I started off, full of willpower this morning, with a post on wildlife in Mauritius – a little bit like my exotic fruit posts – but it seems I was a bit too ambitious and the mouthful was a bit too big. The post wasn’t meant to be finished today. But I had something on the stove, or should I say in the oven?!
There are always a few things you miss when you move – from your home or from any location really. Denmark has lots of food you have never heard about (and that’s fine, really!) something like the cookies I made today. They are traditionally eaten with buttermilk and the dish is cold: koldskål med Kammerjunkere, ‘Cold buttermilk soup with Kammerjunkere’. This was my favourite breakfast, snack, desert, anytime-of-the-day-thing when I was kid.
The buttermilk soup, I am not going to go into detail but you’ll find the recipe at the end of the post.
What I am interested in are the Kammerjunkere. I have never made them, for some reasons: in Denmark you buy them in the shops or the baker – much faster!, more importantly, I never really had a recipe that spoke to me.
2 years ago we were in Singapore in December. Every year at Sømandkirken in Singapore there is a Christmas fair, so all the Danes (and others are welcome too!!) can get some of the goodies from back home – decorations, food stuff etc. – they also happened to have a cookbook – Sweet on Denmark. It features a lot of the typical Danish deserts and pastries.
A few days ago I told you about my shipment that had arrived… and I started to move some things around the house, including my cookbooks and I opened the book. For the first time. Ever. And on page 37, there it was, the recipe. A part from this, it is actually a very nice book! lots on history of different dishes, recipes coming from some of the best eateries in Denmark. This particular recipe is by Nilaus Bille Nielsen, in 2007 he was awarded Young Chef of the year.
They are very easy to make, it is just the baking part that is a bit long.
I am sure you can read the recipe, but I’ll still type it out for you:
- 250g flour (I used cake flour and had to add a bit)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 10 tbsp sugar
- 90g soften butter
- 50ml full-cream milk
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 1 egg
How I did it!
Heat the oven to 220c traditional; 200c fan oven.
In a bowl mix flour, sugar and baking powder and add the vanilla seeds. Add the soften butter to the flour mixture, kneading it with your fingers, add the milk and the eggs. The dough is quite sticky – but then I am in a very warm kitchen! Put the dough in the fridge till it’s cold, at least 1 hour – I left it overnight because I realised I didn’t have the right cookie cutter. I might add a tiny bit of salt next time. They miss a little (tiny tiny little) bit.
Once it is cold and has rested, roll the dough out to a 5mm thickness and cut 3cm circles. Place the cookies on a lined baking tray and bake for 8min in the preheated oven. Lower the oven temperature to 100c (90c fan) for approx 20-30mins until the small cookies are dried out and crispy. Half way you need to turn them over so they cook evenly. My first ones took about 20min at 90c, with the last batch the humidity rose suddenly and it took longer for them to be finished. So keep an eye on them. Let them cool of on a tray before storing them in an airtight container.
The kids started eating them as soon as they came out of the oven!
As for me, I had my snack… like when I was kid. Here in Mauritius we can get a lot of buttermilk – flavoured ones. I mean you can get plain as well but I don’t have in the house. This Dahi, brand of buttermilk, is just ‘sucré’, so sweetened – but they come in all kinds of flavours: strawberry, tropical, red berries, almond…
I have been dunking my kammerjungere in buttermilk. Not sure how much space I have for dinner tonight but I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow!!
The danish way to eat buttermilk soup:
- 1l cold buttermilk
- Juice of 1 1/2 lemon
- 40g raw egg yolk (my main reason for not eating this way, as pasteurised eggs are not an easy thing to come by in Mauritius) – approx. 2 eggs
- 90g sugar
- vanilla pod
Whip the sugar and egg yolk with vanilla seeds till light and fluffy. Combine this with the cold buttermilk and add lemon juice to taste. Serve very cold.