Random facts about Finnish coffee culture #1: Finns consume the largest amount of coffee per capita, 12 kg a year while the world's average is only 1,3 kg. Other Nordic countries follow close behind.
Vegan Month of Food is upon us again! Renovating our apartment and watching after a soon year old child have kept me too busy to blog this summer, but luckily a post per day for a whole month should make up for it.
This year I decided to take a real challenge and post with the theme "Finnish coffee table". That means I'll be busy baking all sorts of sweet things, or at least fail miserably, since confectionery definitely isn't my strongest kitchen area. I only have a vague list of what I might be posting so far, but at least I'm going to start with some recipes taking advantage of the basic pulla dough. Unlike last year, they are going to be mostly from the classic end of the spectrum and not so much my own or otherwise highly modern ideas. And since few foods are known in one country only, it's often quite hard to say what is truly a Finnish speciality, but I'll draw the line to those which are clearly associated with some other country even though they might be common in Finland as well, for example pavlova (Russia, though it's actually invented in New Zealand) or princess cake (Sweden). Also, I'll leave sweetnesses associated with certain holidays to their respective seasons.
My purpose was to first say a word or two about the coffee table culture in general but then I decided it's more fun to tell about it little by little as random facts included in every post. Right now all you need to know is that we're talking about a more humble weeknight occasion, in contrast to the standing coffee table you see at weddings and funerals. It's a culture already disappearing from cities but alive and well in more rural areas like South Ostrobothnia where I grew up. When people go to visit their friends or relatives in the evening, they dress up a bit tidier than they normally do but not too dressy. The hosting family (or usually, the hostess alone) serves them coffee and little snacks on the table while everyone discusses about the latest gossip. And of course, there is an extensive amount of small but expected rituals that no one even thinks as such until some poor foreigner comes along and starts acting funnily. So I hope this month worth of posts will also act as a guide in case one of you finds themselves in the middle of this weird but hospitable occasion.
I'm only going to post about the sweet stuff here, but in case you'd like to repeat something like this at your own home, remember that generally only one savory item is enough. It might be vatruskas, a pie or just your average open-faced sandwiches. Sandwich cake on the other hand might be a bit too fancy.
- 1 portion of pulla dough
- 5 dl soy yogurt (drained)
- 1 dl sugar
- 1 tl vanilla sugar
- 1 dl bilberries, black currants or raisins for decoration
First prepare the filling. Drain your yogurt in a coffee filter overnight to make it firmer. Then mix with the sugar and vanilla sugar. Refrigerate.
Start the baking process as normally. After you've rolled the dough into buns, take a drinking glass with an even bottom. Flour it and press firmly but gently on the ball. It should squeeze and leave a nest in the middle, but the bottom shouldn't have holes in it. Repeat with all the pullas.
Fill the nests with couple of spoonfuls of the filling. Crown by placing some berries or raisins into the filling part. Bake 10-15 minutes in a 200°C oven, until the quark has curdled. You don't necessaily need to butter them as it's ok if they look a bit fair skinned compared to regular pullas.
Nutritional values / 1 pulla / 208 g:
energy 597 kcal
fat 14 g
protein 16 g
carbohydrates 96 g
fiber 4 g