Fika & Cheese Party with Madame Fromage (Philadelphia)

A Fika Party with Madame Fromage (Philadelphia)

Saturday November 7, Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage will be hosting an afternoon Fika with me at her house in Philadelphia. And we both would love you to join us.
For the occasion, we’re designing a cozy mulled wine gathering with fika treats and cheese. There will be a variety of bread and cookie samples  from the fika book and Tenaya will specially design a luscious cheese board to match the treats. There will also be a baking demonstration and I will show you one of the best ways to make glögg (Swedish mulled wine). Tenaya will give you her personal stories behind the selected cheeses.

We are both super excited to see you there. And I’m also thrilled to finally meet Tenaya, who has been one of my favorite blogger and food writers for years. Last year we collaborated on an illustrated cheese calender, which resulted in four seasonal cheese posts (see links below).  I’m super honored that she wants to host this little cheese salon with me, for you.

The Fika book and Tenaya’s wonderful cheese book will be on sale at the party. You can pre order them to a special price when you purchase your ticket. I will also have a few fika and cheese prints for sale at the party.

If you want to know more about fika and how to pair it with cheese you are most welcome. We have 15 spots for this special fika hour.

location: 327 E. Thompson St., Phila 19125
price: $20 person
Total spots: 15

get ticket

(click the button to get to our event page).

A little background about your hosts

Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage is a cheese blogger and writer in Philadelphia. Her latest book, Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings. At the moment she is finishing up her next cookbook which is a cocktail collaboration with her brother André Darlington.

Johanna Kindvall is a blogger and illustrator from Sweden who lives in Brooklyn. Her latest book is Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Breads, Pastries, and Other Treats (Ten Speed, 2015), by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall.

The Cheese Calendar 
Winter Blues: A Pairing Party for 8 to 12 (part 4)
Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part 3)
Late Summer Cheese Picnic (part 2)
Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer (part 1)

Celebrating with Cardamom Buns

Today (October 4) is the kanelbullens dag (Cinnamon Bun Day) in Sweden. Swedes call these type of buns Vetebullar (wheat buns) which refers to the sweet yeast dough that can be baked plain or filled with different types of fillings such as cinnamon, almond paste, vanilla or cardamom. In my opinion, kardemummabullen (the cardamom bun) is the queen of Vetebullar and I think she (and the others) deserves to be celebrated on this day too.

Another good reason to bake these buns is that just a few days ago my book Fika turned 6 months old. The book is doing really well so I’m extra thrilled having some buns with you today.

To make it even more festive I have added some ground almonds to the cardamom filling. I also topping the buns with cardamom sugar, which made these buns super cardamom rich. If you want to minimize the sugar intake, you can top the buns with slivered almonds.

Happy bun day!

Kardemummabullar (Cardamom Buns)
Adapted from the recipe in the book Fika – The Art of Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall

makes 30 buns

7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups (360 milliliters) milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4½ cups (1 3/8 pounds, 638 grams) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1.75 ounces, 50 grams) natural cane sugar
1½ teaspoons whole cardamom seeds, crushed with mortar & pestle
¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup (2½ ounces, 70 grams) blanched almonds
7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) natural cane sugar
4 teaspoons whole cardamom seeds, crushed with mortar & pestle

cardamom sugar:
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cardamom powder.
or slivered almonds
1 egg, beaten

Prepare the dough: Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the milk. Heat until it’s warm to the touch (about 110°F/43°C). In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 3 tablespoons of the butter & milk mixture. Mix and let sit for a few minutes until bubbles form.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt. Add the yeast along with the remaining butter & milk. Work together with a dough whisk or with your hands until you can shape the dough into a ball. Transfer dough to your countertop and knead for about 3 – 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough should feel moist. If the dough feels sticky, add a little bit more flour. You can check if you are done kneading by making a slice into the dough with a sharp knife. If you see even small air bubbles throughout, you are done. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm and draft-free place until almost double in size, about 1 hour.

Grease a baking sheet or place medium paper liners on the sheet.

For the filling, grind the blanched almonds in a food processor together with the sugar until just slightly coarse. Add the butter in small portions at the time. Lastly, add the crushed cardamom. Mix until an even spreadable paste.

