Monday, February 4, 2013

Krumkake Norwegian Waffle Cookies

Norwegian Krumkager

Back in 2005, Joe and I took a week long class at John C. Campbell Folk School. We were at the school during their Scandinavian Heritage week which we figured would be the ideal time for us to be at the school. Joe took a blacksmithing class and I took Scandinavian baking which was so much fun and gave me a lot of confidence in my baking skills. Campbell Folk School is located in the southern Appalachian mountains by Brasstown, North Carolina and the campus is set in the most beautiful and serene location. The school is based on the Danish concept of Folkehjskole which is an adult non-competitive learning experience. Campbell Folk School offer a wide variety of classes based on American traditional arts and crafts such as basketry, dance, drawing, enameling, leather, metalwork, music, photography, woodworking and so much more. I have written about my experience at Campbell Folk School before when I made Wienerbrd and making these Norwegian Krumkaker brought back wonderful memories about our experience there. I can honestly say that is was one of the most rewarding, exciting and at the same time peaceful experiences I have ever had. To get a feel for the atmosphere at the Folk School check out their blog.

Me at John Campbell Folk School practicing decorating a delicious layered cake.

Me at John Campbell Folk School practicing decorating a delicious layered cake.

Krumkake is a delicate and delicious Norwegian waffle cookie which is traditionally served during the Christmas holiday. I first learned to make this classic waffle while taking my Scandinavian baking class at Campbell Folk School. Making the waffle does require an Krumkake iron and a cone shaped roller which can be purchased pretty easily these days online. The cookies can seem a little tricky to roll at first (careful, they are hot) but after a couple of cookies youll quickly get the hang of it. They can be rolled into a cone shape, a cylinder (by using the handle of a wooden spoon) or simply served as a flat round disc. The filling choices are numerous and only limited by your imagination but traditionally they are served with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Norwegian Krumkake

Krumkake makes 38 Krumkaker


4 large eggs, at room temperature

200 gram butter (7 oz.)

200 gram sugar (7 oz.)

200 gram flour (7 oz.)

2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

warm water to get correct batter consistency (I used 14 tbsp)

Special equipment required: Krumkake iron and a Krumkake roller (if not already included with your iron)


Melt butter and set aside. Add eggs and sugar to a bowl and beat on high until thick and pale yellow in color. While continuing to mix, pour the melted butter, in a thin stream, into the egg mixture. Add your choice of either vanilla extract or cardamom and while continuing to mix, add flour in small increments. If batter is too thick, add warm water to correct consistency.

Note: follow your Krumkake iron manufactures instructions regarding temperature settings, if iron needs to be greased and cooking time. Using the krumkake roller will give you a cone shape and using the end of a wooden spoon with give a cylinder shape.

Place a large piece of parchment paper onto your counter top next to the Krumkake iron. I taped the corners of the paper down to keep it from moving around.

Pour a generous tablespoon of batter onto your hot krumkake iron, close lid and cook until ready (30-45 seconds). Using a small offset spatula or a butter knife, quickly lift the soft krumkake onto the parchment paper and roll into desired shape. Keep the cookie on the roller for 1-2 minutes to allow it to take its shape before sliding the cookie off the roller and placing it onto a baking sheet to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight tin until ready to serve. Fill cones with your favorite filling right before serving and enjoy.

Krumkake serving suggestions:whipped cream with fresh berries, soft ice cream, preserves or jams, pudding, custard or Caroles Almond Pudding (recipe follows)

Caroles Almond Pudding:


1 small package instant vanilla pudding (95 gram or 3.4 oz.)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk

1/4 1/2 tsp almond extract


Beat all ingredients together for 1-2 minutes until desired consistency and keep cool in refrigerator until ready to serve. Pipe into krumkaker cookies and serve immediately.

Source for Krumkake: adapted from

Source for Caroles Almond Pudding: my friend and coworker Carole Yoder

Making Krumkaker

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Othellolagkage Othello Layered Cake



The Othellolagkage is named after Shakespeares great tragedy Othello which was written in the early 1600s. Lagkager or Layered cakes are very popular in Denmark and the Othellolagkage is the creme de la creme of layered cakes, a true Danish classic.


