Thursday, June 4, 2015

Norwegian 'Bløtkake' Birthday cake

I've been on a wee lil' vacation, which is why I'm a day late posting. But no, it wasn't to Norway. Although part of me wishes it had been - Norway looks like such a beautiful country! Anyway - without further ado: Bløtkake aka the Norwegian Birthday cake.


Here's what's make a Bløtkake a bløtkake: a sponge cake in layers, fruits and/or jam and whipped cream. Since it's a birthday cake: you're free to 'customize' it in whatever way you like. There are typically two or three layers of cake, but you can opt for five or more if you like. In between the layers cake you could find jam, fresh fruits or whipped cream or any combination of these three. The cake as a whole is then covered in whipped cream (although I've seen marzipan as well). Lastly, it's decorated with fresh fruits and more whipped cream. Berries seem to be a favourite - especially strawberry.

Bløtkake (Norwegian Birthday cake)
makes a 24cm/9inch cake - adapted from Det søte liv

5 eggs
150 grams sugar
150 grams flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Decoration:*
2-4 teaspoons milk
200-300 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon (vanilla) sugar
strawberry jam
strawberries or other fruit

1. Whip the eggs with the sugar until fluffy and stiff. (If you have 'less optimal' tools, then opt for whipping the egg whites and yolks separately, both with half of the sugar, till stiff and then gently fold the yolks into the whites.)
2. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold them into the whipped eggs.
3. Bake in a preheated oven of 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes until golden.
4. Leave the cake to cool before decorating it.
5. Cut the cake in as many layers as desired - most often 2 or 3 layers are used.
6. Whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form.
6. Sprinkle or brush every layer of cake with milk - this is to make the sponge moist.**
7. Then add a layer of jam to the bottom cake layer. If you want to fill the layer with cream and fresh fruits - go ahead!
8. Stack the second layer of cake on top and continue to stack and fill the layers until you have reached the top of the cake.
9. Cover the whole cake in whipped cream.
10. Decorate the cake with fresh fruits and more whipped cream.
11. Serve as soon as possible and keep refrigerated in between.

*This all depends on how you want to decorate it. Use jam and/or fresh fruits - as many as you like. Whipping cream is also a must, but you don't have to stack it inbetween every layer (300ml), but you can stick to just the outside as well (roughly 200 ml).
** If you're using your own sponge cake recipe with ingredients like milk, butter or oil, you probably won't need to use the milk.

I like how the sponge cake is called sukkerbrød in Norwegian - which much more literally translates to "sugar bread". It instantly made me crave Dutch sugar bread: an actual sweet-bread with sugarpearls all over and inside it. It's deadly stuff - but then again, so is this birthday cake. Sponge cake, whipped cream and fruits just go together so well!


The whole cake actually reminds me of Queen Victoria Sponge Cake - another sponge, jam and cream cake. Although this one is more often used for 'tea' rather than as a birthday cake, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this birthday cake! And tell me - how would you decorate your bløtkake? And what birthday cakes are traditional in your country?

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