In April, we spent a week in Copenhagen, Denmark! I will be sharing our experiences in a series of six posts with recipes inspired by our travels. Today, I am covering Tivoli Gardens, Nørrebro, Vesterbro, and a recipe for Flødeboller (Danish Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Puffs). Here is my first post on Copenhagen in case you missed it:
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Opened on August 15, 1843 by Georg Carstensen, Tivoli Gardens is the second oldest (or maybe third? depending on the source) still operating amusement park in the world (the first, Bakken, is also nearby just outside of København) and one of the most visited in Europe. It was the inspiration for Hans Christian Andersen’s Nightingale and even Disneyland after visits from Walt Disney in 1951 (Disneyland opened in 1955). The park is also home to one of the oldest running wooden rollercoasters, Rutschebanen (1914), and still has an operator on each train to control the speed with brakes.
Tivoli Gardens is located in the heart of the city, next door to København H (central station) and Københavns Rådhus (City Hall) on the border of Vesterbro and Indre By. Opening hours vary based on the season and it is closed during the winter (with exceptions for Halloween and Christmas). The price of admission to the park (included with the Copenhagen Card) is separate from the individual rides, but an unlimited ride pass can also be purchased. Claire is still in an anti-ride phase, so we opted to just enjoy walking around the park.
We spent most of our time at the playground, Rasmus Klumps World, with a variety of structures for running and climbing and even a separate area for smaller children. The area was compact enough for me to keep an eye on both kids, but also held a wide range equipment to hold their attention and run off some steam.
We visited the week before Easter, so decorations were everywhere for the holiday. Events are held throughout the year based on the season and include festivals, concerts, shows, movies, fireworks, and more.
I especially loved the cherry blossoms and the incredible level of detail in the gardens. All the spring flowers were gorgeous and quite the contrast to the snow flurries we had earlier that day!
Tivoli Food Hall
Connected to Tivoli Gardens is the Tivoli Food Hall. With entrances within the park and on the street, admission to Tivoli Gardens is not required to enter. This food hall was a very short walk from our apartment, so we actually ended up eating here three times!
Open year-round, Tivoli Food Hall features “fast gourmet” with a variety of cuisines. Current stalls include Gló (Icelandic), Hallernes Smørrebrød, Kung Fu Street Food, Le Petit Vinbar, Letz Sushi, Tapa del Toro, Wakha (North African), Zócalo (Mexican), BobbaBella (modern Danish twist on fast food), and more.
We arrived in København on a Sunday evening after nearly 16 hours of travel from Los Angeles. We dropped off our luggage and wanted something quick to eat before settling in for the night. The kids were immediately drawn to Gorm’s Pizza. We split a Margherita pizza and Hvidløgsbrød (Garlic Bread). Having a full view of the pizza being assembled from our seats at the bar was a definite bonus. It was the perfect start to our trip.
We had dinner for the second time at the Tivoli Food Hall during our visit to Tivoli Gardens. This time, the kids were set on pasta from La Baracca. We tried the Carbonara and kid’s bolognese for Evan and tomato sauce for Claire. Much like our dinner at Gorm’s, we enjoyed watching the meal being prepared from our seats- even the fresh pasta.
Chicks by Chicks
On our last night in København, my original plan was to go to Noodle House. We walked up to the restaurant only to discover a sign on the door stating they were closed for the weekend. I didn’t really have a backup plan and still needed to finish packing for our early flight the next morning. The kids requested the Tivoli Food Hall for a third and final time. They decided on Chicks by Chicks, a women-run organic rotisserie. I had the caesar salad with chicken, while they tried the nuggets with fries. It was definitely a delicious and comforting end to our trip.
I had a few parks written down, but ended up only visiting a couple due to the cold temperatures and wind outside (I really should learn- the same thing happened during our trip to NYC when they wanted to stick to indoor activities after all my research on the best parks and playgrounds). When Evan saw photos of Superkilen in Nørrebro, he immediately called it the running park (I’m assuming for the white lines in the Black Market section) and added it to the top of his ‘must do’ list.
