Thursday, May 3, 2012

Swedish Visiting Cake

My heavens.  I have found what will become a new family favorite!  Swedish Visiting Cake!  You may recall that I was responsible for bringing nibbles to church during April for the snacks between services.  Well, the weekend of the big Texas Sheet Cake event, I was not very motivated to do even more baking, but duty called.  So I went to Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours to see if there was a simple, fast recipe to use.  Boy, did I find a keeper!  Dorie reports that you could start making this cake when you saw guests coming up the road and have it ready by the time they settled for coffee.  This is an exaggeration, but only slightly!  It's not only fast and simple, but it is truly delicious.

Put your mixer away.  Get out one medium mixing bowl.  That is all you need!

Grate the zest of one lemon into a cup of sugar in the mixing bowl.  Mix the two together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and has a lovely lemon smell.

Whisk in eggs, salt, and vanilla and almond extracts.  The extracts are optional but I surely wouldn't leave them out!

Stir in a cup of flour, then fold in 1 stick of melted and cooled butter.  You are done.  See?  So easy!

Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch cast iron skillet.  I used a 10 1/2 inch pan and it worked fine!  Or, use a 9 inch pie pan or an 9 inch cake pan.  You get the picture.  Just butter up a pan and pour in the batter!  Sprinkle some sliced almonds on top, and sprinkle the top with a little sugar.  It gives it some sparkle and crunch!  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350F. 

I made 2 - one in the cast iron skillet, one in a pie plate.  The one in the cast iron pan had a bit more of a crunchy crust, but the difference was not significant.  They were both amazing!

The top is crisp and the inside just melts into your mouth, while the almond flavor swirls around your taste buds and puts a blissful smile onto your mouth.  Close your eyes, sigh and grab another piece before it is gone!

A comment from someone at church that day, "this is one of the best things I have ever put into my mouth!"

Numerous people asked for the recipe, including someone who used to bake professionally!  A gentleman on a challenge to eat no sweets for some certain number of days (I can't even imagine - talk about a CHALLENGE) actually sneaked a small bite because everyone was talking about it and he claimed it was totally worth it!

Swedish Visiting Cake
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 cup sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (optional, but highly recommended!)
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract (optional, but highly recommended!)
1 cup all-purpose butter
1 stick (8 TB) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
about 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350F.  Butter a seasoned 9 inch (or so) cast iron skillet (or pie plate, or cake pan, or whatever).

Pour the sugar into a medium mixing bowl.  Add the lemon zest and mix with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time until blended.  Whisk in the salt and extracts.  With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour and then fold in the melted butter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with sugar.  If using a pie or cake pan, place it on a baking sheet, then into the oven for 25-30 minutes or the top is golden and a bit crisp on the outside.  The inside will remain moist, even "slightly damp".  Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pan and lift the bottom to loosen.  You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet/pan or from a serving plate!
Printable Recipe

Make this recipe.  I can't even believe how great it is.  I had no leftovers to bring home, much to the chagrin of my husband and daughter.  Guess that just means I'll have to make it again!

Do not pass GO.  Do not collect $200.  Go make Swedish Visiting Cake and make your friends and family amazed at your awesomeness.  It is totally acceptable to claim you were slaving in the kitchen all day.  I won't tell!

1 comment:

  1. Oh thank you for posting this! I have always loved this recipe, but couldn't remember which cookbook it came from. Thank you for the reminder. I should have known it was Dorie all along! I'll dig it out again tonight to impress the fam.


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