Funny Thing About Cake in Norway, it Bleeds!
Posted on March 21, 2011
Pay attention, and life´s lessons will entertain you in simple ways. I was introduced to Bløtkake on my first trip to Norway in 1987. A delightful dessert that looks beautiful and isn´t too rich, too sweet, nor too heavy. No two people make it the same, but it is typically layers of light and fluffy yellow cake held together with vanilla pudding, fresh seasonal fruit, and cream. Lots of fresh whipped cream. Some choose to roll a thin layer of Marzipan on top, but many keep it simple. It is a Celebration Cake that is served at weddings, birthdays, christenings, Independence day, graduation parties, retirement parties, and evidently when Kim visits her future in-laws for the first time.
My future Mother-in-law proudly presented her beautiful work of culinary art, and explained in charming broken English, `This is a Blut Cake.´
I wasn´t sure what she was telling me, until she sliced into her masterpiece.
Fresh strawberry juice oozed down the vanilla pudding layer and dripped on her white table-cloth, leaving a red stain that didn´t bother her in the least.
Ah-ha! It was bleeding!
Of course the cake was bleeding! She had just explained to me this is a Blood Cake! I get it now! I thought to myself.
Twenty years later, I found myself living in Norway and wanted to host a typical Norwegian dinner party for a visiting American guest.
I invited several good Norwegian friends and asked one to please make her fantastic Blood Cake.
She had no idea what I was referring to.
Me: You know, the typical cake served at all special occasions. The one that bleeds.
Her: I am sorry, Kim, but I have never made a bleeding cake.
Me: Yes you have! You made one for your husband´s birthday party and it was outstanding.
Her: Oh! Do you mean Bløtkake?
Me: Yes! Bleeding Cake!
Her hand came up to her mouth and she wasn´t sure if she should laugh out loud or not, but once she regained her composure, she very kindly explained:
The cake isn´t bleeding. Bløt means moist, not blood. It is called Moist Cake, not Blood Cake.
I was so disappointed.
But there you have it. Life in Norway reveals itself one layer at a time.
If I learned everything at once, I would be bored now with no sweet dessert to look forward to at the end of my experience.