A spicy and fragrant cake with layers of sweet and delicate whipped Brunost frosting are the foundation for the forest of 'pepperkaker' (gingerbread cookies) nestled above. Delve into the magical world of 'hygge' and 'kos' that you will find in the mountains of Norway, as you wander through spruce and pine trees to reach a clearing to settle under the vast starlit sky. Or simply decorate the cake however you please to create your own magical world full of wonders. Recipe by Nevada Berg of northwildkitchen.com.
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 240 ml heavy cream
- 200 g TINE Gudbrandsdalen, sliced or grated
For the Brunost caramel sauce:
- 224 g butter, softened
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 50 g brown sugar
- 120 ml Brunost caramel sauce
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 240 ml buttermilk (kulturmelk)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 300 g all-purpose flour
For the cake:
- 300 ml heavy cream
- 200 g cream cheese
- 240 g Brunost sauce
For the frosting:
- Pepperkaker (gingerbread)
- Powdered sugar
For the Brunost sauce, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar, heavy cream and TINE Gudbrandsdalen to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture is thoroughly combined, whisking frequently, and has thickened to a caramel sauce consistency (somewhat thick, but still a little runny), about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut three round pieces of parchment paper so they fit perfectly in the bottom of three 20 cm springform pans. Butter the pans then add the parchment and butter the parchment.
In a stand mixer, cream the softened butter, sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed for a few minutes until fluffy and light in color. Mix in the Brunost caramel sauce. While the mixer is running, add one egg and whisk for two minutes. Repeat with the remaining two eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda and buttermilk and let swell for a couple of minutes. Pour this into the butter mixture.
In a large bowl, combine the baking powder, ginger, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and flour. Add to the wet ingredients and fold together with a spatula until combined. Divide the batter among the prepared springform pans. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing the parchment paper and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
In another large bowl, or the stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and the cooled Brunost caramel sauce then add it to the whipped cream, whipping until combined and thick enough to spread.
To assemble, place one cake on a serving tray and top with a generous amount of frosting spreading it to the edges of the cake. Arrange the second cake on top and repeat the process of adding the frosting, reserving enough frosting to cover the cake. Top with the final cake layer then cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Scraping the sides of the cake will give you the “naked cake” look. Placing the finished cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before decorating and serving will also help to set the frosting if you find it too loose.)
To serve, place 'pepperkaker'/gingerbread trees and shapes around as desired. Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar for snow and decorate with fresh branches.
Top tips from Nevada:
*For the lavvo: I made an 8 x 5 cm triangle cutout from cardboard. You’ll need it to make five shapes from the dough, with one of them being the entry way (cut out a little door to put next to the lavvo on the cake). I also made a circular pepperkake wide enough for the lavvo to sit on. When ready to assemble, take the baked pepperkaker shapes and use the leftover Brunost caramel sauce to stick the sides together as you create a lavvo around the base.
*For the trees: cut various sizes of triangles from the dough and use a knife to make incisions along the sides then fold upwards and carve out a trunk.
*Use a pastry brush to dust powdered sugar over the baked pepperkaker.
*Don’t use springform pans larger than 20 cm as you’ll end up with thin layers of cake.
Meet our Brunost brand ambassador for 2020, Nevada Berg
We have teamed up with Nevada Berg of North Wild Kitchen. This means that each month throughout the year, Nevada will share a recipe featuring Brunost - everything from sweet to savory dishes.Get to know Nevada