As patisserie is to Paris so cake is to Norway. Kafee and cake are the epitome of Norwegian hospitality. A glowing candle in a hurricane lantern at the front door, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a freshly baked cake (or two) welcomed us into every home that we visited on our trip to Norway.
From simple, quickly produced Svele (flapjacks or crumpets) to elaborate, cream laden creations, cake is an integral part of everyday life in Norway. A heavily laden cake table is a standard feature at all celebrations. We fully embraced this wonderful aspect of Norwegian life, enjoying folded Svele and coffee on our ferry trips, waffles at a pretty little house next to the river in Oslo, berry laden Pavlovas at the generous tables of our hosts and a wonderful concotion called Suksessterte. I have no idea where the name, Success Tart comes from but it could well be the successful marriage of chewy almond cake, buttery custard and a chocolate topping that gives it the name. Given the ingredients, I would imagine that this cake is highly successful in adding inches to the waist line but some things in life are worth that. Suksessterte is one of them.
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at this aspect of Norwegian life. Skilled bakers abound in my husband's family, his mother being one of them. I remember her teaching me to bake some of the traditional Norwegian biscuits when I first met my husband. Sadly the tradition didn't stick. I am more of a cook than a baker but I came home wanting to try my hand at some of the treats we had tasted in Norway.
We had enjoyed delicious waffles at Honse-Lovisas Hus in Oslo. A beautifully restored wooden house on the banks of the Akerselva River. These according to our bicycle tour guide, Josh were the best waffles in Oslo. We felt we had to put that theory to test so found our way back there in the afternoon. Sitting at the side of a waterfall in the garden of a beautifully restored house, where even the insects get a place to stay, might have added to the enjoyment, but the waffles were as good as Josh had claimed. So good that I got home and hunted down the recipe.
Waffles are eaten all over Norway, in Cafe's and in homes, so there are many variations on the recipe. My mother-in-law's recipe uses left over porridge while others use buttermilk or sour cream. However they are made, Norwegian waffles are soft, fluffy and delicious. They are traditionally eaten with berry jam, sour cream and Brun Ost (a caramel tasting cheese). These heart shaped delights are quick to whip up and very moreish.
- 5 heaped tbsp flour
- 4 heaped tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 10 heaped tbsp cooked porridge
- 4 eggs
Beat eggs and sugar, add porridge and rest of ingredients and mix lightly. Spoon 2/3 cup of batter onto a preheated waffle iron at a time. Close and cook until steam is no longer coming out and waffle is browned