Beverly Pedersen’s Danish Kransekage
2013 Baking Court of Honor Recipe.
We are pleased to honor Beverly Pedersen for 38 years of dedicated service and leadership on the Durham Fair’s Baking Department. She began her service in Baking in 1974 and after 20 years she became the Superintendent in 1994. In this capacity she ensured that all the details of a hugely successful baking competition were completed in time for the Fair opening and displayed elegantly for all fair goers to see. Many hours of planning, organizing and leadership go in to running this event starting immediately at the conclusion of the Durham Fair every year. She also found time to serve on the CT Association of Fairs, State Baking Committee as a judge.
Prior to serving on the Baking Committee, Beverly served as a “jack of all trades assistant”; to her husband Dana “Wyatt” Pedersen who was Superintendent of the Maintenance at the Fair. She would organize her 4 young children and their friends to rake the entire grounds each night after the fair ended. For her children, it was a chance to stay up late and possibly discover a lost treasure that a fairgoer left behind … you know … dollar bills, loose change, stuffed animals and false teeth! Bev kept the maintenance staff well fed with her venison stew and apple pies during the fair weekend.
Bev always had new ideas! She initiated the idea of judging certain items “live” in front of fairgoers until space made it prohibitive. She felt it significant to honor people important and special to the Durham Fair by dedicating special recipes in their honor. And now… the Baking Department is doing the same for her. Everyone who knows Bev knows how much she did to make Baking a favorite entry opportunity for the public and a lot of fun for Committee members and the judges. She will be missed but we are grateful we can call upon her for sage advice any time. Thank you Beverly for 38 wonderful years!
Danish Kransekage is assembled of rings in graduating size and placed one atop the other to form a cone-shaped marzipan confection. This traditional Scandinavian “wedding cake” is actually more cookie or candy than cake and is oftentimes decorated with little flags or the rings placed over a bottle of wine. I purchased kransekage forms to prepare this cake and I adapted my recipe for kransekage from the recipe included with the forms.
|1½||lb.||powdered sugar, sifted|
|flour for dusting|
|1||cup||powdered sugar, sifted|
- In a large food processor, grind almonds to a fine meal.
- Add 2 egg whites and combine to form a stiff dough.
- Place mixture in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sift in powdered sugar and add the 4 remaining egg whites.
- Mix and scrap sides as needed until dough is well combined.
- Bring water to boil in bottom of double boiler.
- Transfer dough to top of double boiler and stir dough until very warm to touch.
- Remove from heat and allow dough to cool.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Liberally spray kransekage forms with cooking oil and dust well with flour.
- When dough has cooled, place on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into rope sections about finger thickness.
- Fill each ring section of the forms with the dough ropes.
- Pinch the dough sections a bit to keep together and pinch the tops a bit so dough is not flat in form.
- Place forms on baking sheets (you will need 2-3 depending on size of baking sheets) and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove forms from oven when dough is golden brown.
- Allow cake rings to cool in forms for about an hour.
- Before removing cake from the forms, gently inspect the rings and if the rings are touching in the forms, gently run a butter knife around the rings to separate. Using same butter knife gently run it under the edge of each ring. The rings should easily come out. Allow kransekage to cool completely before assembling.
- Prepare icing by mixing all ingredients together.
- If icing is not stiff enough add a bit more powdered sugar.
- If hiding a bottle of wine in your kransekage, place that bottle of wine in the center of a large plate.
- With a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, drizzle a bit frosting on plate around bottle.
- Starting with the largest ring, place it over the wine bottle and on top of the icing drizzled on the plate.
- Pipe frosting over the ring.
- Repeat with remaining rings (largest to smallest.) The icing helps secure each ring.
- Decorate with tiny flags (I made my little Danish flags), little gifts, or cake decorations.