Nygaard serves the cake as a centerpiece dessert during receptions at the Ambassador’s Residence because it is a tasty and traditional Norwegian treat.
“In Norway we always serve Kvæfjord-cake at special occasions such as baptisms, confirmations, and on Constitution Day, so I figured it is a suitable choice of cake on prominent occasions at the embassy,” she explains. “In addition, this cake is said to originate from Kvæfjorden, which is a village in Troms County where I grew up, so a little bit of patriotism seals my choice.”
Ironically, Nygaard had never made the cake prior to her arrival at the embassy in the fall of 2006. “My mother makes the most delicious Kvæfjord-cake, so after deciding on this cake, I called her and got her special recipe. She is particularly known for her cake in the community, and is tasked with baking it for special occasions,” the chef adds with a laugh. “Guests at the embassy love the cake, and someone always asks for the recipe.”
“It is perfect, please save more cake for me,” the French Embassy’s chef said after tasting the Kvæfjord-cake for the first time. Nygaard’s good friend, Monsieur Tanneau, had been hired to help cook at a large event at the Norwegian Residence. He ended up with a new recipe for his menu at the French Residence. His version includes pears flambé, turning it into ‘Kvæfjord-cake à la française.’
“The Kvæfjord-cake has a light, sweet taste and looks delicious,” Nygaard says. “But the best thing about it is that anyone can make it.”
Recipe For “Kvæfjord-Cake”:
Step 1 - First layer of base
5½ ounces butter
¾ cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
6 tablespoons milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
Whisk the sugar and butter until smooth and pale. Fold in the other ingredients. Mix well. Spread on a 14 x 17 inch baking pan lined with baking/greaseproof paper.
Step 2 - Second layer of base (meringue)
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
Whisk sugar and egg whites together until stiff peaks form (meringue). Spread evenly over base made in step 1. Sprinkle 4 ounces sliced almonds on top of the meringue.
Bake the two layers together at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in lower part of the oven, for 25-30 minutes.
Step 3 - Filling
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup heavy cream
To make filling, whip the cream and make the vanilla pudding separately. Then mix the cream and vanilla pudding gently together, and refridgerate until cold and firm. Let the cake cool down after removing it from the oven. Cut it in half. Spread the filling on top of one half, and cover with the other. Garnish with fruit or berries.