Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Danish New Year's Traditions

Now I told you about Christmas traditions here in Denmark, I might as well tell you about New Year's as well. Not that there are so many traditions related to this celebration of entering the new year but there are a few which you can be sure to meet if you celebrate New Year's in Denmark.

One of these traditions is to serve fish of some kind either as a starter or a main course. Some save the seafood (prawns and oysters) for later and serve it with the champagne at midnight. An old tradition in Denmark is to serve boiled cod fish with mustard sauce. Not one of my favourite dishes as I find it very bland and really don't care for boiled fish at all. I bet it's much better steamed... At home with my parents we have either prawn cocktails as a starter or we have toast with prawns, caviar and mayo as a midnight snack along with cheese and crackers. Sometimes my mother chooses to swap out the prawns for gravad lax on toast. That's a treat as well.

Then for the main course, if you have chosen to have fish as a starter, we often get some kind of special and or expensive cut of meat. That could be beef tenderloin, roast beef, veal sirloin roast or something like that with all sorts of side dishes. On New Year's Eve this year (well last year actually) my husbands uncle had made pork tenderloin in mushroom gravy served on toast and it was magnificent! It really tasted so good that you couldn't stop eating...

Now for dessert which varies from everything between having ice cream, lemon mousse, Irish Coffee, Crème Brûlée or some other fancy kind of dessert. This year I chose to make white chocolate mousse with blackberry sauce and Daim sprinkles on top... My husband actually decided that he wanted this dessert because it's his favourite flavour combo when it comes to desserts.

Another tradition on New Year's Eve is to toast the New Year with some kind of bubbly drink, whether it being champagne, Verdi, Asti Sprutmante or which ever you prefer. My favourite is Asti and I only had a tiny sip this year because I'm pregnant and don't drink alcohol at all. With this drink we also have Danish marzipan ring cake like this:

picture borrowed from http://www.scandikitchen.co.uk/

I tried to make this last year but found it very time consuming and a bit difficult to get the perfect "tower" so this year I made Danish marzipan cake bits instead and I loved them. I'm a sucker for marzipan so this is my favourite treat.

I think you should try this out yourselves and then tell me if you're as big a fan as I am of these delicious goodies...

Danish Marzipan cake bits 
Marzipan mix:
500 grams raw marzipan (containing a high level of almonds) 
200 grams cane sugar
100 grams egg whites

100 grams icing sugar
a bit of egg white

Making the marzipan mix
Whisk cane sugar and egg whites until it's a white and fluffy substance. Leave it to infuse for an hour until the sugar is dissolved. Knead the egg and sugar mix into the marzipan little by little until the mix is homogeneous.

Put the marzipan mix into a piping bag with a large nozzle (you decide which ever you like best I used a bekanal nozzle) and pipe out the pieces onto a baking sheet as big as you like them to be. Let them set for about half an hour before putting them into the oven and baking them at 200C (400F) for about 8-10 minutes until they are golden. Let the bits cool off.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add a bit of egg white. Whisk it together and if the icing is left making little tops when you take out the whisker it is ready. If it is still rather liquid sift in some more icing sugar and mix again. Make a little piping bag out of a baking sheet (see how to HERE) and fill it with the icing, not all the way to the top as it will come out on top as well. cut a hole at the end of the cone and pipe out thin lines on the marzipan cake bits.

Have fun making these delicious treats which are also very good even though your not celebrating New Year's.


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