Yelly Eats

The Nordic Bakery

I am a lover of cinnamon.  Cinnamon bun, cinnamon cake, cinnamon rolls…you name it, if it has cinnamon I will want to try it!

The year I moved to England, Alan told me about this little tucked away coffee place called the Nordic Bakery that made really good cinnamon buns.  It was in Golden Square in Soho and being a non-native, when we went to pay a visit to it, it seemed to take forever to get to it (of course I’ve completely changed my mind now because I know that everything – well, mostly everything – in London is within walking distance of each other!).  When we got there, the place was packed and very busy and we ordered a cinnamon bun.  They packed it for us, and we took it back to the flat.  I had it and was a tiny bit disappointed.  It was nice – but to me, it was nothing to write home about.

I have, however, kept an open mind.  I liked the vibe of Nordic Bakery while I was there (it was probably not even 5 minutes) but the blue and dark wood interiors were indelibly stamped in my mind.  Every time we chanced upon Golden Square, I looked at Nordic Bakery and wanted to go in, sit down, have a coffee and a pastry (or four!).

Then just this month, I had the opportunity to enjoy the Nordic Bakery twice in 2 weekends.  Everything was delicious!  Even the cinnamon bun which I thought was disappointing the first time I had it.  Everything was really good because, for me, a recalcitrant diabetic with a sweet tooth, everything sweet is to be taken in moderation, and the goodies on offer were not toothache-inducingly sweet!

With a lovely chocolate sprinkled cup of cappuccino (I loved their coffee but will probably try one with an extra shot of espresso next time)

Nordic Bakery's cappuccino

I enjoyed their deliciously spiced lingonberry bun.  There was a lovely aroma of cardamom that went really well with the sweet-tartness of the lingonberry jam that was generously spread over the top of the very light cake.

Nordic Bakery's lingonberry bun

Yesterday, I had a selection of pastries: the savoury but deliciously creamy potato Karelian pie

Nordic Bakery's potato Karelian pie

followed by the yummy apple Tosca bun (it looked like it was going to be so sweet but it wasn’t! It was lovely and light and the apple flavour came through each beautiful bite!)

Nordic Bakery's apple Tosca bun

and I had the classic cinnamon bun to finish.  The cinnmon bun is one of Nordic Bakery’s best selling products.  By the time we had finished our coffee and cakes the once full basket on the counter was empty!  This isn’t your typical doughy cinnamon roll.  The layers are thin and light and oh-so-cinnamony.  The outer layers are also thin but almost crispy that they crackle when you slice or bit into them.  It has certainly redeemed itself!  It goes way too well with a hot cup of coffee!

Nordic Bakery's classic Cinnamon bun

I was so intrigued by the Tosca bun that I had to buy the cookbook.  It is filled with the wonderful recipes of all the Nordic Bakery favourites.  It’s not going to stop me from eating at the Nordic Bakery but it will certainly tide me over until my next visit!

Nordic Bakery Cookbook

My first Nordic Bakery cookbook bake is the Tosca cake.  It was so easy to make!  Am so excited to have coffee this afternoon (it’s a bit sad, isn’t it?)!  Join me for a slice?

My version of Nordic Bakery's Tosca cake

You need to visit the Nordic Bakery if you’re in London.  It’s a really nice place to have coffee and something sweet or something savoury.  The staff are helpful and are ever so patient when you have questions about the food on offer.  The service is quick and I love how everything is served in pretty plates, trays and mugs of varying shades of blue.   I’ve yet to try the rye bread sandwiches but they look so delicious and I intend to try one when I pay my next visit.  They have a branch in the Golden Square in Soho.  Apart from the Soho branch, they have one on New Cavendish Street and on Dorset Street, both in Marylebone.

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Yelly Eats

Weekend Pudding: Applesauce Cake

I brought applesauce cakes to work once because someone at work had given me cooking apples. Since I got the apples for free, I thought it was only fair for me to share.

I’ve been using this recipe for ages so I know it’s fool-proof.  That’s why I feel confident sharing this recipe.  This cake batter can be used as a base for any cake with fruit.  This works well with bananas (you only have to add 3-4 mashed overripe bananas).  You can replace the apples in this recipe with 2 cups of chopped pineapples as well.  To make the recipe more festive (for the holidays), add 2 teaspoons nutmeg to the flour mixture in the cake.

Applesauce Cake, August 2011Ingredients:

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Applesauce mixture

  • 2-3 medium-sized cooking apples,peeled, cored and diced finely
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.  Grease 2 loaf pans.
  2. To make the applesauce mixture, combine ingredients in a saucepan, making sure everything is well-incorporated.
  3. Over a low heat, bring to a slow boil.  When sauce has thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together.  Either sift, if required, or mix using a wire whisk.  Set aside.
  5. Cream butter and sugar together.  Once butter has turned smooth and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time. making sure everything is well-incorporated.  Add the vanilla.
  6. Fold in flour mixture, adding 1/4 of the mixture each time.  Alternate adding the flour mixture with adding the milk, also a 1/4 portions at a time.  Add the applesauce mixture and make sure everything is well-combined.
  7. Pour into pans and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans and cooling completely on wire racks.
  9. Wrap in cling film and store at room temperature for up to 5 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.