Finnish people love their desserts, I believe they consume more sweets than any other country. There are little cafes everywhere you can get the most scrumptious sweets, even at the gas stations. When visitors come and you don’t have at least 5 or more different sweets at the coffee table, your name is dirt!
KAARETORTTU – (Jellyroll) These are made every day in our bakery and are crazy popular. We make a Canadianized version with whipped cream and fresh berries. The old fashioned way in Finland was made with with and apple preserve or strawberry jam. We will make our regular mixed berry jellyroll and a chocolate version with whipped vanilla buttercream filling.
TOSCA CAKE – Is a staple in most households. When I made them previously I made them in a smaller size and higher, but all the older Finnish ladies critiziced them for not being flatter. So this week I will make them bigger, but flatter so every bite has more of delicious almond topping. This is a dense, rich white cake topped half -way through baking with sliced almonds in a caramel sauce and then baked further into crisp, golden perfection. When Ulla, a friend of my Mom’s sends some over to my house, there is a fight to get as much as you can and squirrel it away from the others.
PIPARKAKUT – (Gingerbread Hearts) In Finland we eat gingerbread cookies every chance we get! This recipe is from my Mom’s Mom, who incidentally was my very favorite person in the world. She was an amazing baker who would just take a bowl, throw some ingredients in it without measuring, whip it by hand and Voila! An amazing creation! The Gingerbread Hearts are as thin and crispy as we canpossibly make them, wonderfully spiced and they melt in your mouth! You can’t just eat one, you have to devour the whole container!
VIINERI – (Danish) In Finland we sell Danishes everywhere. The best I have ever had was at a cafe attached to a gas station on a remote country road. This week we are making a few “exotic” filling for our Danishes. I know that prunes are not considered an “it” thing by lots of canadian, but I love them. And when you cook them with a bit of cinnamon and brandy, they make a subline jam. The flavors this week are cream cheese with prune, with lingonberry and with cloudberry preserves, all drizzled with fondant.
Also, Finland is famous for Marimekko designs, mostly for their colourful poppy design in fabric, clothing and sheets so this week I will make some large Marimekko sugar cookies in various colours.