Friday, July 2, 2010
Swedish Strawberry Cream Cake
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely sponge cake is popular throughout Scandinavia. I learned to make the Swedish version of the cake , called Jordgubbbstårta, the summer of my twelfth birthday. Traditionally, this cake was made for special occasions such as birthdays or national holidays. In summer months the cake was filled with heavy cream and fresh berries. Winter versions were, of course, filled with fruit preserves. While it is simple to make, the cake requires a lot of beating and I suspect that's why it was so seldom made. Although electric mixers became available to homemakers in the early 1930's, they were expensive and few families could afford them. All that changed in 1952 when Sunbeam began to market an affordable hand held electric mixer. That, coincidentally, is the year I first made this cake. Independence Day was a communal holiday in our neighborhood and Mrs. P was responsible for the desserts. She decided to substitute the usual shortcake with her lovely Swedish sponge. She had already made one cake when she asked if I would like to make the second. I was thrilled to pieces and under her watchful eye began to make the second. Now, there is a Tom Sawyer aspect to this tale. I suspect I was given the task because it took so long, even with the electric mixer, to beat the eggs. With her hands free, Mrs. P went on to mix a batch of brownies and the dough for oatmeal cookies, while I carefully held the mixer and watched and waited for the eggs to thicken. They eventually did and the tale ends well. My cake was a triumph. To prevent unnecessary worry, you should know that the cake layers will not dome as they bake. I've also found that the cake is vastly improved if the layers are lightly brushed with orange liqueur or dark rum. The berries I used were super-ripe and packed with flavor, but they tinted the cream pink. If you want a cake with a pure white visage use less ripe berries. The cake will hold nicely for a day or two, but it really wilts as day three approaches. This is a lovely dessert, and if you're looking for a strawberry dessert to replace shortcake, you might want to give this a try. Here's the recipe.
Swedish Strawberry and Cream Cake - Jordgubbstårta...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 cup (4 to 5 large) eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Orange liqueur or rum for brushing cake layers
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart hulled strawberries, sliced
1) Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with wax or parchment paper. Grease paper and flour pans. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Place eggs in bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat until frothy. With mixer at high speed, slowly add granulated sugar and beat until mixture is very, very thick and pale. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3) Sift flour and baking powder into another bowl or onto wax paper. With mixer set to low speed, slowly add flour to egg mixture, beating just until blended.
4) Spread batter into pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake bounces back when touched. Do not over bake. Remove cake layers from oven and cool.
5) To prepare filling, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla and continue beating until cream is stiff. Refrigerate. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Toscatarta - One Perfect Bite
Linzer Cookies - One Perfect Bite
Swedish Visiting Cake - Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy
Swedish Princess Cake -Foodaholics
Swedish Meringue Cake - Epicurious