Draw circle, baked Makronbund, Cake cream, Layering cakes

The cake is served on special occasions but it can be quite expensive if bought at the bakery in Denmark. Of course you can make it at home although it is a little time consuming, but well worth your effort. To save some time you can buy the lagkagebunde (cakes for layered cake) at any store in Denmark or if you live overseas, they can be purchased online. However, I choose to make my own lagkagebunde which I had frozen and so all I had to do was pull them out of the freezer to thaw.

Roll & trim Marzipan, smear cake cream along edge, gently apply Marzipan to edge, decorate seam with whipped cream

Roll & trim Marzipan, smear cake cream along edge, gently apply Marzipan to edge, decorate seam with whipped cream

Ingredients for Othellolagkage:

2 lagkagebunde (cakes for layered cake, see link for recipe)

1 makronbund (macaroon cake layer, recipe follows)

Lagkagecreme (cake cream, recipe follows)

Kakaoglasur (cocoa glaze, recipe follows)

Marcipanovertrk (marzipan coating, recipe follows)

6 tablespoons strawberry jam (optional)

6 oz heavy whipping creme

Ingredients for Makronbund Macaroon cake layer: (makes 1)

200 gram marzipan (7 oz.)

100 gram sugar (3 1/2 oz.)

3 egg whites


Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F). Take a piece of parchment paper and trace a circle from the baking pan which you used for making the lagkagebunde, I used an 8 inch pan. Set parchment paper with circle aside.

Mix all ingredients together until you have a smooth homogeneous dough, this may take a good 5-10 minutes. Place mixture into a plastic bag, cut off corner and squeeze dough onto circle on parchment. Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool completely before using.

Ingredients for Lagkagecreme Cake creme:

1 egg

3 egg yolks

4 tablespoons sugar

1 vanilla bean

4 teaspoons flour

4 deciliter whole milk (13 oz.)

1 deciliter heavy whipping cream (4 oz.)


Whip egg, egg yolks, sugar and seeds from vanilla bean until slightly thickened and airy. Add flour and beat. Add milk and beat. Pour egg mixture and empty vanilla beans into a cooking pot and over low heat slowly bring to a simmer while whisking continously. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes while whisking. Remove from heat and transfer into a dish, cover cake cream with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to cool completely. Once cake cream is cooled, whip heavy whipping cream to a whipped cream and stir into cake cream. Continue to keep cool until ready to use.

Ingredients for Marcipanovertrk Marzipan coating:

150 gram marzipan (5 1/2 oz.)

175 gram confectioners sugar (6 oz.)

50 gram glucose (1 3/4 oz.)


Mix marzipan and glucose, adding confectioners sugar in increments. Mix until you have a smooth mixture. Sprinkle a generous amount of confectioners sugar onto your work surface and roll marzipan out to the height of the finished layered cake and the circumference of the cake, this is easily measured using a butchers twine or some other string. Make sure Marzipan does not stick to your work surface and trim edges with a sharp knife to get straight lines.

Ingredients for Kakaoglasur Cocoa glaze:

200 gram confectioners sugar (7 oz.)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

warm water


Mix together confectioners sugar and cocoa. In very small increments add the warm water little by little until the consistency is thick but flowing easily. Set aside.

Assembling the cake:

Place the Macaroon cake layer (Makronbund) in the center of your serving dish. Place half of the Cake Cream (Lagkagecreme) on the Macaroon cake layer and spread to the edge. Place the first Cake layer (Lagkagebund) on top and spread a layer of strawberry jam (optional) and the remaining Cake Cream, leaving a couple of small spoonfuls as left-over. Place the second Cake layer on top of the cream. Using the left-over Cake Cream, apply a thin layer around the edges to give the Marzipan something to adhere to. Gently fold up the Marzipan strip and then un-fold it around the edge of the cake, pressing it lightly against the edge to make it stick. If you have not already done so, mix up your Cocoa Glaze (Kakaoglasur) and spread it out over the top of the Cake layer leading the glaze to the Marzipan edge. Whip up the last 6 oz of heavy whipping cream, place in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (or whichever is your favorite shape) and decorate the edge between the Cocoa glaze and Marzipan to cover up any gaps. Keep cake refrigerated until serving. Enjoy!



