Sunday, February 4, 2024

Norwegian Baking Through the Seasons - Nevada Berg

It's been a good couple of week for exhibitions and books. I went to Oxford yesterday with a friend to see the Colour Revolution, Victorian Art, Fashion & Design at the Ashmolean. It's on for another week or so, and I strongly recommend it. I've had some very nice review copies of books come through and bought myself a couple of cookbooks along with the exhibition catalogue from yesterday.

The first of the cook books was Nevada Berg's Norwegian Baking. While I was away I saw a couple of posts on Instagram about Solboller - Norwegian sun buns, these are apparently eaten on the around the 21st of January as a celebration of the slowly lengthening days - that's also my mothers birthday and I'm taken with the idea that there's a Scandinavian bun for both of us (St Lucia buns for me). I'm not clear if it's a date specific thing with Solboller or if it's a third weekend in January thing. I also see that eating an orange was another way of celebrating - definitely easier and a treat whilst blood oranges are around. 

The Solboller are cardamom/cinnamon buns with an egg custard and sound good. I kept coming back to Nevada Berg's North Wild Kitchen Instagram and blog and in easy steps to her Norwegian baking book. There's a recipe for a sugared juniper bun, and a couple of other things which called to me even more insistently and so here I am with yet another baking book.

It's a lovely book, and though I'm not a huge fan of the very enthusiastic tone that American authors/food bloggers favour, and loathe the caramelised brown cheese that features in a cake icing here there's a collection of fabulous looking breads and cakes that look to be a good mix of contemporary and traditional. A sponge cake filled with gin infused blackberries and blueberries looks like a perfect birthday or celebration cake amongst some stiff competition, and whilst it's by no means all sweet recipes there's plenty here if you want to further embrace the coffee and cake culture of Northern Europe along with your bread repertoire. The photography is also lovely; lots of Norwegian scenes that are as mouthwatering in their way as the recipes. I suppose it;s time to go and grind some cardamom. 

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