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January 8 

Saint of the day:

Saint Thorfinn Of Hamar

St. Thorfinn Of Hamar's Story

Cistercian monk at the abbey of Tautra. Canon of the Cathedral of Nidaros (modern Trondheim, Norway) by 1277 when he was a witness of the Agreement of Tönsberg. Bishop. Exiled by King Eric for supporting the Archbishop of Nidaros in a dispute over state interference in Church matters. Took refuge at the abbey of TerDoest in Flanders, Belgium. Pilgrim to Rome, Italy. Upon his return, Bishop Thorfinn fell ill, made a will to divide his meagre possessions, and died soon after. Father Walter de Muda, a monk who knew him, wrote a poem about Thorfinn, describing him as kind, patient, and generous, with a mild exterior and firm will against the evil and ungodly. Father Walter wrote the poem on parchment and hung it over Thorfinn’s tomb.

The bishop had not attracted much attention in life, and was on his way to being forgotten. However, 50 years later, during a church renovation his tomb was opened. His remains gave off a strong and pleasant perfume. The parchment poem was still hanging near the body, still fresh and supple. The perfume of the relics, the state of the parchment, the reports of miracles around the tomb, and the reports of Thorfinn’s holiness lead to approval of his cultus. Devotion soon spread through the Cistercians, and throughout Norway.








St. Torfinn Kirke catholic church  
Hamar, Norway








  • 1 lb almonds – unsalted and not roasted (skins are ok)

  • 1 lb confectioners’ sugar (~3 1/.4 cups)

  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 3 to 4 unbeaten egg whites

Royal icing

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1 lb confectioners' sugar

  • 2 tsp almond extract


  1. To prepare rings, generously grease the pans and then sprinkle with bread crumbs or uncooked Cream of Wheat. For non-stick pans, grease the pans with shortening or butter – do not use cooking spray.

  2. Fit food processor with steel blade. Process almonds until pulverized. Add confectioners’ sugar, flour, and 3 egg whites; process until dough is firm but not dry. Add fourth egg white only if necessary to make dough manageable.

  3. Chill 30 minutes, wrapped in plastic wrap.

  4. To shape dough for rings, attach a 1/2”-inch tip to a metal cookie press. Fill cookie press with dough. (Note: this will not work with a pastry bag – the dough is too stiff). Press dough out onto flat surface in long strands. Alternatively, use a stand mixer sausage stuffer to create the long strips. Cut into lengths to fit the prepared rings. Rolls strands between palms and counter-top to make strips as smooth and even as possible. Place into rings and seal ends. Do not overfill rings or they will be difficult to remove from pan after baking.

  5. Preheat oven to 325°F. For dark or non-stick pans, lower temperature to 300°F. Bake 30 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Do not OVERBAKE! Let cool in pans. To remove from pans, carefully insert tip of sharp knife under baked dough ring in several places, lifting gently. If rings break, keep pieces intact so you can mend them with royal icing.

  6. Royal Icing: Beat 2 egg whites and 2 teaspoons almond extract until fluffy. Add 1 lb confectioners’ sugar until mixture is smooth and icing can be drizzled through the fine tip of a pastry bag. Alternative: Use Wilton’s Meringue Powder and mix according to directions for royal icing.

  7. To assemble the cake: Attach fine writing tip to a pastry bag. Spoon Royal icing into bag. Place largest ring on serving plate. Drizzle some icing on top of ring. Top with next smaller ring; drizzle with icing. Continue stacking rings and drizzling with icing until all rings are stacked. Decorate with flowers, flags, or shaped marzipan.

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