I don’t know about you but, for me, as the clocks go back, the days get shorter, and winter truly begins, all I want to do is snuggle up indoors beside a log fire and enjoy that unmatched warm, cosy feeling.
The Danish have got this idea down to a fine art, giving the concept its own name, Hygge. The official definition according to Cambridge Dictionary explains that Hygge is the ‘Danish word for a quality of cosiness… that comes from doing simple things such as lighting candles, baking, or spending time at home with your family.’
To celebrate this incredible Danish concept, I thought it would be interesting to share with you a compilation of my favourite Hygge inspired recipes for these upcoming long Winter nights.
First up is a traditional Danish hot chocolate with its copious amount of chocolate and shot of brandy for good measure. This recipe is adapted from The Spruce Eats and will certainly warm the cockles on a cold Winters night.
Classic Dutch Hot Chocolate (Warme Chocolademelk)
By Karin Engelbrecht
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 100 grams dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 300 millilitres milk
- 1 tablespoon whipped cream
- 1 shot brandy
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for dusting)
- Place chocolate chips, cocoa powder and 60 millilitres of the milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir.
- Once the chocolate has fully melted, add the remaining milk and whisk until fully combined.
- Stir in your brandy.
- Pour into cups, top with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.
- Serve immediately.
Next is a delicious Danish apple and cinnamon cake because I am of the firm belief that it is impossible to have a cosy night in without some cake with custard (the custard is compulsory in my house!). This recipe adapted from Lisa Eats World is incredibly straightforward and guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Danish Apple Cake
By Lisa Holmen
For the cake:
- 175 grams softened butter
- 170 grams caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 175 grams self-raising flour
- 500 grams apples
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Custard to serve
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease a 20cm baking tin.
- Beat butter, vanilla extract and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. Fold in the flour until well combined.
- Put your mixture to one side while you peel, and thinly slice your apples.
- Pour half of the mixture into the tin and top with half of your sliced apples. Then pour the remaining cake mixture into the tin and arrange the rest of your apples on top.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and sprinkle over the top layer of the apple.
- Bake for 35- 40 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
- Serve with custard, preferably sat near a roaring fire in true Hygge fashion.
Finally, and arguably most importantly for the Hygge lifestyle, is s’mores. Although an American rather than a Danish tradition, I feel that eating s’mores sat around a roaring fire would perfectly round off a Hygge inspired evening. The following recipe is how we make s’mores in my family but feel free to adapt the recipe using your favourite biscuits or chocolate.
- 1 bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk Chocolate
- 1 pack of Digestive Biscuits
- 1 pack of large marshmallows
- Spike a marshmallow onto a clean skewer and hold over the fire whilst rotating to ensure even cooking.
- Once the marshmallow is scorched to your liking, take a digestive and place a piece of chocolate on top of it.
- Place the marshmallow on top of the chocolate and take another digestive. Squeeze the marshmallow between the two biscuits and carefully remove the skewer.
- Take a bite and enjoy the sugary goodness!