Hello, dear readers. I have news for you today. Cake & Vikings has a new kitchen…across the pond!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s a Scandinavian baking blog…she must have moved to Scandinavia! Not quite. While I would love to have a wonderful new Scandinavian kitchen to show you, you’ll find me further south than that. I’ve taken up a post as a university lecturer in Debrecen, Hungary.
Hungary has some wonderful baking traditions of its own, but I will of course continue baking from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book while I’m here. This does present some new challenges, however. I have a whole new baking vocabulary to acquire. Now, my Norwegian’s not bad (for someone who’s never been there), but Hungarian isn’t related to English in the same way Norwegian is. In fact, Hungarian isn’t really related to English at all. So instead of baking with flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and so on, I find myself baking with liszt, tojás, vaj, and cukor. I still need to track down baking soda and baking powder.
Sometimes I can find products with more than one language on the packaging…
…sometimes it’s in German, too! (frische eier)
Or you might find it in Slovak (kryštálový cukor).
But sometimes, it’s simply in Hungarian.
Fortunately, I had no trouble finding a key element of many, many Scandinavian baking recipes. Almond extract! Sliced and whole almonds have proved easy to find as well.
The other challenge presented by my new Hungarian kitchen is my oven. For the first time in my life, I’m using a gas oven – the kind you have to light with a match (or a long lighter, if you’re a wimp like me). My oven doesn’t list temperatures, but rather numbered settings 1-8. Getting the hang of using an oven like this takes a few tries, I think. I’m planning to purchase an oven thermometer and bake some very simple recipes to before I attempt anything new from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. My new job is keeping me quite busy, too, so it may be a few weeks before I’ve got a new post up here. There will be new posts, however! We’re heading into the last three months of the year, which is prime time for baking. I also have a trip to Oslo coming up in November (!!!), and you can be sure I’ll write about that here.
Until then, enjoy your autumn (or your spring, for those of you in the southern hemisphere). If you’d like to read about my everyday life and travels while in Hungary, you can do that here: greathungarianplain.wordpress.com