Sweet, sweet Swedish Cookbooks!
First out, Bara Bullar ("Just Buns") by Åsa Swanberg (Forum förlag). I made her recipe for cinnamon buns on National Cinnamon Bun Day, and that was a huge hit. I really enjoyed it - it was a very easy recipe to work with and the buns were fantastic. This whole book has nothing but buns - buns in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Not sure what to try first! Maybe her Custard-filled buns? Or Tosca-buns - topped with caramelly almond slivers! Blueberry buns? Maybe traditional Lucia buns with saffron? This book has recipes for all of that and much more. A definitey must for the avid bun-baker!
Passion för desserter ("Passion for desserts") by Jan Hedh. (Prisma förlag.)
Jan Hedh is legendary - he's a wonderful pastry chef and has written several brilliant books already, about chocolate, desserts in general, bread and marmalade. In fact, his book about bread was recently published in English so if you enjoy baking bread, try to find that! His first chocolate book is also available in English.
His recipes are always quite fiddly and involved so it's nothing for the beginner, but the results are always well worth the trouble. This book is a new book about desserts, sort of an updated version of his older one. All the desserts are new, but some of the basic recipes and the techniques described are obviously the same. I like this one better, it has a much clearer layout and it's easier to find what you're looking for.
And the desserts.. well. Klas Andersson is the photograher on this as well as all of Hedh's books, and he's absolutely amazing. Everything looks so good it makes me want to lick the pages! Or at least get in the kitchen myself - but honestly, daring baker or not, making something from this is quite a project, and I need to build up confidence a bit first! But when I do, I think I'll try his Hazelnut Praliné Cake. It's incredibly beautiful - one of those where you put layers in circles, to make the whole cake sort of striped when you cut into it. (Did that make sense at all? I guess I'll just have to make it and show you... eventually.)
Lakrits, Mint & Choklad ("Licorice, Mint & Chocolate") by Elisabeth Johansson. (Natur & Kultur förlag). Elisabeth Johansson is also a pastry chef, one who's been working on the Nobel Prize dinners and won a lot of awards for her outstanding work. She's recently started writing cookbooks, and this one is her latest. It's divided into candy, baked goods, dessert, drinks and additions, and it has so many unique and interesting combinations I'm swooning as I read through this. I'm especially excited to see so many licorice recipes - that's not very usual at all. The licorice caramels covered with chocolate and dipped in crushed candied violets caught my attention right away (they're on the back of the cover!) and so did licorice ice cream with cherries cooked in Port.
Then there's chocolate cream with whisky and lemon curd. Or Lemon Mint Martini? Really, I could write down every single name in this book, because everything sounds amazing. It has more licorice recipes than mint though, and the chocolate desserts are usually quite exciting - not your standard recipes at all. This is for those who feel that they've gotten a bit bored with the classics, and are ready to try something new.
Vinterns Söta ("Sweets for the winter") by Lisa & Monica Eisenman. (Forum förlag)
Finally, a new book by Lisa & Monica Eisenman, the owners of the Cookbook Café! They've done two books before, another one about sweets, and one about soups and bread that I didn't like half as much as the first one. In this one, they go back to sweets, and I personally think that that's what they do best. This has loads of recipes - lots of candy, many variations on truffles and fudge, and also a lot of baked goods. There's a frozen candy cane cake that I'm dying to make! They also say that there's another book in the works - Sweets for the Summer - and I personally can't wait!