Norway’s Dark Secret
While I don’t have any juicy stories here as the headline might imply, Norway does have a wonderful dessert called “Mørk Hemmelighet”, which translates into “Dark Secret”. A wonderful mousse cake covered in an outer layer of chocolate pudding, it has bits of tropical fruit, nuts and raisins inside, a perfect match with the chocolate.
My aunt Gudrun, who no longer is with us (she passed away at the age of 93), made the most delicious Mørk Hemmelighet, and I always had to go to her house to have it, as this was a dessert my mom didn’t (frequently,if ever) make. It was always such a thrilling surprise to see it on the table, as it was the type of dessert where I couldn’t just have one, but two or three servings of, as it is incredibly light and not too sweet. Plus, I had to make up for all the time I wasn’t able to eat it, clearly!!
Searching for recipes or information about this dessert online and in my Norwegian cookbooks, proved incredibly difficult, as only one or two sites had them listed and none of my books, so I’m not sure if this cake is known by another name in other regions of Norway, or if this is just not a very common dessert. It certainly brings back a lot of childhood memories for me, and I absolutely had to include it on my blog. While it may sound peculiar, I think it’s a unique cake that is worth trying. It’s also a wheat free dessert for those that are gluten intolerant. But the mystique of it certainly had me wondering why not more Norwegians have discovered this little gem. Maybe I will start a trend???
Here’s a recipe for you all to try out – as always, I welcome feedback either here or on my FB page!
MØRK HEMMELIGHET (Dark Secret)
2 1/2 cups whole milk
8 oz good quality dark chocolate (70%), broken into pieces
5 sheets unflavored gelatin
4 sheets unflavored gelatin
2 generous tbsps granulated sugar
1 x 15 oz can pineapple or mixed tropical fruit, drained (Reserve liquid) and diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup heavy cream plus more for decoration
Line a 10″ cake pan or springform pan with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 30 min.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, heat up the milk and chocolate until dissolved.
Soften the five gelatin sheets in a bit of cold water (you can get these at the grocery store, located in the baking isle) then squeeze out the water from the sheets, place in the pot and let it dissolve in the hot chocolate/milk mixture (the mixture must not boil).
Pour the chocolate into the cake pan and place it in the fridge. Once it starts to stiffen up, swirl the pan to get the sides of the cake pan coated with the chocolate as well. (I was too late and the chocolate had already stiffened up by the time I checked it -0h well, better luck next time!)
Place the 4 sheets of gelatin in a little bit of cold water and soak for about 15 min. Bring the reserved liquid from the pineapple/tropical fruit can to a boil, remove from heat, squeeze out water from the gelatin sheets and add into the liquid, stir to combine.
Let it cool to room temperature (Should still be liquid form).
Whisk the heavy cream with the sugar, add in the gelatin liquid, the chopped nuts, raisins and pineapple and combine carefully.
Pour over the chilled chocolate in the cake pan.
Let sit in fridge to chill/cool and seize up for a couple of hours or overnight. Invert the pan onto a serving tray/cake tray , carefully remove the plastic wrap, and decorate the top with whipped cream and additional walnuts.