Rachel Khoo and The Little Swedish Kitchen
It’s 8:36am on the hottest day of the year and I’m sitting in a pea-green kitchen somewhere in north London. It’s not just any kitchen, It’s Rachel khoo’s, and these days it’s not quite so ‘little’. I’m here to celebrate the launch of her new book The Little Swedish Kitchen and Rachel is whipping up breakfast for a crowd of hungry bloggers.
Ever since Rachel baked lemon curd madeleines in her Little Paris Kitchen six years ago, I’ve been a devoted fan. Back then, I was coincidentally running my own humble supper club along with a friend in a tiny top-floor London flat (You can read about it here) and Rachel provided endless inspiration. I never dreamt that one day I’d meet her and, better still, she’d make me waffles. Her first book instantly became a stalwart of my kitchen shelf. Rachel’s chatty and approachable style somehow made previously daunting tasks seem doable and her book guided me through the finer details of making classics like crème patisserie and choux pastry.
Now, in 2018, she’s swapped Paris for Stockholm, croissants for kanelbullar, but her passion for butter is stronger than ever. Her book offers an idyllic glimpse into her new life in Sweden. It may be chillier, but who cares when there’s freshly caught Perch grilling on an open fire. These days she can be found foraging for Swedish porcini, throwing crayfish parties and making lingonberry jam. She also, rather impressively, apprenticed for the great Magnus Nilsson at Fäviken. The Little Swedish Kitchen is brimming with drool-worthy recipes like Seafood saffron stew, Pear and gingerbread pie and the inspired Cardamom bun bombe. I've already made the Västerbotten Pie (although I'm ashamed to say I used cheddar) and the Smashed Potatoes. Both were a hit! I can happily confirm that she’s as cheerful and positive as she is on the telly, and her waffles were divine.
My copy of The Little Paris Kitchen is well-used and splattered with gravy stains and I’m certain her new book will share a similar fate. A compliment in my world. Just as she taught me the art of crème patisserie, this book may be the impetus needed to finally get me pickling.
These butternut waffles were an instant favourite and Rachel has kindly allowed me to share the recipe here. Of course, they’re delicious with fresh berries, a dollop of jam, whipped cream or maybe even a scoop or two of ice cream, but I’m particularly partial to the savoury version, topped with hot smoked salmon or caviar, crème fraiche, a scattering of herbs and a squeeze of lemon. As the Swedes say: smaklig måltid!
Roasted Butternut Squash Waffles
For the waffles
(makes 8 waffles)
300g roasted butternut squash or pumpkin
100g cooled melted butter, plus extra for greasing the waffle iron
200ml whole milk
2 medium eggs
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp fine sea salt
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
To serve as a sweet
To serve as a savoury option
4-6 tbsp crème fraiche
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
2-4 tbsp Kalix or other caviar
Mash the roasted butternut squash or pumpkin and mix with the butter, buttermilk, whole milk and eggs. Sift together the remaining waffle ingredients into the bowl and fold to incorporate. Don’t overmix or you’ll get a heavy batter. Leave to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Heat up the waffle iron, brushing with melted butter if required (no need with non-stick ones). Pour a ladle of batter into the middle. Gently close the lid and cook for a couple of minutes or until the outside is crisp (this will vary, depending on the heat of your waffle iron).
Leave to cool for a minute before topping with the garnish of your liking.
Recipe extracted from Rachel Khoo's The Little Swedish Kitchen published by Michael Joseph. Now available to buy www.bit.ly/rk-orderLSK