Kransekake

A beautiful Christmas centerpiece and bonus dessert. I wish I had remembered to post this at Christmastime as it was such a big hit both on our Christmas dinner table and at the neighborhood holiday pot luck . It was actually such a hit that several people asked for the recipe afterward. It really is not difficult to make and an easy family activity — both my kids and our neighbors’ loved decorating it. I first saw it on the Great British Bake Off and immediately purchased the molds to make my own. So, you have plenty of time to purchase your own molds to make Kransekake this Christmas!

Kransekake

Ingredients

500g/1lb 2oz ground almonds

500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar, sifted

4 egg whites, lightly whisked

1 tsp almond extract

vegetable oil or baking spray, for greasing molds

semolina, for dusting

AP flour, for dusting

For the icing

3 egg whites

600g/1lb 5oz icing sugar, sifted

few drops red color gel

red, green and silver edible glitter

Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a large electric mixer. Add the egg whites and almond extract and mix with a dough hook. This could be done by hand but is easier with a mixer due to the large quantities. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Lightly brush the insides of the kransekake molds with vegetable oil or baking spray. Sprinkle a little semolina into each mold and tip the molds to distribute the semolina evenly around the inside, shaking out any excess.

Divide the chilled dough into six equal-sized pieces.

Divide one of the pieces of dough into three different-sized pieces: one small, one medium and one large. Dust a work surface lightly with flour and roll each piece out into finger-width lengths that are long enough to wrap round the kransekake molds.

Fit the longest piece of dough inside the largest kransekake ring, pressing the ends together to seal. Do the same with the medium-sized and smallest pieces of dough. Repeat this process with the remaining five pieces of dough.

Bake the kransekakes in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool in their molds until hardened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, for the icing, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar a spoonful at a time, until stiff, glossy peaks form when the whisk is removed.

Spoon half of the icing into a separate bowl and add the red food coloring. Whisk until the icing is bright red, then spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small plain writing nozzle. Spoon the white icing into a separate piping bag fitted with a small plain writing nozzle.

To assemble the kransekake, sort the baked rings into size order.

Pipe a few dots of white icing onto the base of the largest ring and stick it to a large serving plate.

Pipe zig-zag patterns onto the largest ring using first the white, then the red icing, overlapping the two. Sprinkle with red, green and silver edible glitter.

Place the second-largest ring on top of the largest ring and repeat the icing and decorating process.

Continue to stack the rings in decreasing size order until you have a tower of 18 iced and glittery rings. Allow the icing to set (this will stick the rings to each other), then serve.

I chose to add a 3-D star on top: Cut out two stars from gumpaste and cut out slits on the bottoms of the stars so that they can fit into each other. Allow to dry then fit together using some royal icing.

Adapted from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pauls_kransekake_83354

http://thecakedr.com/norwegian-pastry/kransekake/

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