Life is a mystery and we never know where it takes us. We get to new places, meet new people and new challenges, see things from new perspectives.
Couple of months ago it took me in a new place. A very special one. Far away north, on the most western part of the Senja island in Northern Norway where the wild sea meets the raw mountains and creates an bizarre mix of peace and intensity. Here lies Kråkeslottet – an old charming wooden house which used to be a fishing plant and fishermen´s home in the old days, and which today serves as a vibrant arena for cultural events and a residence for artists from all around the world during their creative process. Two great festivals take place here every summer – a music festival Kråkeslottet festival and an art festival ArtiJuli. This special place has now become my home for an undecided period of time. Because who knows what will happen tomorrow? So why not to appreciate what is today?
The name Kråkeslottet literally means the crow castle. It also means a house made of various different parts. Many people come here to connect, get together and experience the truly magic atmosphere of the place. There is so much creativity and intensity in the air that it’s easy to get over helmed.
Nature plays very central role in this magic realism. Steep rocks, weirdly shaped mountains, white beaches and untameable sea. The waves constantly hitting the pillars of the house, the light on the sky changing all the time. An artsy blend of romance and drama. Raw, open and intense. Not for everyone.
So how is my life here at all?
Every day starts with super cold bath in the sea and hot shower. Then meditation, breakfast and the day can take off! Some days I participate on building a house which is right next to Kråkeslottet. It is a very original eco-friendly project which is both extreme and fun. It is made mainly of wood and materials which help the house breathe and stand steady. It’s not too big, neither too small. Not too fancy. Very beautiful. Very natural. It stands on the rocks right next to the sea. I have been learning some carpenter skills recently and got both excited, frustrated, challenged and happy in the process. I often think of how yoga and natural movement can be applied in everything we do. Cooking, cleaning or cutting a plank. Is my body position right? Can I create more ease? Where am I tense? Where can I soften? Exciting!
Now, how about yoga? I would love to centre my life here around Strala yoga. I plan to lead weekly yoga classes in the nearest village called Skaland and I prepare a yoga retreat with connectedness as a main topic, which will combine everything that makes us feel more connected to both ourselves and all the great things and people around. Yoga, meditation, ice bathing, sauna, silence, talks, walks, dancing, writing…and more! Delicious food and raw dessert classes – making chocolate brownies, bliss balls, millionaire shortbread (see the recipe below) or coconut & raspberry ice cream!
I plan this retreat for march 2018. One week, ten participants. I will share a post with all the details soon! I can’t wait!:)
There is also the book project I really enjoy working on which is about creating nourishing and naturally sweet foods – desserts, breakfasts and snacks. All of them set in untraditional landscapes and with a special message. Very fun!
Talking about food. There is this great guy from London called James who works on the eco-house project here. He is a real carpenter and loves cakes so much. He also does the cake tasting job for my book project which I appreciate a lot. One day I asked him about his absolutely favourite cake and he took a moment to think and then said: I guess it must be millionaire shortbread! I had no idea what he was talking about so I made a research. This cake looked really naughty and decadent and I wanted to create a version of it which would be rich and delicious but still nourishing and good for you. I got thrilled and experimented with the recipe until it became really good. We all loved it. I am sharing the recipe with you here. I hope you enjoy it!
What do I need?
for the crust: 2 cups oat flour, 2 cups shredded coconut, 4 tsp honey, pinch of salt, 1 cup water
for the caramel filling: 10 dates, 3 Tbsp almond butter, 0.5 cup water, good pinch of salt, 0.5 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract or 0.5 tsp vanilla powder
for the chocolate: 4 tsp softened coconut oil, 4 tsp cacao powder, 1 tsp running honey or maple sirup, chili powder and ginger – optional
What do I do?
For the crust: Place the oat flour, shredded coconut, salt, honey and water in a food processor. Process roughly until you get a compact dough. Place the dough into a form with baking paper and spread it out in the bottom of the form pressing it into all the corners with your fingers. Create a 0.5 cm high layer. Place into the freezer while you are making the caramel layer.
For the caramel filling: process all the ingredients for the caramel until smooth and creamy, then spread it evenly over the crust.
For the chocolate: melt coconut oil in a bain-maire, add cocoa powder and honey or agave sirup. Add chili or ginger if desired. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer.
I don’t know why this cake is called millionaire shortbread but I feel very rich when I eat it knowing that there is a whole batch of it in the fridge. I was also making the cake using peanut butter and it turned out nicely. James said that the almond butter version really tasted like millionaire shortbread while the peanut butter one was more like snickers bars.
Anyway, give it a try and let me know what you think!