When the dough has finished rising, take half of the dough and place it on a flat surface. Roll it out with a rolling pin to an 11 x 17 inch (28 x 43 cm) rectangle. Spread half of the filling on top of the rolled-out dough so that it covers the whole area (see diagram). Grab one of the edge of one of the long sides, fold it over so it meets the other side (like folding a paper on the middle, see illustrated diagram above). Slice the folded dough into 15 equal stripes. Stretch & twist every stripe and swirl them up to a nice bun (see video). Place each of them on a the greased baking sheet or in a paper liner. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and let rise for about 45 – 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 435°F (225°C).

When the buns have risen and you are ready to bake the buns, brush every bun with beaten egg and sprinkle each with cardamom sugar .

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with a tea towel to cool. Serve freshly baked or freeze when they are completely cooled.


related links

 Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) – kokblog recipe

• More bun shapes and a sneak peek into my kitchen over at Pantry Confidential

How to twist Cinnamon Buns by Brontë Aurell, ScandiKitchen café. Video by Ryland Peters & Small

• want more?  Check out –> Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. The cookbook is all illustrated by me, Johanna Kindvall and the recipes are created and developed together with Anna Brones. Published by Ten Speed Press. You can get the book here (see more shopping links in the left sidebar).


Quick Pickled Cucumber


In our garden we had an earth cellar that my mother stocked with treats during the outdoor season. The whole family went for weekend walks in the woods to forage for plants, berries and mushrooms. Some of the fruit and vegetables came from our own garden or nearby orchards and neighbor’s vegetable gardens. My mother made strawberry and raspberry jam, cooked apple compote, pickled gherkins and beets. With a steam juicer she made both elderflower cordial and black currant juice. She also made lingonberry jam that is very common as a side for typical Swedish everyday dishes such as meat balls, potato pancakes, kroppkakor and blood pudding. Some Swedes even enjoy this jam with fried herring. My father made different kinds of spirits (blackthorn and figs), that they stored and forgot until it was found (to their happy surprise) several years later.

Some of these wonderful treats I do myself today, but at a much smaller scale as I don’t have the storage or a family of five to feed.

My latest favorite are these quick pickled cucumbers that I created from memory from a restaurant visit to Amsterdam last summer. The original origin is definitely not Dutch or European,  it’s more likely Korean or Japanese.  These pickles can be done just a couple of hours before serving. They are fresh and crunchy and the rice vinegar together with the  sesame oil give them a very pleasant sweet and sour flavor. I love it as a small treat before dinner, just as it is or together with cured fish. Its also excellent as a side for BBQ, stews and sandwiches.


Quick Pickled Cucumber

2- 3 (about 10 ounces, 280 – 300 gram) kirby cucumber
2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
black pepper, freshly milled
fresh chopped dill
toasted sesame seeds

Wash the cucumbers and cut them into small bite size pieces.

Place them in a bowl and add the salt. Toss well and let sit for 15-30 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk together rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. Whisk or stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the chili flakes, ginger and season with pepper and fresh dill.

Rinse the salted cucumber lightly with fresh water. Squeeze them slightly to remove water and pat them dry with a paper towel. When dry add them to the vinegar mixture. Toss well until all pieces are well coated. Season with more salt if necessary. Let sit for about an hour.

Sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds over before serving.

Please note that these pickles are not meant to be stored for a long time. The pickles should be stored in the refrigerator and I recommend you eat them within a few days.

You can tweak this in many ways. For example you can take out the sesame oil and switch the rice vinegar to distilled white vinegar and use horseradish instead of ginger.


related recipes

Raw Stirred Cranberries (kokblog recipe)
Orange Cured Carrots by Sofi Meijling
Lemon & Olive Oil Preserved Asparagus by Amy Pennington
Superfast Salt-and-Sugar Pickles by Dave Chang

Giveaway: Celebrating Kokblog 10 Year!

© Johanna Kindvall

Last month Kokblog turned 10! Yay!

Not sure how ten years can pass that quickly. It feels like yesterday! Anyway…
Thanks to kokblog and all my readers, many great things have happened. I have got to know several interesting people, which has led to several interesting meetings and collaborations. All this and many other things have led me to become a full time illustrator. Thanks!

So why did I start kokblog? Ever since I was a young girl I have always enjoyed drawing. The drawings of ordinary things or situations I find interesting, something I experienced during the day or in my past. Cooking has also been an important part of my life, in my own kitchen or with friends.  Several years ago, I even used to work-train people in a large scale kitchen.

In 2003 I came to New York to work on my final master project (Fine Art and Design). During these few months I didn’t have much money so I paid my tutor in Sunday dinners!

