Since we didn't really fancy trying mattak (raw whale skin and blubber), we decided to stick to cake for our experience of authentic Greenlandic cuisine.
Most of Greenland's baked goods are obviously imported directly from Denmark - but this recipe, whose name translates approximately as "Greenlandic cake," seems to be about as close to a national dish as you can get. We discovered it at Greenland's national day celebrations in Nuuk, where it was served (for free, along with free coffee) as part of city-wide celebrations. Kaffimik is probably my favourite Greenlandic tradition - free coffee and cake for everyone, any time you have something to celebrate. Definitely an idea I'll be stealing!
It's half-cake, half-bread; sweet enough to enjoy as a teatime snack, yet substantial enough to eat for lunch (without feeling too naughty - after all, it has fruit!).
I found a small number of different recipes for this cake, all in Danish - this is an approximation of two different recipes, in my own translation, and works out incredibly simple to make. The optional topping is not listed in any recipes I've seen, but is my attempt to recreate what we ate in Nuuk.
¼ litre boiling water
20g dried yeast
2tbsp icing sugar
1tsp ground cardamom
- Add the sugar, raisins, butter, and boiling water to a large bowl. Combine, and stir occasionally until the butter has all melted.
- Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in a small amount of lukewarm water.
- Add the yeast and flour to the raisin mixture, and combine thoroughly.
- Set aside to stand for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Knock back the dough, knead for a couple of minutes (this will be a sticky job, because it's a very wet mixture), then arrange the dough in the middle of the baking sheet.
- Leave the loaf to rise in a warm place for 10-15 minutes, brush the top with milk, then bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.
- (optional, if you want to serve as "cake") Mix cardamom powder into icing sugar, and dust onto the top of the cake after cooling.