First of all, you may be wondering who the heck "Sweet Paul" is, in which case we're going wag our fingers at you. Because honestly, if you love food and all things holy, you need to familiarize yourself with Sweet Paul. This is a man to know and love, as you'll see in the video below. Paul Lowe, the brains behind Sweet Paul, is a champion of gorgeous recipes, charm, and DIY inventiveness -- he's basically the male, warm-and-fuzzy version of Martha Stewart (without the crazy Twitter account and terrible food photos), whose home you'd never want to leave if you were lucky enough to be invited.
Secondly, if you're wondering how on earth this cake can claim to be the best in the world, here's your answer:
This cake was awarded the title of Norway’s National Cake a few years back. It’s called verdens beste in Norwegian, and I agree that it just might be the world’s best. You may be skeptical of its superiority, since it isn’t iced as are many American cakes. When we photographed it, I left it at the studio apartment of Alexandra Grablewski, this book’s photographer, and the next day she confessed to having eaten two huge servings. “I guess the Norwegians are right,” she said.
Its ingredients are simple, as is its presentation, but we think the cake speaks for itself. The recipe is just one of many from the new book "Sweet Paul Eat & Make." Praised by the likes of Dorie Greenspan and Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs (all of whom are worshipped at HuffPost Taste), the book hosts a combination of recipes and DIY craft projects that showcase Sweet Paul's "Nordic roots and New York tastes," as Tyler Florence puts it.
Go make this cake, check out the book, and then grab yourself a copy of Sweet Paul Magazine. You'll thank us later.
World’s Best Cake
10 1/2 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle position. Line an 8-x-12-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour and baking powder and mix well on low speed.
- Mix in the egg yolks and milk.
- Scrape the batter into the baking pan.
- In a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining 1 cup sugar to soft peaks. Spread on top of the cake layer. Sprinkle with the almond slices.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and puffed. Cool on a wire rack in the pan. Transfer to a cutting board.
- When the cake is cool, put the cream in a medium bowl and scrape in the vanilla seeds. Discard the vanilla pod. Beat to soft peaks with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes.
- Cut the cake in half crosswise with a serrated knife. Place one half of the cake on a serving tray and cover with the cream. Place the other half, meringue side up, on top.
- Let the cake sit for 1 hour in the fridge before serving.
Excerpted from SWEET PAUL, © 2014 by Paul Lowe Einlyng. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.