22 Jun 2010

Danish Delights: Kransekage (only 4 more posts to go)

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Whenever I categorise a post as a “Danish Delight”, it’s more of an intuitive thing than an actual proven fact. It’s just this feeling that these recipes have something very Danish about them and that they are rarely seen in other countries (but maybe not “never”, seeing as I haven’t been to every single bakery in the world). On top of that there are the endless traditions and memories attached to the enjoyment of these delights. Such as this “Kransekage”, that I have written about before here, only in the more festive New Year’s Eve version (it’s all in the fancy shape).

As you can see from the three posts in the link, I have never fully mastered the art of the perfect icing, but when I saw the Danish tv-show called “Det søde liv“, I had to give it another go. Now, if you look at the icing, it’s almost uncannily white and incandescent. Toothpaste couldn’t have made a whiter result and it’s all in one tiny detail: The beating.

Blomsterberg’s Classic Kransekage (makes 8)

This recipe is by the talented pâtissier (or pâtissière if there is such a thing) Mette Blomsterberg. You can find it here in Danish, but I have also taken the liberty of translating it, cutting it in half and adding a tiny tweak of my own.

Cakes

  • 250 grams pure marzipan
  • 100 grams fine cane sugar
  • 50 grams egg whites (I used the pasteurised kind, so I can’t say how many regular ones it would take, but in Denmark you need the pasteurised kind for the icing anyway).
  • The grated zest of half an organic lemon

Icing

  • 50 grams icing sugar
  • a drop or two of pasteurised egg whites

Mix the egg whites and the cane sugar well and let it sit for about an hour while the sugar dissolves. Mix it into the marzipan along with the lemon zest by hand or spoon, a little bit at a time until you have an even mixture. Spoon it into a piping bag and spray onto a lined baking tray in your preferred size (a good bite size is approx 5 cm long and 2 cm wide) with plenty of space in between. Leave them to dry for 30 mins, turn the oven on to 200 degrees Celcius and then adjust the shape with a finger dipped in water so it doesn’t stick. Bake them until they’re golden, about 8-10 mins depending on the size. Leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat the icing sugar and a bit of egg white fluffy with an electrical mixer or a very energetic hand. Make sure the texture is smooth but still firm enough to keep its shape. Fold a piece of  baking paper into a thin cone, pour in the icing and cut a tiny snippet from the tip of the cone. Then decorate your “kransekager” as you like and leave to air dry for a while. Enjoy with some creamed grandma coffee and make sure you keep that pinky finger erect while lifting the frail porcelain cup. That’s part of the game.

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