Saturday, 25 May 2013

Zuleikakake - Suksessterte - Success Cake


I first came across this cake when I spent my summer holidays in the South of Norway. My friend and I always had one trip to Kristiansand. And in between shopping for cloths, records and other goodies we went to a small coffee place. After this first time, I was always looking forward of going back there the next summer for some more of this delicious cake. And when I finally found a Norwegian baking book 'Mine Lekreste Kaker' (My Most Delicious Cakes) with a recipe for this special cake, I was overjoyed. Last weekend I made this for a fund raising event for an education project in South Africa and I can only say it WAS a full success. So the name of the cake must be right then, I guess. If you look for something easy to make then this is the right cake - and it is gluten-free thanks to all the almonds in the base. Well, anyway, here is my version of it.

Ingredients for a 24cm cake or 12 slices:

200g almonds, ground almonds, 6 egg whites, a pinch of salt, 180g soft brown sugar

For the filling:

6 egg yolks, 250ml whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 120g golden caster sugar or light brown sugar, 80g butter, 3 tablespoons flakes almonds.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line 2 24cm spring-form tins with baking paper on the bottom and butter the sides.
2. Mix the almonds with the sugar and stir until evenly mixed. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks.
3. Meanwhile, place the flaked almonds onto a plate and microwave on high for about 4 minutes or until the flakes are golden brown and toasted. Remove form the microwave and cool down.
4. Take a third of the egg whites and mix them into the dry almonds until you get a thick paste then stir in the rest of the egg whites more gently. Fill the two prepared tins with half of the almond mixture each, try to even it out as much as possible. Place onto the lowest rack position in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven; open the spring forms but make sure to run a knife along the edges if the base sticks to the side or your rip pieces of the base. Place them on a cooling rack and remove the baking paper carefully, then leave until cold.
6. When the cake is cold start making the filling. Mix the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract and butter in a heavy based saucepan.
7. Place on a medium low heat and stir evenly. Do not stop stirring until the cream start to thicken. It is done, when it starts to boil. Remove from the heat, stir it to cool a little.
8. Place the first of the bases onto a flat plate and pour a third of the filling onto it. Spread it to the edges then place the second base over the cream and pour the rest of the cream over the cake. Let it flow over the edges so it covers the cake all over. The cream thickens further the cooler it gets. It is worth using the overflow cream to place it onto the sides so that they get covered with it as well.
9. Remove the overflow cream around the cake and decorate with the toasted almond flakes. Place into the fridge until set and cooled down. The cake taste best when cold.

Cook’s Tip:
  • You can use whole almonds and ground them yourself: Put the almonds into boiling water and leave them for a minute before removing the skin. Dry them in a 100°C warm oven for 10 minutes and then ground them finely in a food processor or leave the skins on, that results in a darker cake base.
  • I usually weigh my bowl first in which I mix the almonds with the egg whites as I can then half the dough for the two cakes accurately. This results in two even bases for an even cake.
  • If you like a more aerated cream, prepare the cream with only half of the whipping cream and whisk the other half until stiff, then fold it into the cooked cream once this has been cooled down.

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