Swedish Summer Cake

Apologies for my tardiness everyone – it’s a bit like when you’re late to a party, and by the time you get there they’ve cut the cake already and it’s all a bit of an anticlimax – I’m sorry.

Anyway, it was my birthday recently, and I really wanted a cream laden cake to celebrate.  I knew that I had two options: buy it or make it.  I accepted that the third option, get my husband to make it, was far too risky.

I just love strawberries, especially in margaritas (I’ll post that recipe one day soon!), so I decided to adapt Nigella’s version of a Swedish Summer Cake.  It has the ridiculous amount of cream I was looking for, coupled with strawberries and…custard.

Spongy, custardy, creamy goodness.  There is absolutely no pun intended in that last part, no double meaning, nothing except genuine cake adoration.  It might seem like a lot of steps to get to cake, but believe me it’s really worth it…

Swedish Summer Cake

CUSTARD INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 egg yolks (you can freeze your whites for another time)
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 200ml milk (any kind)
  • 50 ml cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 80ml hot water
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150g plain flour

DECORATING INGREDIENTS:

  • 750g strawberries (3 punnets)
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • 500ml cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

You can make the custard the day before, or the morning of the bake if you want to.  It’s pretty simple: all you do is whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a small saucepan before putting over a moderate heat and whisking in the milk, cream and vanilla.  Stir constantly until the custard thickens, and then take it off the heat.  You’ll want to cool the custard down before you use it, so pour it into a bowl, cover with clingfilm so it’s touching the surface of the custard, and put in the fridge.

I forgot to take pictures of this bit, so I just took a photo of the clingfilming.  I’m sorry.

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Before making the cake, don’t forget to preheat your oven to 180C, and line and grease a 23cm springform cake tin.  This will make it much easier to get the cake out of the tin…

Beat the eggs and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.  You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really voluminous and there is no grit left when you rub a drop between your fingers.  Now beat in the hot water (drizzle it in and beat the whole time), and then add the flour and baking powder and beat in until there are no lumps.

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Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.  Then, leave it to sit in the tin for 5 to 10 minutes before taking it out to cool on a rack.

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While the cake is cooling macerate your strawberries.  It sounds complex, but all you do is set aside one punnet for later, cut out the green stem on the other strawberries, cut them into halves or quarters, and then throw into a bowl with the sugar and use a spoon to toss together.  Let it sit until you assemble the cake (assuming you’re going to assemble the cake that day).

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Beat the cream and vanilla until the peaks hold when you lift the beaters out (5 or so minutes of hard core beating), and fold one third into the custard.

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Okay, the next bit could freak some people out.  To be honest, a few years ago I would have been a bit worried about doing this.  But you know you have to live life on the edge, so just take a breath and do it.  Cut the cake into three layers.

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It’ll probably look pretty dodgy, but don’t worry about it; custard covers all manner of sins.  Spread half of the custard mixture onto the first layer, and add half the macerated strawberries, then put the next layer on and repeat.

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Now put the top on and smear the remaining whipped cream over it before topping it off with the other whole strawberries.  You could leave the stems on to make it look more rustic, but I’m lazy once I start shoving food into my mouth, and having to bite the stems off would just be too much for me to bear…

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