123. Suksesseterte

Suksesseterte is the name of (in my esteemed opinion) the best cake in the world. *That I have tried. And based on the amount of cake I’ve eaten lately I think I’m getting pretty well qualified to judge! I stumbled across this cake at a market in Tromsø. I’m fairly sure this stall was manned by the Real Housewives Of Tromsø. It was also the most overstaffed market stall I’ve ever seen! A casual stroll by and we were swamped with women offering samples, free fruit and coffee and looking very proud of their creations. One cake sample in particular was very delicious and the price for a whole one incredibly reasonable (compared to every other item of food in all of Norway). On reflection they were probably selling their goods below cost, not to mention the free fruit and coffee, but they seemed to be having the time of their lives and they were probably all married to rich engineers on norwegian oil rigs anyway.

After informing me he had “a bit of a sweet tooth” my travel buddy Ryan wolfed down half the thing in a very short space of time. I can’t fault him though, because it was amazing! Suksesseterte loosely translates to “Succsess Cake/Tart.” It seems to only feature on Norwegian sites too, and while they claim it is a morning tea staple, it doesn’t seem to have made it across any borders. Suksesseterte consists of a base made from almond/hazlenut meal, icing sugar and egg whites, and a topping made from a deliciously unhealthy amount of butter and egg yolks, giving it the yellow colour. It is therefore a relatively light cake, though unlike Ryan I still found it difficult to eat too much in one go.

I have tried to track down the origins of the name, but to no avail. Perhaps it comes from the success of getting it right, or that one is probably doing pretty well at life to be making cakes with expensive core ingredients like ground almonds. Or maybe it is used by housewives-to-be to succsessfully lure in a husband. My host family certainly seemed suitably impressed when I gave it a go at home!

I umm-ed and aaahhh-ed about sharing this recipe, thinking maybe it could be a closely guarded secret and I could whip it out as my party trick. But ultimately it was too good not to share, plus a quick google search and some translating provides a few recipe options to anyone else keen to make it. I also feel a bit bad about my exam-induced blog neglect, so here it is as a consolation prize. I thoroughly recommend giving it a go if you are out to impress! Also, it has the added bonus of being gluten free, so I now implore every single person who reads this and has a gluten intolerant friend to make it for them. They’ll love you forever! Plus I can guarantee they are well sick of the classic fallback Mediteranean Orange/Almond Cake.

My version was actually a Not-Quite-Success-Cake as I used margarine instead of butter so the topping didn’t quite set properly, so I don’t recommend that substitution. But it was still delicious and gives me a great excuse to try it again! I also mixed hazlenuts and almonds, instead of just almonds, to give it a but more of a chocolate-y taste. That one was a successful adaptation.

A slightly runny topping and decorated with cocoa instead of chocolate sauce, but not one bit less delicious!

Base:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 50g ground hazlenuts

Topping:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 150g butter

Mix the icing sugar and ground nuts. Gently fold the egg whites into the mix. Pour into a 24 cm (diameter) mold, and bake at 160°C for 30-35 minutes. Leave to cool completely (otherwise the topping melts too much)

Stir together the egg yolks, cream, sugar and vanilla sugar. Warm over a low-medium heat until the ‘custard’ thickens. Cool and stir in the butter. Leave aside to cool until it solidifies.

Place the bottom on a serving dish and spread over ‘custard’. Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts or dust with cocoa powder. Alternatively you can make a pattern using chocolate sauce by making parallel lines with the sauce, then using the end/handle of the spoon make a line cutting across the lines one way, then back the other way. That’s probably a terrible explanation of how to make the decorations as used in the original one I tried, but I’m not sure how else to describe it!

122. Aarhus Cake Day

AKA the best idea ever. Take all of the top bakeries around town, put them in one room, presenting samples of their finest cakes. Give ticket holders an hour to eat as much as they want. Best $20 I ever spent! And no surprises tickets sold out in 10 minutes or something ridiculous.

I was so defeated by the end of it. Almost felt too sick to move and had the biggest sugar crash and fell asleep on the train. But it was totally worth it! So many amazing miniature cake creations…

GIANT line to get in

GIANT line to get in

Bakers at the ready

An event like this wouldn’t be complete without Danish flags

The mob arrives

Round 1

Round 2

So much marzipan-y/almond based deliciousness

Round 3

Round 4

Defeat.

79. Home Made Hot Cross Buns

I woke up this morning to a drizzly view out the window, and a fine realisation that it was Good Friday, everyone was home and I had absolutely no plans. And with that I suddenly had an overwhelming desire to make hot cross buns. I’ve never actually made them myself, but last time I was at home for Easter mum made a tonne of them, and the weather was exactly like today. A perfect day to stay inside all day, bake and be nostalgic!

The first hurdle, however, was whether or not we had all the ingredients in the cupboard for a somewhat ambitious impromptu baking session. After a few different translation attemps it was established we didn’t have any raisins in the house, and the look of horror on my host mother’s face at the thought of getting the kids to eat them lead to a quick change in plans. Inspired by good old Quality Bakers (even though home made hot cross buns are in a delicious league of their own) and I whipped up some child-friendly hot cross buns. So here’s my version of the traditional Good Friday treat. I must say, I felt awful grown up preferring raisins to chocolate, but although hot cross buns have had quite the contentious history themselves*, they’ve always been difficult to introduce to kids, so the compromise version was fine by me!

While some might consider the method laborious, I think it is ideal for a relaxing day off, and slowly making them over the course of the day is a great way to enjoy being inside with the family, or motivate myself to study with scheduled breaks in the hot cross bun process! Perhaps it was festivity and familiarity, but they smelled amazing, even the dough. also enjoyed the lovely baking soundtrack that was Hungry Kids of Hungary while I made them. So here’s my version of the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • 7 grams active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 500g all purpose flour
  • 55 grams light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 70 grams butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 C chopped dark chocolate

In a small saucepan, heat the milk using a very low heat until lukewarm. Add the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and stir to combine. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.

Combine the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Once the yeast is foamy, gradually add to the flour mixture and beat until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the melted butter and egg and beat until incorporated. At this point I really would have liked to have had my mother’s Kenwood Cake mixer, which is older than me and wouldn’t surprise me if it had its own specific mention in the will, but alas, some intense elbow grease was applied.

Gradually add the chocolate peices and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is sticky, until it makes a good dough-y consistency.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is lightly greased. Cover with plastic wrap or a teatowell and place in a warm spot to rise until it has almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).

When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down to release the air, and divide into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a small round ball and place on a tray lined with baking paper. The buns should be spaced so they have enough room to double in size. Brush with a glaze made of one beaten egg mixed with 1 tablesoon of milk. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot until they have almost doubled in size (about 60 minutes).

While they are rising, mix up the “crosses” by combining 1/2 cup plain flour and 4 to 5 tablespoons water. Pour in to either a piping bag, or snip the corner off a snaplock bag.

Preheat oven to 205 degrees C. Brush the tops of the buns with the glaze again cut a ‘cross’ in the top of each bun. Pipe a cross in to the gap on each bun and pop in to the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the buns are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

Makes 12 delicious buns.

*Hot Cross buns were at one stage banned in Protestent England as they were thought to be propogating a few too many Catholic values, but Queen Elizabeth passed a specific law allowing bakeries to sell them at Easter and Christmas. Good to see deliciousness took precedence over politics.