We have followers in Sweden! When I mentioned this to Peter he suggested posting the recipe for Scandinavian Almond Cake.
Several years ago I was asked by a local specialty shop, Simply Scandinavian Foods (www.simplyscandinavianfoods.com), to create gluten-free versions of this traditional cake. They were so successful we started offering chocolate, lemon poppyseed, and almond poppyseed versions. The cakes are baked in long fluted pans (available at: http://www.giftsofnorway.com/scalcapan.html, and at Simply Scandinavian Foods on Stevens Avenue, Portland ME.) Determining a technique for consistently removing cakes from the pans intact was a bit of a challenge, but we figured it out. And remember, we’re talking about C-A-K-E; the boys and their friends were willing to eat any number of failed attempts! Part of the key to getting the cake out successfully is… DUN dun dun DUN: dreaded Crisco. It works better than butter, oil, or non-stick spray oil (organic or otherwise.)
And whilst we’re extolling the virtues of Crisco: it’s the best agent in removing pine pitch from one’s hands that I know of:
1. Rub a bit of Crisco into the pitch to (dissolve) it.
2. Rub 1/2 -1 teaspoons of liquid dish soap into the Crisco/pitch mix to (dissolve it).
3. Run warm water over (hands) to rinse off the pitch/Crisco/soap mix. TA DA! If no Crisco, use margarine, if no margarine, use butter, if no butter… turps ;-(
But I was writing about dessert, and so:
Scandinavian Almond Cake
1 cup (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cup (7.5 oz.) GF flour mix – ours, yours, or Trader Joe’s
1/8 cup (1 oz.) almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, room temp (use almond milk to make it dairy-free.)
1/2 cup, minus 1 tablespoon, vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 Teaspoon Vanilisocker – a vanilla infused powdered sugar for dusting on cooled cakes (www.dansukker.fi) Also available at Simply Scandinavian Foods (see link above.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F; grease the pan(s) with Crisco and dust with GF flour. Scatter 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds into each of the prepared pans. Note: This recipe will make enough batter for one (30 oz.) cake, leaving about 6 oz. batter for a smaller (round?) cake, a small loaf cake, or several cup cakes. In each case prepare the pans the same way.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar at medium speed in a standing mixer for 3-4 minutes or until pale yellow.
3. Whilst the mixer is running, measure the flours, baking powder, xantham gum, and salt into a small mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.
4. Measure the milk, oil, and almond & vanilla extracts in a glass measuring cup.
5. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the egg/sugar mix: dry, wet, dry, wet… finishing with a small portion of the dry ingredients, and scraping down as necessary.
6. Pour at least 25 ounces (and up to 30) of the batter into the special long, fluted pan. Use the remaining batter as you like. (Reserve for dessert pancakes, served with berry syrup and whipped cream?)
7. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes for the long fluted pan (less for the smaller pans.)
8. Remove from the oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes and then put the pans into a bath of VERY hot water for 2 minutes. (I boil water in the kettle and fill a broiling pan half way with water.) Remove from the water bath, place a rack over the cake and invert. Knock the cake firmly to get it to release from the pan. Let cool completely before sprinkling with Vanilisocker. I put the sugar in a small hand held sieve and tap it gently over the cake. The sieve is easy to wash, guaranteeing it’s uncontaminated (as sifters in conventional kitchens almost always are!)
And remember ladies and gents: (my) Number 1 Reason to be happy about cooking gluten free: pans are easier to clean! Just popped the cakes pans into hot soapy; with very little scrubbing they’ll be baked-on-batter free in a jiffy!