I love the 17th of May. I love how complete strangers greet me with ''happy birthdays'' on the street. I love the coming-together of people of all backgrounds; the long children's parades, the school bands and, of course, the russ – the High School graduates. I love that you don't have to buy any presents. I love the way people dress up in their national costumes, bunads. I love the way that people are given two whole days of public holiday to be patriotic. And, more importantly, I love to eat.
Still, I thought I'd jot down a few of my favourite things about my beloved country (in no particular order), to mark the special day next Thursday:
|Vanilla and Berry Cake|
Original Recipe ® Marion Fløysvik
Sweet, vanilla-soaked and fresh, this is a mixture of two traditional Norwegian cakes: the ''Verdas beste'', the Norwegian national cake, and the ''Blautkake'', a whipped cream and vanilla sponge cake. It's definitely inspired by both, but with my own twists. And because it was made in honour of the 17th of May, I decided to go for a patriotic twist. The berries made the cake decadent and downright delicious :)
340 g. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
170 g. unsalted butter, at room temperature
240 g. sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
150 g. almonds, chopped
300 ml. crème fraîche
Vanilla Cream (® Morten Schakenda)
500 ml. whole milk
100 g. sugar
4 egg yolks
40 g. cornstarch
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
250 g. heavy cream
3 tsp. vanilla sugar
A handful (or two!) of raspberries
A handful of blueberries
1.Vanilla Cream: Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a bowl. Set aside. Combine the vanilla seeds, sugar and whole milk together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Let the milk cook, and pour into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continually. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium-low heat, and let cook once more. Strain the mixture back into the bowl (in case the eggs coagulated).
2.Cake: Preheat oven to 175°C (347°F). Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl, and add the eggs and vanilla seeds. Mix well. Add all the dry ingredients and blend well together. Add the crème fraîche and shaved almonds, and mix to form a homogenous batter.
3.Pour batter in a buttered and lined baking pan à 25 x 40 cm (9.8 x 15.7 inches). Bake for 30-40 minutes and remove from oven. Let cool completely.
4.Assembly: Whip the vanilla sugar and heavy cream stiff. Spread the vanilla cream evenly on the cake, followed by the whipped cream. Decorate the cake with raspberries and blueberries, or other berries, of your choice.
A few notes...