rye bread layer cake

When I was struggling with jet-lag a few weeks ago, one of the books that kept me company during the long nights was 'Scandinavian Baking'. I bought my copy of 'Scandinavian Baking' by Trine Hahnemann a few years ago and although I've had it for a while, I've only made a few things from the book mostly bread recipes and one or two of the cake recipes.

When I saw this rye bread layer cake recipe while rifling through the book, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. The cake doesn't have any flour in it and as my Mum's almond cake recipe uses dried breadcrumbs and ground whole almonds instead of flour I was familiar with the concept.

Instead of dried breadcrumbs and almonds, this recipe uses soft rye breadcrumbs and ground toasted hazelnuts. Hazelnuts I already had in the fridge, so I went on the hunt for some dark rye bread to make the cake but could only find light rye bread.

The 2 cake layers are sandwiched with a layer of jam and cream. The original recipe called for redcurrant jelly or blackcurrant jam but with an unopened jar of lingonberry jam in the cupboard, I thought it would be the perfect fit.

I decorated the cake with some chocolate shards I had in the fridge, a few leftover toasted hazelnuts and lashings of unsweetened whipped cream.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm layer cake. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Rye Bread Layer Cake - adapted from a Trine Hahnemann recipe.
75g stale rye bread
75g hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed
½ tsp baking powder
1½ tbs cocoa powder
3 eggs, separated
100g soft dark brown sugar

Filling and topping
250 ml thickened cream
⅓ cup lingonberry jam, redcurrant jelly or Blackcurrant 'jam'
Dark chocolate shards or curls
Extra hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Grease and line the bases of two 17cm diameter springform tins with baking parchment. If you only have the one tin, once it’s cool re-grease and reline the tin to make the other cake.

Process the rye bread in a food processor until crumbs form. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl then grind the hazelnuts until fine. Mix together the rye breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, baking powder and cocoa powder and set to one side.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes) then fold the crumb mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold gently into the batter. 

Pour into the prepared tin or tins and place in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched and the edge of the cake pulls away from the side. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen then leave to cool.

Take a round serving dish and place the least attractive layer of cake on it. Top with the jelly or jam. Whip the cream until billowing and spread half of it on the cake. Now spread the remaining whipped cream over the top layer of cake and gently place it on top of the jam layer. Scatter the chocolate and nuts over the top of the cake.

This was a real hit at work. The cake is surprisingly light and the tart lingonberry jam worked a treat.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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