Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year planning

Getting ready to celebrate the New Year once again in our land of adoption Denmark ... !
This year the Danish cuisine we tried last year will be happily replace with foie gras and champagne french style, we are still on the lookout for local traditions such as fireworks, the Queen speech (at 6) and kransekages.

The Danes are preparing for celebrations. Long queues are forming at the bakeries to buy sweets (including kransekage, the specialty of the new year), at the ice cream shop (eh, not for ice, but to buy fireworks, yes really!). We will also enjoy a glass of mulled wine right before the broadcast of the 37th annual speech of the queen at 6 live from her residence of Amalienborg.

After dinner, we will enjoy the New Year kransekage (almond cake with praline inside) ... !
We chose the "mini-sized" model. The bestseller is "family sized" one, which consists of eight rings of this cake. A pyramid of rings in a way.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last minute shopping

This year, the trend for New Year Eve delicacies is a family size kransekage shaped as a clock... how sweet!

Second option, for the bravest, the kit to make your own kransekage, all ingredients inclusive, you just need to do it...!

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Planning your New Year fireworks?

At least, you can admit it is hard to miss the advertising!
Here are some of the ads of the week. Harald Nyborg, Silvan, Bauhaus and even Aldi are on the war path! And don't forget the special fireworks tents installed for the occasion in several strategic locations in the city. We even have spotted a ice-cream shop closed for the winter period, that reopened this week loaded with fireworks inside the shut-down freezer.

This year, it's gonna blow!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Put your skates on!

Another Christmas tradition, the public open air skating rings. Great to lose some of the weight of the December huge meals...
Starting with the Kongens Nytorv (the downtown main square). Access is free, just remember to bring your skates! For the "tourists", rentals are also available.
If the track is quiet during the day, it becomes very popular at night when you can enjoy the illumination of the square.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brunkager: advanced course

For those who want more than the version for dummies, here is the exclusive DanskViking recipe of the Chrismas cookies: the brunkager.
Okay, I admit, it is not really an exclusivity, since we found the recipe on a Danish website.

200 g butter
125 g "sirup", a mixture of glucose syrup and sugar that you can buy here in a pot (looks like a honey pot
125 g sugar
1 teaspoon potaske (potassium carbonate or E501, sort of baking powder) dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water
a little ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon grounded cinnamon
450g flour
100g chopped almonds
Mix the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and heat until everything is well blended, add the diluted potaske.
Let cool then add the spices, flour and almonds. Mix well
Make sausages (in a plastic wrap, it's easier) and put in the fridge 2 hours or 1/2 hour in the freezer to harden them.
Slice very thin and bake at 180 degrees for 5-6 minutes.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cake for dummies

Christmas vacations are a very good time for spending time in the kitchen.
Our Danish friends have thought of everything, especially for the dummies who do not know how to mix three ingredients together (like us)... well, we found cake dough ready to bake!

Of course we tried it, once you open the pack, it looks like that ...




And finally, it's time to taste the brunkager (Christmas specialties). No need to bother with shopping, the scale, the wooden spoon, .. and the mess! Here just a knife is enough! And the result is ... edible (if you do not forget it in the oven!).

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas meal... a few tips

The Danish Christmas Eve really has little to do with the French one...
Here it is only a main dish and dessert ..! We have done according to tradition (apparently there are not many alternatives to the traditionnal menu): duck with red fruit sauce (tyttebær sauce, we are still not sure what fruit it is), red cabbage boiled with orange, and caramelized potatoes (usually you add normal potatoes too).

For dessert, the risàlamande and kirsebær (cherry) sauce (again. ..!).

That evening, it is the "Christmas special" risalamande, we put a whole almond into the dish and the person that finds it wins the gift (if he did not choke first.) And of course, you must light up candles for an "hyggelig" feeling.

We skipped the Danish songs and dances around the tree, but we sat by the window to watch the fireworks (from December 20 and even in broad daylight ... they really like it here). People are already rehearsing for the big one (on the 31st)...

We are still hesitating for next year: Traditionnal Danish or French style??

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is the date today?

Oh yes, that is true! Thanks to the Kalenderlys, you won't miss it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ris à l'amande

A typical Danish French specialty! Even if the spelling is a little bit awkward, we have already seen "ris a lamande" on menus or worse. At first, you could believe it's a rice pudding but it is not quite like it.... It's much creamier, and with a lot of almond sticks, it is very crispy. In the end it's really not bad! With a traditional cherry sauce (kirsebærsauce) and a small glass of aquavit (it's winter after all!) it's even downright good!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


They are this season stars, you see them everywhere: at Tivoli, on Nyhavn, freezers in supermarkets ...
So what? When you do not know, you might think it's a donut with apple (æbler). But in fact it is just a donut. Period. The apple would be too healthy. All that is left of the apple is the shape of the donut. Still it's pretty good. It is usually eaten by three ...

