May 11, 2017 |
World’s Best Cake?
Norway has lots of great cakes – but we think that Verden’s Bedste really is one of the best ones. Perfect for Norway Day on 17th May.
Calling something the ‘world’s best cake’ is quite a statement, but not something taken lightly by the Norwegians. This cake contains the most delicious whipped cream, sponge, pastry cream and meringue – it’s everything you could ever want wrapped up together in one bite. This cake is so seriously good that it is often labelled the national cake of Norway. It is also known as Kvæfjord cake. Kvæfjord is a municipality in Tromsø in northern Norway, an absolutely stunning place with picture-perfect rolling green hills, rocky fells and deep blue fjords . To eat this cake in that setting: it doesn’t get better than that, at least not in our mind.
Recipe taken from ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge by Bronte Aurell (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99) Photography by the amazing Peter Cassidy.
- 150 g butter
- 130 g caster sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 150 g plain flour or cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar OR extract OR use the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 100 ml whole milk
- 150 ml whipping cream
- 1/2 portion of Pastry Cream (you can use ‘Kagecreme’ – powder stirred with milk – ready in 5 mins – or make your own).
- 5 egg whites
- A pinch of cream of tartar
- 250 g caster sugar
- 75 g flaked almonds
a 35 x 25-cm/14 x 93/ 4-inch rectangular cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3.
In a stand mixer (or using a hand-held electric whisk) cream together the butter and sugar until pale and light. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating to ensure everything is well incorporated. Sift in the plain or cake flour, baking powder and vanilla and fold in. Lastly, add the whole milk and fold again until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly and set aside aside for a moment.
Next make the meringue topping. Using a completely clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add the sugar very slowly, bit by bit, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). Spread the meringue mixture on top of the cake mixture. Scatter the flaked almonds on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the meringue is firm. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan then turn out carefully, so the meringue is still on top. Leave to cool completely.
Whip the cream until stiff and fold together with the pastry cream.
To assemble, cut the cake into two halves. On one half, spread the pastry cream mixture, then carefully layer the other half on top. Leave to set in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. The meringue will stay mallowy and the base soft.
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January 8, 2017 |
So, we have our little food quirks. Aside from all the really weird stuff like fermented herring and smoked sheep’s head, we have little habits that other nations sometimes find a little, well, a little peculiar….
Food in tubes.
Especially cod roe, that is a huge favourite among Swedes and Norwegians. For breakfast. With boiled egg.
Remoulade with everything.
Danes especially love remoulade, a type of curried pickle mayonnaise sort of thing. Enjoy it with chips (nope, not ketchup), breaded fish, roast beef, on pate, on meatballs, on everything they can think of, actually.
Tacos on Fridays
Scandinvians LOVE Tacos. It’s a Friday thing. For Swedes and Norwegians, it’s every Friday, too.
Everything is referred to as Tacos, it’s so much easier than learning your burrito from your enchilada from your fajita. Just call it all Tacos. All of it. Even the nachos are called Tacos on Friday evenings. Also, must be served with chopped cucumber pieces (a combination somewhat strange to Mexico).
In Sweden, go one better and have Taco Pie.
It’s a Taco Quiche. Well done, Sweden. Photo: Ica, Sweden
Jam and cheese.
For breakfast, enjoy a nice treat of bread, cheese and a dollop of strawberry jam.
It’s not a silly fad: It is our life. Live with it. And we will ALWAYS try to make you taste it, only to find that you will never understand our love of salty, tar-like ‘sweets’.
This is Danes only. A 38% alcohol drink, made from a secret blend of 29 herbs. Danes like to drink this in shots. In the morning. With breakfast. Older Danes have a saying: ‘One shot for each leg’.
While in Norway
…they have freshly baked waffles. Topped with brown goats cheese – and jam.
Dip your chip
All our crisps (potato chips ) MUST be dipped in a sour cream dip dressing, usually named something exotic such as ‘holiday dip’. Every single crisp must be dipped.
Want to know something else?
In Denmark, sometimes, crisps are served with the main meal. On the plate. Add gravy. Yes, it’s a real thing (but mainly for Christmas and Grandma’s birthday).
Spaghetti & Ketchup for dinner
Yes, even grown ups at times. We LOVE it. We need nothing more.
Nope, we really don’t think it is weird to eat pickled herring on crispbread or rye bread.
Ah, and the delicious Kebab Pizza.
Pizza – topped with shavings of kebab meat – and dressing.
And in Sweden, the hotdogs are often topped with prawn mayonnaise. AND ketchup and mustard.
When in Norway, they have waffle hotdogs, too. Yes they do.
Photo – coop.no
And in Sweden, black pudding
– with jam. Lingonberry jam. It’s a thing.
We all love a bit of cold rice pudding. In Norway and Sweden topped with orange segments (especially those from a tin) – and cherry sauce in Denmark. We eat this for Christmas.
Back in Sweden, people eat Sandwich Cakes.
Bread, mayo, filling of choice, bread, mayo, more filling, decorate with every shred of your imagination. Set. Slice. You’re the hero.
We eat so much pork liverpate
We buy it in half kilo packages. Huge. And then we add so much pickled cucumber on it you can’t taste the pate (get some here).
The Swedish Dish that people are often not quite sure is actually real – but it is: Chicken baked with cream, curry, chilli ketchup, bananas… Then topped with bacon bits and peanuts. Serve with rice.
Open sandwiches don’t seem to strange now, eh?