This recipe is from my Food Year cookbook and was given to me by the late Millie Sherman whose Otello patisserie in Neutral Bay, Sydney, was renowned for its fabulous cakes and chocolates. Kransekake, or "wreath cake," is the signature cake of Norway, where you'll find it at birthdays, weddings, graduations and on the Christmas table.
If you'd prefer to make a smaller cake, use only half the quantity (to make 11 circles) or use a full quantity of the pastry and make the circles thicker.
In place of of the circles of baking paper, you can use kransekake moulds which can be bought here
- Prep Time : 1h 15 min
- Cook Time : 15-20 minutes
- Yield : 30
Cream together the butter and 120g icing sugar, then add the almond paste in small pieces, beating until well incorporated - this will take a few minutes. Add the yolks one at a time, then the essences. Stir through the flour. Preheat oven to 180C/160D fan-forced.
Draw circles on 22 sheets of baking paper, starting with a 2.5cm circle. Use a compass if you one as it makes the work easier. Continue drawing circles, increasing the size by 5mm all around, until you have 22 circles. Place the paper on ungreased trays.
Fill a piping bag with some of the mixture, using a plain nozzle 1cm in diameter. Squeeze dough out along the inside of the circle. If you have a fan-forced oven, several trays can be baked at once, otherwise two trays at a time will do. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes - the circles should be lightly golden.
Remove from oven and leave on the tray until cold. Carefully remove paper from the baked circles. Place the largest one on a serving platter and continue until all are arranged one on top of one another.
Make a soft icing by adding sifted icing sugar to the lightly beaten egg white and lemon juice. Beat hard until you have a softly moulding mixture. Drizzle some frosting on the platter to secure the cake. Place largest ring on frosting. Use a clean icing bag with the smallest nozzle for writing, drizzle icing over in scallop pattern over first ring. Place next largest ring on top and decorate and stack in order. The scalloped frosting will hold each ring in place.
Dust with icing sugar (or decorate with cherries stuck on toothpicks inserted between the rings).
To serve: break off pieces of the rings and eat like biscuits.
Tip: If you're making it one a hot day, add a little more flour to the dough.