Napoleon's hat - a classic Danish shortbread cake shaped like a triangular hat filled with marzipan - find the recipe at danishthings.com © Christel Danish Thing

Napoleon’s Hat for my father

Today is my father’s birthday.
My dad also gets three cheers hurray, hurray, HURRAAAAAAAAA – happy birthday dad.

Yesterday it was Lise who received a cake for her birthday – today it is my fathers turn – it is his birthday today.
He has chosen his own cake and he chose a classic Danish “tørkage” – A Napoleon’s Hat. “Tørkage” translates to “dry cake” and it isn’t, it just means a cake without cream filling and whipped cream.
My father also had another advantage – he tasted the Napoleon cakes, both the large and the small ones. We celebrated his birthday this weekend.

A Napoleon’s Hat is a shortbread cake shaped like a triangular hat filled with marzipan mass, the bottom of the cake is covered in dark chocolate. According to what I have read, the cake was invented in the second half of the 1800s. At that time many cakes in Denmark was named after Napoleon. For example Napoleon’s cake, a cream cake, made of puff pastry and filled with pastry cream, whipped cream, raspberry jam and icing on top – hmm perhaps another time.

Napoleon's hat - a classic Danish shortbread cake shaped like a triangular hat filled with marzipan - find the recipe at danishthings.com © Christel Danish Thing

I’ve tried to twist the recipe – I’ve used homemade elderflower sugar and vanilla sugar. The elderflower taste is not so dominant, so use ordinary cane sugar if you haven’t got any elderflower sugar.

I wanted to see if Napoleon’s Hats were good as a petit four. So I made the cakes in two sizes – they each have their advantage. You taste the chocolate flavour more when the cakes are small, so choose a good dark chocolate. The small cakes take a loooong time to make, you have to roll out SO much pastry dough. It is faster if you make the cakes large.

My father was fond of his cakes, and that’s great. 😀
The Napoleon’s Hats was also a hit with the rest of the family, big and small. My brother in law liked the taste so much that he tried to order them for his 40th birthday.

I did not know that Napoleon’s Hats also was one of my sister’s favourite cakes. I can’t remember she ordered that kind of cake in our café days.
My sister has another cake in mind for her birthday – now I have to find time to experiment.

Napoleon's hat - a classic Danish shortbread cake shaped like a triangular hat filled with marzipan - find the recipe at danishthings.com © Christel Danish Thing

The combination of crisp pastry, soft cake and tempered dark chocolate is good.
The fact that there are different textures from soft to crunchy, is always a hit in food. Things just taste better, if the mouth, nose and ears are stimulated.

This is the first time I bake Napoleon’s hats, so of course, there are things I would change.
Next time I will use MUCH more marzipan mass, it tastes good and I like the taste of almonds and marzipan.
Maybe I’ll try to get more elderflower flavour in – I haven’t quite thought out how, maybe in the shortcrust pastry?
The shortcrust pastry is easy and it has a good buttery taste, so this is the recipe I’ll use for pies from now on.

Right now there’s been a lot of classic Danish pastries on the blog, and it fits the name – Danish Things. It also fits the traditions that we have for birthday celebrations – happy birthday. 😀

Print Recipe
Napoleon's Hats
© danishthings.com
Napoleon's Hats
Servings
minimum
Ingredients
Shortcrust:
  • 300 g wheat flour
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 150 g room temperature butter
  • 1 egg
Marzipan Mass:
  • 75 g cane sugar I use homemade vanilla cane sugar and elderflower cane sugar
  • 40 g pasteurised egg white
  • 350 g raw marzipan use a good quality > 60% almonds
Dipping:
  • 250 g good dark chocolate for dipping the cake bottom
Servings
minimum
Ingredients
Shortcrust:
  • 300 g wheat flour
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 150 g room temperature butter
  • 1 egg
Marzipan Mass:
  • 75 g cane sugar I use homemade vanilla cane sugar and elderflower cane sugar
  • 40 g pasteurised egg white
  • 350 g raw marzipan use a good quality > 60% almonds
Dipping:
  • 250 g good dark chocolate for dipping the cake bottom
Napoleon's Hats
Instructions
Shortcrust:
  1. Knead all ingredients together into a dough and place in the fridge for at least ½ hour. Or make it in advance and use it next day.
Marzipan Mass:
  1. Mix sugar and egg white. Let it soak for at least half an hour, to dissolve the sugar. Or make it in advance and use it next day.
  2. Beat the "sugarwhite" in a mixer until it becomes white.
  3. Switch to a K-padel and mix in the marzipan, use small chunks.
  4. Knead until the mixture is uniform.
How to make Napoleon hats:
  1. If you left the shortcrust pastry in the refrigerator overnight. Be sure to take out the dough some time before you need to roll it - otherwise, the dough is too hard.
  2. Roll the shortcrust pastry relatively thinly around 2-3 mm. Cut out circles use a round cookie cutter (I used a small one about 4½ cm and a larger one 7 cm in diameter, the small one with a curved edge).
  3. Gather the excess dough and repeat to use up all the dough.
  4. I got 46 small and 24 large cakes. Next time I'll try to make larger cakes.
  5. Place the Napoleon's hats on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  6. Roll a whole lot of small and large balls of marzipan and place one on each cake.
  7. Place one marzipan roll in the middle of each round cookie.
  8. Gather the cookie dough with three fingers and press around the marzipan ball; the form of the cookie should now look like a Napoleon's hat - 3 flaps sticking out.
  9. Place the Napoleon's hats on a plate lined with baking paper. Bake in the middle of the oven at 180 ° C fan oven for 8-11 minutes, depending on cake size - until golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool completely.
  11. If necessary put the cakes in the refrigerator until you dip them in chocolate.
Chocolate:
  1. Temper your chocolate and dip your Napoleon's hats in it.
  2. Store the finished Napoleon's hats in a tightly sealed container, or freeze them, preferably before you dip them in chocolate.

Napoleon's hat - a classic Danish shortbread cake shaped like a triangular hat filled with marzipan - find the recipe at danishthings.com © Christel Danish Things

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