There are so many things that the Swedes excel at; meatballs, pop music, gender equality (they're 4th in the world apparently) but there's something else that has recently come to our attention. Fika. The Swedish concept of Fika translates as 'to have coffee'...but in reality it's so much better than that. It's kind of a ritual or institution which invloves coffee and cakes but the best thing about it is the importance of making time to pause.
Fika is not about mindlessly wolfing down a Kit-Kat without looking up form your emails, it's about stopping, breathing, chatting and enjoying a piece of cake and cup of coffee. This ain't no regualr coffee break.
Fika is not about mindlessly wolfing down a Kit-Kat without looking up from your emails, it's about stopping, breathing, chatting and enjoying a piece of cake and cup of coffee. This ain't no regular coffee break. 'Fikapause' is encouraged by many employers in Sweden with some offices even having special Fika rooms.
The whole thing sounds a thoroughly sensible idea to us. And so in honour of the introduction of Happy Bean to the Momiji crew, we're pausing for Fika! You may have read our interview with Jessica Davies of Jam Jar Cafe last week about how she started her business in order to create a place where people could meet, chat and enjoy really good coffee and cake. We asked her for a Fika-friendly recipe and she sugggested we kick things off with her Cornish Sea Salt Brownies. So we did. And they were delicious. I have to admit I was sceptical at first becasue I usually use loads of melted chocolate and this version just calls for cocoa. I was so wrong.
This recipe knocks my regular brownie recipe out of the park. Seriously, you need to try them.
Cornish Sea Salted Chocolate Brownies
250g melted butter
400g unrefined golden caster sugar
125g organic cocoa powder
5 large free range eggs
75g gluten free self raising flour
Pinch of Cornish sea salt
Stir together melted butter, sugar and cocoa then beat in the eggs one at a time until all are combined. Then sift in the flour and fold through. Bake in a lined brownie tray in a preheated oven at 170ºC (fan oven)/ 190ºC/gas 5 for a total of 35 minutes. 15 minutes into the cooking time sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the half baked brownies then continue to finish baking for another 20 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tin before cutting. The brownies will collapse in height and crack a little on the surface but that's exactly what you want- a crispy salted top and rich sweet fudgey centre. Enjoy with your favourite coffee!
So we're implementing Fikapaus at Momiji HQ - let us know if you do it too.
If you'd like to win your very own Happy Bean doll (or a different doll if you've already got her) then click here to find out how to enter.