December 3, 2013

Kransekake


i received free samples from cumberland packing corp., maker of monk fruit in the raw. by posting this recipe i am entering a recipe contest sponsored by cumberland packing corp. and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. i was not compensated for my time.

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas... 

and one of my favorite things about this time of year is the chance to spend some extra time in the kitchen making sweets.  sugar cookies, chocolate-peppermint biscotti, gingersnap cookies, and pecan pie bars. i am always grateful for the neighbors we can share all of the sweets with, because Lord knows i don't need all of that sugar.

but frankly, neither do they. and that's where i have some exciting news...

monk fruit in the raw is a totally natural, zero calorie sweetener that measures cup for cup just like sugar. it is derived from a small chinese melon called, luo han guo. it has no weird chemical aftertaste or strange bitter bite. it's natural, so we can rest there. and it cuts back on the calories and more importantly, crazy blood sugar spikes. we could all use that this time of year.

the recipe redux crew challenged us to use monk fruit in the raw in a holiday recipe.

i spotted an image of this lovely, towering cake recently in a food magazine. there was no recipe, but a description.

"Kransekake, a.k.a. wreath cake, is to Scandinavia what candy canes are to America: an edible symbol of Christmas. Only these iced cakes- made with just almond flour, sugar, and eggs- taste far better. Start with the bottom ring and eat upward. It lasts a week, and the cake gets chewier and more candy bar-like as you go." 
-Bon Appetit (Dec, 2013)

this danish/norwegian beauty is naturally gluten-free! and more like playing with play-doh than baking a cake. count me in. and because powdered sugar is one of the very few ingredients needed to make the cake, i subbed in some monk fruit in the raw to cut back on the sugar content.

festive. lovely. delicious.


Kransekake

Cake Rounds:
2 2/3  cups (250 grams) almond flour
1 1/2  cups (140 grams) powdered sugar
1/2     cup (11 grams) monk fruit in the raw
2        large egg whites

Icing:
1       cup powdered sugar
1       tablespoon meringue powder
1 1/2 tablespoons warm water

Combine all cake round ingredients in a small bowl; mix well. Mixture will seem dry; but keep working to combine to form a dough. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°. Working with a portion of the dough at a time, roll to a 1/2-inch thick snake-like rope. If dough is sticky, roll out on parchment sprinkled with a little powdered sugar.  Cut ropes into 3",  4", 5", 6",  7", 8", 9", 10", 11", 12", and 13" pieces. Join ends of each rope to form circles. Place on two parchment-lined baking sheets, placing small rings inside of larger but not touching. (see image above).

Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until just golden. Watch little 3" circle and possibly pull out early to avoid burning (like i did). Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine icing ingredients in a medium bowl; whip well with a wire whisk. Transfer icing to a piping bag with tip or to a sandwich bag with a snipped corner.

Starting with the largest ring, make a zig-zag line of icing around the top of the ring. (i sprinkled edible glitter on icing for extra sparkle). Top with next largest ring and repeat all the way to the top.  (if you are confused by the size of the rounds, practice making your stack before icing them together.) Yield: 1 (11-ring) Kransekake.

*traditionally, this holiday/wedding cake is 18 rings tall and adorned with small, decorative flags.
*kransekake forms may make things a little easier, if you're so inclined. i think the "play-doh" method of rolling is a little more fun!




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