Opened in June 2012, Superkilen is a 1 km (0.6 mile) long park divided into 3 sections: Red Square, Black Market, and Green Park. Mirroring the surrounding neighborhood, the park houses 108 objects from the over 60 nationalities represented in the community. Some highlights include a star-shaped Moroccan fountain (photo above), Thai boxing ring, Cuban bench, Tanzanian manhole cover, Syrian miniature ice rink goals, Iraqi swing bench, Chilean mural, Australian hammock, Bulgarian chess table, and even a donut sign from DeAngelis Donuts in Rochester, Pennsylvania.
We spent our time in the Black Market since Evan continued to be mesmerized by those white lines. While he ran up and down the hill over and over, Claire stuck to the octopus play structure (photo below, the original is at Kitashikahama Park- Tokyo, Japan).
There are a few bus stops nearby and the nearest rail station is Nørrebro Station.
The beautiful Assistens Kirkegård in Nørrebro was created in 1760 to relieve the overcrowded graveyards within the city walls. By the 1800s, it became the final resting place for many notable Danish figures. Within the cemetery, you can find the graves of Hans Christian Andersen (photo below), Niels Bohr, Søren Kierkegaard, Jens Juel, Christen Købke, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Hans Christian Ørstedand, Jacob Christian Milling, Natasja Saad, Michael Strunge, and American jazz musician Ben Webster.
Bike and walking paths run through the cemetery and are lined with gorgeous trees and greenery. The area is quite large, but there are signs from the Kapelvej 4 entrance to Hans Christian Andersen’s grave and fold-out maps.
Just across the street from the northwestern entrance of Assistens Kirkegård is Jægersborggade. This small, residential street is packed with shops, restaurants, wine bars, galleries, and cafés.
Karamelleriet was our first stop at Jægersborggade 36. This small shop features specialty, small-batch caramels. One side of the store holds buckets of the delicious caramels in a variety of flavors, while the other side houses the production equipment. The kids enjoyed being able to watch the caramels being formed up close and we even got a couple of freshly-made samples! Flavors include fløde (cream), chokolade (chocolate), sød lakrids (sweet licorice), havsalt (sea salt- one of my favorites), kanel (cinnamon), frugt (fruit), pebermynte (peppermint), and more. The boxes were also the perfect size to take home in my carry-on luggage.
Ro Chokolade opened at Jægersborggade 16 in 2010 and features handmade chocolate and treats. We visited a week before Easter, so there were plenty of Påskeæg (Easter eggs) on display. The vanille karamel (vanilla caramel) one was especially delicious. We also tried our very first Flødeboller (Danish Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Puffs) here and it was the inspiration to try to make them at home!
Our final, sugar-filled stop on Jægersborggade was Meyers Bageri for a couple of pastries. We actually first came across Meyers Bageri last year while in New York City and were immediately hooked. I was so excited to get the chance to try their pastries again and in Copenhagen this time! We picked out the Spandauer and Glasursnegl and both were absolutely incredible. The Spandauer is one of the more popular types of wienerbrød with a buttery laminated dough, custard filling, and a simple circle of glaze on top. Evan was immediately drawn to the Glasursnegl, a cinnamon roll topped with a rich, chocolate glaze.
Other notable spots on Jægersborggade include Relæ, The Coffee Collective, Grød, Vanishing Point, and Istid.
We were based in Vesterbro near København H (Copenhagen Central Station), but didn’t spend nearly as much time as I originally planned in the area. I really wish we had an additional day or two to explore.
Spots on my list that we just didn’t get the chance to visit include Bageriet Brød, Enghaveparkens Legeplads (a playground), Coffee First, Noodle House, Isted Grill, Mad og Kaffe, Itzi Pitzi Pizza, Rist Kaffebar, Anker Chokolade, Siciliansk Is, and Skydebanehaven.
On the border of Vesterbro and Frederiksberg is another popular shopping street, Værnedamsvej. Known for its Parisian style, the street is filled with cafés, boutiques, restaurants, delis, and shops. It is only about a 15 minute walk from København H.
Located at Værnedamsvej 9, Helges Ost features a variety of cheese from around Europe, bread, cold cuts, sandwiches, and accompaniments. Current hours are Monday 10-15:00, Tuesday-Friday 10-18:00, and Saturday 9-15:00.
