...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Food journal number 41: Sockerkaka

Swedish summer isn't complete without cake!

I don't know if the trends are similar in other countries, but here in Sweden, there are a lot of quasi-scientific food fads that deal with slow carbs, detox, sugars, fats, and what have you. As you might expect from my description, I tend not to believe most of these fads even though I enjoy reading about them. (My recently defended thesis was on food and health beliefs). If I were a dietitian, my rule would be simple: eat varied, real food but in smaller portions. Okay, that's easier said than done, but that's the funny thing about food advice. If they tell you something complicated, people are willing to go to extreme extents like abolishing carbs of all kinds, weighing their food, and eating artificial "beef" patties made of corn. But tell them something simple and logical and it turns out to be the most challenging thing to do. Ho hum.

But let's not be a party pooper now. Actually, we all choose to believe some health advice in one way or another, even if we don't claim to be affected by them. And if you happen to believe on gospel of low fat, this cake recipe for sockerkaka (lit. sugar cake) is for you. With only 50 grams of butter, dieters can literally have their cake and eat it too. As the magazines like to say, paradoxically enough: "You can indulge even while dieting!"

But, but, but! This cake is good! I mean it really is, even coming from a non-dieting person. It's light in texture despite it's low fat content, sufficiently sweet, and has just the right fluffiness under a nice firm cake surface. You can flavor the cake with grated lemon or lime peel, but if you're a complete hedonist, you can also slather it with cream and top it with strawberries, as sockerkaka makes a perfect cake bottom (you can bake it in two separate forms for this purpose, if you prefer that). Of course you can also have the cake as it is plain and simple. Margareta, who baked this cake, flavored the batter with lemon peel and decorated the finished cake with some confectioner's sugar shaken from a sieve. As Swedes say, those little extras "put the dot over the 'i'". The question is if it also puts the 'i' in "diet" ;-)

Sockerkaka (Sugar cake)

2 eggs
2 deciliters (.8 cup) sugar
50 g (.2 cup) butter
1 deciliter (.4 cup) milk or water
3 deciliters (1.2 cups) flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
(grated peel of 1 lemon)

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Butter a baking form and sprinkle some fine bread crumbs evenly unto the buttered form.

2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Melt the butter in a separate pot, add the milk to the melted butter and bring to a boil. In the meantime, combine the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar.

3. Hastily fold the butter-milk mixture into the egg-sugar mixture. Add the flour and fold until the batter is smooth. Try to accomplish this with as little mixing as possible (this has something to do with the baking powder).

3. Pour the batter into the form, place in the middle of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.


Anonymous Lara said...

im actually guilty of buying those tiny sockerkaka portions from coop to serve guests. im just really not into baking cakes...yet ;)

we leave for södra sverige tomorrow -- yey! have to finish packing...

see you when we see you!!!

4:52 PM

Anonymous Sockerkaka said...

Nice recipe of sockerkaka!

4:02 AM


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