18 December 2003 - 3:44 PM
There is no point giving my krumkake recipe. A special iron is needed to make them, and if you have an iron, you probably have a recipe too. I don't see people running out to buy an iron just to try out the recipe, though. The iron is a bit like a waffle iron or an Italian pizzelle iron, though with very shallow grooving to produce swirling patterns on the finished wafers, rather than the deeper texture of a waffle or pizzelle. NordicWare makes a traditional krumkake iron; other makers produce electric models. Don't be deceived by the label 'Norwegian' on the Nordicware iron; like many baked goods, they are common both in Norway and Sweden.
Making krumkake isn't difficult, but it is time-consuming. You mix up the batter, and make the wafers one at a time on the iron. Timing the cooking takes a bit of practice, but the real challenge comes when you yank the finished krumkake off the iron and wrap it quickly around a wooden cone. This has to be done while the wafer is still hot; if it cools and firms up, there is no re-softening it. Most batter recipes make enough for several dozen krumkake so by the time the batch is finished, I usually have a backache from standing at the stove and a few burns on my fingers.
A basic batter recipe can be flavoured in different ways; lemon and cardamom are both popular. Sometimes krumkake are served with a filling of flavoured whipped cream. Sometimes they are served plain. Either way, eating them is a challenge, because the little wafers are so fragile. One misplaced chomp and you have a lapful of crumbs.
For some reason, children always seem to love krumkake. I once brought krumkake to some occasion where there were a variety of other baked goods. I fully expected to take most of my contribution back home, but the children present wiped out most of the krumkake and left a plate of storebought chocolate chip cookies untouched.
Now, step away from the silly tartan box. Proper shortbread is on the way.