It’s spring and that means Syttende Mai celebrations for Norway’s Constitution Day. The following recipe was shared by Vesterheim Folk Art School instructor Darlene Fossum-Martin for our magazine Vesterheim, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2008 – Food for Thought.
Darlene starts with a basic sponge cake that can be adapted for any version of bløkake and then continues with her special variation of rosemary, pears, raspberries, and kiwi filling. Enjoy!
Sukkerbrød (Sponge Cake)
6 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour*
2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch nonstick round cake pan or springform pan with parchment paper, then lightly grease with butter or shortening.
To make the sponge cake, blend the flour with the baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until frothy and pale yellow. Fold the egg yolks and flour mixture into the egg whites.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the center springs back when touched with a finger. Cool in the pan. (The center of the cake may sink slightly.) When cool, remove the cake from the pan and slice it into two layers.
*Different brands of flour can make a significant difference in the outcome of your sponge cake. King Arthur all-purpose flour is a great flour to use for this sponge cake because you get a cake with more volume.
Bløtkake with Rosemary, Pears, Raspberries, and Kiwi Filling
Bløtkake, or “wet cake,” is a cream layer cake. The above sponge cake is baked, then divided in layers. The layers are drizzled with fruit juice, liqueur, or milk before the filling is added and the cake is assembled. The cake should be refrigerated for 24 hours before serving, so that it reaches its peak in flavor.
1 sukkerbrød (sponge cake), see above
One 15-oz. can of pears in light syrup, drained, syrup reserved
1 kiwi, peeled
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 cups whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup raspberries
2-3 Tbsp. Crème de Framboise (raspberry liqueur)
Cut the pears and peeled kiwi in thin slices and set aside. Whip the cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip until stiff.
Slice sukkerbrød in half and place first layer on serving plate. Drizzle bottom layer with 2 Tbsp. of juice, from canned pears, and 2-3 Tbsp. of raspberry liqueur, add a layer of sliced pears. To 1 cup whipped cream add the finely chopped rosemary. Spread whipped cream and rosemary over drizzled layer. Add the second layer of sponge cake and again drizzle with pear and/or raspberry juice, or milk. Frost the entire cake with a thick layer of whipped cream. Decorate the cake with sliced kiwi and raspberries along with dollops of whipped cream.
I like to assemble the cake layers and spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the entire cake to keep it from drying out. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Just before serving, add another layer of whipped cream and finish decorating with fruits of your choice.
Download a PDF of the recipe here.
Find out more about Vesterheim’s Nordic cooking classes here.