My husband’s absolute favorite cake is a Danish cake called “Brunsviger” originating from the small southern Danish island Fyn (Funen) where Hans Christian Andersen is from. I have no idea how to translate this name into English. It is a yeast bread with a caramelized brown sugar topping. You can find it in most Danish bakeries but there is a big difference between the Copenhagen version and the one from Fyn. Actually, it was not until my husband took me to Fyn where his family is from that I discovered how good brunsviger can be. Of course brunsviger is also delicious in Copenhagen but the version from Fyn tops everything. In Copenhagen the brown sugar topping is thick and sugary whereas on Fyn it is like a sirup-caramel topping. Apparently, it is so unique to Fyn that my husband told me to think of the rolling hills of Fyn when I shaped the cake. As you can hear he is very passionate about this cake and Fyn. This southern Danish island sure is beautiful with its lush fields and rolling hills, old farm and manor houses, idyllic coastal towns such as Svendborg, Faaborg and Kerteminde and a lot of beaches. The weather is even a tiny bit warmer than in the northern parts of the country – which is always very helpful in Denmark.
I found a great recipe for fynsk brunsviger on the Danish food blog Sesamsesam.com (here is the link: Opskrift paa fynsk brunsviger ).
For the non-Danes I have an adapted version of the Sesamsesam.com recipe here:
Fynsk Brunsviger Recipe
250 gram / 9 ounces all-purpose flour
25 gram / 1 ounce sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2- 1 3/4 dl whole milk
25 gram / 1 ounce butter, softened and cut into small cubes
125 gram / 4.5 ounces butter
150 gram / 5.3 ounces dark brown sugar
4 tbsp sirup (maple sirup was delicious)
How you do it:
Heat the milk in a small pot until it is lukewarm. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast. Then you mix in the salt, sugar and flour. Add the butter and knead. Then you shape it into a nice ball and let it rise in the bowl in a warm place under a dish towel for about 30 minutes.
While the dough rises you make the topping by mixing all the ingredients in a medium sized pot over low heat until it is well mixed and melted.
Next you roll the dough out to a rectangle and fit it into a large metal baking pan (35 x 25 cm) with tall sides. Press a lot of holes into the dough (for the topping to run into). This is when you should think about shaping it like the rolling hills of Fyn. For more pictures on how to make the “hills” see SesamSesam.com Brunsviger Recipe.
Spread the topping evenly over the dough, cover with a dish towel and let it rise for about 30 minutes. After rising you press holes in the dough once again.
Now it is ready to bake for 12-15 minutes on 350 degrees fahrenheit (180 degrees celsius). Make sure to make it the same day as you wish to serve it because it is supposed to be eaten fresh. Already the next day it will start to get dry and you will have to warm it up to get the sticky tastiness back. It tastes extra good when it is a little lukewarm. Good luck! I hope you will love it too 🙂