Scandikitchen Summer by BRONTË AURELL

It is finally spring and it has brought us summer like weather! With the sun shining and the clouds hiding away it's probably about time I shared this great book with you. 

Last year I had the opportunity to review North: How to Live Scandinavian by Bronte Aurell and was delighted to have a chance to read her latest book Scandikitchen Summer and the book I am about to tell you all about.

When we think of the Scandinavian countries we think of snow, ice, and darkness. Well, I can't speak for you, but I know I do. It's hard to remember that although yes there is a lot of darkness in that part of the world, but they also have a lot of light and this book celebrates that.

Bronte gives us an idea of what would be in a Scandinavian Summer Pantry in her first chapter and then follow that chapter up with a chapter on Breakfast & Brunch. Continuing with chapters on Open Sandwiches, Salads & Sharing Plates, and then Larger Plates & Mains to get you through the summer days. The last few chapters are my favorite, because they all have to do with baking and sweet treats; Cake & Fika (fika is what the Swedes call a coffee break), Breads,  and last but not least Desserts & Drinks.

While reading through a great cookbook I always book mark a few recipes I would like to try and if I am reviewing it, I like to list them here for you to get an idea of what sort of recipes to find in the book. So, here is a list of some of the recipes I have book marked -

Crispy Wholemeal Waffles
Cinnamon Bun French Toast (pictured)
Simple Salmon Open Sandwiches
Cottage Cheese, Cucumber, & Radish Open Sandwiches
Fish Cake Open Sandwiches with Tartar Dressing (pictured)
Black Rice & Salmon Salad
Curried Cauliflower & Rye Grain Salad (pictured)
Pea Puree Dip
Dill Pesto Potato Salad
Easy New Potato & Dill Salad
Crispbread Pizza (pictured)
Mushroom Paj
Lena's Danish Meatball
Brown Butter & Toffee Cookies
Summer Berry Tart (as seen on the cover)
Elderflower Everything Cake (pictured)
Blueberry & Vanilla Buns
Beetroot & Walnut Buns (pictured)
Carrot & Rye Rolls
Swedish Mess
Vanilla & Cloudberry Ice Cream
Easy Elderflower Cordial (pictured)

There are a lot more recipes to browse though and inspire you to celebrate and eat like the Scandinavians and prove that although their winters are dark and magical their summers and bright and wonderful!

Bronte Aurell is an amazing author her words and recipes make me feel like I have been transported to another country. A country I hope to visit one day, but until then I can soak up her words and recreate her recipes until I get there.

If you would like to know more about Scandikitchen - check out their website here

* I was provided a copy of Scandikitchen Summer by Bronte Aurell to review by the publisher, Ryland Peters & Small, retails at £16.99 and available now from your local book retailers or online! All opinions are my own, I was not given any other compensation nor was I asked to give a positive review, please see my contact/policy page above for more information.

Happy Accident - Chocolate Orange Cake Bombs {Cake Truffles}

After my cake didn't come out as expected (see Cake Disaster) I physically stepped away from it; left it in a room and walked out. That is how mad I was at it. Ridiculous, I know. But it allowed me the time I needed to chill and approach it with a new look.

I first tried to get the top half of the cake out in one piece, but it kept crumbling. Which is when I thought what do you do with edible cake crumbs. Usually make cake pops. I didn't have any sticks so, I made Cake Bombs or Cake Truffles if you like.

So, to make these delicious cake bombs use the cake recipe in the previous post or any cake of your choice. If you are using the whole cake you will want to double this recipe of butter cream -

Cake Bombs

1/2 of chocolate orange marble cake
1 portion of butter cream (below)
 Dr. Oetker Easy Choc Milk or any chocolate melts in any color
sprinkles, optional

Beat together until just combined. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut. Put in the freezer, I left mine over night because of time reasons, but an hour should be enough time. Then melt your candy melts or Dr. Oetker Easy Choc according to the instructions given on the packaging. Dip each 'bomb' into the chocolate and leave to set, decorate quickly if using sprinkles or other decorations.
Once set you can enjoy at any time!

Vanilla/Orange Butter Cream

250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract

Place everything into the bowl of a mixer or a medium bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.

Life doesn't always turn out how we expect it too, neither does cake. I could have easily thrown it in the trash, I wanted too, I was so annoyed. But I managed to turn my cake disaster into a happy accident, whoever says cake is just cake doesn't understand baking at all.

Cake Disaster - Chocolate Orange Marble Bundt

Bundt cakes are my favorite, when they actually come out of their tins properly. It's so annoying when you have taken the time and lovingly mixed a cake and greased the bundt pan and floured it like you always have only to have the cake stick.

In fact it's infuriating.

When I tell people this they act like it's the craziest reason to be annoyed and/or angry. According to them it's just a cake. In reality that's exactly what it is, cake. But yet it's not just a cake.

You know the saying "it's not the destination, it's the journey' and that's the same for baking. It's not just about the delicious treat at the end it's about the process.

To start with there is a craving or a need to use up an ingredient or two in your cupboard, so there is a need to bake. Then it's gathering, measuring, and mixing all the ingredients in a specific order to make a smooth batter that gets poured into a tin and baked to a perfectly risen golden cake that springs back when gently prodded.

So, after all that time and effort to have your cake ruined because it didn't come out of the tin as expected it's annoying. Then if you are a blogger and like to write about these things you have this pressure that it should be perfect.

Life isn't perfect, but on the internet we like to portray it as such.

Like life this cake isn't perfect either, but it was delicious. There is a perfect balance of orange and chocolate. Because it was a marble cake it pretty much came out in half as you can see below. One half I ate as cake and the other half I made Cake Bombs - want to know more check out the following post.

Chocolate Orange Marble Bundt Cake

228g butter
300g sugar
4 large eggs, separated
340g flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 salt
160ml milk
grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 tsp orange extract (optional)
60g cocoa powder
60ml of water

Heat the oven to 170C/350F - grease the bundt pan with butter or a tasteless oil (veggie/sunflower) and sift a little flour to cover it and gently tap it out, leave to the side.

Then beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Separate the eggs, trying to leave the egg yolks in tact and then beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, leave the egg whites to the side and add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until just combined between each one.  Mix the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt together - then add 1/3 of it to the butter mixture mixing until just combined, then add half of the milk again beating until combined, then the flour, milk and lastly the flour. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

Split the batter into two - add the zest and extract to one batter and gently fold in and then mix the cocoa powder and water together before adding to the other half of the batter. Alternate adding to your well greased and floured bundt pan - resist the urge to mix them together.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, using the skewer test to make sure it's cooked through. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before inverting the bundt pan on a wire rack to cool completely - if using a proper Nordic Ware bundt pan they can take a while to cool so just leave it until cool to the touch.

As mentioned above the cake is actually delicious and worth a go. I have not tested this cake in cake pans, but it is an option, I would stick to the same oven temperature, but would vary the baking time depending on what size cake pans you use. But if it all goes wrong you can make cake bombs! Post to follow on how to make them! Because even after a cake disaster, there is always a way to turn it into a happy accident.