

I’m sure you all know how to make tea, but a boy’s got to blog and as previously mentioned – too hot to bake.

Sencha Iced Tea :: The Scandinavian Baker

Iced Sencha – Scandinavian style

The Pantry

1 tablespoon green sencha.  Any will do, I used one with blue cornflower petals and dried quince – delightful!

2 or 3 bruised cardamom pods (or a sprinkling of lightly dinted seeds – crush them gently with a pestle)

1 lemon, sliced

1 jug of boiling water

750ml of sparkling water

A few fresh mint leaves

Fresh Mint :: The Scandinavian Baker

Boil the jug and let sit for a minute or two after boiling. Green tea is best brewed slightly off the boil between 80-90 degrees. Add your chosen leaves and cardamom pods to a medium sized pot and fill with the hot water. Allow to sit for up to an hour to brew and cool.

Slice the lemon and add a few slices to a large jug or bottle. Add the mint leaves – scrunched a bit.

Pour in the tea to fill about a quarter of the container. Top with cold-as-you-can-get-it sparkling water and give a quick stir.

Serve immediately in chilled glasses with a little extra mint and a wedge of lemon to parched over-heated friends, preferably pool-side. Enjoy.

Fresh Sencha Iced Tea :: The Scandinavian Baker