The Perfect Recipe For Danish Christmas Hygge
Christmas is the season of many different traditions in Copenhagen and indeed Denmark. The point of this post is not to account for all of them! Instead, our team came together over a couple of Julebryg (Christmas beers) and discussed which of the Danish Christmas traditions we hold the dearest. After much discussion and several beers later, we agreed the best Danish Christmas tradition is to get together in the kitchen and make sweetmeats. Nearly all of us have sweet memories of cozying up in the kitchen with our family to the same Christmas songs as the preceding year and engaging in a full on cooking session. It is really the perfect example of hygge – this elusive Danish concept, which can be so difficult to explain yet so simple and easy to experience.
What makes this tradition so hygge is that it really is a place of safety, warmth and welcome because everyone involved know the rules of engagement. There is an unspoken rule between the participants this is quality time, where there is a willingness between everyone involved that there is time for just being with each other. While we make the sweetmeats, light the candlelights and sing the usual Christmas classics, we escape our messy realities and put down the distractions that pull us in different directions. Not that phones, tablets and computers are banned from this situation – actually, we often use them for recipes but there is this unspoken rule between us that this moment belongs to each other and to remember the value of the human interaction, conversation and physical intimacy.
The sweetmeats we made in our families wasn’t the most advanced ones, so below you won’t find anything really difficult to make even though the recipe come from our celebrity chef Jacob who also happens to be one of our local guides you can be lucky enough to meet at one of our tours. We have chosen to feature the Danish classic ‘Marcipanbrød’, since we often encounter guests that haven’t tasted marzipan that tastes well before on our Hygge & Happiness tour. This is hard to believe for us, who are spoiled with marzipan that boasts nothing short of 60 % almonds. So gather your crew, make sure you have your stocking filled with all the ingredients you need and then just put on your best Christmas jams, light a candle and get cooking.
Marzipan Christmas Chocolate Bars – 4 pcs. (45-60 minutes)
You will need:
250 grams of pure marzipan (preferably european)
200 grams of dark chocolate (60-70%)
100 milliliters of cherry puree
½ teaspoon of powder gelatin
Sprinkles for decoration.
How to make Marcipan Christmas Chocolate Bars:
Divide your marzipan into 4 even rectangular shapes. Use kitchen scales to make sure you marzipan is evenly divided.
By the aid of a knife or the handle of a wooden spoon, make a small trench in your marzipan in the middle.
Put your marzipan in the fridge for a short while.
Gently heat your cherry puree and add the gelatin while stirring vigorously. Cool you cherry sauce for a short while.
Get your marzipan and pour you cherry sauce into the trench you made earlier. Refrigerate until the cherry has set and become a jelly.
Temper you chocolate by slowly melting 2/3 of your chocolate either in a microwave or in a bain-marie. Once your chocolate has melted you remove it from the heat and you add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate. You may not have to add it all. Do it little by little and make sure that the temperature does not exceed 32 degrees Celsius or 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once your chocolate reaches the correct temperature you can pour it over your marzipan bars. It is recommended that you place your bars on a sort of rack (oven rack) before pouring the chocolate. Sprinkle with desired toppings for decoration.
Leave to cool before enjoying your homemade Danish Christmas treats.