This is a traditional Danish rye cake, typical especially in Denmark’s countryside, where rye has been a staple food for a very long time. The sponge of the cake is actually made with whole-rye sourdough bread, finely ground and combined with eggs, sugar and hazelnuts. The filling is made of jam and whipped cream. In my case I made some strawberry jam (from frozen strawberries) just for the occasion and added melted dark chocolate to the cream. I also doubled the number of layers usually found in Danish recipes… I can assure you that the outcome was absolutely delicious.
And, as I anticipated, my experiments aimed at making grains more digestible and nourishing continue. This time I made my usual danish rye bread, not only with sourdough and long fermentation times, but also using sprouted rye berries – that are baked whole in this type of bread. I will write soon about sprouting grains. Here I can anticipate that it is super simple and fun.(SCROLL DOWN FOR THE RECIPE)
With this cake based on sourdough, I am happy to participate for the first time to Sourdough Surprises that this month had the project of baking a sourdough cake. Oh… and I don’t know if you can guess it from the picture but this is actually a mini-layered cake. I just recently found some mini cake forms and was happy to use them here for the first time. Thanks to the mini format, one can play with layered cakes without much guilt (and without wasting).
DANISH LAYERED RYE CAKE (very loosely inspired to Anne Risgaard’s layered rye cake)
70 g dark Danish bread (you can make your own, but store-bought one works as well), finely ground
70 g hazelnuts, coarsely ground
120 g caster sugar
2/3 teaspoon baking powder
200 cream whipping cream
50 g dark chocolate
200 g strawberry jam*
*you can easily make your own by using 1 and 1/2 cup strawberries (frozen are fine) and 1/3 cup sugar. Boil for 15 minutes. Add a drop or two of vanilla extract and squeeze in some lemon. YUMMY!!
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (Celsius, 430 Fahrenheit). Whisk the egg whites separately and when they are firm, add the sugar. Incorporate also the egg yolks. At last add also the ground rye bread, the ground hazelnuts and the baking powder, previously combined. Divide between three mini baking molds, greased with butter. If you do not have the mini molds, double the ingredients and use three 24 cm (9 inches) cake molds. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 220 degrees (Celsius, 430 Fahrenheit) then for further 10-15 minutes at 175 degrees (Celsius, 345 Fahrenheit).
Whip the cream and when firm add the chocolate, previously melted in the microwave. Combine.
Let the cakes cool down and then split in half. Proceed to make the layers alternating jam and cream. Finish with just cream topped with chopped hazelnuts.
CONSIDERATIONS: I am generally not a fan of layered cakes but this was so fun to make and tasted really strong of hazelnuts, while the bread and eggs gave a very pleasant consistency to the crumb. Overall this cake is quite healthy and very nutritious. Not the usual layered cake at all! And, on top of it, we really had a blast assembling it.