Of all the places I would love to visit in a cruise ship, Scandinavia has to be top of my list. I love the idea of a cruise around the Caribbean and I have been lucky enough to have cruised around the Mediterranean, but, a trip to Sweden, Denmark and Norway would be a dream come true. It’s the Fjords and pine scented forests, as well as the Northern Lights that lure me there, as well as the amazing Smörgåsbord of food that is on offer too.
I often make Scandinavian recipes, in an attempt to recreate the feeling at home – it’s a style of cuisine that I love – so fresh, clean and sharp, using seasonal fish, fruit and vegetables to their best advantage with some pretty decadent and tasty bakes too, using aromatic spices. I particularly like the use of saffron and cardamom in their cakes, breads and bakes, with Lussekatter (little saffron buns studded with raisins) coming towards the top of my list.
However, it’s also the berries that fascinate me in Nordic cooking – they seem to be used everywhere, in savoury dishes as well as sweet recipes; there’s golden cloudberries, little wild strawberries, tart cranberries, glossy blue bilberries and ruby red lingonberries. And it’s the use of lingonberries that prompted me to recreate today’s recipe, which hails from Norway, and has a very unusual name of Troll Cream (Trollkrem).
I once read that there are over forty berries growing wild in Norway and Sweden, and people love to go out at the weekend to forage for them. The berry season starts now, from early May to late August, and it’s a family pursuit to go out to gather them, armed with buckets and baskets, it reminds me if my childhood and berry picking with my grandmother, blackberries and bilberries mainly, as well as raspberries in my grandfather’s garden.
Today’s recipe is so simple, and yet it seems to evoke a deep sense of pride and culinary attachment with my Norwegian friends; made with only two to three ingredients, Troll Cream is usually made on New Year’s Eve as a special dessert. It is made with egg whites and lingonberries (either bottled or as a preserve) and sugar if you want a sweeter taste. It’s a pretty dessert that is rippled with berries (and jam if using) and varies in colour from bright pink to pale pink.
I have seen all sorts of ways to serve it, from custard to piping it into pastry shells, but it’s the simple way that I prefer, just whisk it all up and pile it into a large serving bowl, or individual bowls. Although it is traditionally served at New Year, I cannot think of a nicer dessert to serve for spring and summer, and especially when berry season is in full swing! The recipe is shared below, and please note, that it has raw egg whites as part of the ingredients.