Monday, January 16, 2012

Kvæfjordkaka with walnuts

Two years back, a Norwegian friend mentioned this delicious cake known as verden's beste kake (World's best cake). It's the most special of cakes and is thus reserved for occasions like birthdays, weddings and the national holiday. I admit, I couldn't wait for a more special occasion than my monthly visit by a few of my closest friends. I wanted to surprise them with a local dessert (interpret "local" loosely) that was guaranteed to please. Apart from the very specific methodology for preparation, it was actually one of the easiest cakes I had attempted, while at the same time visually appealing. Needless to say, it was a success and everyone appreciated it. I can't forget to this day how happy I felt when a Swedish friend commented that the taste had brought her home. Don't we all cook to please the ones' we share our food with?! I only wish I hadn't lost my pictures of that first Kvæfjordkaka.

The second time I made it was in honor of my successful passing of the driver's exam and my last day at home. I spent the holiday season with my parents in Bulgaria, where I indulged in Bulgarian vegetarian cuisine - my favorite! As soon as the holidays arrived though, I could only think about ways to represent my newly found Scandinavian cuisine with the one at home. It was gonna be its debut to my parents, so it had to be something amazing. So, it was decided! I'm not particularly fond of making the same dessert twice, so I needed something that will set it apart from the first one. After a small discussion with my dad, a few changes were integrated and I ventured on a what seemed a very long, but exciting cake-making.

I should warn here that if you want to learn precisely about Kvæfjordkaka, you should visit The transplantedbaker who I learnt the classic cake from.

So, here is my adaptation:

Instead of making a single layer of pastry and meringue, one cooked on top of the other, baked them separately. For the pastry layer, I used the Transplanted baker's recipe. Then, I cut out circles with a glass, so I could make individual portions of the cake.

Since my dad prefers a meringue layer mixed with walnuts, I added them to the egg whites once they were beaten and carefully folded the mixture. 

Then I proceded with the baking of that layer and cut out circles from it as well.

Instead of mixing the pastry cream with whipped cream, I refrigerated the pastry cream (which became as thick as butter and used it by itself. It is delicious enough by itself, I have to say.

Next, I used one pastry layer, then one meringue layer, interchanging them until I had two of each. One of the towers I named "the tower of Pisa" - I think we all can guess why. :)

Once I was done assembling the pieces, it was decoration time. My parents would have liked me to simply use the rest of the pastry cream and then sprinkle chopped walnuts on top, like I did with one of them.

I had white and dark chocolate in my possession though, and there was no way I would take the easy road! So, what came next was a series of chocolate melting, ohs and ahs as quite a few of my ideas fell in ruins, desperation, talk about necessity of continuos practice in the art of chocolate decoration and a few simple, but more or less successfully executed pieces (I wanted them all to have different appearance). Eventually, I labored on three pieces and finished the last four in the manner my parents had suggested.

Note that I used the whipped cream to top the little cakes before I finished them with the chocolate.

Hopefully, next time the decoration will be more accomplished. :)


  1. This is stunning!! I've never heard of kvfjordkaka but you've got me convinced it's something I must try.

  2. Thank you, Katherine! It means a lot, coming from you! :) Thumbs up for you making this one and I'm gonna be looking forward to hearing whether you liked it... and hopefully seeing a post on it in your blog.

  3. Amazing! Looks like a work of art! (yummy art!)

    1. Thank you, Jolene! I try to make it personal. :)

  4. This is amazing! You did a marvelous job! The description of the cake makes me want to try it really bad :) The decor is fabulous too!

    1. Thank you, Anna! I'm thrilled you want to try it too. :)

  5. This looks awesome! Can't wait to try this. Happy following your blog.

  6. Thanks for finding me, easyfoodsmith! Do try this cake! ;) I already plan on indulging your cake with walnuts, dates and carrot. :D