Kvaefjord Verdens aka Beste Kake (World's Best Cake)
My brother Robert lives in Norway with his wife and three kids and when I visited him a few years ago, his wife made a cake they referred to as Verdens Beste Kake (world's best cake) after tasting it, I really felt like it was. When I bit into this cake, I was truly blown away by how good it was. Special occasions consist of a table full of various cakes, cookies and cheesecakes.
My niece Michelle on her confirmation in traditional Norwegian dress
Now, something else I discovered in Norway....that happens to be uniquely my brother is "picture time". "Picture time" is going to minor points of interest (the faster you go, the more pictures you'll be able to cram in) jump out of the car with the family, pose for a picture, jump back in the car, argue with the kids, get to the next location at break neck speed, jump out of the car with the family, pose for a picture, jump back in the car, argue with the kids, jump out of the car with the family, pose for a picture.....and so on...and so on.
Early on, my brother realized that in order for me to see everything, a schedule was going to be required. I did receive a food menu several weeks prior to my arrival, so this was truly starting to feel like a package vacation tour, except my brother felt the need to wake me up most mornings with the use of a bull horn. The bull horn you use when someone is about to jump off a building and you need to talk them down, except it was within grabbing distance. In my brother's defense, he did tell me how he was going to wake me up, I just didn't believe him. Now, he also thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing this bull horn to his son's sports games and the reason he owns one. Nothing says "I am a freakin antagonist" or "look at me, I'm American", more then a bullhorn. I picture my nephew on the playing field and his crazy, american father is in the stands screaming from a megaphone.....Go Christopher...Go and if you saw ANY of my brother's at a sporting event, you would realize why there is absolutely no need for a megaphone. Joking aside, I was taken good care of, I ate all the Norwegian specialties, like Ribbe (drool worthy) and Pinnekjøtt both made by my sister-in-law, saw the most beautiful Fjord's, Mt. Floyen and the fish market and got to spend time with my nieces and nephew!
This recipe is not my sister-in-law's, I had to improvise. I don't want her freaking out. I did have a few taste tester's and got rave reviews, but thank god they weren't my sister-in-law:-)
1 stick and 2 tsp of butter
2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 cup for merengue
4 extra large eggs (separate the yolks from the whites)
3 Tbsp milk (or substitute half & half)
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of vanilla extract or vanilla sugar.
2 Tsp baking powder
4 oz of split almonds
1 cup whipped cream
Start off by making the filling:
I had the advantage of Norwegian family sending me packages of Kakefyll, which is a pudding type filling, but you can substitute vanilla pudding with 1 1/2 cups of milk and chill. In a separate bowl, whip 1 cup of whipped cream and fold into chilled pudding recipe.
Beat butter and 2/3 sugar together, then add egg yolk one at a time.
Add milk, flour, vanilla and baking powder, beat to make dough
Spray or butter oblong baking pan using parchment paper to cover the bottom. I used a 9x12 inch pan.
Spread the dough on the paper, in one thin layer.
Prepare merengue: Whip the four egg whites until stiff, beating in remaining 1 cup of sugar. Spread eggwhites on dough
Sprinkle Almonds on top of merengue mixture when finished spreading
Bake in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, let cake cool, cut into two equal pieces. Add cream filling on one side of cake, add second part of cake almond side up on top of filling.