Christmas feast, part one: Homemade glögg
Makes 1 l | 45min | Easy
Today is the 1st Advent Sunday, marking the beginning of the Christmas season (at least in the Nordic countries), which means it's time for our first Christmas recipe here on Cake and beans! We're going to start things off with a simple recipe for one of the most important things on any Christmas dinner table: Homemade glögg!
As many of you probably already know, this is only the beginning. This recipe is only part one of our Christmas menu countdown where we release a new batch of Christmas recipes every Sunday until Christmas eve, which means that you will have enough recipes for a full vegetarian, and largely vegan, Christmas dinner menu a month from now! How great is that?
Here are a few of the dishes that we'll be posting recipes to in the upcoming weeks:
Next Sunday we'll release recipes for the starters and sides, often referred to as the "cold dishes" here in Scandinavia (very modest, we know); the week after that it's time for the warm "main" dishes; and then, last but not least, you'll get a handy guide of what to serve for dessert (sugar free of course)! So make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook or sign up to our newsletter so that you don't miss a thing!
Glögg is a warm spiced drink most often based on red wine, but it can also be made with booze, or any number of juices. It's similar to the English mulled wine, German Glühwein and French Vin Chaud. I'm not entirely familiar with what is the key to any of those drinks but to me, the key to a good glögg is the right balance of spices. The spices in Nordic glögg are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. People often also add citrus peels (we used orange peels for example), raisins (we didn't), or star anise (nope, not this time). There are many versions of this classic drink so just take it from us, ours is the best.
As I mentioned, glögg is most often based on wine, but we wanted to make a version anyone could drink so instead we decided to base ours on apple juice and make white glögg (glögg often comes in either red or white varieties). You can just as easily use our recipe and substitute the juice for red wine if you want to, or use redcurrant juice instead, which will give a nice bitterness to the drink.
1 liter of organic apple juice (sugar- and additive-free!)
1 stick of cinnamon
10 cardamom seeds
1 tsp dried cloves
2 small orange peels
2 thin slices of fresh ginger
- Pour the apple juice into a saucepan and bring to boil
- While you wait for the juice to start boiling prepare your spices by putting the cardamom seeds and cloves into a tea strainer (so that you don't have to go fishing for them afterwards), slicing your ginger, and peeling two pieces off an orange
- Once the juice starts boiling turn the heat down and throw in all the spices. No need to be fancy here, so just toss them in.
- Add a cup of water to the glögg (so that you'll have a liter of glögg in the end since some of the juice will evaporate)
- Let everything simmer gently for 45min under a lid
- Remove the spices and pour into mugs and serve hot
- Add raisins and almond slices for the classic touch, or just drink it au naturel like we do
TIP: If you use wine, make sure to never bring it to a full boil, because that results in you boiling away the alcohol.
That's it for part one of our Christmas feast recipe bonanza, or whatever you want to call it. Next week we'll dive into four different recipes for our starters/sides, so enjoy your glögg until then! See you in a week!
Have a great första advent!
Ps. For a short behind the scenes peek into what our food blogger weekends look like scroll down past this gorgeous picture of our glögg.
Cake and beans diaries: Sunday 27.11.2016
So this recipe seems pretty easy to make, right? Just throw a bunch of spices into a saucepan and wait. Well, to be honest, it is, but it sure as hell didn't feel like it today when I made it. Since we do this food blogging business on our free time we only have weeknights and weekends to work on it. And most weeknights we're pretty tired from work, so that means that we use all of our Saturdays to make our recipes and take our pictures. We also only use natural light to shoot our food, which sadly means we have a 5-6 hour window of light every Saturday and Sunday (screw you, dark winter in the Nordic countries), which in reality is cut even shorter since we also want to sleep in on weekends after a hard week at work and neither of us is especially much of a morning person :)
This weekend we used most of Saturday to go shopping for pots and pans and silverware and props for the Christmas shoot. Our prop-shelf isn't too big at home, since we've only been doing this for a few months, and while planning our Christmas menu we realised that we didn't have enough photogenic dishes to present all of our foods at once, so we headed to our favourite second hand store here on Kungsholmen where we live.
We ended up buying a bunch of copper pots, some silverware, and a few glasses. You'll see them soon enough on the blog! ;)
Then today (Sunday) we woke up and just started cooking. We might have been a bit too tired for an undertaking of this size, which was evident in me constantly forgetting what I was doing, but everything ended well since our meal turned out amazing! Even though we did doubt ourselves quite a lot during the day. Luckily for me, Lotta was much more on her game, and helped me to stop being such a whiny downer, and pushed me to make really great dishes instead.
And luckily for you, she's such a great photographer that even though we only had an hour of light left to take our pictures in she managed to photograph an entire feast, and every single dish on its own during that time.So yeah, I'm pretty lucky to have her by my side.
Now I'm sitting here writing this on a Sunday evening listening to Bon Iver and hoping you will like what we've cooked up. That's about it for now. Hope you're having a great and relaxing evening.
I might just fall asleep on the couch right about now.