It would be easy to dismiss my friend Sig's new book as jumping on the Scandi band wagon, but it'd be completely wrong to do so. Since June 2008 Sig has been sharing the joy's of Scandinavian cooking via her blog, Scandilicious.
Describing her heritage as Scandinavian-English-American-Irish-German-Jewish-Lithuanian (and born to a Norwegian father and English-American mother) Sig is well known for sharing an eclectic range of recipes with a distinctly Scandinavian theme. Having studied food anthropology, graduated from Leith's and been one of the students that contributed to Fiona Beckett's The Ultimate Student Cookbook, she has brought all her experience into her first solo book Scandilicious.
Wonderfully warm, just like the author in person, Scandilicious is an attractive and engaging book. I particularly like the use of sketched illustrations by artist Liam Wales, though there are plenty of photographs of the finished recipes too. It really has its own style, and is not at all like any of the other Scandinavian cookbooks on my shelf.
There are many tempting recipes such as a range of fruit compotes and jams (to go with home made yoghurt amongst other treats), banana and cinnamon crispbread, raspberry and rhubarb lemonade, vanilla and sour cream waffles, a whole range of open and closed sandwich ideas, spiced blueberry juice, mor monsen (Norwegian lemon, currant and almond cake), kladdkaka (Swedish gooey chocolate cake), mustikkapiirakka (Finnish blueberry tart), Bergen fish chowder, chilled cucumber and borage soup, beetroot and ginger soup, pickled herring, Janssons frestelse (Swedish anchovy and potato gratin), lemon and nutmeg krumkaker (cornets) and lingonberry jelly. And that's only a selection – there are many, many more appealing recipes!
This banana and cardamom ice cream is very simple but quite delicious.
Scandilicious' Banana & Cardamom Ice Cream
Feel free to substitute grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon or clove if you fancy a different flavour combination. If you're making this for children, you may wish to omit the alcohol.
300 ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
4 small ripe bananas
50 grams fructose (or 75 grams caster sugar), plus more to taste
1 tablespoon rum or brandy
pinch of salt
Note: I had only brown cardamoms, most commonly used for savoury cooking in my house, rather than the smaller green cardamoms used for savoury and sweet. As the recipe didn't specify, I ground the seeds from within from these enormous pods. It gave a nutty, woody flavour alongside the usual cardamom perfume; it worked really well.
- Put the cream and the ground cardamom in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes before removing from the heat. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes and cool completely.
- Once the cream has cooled, blitz the bananas and fructose (or sugar) in a blender or mash together by hand. Add the cardamom-infused cream, alcohol and salt to the sweetened banana and either blitz or mash together, as appropriate. Taste to check the sweetness and add more fructose (or sugar) if necessary – the mixture should be slightly sweeter than you want the final ice cream to be, as it will taste less sweet once frozen.
- The next step is to freeze the ice cream. I used my loan Gaggia machine, but the recipe also provides instructions for those who don't have a machine.
The ice cream was delicious and the addition of cardamom and brandy to the banana was wonderful; it worked really well.
With thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
Published by SaltYard, Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking ... Scandilicious is currently available on Amazon for £11.61 (RRP £20).