Monday, April 26, 2010

Swedish Visiting Cake

Swedish Visiting Cake pan1

Our wireless router hasn't been working over the past week. John pulled the computer desk away from the wall and along with it came a few of my cookbooks that were on a bookshelf near the desk. The biggest and heaviest of the them being Dorie Greenspan's Baking From my Home to Yours. One of my absolute favorite cookbooks.

I picked it up and put it on the kitchen table while John wrestled with the jumble of wires behind the desk. I started to flip through all the pretty pastel post-it notes that were placed there when I first got the book. I don't know if you're like me, but when I get a new cookbook I devour it for a bit. I take it to bed with me. I lug it back and forth to work and home, and I always have a little pack of post-its to bookmark everything I want to make first. I have every intention at the time of strategically cooking or baking everything in a timely manner, and then I get another cookbook and it all starts over again.


Swedish Visiting Cake slice

I had bookmarked this cake mostly I remember because of the name. It just sounded like a nice cake to make. Homey and comforting. Then I read that Dories friend Ingela Helgesson first brought her this cake and that just sent me over the top. Ingela Helgesson. What a name. I'd happily partake of any dessert she's making.


Swedish Visiting Cake
From Baking, From My Home to Yours)
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan.

Pour the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour. Finally, fold in the melted butter.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar (I used Demerara sugar for a little more rustic look). If you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.

Swedish Visiting Cake pan

I made my cake in my cast iron skillet. I think everything tastes just a little bit better in cast iron. This cake was moist on the inside with a golden crunch on the outside. So delicious and so easy to make. You don't need a hand mixer, just a whisk and a spatula. When I was finished all I had to wash one bowl filled with a few utensils. That's my kinda cake.

This is one of those recipes that I'll be making again and again.
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