Book Review: Fika by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall

Until I moved to the US, most of my exposure to Swedish food came from IKEA, much like I imagine it does for most people. But our relocation agent that helped us find a place to live and do battle with Social Security and the DMV is Swedish, and invited us round to her house for her annual Swedish Christmas/ St Lucia party. There we tasted lussekatter, got offered some Glögg, and were taught that seven kinds of cookies minimum should be served up by any self respecting Swedish host(ess) at a party.

Yes.

Seven.

Anyway, the full title of this book is Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break.

fika

Fika means coffee or kaffe with something to eat, but also refers to the coffee break taken at least once a day, a chance to sit down and unwind. Frankly after the crazy week I have had, I think we could all deal with a little bit of fika.

The book deals with various traditionally based Swedish recipes for fika baked goods, but also some recipes of preserves and cordial, all accompanied by a bit of background information and history.

It is a cute book with illustrations throughout by Johanna Kindvall such as:

Fika: Book Details

The illustrations include diagrams of the traditional forms for shaping your lussekatter, variations for vetebullar (Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns) and others such as the one above giving a pictorial representation of the recipe.

While pretty, I can’t help but long for a few pictures of the goods themselves though, somehow the pictures don’t quite inspire me to bake in the same way. In the interests of completeness, I made havreflarn med choklad (oat crisp chocolate sandwich cookies).

havreflarn med choklad

They were taste tested and found to be good! The cookies themselves are made in a slightly different method to what I am used to, and result in a cookie with a slight chewy meringue-y texture. Very little flour is used, instead you blitz oats in a food processor. The filling is simply melted chocolate with a bit of ground ginger. The recipe worked perfectly, other than me needing to increase the cooking time, but this is a standard adaptation for any recipe in my poor pathetic oven.

Just a little FYI, in order to try and keep the mess minimal, I melted the chocolate and mixed in the ginger, then put it into a zip lock bag, chopped the corner off, then used this like a piping bag to apply the chocolate, then smoothing it out with the back of a spoon, and placing the other half on top… like so:

havreflarn med choklad: chocolate application

It worked pretty well!

Overall there a quite a few recipes I could see myself making, and while they say that some of the ingredients might be difficult to get hold of outside of Sweden, I think for the most part this is not true, especially in this day of internet shopping. It is a cute little book!

So friends………………………. ska vi fika?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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7 comments

  1. What’s the recipe for oat crisp biscuits?

    1. I shall make them for you next time. X

  2. They sound delicious! Could I make them gluten free? xx

    1. I think so, they only have one tablespoon of flour in them.

      1. Excellent! The problem with gluten free flour is that it needs so much more liquid than regular flour, but only a tablespoon couldn’t throw it off by that much, I’m sure!

      2. Perhaps I can test it out for you and treat my gluten-free coworker to some goodies!

      3. That would be awesome!

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