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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Danish Lagkage - Light and Airy Berry Cake

I have shared a Danish lagkage recipe on my blog before, but the pictures weren't great, and my baking skills have grown exponentially since then, so I thought it was high time to share it again! :)
My husband lived in Denmark for a year before we met.  Once of his favorite things from when he lived there were the birthday cakes - lagkage - which literally translates to layer cake.
He loved it, because it was airy, light, not too sweet and of course tasty.
I've only ever made it for him, but I was hosting a baby shower a week ago, and it just felt like the perfect addition!


Tools:
- Stand or hand-held mixer (for stand mixer, it really helps to have two compatible mixing bowls)  I'm going to write my recipe for a stand mixer, because that's what I have. :)  
- whisk attachment
- paddle attachment 
- 9 inch round spring cake pan
- parchment paper
- covered cake stand, or other means to store it airtight
- non-stick spray
- ladle


Ingredients:

Cakes (makes 3 layers):
6 eggs - separated (if you're not sure how to do that, here's a great, quick tutorial)
4 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

*by the way, 1/2 tablespoon is 1 1/2 teaspoons

It really helps me to measure out everything beforehand.


Filling:
Homemade whipped cream (2 tbs sugar for every 1 cup of heavy whipping cream - I used about 3 cups of cream)
4 cups of fresh fruit (I used berries, but you could use any "soft" fruit


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 425 °F/ 218 °C (400 °F/ 204 °C for convection oven.)

2. Beat the egg yolks.



3. Pour beaten egg yolks, water and sugar into mixing bowl.  Secure in stand mixer base.  Connect paddle attachment.  Mix for 2 minutes.



4. In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients - flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. 

5. Turn mixer to a low-medium speed, and slowly add flour mixture.


6. Pour egg whites into second mixer-compatible bowl, fasten whisk attachment - and whisk until it forms stiff peaks.




7. Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture, until completely combined.


8. Grease and flour cake pan.  Ladle out about 2 and a half "ladle's worth" (yes, that's an exact measurement, lol) of batter into the cake pan.  Shake, and hit side of pan until it distributes evenly in pan.

9. Place in oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes - until golden brown, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  If you find that it's getting brown on top, but not cooked through, place a piece if aluminum foil over the top.



10. Allow cake to cool some, then turn out onto baking sheet to completely cool.  Repeat twice.

Bonus tip: make sure you grease AND flour your pan.  Here is the difference between just greasing, and doing both.

 


11.  If making for that day, continue by making filling.  If making for the next day (it's great for that, by the way), place parchment paper between each layer, and store in an airtight container, to be assembled the next day.


Filling, and assembly:

1. Wash and pat dry your fruit.  I used raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. I cut the strawberries into slices.



2.  Using a whisk attachment, whip together cream and sugar, until peaks form.  Don't over whip, or it'll fall, and become unusable.  Sadly, I made that mistake with my first batch.  I read that using cold instruments (bowl and whisk), it works even better.

3. Start to assemble cake on the plate you plan to serve it on.  Start with a layer of cake, then add a generous amount of whipped cream (placing it it the middle of the cake, and working it out towards the edge).  Place some fruit on top of the whipped cream.  I made some fruit "stick out" a bit to give it a rustic look.  Leave the majority of the fruit for the top.


4.  Continue until you reach the top.  Mix together remaining fruit and carefully spoon onto the top.  Store in fridge or on cold balcony - lol, until ready to serve.  If there's any left over, keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. The cake and fruit will get mushier, of course, the longer it sits, and it won't be as good.  But the next day it should still be pretty tasty.

And here is the final, beautiful result!



Tips and ideas:
1. I LOVE this batter!  It behaves beautifully - pulls away from the side of the pan, and stays flat on top, so there's no need to level it out for layering.  It is also light and delicious!  One of my more discerning friends said that it was one of the best cakes she'd ever had!

2. You could "frost" the edges too, but for this cake, I really prefer the "naked cake" look.  (Hilary Duff's wedding cake was the first naked cake I'd ever seen, and I've loved the look ever since!)

3. You can use anything you like between the layers - Nutella, jam, chocolate whipped cream! I initially was planning on making a raspberry whipped cream, but it fell, and I didn't have enough raspberries to make it again - which actually worked out, because I way preferred the crisp white cream look.

4. Get creative with the fruit!  You could do peaches, mango, papayas, blackberries... just make sure they're soft.

5. Powdered sugar or drizzled honey on top would be great, too!

And, so... let them eat cake!


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