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SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS

SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS

by Trine Hahnemann, published by Quadrille (£16.99, hardback). Photos © Lars Ranek.

'Hygge' is a Danish word that denotes the warm, cosiness that emanates from the warmth of the hearth in general and from a kitchen, fragrant with baking, in particular and it is what this book is all about. I've always been drawn towards the Scandi Christmas (as those who've seen my own Christmas book will recognise) and am duly grateful for Trine Hahnemann's greed-gratifying evocation of it. I've chosen the recipe below because, strange though it might seem to the uninitiated, caramel potatoes are THE Danish Christmas accompaniment and I urge you to try them with a Yuletide gammon this year - or indeed, with anything that takes your fancy. There's plenty to choose from in this book!

 

Caramel potatoes

Serves 8
 
YOU WILL NEED
 
2kg small potatoes
salt
300g caster sugar
175g salted butter, cut into pieces
 
Some people think this is a really is a weird way to eat potatoes! In my family, they are an essential part of Christmas Eve dinner.
The secret to the perfect caramel potato is time; let them simmer slow and easy while you turn them gently now and then, so they
are coated with caramel over and over again.
 
Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Peel them and leave to cool. (This can be done the day before.) Place the peeled potatoes in a colander and pour cold water over them. Leave them to drain well.
 
Melt the sugar over a very low heat in a big heavy-based saucepan. Don’t stir it! When melted and golden brown, add the butter and let the mixture simmer until it becomes a caramel, stirring as little as possible. Add the potatoes and gently turn them in the caramel. Let them simmer at low heat for 35–40 minutes, turning often, until they are coated in caramel on all sides. Serve.