Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer strawberry cake

Before the thunder and lightning struck on Midsommar, we had a lovely lunch outside. Three different types of herring (very traditional); warm smoked salmon with a horseradish cream; a smörgåstårta or 'sandwich cake' with salmon and crayfish; Swedish strong cheese; dark bread and of course knäckebröd. No potatoes, as you could read in my last post.

And then the pièce de resistance: a strawberry cake, with lots of fresh strawberries and filled with strawberry mousse. I will give you the recipe for this cake now, as the strawberries are still in season and rather cheap.

Strawberry cake (adapted recipe from Dagens Nyheter)

Step 1
Mousse: (can be made 2-3 days in advance)
4,5 sheets of gelatin
200 g strawberries (not more or less)
4 dl cream
0,75 dl sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

* cover a springform (24 cm in diameter) with plastic foil. It's important that the filling will not leak, so make several layers of foil and press it down gently along the edges
* let 4,5 gelatin sheets soak in cold water
* purée the strawberries with a blender
* put the puréed strawberries in a pan, together with 4 dl cream, 0,75 dl sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
* bring to the boil and then take the pan of the heat
* take the gelatin sheets out of the water and shake excess water off
* put the gelatin sheets in the pan and stir until the sheets have dissolved
* let the mixture cool down for 5 minutes and then pour it into the prepared springform
* let it stand for 30 minutes and then place it in the fridge
* it needs to stiffen up in the fridge for at least 4 hours

Step 2
Cake: (can be made 1 day in advance)
100 g butter
3 eggs
2 dl sugar
180 g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
1,5 dl milk
some good strawberry cordial (NL: siroop, S: saft)

* preheat the oven to 175 C
* use a springform the same size as the mousse. Cover the bottom with baking paper and grease the form
* melt 100 g butter
* in a bowl, mix 3 eggs together with 2 dl sugar until fluffy
* while stirring, you can bit by bit add 180 g flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar, 1,5 dl milk and the melted butter
* pour the mixture into the springform and bake for 40-45 minutes
* when the cake has cooled down, take it out of the springform.
* using a sharp bread knife, cut the cake horizontally so you have two cake halves
* sprinkle both halves, on the cut side, with some cordial

Step 3

Take the mousse out of the fridge and, with a steady hand, flip the mousse on top of one half of the cake. Place the other half on top it. Cover the cake with some foil, and put in the fridge. This is best done the day before serving, so that the flavours can be soaked into the cake.

Step 4 - just before serving
2 dl cream
250 g strawberries
icing sugar

* whip the cream, but not too stiff
* clean the strawberries
* using a spatula, spread the whipped cream on all sides of the cake
* place the strawberries on top and dust with some icing sugar

This cake is quite a lot of work, but it tastes heavenly and looks spectacular (or so I think). If you really want to make something special, then let this cake be it. The good thing is that most is done in advance, so you don't need to do much before serving, which is nice when you have guests!