Cook­ery Elis­a­beth Luard


Wrap up warm, light plenty of can­dles and don’t hold back on the but­ter and cream, says Trine Hah­ne­mann in

Scandinavian Com­fort Food (Quadrille £25). The mes­sage is in the sub­ti­tle,

Em­brac­ing the Art of Hygge. Hygge is the con­cept pe­cu­liar to the Danes that im­plies some­thing or some­where is cosy, cud­dly and burst­ing with broth­erly love.

Cau­li­flower soup with ca­pers and al­monds

Soup is nat­u­rally hygge – par­tic­u­larly so, as here, with a touch of Mediter­ranean sun. Per­fect with a side dish of grilled prawns and a wa­ter­cress salad. Serves 4 1 large or 2 small cauliflow­ers, trimmed and chopped 2 large pota­toes, peeled and diced 1 medium onion, diced 2–3 gar­lic cloves, chopped Wal­nut-sized piece of but­ter 2 tbsp olive oil 2–3 bay leaves 200ml dou­ble cream Salt and pep­per To fin­ish: Nugget of but­ter 2 tbsp ca­pers, rinsed and drained 100g toasted al­monds, chopped 2–3 tbsp bread­crumbs (rye, for per­fect hygge)

Put the cau­li­flower, potato and onion in a roomy pan with the gar­lic, but­ter and oil. Gen­tly heat till the veg­eta­bles start to siz­zle, then add the bay leaves and a litre of wa­ter, bring to the boil, sea­son with salt and pep­per, lower the heat, cover and leave to sim­mer for 10–15 min­utes, till the veg­eta­bles are per­fectly soft. Re­move the bay leaves, add the cream and blitz till smooth. Re­heat gen­tly, adding more wa­ter if it’s a lit­tle too thick, and la­dle into warm bowls. Mean­while, melt a lit­tle but­ter in a small pan and heat the ca­pers, al­monds and bread­crumbs. Top each bowl­ful with a spoon­ful of the but­tery mix.

Ap­ple layer cake with hazel­nut cream

Layer cakes such as this car­damom­spiced, seven-layer pile-up are a pop­u­lar din­ner party dessert in Den­mark. Easy if you bake ahead and as­sem­ble when you’re ready. Serves 6–8

For the ap­ple sauce: 2 Bram­leys (or 600g sharp green ap­ples), peeled, cored and diced 2 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp lemon juice For the lay­ers: 175g soft­ened but­ter 175g caster sugar 1 medium egg 175g plain flour 3 tsp ground cin­na­mon 1 tsp ground car­damom For the cream: 100g hazel­nuts, toasted 500g whip­ping cream, whipped 2 tsp ic­ing sugar min­utes till soft enough to make a smooth sauce. Set aside to cool.

Pre­heat the oven to 200C/400F/GAS 6. Us­ing a pen­cil, draw seven cir­cles, di­am­e­ter 20cm, on bak­ing parch­ment. Turn the paper over and place on bak­ing sheets (you may need to bake in batches).beat the but­ter and sugar to­gether un­til fluffy, then beat in the egg. Toss the flour with the cin­na­mon and car­damom and fold into the but­ter mix­ture. Us­ing a spat­ula, spread the mix­ture over the cir­cles on the bak­ing parch­ment. Bake for 6–8 min­utes, till the edges brown, then trans­fer to a wire rack and leave to cool be­fore un­peel­ing the paper. Fold two-thirds of the hazel­nuts into the whipped cream, re­serv­ing the rest as a top­ping. As­sem­ble the cake when you’re ready to serve, so the baked lay­ers re­main crisp. Stack the lay­ers: cake, ap­ple, cake, cream and so on. Fin­ish with ap­ple and the re­served hazel­nuts. Hyggelig heaven.

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