This cake consists of two layers, a moist sponge cake in the bottom, a top of fluffy meringue and crunchy nuts – it might just be the World’s Best Cake.
By Mia Irene Kristensen
To claim that this cake is the “World’s Best” is quite a statement, nevertheless it’s well known. Try it out and let me know whether you think the name fits or not. Make sure you have invited enough friends, it serves a crowd!
Celebrating the cherry-season!
It’s cherry time in Denmark these weeks. This was celebrated last weekend at the annual Cherry Festival in Funen – in a beautiful venue, the small city Kerteminde. Every year it’s possible to taste everything from the best Danish cherries to home-made cherry slush ice, or even participate in the cherry-cake competition. Check it out and join next year!
I consider this cake my contribution to the celebration of the cherries – nuts, meringue, sweet woodruff and cream really compliments the cherry flavor, without drowning it.
Family tradition – originally from Norway
“World’s Best” has been made many times at my in-laws. Even though I was convinced that this cake was a family tradition, the recipe actually originates from Norway. The Norwegian name is also “Kvæfjordskake” and apparently it’s been the national cake in Norway since 2002. So that might back up the title as “World’s Best” cake as well.
A perfect match, fluffy cake – creamy topping
“World’s Best” is one of the easiest cakes I know and it’s always looking beautiful. The cake consists of two layers, a moist sponge cake in the bottom, a top of fluffy meringue and crunchy nuts – the difference in textures in the layers makes it possible to keep eating without getting bored.
The original recipes calls for a vanilla- and whipped cream filling, but to me that’s too heavy so I always substitute the vanilla cream with sheep yoghurt. The flavor becomes a lot more delicate and the tart note of the yoghurt gives a really good balance with the rich whipped cream and sweet cake.
Top with your favorite fruit
The dark, dense and sweet cherries are the perfect match for this light cake. I toss them in Danish cherry wine to boost the flavor, but cherry liquor works beautifully as well. The cake is a winder all year around – topped with every fruit of the season, ranging from the first baked rhubarb to the late autumn apples.
Remember to save the cherry stones in a jar together with pure alcohol – it the perfect base for a cherry flavored Christmas liqueur.
- For the sponge cake:
- 150g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150g white sugar
- 150g plain flour
- 1½ tsps baking powder
- 5-6 egg yolks
- 100ml milk
- For the meringue:
- 6 egg whites
- 300g white sugar
- 150g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- For the topping:
- 500ml whipping cream
- 300g sheep's yoghurt
- fresh berries, eg stoned cherries (500g) (alternatively fruit puré or preserved fruit)
- 1-3 tbsps Frederiksdal Cherry wine or liqueur
- fresh lemon verbena to garnish (optional)
- Heat the oven to 175C/155C fan.
- For the sponge cake: Whisk together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl.
- Beat one egg yolk at a time into the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with the flour and milk.
- Spread the dough out on a lined baking sheet.
- For the meringue: Whisk the egg whites for 5 minutes or until soft peaks form, add the sugar and whisk for a further 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the meringue on top of the dough and sprinkle with hazelnuts.
- Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the meringue is golden. Cool the cake completely before adding the topping.
- For the topping: Whip the cream until light and fluffy. Fold in the sheep's yoghurt.
- Toss the cherries in cherry wine.
- Spread the yoghurt-cream on top of the cake, top with the berries and garnish with lemon verbena.
Photos by Mia Irene Kristensen, Anna Colquhoun and WenLin Soh.