Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Norwegian Langpannekake

Not as exotic as it sounds, Norwegian langpannekake translates as "long pan cake"! This is a classic, moist chocolate cake which was always served at childrens' birthday parties when I was growing up in Oslo. I love it because of the desiccated coconut on top of the cake (and all that cocoa flavour of course!), but obviously one could use toasted almond slivers, seasonal berries or sprinkles instead of coconut...

serves 16 
  • 300g plain flour
  • 300g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 150g sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, line a 20cm x 30cm rectangular cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment

In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients except the sugar and stir well to evenly distribute the baking powder.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy (ca.3-5 mins), then add the eggs, one by one, and beat quickly to incorporate each egg. The mixture may look split, but don't worry. Add the sour cream, beat one last time, and then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Work quickly as the raising agent in the baking powder is activated by contact with liquid

Blend the wet and dry ingredients with a large metal spoon until the mixture looks even and then spoon into the long cake tin. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes, the cake is done when the surface feels springy and dry to the touch, if you're uncertain, use a skewer to test if there's any wet mixture remaining - the skewer should come out dry

Allow to cool on a wire rack while preparing the glasur (icing)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 125g melted butter
  • 3 tbsp strong coffee or 1 shot espresso
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g desiccated coconut
Stir the cocoa, coffee and vanilla into the melted butter, sift the icing sugar and add to the butter mixture - if you don't want it too sweet, start with 3/4 of the suggested amount of sugar and then add incremental spoonfuls. When the glasur looks glossy and even, pour on the cake and allow to set a little before sprinkling coconut on top

Enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee, or an ice cold glass of milk!

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