sweet

Dannebrog Flag Cake

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Finally, I can present to you the reason, why I actually started this blog! It was my roommate’s birthday the other day, and I took the chance to bake the iconic Danish cake, that actually inspired me to start blogging about my kitchen adventures. It looks quite challenging, but I think, if you just follow the directions carefully, you should be absolutely fine! 🙂 To my surprise, this Danish flag cake is both elegant AND tasty. It looks quite heavy with all the cream, but due to the lime, it tastes actually quite fresh, just perfect with a cup of coffee and some birthday candles 😉

I saw this cake on a Danish (for me soon to be favorite) television program, the Danish version of the great British bake off. The episode was about birthday baking, and since it is very common here to display the flag on a birthday celebration, why not put it IN the cake?! That’s the story, or the idea behind this dannebrog kage. I found the recipe on the channel’s homepage Den Store Bagedyst and adapted it a little bit (mostly because my cake tin is smaller). So, here you can find the directions for a perfect (Danish) birthday cake! 🙂

Ingredients (using a 22 cm cake tin):

For the Cream: For the Cake:
 6 sheets of gelatin   210 g sugar
 250 g white chocolate  210 g room-tempered butter
1.5 vanilla beans  10 g red food color
3.5 tsp sugar  6 eggs
1.25 l whipping cream  230 g wheat flour
 2.5 ecological limes  2 tsp baking powder
 10 g cocoa
85 ml full-cream milk

Start by preparing the cream, it needs a lot of time to cool down and firm up. This time can best be used by baking the cake in the mean time 😉

Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl in 500 ml of water. Chop the chocolate finely and transfer it to a large bowl. Cut the vanilla beans lengthwise and scratch out the seeds. Add the sugar to the seeds and use a spoon or a knife to press the sugar into the seeds, such that they separate. Add the vanilla sugar to the chocolate.

Heat up the whipping cream to 80°C in a sauce pan, then remove from the heat. Pour half of the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely dissolved. Afterwards add the other half of the cream. Wring out the gelatin sheets and add them to the chocolate-cream mixture. Stir until the sheets are dissolved as well. Grate the limes directly into the cream and press the juice into the cream as well. After thoroughly stirring again, transfer the bowl to the fridge where the cream needs to cool down to at least 5°C before you can assemble the cake.

For the cake:

Grease a 22 cm cake tin, cut a circle of baking parchment and place it on the bottom of the tin. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and press a little bit of the sugar into the seeds, just as you did before for the cream. Transfer vanilla sugar and the remaining sugar to a bowl. Add the butter and the color paste, and beat until foamy. Add the eggs, one after one, and whisk thoroughly in between.

Sift together flour, cocoa and baking powder. Carefully fold in the dry ingredients into the egg-butter mixture. Pour in the milk and carefully stir until the batter is homogeneous. Transfer the batter to the cake tin and bake the cake for 40-50 min. Test whether the cake is done using a wooden skewer.

Assembly:

Cut out 2 circles of baking parchment (16 cm and 13 cm diameter) while the cake is cooling down. Once the cake has cooled, cut of the curved top to get an even layer. Continue cutting the cake into to evenly thick layers. Put the upper layer aside. Transfer the lower layer into a cake ring. Then take the larger circle of baking parchment and place it in the middle of the cake layer. Use a sharp knife to cut around the paper circle. Place the smaller parchment circle in the middle and cut around again. Remove the ring you just cut. Cut out a ring of the upper layer in the exact same way.

Once the cream has cooled down to 5°C, give it a short whisk in a hand whisker. Be careful not to over-beat the cream, to avoid that it separates. Transfer 2/3 of the cream to a piping bag without a tip and take the remaining cream back to the fridge. Fill in the ring-shaped hole in the lower cake layer with cream. Then pipe one layer of cream (around 1.5 cm) to the cake and spread out evenly. Transfer the two parts of the upper cake layer to the cream and fill in the “ring-hole” again. Pipe a thin layer of cream on the top of the cake. Let the cake cool down for another hour until it is firm.

Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Fill a piping bag with the remaining cream and decorate the cake in whatever style you like. It might be necessary to put the piping bag and the cake back to the refrigerator, such that the cream will be firm enough.

Tip: If you don’t want to use half of a vanilla bean, just add some vanilla sugar instead. That’s also what I did 😉

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