Friday, 5 October 2012

Further up North there is a Cake ... and a Dream

What comes to your mind, when you think about Scandinavia? Be quick! Name three things!

Polar lights, elks, vikings (I'm surprised, too, that not this furnish company from Sweden came to my mind).
Well those were the things that came up in my mind without extra thinking. Next I think of Denmark, at least that is a part of Scandinavia I have already been to. Yet, this is already quite some years ago. I remember Copenhagen and visiting the Tivoli with it's wonderful display of lights at evening time. Further I remember buying a large back of popcorn only to notice too late that it was salted and not sweet. Just a little bit of disappointment there.
Alcohol comes next. There is a certain Danish alcoholic beverage that never failed to help in cases of stomach problems - fail safe!
No, I don't want to bake a cake with that alcohol now. But, yes, it just now came to my mind: Would a cake containing this alcoholic beverage make it possible for you to have more pieces of it before your stomach goes funny?
We will not find out now.
Nevertheless we want to start drifting towards the subject of cake.
Back then, when I visited Denmark, I read about the speciality 'Kanelstang'. That is a kind of cinnamon cake with puff pastry, marzipan and, of course, cinnamon. The important part here, however, was marzipan. So I had to try and was not disappointed. Now I have to try to reproduce it in my kitchen one day.
For today, though, no experiments. When it comes to Scandinavian food, there is not as much on offer as to cookbooks as for example with Spanish, Italian, Mexican or Indian cuisine.
I found out about one person that wants that to be changed, somehow, or at least wanted to contribute as regards cookbooks concerning Scandinavia. So I got myself that cookbook: Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking ... Scandilicious from Signe Johansen.
I tried one of her recipes (Cardamom twists) from her website before and was not disappointed. So far I tried also a few things from the book and it was fine as well.
Let us concentrate now on the cake up North (Of course it all depends from were you live. For me 'up North' is up North. For you it maybe down South or over West or whatever ...).
The cake under subject is Drømmekage (Danish coconut dream cake). The final result was very delicious and, lucky me, somehow I still have some left of it so I can continue to enjoy it (without needing this alcohol mentioned above).
The batter for the cake doesn't contain anything spectacular, just the usual suspects such as sugar, butter, buttermilk, flour, baking powder and eggs. Well, fine, there was also some vanilla extract and a tiny amount of salt. Vanilla already sounds good.
Still, to make it really great, there is more to come.
First of all the basic batter goes to the oven for 20 minutes or a bit more - as it is with my oven, it always needs more time.
The really good thing about this cake is the topping that comes over it after baking for the first time. After all, we want it to be a coconut dream and when you go over the list of the suspects, you don't see any coconut mentioned.
Tragically, though, we are not going to see any coconut on the cake anyway. The recipe called for 150 g desiccated coconut. A frantic search through my cupboards started, but no matter how desperate I searched, I couldn't find any traces of coconut.
All is lost!
No! Lovely Signe was so kind to provide topping variations at the end of the recipe.

I would have liked to have a dream with coconut, but we had to change the cake to Toscakake by substituting the finely chopped hazelnuts for the desiccated coconut. That proved to be lovely as well (Right, I don't know whether the coconut variation would have been lovely, but I guess so).
Another option would have been chocolate-coffee caramel Bømlokake for all those chocolate lovers out there. That means there are many more good reasons to come back to this recipe again.
For the time being we like to stay with our ... now Toscakake. Apart from the hazelnuts, butter, sugar, milk and vanilla salt went into the topping. Oh, I don't have vanilla salt. I just put some fleur de sel and some vanilla extract in, although the book states, how to make your own vanilla salt.

Anyway, I will have some more of that cake, because ... I can.  
So, what comes to your mind, when you think about Scandinavia? Hopefully also some good food and a dream of a cake ... although it might not be a Drømmekage with coconut. 


  1. I immediately thought of cardamom!

  2. mmm deliicous. I have a Swedish friend who's always made the most delicious cakes

  3. I'd say Moomins, Karlsson on the roof and smoked salmon. :)
    This looks like a lush recipe. And love your teaset (I like it when men are not afraid to show their feminine side).

    1. Oh, yes. I know Karlsson as well and smoked salmon seems to be famous as well.
      Thanks, yes I like this teaset, too. However, these days it's just used for decoration purposes. Watch out for what kind of decoration is still to come ...


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