Savory swedish sandwich cake - Smörgåstårta
I've been wanting to make smörgåstårta - a Swedish savoury sandwich cake for a while. After coming up with a delicious "vegan fish" spread I knew I had a good "star layer" to build on. And here it is - behold :) - a smörgåstårta for the future!
I reworked this Scandinavian mayo, prawn and ham classic with healthier, plant based ingredients, I think you're going to like it. I also made my first ever "how to" video (above the recipe) for this recipe, and I'm happy with the result even though it was a quick project. You'll be able to see how I made this cake - layer by layer.
Smörgåstårta is a common party dish to serve during celebrations in Sweden. Traditionally it's been frowned upon and considered a simple dish - but secretly loved by even the most sophisticated critics. Times are quickly changing and what was judged as less "fine food" yesterday is taking it's place on menus of "haute cuisines" today. For Swedes, smörgåstårta awakens memories of family, celebrations and our mothers cooking.
You don't have to have had a previous relationship with the sandwich cake to embrace it's existence into your life! It's such a brilliant idea - a savory cake! Layer it with your favourite spreads and decorate it to your fancy. The ideal party food in my opinion; fun, tasty and with room to add your own artistic touch and choice of spreads.
My recipe is more of a direction and you can vary it according to your own preferences. In fact I would love to see your own version of this on Instagram. If you do, please tag me and use the hashtag #nourishedatelier
Here are some tips and basic principles.
The recipe at the end of the post.
1. Cut the bread on the length! Or cheat like I did with by putting several pieces together to form one layer.
2. The traditional Smörgåstårta is made from layers of a white French loaf, slized horizontally, on the length of the bread instead of as you would normally slice a toast, vertical. I used square pieces of rye bread that I puzzle together. For a party I wouldn't use the sour rye bread though, use a whole grain loaf that is dense but easy to cut through.
3. All edges and crust must be cut away, and your bread pieces should be cut in equal size and symmetrical.
3. Ca. 1 cm thick slices are good.
1. You can make as many layers as you like or as the cake can hold :) 3-4 for is ideal to create a cake character.
2. The traditional smörgåstårta is layered with mayo, eggs, prawns, ham and fresh salad, much like a regular sandwich. For a plant based sandwich cake use at least one layer that offers that savoury umami flavor. My "vegan fish rilette" offers a similar savoury satisfaction as mackerel and sea food paté do.
3. Mixing cool reshness with savory gives a delicious taste; sprouts, lemon cucumber and fresh herbs are perfect to layer between savoury spreads.
4. Use spreads that have a firm but easy consistency to layer. Avoid too moist or fluid spreads since it will make the breads soggy. A hummus is better made a bit drier than usual.
5. Onions, like scallions and red onions, are perfect, both pickled and fresh, and give an edge to the rest of the flavours.
6. Mustard is often used to create interest: use chilli, wasabi or horseradish in one of the spreads to create extra flavor.
1. The Swedish cake almost always has thinly sliced cucumber on top of a layer of a mayo or crème fraiche. Make a fresh decoration with green leafs, sprouts, and seeds. You can add cherry tomatoes or other toppings if you like.
2. Choose to decorate in a symmetrical style or do it my way - in a free and loose style When I decorated this, I was thinking about a wild spring garden :)
4 layers of bread (whole grain loaf or white spelt loaf), crust and edges removed.
(can be puzzled together, making every layer from two pieces of bread like I do in the video, or using a long slices of loaf (cut horizontally) on the length of the bread)
Vegan "fish rillette":
300 gram smoked tofu, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp soy
2 scallions, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp dried dill tops (or fresh dill)
2 tbsp mayo (choose vegan mayo if you prefer)
A few grounds black pepper
a handful of toasted nori flakes optional
1 tsp sesame oil
vegan "fish rillette": Mix all the ingredients with a blender.
2 avocado, smashed
1 tsp white miso
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp mustard
4 tbsp hemp seeds
a drizzle of lemon juice
3 tbsp almond butter
creamy mustard: Mix all the ingredients with a blender or fork.
1 tbsp tahini paste
300 gram chickpeas, cooked
1 grilled marinated red pepper, chopped (a fresh red bell pepper also works)
1 tbsp ground thyme
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup roasted beetroot (cooked or grated raw also works), finely chopped
roasted or cooked soft.
1 tsp agave or honey
2 tbsp olive oil
a few pinches black pepper
optional: add a few finely chopped sundried tomatoes
beet hummus: Mix all the ingredients with a blender.
100 gram crème fraiche (choose vegan if you like)
optional: 2 tbsp mayo (choose vegan if you like)
½ tsp olive oil
a pinch of salt
frosting: Mix all the ingredients with a blender. Just a little - don't over mix.
keep a few slices of red onion, hemp seeds, salt and pepper, and scallions to sprinkle over the spreads between the layers.
1 cucumber, sliced in thin ribbons
Sprouts of choice
1-2 handful hemp seeds or other pretty seeds
a handful small frail green salad leaves, stems removed
Toasted almonds, roughly crushed into big pieces
1 scallion, chopped
sprinkles of pepper and sea salt
Additional options: add small pieces of avocado, fresh dill and other herbs, apple, cherry tomatoes or other tasty toppings you like.
Lay out the base bread on a your serving tray or cutting board and spread the beet hummus evenly over the whole surface.Add a little scallions and hemp seeds if you like but leave enough of the hummus free to make next layer of bread stick...
Add another layer of bread.
Spread the vegan "fish rilette" over the next layer, top with a few slices of onions
Add next layer of bread. Push it with your hands to make sure the layers sits and sticks to each other.
Add a new layer of bread.
Add a layer of avocado mustard. Sprinkle a little hemp seeds on.
Add the final bread layer.
Apply the crème fraiche frosting.
Decorate. You can make little rolls like roses of the cucumber ribbons and sprinkle nuts and seeds over scallions and sprouts, add a few avocado slices.. and voila!
Use cake cutter and serve straight away.
It's delicious with white sparkling wine.
Use baking paper under the cake, then it's easier to move and store leftovers. Keeps for a few hours in the fridge.