Source: Himmelske Kager

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Rugbrd Dark Rye Bread

Rugbrd -  Dark Rye Bread

Rugbrd Dark Rye Bread

Rugbrd is a staple in, dare I say, all Danish households and it is the foundation for most pieces of Smrrebrd (open-faced sandwiches) whether it be the elaborate pieces bought in restaurants or the common pieces found in the daily Danish lunch box. What makes Rugbrd super healthy is that it is very low in fat, has no oils, no sugars and it is typically loaded with whole grain and fiber. That being said, there are many different versions of Rugbrd, some packed with seeds and grains, others with only the basics.

Sour Dough Starter

Sour Dough Starter

Speaking as a Dane living in the US, the lack of Rugbrd can be a source of frustration and so you have to adapt. Either you go without, or perhaps you are lucky to live close to a place where they sell a dried-out version of Rugbrd or you bake it yourself. And let me tell you that baking it yourself is worth every bit of effort you put into it, I promise! Baking Rugbrd is not difficult at all but it takes planning. Its sometimes difficult to gather all the special ingredients required and hopefully you have the special size bread pan that everyone in Denmark possess. If not, it can be purchased on And for all the special ingredients I use Bobs Red Mill products because they carry everything I need. Sometimes I can be lucky and got some of them at the local supermarket but I usually have to buy the rest online (once again, thank you amazon).

Making Rugbrd

Making Rugbrd

I would like to note that Danish Rugbrd is different than the German Pumpernickel bread and the two words are often a source of confusion when translating the name into English as Dark Rye bread. Pumpernickel is darker in color, stronger in flavor and it is steamed for a long period of time to allow the ingredients to caramelize.

Poke holes into dough to allow steam to escape.Brush with water/oil mixture. Baked Rugbrd. Place warm bread in plastic bags to soften crust.

Poke holes into dough to allow steam to escape.
Brush with water/oil mixture. Baked Rugbrd. Place warm bread in plastic bags to soften crust.

How do you maintain your sourdough starter? If you talk to ten different people youll likely get ten different answers. This is how I do it. To continue feeding your sourdough starter add 3 oz (1 1/2 deciliter) Dark Rye flour and 5 oz (1 1/2 deciliter) water to remaining sour dough starter, mix and allow to bubble up before storing in refrigerator. Continue to feed starter once a week while in fridge. As a general rule keep it cold when the sourdough starter is resting and at room temperature when its getting ready to be used for baking. Remove starter from refrigerator 24 hours before baking your bread and feed it twice (every 8 hours) at room temperature before using.

Feed your Sour Dough Starter. Keep at room temperature until it bubbles up and then refrigerate.

Feed your Sour Dough Starter. Keep at room temperature until it bubbles up and then refrigerate.

Rye Sour Dough Starter


2 teaspoons dry active yeast

11 oz. water (3 deciliter)

6 oz. Dark Rye flour (3 deciliter)


Day 1: heat water to 110 degrees F and remove from heat. Sprinkle yeast over water, give a quick stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir Rye flour into yeast mixture until smooth. Cover bowl loosely with a lid and let sit out on your counter at room temperature.

Day 2: add 2 oz. Rye flour and stir (1 deciliter)

Day 3: stir dough.

Day 4: stir dough.

Day 5: in the morning or evening mix 1/2 of the sour dough starter with the following ingredients.

Rugbrd (makes 1 loaf)


1/2 of the sour dough starter (approx 7 oz. or 1 1/2 deciliter)

9 3/4 oz. Dark Rye flour (275 gram)

12 oz. Cracked Rye (Bobs Red Mill) (5 deciliter)

10 1/2 oz. Whole Wheat flour (300 gram)

2 3/8 oz. Flaxseeds (1 deciliter)

24 oz. cold water (7 deciliter)

1 tablespoon molasses

1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt


Oil a 13 x 4 x 4 inch bread pan and set aside. Mix all of the ingredients together, stirring to make sure there are no dry pockets left within the dough. Pour into oiled pan and smooth top of dough. Cover pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 10 to 12 hours. Before baking, pierce the dough with a skewer 20 times. Brush top of dough with an oil/water mixture and bake in a 400 degrees F preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. After baking allow bread to cool in the pan on a baking rack. When bread is still a little warm place in a plastic bag. The condensation inside the bag will help soften the very hard outer crust. Once completely cooled remove the bread from the moist bag, wipe the bag dry before placing the bread back into the bag. The bread is now ready for slicing or freezing. Enjoy!

Sliced Rugbrd

Sliced Rugbrd

Source: adapted from Camilla Plum

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