Sunday, 4 July 2010

Kalaallit Kaagiat

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.

Kalaallit Kaagiat 

Kalaallit Kaagiat

100g sugar
100g raisins
100g butter
¼ litre boiling water
20g dried yeast
500g flour
1tbsp milk

Optional topping
2tbsp icing sugar
1tsp ground cardamom
  1. Add the sugar, raisins, butter, and boiling water to a large bowl. Combine, and stir occasionally until the butter has all melted.

  2. Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in a small amount of lukewarm water.

  3. Add the yeast and flour to the raisin mixture, and combine thoroughly.

  4. Set aside to stand for an hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C, and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

  6. 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.

  7. Leave the loaf to rise in a warm place for 10-15 minutes, brush the top with milk, then bake for 35 minutes.

  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

  9. (optional, if you want to serve as "cake") Mix cardamom powder into icing sugar, and dust onto the top of the cake after cooling.


Writing Without Periods! said...

Looks delish. Thanks.

Tabor said...

YOur photos of food always leave me hungry.

St├ęphanie said...

Lovely pictures !

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I would definitely choose that over raw whale! Is it even legal to eat that?

Expats Again said...

Interesting! The only Greenland recipe I've ever read. Got to try it.

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious. And simple so even I could make it...

BLOGitse said...

That looks very heavy cake! :) but yummy!
Have a great week ahead!


ScoMan said...

It's a shame you had to settle for cake after turning down the whale blubber. *Note sarcasm.. of course cake = awesome*

I might give this a try some day because you can't really get anything like that around here. And then I'll make it my specialty and all of my friends and neighbours will give me their unquestioned loyalty.

And I will be kind to my loyal subjects.. at first..

A Cuban In London said...

I love the simplicty of it. And it looks filling, too. Many thanks for the recipe.

Greetings from London.

Angelia Sims said...

Oh Yum! That looks and sounds delightful. You had me at sugar, raisins and butter. :-D

Anonymous said...

Thats yummy! I love cake! xxx

Kel said...

Sounds much better than the Mattak. Is it a dry "tea" cake, or moist cake?

Mama Hen said...

Rachel this looks so yummy! I want to try this recipe. It would be so nice with a cup of tea! Have a great day!

Mama Hen

Kristin said...

That looks awfully delish!

Crystal Escobar said...

oh yum!!! That looks so good, and so moist! Totally just made me hungry :)
I'm new to your blog by the way, just became a new follower. It's great to meet you!

carma said...

I don't know - that reminds me too much of the hutzelbrot my husband makes every Christmas and tries to get me to eat. Does look healthy though instead of sugary sweet - which I would probably be eating :D

How cool that you visited Greenland though!

yogurt said...

Ooh, looks very hearty and very yum!

this free bird said...

Rachel - thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment re: the spill. The effects on the people and animals are just devastating. Argh.


A 2 Z said...

Hi Rachel,

Hope you are enjoying summer. The cake looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I'm happy you passed up on the whale blubber.

Heckety said...

The food of different places always interests me- I'll definately try this out, thank you! I love trying out new tastes, especially when they are a National Dish, or similar. When we lived in East Africa we were alwys eating in the oddest places to see what sort of food was happening! Its always a good way to connect with people I think and demonstrate that you are a visitor who is most interested, you know?

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