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Dream Cake with Barley

As part of our month-long celebration of all things Scandinavian, we've asked some of our favourite Scandi chefs to share their favourite 'fika' recipes. 'Fika' - literally, coffee and a cake with a friend - is a Swedish word with no direct English translation, and one that we could totally get on board with. Our first recipe is from food & lifestyle photographer, and cookbook author, Simon Bajada. Simon's instagram is a long-time source of inspiration for the hush team and it's no surprise that his cookbook is equally as beautiful. From his cookbook, here's a recipe for a Danish 'dream cake'. Thanks, Simon!

"Over fifty years ago a lady living in Jutland, Denmark, invented the original recipe for this cake. Her granddaughter named it drømmekage, which means ‘dream cake’, and entered it into a baking competition. The cake won and somehow the news spread like wildfire. It’s now one of the most consumed cakes in Denmark.

An ambassador of accessible new Nordic dishes, Mia Irene Kristensen, adapted the cake by substituting the coconut in the original version with barley to make it a little more traditionally ‘Nordic’. The cake is indulgent: a sponge using cream on the base contrasting with a chewy caramel topping! You can use full-cream (whole) milk instead of the cream."

Dream Cake with Barley

Serves 8-10


300g plain (all-purpose) flour
3tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
300g caster sugar
90g unsalted butter, melted
2tsp vanilla extract
200ml pouring (single/light) cream
175 g fresh or frozen blackcurrants or blueberries
Cream or custard, to serve


180g unsalted butter
60ml full-cream (whole) milk
300g soft brown sugar
175g barley flakes or rolled (porridge) oats
3 teaspoons dark malt (optional)


Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Sift the €our and baking powder into a bowl.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 10 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and fold to combine.

Stir in the melted butter, vanilla and cream. Fold in the currants or berries.

Pour the dough into a 20 cm (8 in) round springform cake tin. (You can use a larger cake tin, but bear in mind to reduce the cooking time.) Bake for 40 minutes, or until the middle of the cake is firm to touch.

About 5 minutes before the cake is ready, make the topping.

Mix together all the ingredients for the topping in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook, stirring, until it bubbles slightly.

Remove the cake from the oven and increase the temperature to 220°C (430°F).

Pour the caramel over the cake then return it to the oven for 5–7 minutes, until you see it set and start to turn dark brown at the edges. Allow the cake to cool in its tin for a few minutes before running a knife around the edge and releasing the spring form. Cool and allow the topping to set before cutting into slices. Serve with cream or custard.

Recipe from The New Nordic by Simon Bajada. Published by Hardie Grant, £25.00.

Tags: fikahow do you fikarecipesbaking
Posted on 01st November 2015 by Hush