Bring water to boil in large saucepan, then add 1/2 of the almonds. Blanche until the nuts rise to the surface and the skins loosen, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and rinse the almonds in cold water, then remove the skins. Spread them to dry on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet. The nuts need to be completely dry before grinding.
Grind the unblanched almonds and the blanched almonds.
In a large mixing bowl, blend the two almonds “flours” together with the powder sugar, then stir in the egg whites and knead the dough by hand. Let the dough stay cold, at least 12 hours
Preheat your oven to 400º. Flour a pastry board or clean counter with potato starch flour; and then grease and dust the ring forms (if using) with semolina.
Roll the almond dough into 18 1/2″-wide “snakes,” descending in length – in 1/2-inch increments – from about 20″ long to 14″ long. Fit the snakes into the forms, pinching the ends together tightly to form rings. Note: this dough is very forgiving, so you can easily reroll a few snakes if you’ve miscalculated the lengths so that they are evenly divided to fit the graduated rings of the ring forms. Alternatively, if not using ring forms, shape each of the 18 lengths into a ring and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Put the forms with the dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking. Bake in the middle of the oven about 10-15 minutes, until the rings turn light gold. Watch carefully, as they will burn quickly if unattended. Remove the rings out of the molds and let cool on a wire rack.
Mix together the powder sugar, egg whites, and vanilla powder to make a thick frosting. Place into pastry bag (small tip) or in a plastic freezer bag with the end snipped off. Pipe the frosting in a wavy pattern around the circumference of the bottom ring (the frosting, while decorative, also serves as the glue that will hold the cake together).
Repeat this step for each of the remaining rings, working from the largest up to the smallest. The finished cake will look like a Fisher-Price ring toy (but will taste so much better!).
Decorate the completed cake with flags and candies, as the Norwegians do, or with ribbons and edible and / or crystallized flowers for a special occasion like a birthday or wedding.
This recipe is from Manuela Kjeilen. She lives in Norway and has an awesome blog called Passion 4 Baking.
Store the ring cake in a tightly sealed container with a slice of apple or bread in order to maximize this cake’s unique soft-yet-chewy texture. It can also be made ahead of time and frozen.
- 3 ½ cups of raw, whole almonds
- 4 egg whites
- 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 egg white
- 1 ¼ cup powder sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla powder