Monday, October 22, 2007
Happy birthday, blog!
Can you belive it? It's my third blog-birthday already! Time sure flies when you're having fun! And I am, most definitely. And hopefully, so are you. Thank you, thank you so much for reading. And for commenting, and for e-mailing, and for just being there. Thank you.
I wish I could have all of you over for coffee and cake, but as that's not really possible, let me at least share a recipe for a delicious cake. As it happens, this is probably the most sought-after recipe that I get e-mails about. By far. See, this simple little cake, with almond meringue layers and almond buttercream, was Oscar II:s favorite cake. (He was the king of Sweden between 1872-1907.) Nowadays, it's many people's favorite, and most of them across the world can find this at Ikea. It's produced by Almondy and sold frozen.
In fact, that's how we get ours as well - at any supermarket, frozen. They make a few versions - one with chocolate, one with Daim, even one with Snickers - but I've always liked this one the best. In fact, it's the cake we served for our wedding! (Yes, bought ready-made, frozen. Yep. It's that good.) So, since we always buy this ready-made, I've never had a recipe for it. For this blog-aversary, I thought I'd make an effort to actually make one from scratch. Turned out that it wasn't hard at all, and a lot of fun. And delicious - a bit fluffier than the bought version, but still very similar. Give it a try! This one has almond toffee in the buttercream, but you could use chopped up Daim if you want to make that version, or why not a few spoons of instant coffee to make a mocha variety? A bonus: it's gluten-free.
Or check out the archives:
Three years ago.
Two years ago.
One year ago.
Oscar II:s Cake
100 g ground almonds
150 g sugar
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
100 g sugar
200 ml heavy cream (35-40% fat)
150 g butter, softened
5 tbsp sugar
Start with the cake layers. I made four layers, but you can do two or three, depending on what size you want it to be. My layers were about 20 cm across. (I have a pretty small cake stand that I wanted to use, which is why I chose that particular size.) You need to draw circles (or whatever shape you want, obviously) on parchment paper, and spread the batter carefully within those shapes. They'll keep their shape nicely in the oven and not run out. And you can not bake just one cake in a pan and cut it into layers - it won't have the same texture at all.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold in sugar and ground almonds. Bake at 175°C for about 15 minutes. The layers should be fairly golden.
Make the buttercream. Mix egg yolks, sugar and cream in a saucepan, and cook on low heat, stirring all the time, until it's thickened. It'll thicken when you least expect it to, so don't leave it! You might need to turn up the heat a bit if nothing happens. Remove from heat, add the butter gradually and stir until it's all incorporated. Leave to cool completely.
Make the toffee: melt the sugar in a small saucepan. Coarsely chop the almonds, and throw those in the pot. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the almond is fully caramelized, but make sure it doesn't burn! Pour onto an oiled baking sheet or a silpat mat. Leave to cool, and then pulverize it in a pestle and mortar. Mix into the buttercream.
Toast the almond flakes in a hot, dry pan or in a hot oven. Leave to cool.
Sandwich the cake layers with buttercream, and top with a lot of buttercream over the entire cake. You can freeze it at this point - in fact, I recommend it. It'll keep together much better that way, otherwise it can be a bit slippery-slidey. Just let it thaw at room temperature for about half an hour, and sprinkle with toasted almonds just before serving. (They'll go soft if they're on the cake for too long.)
Ps - this cakes fits the bill for this month's theme of "Waiter, there's something in my... Layered Cake." Hosted by Andrew - check it out!
Recipe in Swedish:
Oscar II:s tårta