March in Minnesota can bring many surprises in terms of weather, but so far this year the weather has been pleasant which got me in the mood to make this special treat. The good thing is that bløtkake can be made during any time of year so if the unpredictable weather kicks in a fresh snowstorm, you wouldn't need to worry about eating a dessert that is "out of season". Often Norwegians use fresh berries that they have picked to include in the dessert which makes it popular in the summer. It is also a very popular dessert for celebrations such as birthdays and syttende mai (Norway's Constitution Day).
You can use fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or cloudberries for this dessert. Cloudberries are a Scandinavian treasure, but are often difficult to find fresh in the US. When I started looking at this recipe I realized that I already had nearly every ingredient in my pantry. The only items I didn't have sitting around were heavy whipping cream, buttermilk and berries. So it may seem like a tricky dessert to make, but it really wasn't difficult. It just took great care to make it look nice since it is delicate.
Here is a picture showing the initial stages of layering. It starts with one of the circle cakes face down so the flat side is up. This is important so that the berries don't slip off. The berries have been getting juicy in the fridge soaked in sugar. Due to this, they are slippery and can slip off. I place some slices along the edge that had a higher side facing out so that any berried that would slide, would slide toward the center.
The next step is to layer on half of the cream and repeat each layer again. I did one layer by putting the cream on the top of the second cake and flipping it over thinking it would alleviate any issues with pushing berries off as I spread the cream. It worked ok, but made it difficult to fill any areas along the edge with evenly distributed cream. For the second layer I just spread it over with a rubber spatula and it worked just fine. The cream is really light thus making it easy to spread.... and also easy to lick the entire bowl clean after mixing... because I did that!
Here is a snapshot with each layer showing. This cake was a lot of fun to make. This was my first time making it and I think it turned out beautiful which makes me wonder what I could do with a bit more practice!
Yum! We have relatives coming from Norway in May! I may make this again for them to have a little pre syttende mai celebration!
For a complete recipe check out the book Scandinavian Gatherings: From Afternoon Fika to Midsummer Feast: 70 Simple Recipes & Crafts for Everyday Celebrations.