All posts tagged: hygge

The Essence of Hygge

I have been trying to come up with a definition of the “essence of hygge” or the “basics of hygge” and I think my conclusion is that the essence of hygge is taking your time to enjoy something. Or in other words, hygge means no stressing or rushing. Even coffee and cake is no guarantee for hygge if you don’t take your time to enjoy it. Imagine indulging in a nice sweet and sticky piece of cake with a cup of hot brew and then suddenly you discover that you have to leave the house in two minutes? Gone is all the hygge in a flash of a second! Almost anything can be hygge as long as you do not stress or rush through it. That is why I think the most important factor for hygge is the absence of stress or rush. You have to allow yourself to take your time in order to get that hygge feeling. Hygge does not have to include wool socks, hot chocolate, cake or a lamb skin throw …

Friday Cake: Danish Cinnamon Rolls

Spring is here in full bloom with 85 degrees fahrenheit outside. I would never have thought I was going to call 85 degrees “spring weather” – those temperatures would be characterized as a “heat wave” in Denmark. Warm weather obviously calls for a different kind of hygge than wool socks and hot chocolate. But this does not mean that you cannot hygge when it is hot outside! It is just a different kind of hygge. It is almost more hygge with warm weather because it gets most of us outside and the outdoors is relaxing. Alright, enough talking – lets get to the cake;) The cake I have made for this week’s Friday hygge is Danish cinnamon rolls or Kanelsnegle as they are called in Denmark. I make them with a bun-like dough and not with real Danish pastry dough which needs to be rolled out so many times I have never even tried it. Besides, in Denmark you can just go to the bakery for the “real” danishes so why even bother making them …

Friday Cake: Coconut Lime Macaroons

This week’s Friday Cake is ideal for Spring or Summer hygge outside on the porch or in your backyard. It is a fresh take on the classic Danish “Coconut Tops”/”Kokostoppe” with lime added to them. I used an adapted version of Mette Blomsterberg’s recipe (see link here: Kokostoppe med lime og marcipan) and a recipe on Soendag.dk (see recipe here: Kokostoppe klassisk opskrift). You can see my English version below. Lime and coconut really works well together but more importantly, these Coconut Lime Tops are ridiculously easy to make. Mix five ingredients together, form as tops, bake and dip in chocolate. That’s it. I think this will work quite well for me on those hot and humid Maryland Summer days that are here before we know it. Once again, my Friday Cake did not come out as perfect as I had seen on pictures but as my husband said: “Brown is where the flavour is”. And he was right – the flat ring of melted, caramelized sugar and coconut that formed around the tops was the tastiest …

Friday Cake: Marble Cake

This week’s Friday cake is a classic from my childhood that my grandmother used to make. It is a chocolate/vanilla Marble Cake or as it is called in Danish “Marmorkage” because of the marbled pattern inside. Even though it is not an Easter cake it somehow reminds me of Easter. Maybe because it has a nice golden glow – or rather, it was supposed to be golden but as you can see on the photo my cake did not turn out so perfectly and got a little burnt. Browse the internet and you will see some nice Marble Cake pictures for sure! Burnt or not, it tastes delicious. Especially because this version has chopped dark chocolate in it. Taste it warm out of the oven and you will love it too! It is an adapted version of a recipe in the Danish magazine Hendes Verden. See “Hendes Verden” Marmorkage Recipe which is a version with orange added to it and I have seen another version with coffee mixed in with the chocolate. So this is only the beginning …

Friday Cake: Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Finally Friday and time for some hygge, coffee and cake 🙂 Today’s cake is my first time making a delicious Danish cake called “kiksekage” or chocolate biscuit cake and I am excited it turned out well! It might also be a little hard to mess this one up since it is as simple as can be. I am almost certain this one is going to achieve international success one day, haha! Biscuits layered with a thick and rich chocolate cream – what’s not to like…? The recipe is an adapted version from the Danish interior design magazine Boligliv and you can find the original version on this link. Kiksekage Recipe Link Their website is worth a browse just for the sake of the beautiful photos from inspiring Danish homes. It is my favorite Danish interior design magazine.   Ingredients 300 gram (11 oz) dark chocolate (60-70 %), coarsely chopped 1 can sweetened condensed milk (400 gram or 14 oz) 35 gram (1.2 oz) butter 1 vanilla stick (or maybe you could try a little vanilla …

