I’ve had a bit of a fascination with Iceland (the country, not my fave frozen food chain), ever since I was three and my parents ditched me and my brothers to spend a week visiting Icelandic friends they had over there. I don’t remember being left for a week with my grandparents, but I do remember the stories my Mum used to tell about the lack of trees and dogs (although this may well have changed since the 80s), and how incredible the geysers and the landscape was.
Ever since then I have always hungrily read everything I can about this beautiful country, and my interest was re-ignited once more last Thursday when I met up with an old uni friend over drinks, who had just come back to the UK after working in a care home there for 5 months (very random, I know!). It’s a place that I’m desperate to go with Adam and the children (apparently it’s not actually as cold as you might think, due it’s location at the end of a warm-ish North Atlantic gulf stream), and I’m hoping that within the next year or two we might be able to do just that. I want to swim in the hot springs, visit the ice caves, and if it were to be a winter visit, see the Northern Lights.
So when Expedia challenged me to re-create a recipe from my favourite country, I immediately volunteered for the challenge of Iceland. Now, Iceland isn’t best known for it’s cuisine, but actually these days the urban myth of Icelandic people eating purely putrefied shark and boiled sheep’s head is just that, a myth.
Delicious baked cod, tender lamb stews (Icelandic lamb is THE best apparently, with sheep grazing on unspoiled land and gorging on seaweed), Reindeer steaks and Skyr ( a type of yummy soft cheese) are often on the menu, but I decided to re-create an Icelandic dessert classic: Icelandic Cocoa Soup.
“Cocoa Soup?!” You may cry. Well, yes actually! A big hit with young and old alike, this surprisingly low-fat yet filling soup is enjoyed all year round in Iceland, but I thought it might be especially apt given the festive time of year. Served in either a mug or a bowl, and sometimes with oaty rusks on the side, this is certainly a dish to try if you book your Icelandic break any time soon!
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon potato starch or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Salt to taste
- Mix the cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan.
- Add the water gradually and stir until smooth.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the milk, reheat to boiling point and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix the potato starch or cornstarch with a little cold water, stir into soup and remove from heat.
- Salt to taste and serve.
Absolutely delicious on a chilly day, Icelandic Cocoa Soup is a great dessert alternative this Christmas!
Thanks so much to Expedia for partnering with The Spirited Puddle Jumper!