Monday, February 5, 2018

Runeberg Redux

Happy Runeberg Day!

I've moved, and taken up a new job, and now I'm back in a place with at least one Finnish colleague. A conversation we had made me reminisce about the days in graduate school when I would make Runebergintorttuja -- aka: Runeberg cakes -- for my Finnish professors on Runeberg Day, aka: February 5th, the national day in Finland celebrating the poet Runeberg (more about Runeberg here).

So I decided to brush off my rusty baking skillz and dig the cupcake molds out of their box (in my still-box-filled new apartment), and revisit my old Runeberg recipe. This time around, I made the cakes in cupcake molds, rather than their usual, tall 3-inch cylinders, so that they would be easier to transport to campus. I also took a bit of artistic license with the icing: traditional Runeberg cakes have only a simple ring of icing around the raspberry jam topping. There are other licenses as well, just because I could. ☺️ The cakes are now soaked in a syrup of calvados (apple brandy) rather than straight up rum, and the jam is now a combination of raspberry and grapefruit marmalade. You know, cause I can't help but make things schmancier. :P

Now I just have to suffer through having these cupcakes sit in my office all day until teatime! With the ginger and icing and almond and raspberry wafting out, they smell too good! Woe.

Continue for recipe...

Runeberg Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

for cakes:
2 cups AP flour
1 cup finely ground ginger snaps (the TJ's ones are really good for this)
3/4 cup finely ground almonds
(to grind almonds, put almonds and some ginger snaps in food processor at the same time.)
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn salt
2 tspn freshly grated orange zest
1 tspn ground cardamom
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tspn almond extract
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbspn molasses
3 eggs, at room temp

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake molds with cupcake liners. If you're using a nonstick mold, skip the next step. If you're not using a non-stick mold, spray the edges of the cupcake molds with oil and flour so that the tops don't stick. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, ground ginger snaps, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest, and cardamom. Whisk to mix. Set aside.
3. In a measuring cup, stir and combine milk, orange juice, and almond extract. Set aside.
4. Place butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream on medium low for about 4-5 minutes.
5. Add molasses to the butter mixture and cream until fully incorporated. Make sure to scrap down the sides if necessary.
6. Add eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, mixing thoroughly to incorporate each egg between each addition.
7. Gradually add the dry ingredients (flour mix) and wet ingredients (milk mix) to the butter in three stages--dry followed by wet followed by dry followed by wet, etc. Mix until thoroughly combined.
8. Spoon batter into cake molds until about 2/3 of the way full, being careful not to touch the exposed sides with batter. Tap the baking sheet on the counter to get rid of any large air pockets.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick removed from the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from molds. Then glaze with...

for rum syrup: (* this makes a lot of syrup)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbspn calvados (or rum or cognac)

1. While the cakes are baking, make the syrup. Place sugar and water in a heat-proof measuring glass.
2. Heat the sugar and water in the microwave on high for a minute and a half. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
(or, Heat in a pot on the stovetop until sugar dissolves.)
3. Add alcohol and stir into the syrup.
4. When the cakes are unmolded, poke the tops with a few small holes. Use a pastry brush to brush the syrup on the tops and sides of the cakes.

for raspberry topping:
1 jar of raspberry jam (or, a combo of 1/2 raspberry + 1/2 grapefruit)

for icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbpsn milk
1/2 tspn almond extract

1. Combine powdered sugar with milk and almond extract. Mix well until a thick icing forms. If you need more milk, add a drop or two at a time until you reach the correct consistency. Be careful not to add too much liquid.
2. Spoon icing into a squeeze bottle or piping bag fitted with round tip. Use immediately.

1. Use a sharp knife and cut a shallow cone out of the top of each cake, like filling a cupcake, but make a very shallow cut, about a centimeter in from the edge. Scoop out the cone piece. (I did this instead by using a circle cookie cutter to trace a shallow cut, and then scooped it out with a spoon. Either method works.)
2. Using a pastry brush, brush more syrup in the cut-out hole.
3. Fill the hole with raspberry topping.
4. Use the prepared icing in the piping bag to pipe a generous circle of icing around the raspberry topping.


1 comment:

  1. I found your blog again after viewing Mumin Kaffe with their picture of a Runeberg torte and then hunting online for a recipe. Nice update on your original recipe with the half grapefruit half raspberry combo.
    Happy Runeberg Day!


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