You’ve gotta love the name, right?
Give it to google and it translates it to ‘chum’, although it seems the true translation is along the lines of ‘happy marriage’ or ‘marital bliss’.
Something to do with the cake containing all of the ingredients of a happy marriage; with its use of inexpensive ingredients and a method so simple that a woman with any skill level can master. Perhaps even that all of its ingredients can be found in the average Icelandic kitchen.
Yep, I’m scratching my head, as well.
Does this now mean that I’m the wife of my household, now that I’ve made this cake?
Ok, so what we basically have is a rather soft and crumbly pastry that forms a tart shell. There’s oatmeal in there, which gives it a nice texture and earthy flavour; plus brown sugar for depth and a little cardamom for aroma.
And then you’ve got the rhubarb, a plant that can be seen growing wild in many parts of Iceland.
A simple jam is made from the rhubarb, reduced down until nice, thick and gloriously sour – with just enough sugar so you don’t purse your lips too much whilst eating it.
Like rocks and boulders strewn across the Reykjanesbar lava fields, the same pastry that’s used for the base is broken up and dolloped over the rhubarb; forming an undulated topping that makes the cake tread closer to pie territory.
While no two hjónabandssaela recipes are the same, I’ve added my own little touch by incorporating vanilla and dark muscovado sugar. Some use spelt flour, which would be great, as well as rolled oats. The only oats in our pantry were in instant porridge form – so that’s what I went with – and the husband’s suggestion of ginger in the pastry was a winning one.
They say the cake gets better with age – much like a good marriage – but I have to be honest, this one barely made it to three days.
Adapted from here