“I grew up in Varberg, a small town on the coast in the west of Sweden, where little red gnome decorations, Sunday night candle lightings, and spiced gløgg wine are all part of the Christmas celebration. Now I love passing down the Swedish traditions of my childhood to my kids—including lots and lots of baking. Warm cinnamon and saffron buns are a must. So is toscakaka, a delicious caramel almond cake that I make with my daughter, Gray. There’s knäck, a classic candy made from molasses, cream, and sugar. But my favorite might be ischoklad, which is iced chocolate with coconut. It creates a cold sensation as it melts in your mouth and it’s heaven. The kitchen is such a joyful place in our home during this time of year. As my way of wishing our Westman Atelier friends and family the best holiday season, I’m sharing three of my favorite Christmas recipes. I hope you they bring you happiness!” xx Gucci
Toscakaka—Swedish Almond Cake
For the cake
-100 g (1 scant stick) salted butter (if using unsalted, add 1/8 tsp salt to the batter)
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (120 g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp (50 ml) milk or half & half
For the topping
- 100 g (1 scant stick) salted butter (if using unsalted, add 1/8 tsp salt to the topping)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (90 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp milk or half & half
- 100 g (about 1 cup) flaked almonds
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
2. Grease a 23-24 cm (9 or 9.5-inch) cake pan with a removable bottom. Sprinkle pan with bread crumbs or flour, make sure you get some on the sides of the pan aswell.
3. Melt butter and let cool.
4. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until very light in color and texture, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Mix flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add melted butter and milk and stir very gently until batter is smooth.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake is just set (to ensure it can hold up the topping). While the cake is baking, prepare the topping.
1. Put the butter, sugar, flour, milk and almonds in a saucepan and stir until everything is melted. The mixture should bubble and become slightly thicker which should take about 2-3 minutes. Make sure to stir continuously. Remove from heat.
2. When cake is done, remove it from the oven and spread topping over the cake.
3. Put the cake back in the oven, in middle/top position and bake for an additional 15-17 minutes or until top is golden and bubbling.
4. Let the cake cool in its pan for 10 minutes before sliding a knife around the edge and removing the sides. Let cool to room temperature
Knäck—Swedish Christmas Toffee
- 300 ml cream
- 200 g sugar
- 200 ml golden syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar or equal amount of vanilla powder or extract
- 15 g butter 1 tbsp
- 50 g chopped almonds
1. Mix cream, sugar and syrup into a pot and bring it to a boil.
2. Boil on medium heat for 30 min (stir once in a while). There should be a lot of bubbles. Please note that the time could change depending on the size of the pot and the heat of your stove.
3. Then start measuring the temperature of the mixture. It is ready when temperature is around 125-130°C (257-266°F). For me it took around 45 min.
4. While waiting for the mixture to be ready you can prepare a tray that you pack tiny paper cups tightly on. Also chop the almonds so it is ready and find a suitable metal container to pour from.
5. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in vanilla sugar, butter and almonds.
6. Carefully pour the mixture into the small paper cups trying to avoid them from flipping over, or getting yourself burnt.
7.Let it cool! Enjoy!
Ischoklad—Swedish Christmas Chocolate
- 200 g (1-2 cups) chocolate (any - I used dark)
- 100 g (½ cup) coconut oil/fat
- nuts for sprinkling (or any other toppings)
1.Gently melt the chocolate and coconut fat/oil in a pan. Be careful not to over-heat, all you need is for them just to melt.
2.Pour into small candy cases (the above ingredients made 40 small candies), or a candy mould. Sprinkle with whatever you fancy. Enjoy.