You know the ones I’m talking about, often with yellowing paper and the swooping script of someone held dear. I have a storage box full of hundreds that my grandma collected over the years, but I have almost none from my own friends.
I’m thinking about the idea of recipe cards, and I wish I could send a real-life pen-and-paper card through your computer with this post. But until that happens, I’d like to think of this blog as a virtual recipe box of sorts, featuring favorite recipes of mine. Today that recipe is Norwegian Success Tart, or Suksessterte for those of you who speak the language.
Norwegian success tart, also known as success cake, is one of those desserts that catch you by surprise if you haven’t tasted it before. The bright yellow custard hints at a lemon flavor, but what you get instead is a rich almond cake topped with luscious buttery cream and a garnish of chocolate (typically you’d use less than I did on this particular cake, but I couldn’t help myself with those delicate little wisps of chocolate).
I hope you enjoy the recipe. And if you have any suggestions for how we can bring back the tradition of sharing recipe cards, I’d love to hear it.
Norwegian Success Cake or Tart (Suksessterte, or Suksesskake)
As with any favorite recipe, variations abound. I've made a two-layer success cake here, but it's also often made with a single cake layer. Also, if you're going for tradition, feel free to use less chocolate curls on the top in order to showcase the vibrant yellow cream. I've done it that way too, and it's gorgeous. I just couldn't help myself with those delicate little wisps of chocolate this time around!
Bar of bittersweet or semisweet chocolatefor garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two 8- or 9-inch springform pans.
Grind the almonds until fine. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form again.
Fold in the ground almonds, baking powder, and salt, taking care to preserve the fluffy whites while incorporating it all.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, not going all the way to the edges if you're using the 9-inch ones. Use a spatula to smooth the tops. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the cream. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir egg yolks, cream, and sugar until it thickens and nearly comes to a boil, about 25 minutes. (Do't let it come to a boil, as you want a smooth cream that doesn't curdle.) Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Whisk in the butter a few cubes at a time, letting them melt completely before adding more. it should become shiny. Be patient as it will take some time for all the butter to melt. Stir in the vanilla extract. You should have a luscious silky yellow cream that' as rich in flavor as it is in appearance.
Once the cake is completely cooled, remove from tins and place one layer on a serving tray or pedestal. Spread half the cream over it, then add the second layer and spread with the remaining cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour, ideally overnight.
Curl the chocolate–a vegetable peeler works well for this. Use to decorate the top of the cake and serve.
*If you need the recipe to be gluten-free, then make sure you choose a powdered/confectioner’s sugar that’s specifically processed without gluten.
Keyword cake, chocolate, gluten-free, Scandinavian, tart