Book Cover of the Week

The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas
It seems like I use the word 'beautiful' too much, though it does sum this book up. The cover simply evokes a feeling of comfort and tradition, the gilted butter biscuits, tied up with some lavender sprigs. The book itself is filled with wonderful reminiscences of the years old traditions of Scandinavian Baking but the recipes, despite some complexities, could all become classics for our own families too. I feel that it is important for us to have traditions that we continue to nurture, it is a way of keeping our heritage alive, and therefore our own being, for what are we without our history?
Baking is a way to bring family members together. For example, the ritualistic baking of the Christmas Cake and Puddings or the icing cupcakes and cookies are all things that send us into paroxysms of nostalgic childhood bliss.
The Toscakage is a beautifully simple, delicate vanilla sponge with a melted butter and almond 'icing' that is poured onto the cake once cooked and then grilled until bubbling and golden.
The breads, braided into complex shapes, are so unlike those that we eat in England. Flavoured with Rye, Caraway, Fennel Seeds and Cinnamon they are dense and mysterious and wonderful with some Liptauer spread or just unsalted butter and jam.
Everybody should have a family recipe, even if they only prepare it once a year. This book is a good start to finding yours.

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