What goes best with an evening of Scandi Noir streaming? Scandi baked goods, of course!
By
Cat Woods

17 Sep 2021 - 11:26 AM  UPDATED 17 Sep 2021 - 12:48 PM

Blinded | Cherry spelt cakes, mascarpone and licorice sugar

If you've only ever known licorice as the highly processed, sticky black stuff (or the sickly-sweet Licorice Allsorts) you buy at service stations, then you're in for a true treat with this Nordic spin on pancakes. Licorice root, often used as a tea or a powder, adds a sophisticated sweetness to desserts and drinks. Here, it pairs with the rich, bold sweetness of cherries and the comforting gravity of spelt flour and nut milk.

Cherry spelt cakes, mascarpone and licorice sugar

Nordic countries have an affinity for licorice, both the common sweet type and the sweet and salty. Licorice powder, derived from licorice root, can be tricky to find but it’s an interesting product for adding that distinctive aniseed flavour to sweet or savoury dishes.

When it comes to being rich and bold, bank director Peder Roth is the swarthy, smart financial strategist who enters the spotlight of intrepid journalist Bea Farkas when it appears his firm might be acting outside the law. It's a sexy, compelling drama that you can really sink your teeth into (boom, boom).

Shadow Lines | Korvapuusti: Finnish cinnamon rolls

A political drama Graham Greene would have envied or enjoyed, Shadow Lines is set in Helsinki in 1955. The impending Finnish presidential election has brought all the nefarious political dealings to the fore, including the CIA, the KGB and The Fist. Beautiful and clever Helena has been recruited to work for Finnish independence. To that end, she's expected to manipulate and manoeuvre her way over enemy lines. Just like Helena, get wrapped up in the multiple layers of history, meaning and sweet pastry in these Korvapuusti or Finnish cinnamon rolls. This cardamom-spiced dough is lavishly sprinkled with pearl sugar and served with strong coffee.

Finnish cinnamon rolls (korvapuusti)

These cinnamon rolls can be found in every cafe, where they’re eaten alongside a big cup of coffee. In Finland, cinnamon rolls are called korvapuusti. The dough and filling is the same as Swedish kanelbullar, but the shape is unique to Finland. Next time you make cinnamon rolls, why not try this Nordic variety?

Greyzone | White chocolate, blackberry and rosemary mud slice

This Danish thriller follows a fast-paced hostage scenario in which Victoria is abducted and compelled to assist a nefarious organisation to operate flight and observance technology in their interests. The whole situation is complex and the intentions of her abductors are often hidden. It is suitable, then, to get lost in the deliciously thick amalgam of flavours in this white chocolate, blackberry and rosemary mud slice. It's the safest (and sweetest) way to combine different elements in one place.

White chocolate, blackberry and rosemary mud slice

This slice was inspired by the lovely Sollá, who runs a chain of vegetarian and raw food restaurants in Iceland and who helped me appreciate the potential of vegetarian and raw cooking through her delicious dishes. 

Before We Die | Rose pistachio shortbread

This compelling drama sees police officer Hanna come up against a powerful family force in organised crime. There's a catch though, which is her estranged son Christian, who has recently taken up employment within the criminal business Hanna is seeking to expose and punish. Family can be beautiful, sweet and all-encompassing, but it can also have some painfully sharp edges and nutty elements.

Rose pistachio shortbread

At 9pm last week, I suddenly got the urge to bake a batch of rose shortbread. You know when inspiration hits and there’s just no way you can resist running into your kitchen? As I was making the dough, I decided to add pistachios and use my tiny dalahäst (horse statuette) cookie cutter, too. It’s just too cute, right? These are lovely for the holiday season, but they would also be wonderful to serve at a wedding or a baby shower.

Naturally, we thought of the deliciously fragrant Scandi favourite, rose pistachio shortbread, which will require some cookie cutters and enough discipline not to indulge in the dough.

Follow The Money | Ymer, ymerdrys and berries

Over three seasons, this award-winning drama follows the consequences of white-collar crime through to the drug trade on the street. Ultimately, the seductive quality of money and what it promises in terms of happiness, security and stability. But, at a cost to someone, inevitably. It's often difficult to ascertain who is good, who is exploiting their power, and who is secretively sneaking information to the enemy.

Ymer, ymerdrys & berries

Ymer is Denmark’s version of sour milk, but in this recipe you can use natural yoghurt instead. It is sprinkled with ymerdrys, a crunchy sweet topping made from Danish rye bread. As it is such an essential component of this recipe, make sure to use an authentic rye bread here, not a light, fluffy version. The bread’s malty and sweet taste is a perfect complement to the slightly sour ymer or yoghurt.

In that vein, we invite you to discover this delicious Danish dessert which will have you wondering: is it sweet? Is it crunchy? Is it sour? Who is who, and what is going on here? But ultimately, it's delicious and satiating, which is all you can ask of a show and a dessert.

Kieler Street | Scandinavian waffle-off

What do you really know about your lover, your husband, your wife, your parents and your neighbours? More importantly, perhaps, what do they know about you? From the outset, Jonas Schulman appears to live a perfectly usual, suburban existence in Slusvik, Norway. When his best friend and neighbour threatens to reveal unspoken secrets, Jonas takes dramatic action to protect the family life he's built. Like Jonas, you too can pile up layers of fluffy, sweet waffles in indulgent fruit and cream to divert attention from your past.

Scandinavian waffle-off

“Waffles are an institution in both Norway and Sweden and on a Sunday morning in either country, it’s almost as if the entire north of Scandinavia pulls their waffle irons out of the cupboard and gets cooking. Although waffles from both countries are thin, heart-shaped and delicious, they are still very different.” Adam Liaw, Destination Flavour Scandinavia

Unlike Jonas, don't hide anything dangerous underneath the cream and strawberries. Rather than basing your life on lies, we suggest building waffles upon caramelised Norwegian brown goat cheese.

The Investigation | Toscakake: Caramel almond cake

Based on a true story in which Kim Wall, a Swedish journalist, disappeared at sea, head of homicide Jens Moller and his team must race the clock to find out whether she's still alive, and what really happened out there at sea. Whatever you know about this true-life case, it's a clever and compelling recreation of the investigation into her disappearance. It's a heartbreaking story and deserves to be seen.

Caramel almond cake (toscakake)

One of Scandinavia’s most loved cakes, both Sweden and Denmark have their own version of this wonderful cake (and, like all great cakes, the origins are unclear). A rich, buttery, moist cake toped with a crisp caramel-almond Florentine-like topping it is simply too good to care too much about its origins!

This show doesn't call for any banter. We simply suggest that you accompany this excellent series with one of Scandinavia's most loved cakes: the toscakake.