May 17, today, is Norwegian Constitution Day., syttende mai. Blotkake, Norwegian Cream Cake, celebrates this patriotic holiday by highlighting fresh spring berries. This celebration is similar to the American 4th of July. Everyone wears red, white and blue and many march in parades. It commemorates the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in 1914 that declared Norway to be an independent nation. All over Norway, elementary school districts arrange a parade with marching bands and children parading through the community. The longest parade is in Oslo where as many as 100,00 people travel to the city to participate in the festivities.
This delicate cake slathered with whipped cream and decorated with blueberries and strawberries represents the national colors present in the flag. It tastes best the day it is made. The recipe below has the strawberries whipped with the cream giving it a delicate pink color.
Strawberry Cream Cake
Makes 10 to 12 servings
¾ cup cake flour¾ cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups chopped strawberries, 1/2 inch pieces1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper or waxed paper. Spray the paper lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Sift the cake flour with 1 tbsp. sugar.
Place the eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, cream of tartar, water and vanilla in a large mixer bowl. Beat on high with a whisk attachment until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. When the whisk is lifted, the eggs will form a thick ribbon that dissolves.
Fold in the cake flour (see How to Fold p. 27) and mix until blended. Pour into the prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until the center springs back when touched lightly with a finger.
Cool pans 10 minutes on a wire cooling rack. Run a thin metal spatula around the edges of the pans loosening the cake. Carefully remove the cakes from pans and peel off the parchment paper. Cool completely on the wire cooling rack.
Make the topping. Mix the strawberries with the sugar in a medium bowl and let stand 5 minutes for the filling. Beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a large mixer bowl on high with a whisk attachment until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the whipping cream while beating on low. Increase speed to high and continue beating until soft peaks form. Beat in strawberries and beat about 30 seconds.
Place one layer of the cake on a serving dish. Spread with 2 cups strawberry whipped cream, spreading to the edges. Add the second layer and cover with the remaining strawberry whipped cream. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with additional strawberries, if desired. Cake must be refrigerated.