Sweden’s favourite cake, toscakaka, combines a soft tender crumb with a crispy, chewy top. Recipe reprinted with permission from The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.
Cherries are in season just now, and I can’t resist buying them at the supermarket. Truth be told, this year, for some reason, the cherries seem to be even tastier than usual. Rich, dark and juicy – perfect for eating in the garden.
They’re also delicious in baking, like in this traditional toscakaka, or tosca cake, from Sweden. My daughter and I baked this cake together recently; she pitted the cherries by stabbing a chopstick through the centre of each fruit to push the pip out. Fingers dripping in cherry juice, she cut each cherry in half and we arranged them, skin side down, on top of the cake batter before baking. The semi-baked sponge cake is then topped with a gorgeous slivered almond layer, and baked until golden and crispy.
THE LITTLE SWEDISH KITCHEN BY RACHEL KHOO
This recipe comes from Rachel Khoo’s sixth cookery book: The Little Swedish Kitchen, published by Penguin Books earlier this month. Rachel Khoo became a household name in 2012 through the BBC tv show The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo, and she now lives in Sweden with her Swedish husband and baby.
The Little Swedish Kitchen, with its beautiful photography by David Loftus, features over 100 Swedish recipes, both classical and contemporary. This book has Rachel’s take on the more familiar Swedish meatballs, this classic toscakaka and the famous Swedish buns. She’s also got a breakfast blueberry pie recipe which has my name all over it. I too am not adverse to eating pie for breakfast, and her interesting oat/banana crust sounds like a much healthier option than my English grandmother’s lard-loaded pastry.
I love that the cookery book contents are divided into the seasons, each season featuring recipes satisfying the natural cravings we have as the year progresses. Each section features a beautifully written introduction, and each recipe is accompanied by a personal anecdote – a little snippet into Rachel’s life in Sweden.
Other recipes I’m keen to try include her peas, potatoes and chicken in a pot (a simple one-pan dish of slow-cooked chicken) and the chocolate cake the dog ate – a sugar, gluten, nut and dairy free chocolate cake made with dates and black beans topped with a cocoa avocado frosting. Her smashed potatoes with green sauce are on the menu for this evening – new potatoes are boiled and roughly smashed, served with a delicious sounding sauce made with fresh dill, parsley and tarragon.
Rachel’s Swedish tosca cake recipe features plums, but she suggests that apricots, cherries or other soft fruits could be used, so we made ours with cherries.
Our cake seems to have risen substantially more than the cake pictured in The Little Swedish Kitchen, but it certainly does taste fantastic; perfect with a mid-morning cuppa.
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I would really recommend this cookery book to anyone who enjoys reading cookery books curled up on the couch with a slice of cake and a cuppa. This is one of those sorts of books that could act as a coffee table book, with its beautiful photography and evocative stories. I have a newfound interest to visit Sweden after reading this, and experience, first-hand, a crayfish party.
The Little Swedish Kitchen retails for £20 and can be found in most leading bookstores and through Amazon.
Penguin Books have very kindly offered one of my UK readers the chance to win a copy of this hardback book – simply scroll to the bottom of this post and fill out the Rafflecopter form!
Swedish Cherry Tosca Cake Recipe (Toscakaka)
for the cake:
- Preheat oven t 180 C/ 160 C fan/ gas mark 4. Butter and line a 21 cm springform (or silicone) baking pan with greaseproof paper.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and spoon into the prepared tin.
- Arrange a single layer of halved, pitted cherries, skin side down, on the top of the cake.
- Bake in the centre of the oven 30-35 minutes. The centre of the cake will still be wobbly.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and combine with the remaining topping ingredients.
- Turn the oven up to 200 C/ 180 C fan/ gas 6. Spread the topping over the cake and bake in the centre of the oven for a further 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp.
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THE LITTLE SWEDISH KITCHEN GIVEAWAY
Penguin Books have kindly offered my UK readers the chance to win a hardback copy of The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo worth £20! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below!
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