This post is made in partnership with TINE.
May is a celebratory month, usually filled with gatherings for confirmations, weddings, baptisms, and 17 May (syttende mai), Norway’s Constitution Day. It’s deemed a dessert month, when the cake tables are bountiful and filled with delicious treats in all their glory – tall, short, round, rectangular, layered, ringed, frosted, fruit-topped, cream-filled, and all the other wonderful ways one can imagine.
One of my favorites and a Norwegian classic is bløtkake. Its simplicity is what makes it so delicious. Sponge cake, whipped cream and maybe another addition or two is all you need to create a wonderful layered cake that’s moist, light and just sweet enough.
This year, I wanted to put a little twist on the original and swap out vanilla custard for Brunost custard. It’s a delightful way to enhance this very Norwegian cake and pay homage to a farm-to-table approach.
Slices of salty-sweet, creamy brown cheese are tossed into the custard as it cooks, melting until you’re left with a gorgeous caramel filling. It’s so good, I end up eating a couple of spoonfuls as I assemble the cake. You may even wish to make a second batch and divide it into small cups then chill to serve as pudding later on.
To ensure the subtle Brunost flavor of the custard shines through, keep the decorations minimal. A few raspberries will do, but I wouldn’t add too many or they’ll overpower the cake. As with any layered cream cake, they’re at their best when the layers have had time to soak up all the flavors. So, making this the day before will not only save you time on the day, but also liven up the cake.
Brunost Layered Cream Cake (Brunost Bløtkake)
*Makes 1 cake
For the cake:
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the Brunost custard:
- 3 large egg yolks
- ½ cup (110 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (500 ml) whole milk, plus extra for assembling
- ½ vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 ounces (75 g) Ski Queen®/Gudbrandsdalen, sliced or grated
For the whipped cream:
- 2 ½ cups (600 ml) heavy cream
- 2 ½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Raspberries, for decorating
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
Cut a round piece of parchment paper so it fits perfectly in the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan. Butter the pan then add the parchment and butter the parchment.
In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and granulated sugar on medium-high for 6 to 8 minutes or until stiff and light in color. Sift the flour and baking powder over the batter and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and set on a baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
Prepare the Brunost custard by whisking the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl then adding in the cornstarch. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and scraped vanilla beans or vanilla extract over low heat just before it begins to simmer. Steadily and slowly, pour a little of the warm milk into the sugar mixture, whisking constantly to avoid any curdling of the eggs, until you have added all the milk. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, add the slices of Brunost and cook over medium heat until the Brunost has melted and the custard has thickened considerably, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool completely. You can prepare the custard a day in advance and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, or the stand mixer, whip the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form.
To assemble, cut the cake horizontally into 3 even layers. Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a serving plate or platter. Spoon some milk over the bottom layer then top with half of the Brunost custard, followed by a generous amount of whipped cream, spreading it to the edges of the cake. Arrange the second layer of cake on top and repeat the process of adding milk, the remaining Brunost custard, and whipped cream, reserving enough whipped cream to cover the cake. Top with the final cake layer then cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. The cake can be served immediately or made 1 day in advance to allow the cake to soften and soak up more flavor. Decorate the top of the cake with a few raspberries and some Brunost cut-outs, if desired.