At this time I started to draw things I cooked and ate. I started kokblog as a way to collect my recipes and drawings. It was also a place to share recipes with others and an excellent platform to show my work. I think that kokblog was one of the first cooking blogs to use illustrations instead of photographs.

This year has been especially amazing, in April my first cookbook, Fika was released. I celebrated big with a classic Swedish kafferep* and with several events in NYC, Boston, London and Sweden.

To celebrate Kokblog, I’m having a giveaway of  one of my prints. It’s a drawing of different kinds of coffeemakers (pictured below). The artwork is printed on an 8.5 x 11 inches (about 216 x 279 mm) heavyweight matte archival & acid free paper.

To participate, leave a comment below and tell me which is your favorite kokblog recipe/ post. You have until Friday August 21st to enter. I will contact the winner by email so please make sure to use an email you regularly use. The winner will also be announced here.

We have a winner! 

First of all I want to thank you all for participating in my giveaway. It was a great pleasure to read through your comments. And I’m deeply honored by your sweet words about kokblog and my work. Thank you all.

The winner is Inés, who announced kanelbullar as her favorite recipe on kokblog. She also likes my sourdough starter diagram which is based on a method by Iban Yarza. Inés, I really hope you and your husband (who can’t live without coffee) will enjoy my coffeemaker drawing. Congratulations!

I would also especially thank Ginger Garza who asked her local library to order the Fika so more people can have fika (coffee break) and kafferep* with friends. That really warms my heart as from the time I started to read I’ve been a big fan of libraries. Thanks Ginger.

kokblog-coffee-print-05* Kafferep is a larger and more formal version of fika (coffee break). It’s a coffee gathering where several different varieties of buns, cookies and cakes are served. A kafferep is often held at birthdays, funerals or just as a good excuse for old ladies to meet and chat.Popular posts & recipes on Kokblog

Body Cakes (kroppkakor)- Swedish potato dumplings with salted pork
Pierogi (Polish dumplings) – with my not so traditional fillings
Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) – collaboration with Anna Brones
Sourdough Starter Diagram
Cooking in Marrakesh – Semolina Pancakes
Sopa de Ajo (Traditional Spanish Bread Soup) by Ibán Yarza
Elderflower Gravlax
Glögg  – (Swedish Mulled Wine)
Sticky Chocolate Cake – (Swedish kladdkaka)
How to Turn Your Desk Into a Cheese Board by Tenaya Darlington
Mushroom Confit by Andrew Janjigian
Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break – (Behind the Scenes)
Cheese Calendar – Collaboration with Tenaya Darlington


If you can’t get enough of kokblog and me? You can follow me on instagram, twitter and/or facebook. You can also check my portfolio for a selection of my work.


Red Gooseberry Jam with Thyme


Every morning my husband walks out and pick handfuls of red & black currants, strawberries, raspberries or red gooseberries. He cooks the berries slightly into a sauce together with cardamon & cinnamon and serves it together with his oatmeal. Unfortunately I’m not a porridge girl so I just simply have it with some Swedish traditional filmjölk.

Gooseberries are one of our favorites. When really deep red and totally soft and ripe they taste a little like grapes. Last week I picked the ones we had left and made some jam.

Red Gooseberry Jam with Thyme

2 cups red gooseberries
a bunch of fresh thyme, cleaned and striped from branches
½ – ¾ cup (100 – 150 grams) natural cane sugar*

Clean the gooseberries and remove the top and tail. Place the gooseberries together with the sugar and thyme in a medium sized pan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until your desired thickness has been reached (between 15 – 30 minutes).

To check the consistency, take a spoonful of jam onto a chilled saucer, leave to cool for a minute or so before run your finger through it. It’s ready if the jam wrinkles up. If not, let it cook for another few minutes before testing again.

When ready, remove the jam from the heat and pour into a clean sterilized jar. Screw on the lid and turn the jar upside down to create a vacuum. Let cool completely.

Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to a month. If you want to store it longer, place the jam in the freezer.

The jam is nice on top of aged cheese and toast.

* I recommend to start with the lower amount and add more sugar if you want a sweeter jam.

Related recipes

Sofi’s Caramelized Rhubarb Jam
Pear Marmalade (and the boy who poisoned a whole scout camp)
Canning How To – Prepping & Sealing Jars – by Amy Pennington
Rosemary Flavored Plum Jam – by Ilva Beretta
Orange Blossom Jam – by Anissa Helou
Cherry compotê – by Rachel Alice Roddy