Buckthorn & Beetroot Dessert Recipe

Essentially sweet meringue covered with chocolate, flødeboller are a traditional treat in Denmark, often served at birthdays or other celebrations. This recipe is from the chef at Noma, an award-winning Copenhagen restaurant.

Beetroot Meringue
140 g beetroot (beet) juice
119 g sugar
72 g glucose
15 g egg white powder

Beetroot Gel
4 g pectin
181 g sugar
165 g beetroot (beet) juice
40 g glucose
1 g citric acid

Malt Biscuits
120 g plain all-purpose flour
4 g malt flour*
65 g sugar
Pinch of salt
100 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
18 g egg yolks

Chocolate Glaze
200 g couverture chocolate**
20 g powdered cocoa butter

Sea Buckthorn*** Meringue
230 g water
145 g sugar
85 g glucose
265 g sea buckthorn juice
35 g egg white powder
2 sheets gelatin

* Malt flour is a type of flour produced from ground malted cereals, such as barley, which imparts a natural sweetness.

** Couverture chocolate is a type of chocolate with a very high percentage of cocoa butter, often used for coating other ingredients.

*** Sea buckthorn is a wild shrub with bright orange edible berries that grows mainly on sand dunes and cliffs.


Beetroot Meringue

Step 1: Measure out 95 g of the beetroot juice, bring to a boil in a pan and cool.

Step 2: In another pan, heat the remaining beetroot juice, 112 g of the sugar and all the glucose until it forms a caramel at 242°F.

Step 3: Add the remaining sugar and the egg white powder to the cold beetroot juice and whisk with the caramel to make an Italian meringue.

Beetroot Gel

Step 1: Mix the pectin with 16 g sugar. Add the beetroot juice to the glucose in a pan and dissolve the remaining 165 g sugar into the mixture. Add the pectin and sugar mixture and cook until the temperature reaches 223°F, then add the acid. Pour into containers, cool in the refrigerator and cut into 2-mm dice.

Malt Biscuits

Step 1: In a large bowl, slowly incorporate the flour, the malt flour, sugar and salt into the butter until well mixed.

Step 2: Add the egg yolks and mix to a dough with a spatula.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 340°F and grease a baking tray.

Step 4: Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut into 2-cm rounds. Bake for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze

Step 1: Melt the chocolate and cocoa butter in a double boiler and bring the temperature up to 120°F. Temper it to 80°F and take it back up to 86°F. Tempering a larger quantity of chocolate than stated in the recipe will make the job a lot easier.

Sea Buckthorn Meringue

Step 1: Put 65 g of the water, 120 g of the sugar and all the glucose in a pan and heat to 250°F to make a syrup.

Step 2: Heat the sea buckthorn juice in a pan and cook until reduced to 65 g, then cool.

Step 3: Put the remaining water and sugar with the egg white powder in a large bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Whisk in the syrup to make an Italian meringue. Bloom the gelatin and add to the mixture while still warm. Finally, add the reduced sea buckthorn juice.


When the biscuits have baked and cooled, place them a few cm apart on a perforated tray. For the beet version, fold the gel into the beetroot meringue, fill a piping (pastry) bag, pipe a little on each biscuit and refrigerate. For the sea buckthorn version, follow the same procedure with the sea buckthorn but without adding gels. When cold, cover the flødeboller with the chocolate mixture and cool in the refrigerator until serving.

Reprinted with permission from René Redzepi’s Noma: Time And Place In Nordic Cuisine (2010 Phaidon).

Photo Noma Cookbook Restaurant Nordic

Ditte Isager