Book Review: The Little Book of Hygge

I had my eyes on this book for a while, and, so, when I saw The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking at my local bookstore, I just had to bring it home. Hygge was all the rage last year with our European neighbors. I have to say, the hygge craze is yet to catch in Canada, or at least where I live. Most people I talk to have no idea what hygge is. This is really too bad as it is such an amazing concept: cosying up and enjoying time with people you love… hum, yes, please!

hygge

As I learned in the book, Hygge is a Danish word that can be roughly translated as comfort, warmth and togetherness. Hygge is also about contrast: a warm cup of tea and your favourite book vs. a raging snowstorm outside. Sounds familiar anyone? That’s because the Danish people have a rough climate just like we, Canadians, do! That’s why I think Hygge should be completely adopted by Canadians and other cold climate inhabitants.  I mean, I don’t need any excuses to stay in bed when the weather is miserable, but hygge brings this idea to a whole new level.

As you have gathered by now, I really enjoyed feeling backed up by an entire country in my cosying up. Seriously, a book that allows, supports and encourages staying warm and comfortable? Yasss, please! But, if you are not completely sold on the idea of a warm blanket with your favourite movie playing, well the book has a lot more to offer than cosy-up ideas.

The book itself is beautiful. The editing on this is great: beautiful paper, inspiring pictures and easy to read chapters. Plus, it’s the perfect size to read in bed: it’s not too big, not too small, just perfect! The author’s voice is also very friendly and relatable. While reading this book, I had the feeling of exchanging with a friend. I loved the personal anecdotes that make Hygge so much more understandable and the read enjoyable.

The content of the book is also very practical and really makes Hygge accessible now. With a clear emphasis on experiences and simple changes in your house, this book is perfect if you are into the minimalist wave and don’t feel like buying a whole lot of new things to get a Hygge vibe. It includes everything from activity ideas, to crafts and recipes. Yum!

I also really enjoyed being plunged into the Danish culture. Growing up I have always been fascinated by Scandinavia, and when I recently learned that I had Danish and Norwegian ancestry (DNA test, anyone?), it just felt natural to want to learn more about these cultures. The book is filled with anecdotes illustrating the Danish culture and way of living. It’s the perfect preamble to a trip to Copenhagen (totally on my bucket list, btw).

Finally, with world seeming to be completely out of control these days, this book was the perfect relaxing read before going to bed. I really enjoyed reading it every night, and really felt sad to finish it. Luckily, Sweden has Fika and Lagom, and Denmark also has Lykke, so there are other words to explore and adopt. Wishing you a very Hyggelig rest of the week!

 

Dark Chocolate Sorbet

In the winter, I love making myself a thick dark hot chocolate with a nice foam on top. There is something incomparable to being nested in a thick blanket with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. However, when it’s 35C outside, the last thing you want to do is bundle up. Well, this is the summer version of my hot chocolate, and it’s amazing!

chocolate-ice-cream-cognac

Because of the alcohol, the texture is soft and light. Rum is a great choice for this recipe as the rich taste makes a superb combination with the dark chocolate. I used a raw cocoa powder because I wanted an intense chocolate taste: it worked! No matter what type of cocoa powder you use, make sure it is unsweetened and high quality as your ice cream will only be as good as your chocolate. I also found vegan dark chocolate chips. Don’t doubt that I was dancing in the grocery store when I found this!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (make sure they are vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup rum or cognac (this is optional and can be replaced with a strongly brewed coffee. Keep in mind that the alcohol will help make the sorbet more scoopable. You can use any strong alcohol you like.)

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large sauce pan, place 1 1/2 cups of water with the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Set on medium heat and whisk until the liquid comes to a boil. Don’t put on high heat as you don’t want the cocoa to burn. Once boiling, remove from the heat.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until completely melted.
  3. Add the remaining cup of water, vanilla extract, and alcohol. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Place in a container in your fridge until completely chilled.
  5. Place your liquid in your ice cream maker, and churn according to your machine’s instructions for about 30 minutes or until thick. Chill in an air-tight container for a few more hours until completely frozen. Enjoy!

chocolate-ice-cream-cognac2

If you like chocolate, you must try this out! Let me know if you do!