While in Akureyri, the “northern capital” of Iceland, my travel companion and I popped into a little Perisian-style cafe for dinner. With the daylight never really leaving the sky, I can only guess that it was dinner time though!
Along with a delicious quiche, we also were tempted by a delicious-looking slice of Bailey’s flavored cheesecake- or at least we hoped it was cheesecake!
We loved the super smooth, fluffy, almost whipped cheesecake filling. It wasn’t as strongly ‘cream cheese’ flavor as cheesecakes back home, but it was totally delicious! The crust was like cookie crumbs, and the top was a smooth chocolate layer. Plus it was joined by a big dollop of the amazing Iceland whipped cream. I’m pretty sure they don’t add sweetener/sugar/etc to the cream, but it’s just so delicious on it’s own…
Not just dessert
As mentioned, we started off the dinner with a slice of quiche each, which came with a little side salad and dressing as well.
I THINK that the quiche and salad was one of the better priced dishes, around the equivalent of 9$ Canadian, though I could be a bit off. The dessert too I don’t entirely recall, but I think it was about $6.
After out dinner, we walked up to the Kureyrarkirkja (The Church of Akureyri). It’s described as “towering above the town on a hill” and also called “church with all the steps. I guessed it was about the equivalent of an 8 story walk up all those stairs, though later I read online that there are 112 steps in total. (So 8-9 flights of stairs) We earned that cheesecake!
We didn’t spend much time in the church (I actually wasn’t nearly as impressed with it as I was with older European churches I have visited) but instead headed further up the hill to the Akureyri Botanical Gardens. You might remember that I wasn’t totally impressed with the Botanical Gardens in Reykjavik? Well the Akureyri gardens blew them away by far! If you like visiting gardens, make sure Akureyri’s are on your list. Although most of the plants growing there were familiar, they were very well laid out, with interesting sculptures, lovely pathways, little ponds and fountains, and an overall quiet, serene feeling. Below are just two of several photos I took in the garden. (Visit my Flickr album to see them all)
Hafnarstræti, Akureyri, Iceland
+354 461 4600
Once we were back in Reykjavik, we stopped in at a grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner, and picked up a cheesecake there too. This one was mandarin orange flavour, and although the crust was a bit ‘wet’ – since it was a frozen cake – the cake itself had that same lovely, fluffy texture.
I also photographed the ingredients… in Icelandic.
I would totally love to make this light, fluffy cheesecake, so I searched for a few recipes.
I typed out the ingredients from the packaging above:
“Innihald: Rjomaostur (30%) [kvarg, smjor, syrdur rjomi, salt] fjomi, sykur, mandarinur (11%), hafrakex [hveiti, sykur, haframjol, ohert jurtafita (palma-, palmkjarna – og repjuolia), mysuduft, salt, lyftiefni (natriumkarbonat, ammoniumkarbonat) kanill, yruefni (sojalesitin) bragdefni] appelsinuthykkni, smjor, matarlim, yruefni (ein- og tviglyserid fitusyra), maissterkja, bragdefni (m.a. vanillin), rovarnarefni (kaliumsorbat, natriumbensoat), syra (sitronusyra).”
which translated in Google to:
“Ingredients: cream cheese (30%) [quark, butter, sour cream, salt] fjomi, sugar, mandarins (11%), hafrakex [wheat flour, sugar, oatmeal, unhardened vegetable fat (palm-, palm kernel – and rapeseed oil), whey powder, salt , raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, ammonium carbonate) cinnamon, emulsifier (soya lecithin) Flavour] appelsinuthykkni, butter, gelatin, emulsifiers (mono and diglycerides of fatty acids), corn starch, flavoring (including vanillin), rovarnarefni (potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate), acid (citric acid).”
(ok.. not everything translated perfectly – this might have been my typing or just the word itself)
On the Modern Wifestyle, Katrin has a recipe for a Skyr cheesecake alternative that looks beautiful – but not quite what I had in mind – skyr isn’t mentioned in the original recipe.
The Amateur Icelandic Chef has a recipe that uses cream cheese and mascarpone cheese which sounds delicious, but not quite right either..
Jo’s Icelandic Recipes has a recipe for Mandarínu-ostakaka – Mandarin-orange cheesecake which includes gelatin (like Jello) which sounds like the original recipe, but not quite..
Finally I found Fatimarana’s Piece of Cake blog, where she has a recipe for a cheesecake with sour cream… I bet using the orange topping from Jo’s recipe and this one would do the trick! (Now just to find an occasion to try it out!)
(While I was searching, I also found the International Dinner Project, #29: Iceland where a family tried out different things – including the “Thunderbread” I enjoyed so much from a previous post… perhaps that will be another baking adventure for me.. some day that isn’t quite so hot!)