Written by a gal from NYC living in Sweden, this blog dabbles in Swedish food and culture!
During the winter, it gets dark quite early and one needs to find reprieve from the dark skies and cold air. So hence the concept of “mys“, or coziness. In Sweden, a room is “mysigt” if it has candles. Loads of them. And it’s “mysig” if you have something warm to drink and good to eat. And it’s even more “mysig” if there are soft pillows and blankets to lie on … in front of a fireplace, that is. I must say, that sounds really nice to me, if not too luxurious. The Swedes really know how to do it, because in NYC, cozy can mean a 200 ft² apartment for 2000 bucks!
Last year, I had asked a friend in Gothenburg what people do when the weather is so bad. And he answered, many Swedes learn how to bake sourdough bread. They also buy Apple products and clean their apartments until there is no dust left behind. I don’t know if that’s all true, but maybe those are versions of “coziness” as well?
Well, I don’t know much about sourdough bread and have no understanding of bread science. My iPhone doesn’t work anymore and I’m not interested in getting another. Our apartment is dusty because we are building a wall, so cleaning would be useless. I would like to light candles, but I always forget to do it. So what I have found to contribute to this concept of “mys” then? A recipe for a fantastical Apple Cake!!! It’s moist and full of flavor- with cardamom, cinnamon, ALMOND PASTE (yum yum yum), and of course, apples. With a bit of tea and someone to share it with, it doesn’t matter if there is a blizzard outside. As a bonus, your apartment or your house will smell SO very good after baking!
200 g butter (room temperature)
1¾ cups granulated sugar ( I used 1 cup)
1¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
200 g almond paste
3 bitter almonds*
4-5 medium sized apples
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ tbsp ground cardamom
50 g almonds slivers
whipped cream or vanilla sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Butter a springform pan, about 10 inches in diameter.
2. Peel, core and cut the apples. Mix them with the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until white and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
4. In a seperate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and vanilla sugar. Sift the flour mixture into the batter. Coarsely grate the almond paste. Grate the bitter almonds finely and whisk them into the mixture.
5. Spread half of the batter into the cake pan. Add only half of the apple wedges and then spread the rest of the batter over. Spread the remaining apple wedges over and sprinkle with almond slivers.
6. Set in the oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes in the lower part of the oven. Cover with parchment paper if the cake starts to burn. Insert a knife to see if the cake is done. Let cool before serving.
recipe from http://www.recept.nu/per_morberg/_/_/vaniljsas/
1 vanilla bean
1¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup water
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife.
2. Scrape out the seeds and add them, including the pod, to a saucepan.
3. Pour in about a third of the heavy cream and the water. Simmer for 10 minutes and let cool.
4. Remove and discard the vanilla bean. Beat the egg yolks with the powdered sugar and bring the cream mixture to a boil again.
5. Reduce heat to low and add the egg yolks while beating vigourously.
6. Whisk the sauce over low heat until it thickens.
7. Set the sauce in a cold water bath and stir until it is cooled.
8. In a separate bowl, whisk the rest of the heavy cream to desired thickness and stir into the vanilla sauce.
* Bitter almonds are prohibited in the US, so just leave them out if you can’t get a hold of them.