Friday Cake: Lemon Cake

Friday is back and it is time to get in the mood for the weekend and hopefully lots of hygge! These last couple of days the bright Spring sun has been hiding behind grey clouds. So my daughter and I have decided to make a little piece of sunshine in a cake. Here is our lemon cake as yellow as the sun and the daffodils. Its tartness will energize you and bring that Spring vitality back! I love cakes that you have to cut. They just seem more hyggelige because they are ideal for sharing and togetherness – unless you plan on eating the whole thing by yourself of course… My mother-in-law remembers how lemon cake was one of the cakes they had at the coffee table on the farm on Funen in Denmark. The recipe is based on one of those old family recipes and I have just made a few adjustments to it. Originally the cake is baked in a bread form but I think a round cake will give more of that sunny feeling …

Review: The Little Book of Hygge

I began reading Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge in the waiting area of my daughter’s dance class and it instantly brought me to the country of beautiful design homes with the perfect hygge lighting and warm drinks on dark winter days. That is what hygge is all about! Transforming an ordinary event like waiting at a dance class into something pleasant that brings us a dose of simple pleasure and appreciation of life every day. Hygge can be found in most places, even in your work place by bringing in i.e. a nice couch for meetings, creating traditions of cake or shared meals on Fridays or just some flowers or tea candles on darker days. The Little Book of Hygge is definitely one of my new favorites – a classic that shall always stay on my book shelf for my Danish-American husband, children and myself to be reminded of the best part of Danish culture, hygge. Just by looking at the cover and browsing through the beautiful simple illustrations you somehow feel hygge. As a …

Friday Cake: Dream Cake

It is almost the weekend and therefore a great excuse to bake a good old Danish hygge cake. Danes often share Friday cake at their workplace or bake for family hygge on the weekends so I am going to bring this tradition to my blog by introducing a Friday Cake series. For the next several weeks every Friday you will get a recipe for one of those delicious Danish cakes that are perfect for enjoying some hygge with family, friends or co-workers. This week’s Friday Cake is Dream Cake (Drømmekage). I have been craving this cake since my post about hygge, coffee and cake and I honestly do not think I have had Dream Cake since I was about 12 years old. Class mates would regularly bring in Dream Cake for the “the class’ hour” (klassens time), a time once a week where we had cake and story time together in class. As you can see in the photos, I have already had a nice piece (or two) of Friday hygge and I was not disappointed with my reunion with Dream Cake! It …

Hygge – by a Dane in America

As a Dane living in America I could not be any happier about the recent invasion of hygge to the United States and a lot of other countries! I love American culture and Americans. Especially their openness to new cultures and immigrants and their willingness to embrace what is new and different. But there is one thing I have been missing during the seven years of living here and that is a slower pace, more family time and the ability to just enjoy the moment – in other words: hygge! Many Americans are very busy, their kids are very busy/active and I believe a little more down time would do us all well. This has become of extra interest to me as I am raising my children in America and I want them to be as happy as the Danes. My favorite example of the difference between Americans and Danes is how coffee is mostly “on the go” over here while in Denmark it is typically something you enjoy sitting down, preferably while talking with a friend. I had …

Hygge on On Point Today!

Today’s topic on WBUR’s On Point is Hygge! I cannot WAIT to hear what my favorite radio host Tom Ashbrook (except for maybe Frasier) has to say about Danish happiness and hygge:-)) Here is the link: “Forget Your Troubles, Come On, Get Hygge” On Point So go grab your favorite cup of coffee and enjoy when you get a chance!