Fyrstekake…frystekake..fsyrtekake… Ok. I love Norwegian cuisine, especially the sweets, but I will be happier once I can spell and pronounce them in the blink of an eye. This one means “prince cake” (Fyrste: prince) or as my Norwegian friend said, “crown cake”. And the best thing about it is that it has very rich taste coming from almond, from crust, from the extensive use of cardamom, and it is sweet but it is not overwhelming.
I was actually not planning to bake this at all. In fact, I did not know the existence of this cake, I certainly did not find it when I searched for Norwegian recipes once, many months ago. But a couple of weeks ago I was looking at photos that Instagram suggested, and I saw the photo of this cake – I knew I had to do it right away!
I adapted the recipe from bonappetit.com. The original recipe calls for freshly grated nutmeg and freshly ground cardamom but I had ready ones, so I used them. And also, if you are a regular follower of my recipes, you will be surprised to see that I used vanilla sugar in the recipe, instead of vanilla extract. The reason for this is simple: I had a brand new bottle of vanilla extract that I could not open for days, so I had to use vanilla sugar!! (Luckily my friend Ash opened the bottle for me about a week ago so now I am back on vanilla extract.)
The name translates as a “cake” but it looks like a pie with a crust and a filling (the Norwegian says that it is definitely considered a cake, who am I to argue!). The recipe is quite easy to follow but it takes a bit of time and needs planning since you have to chill the dough twice. You can make the dough at night and chill it overnight, then in the morning once you start you will just have to chill it again inside the pie pan for an hour. In the meantime you can make the filling in a relaxed manner! You can serve it with cream and/or with a bit of powdered sugar spread on top. The pie tastes even better the next day.
Oh and one thing completely irrelevant: I want to be a badass like Mariska Hargitay, or I should say Olivia Benson. Just a random wish.
Difficulty: ★★☆ (Medium)
(used 24cm / 9-inch diameter pie pan)
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups / 3 dl. white flour
1 tsp / 5 ml. baking powder
1/2 tsp / 2.5 ml. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp / 1.25 ml. salt
1/2 cup / 113 gr. butter in room temperature
1/2 cup / 1.2 dl. sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp / 10 ml. milk (preferably whole milk, täysmaito)
For the filling:
a little butter to coat the pie pan
2 cups / 4.8 dl. slivered almonds
1 cup / 2.4 dl. powdered sugar
3/4 tsp / about 4 ml. (3.75 to be exact) ground cardamom
1/4 tsp / 1.25 ml. ground nutmeg (or freshly grated)
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp / 2.5 ml. vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
1 egg yolk
2 tsp / 10 ml. water in room temperature (sorry, not in the photo)
Powdered sugar and/or cream to serve
1. Put flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt in a bowl and whisk. Put aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, put butter and sugar and mix them until it gets creamy.
4. Add flour gradually and mix just until fully incorporated.
5. Separate a quarter of the dough and chill the two pieces in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight, if you like).
6. (Once the dough is chilled enough) Butter the pie pan and put aside.
7. Take pieces from the big dough piece and cover inside of the pan by pressing dough using your fingertips.
8. Roll out the smaller dough pieces (I did it between two baking sheets, it was easier this way) to 3 mm thickness. Cut shapes (or cut in strips). Put both the small shapes and the dough-covered pie pan back in the fridge for 1 more hour to chill.
9. Preheat the oven to 175C.
10. Prepare the filling: In a food processor, put almond, powdered sugar, cardamom and nutmeg and process into powder. Put in a medium bowl.
11. In a mixing bowl, put egg whites and start beating. Once it starts to get white, add vanilla sugar (or extract). Continue to beat until medium peaks form.
12. Add beaten egg whites to almond mixture and gently fold in until all dry ingredients are covered with egg whites.
13. Whisk egg yolk with water.
14. Once the dough in the pan is chilled enough, pour the filling inside, spread it evenly using a spatula.
15. Put mini dough shapes or strips on the filling and brush with watery egg yolk.
16. Put the pan in the oven, in middle rack, for about 35-40 minutes, until crust and cut dough shapes are golden brown and filling looks set. Once baked, cool it well until you serve. If you bake it a day earlier to have richer taste, store in room temperature, in an airtight container.