Swedish Cloudberry cake and the Eskimo ice cream

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French evening 002Last week I went to the IKEA in order to purchase some Easter decoration and when I finished the shopping around I stopped for a while at the food department. I have already tried some goodies from the IKEA and I was satisfied for instance with the Swedish bread. I made and excellent appetizer from it with salmon and with honeyed mustard and finelly chopped onion &  parsley scattered on the top. I have to confess I am a great fan of the wide range of the Swedish berry jams such as lingonberry, blackberry, black currant etc. At this time I discovered an unknown (at least it was unknown for me) amber-colored jar, it was labelled as: Hjortron jam and according to the picture it looked like as if it had made from some blackberry or raspberry but the colour and its consistence looked totally different. I took it. Coming home I checked in the internet what the heck is that Hjortron and I’d found out that it corresponds to the English word cloudberry (bakeapple (in Canada), Knotberry and Knoutberry (in England), Averin, Salmonberry in Alaska, and Evron (in Scotland).

Of course I had to open it and try it. When I tasted the golden-yellowish jam it was juicy and very sweet but it had an absolute distinctive tart taste. I read it later that in the Scandinavian countries it is very popular to add to yoghurt (in order to sweetened it) and from the berries they usually make jams, juices, tarts, and liqueurs. In Finland, the berries are eaten with heated “leipäjuusto” (a local cheese; the name translates to “bread-cheese”), as well as lots of cream and sugar. In Sweden, cloudberries and cloudberry jam are used as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, and waffles. In Norway, they are often mixed with whipped cream and sugar to be served as a dessert called “Multekrem” (Cloudberry cream), as a jam or as an ingredient in homemade ice cream. They may also be added to cakes that often contain marzipan.

In Atlantic Canada, cloudberries are used to make “Bakeapple Pie”. Canadians also use them for jam, but not on the same scale as Scandinavians. In Alaska and Northern Canada, the berries are mixed with seal oil, reindeer or caribou fat (which is diced up and made fluffy with the seal oil), and sugar to make “Eskimo Ice Cream” or Akutaq. The recipes vary by region. Along the Yukon and Kuskokwim River areas, white fish (pike, whitefish) along with shortening and sugar is used. The berries are an important resource for traditional foods to the Native tribes. Due to its high vitamin C content, the berry is valued both by Nordic seafarers and by the Inuit as protection against scurvy. Its benzoic acid content acts as a natural preservative. Tea made from cloudberry leaves was used in ancient Scandinavian herbal medicine to cure urinary tract infections. A cloudberry liqueur’s name is Lakkalikööri.  It has a strong taste and a high sugar content. Cloudberry has also served as a spice for akvavit.

I found an excellent recipe and I made it:

Ingredients for the Cloudberry white chocolate mascarpone cake:

8 oz stork – or butter,  8 oz caster sugar (or less because the jam is very sweet), 4 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 8 oz self raising flour, 100g cloudberry jam

For the cream cheese filling: 150g Cream cheese, 50g Butter – softened, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 50g Icing sugar

For the topping: 200g white chocolate, Extra jam and passionate fruit – for decoration

Directions: Preheat the oven to 170’C

Grease and line 2 x 8” cake tins

Beat together the stork and the sugar until pale and creamy

Stir in the vanilla and 1 at a time beat in the eggs

Fold in the flour mixture, being careful not to stir it too much and then fold in the cloudberry jam

Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes

Test the cake is done by pressing it in the middle; it should bounce back to you and not sink. It should also come away from the sides and be golden brown on top

Once cooked leave to cook in the tins slightly before tipping out to cool completely on a wire rack

While the cake is cooling beat together the mixture for the cream cheese filling until smooth and creamy

Once the cake has cooled, sandwich together the sponges with the cream cheese frosting in the middle

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave for 1 minute or in a blow over some gently simmering water

Pour the chocolate on top of the cake and spread evenly

Decorate with the cloudberry jam and passionate fruit and then leave for the chocolate to harden before slicing and serving – although I have to admit it was pretty yummy when the chocolate was still runny, just make sure you have napkins to hand.

 

French evening 004

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