VÍNARTERTA – ICELANDIC CELEBRATION CAKE

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Ingredients

  • Filling:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 kg pitted dried prunes
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Cookie:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond extract
  • ½ cup milk

Instructions

  1. Heat water and prunes in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the prunes are very soft and water is evaporated, stirring occasionally- approximately 30 minutes. Once the prunes are very soft, mash them with a potato masher or blitz them through a food processor. Add lemon juice, cardamom, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon and stir well. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the milk, vanilla extract and almond extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cardamom and baking powder.
  6. Add a third of your dry ingredients to the creamed butter bowl and mix well. Then, add a third of the milk mixture to the butter bowl and mix well. Continue to alternate adding dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the butter bowl until everything is mixed together.
  7. Roll dough out on to a floured surface until roughly ¼ inch thick (or rather, thin!). Using an inverted 9 inch round springform pan OR an inverted 8 inch rectangular brownie pan, trace a square/circle with a knife. Gently place your dough square/circle on to a baking sheet (I like to roll it on to a rolling pin and then roll it off on the sheet). If you have two baking sheets, you can bake two layers at once, cutting down your cooking time. You should end up with 5-7 ‘cookie’ layers in total, depending on the width of each layer and the size your are cutting them to.
  8. Bake each layer of dough for 10-12 minutes, until firm, but not browned. As they are baked, gently transfer each to a wire rack to cool completely. The baked and cooled squares/circles should have a firm, cookie-like consistency.
  9. Once all your dough layers are baked and fully cooked you can start to put them all together! Place one cookie layer down on a piece of wax paper. Using a spatula, gently spread a layer of the prune mixture over the cookie, getting as close to the edges as possible. Place the second cookie layer overtop and do the same. Repeat this until you have one cookie layer left and place that on top but do not cover your top layer with the prune mix.
  10. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and/or tinfoil and store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 days or up to 4 weeks, until ready to serve. The longer you let it sit, the softer your cookie layers will be. I like to wait at least a week buuuut… sometimes I just can’t resist and break into it early.  To serve, slice into slices or squares.

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