And I’m not talking about the actual grinding of coffee beans with any of the common methods for it. Moliendo Café happens to be the title of a very famous song —it reached #1 in Argentina and Japan— written in 1958 by Venezuelan composer Hugo Blanco. He was underaged (18) at the time so his uncle registered the song for him, this lead years later to a family feud in which Blanco’s uncle —Perroni— sued his own nephew (claiming that he —Perroni— had created the melody for the song).
Many versions of the song have been recorded by different artists all around the world (and many of these versions have achieved great success at least in the country of origin of the performers). As if the worldwide success the song enjoyed isn’t enough, the melody interestingly became the base for soccer chants from many teams all over Europe (for instance Cavese) and Latin America (for example Caracas FC).
A Swedish saffron bun (lusebulle) is a sweet yeast leavened bun, flavored with saffron and decorated with raisins. It is a traditional Christmas bread eaten on St. Lucia’s Day (13th of December). The buns are baked into many traditional shapes, the most common one being an S-shape (or a reversed S-shape).
It is preferred to accompany them with freshly brewed coffee, tea or glögg.
Makes around 15
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 g saffron threads
1 cup almond milk (non GMO)
2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp almond butter
5 tbsp greek yogurt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white wheat flour
1 egg yolk, beaten (for brushing)
Stir dry yeast, salt and saffron in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a medium size sauce pan, then add milk, maple syrup, honey and almond butter and heat until 100F (40°C). Whisk vigorously to dissolve the almond butter. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl with yeast. Add yogurt and stir around until dissolved. Add 2/3 of the flour. Stir around with a wooden spoon until it is thick enough to knead with your hands. Add more flour until the dough is easy to work with and has formed into a round ball that doesn’t stick to your hands. Cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in size and full of air pockets.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute, form it into the shape of a baguette. Divide it into 15 equal pieces and, using your hands, roll each piece into a long 1/2-inch ( about 1 cm) thick string. Then roll both ends tight in opposite direction into an S-shaped bun. Place buns, well spaced apart, on 2 baking sheets, cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot to rise for about 30 mins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Brush the buns with an egg yolk or water and then place one raisin in each circle. Bake the buns until golden brown on top, about 7-9 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool slightly.
Store buns in an airtight container for up to a week, but of course they taste best fresh from the oven.
These to some extent resemble the traditional Swedish Chokladboll. However these are made without butter or sugar. They pair nicely with an afternoon fika, or simply eaten alone as a nighttime treat.
Feel free to experiment adding different ingredients to spice things up; the authors suggest coffee, chili, lime, mint leaves, etc. You could also try rolling the truffles in mixed dried flowers.
Makes 15 – 20
15 large medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, room temperature
4 tbsp dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
3 tbsp cacao powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ground vanilla
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 pinch strong chili powder (or more if you prefer)
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor for about 1 minute or until it forms up like a ball. Remove the knife blades from the food processor. Place the mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Then form 15 – 20 small round truffles with your hands; they should be half the size of a golf ball. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, finely chopped almonds or shredded coconut if you like. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.
If you do not have a strong food processor or blender, just place your pitted dates on a plate and mash with a fork until they are sticky and smooth as caramel. Then add the rest of the ingredients and knead by hand until well combined. Place in the fridge and follow the steps above.
Fika is a Swedish word used both as a noun and a verb. As a noun it roughly means the same as coffee break; as a verb it is used to describe the actual action of taking a coffee break (that is, to drink coffee).
Traditionally fika is accompanied by some sort of snack food, the most common being baked goods (particularly cinnamon rolls). Although in some cases biscuits, cookies or even tea sandwiches are used.
You can fika at:
- work by taking a coffee break
- a café or konditori (a patisserie-based coffeehouse) with someone as a coffee date
Fika is social institution in Sweden and it’s regarded by Swedes as an important part of their culture.