Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Smörkola Fail

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I was lucky to receive another box of magic a little while ago. You know the box from Svenskt Smör where they want me to create something magical.



I don’t know if you remember but I was complaining a little that the ingredients the last time around were for cooking but this time I was happy to get something to make something sweet with.



I wasn’t quite sure what to make out of what I got but in the end I went for smörkola, a buttery toffee which is traditionally eaten at Christmas over here and I figured I’d get a head start on something for the holiday dessert table.



I followed this Swedish recipe and really tried to follow all the steps but as you can see further down I must have done something wrong because my finished result looks nothing like the finished product there…



I also checked out some other recipes and realized I could add different flavors at the end so I constructed a little tray from foil with four compartments for four flavors.



I chose lime, cardamom, cocoa powder and licorice. At this point I was really excited. I figured I had my dessert table all figured out.



I even used the thermometer that came with my oven for the first time ever.



But uh, that hard dark brown stuff’s nothing like the soft tan in the instructions. Was it too hot? Cooked for too long? I even had a hard time (haha) cutting the finished product at the end. A hammer and chisel would have come in handy. Let me put it this way, it sure aint toffee. Caramel? Yeah, but not the best you’ve ever had.



Not sure the result is very magical but it was fun to try and they do look cute on that stand. Not sure we’ll be eating a whole lot of them though. Fail.


  • tinajo says:

    Haha, well sometimes it just doesn´t work for you no matter how right you do it – maybe it was a bit too hot so it cooked faster? It LOOKS good though! 🙂

  • M.E. says:

    fascinating post! I had a wonderful recipe for caramels in one of my mother’s old cookbooks, and it said to bring it to a “firm-ball” stage. then she pencilled in a setting…I think it was 225F, which was a few points lower than the firm-ball setting. and they were perfect! firm-ball was impossible to chew. don’t be afraid to change a recipe if you know which way you want it to go. great idea about the pan with four sections for four different flavorings!

  • M.E – I tried doing the firm ball stage thing but it was too late :).

  • Márcia says:

    I have been out for a while and now there are so many posts to read 🙂 and…Haha, I have to talk about your Harry Potter delivery guy!

  • Márcia – Haha, I wasn’t at home when he arrived so I didn’t actually get to see him in person, Wille took the photo with his iPhone 🙂

  • Maureen says:

    Just put them in your mouth and let the hard toffee melt. NO chewing unless you hope to see the dentist very soon.

  • Amy S. says:

    Maybe try a candy thermometer? I know they both measure temp but the meat thermometers that traditionally come with ovens have probes used to measure the inside temp of the meat verses the candy thermometer which is much larger in diameter and is designed to measure the temp of a cooking luquid. I think the candy thermometers also go to a higher temp. Not sure that it would make any difference but my grandmother always insisted that I use a candy thermometer when she was teaching me her recipes so it just stuck with me. I make toffee, caramels, divinity and other candies every year and the candy thermometer seems to come through every time. I love your flavors that you chose, I just might have to try that!

  • RebeccaNYC says:

    I’m confused..I thought toffee was supposed to be hard and caramel was supposed to be soft….They sure look pretty in their little wrappers!

  • Nancy says:

    Candy making is one of those tricky things where a few degrees difference can make a huge change in the final result. An accurate candy thermometre showing the individual degrees rather than a digital one that may only show 5 degree increments could be part of the problem. Don’t let this discourage you as homemade candy, especially ones with such interesting flavour combinations as you have made are a real treat. Even if these ones turned out darker than you had intended, do they taste yummy, or do they have a slightly bitter or burnt flavour? If the flavour is good, but they are just too hard, you could try hammering them into small shards and sprinkling them onto desserts like pudding, on top of a frosted cake or even stirred into yoghurt. It’s probably not a complete fail, just not exactly what you set out the make.

  • ReeccaNY – Now I’m confused too. Either way, they’re no good though 🙂
    Amy S – I used to have one but it broke when we moved and I never got around to replacing it.

  • Amy P says:

    The delivery guy! The apron, the glasses, the HAIR!! So awesome. I need my hair to get that kind of body, haha.

  • Nancy says:

    The delivery guy was a cutie at least!

  • Louise says:

    Looks like the sugar got burnt. There’s a real fine balance between getting the temperature of the melted sugar just right and a few seconds later burning it. So sad 🙁

  • Sage says:

    The longer sugar / caramel mixture cooks the darker it gets and it usually gets a noticeable sweet but burnt smell when overcooked. It also gets too hard and is impossible to cut as you noted. Your flavorings probably contributed to the very dark color as well. A candy thermometer might make all the difference and Taylor makes an inexpensive and reliable one – here at Amazon
    Digital thermometers work well also but not oven thermometers as someone mentioned because those are best suited for meats and other non-liquid foods.

  • the spectator says:

    Maybe just use for Christmas “decoration” only.
    They do look good on the stand.

  • Sandy (USA) says:

    Too bad it didn’t work out. They do look good and cute on that dish though. Look at it this way, Harry Potter delivered the ingredients. How cool is that!

  • Clara says:

    Ditto what’s been said about temperature – just a few degrees above the limit and no matter what you make, the sugar will get hard when it cools. So sorry for the fail, but I love that you shared it with us anyway!

  • MelD says:

    Yep, color looks like burnt caramel… at least you have had a new experience and lots of tips from your blog readers about what to do next time. I hope you try again!
    What is it with you Swedes that even the delivery guy looks like that?! LOL

  • jja says:

    At least it looks nice!

  • Dru says:

    Test your thermometer before using. A candy thermometer can be tested in a coffe mug of boiling water, an instant read thermometer for meat can go into a glass of ice water. If the thermometer does not read accurately it will make for over cooked meats and burnt candy…or undercooked! Most thermometers can be calibrated at home to read accurately. Most thermometers are off when tested!

  • Suzanne says:

    Is that the guy who delivers the boxes of magic?

  • Liz says:

    Adorable delivery guy!Candy looks pretty too:)