Forget hygge – focus on risalamande

About 18 months ago, I read Helen Russell’s excellent book The Year of Living Danishly, in which she moved to Denmark and set about discovering why it’s supposed to be such a wonderful country to live in.

A key part of Danish contentedness, she said, is ‘hygge’, the concept of getting cosy in winter and enjoying a warm atmosphere with friends and family, food and firelight. I’d never heard the word, but it sure sounded lovely.

Fast forward to October 2016 and it’s hygge overload. The concept sure has caught on and we can’t move in the office for books about hygge interiors and hygge food. Hmm, enough already. So I’ve decided to direct my focus onto another Danish delight: risalamande. While in Copenhagen a couple of years ago, I experienced it for the first time, and it has remained in my heart ever since.

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Risalamande is Denmark’s Christmas pudding. No bloated, boiled currant sponges here, this is a creamy vanilla rice pudding with almonds and a warm cherry sauce. Delicious.

I found a recipe for it while leafing through Trine Hahnemann’s Scandinavian Comfort Food (a lovely Christmas present for food fans) a week or so ago, and also found it online here. So, for anyone else feeling a little hygge-tired, why not make yourself feel better with a nice bowl of risalamande? That’s my idea of Danish indulgence!

Bethan x

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