Tag Archives: Cake

Ballard, Syttende Mai and the Rose of Southern Norway

Seattle is often called a “city of neighborhoods.” **If you’re not familiar with Seattle, check out this neighborhood poster by Ork Posters.** Each informal district is distinct in look and feel and residents tend to gravitate toward areas that fit their personality (or pocket book). So why did we choose Ballard?

Ballard is a Scandinavian neighborhood. Originally a separate city, Ballard was annexed in 1907. Lutefisk and Aebleskiver, however, are still available at the corner market and Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish flags and wind socks hang proudly from homes throughout the area. Ballard is steeped in history (and often in celebration of it, like the Norwegian 17 May celebration and “Get Your Viking On” Seafood Fest) and progressive (with efforts like Sustainable Ballard‘s “Undriving License” program). Residents enjoy all of the amenities of a small town – making it very walkable – while still being close to downtown Seattle. And the views! The Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks can be viewed from most parks, main boulevards, and (for the lucky) from home.

While I enjoy many of Seattle’s neighborhoods, Ballard feels like home – and I’m not even Scandinavian! So today, in honor of Syttende Mai, we are making “the rose of Southern Norway,” a recipe from Norwegian National Recipes: An Inspiring Journey in the Culinary History of Norway by Arne Brimi & Ardis Kaspersen.

I found our copy of the book when Olsen’s Scandinavian Foods, a staple on Market St since 1960, closed. It was a sad day for Ballard residents, but finding this gem of a book has made it all worthwhile. The pages have yellowed but this edition was clearly loved – favorite recipes are dog-eared and marked with special notes from whom I will never know. So thank you, previous owner, for leaving your copy at Olsen’s and for bookmarking this recipe!

The Rose of Southern Norway (Sørlandets rose)

For the cake:
4 large eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 lb ground hazelnuts
1 tbs flour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease 9 (or 10) inch springform pan and pre-heat oven to 325°F. Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (8-10 minutes or until it starts to look something like eggnog pudding). Fold in nuts, flour, and baking powder. Pour mixture into springform pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool for 1-2 hours.

For the frosting:
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
5 tbs powdered sugar
2 tsp cocoa
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla sugar (If you don’t have vanilla sugar, use granulated sugar and a dash of vanilla extract)

Combine ingredients in mixing bowl and whip until stiff. Spread over cold cake. The original suggests adding cognac to the frosting for an extra kick.

Finally, decorate the cake with a “rose” of canned or candied fruits and serve. Or do what I did and draw one in the frosting instead. Hurra for Syttende Mai!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under A, Dessert

Cake or Pie? The Best Chocolate Cake

Important life question today folks:

Are you a Cake or a Pie person?

I know, you either have a deep seeded affinity to one and only one, or you enjoy both without extreme sway to either. I, myself, am a cake person. Plain and simple. I would do just about anything for a scrumptious slice of cake.

Your answer to this question says a lot about you as a person. Pie people are complex. Think about a pie, so many crucial components to a good pie. First, the crust. A good pie crust is few and far between. It takes a know-how and talent to pull off a flaky, buttery, delicious crust. And then there’s the filling. Where do you even begin? Cream or fruit pie? Cream pies are beyond me. I’ve never had a good experience with cream pie.
* The only exception to my pie aversion is my Grandma Tessman’s Gooseberry and Blueberry Pie.

Cake on the other hand is simple. Chocolate or vanilla? Definitely always chocolate cake for this girl. The second and only other worry with cake is the frosting. Yes, I love cake, but any great cake can be ruined with over-the-top frosting.
I am simply smitten with cream cheese frosting, cake or not. Or this odd but lip-smacking good frosting.

I found this on the Pioneer Woman Cooks website and decided to give it a whirl. Boy, I am ever so glad I tried this recipe. My sister is thanking me as well, even Nathan reluctantly tried a bite… and then a second, and third. This cake may even be on the dangerous side. You might hurt yourself after the first bite. It may or may not lead you to eat half the pan. So moist, and chocolaty, ah so scrumptious!

Don’t just sit there.
Make this cake!

:: The Best Chocolate Cake. Ever. ::

·  2 cups Flour
·  2 cups Sugar
·  ¼ teaspoons Salt
·  4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
·  2 sticks Butter
·  1 cup Boiling Water
·  ½ cups Buttermilk
(I didn’t have buttermilk and was in dire need of cake, so I used organic milk and it was just fine!)
·  2 whole Beaten Eggs
·  1 teaspoon Baking Soda
·  1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Add the boiling water and allow the chocolate-buttery-goodness mixture to boil for 30 seconds and then cut the heat. Combine with the dry ingredients and let it cool off for a bit.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk, or whatever milk you may have in your fridge, and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate/flour mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan (I used a pyrex and while it was extra thick and luscious, I think next time I will split the batter into a couple of pyrex dishes or invest in a sheet cake pan) and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. Since I used a much smaller dish I had to cook the cake a lot longer. Not to fret if this happens to you, you can easily check the doneness of the cake with a toothpick into the center. If the toothpick is gooey when you remove it from the cake then throw it back in the oven for a short while.

p.s. My apologies for the lack of photos. The cake was gone before our eyes, it’s THAT good.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dessert, N