Kongo Squares

There are some recipes that skip a generation. This is one of those.

I got this cake recipe from grandma Maja, the mother of my Mum’s best friend. She turned 101 this year, and I wanted to keep this amazing cake alive in her honor 🙂

I remember these Kongo squares from when I was just a kid. Every Christmas we could find them on her table. Somehow my Mum’s friend or my Mum never made this cake for us kids, although they made a bunch of other delicious desserts.

The name is unusual, and I don’t know where it came from. It’s made of roasted hazelnuts and coffee, with apricot jam and chocolate glaze. Irresistible if you ask me 😃

Ingredients for the dough

  • 300 g (3 1/4 cup) roasted ground hazelnuts
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 250 g (1 1/4 cup) granulated sugar

Ingredients for the cream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp strong brewed coffee
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) butter

Ingredients for the glaze

  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) butter
  • apricot jam

Preparation for the dough

  1. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven on 200 °C (400 °F) for 10 minutes.
  2. Grind them in the food processor after they cool down. You can do this step a few days prior.
  3. In the self standing mixer (or with hand mixer) beat the egg whites until stiff. Add sugar and beat until the mixture is very thick.
  4. Add the ground hazelnuts, flour and breadcrumbs to the egg white mixture and mix in slowly with the spatula.
  5. Preheat the oven at 170 °C (350 °F).
  6. Spread the mixture evenly on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. After the dough cools down, cut in three equal parts.

Preparation for the cream

  1. While the dough cools down, prepare the cream.
  2. Cook the egg yolks and the sugar in a double boiler until the cream thickens. Add coffee and mix well.
  3. Beat the butter and add to the cooled cream.

Preparation for the glaze

  1. Melt the chocolate and the butter.
  2. Add milk and sugar and mix well until combined.

To assemble the cake, place one piece of dough on a serving platter. Spread half of the cream. Repeat the same with the second layer. On the third piece of dough spread apricot jam and glaze on top. Refrigerate before cutting and serving.

What recipe do you cherish from a few generations back?

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