Archive for the 'HISTORY' Category

Tanssi

November 21, 2015

 tanssi foxes

The new Tanssi collection from Iittala is gorgeous.

The Tanssi collection was designed by Finnish artist Klaus Haapaniemi. Created for the Finnish National Opera production of The Cunning Little Vixen. The Czech opera tells the story of the coexistence of animals and humans in this mystical forest.

The combination of tableware, pillows, tea towels, tins and even a table runner, will help to create a beautiful table setting for the holidays. Your guest will be jealous!

The Tanssi collection can be purchased here @ scandinaviangrace.com

Toscakaka?

November 8, 2015

The holidays are upon us and it’s time to eat CAKE!

Toscakaka, a traditional Swedish Caramel Almond cake is perfect for the holidays. There are many variations of this recipe but all delicious just the same.

You will need:

for the cake

  • 2 sticks of butter – melted
  • 4 eggs whipped till white
  • 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk

for the topping

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 cup of toasted slivered almonds

Toast your almonds till they are slightly golden brown and set aside.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and set aside.

Grease and flour a 9 inch cake pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom with baking parchment to make it easier to remove your cake. Set your pan aside.

In a mixer whip the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder together and then gently sift and fold half into the egg and sugar mixture using a spatula. Drizzle half the milk in and fold. Repeat with the second half of the flour and milk. Drizzle half the butter on top and fold in and then the rest, careful not to over mix as you want to keep as much volume as possible. Gently pour the mixture into your pan. Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes until it’s barely a light golden brown.

While the cake is baking you should be preparing the topping as you want it hot and ready to pour on the cake immediately and pop back into the oven so as not to allow your cake to cool.

Mix the butter, sugar, flour and cream in a sauce pan. High heat until it comes to a boil and then low heat so it barely bubbles. Always stirring. It should bubble and thicken as you cook the mixture, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the toasted almonds. You can use regular slivered almonds but if you toast them first it will help bring out the flavor of the almonds in the topping. Some people like to add almond extract to their cake. I like this recipe better as it does not overpower the cake with an almond taste.

Test your cake with a toothpick. It should come out clean as you want the cake to be firm enough to support your topping but not completely done. It’s tricky I know. Nothing is as annoying as pouring your mixture on top and having it collapse into your cake. It will still make a delicious gooey mess.

Pour your mixture on top gently as the cake will still be very delicate. Turn the oven up to 425F and pop your cake back in the oven on top of a cookie or baking pan. This will prevent the cake from burning on the bottom. Bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, just long enough for the top to turn a golden brown. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes and then use a knife to gently loosen the edges and remove from the pan.

Serve at room temperature with Coffee. Many Swedes like to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

And of course you should serve your cake on one of our beautiful cake platters. After all, presentation is important.

Mon Amie cake plate_group 3_JPG

Mon Amie Cake Platter from iittala is available here at scandinaviangrace.com

Barcelona Bird Feeder

March 22, 2013

Spring is finally here and what a better way to start the season, than with the Barcelona Bird Feeder for our feathered friends!

The Barcelona Bird feeder brings a unique, stylish and sculptured look to your yard. The designer, Monique Engelund got the inspiration from the famous Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929. It’s made of durable acacia wood from sustainable European forests. The feeding table is located under the roof, while the bird bath sits out in the open and is removable for easy cleaning. The bird feeder comes with two removable spikes to secure the bird feed or maybe an apple for that special treat.

Barcelona Bird Feeder

Barcelona Bird Feeder angle

You can find Barcelona Bird Feeder here: Scandinaviangrace

iittala – no limits

October 18, 2012

Iittala has been making beautiful glassware since 1881. Everything for eating, drinking, cooking, decorating, even art work. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

As the company grew, it was shaped by iconic designers like, Kaj Franck, Alvar Aalto, Aino Aalto and Timo Sarpaneva. Their designs, having won several awards, has made Iittala a world-renowned classic.

Iittala’s distinctive style allows for individual use and expression in everyday life.

It’s so much more

Iittala’s complete line of products for the U.S. market is available here: scandinaviangrace.com

Top 10 Swedish Inventions.

March 6, 2009

1. The pacemaker. In 1958, Rune Elmqvist developed a small battery-driven pacemaker. The first operation was carried out later that year, but the device only lasted for a few hours and further adjustments were made. The patient, Arne Larsson, survived the tests and lived until 2001.

2. The three-point seat belt. Nils Bohlin’s great invention from 1959 is reputed to save one life every six minutes. It is thereby considered to be one of the most important safety innovations of all time.

3. The Global Positioning System. Håkan Lans is the great mind behind important developments to the satellite-guided GPS system, moulding it into its modern form and ensuring that motorists reach their destinations on time and without hassle.

4. Tetra-Pak. Through the ideas of Erik Wallenberg and his dedicated team, the solution to packaging, storing and distributing liquids such as juice and dairy items was developed in 1951 and has since spread to fridges all over the world.

5. The telephone handset. As early as 1885, Lars Magnus Ericsson created the telephone handset, which was just one of his many improvements to contemporary telephones.

6. The flat screen monitor. The building of the flat-screen monitor was made possible by Sven Torbjörn Lagervall’s discovery of ferroelectric liquid crystals in 1979. The technology was developed and in 1994 mass production was begun.

7. The ultra sound. In 1950, Hellmuth Hertz started his pioneering work with ultrasound for medical diagnosis. Together with cardiologist Inge Edler the technique was successfully developed for the analysis of heart diseases.

8. The safety match. In 1844, Gustaf Erik Pasch patented the safety match when he replaced the poisonous yellow phosphorus with non-poisonous red phosphorus.

9. Dynamite. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866, which earned him one of the 355 patents he had managed to assemble before his death in 1896. Through his life he founded 90 companies and made a huge fortune. In his will he set up the Nobel Prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace.

10. The zipper. The method still used today, based on interlocking teeth, was invented in 1913 by Gideon Sundbäck. Initially it was called the “hookless fastener” and was later redesigned to become more reliable.

Source: Sedig, Kjell (2006): Swedish Innovations. Stockholm; Swedish Institute.