The Magic of Midsummers

We haven’t had any typical summer weather yet this year. We haven’t gone swimming yet once as the wind has been strong and temperature quite cool and nearly everyday we have had some showers. But the weather has been perfect for the fairies. I doubt they fly if it is too hot and the air still.

keskikesän taika keijujenmaaMidsummers is upon us and since it has rained a bit in the early evening the ground is moist. As the day comes to a close, the sky clears and a magical misty fog rolls in. It moves gently and from far away the top of it curls and then uncurls again. But it is impossible to capture on camera, because as you approach it, the details that can be seen from farther away vanish. Just like the fairies that fly on midsummers and rest occasionally on the flowers that all seem to bloom just in time for this day.

foggy landscape

As you might imagine, the children had been asking what our plans are for St. John’s or midsummers. We really didn’t have any plans and or even the energy to plan a trip somewhere as we had just got our Daddy back. Over the past 11 months, he would be gone during the weeks and sometimes a couple of weeks in a row. Maybe the kids weren’t tired, but the adults were. I thought perhaps we could think of something low-key just at home with our family. The idea originally came from a friend. I had thought many times that it would be fun to do with our family as well and so I presented the idea on Thursday. A hotel breakfast. It would give everyone something to do in spite of the rain and cool weather.

hotelli aamiainen suuret herkkusuut collageThe day before I made the florentine base. I was inspired by this BBC good food recipe but along the way it changed so much that the end product barely represented the original.

Gluten-free florentines with coconut, dried blueberry and apricot


120 g/4.2 oz demerara sugar
20 g/just under 1 oz brown sugar
100 g/3.5 oz clear honey
200 g/7 oz butter
150 g/5.3 oz rounghly chopped mixed nuts (some may be chopped finer and others may remain a little larger)
100 g/3.5 oz dessicated coconut
4 tbsp (35 g/1.2 oz) gluten-free flour
25 g/just under 1 oz dried blueberries
45 g/1.5 oz dried apricot finely chopped

Measure the sugars, honey and butter into a medium size sauce pan and melt until the sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl mix coconut, gluten-free flour and dried blueberries and apricots. The original recipe used sliced glacé cherries and almonds. Mix the dry mixture into the melted sugar and butter mixture stir until combined. Spread the florentine batter on a baking sheet that is lined with grease-proof parchment paper and has small sides.

Bake at 180 C/350 F for about 10 minutes or until a rich golden brown. If I was remake these I would reduce the bake time by a minute as mine got a bit dark, so keep an eye on your batch as every oven is different.

florentine baseAfter the base is baked and cooled, flip unto another pan and remove the paper. Melt about 200 g/7 oz dark chocolate and in a separate bowl melt about 100 g/3.5 oz white chocolate. Spread the dark chocolate over the cooled florentine base. Drop dollops of white chocolate on the dark base and proceed to make a marble pattern of your choice.

strawberry goat cheese florentine collageAllow the chocolate to set. Take a cookie cutter and cut out simple shapes. Cookie cutters with small corners such as stars do not work nearly as well.

Cream and Goat Cheese filling
2 dl/ 1 c heavy whipping cream
50 g/1.8 oz soft spreadable goat cheese (cream cheese style)
sugar to taste

Whip the cream until thick. Mix in the goat cheese and mix until combined. Do not overmix. Add sugar to taste. Spoon a spoonful of goat cheese mixture on each florentine and garnish with fresh strawberries.

juhannus päivän aamiainenrieskanäkkäri ja kananmuna aioli 2Spelt and Barley thin crisps with Egg aioli with mushroom and Kale (I used a local thin bread from a bakery just down the road, Leipomo J Martin)
200 g/7 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
10 free-range eggs
1/2 onion
60 g/2 oz celery, finely chopped (about two thin stalks)
a few leaves of fresh basil and chives chopped
25 g/1 oz roughly chopped kale, fresh or frozen
salt and pepper to taste

100 g/3.5 oz- 150 g/5.3 oz aioli
mushroom egg bake kananmuna sieni paistosChop the vegetables and herbs and set aside for a minute. Whisk the eggs and combine with the vegetables and herbs. Add the salt and pepper.  Bake at 160 C/320 F for about 30-32 minutes. Allow to cool until lukewarm. Break up the baked eggs with a fork and mix in the aioli. Serve with crisp bread of your choices. Garnish with fresh herbs and leaves of baby kale.

breakfast brunch collagesuuret herkkusuut hotel breakfastjuhannus auringlasku sunset on midsummersHappy Midsummers and Happy Father’s day! ❤


      1. They were so delicious. We had roast vegetables to go with them; pumpkin, rutabaga, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes. Quite a feast, but no beautifully written menu. 😉

  1. Must echo Juli’s commment…and were the children pleased? How could they not be, even a taste of chocolate with breakfast. Looks and sounds yummy…such a pretty table too. Hugs…

    1. I do think the children were pleased once we got everything done…of course we had a couple of compulsory spats along the way, but I suppose that is how they learn to negotiate and work together. One of them wanted to fold the napkins in one manner and another in a different way. We solved the problem by letting them both do it their own way for every other place. Makes for a more interesting table setting anyway. 🙂 And since we had so much food, it pretty much carried us through the weekend with the leftovers. Yes, I think this could become our midsummers tradition. On Sunday it warmed up and we made a trip to the beach for the first time. Perfect! Hugs to you Gramma ❤

  2. What a beautiful celebration, what fun for the kids. I love the menu, all the food looks delicious and your table is set so that it looks like a restaurant, the kids seem to be very happy in the photo’s and your shots of the landscape are gorgeous. I envy your cool summer, it’s broiling hot here in NYC today!

    1. Wasn’t the hand-written menu great? 🙂 I’m not sure how the little artist decided to draw a snake on it…I’ll have to ask if the idea came from any books she has recently read. We did have one warm day on Sunday, but today it was back to cool and occasional showers. I wouldn’t mind a bit of your heat 🙂

  3. Lovely photos…I can just imagine fairies giggling as the fog keeps their hiding places at the edge of the woods a secret. What a lovely day you planned, your breakfast looks extra special.

  4. That first photo is just jaw-dropping Laila! Had to go back and look at it three times. Love the hand-written menu. So gorgeous, and so much fun! Egg aioli with mushroom and kale sounds like a beautiful combination, and actually a pretty perfect breakfast idea for us at the moment. It is positively freezing here, and we’ve been living on cooked breakfasts.
    Scrolling back to look at that photo one more time now… 🙂

    1. Thank you Saskia for the compliment! I left the menu up for the time being…I thought it was nice as well. Hope you have a chance to try the egg aioli. Let me know how liked it and if you came up with a better version yourself!

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