Sunday, January 20, 2013

The cake of the month project: Swedish Saffron Cake

It's very easy to get caught up in recipes and forget about experimenting new flavors, I recently came to the conclusion that am basically relying on the same recipes over and over again. To spice things up, I’ve decided to start a new project. Every month I will bake a traditional cake from a new country. Something which is unique and tasty. Something I don’t have every day, and most importantly, something I have never baked before.

This month’s cake will be from Sweden.

I have this fascination with Sweden that I can’t justify. Maybe it’s because everyone there is tall and blond, or because of IKEA, or because they are the most eco-conscious country in the world. I have secret plans to move to Sweden one day. But before I do that, here are the top ten things I have to do before:
  1. Learn Swedish.
  2. Loose some weight so I can blend in with the blond & slim population.
  3. Dye my hair blond so I can blend in with the blond & slim population.
  4. Increase my coffee consumption. Apparently, the Swedes drink a lot of coffee.
  5. Know to exchange value of Euro.
  6. Exchange my entire life savings to Euro. Does anyone know the equivalent of 100 Kuwaiti dinars to Euro? A small fortune maybe?
  7. Be on time. The Swedes are punctual.
  8. Start to like winter, especially long cold ones. If not, antidepressants were made for a reason.
  9. Understand what a carbon foot print is & become more eco friendly: is it really this difficult to stop using disposable bags?
  10. Get used to the fact shopping time ends at 5 pm. And stop complaining that the mall in Kuwait closes early at 10 pm.
Unfortunately, people who are not slim, blond, coffee drinkers, euro users, winter lovers, eco-concious, always late & shopaholics have little place to fit in the Swedish community. Therefore, all my plans to move to Sweden will be put on hold. Meanwhile am going to feed my never ending fascination with sweden with a cake like no other.

Saffron cake.

In Kuwait, saffron & cardamom is a popular cake. Although the Swedish & the Kuwaiti version both use saffron, the test is completely different. Kuwaiti version usually involves adding turmeric, pistachios, cardamom & sometimes rosewater. While the Swedish cake is saffron only. I think both cakes are a treat to taste buds. But hey who am I to judge? I like all cakes. So don't take my word, try this cake.

When making this cake, make sure to use real saffron. Not an artificial colored turmeric powder with synthetic flavor and a “E” additive on the label.

Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight. Its usually sold in grams, luckily, a little goes long way. So you don’t need to spend your life savings to devour in a little saffron pleasure.

Honestly, I was little worried that I would not like the cake. But when I sampled it, I couldn’t stop, aside from its aromatic smell, it was light and moist and had just the right amount of sweetness with a it had pungent flavor & a honey like taste.

This cake is fairly easy to make. The hardest thing was whipping the eggs and sugar till they are frothy. But I found a little pink machine that does this well, it’s called Kitchen Aid & I treat it as one of my own children.

The rest is easy. Am sure you all know who to melt butter and fold flour. Although I was lazy to fold the flour and I used the whip attachment to fold the flour. Which probably explains the crack in the middle. 

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Swedish Saffron Cake

Adapted from: who adopted it from Allt om Mat
{click here for printable recipe}


1 cup or (200g) butter, melted

½ tsp (0.5 g) of saffron
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 1/3 cups or 300g sugar
1 cup or 250ml milk
1 2/3 cups or 210g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
Confection sugar for decoration
Whipped cream or strawberries, or raspberry jam.

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C /350 °F /Gas mark 4.
  2. Butter and flour the sides and bottom of a 9” springform cake pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
  3. In the mortar, mix the saffron with 1 tsp of sugar until it’s a powder.
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or a handheld electric mixer whisk, beat eggs & sugar until frothy about five minutes on high speed. The mixture should be very thick and mousse-like. Add the saffron and sugar powder.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter & the milk. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the liquid ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour and baking powder into the bowl.
  7. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake should be golden brown, slightly shrunken back from the sides.
  8. Leave to cool for 30 minutes on the wire rack. Release the sprinform clips, and leave to cool completely before removing from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Powder with confection sugar before serving. Serve with whipped cream, or strawberries, or raspberry jam. 

See you next recipe...

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