Liv is my friend in England who is Norwegian. When her son got married, he had one request:
Kransekake I think means Norwegian Wedding Cake. If you have ever had it, call yourself lucky. It is not a cake like we are used to eating here, more of a… Hmmm. Cookie? Tart?
Special pans are used to make 18 rings, all different sizes. They stack one on top of the other with the smallest one on top. Reminds me of one of those Fisher Price toys the kids used to play with when they were babies.
Here’s a photo of her set of pans she uses to make it.
Anyway, Liv made these rings and on the day of the wedding she assembled it but it was too tall to bring without falling all over the place. We had to take the top part of the tower down and bring it in two parts to the reception hall.
She gives me the cake and makes me sit in the back. Carefully. These things are fragile. Then she drives like a maniac through town because we are running out of time. We still need to assemble and decorate the thing once we get there. Then go back home and get ready for the wedding.
We go down that crazy narrow road with the brick wall that always makes me scream if another car is coming at us.
And it seems as if cars are purposesly trying to hit us because I have this fragile thing in my hands. We’re dodging cars, making sharp turns on shortcut paths and I keep hearing our wheels squeal. I may be swaying from side to side, but dammit, that kransekake is safe.
If you are in England and see this sticker on the back of some blonde’s car, I’ve warned you. I’m just kidding. Liv is a great driver.
We made it alive and the Kransekake survived without a blemish. I got to decorate it with the ribbons and flowers.
Is that special or what?
Here is how to make it:
For the Cake Mix:
1/2 kg of almonds (ground)
1/2 kg of icing sugar (this is powdered sugar)
Yes, I am too lazy to type that up, plus Liv has this ancient recipe and I think it’s too cool not to show the real thing.
So here is how it looks once the dough is rolled out like a snake and you put it in the pan. Liv dusts the greased pans with semolina flour, or something like that.
Then she takes the top of the dough rings and makes these peaks, like so:
While that is baking I go around and get a few snapshots of stuff I like in her house:
A little bottle of Scandinavian booze.
The only brand of butter Liv ever buys (Scandinavian).
And proof, PROOF that Diet Dr. Pepper is sold in England. Spanky and Sweetpea said I was nuts looking for that stuff over there last summer.
Okay. The moment these cakes are done in the oven? You smell them. It is like magic. You don’t even really need a timer, just a nose. It is that reliable.
This is what it looks like coming out of the oven.
Here is how to make the icing to drizzle over the rings.
1 egg white
100 gr. (2dl) of icing sugar (powdered sugar)
You do not assemble them in a stack until the icing has hardened. Liv iced hers the night before.
Now here is the happy couple, Klaus and Leanne.
The bride is a singer and has a bunch of very talented singer friends who sang some amazing karaoke at the reception. I was just amazed at the entertainment there by guests. She kicked it off with an incredible cover of Cabaret. I had forgotten she was a singer, so when these people kept coming up and performing these difficult songs I was wondering, is this real?
One of the best parts of going to visit friends from different cultures is cooking with them, celebrating things with them, dancing, laughing, singing (okay, i did not dare sing with that lineup of talent, no way), driving with them, or just going grocery shopping together.
Now here is a little test to see how well you know me. Guess which one of these things I did not do while in England:
Clean Liv’s oven
Spend the day in London by myself
Wake up at 8 AM