Marvposteier is a fairly new addition to the Norwegian Seven Sort bakes. It is not known how they become numbered among the originals, though modern baking and magazines would have had a lot to do with their popularity as they are a decorative little cake. The name seems to give away a little of its creation – ‘marv’ could easily be a dialect word for ‘marg’, meaning marrow. Just like the inside paste of bones, so is the marzipan paste of marvposteier. It is likely that this bake was first developed as a savory pie using animal marrow. And ‘posteier’ is equivalent to the word ‘pastie’ which is usually filled with meat. In essence this bake is a mini sweet pie.
Here is our recipe. It has become popular to put in a tablespoon of cognac which is called ‘Bestemors’ (grandmothers version) but we make it without because our children usually eat them and the alcohol doesn’t have a chance to evaporate. It certainly doesn’t need alcohol.
Also, traditionally the cakes are shaped with a special mini pie form with a zig-zag circle called ‘sandkake-former‘ but any small pie form will do.
Usually the cakes have a cross decoration on top made from strips of the base dough. However, I’ve read that some Norwegians don’t bother with it. The crosses are not essential as they can be tedious to make and usually break when baking – the cake will still taste great without them, but we did add the cross to see what would happen.
250g plain flour
200g butter (room temp)
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons of water
150g of ground almonds*
200g icing sugar/powder sugar
4 egg whites
*You can use raw unsalted almonds and put them in a blender to ground them. They don’t need to be dust but just small enough to make a grainy paste.
Rub butter and flour together in a bowl. Stir in the egg yolk and water. Stand for 30 minutes in a cold place.
Lightly grease mini pie tins or a cupcake pan. Roll out the dough and lay over the forms, dressing the base and sides. Save a little of the dough for the cross decoration.
Beat the egg whites stiff and carefully fold in the almonds and icing sugar. Fill into the base and level. Cut small strips from the dough and lay in a cross over each cake.
Bake at 200 degrees celsius for 20 minutes. Bake on the bottom shelf as they need good heating from below so the pastry doesn’t turn out raw. However, the inside is meant to be a little moist.
Let them cool completely before taking them out of their forms. These can be frozen.