• Bonjour mai (and a wonderful book giveaway)


    Believe it or not (I’m still positive on the latter), there was a snowstorm a week ago. And although I’ve rather successfully survived my first winter in the north of Sweden, I must admit that I had never seen so much snow in one day. Ever. Before.

    A few rainy nights later, there is very little left of the winter on our roads and forest. And I might go as far as thinking that spring has – perhaps – started. A little.

    In fact, we stood by a massive bonfire last night; one that gets lit up every year on Valborg to celebrate the end of winter. We laid a wool-plaid on the grass, and sat there, with a beer and the warmth from a sun higher than it’s been in a long time.
    As it slowly set behind the trees, we could hear the soft crackling of the fire, the laughs of children having too much fun, and the lullaby of geese flying north over our heads.

    The not-so-official May happy list
    1. Rhubarb has been slowly arriving to our market stalls here in Sweden, and really, I’m ready to say farewell to äpple paj and welcome the ones of the rabarber kind.
    2. All the trees and bushes have started blossoming. And if it’s anything like it was last year, it’s about to be spectacular.
    3. I have a batch of brioche proofing in my fridge right now. Yes, the brioche study feature is still going strong!
    4. I’ve fallen in love with many blogs lately: Sweet & Bitters, A better happier San Sebastian, and 600 Acres amongst others.
    5. And I’m longing for Patoumi to write more. Her words sound like magic to me.
    6. We’ve been going fishing a lot in the evening, which means kokkaffe gets made everytime. Our current favourite is Lemmel kaffe but I’ve just gotten some freshly grounded Johan & Nyström coffee beans and I cannot wait to try them by the river.
    7. Although I know it’s coming, I can’t help but be amazed by how fast the days are getting longer. The sun is setting at around 9pm these days, and soon we’ll have the midnight sun to keep us company at night.
    8. I’ve been obsessing over Sydneystyle cakes as I call them. So much that I think they need to happen in our kitchen too!
    9. And while we’re on the subject of cake decorating, I have a wonderful book giveaway for you: Cakeology by Juliet Sear (read more below).
    10. I’ve been wanting to start a newsletter since I’ve found myself drawn less and less to my RSS reader and more to the many inspiring emails I’ve subscribed to. Fingers crossed!

    Cakeology by Juliet Sear giveaway

    As soon as I read the name, I knew I would love this book. It has amazingly-decorated cakes that I’ll probably never make – insert long rant about time passing by too fast – even though many have landed on my to-do list, including the stunning framed insect cakelets that found a place in my heart and hopefully, will do too in my kitchen.
    In fact, I’m planning on making Juliet’s vanilla bean sponge tomorrow and decorate it with layers of meringue buttercream, which you might get a glimpse of this week.

    But really, the chapters I loved the most, aside from the great inspiration Juliet’s decorating projects provide, are the ones at the end of the book: the basics and the ground recipes.
    Yes, you can get me out of the kitchen, but never away from the basics. Here, they take the form a list of technical terms and techniques, including splitting a cake in half, filling and covering it with buttercream and sugarpaste, and decorating with royal icing.

    I bookmarked the page where a beautiful diagram describes how much cake batter to use depending on the size of your tin. A real keeper, even more so as a pastry chef.

    I enjoyed reading this book so much I thought you would too, so I asked Hardie Grant for a giveaway copy, which I’m more than excited for you to receive.
    To enter the giveaway, simply subscribe to our newsletter (if you already are, simply skip to step 2) and leave a comment on this post telling me more about what you’d like to see in the newsletter. How often would you like to receive it; a monthly digest or everytime I post on my blog? Which kind of content: giveaway previews, exclusive recipes, little everyday stories, blog-posts sneak-peek?

    This giveaway is open worldwide until the 14th of May 2016. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email, so make sure to enter a valid address.


    1. Subscribe to our newsletter

    2. Leave a comment below telling me more about what you’d like to see in the newsletter

    How often would you like to receive it; a monthly digest or everytime I post on my blog? Which kind of content: giveaway preview, exclusive recipes, little everyday stories?

    The giveaway is now closed. Thank you so much for your wonderful input! I hope you’ll like the newsletter!
  • Recipe studies: Brioche

    Every few weeks or so, we’ll explore another aspect of the science behind brioche; from the study of the impact of the egg to milk ratio in the dough, to techniques and further questions. Follow the study here or on instagram: #BRIOCHESTUDY. A list of posts, written or to be published: A brioche study, part one: the approach A brioche study, part two: the method ...

    Read More

    Morning snow – Fromage blanc cake

    There was a day spent in the garden. A rake in the hands, and dead leaves piled high on a wheelbarrow. That day, the sun was high and warm, just like the two eagles we’d seen earlier, right after sunrise. The following morning was an entirely different story. A story made of snowflakes and a crackling fireplace. Both lasted all day, for the record. I ...

    Read More

    The macramé coconut bird feeder

    We’re in Åsen for the week. With a very limited internet connection, but this kind of thing doesn’t matter when you have for only alarm, the soft light of the sun through a forest of birches, and the mésanges‘ songs . There are the woodpeckers too, not unlike a ticking clock. Yes, we’ve seen many birds perched in the trees that line the forest, but ...

    Read More

    A life-changing way to scan watercolours

    This afternoon, I started gathering things I want to bring with us to Åsen (two more days!!). A film camera, and many rolls of my favourite film – Kodak Ektar in case you’re wondering, two bags of stone-ground flour, a glazed ceramic tray, watercolours and brushes. And in the center of the block of cold-pressed paper, I found these illustrations I made two summers or ...

    Read More