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« HCB: Two Fat Cats Whoopie Pies | Main | HCB: Banana Refrigerator Cake with Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting »
Tuesday
Apr132010

TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake

This weekend my universe must have aligned correctly.  After my great success with my previous cake, I was on a roll, and that triumph rolled into this next cake.

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie choice was the Swedish Visiting Cake, picked by Nancy from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs

And I want to take the time to send her a virtual hug and high 5, because Internet, this cake is the answer to anyone prayer when you need something quick, simple, delicious and sophisticated in a time crunch. 

When you read the recipe, Dorie mentions that this cake was given to her by her friend Ingela, whose mother “claimed that you could start making this cake when you saw visitors coming up the drive and have it ready for them as soon as they were settled into your home.”

I don’t know about you, but my friends run to my house when they know I’m baking something.  So in my world this needs to happen in 10 minutes top!

And let me tell you I timed myself because, there was no way this would be ready that quick.

So it was ON!

Well, once again, it was proven that mothers never lie.  Because this cake comes together in less than 10 minutes and the hardest part is waiting the 25-30 minutes baking time.

Not that the waiting time is not torture in itself.  Because your house will start to smell all lemon-y and almond-ny and sugar-y and I better stop with the “-y” endings.  Let’s just say that your guest will be thanking their lucky stars that they have you as their friend.

The other plus about this is that it all goes into one bowl.  No pulling out the Kitchen Aid mixer, no cleaning of bowls and spoons and blades, no waiting for butter to soften.  All you need is one bowl and a rubber spatula.  And a cast-iron skillet – I used my 8”, even though the recipe called for a 9”.  And it worked out just fine.

It was so easy; I forgot to take pictures of anything except the empty bowl and the finish product. (I may or may not have been busy eating the batter, but I’m not saying anything.. mmm ‘k)

And the finish product is just so blissful in its simplicity that you realized that those mothers knew what they were doing long ago, before baking became all about steps after steps of complicated measuring and techniques.  Sometimes all it takes is just one bowl, a spatula, and someone’s mother to show you the light.

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.  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.

Verdicts:

Tom:  Oh man, I don’t know which one I like more, this one or that one.  Maybe you need to make it again?  Like a face-off or something. I need to have more to make an educated decision.

The little man: I like the sugary top and the soft crumbling texture, can I take a piece for school tomorrow (note, he has NEVER ask before for a piece for school).

Me:  **taking the last piece***... What?  Are talking to me?

Everyone else in TWD: you can see their creations and verdicts here

Reader Comments (13)

beautiful pictures. looks wonderful in the cast iron pan. i made MINI cakes!

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertia

there were so many things about this cake to like! yours looks great, and it's a keeper for me, too!

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersteph (whisk/spoon)

too funny--i almost made this cake yesterday for a potluck! i have been wanting to try it ever since i got dorie's book and am so glad to know that it is as good as it sounds.

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterevilcakelady

This was a delicious and deceptive little number, wasn't it? A definite keeper!

www.thewhimsicalcupcake.wordpress.com

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeannette

Your cake looks gorgeous! Wasn't it delicious?? and SO EASY. Also: love you site! Subscribing in a reader :)

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Yipeee for Swedish cake..I loved it. The only thing I have had Swedish is the candy Swedish fish! Your cake looks so good!

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermmuse83705@yahoo.com

That's it! I need a cast iron skillet. Your picture is picturebook perfect! Glad you enjoyed the cake! I concur. This is definitely in my top 5.
-CB
http://iheartfood4thought.com

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCB

Your pictures are beautiful! You really captured the simple beauty of this dessert. It seems like mothers have a special intuition (at least mine does) so I loved your reflections on this cake.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

With a picture as beautiful as the one you have, who needs more? I love how nice and thick your cake turned out - more chewy interior is what I say. I have a mental image of guests from near and far RUNNING to your door for cake - I'd certainly hustle over there if I knew you had this in the oven. Oh, wait, it's so easy I might bake my own instead. Thanks for baking along with me this week.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy (n.o.e.)

Your photos are lovely of this delicious cake! Nice job.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpamela

I thought the batter was delicious too. Wait, did I say that outloud? :P Love your picture of the finished cake. Beautiful!

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Your cake looks perfect! The aromas from this cake drove me crazy, in a good way! It tasted amazing, I can't wait to make this again!

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternickki

It didn't look much from the photos, but after reading your post, I'm hooked! On my to-bake immediately list!

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