Prep. time: 20 minutes
Waiting time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Minutes before midnight, tradition dictates that people remove their shoes and stand on a chair, ready to jump upon hearing the twelve clock strikes from Copenhagen's city hall - it's time to uncork the champagne and have some kransekage, a typical Danish cake made up of numerous marzipan rings and to offer wishes of Godt Nytår - good year.
This is a very simple cake, but it's unique in its assembly. Based on the number of guests, you can make the pyramid as high as you like. The decoration is always the same: a zigzag of white icing. Don't forget to stick in some flags!
If you have a lot of guests, you can make numerous kransekages and use them as a centrepiece.
- Crumble the almond paste into a bowl.
- In another bowl, combine the powdered almonds and sugar. Add the egg whites and combine to form a smooth mixture.
- Blend in the almond paste and knead everything by hand. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little more powdered almond.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200° C/400° F.
- Sprinkle your work surface with icing sugar.
- Divide the dough into 8 balls of increasing size for the rings and a small ball to top the pyramid.
- Take the smallest ball and roll out into a 10 cm long rope shape, about 2-3 cm in diameter.
- Similarly, form rings that are increasingly large (though still 3 cm in diameter) by sealing the two ends of the rope together. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Don't forget to place the little top ball on the baking sheet, as well.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the rings begin to brown lightly. Let cool.
Icing and assembly
- Meanwhile, combine the icing sugar and egg white in a bowl to form a thick, non-runny icing.
- Using a piping bag or syringe (since you will be drawing a thin line), form icing zigzags on each ring, piling them up as you go. The icing will cement the pyramid together.
- Finish with the little ball.
- Stick in a few red and white flags. Now just open the champagne!
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