Tomorrow, 17th May, is the Norwegian Constitution Day. And what is more appropriate than celebrating with a delicious chocolate cake. I am looking forward to the reactions from the boys. They have helped quality check the chocolate during the bake, but the decoration was delayed until after they were in bed. It will definitely be plenty of chocolate for them and the rest of the guests!
The Constitution Day is celebrated all over the country with parades, marching bands, ice cream, hot dogs, barbecuing, cake and flags. Those who have one will be dressed up in the national costume “bunad”. It is typically a long day with lots of walking, parade watching and ice cream eating. The newspapers will debate whether or not the kids should be allowed to eat as much ice cream as they want to or not in the days leading up to the day as it is considered to be a day that should be focused on the kids.
To expats seeing all the debacle for the first time, it may seem a bit nationalistic, but it is all done in celebratory manner and with the main idea for everyone to have fun and celebrate living in a free country.
225 grams all purpose flour
400 grams sugar
100 grams cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml buttermilk
125 ml vegetable oil (neutral flavor, like sunflower)
1 tsp vanilla extract
200 ml coffee
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Line and grease two 22 – 24 cm baking pans/spring forms.
Sift all the dry ingredients into your baking bowl. Attach the machine with a paddle attachment or similar.
In a separate bowl, use one with a pouring spout if you have one, mix all the wet ingredients except the coffee.
Turn the machine on low with the dry ingredients. Gently pour the wet ingredients in a little at the time. Let it mix properly, but don’t overwork it.
Once all is mixed, gently pour in the coffee. Keep the machine on low speed all the time.
Ensure it is mixed until everything is incorporated, but don’t work the mixture more.
The mixture is supposed to be runny and wet.
Take it off the machine and scrape the bottom with a silicone spatula. Mix gently to incorporate what may have been stuck to the bowl to avoid lumps.
Pour the batter into the two forms and cook for 35 minutes. Once they are done, put the forms on a wire rack to cool. The cakes can be a little wet in the center still, but they should not be wobbly. Let them cool while you start on the chocolate ganache.
Recipe chocolate cream/ganache:
100 ml cream (I used whipping cream)
150 grams butter
50 grams sugar
350 grams good chocolate, chopped
In a small saucepan, bring the cream, butter and sugar to a gentle simmer.
Pull it off the heat and pour in the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes before stirring to mix everything using a whisk.
Find your handblender and mix everything well until it is nice and glossy.
Let it cool a little and put it in the fridge to cool for 2-3 hours. Take it out and give it a mix with the hand blender every 30 minutes.
Once it is setting and seems like it is turning solid, take it out and give it one last good blend before icing the cake.
Take the cakes out of the forms and place one on your cake stand. Add a layer of ganache on top and spread out evenly before putting the second cake on.
Use a spatula to glace the cake with the rest of the ganache. If you have proper glazing and equipment, then use that.
For this cake, I did not blind ice it first as I was going to cover the entire cake with chocolate buttons, so it didn’t have to look perfect. But is was important to cover the entire surface and any holes or major unevenness on there.
Once the entire cake is iced, decorate it with candy or similar. This cake can easily be decorated to suit a children’s party or an adult birthday and similar.
Our cake was decorated as the Norwegian flag. This is a pretty easy way to decorate, but it is a bit time consuming and requires a steady hand to get the buttons on in a straight line. Also, don’t hold too many in your hand at once while decorating as they tend to quickly melt and get sticky, which will make the cake look dirty. Also keep a moist towel available to wipe your hands when you get chocolate ganache on your fingers.
Enjoy the cake and I hope you all have a lovely day. And to all Norwegians reading my blog, gratulerer med dagen! 🙂