Sunday, 29 November 2015

Nordic Bakery and honning hjerter {honey hearts} recipe

Nordic cooking is something I know very little about. I wandered past the Nordic Bakery after meeting for lunch with a friend and felt drawn to the place. I decided that I should learn more about Scandinavian food so had a little chat with Miisa Mink, the proud owner of Nordic Bakery and author of the Nordic Bakery Cookbook.

Meet Miisa Mink (Creator and Author) 

Miisa has a background in branding and design, which comes across in the interior of the bakery. The panelled wood walls and minimalistic tables and chairs gave the place an effortlessly styled feel. Miisa became a partner of Nordic Bakery in 2008 when she decided she needed a break from the branding industry. She had two words in her mind- beautiful and silent, two words that wouldn't usually spring to mind in a busy bakery... but somehow she has achieved just that. 

I was intrigued to hear what Miisa's childhood was like in Finland, she smiled: "I grew up in a foodie family. My parents made everything from scratch. We did our own fishing, picked berries, mushrooms and foraged. Nothing was out of a packet"

Her Dad has his own mill to make bread, he even travels to France to source the grain. The idea of a ready meal in the house was practically a sin, which explains her incredibly healthy {and rather inspirational cooking and eating style}

Miisa has hopped from Poland, Holland, Finland, Belgium and Switzerland until she made London her home in 1999.

The Nordic Bakery Cookbook

I feel I can speak for most people when I say that one year olds can be tricky. Now double that {Miisa is a mum of twin boys} and throw writing a cookbook into the mix! Miisa's cookbook came out in 2011 and is filled with sweet and savory Nordic recipes. She would invite her friends and family over for parties and get them to sample her food, one of her aunt's recipes is even in her book! I really have no idea how she does it! 

Tell me about Nordic food

I held my hands up and confessed that I knew very little about Nordic baking or cooking. She reassured me by saying it was actually very easy {this is a girl who struggles to make a decent boiled egg}. Nordic food is hearty and fresh. 'No nonsense cooking' as Miisa put it. I liked the tradition behind it, Miisa told me that everyone has their own take on the cinnamon bun and no one knows who came up with the original recipe, it is property of the Nordic people. Inspired by Miisa's baking and cooking, I thought I would give it a go!

{My honning hjerter}
Honning hjerter {honey hearts}

These biscuits can be traced back to the middle ages, which I think is pretty awesome. They are very simple {as my recipes always are} and go perfectly with cup of tea to warm you up over the winter months. They also make lovely Christmas tree decorations, just add a hole in the top before baking.  

You will need:

  • 500g Honey {I used runny honey}
  • 3 Eggs yolks 
  • 600g plain flour 
  • 2 tsp Baking power
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 300g dark chocolate 

How to make:

Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees. Mix the honey and eggs in a bowl. I find the best way to separate the egg yolks is to crack the eggs and pour it onto my hands, letting the egg white drip through my fingers to I'm just left with the yolk... yummy. 

Add the spices and raising agents. Gradually add in the flour- you will need strong arms for this bit! 

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

You will need to COVER the surface with flour, I also found that the dough can be a little wet, if you kneed it onto the heavily floured surface it should do the trick. 

Roll the mixture onto the surface, you want a 1.5cm thickness, make sure to keep turning it and keep adding flour to the surface or it will stick. 

Quick tip: cut out your shape, give it a wiggle on the surface. Use a pallet knife to slide it under the cutter and bring it over to the tray. It just stops the dough sticking. 

Evenly space the biscuits and pop in the oven for 12 minutes. You want them to be slightly golden with a spongy texture when they come out, the honey then hardens them as they cool. 

Let the biscuits cool until you can touch them without burning your fingers, then peel them off the greaseproof. You will need to do this before they cool completely because they will stick to the paper. 

Leave them on a cooling rack. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over boiling water in a pan. 

Traditionally you cover the whole biscuit with chocolate, I decided to put my own spin on it. Using a spoon I drizzled the biscuits with the chocolate and spinkled them with golden sugar specks {sainsburys!}

Once again, the guys from work were my taste testers and they got the thumbs up! 

Enjoy xxx

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