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!