Scandinavian television is all the rage. First there was Sarah Lund and her jumper on “The Killing”. Then there was Borgan and the ins and outs of Danish politics. And now “The Bridge” with Saga Noren offering endless opportunity for continuing our obsession with female Scandinavian television characters.
And there is also Scandinavian cooking. It is impossible to get a booking at Noma (although that hasn’t stopped me from trying on the first Monday of the month for the last 6 months!). In 2011 we also saw the release of Signe Johansen’s book “Scandilicious” published by Saltyard, soon to be followed by her “Scandilicious Baking” book in July.
I’ve followed Sig on Twitter for years and have had the chance to attend her #EatScandi brunch and dinner sessions. And I have her book. I absolutely *love* her book. With 80 carefully chosen recipes, the book showcases simple Scandinavian cooking. Some of my favourite recipes include cardammom cinammon rolls, meatballs (oh my goodness the best meatballs ever!) and this past weekend I made Jarlsberg & Fennel Loaf.
In the book the recipe is for muffins. But I felt like making a cheesy loaf. The recipe can be used for both – either scoop into a muffin tin, or bake in a bread pan. If baking as a loaf, it takes about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The fennel and cheese combination is WONDERFUL. I highly recommend this for a savoury breakfast treat. Or for a lunchtime snack, with melted jarslberg on a slice of bread. Enjoy.
150g wholewheat spelt flour
150g refined spelt flour
(note: I am still baking with the batch of Ideas In Food flour I made, so used 300g of that as a substitute. If you don’t have spelt to hand you can easily use wheat flours)
1 tbsp fennel seeds
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper (I didn’t have cayenne to hand so substituted chili powder, which is an okay although not ideal alternative)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 generous tbsp Marmite or other yeast extract spread (about 20g)
150g whole milk (so 150ml)
1 medium egg
40g melted butter
100g Jarlsberg, coarsely grated
Note: this recipe sucks up liquid. You probably will need to add more milk or water to get a batter like consistency from the mix. Don’t worry, just add a little bit more a little at a time until you have a batter rather than a dough.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Grease your muffin or loaf tin so that the batter does not stick.
Sift all the dry ingredients in to a large bowl and stir to evenly mix the ingredients.
Dissolve the Marmite in a tablespoon or two of boiling water, and add to the milk. Stir in your melted butter and also your egg.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add all the liquid ingredients. Stir and then fold in the cheese until the mixture is just combined.
Spoon batter into muffin tin, but not all the way to the top as it will rise. (Or if you are like me, pour into a bread tin).
Bake for 20-25 minutes for larger size muffins (check with a toothpick – poke into muffin and if clean when removed they are done). I found the loaf to take about 40-45 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle a bit of extra Jarlsberg on top while it cools for a lovely cheesy topping.
More on Scandilicious
If you want to learn more about the Scandilicious books, and also the cooking classes being offered by Sig in central London, please visit her website. I highly recommend going to a brunch or supper if you get a chance – the food was outstanding and the crowd of people that attend are so interesting!
If you want some guided tuition on this recipe from Sig herself, I’ve included her YouTube below. Enjoy!