But there is still something missing, it still sounds way too healthy like that. You still have to sprinkle the æbleskiver with icing sugar and add an extra touch of strawberry jam. Got to take a lot of calories to face the cold!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Julemarked is sold out!

We have already mentionned the Julemarked (Christmas markets) you can experience on Nyhavn and Tivoli (the 2 most famous ones) in December. There is also another type of market at the same period, a rather original one : some shops will open on a temporary basis and sell a lot of items at a single price.
Here was an example last year, on the City Town Square, a store (which was previously a travel agency and will surely be something else in a few months) has sold books, comics, CDs and video cassettes at 60 dkk each on the opening day and then, every day, the price is declining until Christmas. The price for each day is displayed in the window. This eventually ends up by a huge sales between Christmas and New Year, where you could walk away with 50 items for 100 kroner!
Of course the quality of what remains decreases gradually as the period goes on ...
So keep your eyes open for those "limited time julemarked", there could be some good bargains around (and god knows this is rare in Denmark).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One more dose of shopping

Right now, the shops are really nicely decorated! Here are a few extra shots of those amazing Christmas displays... You only have a few days left to enjoy them, or maybe do some last minute gift shopping!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Family-sized kransekage

For the end of year celebrations, even the supermarkets have traditionnal cakes. You can see below a kransekage (almond cake with heart of praline) "family-style" with 8 layers of goodness. I like this kind of cake but with that one, it would take me 3 weeks to eat it!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Some days ago we had a nice julebuffet to Cafeen i Nikolaj Kirken (the buffet is available throughout the month of December). On the menu, the most traditional dishes of the Danish Christmas buffet. All washed down with good beer and a Christmas special housemade orange flavored akvavit....

On the menu :
Karrysild og marineret sild, m/kapers og rødløg
Stegte sild m/løgringe og dild
Æg og rejer m/mayonnaise og dild
Lun leverpostej m/bacon og ristede svampe
Lune frikadeller m/rødkål og agurkesalat
Hjemmelavet æbleflæsk
Hjemmelavet kalve sylte serveret m/sennep og rødbeder
Ribbenssteg m/rødkål og agurkesalat
Andesteg serveret m/æbler og svedsker
Glaseret skinke m/grønlangkål
Ris alamande m/kirsebær sauce
Oste m/radiser og peberfrugter

If there's something you do not know, do not hesitate to ask for a detailed description!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Raaaahhh Christmas songs again !!!

If there is something quite annoying these days, it's all the Christmas songs that we hear again and again on the radio. Frankly, there is a time when I can't take no more ...

And why not a comic hip-hop style Christmas song?
And when you go out on the city, it's no better as you bump on a choir on Amagertorv!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Department stores have once again gone fully out!

Again in December, almost everything is open on Sundays (at least in the city center). And department stores are doing what they can to get noticed. Here is a selection of some interesting facades (from last year):

Illum - Note the almonds seller in the bottom right. Currently there is one literally every 200 meters! All the city is wrapped in the aroma of caramel ...

Magasin du Nord

Georg Jensen

Hôtel d'Angleterre

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cop15 the last days

Cop15 and Hopenhagen are not only located on the City Hall Square but are present throughout the city. For example, on Kultorvet, you could register a video message expressing your thoughts on climate change that was then projected on a geant screen on Kultorvet and also at Bella Center.

On Nytorv, if you hurry up, you can maybe still find the Copenhagen ice bear, but quick the ice is melting (must be the global warming!). You can find the pictures of the original bear on this site.

Picture taken on Friday evening

At the Tivoli entrance door, you can see a movie featuring the Tivoli icons: Harlequin and Columbine (is that their names in English) lost in a desert, then in ice, and finally a wind turbin saves the day by cooling off the atmosphere (guess what: the sponsor is Vestas!)
You can read more about Tivoli climate policy here.

There is many more things happening right now at Cop15 but those were the only ones on my way...

Monday, December 14, 2009


In December, many "Christmas Bazaar" take place. It is a mixture between garage sale, gourmet products sales (and tasting), small traditional products and handmade, a bit of everything. You can find some pictures of the Swedish julebazar below. A bit crowded but nice. We even had the opportunity to try the Swedish Glogg without alcohol ...

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