Latvia – Alexandertorte

IMG_6245tThis week, we reach Latvia. With 12,000 rivers and a lot of forest, including a super old oak tree, Latvia is also the birthplace of jeans. The cake this week, Alexandertorte, was reportedly first made to commemorate the visit of Tsar Alexander III (the penultimate tsar, in case you’re wondering) to Riga some time in the late 1800s.

I rolled this far too thin, so it was a bit more fragile than it should have been, but I managed to assemble it without serious breakage. It seemed like a straightforward thing to make, but even the most straightforward things can sometimes go slightly wrong.  Oscar said this cake is like a giant pop tart, and he’s not wrong. It also makes an excellent layer cake if you stack the pieces after it’s been cut (this was an accidental discovery, but welcome nonetheless).

I don’t know what to say about Brexit this week. According to research published this week, we want a deal and we’d quite like to stay part of the EEA, so basically we want to be Norway. Will the government let us be like Norway? Who knows. It all feels terribly political, as in, the kind of politics that decides to stay the course rather than admit they’re wrong (see also, the US in the Vietnam War). So, that’s where we are.

This post is part of a series called ‘Brexit Baking’, where I bake my way around all 28 EU Member States. You can read more about it here.

Alexandertorte (recipe from here)

1 cup caster sugar
3 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups butter
1 cup raspberry jam
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix briefly before kneading in the butter. Chill for 20 minutes before rolling out to about 1cm thick and cutting into shapes of your choice. Place on a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Spread one layer of pastry with the jam, then place the second layer on top. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice and spread over the tops of the biscuits.

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