Tuesday, 14 January 2020

World's Best Cake - "Verdens Beste/Kvaefjordkake"

This is, quite without doubt, the most amazing cake in the world, and it's name doesn't lie!  Known as the World's Best Cake, or Verdens Beste, it comes from Kvaefjord in Troms, a northern county of Norway.    Last year, I had the privilege of skiing on part of the route the World War II SOE "Operation Gunnerside" saboteurs took to get to the heavy water plant at Vermork.   My team leader had lived in Norway as a teenager, and the family she got to know then kindly invited the entire team to supper.   The crown of a fabulous evening was this cake.  A confection of cake, meringue, almonds and cream... .heaven in a single (massive) slice...   Of course, I had to have the recipe!    So, Toril and family, many, many thanks - I hope I've done your recipe justice. 

World's Best Cake - "Verdens Beste/Kvaefjordkake"
World's Best Cake - "Verdens Beste/Kvaefjordkake"

5oz/150g butter
5oz/150 g caster sugar
5 egg yolks mixed with
4 tbsp milk
5oz/150 g flour (I used self raising flour)
1 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda  

5 egg whites
6oz/180g caster sugar
4oz/100g flaked almonds

1 pint/600ml double cream
2 tsp vanilla sugar (I used 1tsp vanilla essence)

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and put parchment in a Swiss Roll tin/baking tray.  The meringue will come quite high, so be generous with the parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and airy, then mix in the egg yolks and the milk.  Add flour, bicarbonate of soda and vanilla essence or sugar.   Spread the dough evenly onto the tray.

Using a mixer, whisk the whites almost firm and then add the sugar in a
thin stream while whisking until the meringue is firm and shiny and will keep its shape.  Dollop the meringue all over the cake mixture, lifting it with the spatula (ie, so it isn’t smooth on top).   Sprinkle the flaked almonds all over the top. 

Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes and allow to cool.

Cut the cake in half (I found it easier to keep the cake on the parchment, cutting right through, so you can tip it upside down).   Put one half on your serving dish  with the meringue facing down. Whisk the cream and the vanilla sugar softly together and spread it over the cake.  Top with the other half of the cake, meringue side up.   

The cake is now ready to be served, or you could refrigerate it for later.  Toril says she sometimes makes the cake a day in advance, adding the filling on the day.