Runebergintorttu - Runeberg's Torte

February 5th is the day of our national poet, J.L. Runeberg. It is told that his wife, Fredrika, a writer herself, baked these cakes for him. They are a highly seasonal product, you can buy them only from January until Runeberg's Day. Usually Finnish people like them either dry and crumbly or moist and dense. I myself prefer the dense type (any other type is simply blasphemous!). Traditionally the cakes are baked in cylidrical molds, but muffin tins are perfectly acceptable in my opinion. This time I made also small ones, but you can bake all the batter in ordinary-sized muffin tins, in which case you'll end up with about 5 cakes.

Runeberg's Torte (makes about 5 muffins/cakes)

55 g butter, melted
50 g sugar
1 small egg
30 g almond flour
40 g gingerbread cookies, ground/crushed (or any cookies or even breadcrumbs, but then I would add ground ginger and increase the amount of sugar)
1/4 tsp cardamom
35 ml cream (or milk)
40 g all-purpose flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
(a couple drops almond extract or 1 bitter almond, ground)

60 ml (= 4 Tbsp) water
20 g sugar
30 ml (= 2 Tbsp) punsch (or rum a little less) (or according to taste: I used 45 ml *^^*)

To decorate:
raspberry jam (actually this time I used blackberry jam)
sugar icing (icing sugar+a couple drops lemon juice or water mixed to a smooth, thick paste)

Mix butter and sugar. Add egg while beating vigorously. Add almond flour, cookie crush, cardamom (and almond extract or ground bitter almond) and mix. Add cream or milk. Mix baking powder to all-purpose flour and add to the batter. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake at 200 C for 10-20 min (depending on the size of the tins).

Meanwhile make the syrup: Bring water and sugar to boil. When the sugar is dissolved, take away from the heat and let it cool a bit. Add the alcohol of your choice.

When the cakes are still warm (but not straight after taking from the oven), poke small holes with a toothpick on top of them and brush with the syrup (the top will be covered eventually, so don't mind about the holes). Let the cakes seep the syrup (preferably overnight). Decorate with raspberry jam and pipe the sugar icing around the jam. Enjoy with a cup of coffee!

And here is Ekberg's, a famous bakery/café in Helsinki, version of Runeberg's Torte (as it should be: cylindrical shape, raspberry jam) :

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