Cook Yourself Happy: The Danish Way, written by Caroline Fleming, features traditional and modern Danish fare with over 100 recipes. Highlights include a handful of Smørrebrød (Open Sandwiches), Juleand med det Hele (Christmas duck with all the trimmings), Rugbrød (Traditional Rye Bread), Koldskål med Kammerjunkere (Cold Buttermilk Soup with Vanilla and Oat Cookies), Bagte Rodfrugter (Roasted Root Vegetables with Four Danish Cheeses), and Fiskefrikadeller med Remoulade (Fish Balls with Remoulade). I will also be sharing her recipe for Hvid Gløgg (Danish White Mulled Wine) following the review.
Disclaimer and Disclosure: I received this book from Jacqui Small in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Consume alcoholic beverages at your own risk and liability. This recipe is intended only for those over the age of 21 (in the United States). Please drink responsibly.
Caroline Fleming is a model, TV presenter, reality TV star of Ladies of London, lifestyle guru, and business woman. This is her first cookbook in English, but she has also published three in Danish.
Cook Yourself Happy
I actually came across Cook Yourself Happy while prepping for our trip to Copenhagen this spring. We still have a few months to go, but I wanted to try some Danish recipes in the meantime to help tide myself over during the itinerary planning. This book has definitely made me even more excited to see the country in person!
The chapters are divided according to course: Light Meals to Enjoy Any Time; Soups and Open Sandwiches; Salads; Main Courses: Meat; Main Courses: Fish and Vegetarian; Desserts; Bread, Bakes, Sweet Treats, and Drinks.
Before focusing on the recipes, Caroline shares a few of her childhood memories that helped develop her love of food along with an insight into Danish cooking traditions and seasonal eating (with a particular focus on Christmas recipes and traditions). The photography is provided by Lisa Linder. Nearly every recipe is accompanied by a full page photo of the finished dish. There are also photos of Caroline and the beautiful Danish scenery scattered throughout. Each recipe has a headnote with background information, personal stories, tips, menu ideas, and serving size. Measurements are listed in Metric and US Customary and the titles are written in Danish with the English translation below.
This book is a great pick for those interested in Danish cuisine. Recipes generally come together easily, though there are a few on the complex side. Most of the ingredients are readily available in the average American grocery store. Those that may require more searching include crème fraîche, chanterelle mushrooms, marzipan, lemon balm, cardamom, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, sultanas, elderflower, linseeds, hemp seeds, lumpfish roe, and vanilla sugar.
Hvid Gløgg (Danish White Mulled Wine)
Caroline only came across Hvid Gløgg recently, five years before writing the book, in the lobby of her favorite hotel in Copenhagen. It definitely is quite the memorable drink and a light variation of the traditional Rød Gløgg (recipe also in the book).
White wine is allowed to rest overnight with cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, candied orange peel, elderflower cordial, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pod, ginger and lemon peel. The next day, the mixture, along with rum and Cointreau, is simmered for 10 minutes before adding almonds and sultanas and continuing to simmer for another 10 minutes. The resulting Hvid Gløgg is served warm with lemon slices and a few sultanas and almonds.
Green Cardamom (Elettaria, Elaichi) is a highly aromatic, warm citrus-like spice similar to ginger and cinnamon. Most of the flavor is in the seeds encased by the green pods. I have been able to find green cardamom at World Market and other specialty spice stores/International Markets featuring South Asian or Scandinavian products. It is also available on Amazon: Cardamom Pods Green (Elachi)3.5oz- Indian Grocery. More information on green cardamom.
I also made Fines Frikadeller (Fine’s Meatballs with Spiced Red Cabbage), Oste Soufflé (Cheese Souffle with Cheesy Bread), Kanelsnegle (Cinnamon Buns), and Brunkager (Cinnamon Christmas Cookies).
The Fines Frikadeller (Fine’s Meatballs with Spiced Red Cabbage) was quite the comforting meal. Meatballs are fried in butter and paired with a red cabbage seasoned with apple, red wine, and cinnamon.
Oste Soufflé (Cheese Souffle with Cheesy Bread) is the perfect meal for cheese lovers. The Havarti-based cheese soufflé is paired with slices of rye or other bread which has also been topped with Havarti cheese and butter. The bread and soufflé are served immediately from the oven with Dijon mustard.
Kanelsnegle (Cinnamon Buns) are one of the first things on my list to try while in Copenhagen. In the meantime, I at least now know how to make them at home! These buns can be made large or small and are filled with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
I have been wanting to make Brunkager (Cinnamon Christmas Cookies) for quite some time. Literally translated to brown cookies, these little treats are filled with warming spices and almonds. I formed the dough into thick rolls and cut them into thin slices before baking until golden, but they can also be rolled out and cut into specific shapes with cookie cutters.
Hvid Gløgg (Danish White Mulled Wine) Recipe
Excerpt from Cook Yourself Happy
Hvid Gløgg (Danish White Mulled Wine)
- 1.5 liters (2 1/2 pints, 6 cups) white wine
- 10 whole cloves
- 8 cardamom pods
- 3 star anise
- 2 tablespoons candied orange peel
- 200 ml (7 fl oz, generous 3/4 cup) elderflower cordial
- 160 grams (5 3/4 oz, 3/4 cup) raw cane sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole vanilla pod (bean), halved lengthwise
- 3 centimeters (1 1/4 inch) long thin slice of fresh ginger
- Peel of one organic lemon keep the lemon flesh for thin slices in each cup
- 200 milliliters (7 fl oz, generous 3/4 cup) white rum
- 200 milliliters (7 fl oz, generous 3/4 cup) Cointreau
- 200 grams (7 oz, generous 2 cups) flaked almonds
- 200 grams (7 oz, 1 1/4 cups) sultanas golden raisins
- Put the white wine, cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, candied orange peel, elderflower cordial, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pod, ginger and lemon peel in a large saucepan and allow to stand overnight (or for at least 12 hours) with the lid on.
- The next day, add the rum and Cointreau and bring to a gentle boil. After simmering for 10 minutes, strain through a sieve to remove all the spices and lemon peel, then add the almonds and sultanas (golden raisins) and gently simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Serve in glasses or mugs with a slice of lemon, and a teaspoon for easy eating of the sultanas (golden raisins) and almonds.