Firstly, what is Fika?
…coffee plus something to eat…
.. the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee… and find a baked good to pair with it.
Further to truly “Fika” (used as a verb):
requires a commitment to making time for a break in your day, the creation of a magical moment in the midst of the routine and he mundane. Mika is the time when everything else is put on hold.
My grandmother is Swedish. She was born here in the US, but from what I understand retained a strong Swedish tradition. In the past year or so I’ve found myself drawn more and more to further discovering that heritage. So when I saw this book available for a review I jumped at the chance.
This book, Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall goes into a bit of the history of Fika; both what it is and how it’s evolved over the years. It then delves into the recipes.
It’s broken into six chapters, each delving into a different aspect of Fika (modern-day, outdoor, and bread and sandwiches are just a few examples). Following a short little essay pertaining to each topic is a collection of recipes.
I would have submitted this review a few weeks back, but I decided that I absolutely needed to try a few recipes first!
I tried two that were chocolate based: kärleksmums (chocolate coffee squares) and chokladbollar (chocolate balls) and kronans kaka (almond potato cake).
The coffee squares turned out great (except I think I left them in the over about 3 minutes too long). But the flavor. Oh my! Actually the flavor of all three of the desserts was amazing. I found them to be very “grown up”. What I mean by that: (the first two) were chocolate. But they weren’t the sticky sweet chocolate that we normally associate with a chocolate dessert. That didn’t stop my kids from eating them. 🙂
There were also a few gluten free options (the chocolate balls and almond potato cake were both GF).
Something to keep in mind: if you aren’t keen on using a lot of butter then keep in mind that a lot of these recipes have butter as their starting base. I definitely wouldn’t classify these as “healthy”, but my view on desserts is: I would much rather have desserts made with real ingredients (real butter, milk and sugar) than a low-fat variety. Because at the end of the day desserts are still desserts and moderation is key 🙂