[DANSK] Brunsviger

So - trying to revive a couple of the old projects here, aren't I? I told you, I do like 'em.

This here is a piece of classic Danish baking tradition. A yeasty, sweet, bread-like bottom with a soft brown sugar-butter topping. Easy as pie. This is one of those cakes were the result is more than the sum of it's parts. It's good, caramelly, sugary, fingerlicking so. I remember carrying brunsviger home from the bakery every summer when I was a kid and we were on vacation in north-Jylland - the sugar smearing the paper bags so they were all see-through when I arrived home. Really, you had to make sure that the sugar didn't touch the bag too much, 'cause then there'd only be so much left on the cake itself when you were going to eat it. Yes, a delicate matter indeed, carrying these precious things home.

And here's the recipe - it's a mash-up of a couple different ones I found in my cookbooks, so now it's totally how I think it should be.

Brunsviger - inspired and adapted from Karolines Køkken 2 and Kager Der Smager og Andre Gode Sager
-enough for a brownie-sized pan (mine's 25 x 25 cm.), making, oh, 6 reasonably sized slices (8 if you're more well-mannered than I, heh) Doubles or triples easily.

For the dough:
125 ml. milk, lukewarm
15 g. fresh yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
250 g. flour
50 g. melted butter

For the topping:
140 g. butter
200 g. soft brown sugar

* Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add egg, sugar, salt and flour, holding back a couple spoonfuls of the flour - beat well. Add the melted butter, beat again. Add more flour as necessary, kneading until you have a glossy, slightly sticky dough, sorta like the dough for cinnamon rolls. I do all of this in my Kitchen Aid, but it can of course be done by hand just as easily. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and leave to rise for 1½-2 hours.
*Grease your brownie pan with butter. Deflate the dough and push it into the brownie pan - make sure you cover the entire pan - it will rise again, so it's okay if it's only a centimeter thick to start. Leave to rise again, ½-1 hour.
*Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Make the topping: in a small saucepan (such a Delia word!) melt the butter with the sugar. Let it come to the boil, then take off the heat. Dimple the now risen dough, so you'll have lots of holes to be filled with sugar. Pour the sugar-butter mixture over the dimpled dough and put everything in the oven.
*Bake for 15-20 minutes (making sure to put an empty baking sheet underneith the rack with the brownie pan - I forgot and ick! what an oven I got myself!)

Btw: have I told you there's a new Danish food blogger (writing in English) out there? Her name is Anne, her blog is called Secret Gourmands and her sweet tooth is almost as big as mine! :-) Go check it out!


Anonymous said…
I'm drooling over here!
Anonymous said…
Fried sugar - it's hard not to beg.
Looks sooo good.
Anonymous said…
I'm bookmarking this now. It sounds so good - must try it soon!
Pille said…
Ok, somehow I missed this good-looking thingy when I lived in Denmark! How come?!?
And I totally love all Karolines Køkken booklets - have used them for ages!
Anonymous said…
Oh oh ohhh, this is my all time favorite birthday cake!

My family has been making this cake for birthdays as long as I can remember, and I have gotten a few tips along the way.

Tip nr. 1: If you find the topping a bit on the grainy side from the brown sugar, then you can either stir in a bit of milk to help the sugar dissolve completely, or you can replace a bit of the sugar with dark syrup. Then you're guaranteed the sticky gooey topping that makes the cake.

Tip nr. 2: My mom puts a tiny bit of ground cardamum in the batter. Just a hint of it really works nicely.

Mums. Nu, hvem har snart fødselsdag?
Anonymous said…
Mm-mm, that is what I want for lunch today! Too bad I don't know how to pronounce it!
Anonymous said…
Hi Zarah Maria, I am definitely making this... Far too few cakes out there celebrate the simple glories of butter and caramelized sugar!
Anonymous said…
Ooh, that looks so tasty!
Anonymous said…
I am a Swedish woman.
I may only look at cakes and buns for a while.
(I´m too short according my weight).
Zarah Maria said…
Let us all in unison raise our banners to the joys of sugar and butter, and join in a collective "MMMMMMMMMMMM", shall we ;-)

Pille - I'm glad I can amend that you've missed this - it's not to be missed!

Jennie - thanks for the tips! Is your birthday coming soon? Oh wait, mine is! Hehe!
Anonymous said…
What a wonderful brunsviger..and thanks for your sweet comment. I've never made it myself, but I think I'll give it a try. I'm off to Nice on Sunday and I can't wait to eat SO many delicious things!
Anonymous said…
Tip nr. 3: Should the unthinkable happen that you have a bit of brunsviger left, then it can be revived in the microwave oven - not very hard, just enough to soften up the dough and make the sugar softer. (yeah, I'm not really proud of knowing this trick ;)
Anonymous said…
I made this yesterday, and it was SO good and SO easy. I'm definitely going to add this to my short list of recipes that I cook over and over. Thanks!
Anonymous said…
this is my husband's favorite good thing you post it in english not in danish, it's a big help for me. my husband is danish and i'm a filipina. He's so happy that I cooked this for him

mange tak =)
Paige said…
Oh my goodness and now this one. I'm not even going to copy this recipe down in my recipe program. Looks too tempting. Well ok, maybe I will. Maybe I'll get someone to make this for me for my birthday breakfast or something special.

What I love about most Danish pastry is that it's so incredibly tender and chewy. It doesn't try to do the flaky/layer-y/crispy thing like a lot of pastry. I guess it's just the use of a lot of yeasted doughs. Yum! Brunsviger is no exception.
Unknown said…
hi ! I should say 'tusind tak' to you. I was in denmark a couple of years ago. I did not realize I could miss food so much until yesterday ....suddenly I thought of brunsviger... yum .. tried frantically to look for the recipe without much luck and then came across your blog. Felt nice and inspired to bake. This is my first attempt at baking. Just had a little doubt. When you say flour , you mean wheat flour right ???? sorry for the stupid question , but I just had to clear the doubt in my mind.
kittenflick said…
i live in america and my family lives in odense denmark. every time i went there as a kid i had brunsviger for my birthday and LOVED it. i've tried several recipes online and this is by far the best. i'm eating it right now and it's perfection! thank you!

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