There have been a few recipes I’ve struggled with as a vegan chef, and vanilla custard has definitely been one of them. Either the texture came out too gelatinous (it’s supposed to be thick and creamy, not jiggly!) or too runny, or the color was off. I see no point in making something if it doesn’t both taste and look good, so the experimentation continued.
Pickling is a huge tradition and has a rich and long history in Norwegian and Scandinavian cuisine. I grew up with a mother who pickled everything from cucumbers, beets, cabbage, pumpkins, all kinds of fruit, and yes…herring too!
I will admit I’m not a huge cake eater, which is why I don’t have loads of cake recipes on my blog, and if I do, they are super simple and in a more simple and ‘rustic’ style. The exception is the 17th of May of course when no koldtbord (or as the Swedes say, ‘smorgasbord) is complete without at least one decadent cake.
I’m a big fan of the “cook once, eat twice” concept, or in other words—repurposing a dish into a second meal to both save time and money. This is why I love the classic Norwegian dessert riskrem…Riskrem literally translates to ‘rice cream’, and is a great way to make dessert from leftover risgrøt, a traditional dish in Norwegian homes.
I love making creamy soups from butternut, potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower, particularly during colder winter months. It’s simple, quick, nourishing and filling. In this recipe, I cooked potatoes in vegetable broth with a little sautéed onion and garlic and puréed them into a beautifully rich and silky soup. My secret trick is to add in some pre-baked potatoes, which I find adds an extra depth of flavor.
In recreating the wonderful memories of Easter, I couldn’t think of anything more festive and delicious than these sweet, fluffy buns filled with decadent vanilla custard and a glaze made with fresh orange juice. The key to the deliciousness of these buns is to press your own orange juice for both the dough and the glaze from fresh oranges. The flavor is just so much better (and sweeter!), plus you can also save the orange zest and add into your tea or even add some into the dough of the buns.
One of the most popular stews in the fall and winter months in Norway is jegergryte, which can also go by the name of viltgryte or hjortegryte. Respectively, they translate to ‘hunter’s stew’, ‘venison stew’ or ‘deer stew’. Not particularly vegan…but I veganized it!
A recipe for a popular Norwegian soup called brennsnut, which translates into “burnt snout,” because the soup is to be served piping hot. This is a specialty from my region of Sunnmøre, and every household has at one time or another incorporated this dish into their weekly dinner menu.
Fastelavn (our Fat Tuesday) has come and gone, but they always remind me of berlinerboller. These deep-fried no-hole doughnuts are made from sweet dough, are often filled jam or vanilla custard, but sometimes have no filling at all, and then rolled in sugar. I love these way more than I love the traditional cream puffs (fastelavnboller in Norwegian, semla in Swedish). I don’t often make or eat fried food, in fact, if I make these once a year, that’s often, and I suppose why these decadent pastries are even more satisfying.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Norwegians hold a record as one of the most enthusiastic cake bakers in the world. We also love to eat cake more often than not. I find our cake culture very special, particularly in Sunnmøre, where I’m from. This is where the tradition is particularly strong. It’s not uncommon to see 20 different cakes being brought out to the table at any one festivity such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings or holiday celebrations.