Citizens! Your beloved Stalwart, the Caliph of Cakes, YOUR TFD has strong ties to the magnificent country of Iceland – including not just business contacts but a strong personal connection since I spent my honeymoon there almost exactly 9 years ago! To honor my acknowledged love of desserts and close out 2019 on a sweet note, I thought I’d post another fantastic recipe from this windswept island – the deliciously simple almond cake known as möndlukaka!
As noted on food.com:
Most Icelanders have an enormous “sweet tooth” and an Icelandic afternoon tradition called “Kaffi og Kaka” (coffee and cake) is 1 way they indulge their craving. At first I expected something simple, but I quickly realized K&K is the Icelandic version of an American tradition … “pig out till you seriously hurt yourself!”
For some, it’s daily and casual. For others, it’s less frequent … but a very formal, put out your best china, fill a table w/all manner of taste sensations and eat for 2 hrs while pouring coffee so strong it would make you gasp w/terror. A favorite treat for such occasions is Iceland Almond Cake.
Modern Icelandic bakeries offer a wide variety of breads and pastry, of course including Möndlukaka . The first professional bakers in Iceland were Danish and this is still reflected in the professional traditions of Icelandic bakers.
Long-time local favorites beyond Möndlukaka include snúður, a type of cinnamon roll, usually topped with glaze or melted chocolate, and skúffukaka, a single-layer chocolate cake baked in a roasting pan, covered with chocolate glaze and sprinkled with ground coconut.
A variety of layer cake called randalín, randabrauð or simply lagkaka has been popular in Iceland since the 19th century. These come in many varieties that all have in common five layers of 1⁄2-inch-thick (13 mm) cake alternated with layers of fruit preserve, jam or icing.
One version called vínarterta, popular in the late 19th century, with layers of prunes, became a part of the culinary tradition of Icelandic immigrants in the U.S. and Canada.
Traditional breads, still popular in Iceland, include rúgbrauð, a dense, dark and moist rye bread, traditionally baked in pots or special boxes used for baking in holes dug near hot springs, and flatkaka, a soft brown rye flatbread. A common way of serving hangikjöt is in thin slices on flatkaka. Other breads include skonsur which are soft breads, and Westfjord Wheatcakes (Vestfirskar hveitikökur).
Traditional pastries include kleina, a small fried dough bun where the dough is flattened and cut into small trapezoids with a special cutting wheel (kleinujárn), a slit cut in the middle and then one end pulled through the slit to form a “knot”.
This is then deep-fried in oil. Laufabrauð (lit. “leafbread”), a very thin wafer, with patterns cut into it with a sharp knife and ridged cutting wheels and fried crisp in oil, is a traditional Christmas food, sometimes served with hangikjöt. Möndlukaka deserves to be in the same holiday category!
Many cooks today now stain the Möndlukaka icing the required garish pink with berry juice or the classic food coloring, but TFD uses a goodly shot of Chambord, the delicious French raspberry cordial, to the icing.
Chambord is the original French black raspberry liqueur Royale de France. Made in accordance with an artisan, centuries old, all-natural recipe consisting of more than 13 ingredients including wild black raspberries, other berry fruits, vanilla and acacia honey.
Gisli, Bala and Helga – I hope you all enjoy my recipe! 🙂 Consider enjoying this in an Icelandic meal where the starter is the delicious Langoustine Bisque known as Humarsúpa. Möndlukaka is a traditional Icelandic dessert, Citizens – one that I am sure you will enjoy!
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