Thiemers Magasin can be found just off of Værnedamsvej at Tullinsgade 24. This bookstore has a small collection of cookbooks, novels (in both Danish and English), children’s books and activities, and magazines. While traveling, I always try to bring home one cookbook as a souvenir (in the original language if possible) and came across Brunch: Til fester og hyggelige dage here. I had seen the book earlier in the week while eating at Wulff & Konstali (more on this later!) and regretting not grabbing it then. I was so happy to find a copy at Thiemers Magasin! The kids also picked out a couple of small activity books for the plane ride home.
Other stops on Værnedamsvej include Rist, Falernum, Granola, Le Gourmand, Les Trois Cochons, and Gló.
Flødeboller (Danish Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Puffs)
After trying Flødeboller for the first time at Ro Chokolade, I was excited to make the treats at home. Flødeboller are little Danish chocolate-coated marshmallow puffs (though they were originally made with cream) with a marzipan (or other) base.
I made my Flødeboller with a marcipanbund (marzipan base), but cut-out waffles, wafers, and shortbread cookies are also popular. My grocery store carries the Danish brand of marzipan that worked perfectly. I pulled the marzipan into pieces and beat it together with an egg white, followed by just enough flour to create a dough and keep the mixture from sticking to the sides of the bowl. After rolling into a thin sheet, but still thick enough to hold the marshmallow on top, I cut out small circles and baked until just set and barely golden. You don’t want them to brown too much.
After cooling to room temperature, I topped the marzipan circles with freshly made marshmallow cream. I used this recipe from Marshmallow Heaven. Egg whites are beaten until stiff with cream of tartar, then whipped until thick and glossy with a syrup mixture. The resulting Marshmallow Whip is flavored lightly with a dollop of vanilla bean paste or extract. I transferred the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and piped upwards in a spiral to create a cone shape. Some add a dollop of jam or other flavoring to the center of the base before piping around it for an extra burst of flavor. At this point, refrigerate the piped Flødeboller for about an hour to allow the marshmallow to set.
I added a little vegetable oil to the chocolate as it was melting in the double boiler to help create a more smooth and thin coating over the Flødeboller. This is completely optional. You can either pour the melted chocolate over the Flødeboller or dip them into the melted chocolate. I dipped mine to create a more even coating. Either way, it will get messy. Especially if you are making these with a four year old.
If desired, add a topping to the Flødeboller before the chocolate sets. Claire wanted hers with rainbow sprinkles. I added dried coconut flakes over a few others and left the rest plain. You can also add crushed, freeze-dried berries for a pop of color.
The Flødeboller will last up to a week refrigerated in an airtight container.
Flødeboller (Danish Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Puffs) Recipe
Flødeboller (Danish Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Puffs)
Marcipanbund (Marzipan Base):
- 7 ounces (198 grams) marzipan
- 1 egg white
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 10 ounces (283 grams) dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil optional, to make a thinner coating
- Coconut flakes, freeze-dried berries, or sprinkles for topping
To make the marcipanbund (marzipan base):
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Tear the marzipan into pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together with the egg white. Mix in up to 3/4 cup flour, just enough to create a dough that pulls away from the sides and loses most of its stickiness.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a sheet about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 1 1/2-2 inch round cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Arrange the circles about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven just until set and starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. They shouldn't fully brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
To make the marshmallow cream:
- In the bowl of a completely clean stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on high speed until firm peaks form.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium-high heat. Attach a candy thermometer and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240˚F, about 7-8 minutes. Immediately remove from heat.
- Turn the mixer with the beaten egg whites on low speed. While it is running, slowly pour in the sugar syrup down the side into the egg whites. Don't do this too quickly or the egg whites will cook. Once all of the syrup has been mixed in, increase the speed to medium.
- Continue to beat the mixture at medium speed until thickened and cooled, 10-12 minutes. During the last minute of mixing, add the vanilla.
- Transfer the whipped marshmallow cream to a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe the mixture in spirals or large puffs over the cooled marzipan base. Refrigerate the piped marshmallows for 1 hour to set.
To coat the flødeboller:
- In a double boiler set to medium low heat, melt 2/3 of the dark chocolate with the vegetable oil. Heat, stirring often, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1/3 chocolate until melted and smooth.
- Either dip the piped and chilled flødeboller into the melted chocolate, turning to coat on all sides, or pour the melted chocolate over the flødeboller to coat. If desired, top with coconut flakes, crushed dried berries, or sprinkles before the chocolate hardens.
- Refrigerate the flødeboller until the chocolate is set and ready to serve.