Norwegian Bløtkake

Norwegian Bløtkake

  • Servings: Makes one 9-inch, 3-layer cake to serve 8 to 10
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This traditional specialty joined my Norwegian repertoire in the spring of 2018. With its patriotic decoration, this marvelously layered cream and custard cake is customarily served on Syttende de Mai (Norway’s Constitution Day), but is a perfect dessert for any special occasion where a Nordic touch is desired.

5 eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups, plus 2 ½ tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Vanilla Custard:
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream:
3 cups heavy whipping cream
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For Cake Assembly:
Milk or Juice
Strawberry jam
Fresh berries or fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries best for Syttende Mai)

CAKE Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, cut into a circular shape. Grease the top of the parchment paper; set aside.

Use a stand or handheld mixer to beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow in color, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Sift the cake flour and baking powder together. Sift the flour mixture over the eggs in three separate batches to keep the eggs from deflating, folding gently after each addition until the flour is incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and place on top of a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until cake is golden in color and the top springs back when touched. Insert a toothpick into the center to check for doneness.

Cool in the pan until the top is cool to the touch, then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack. To freeze, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Cut into layers once thawed.

CUSTARD Directions:
Use a handheld or stand mixer with the whisk attachment to beat the sugar and egg yolks on medium-high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the cornstarch and blend on medium speed until the mixture is thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes.

In a saucepan, add the milk and vanilla extract, and cook over medium-low heat until bubbles begin to form at the sides, without letting it come to a boil. Remove from heat.

In a slow, steady stream, add the warm milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly on medium-low speed to prevent the eggs from curdling. Keep whisking until the ingredients are well combined, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to the stove.

Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens, then remove from heat and stir vigorously for one minute. If desired, the custard can be passed through a strainer to remove any lumps. Cool completely before refrigerating. To store, press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to keep it from forming a skin. Refrigerate for at least 3 days.

Use a handheld or stand mixer to combine the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff peaks are formed.

Use a long, serrated knife to cut the sponge cake into 3 even layers. Place the bottom layer, cut-side-up, and use a spoon or pastry brush to lightly coat the crumb with milk or juice to moisten the cake. Spread a layer of jam over the cake, all the way to the edges.

Next, spread a thick layer of the custard over the jam, followed by the whipped cream, all the way to the edges of the cake. Place the second layer of cake on top, cut-side-up, and repeat with the milk, jam, custard and whipped cream.

Place the final layer of cake on top, cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove from fridge and cover top with a generous layer of whipped cream, and a light coating on the sides. Decorate top with fresh berries. Serve and enjoy.

To store: Refrigerate leftover cake for up to three days in an airtight container.

To freeze: The sponge cake may be frozen for several months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored inside an airtight container. Cut cake into layers after thawing.