How To Make A Smorgastarta
How to make a Swedish "sandwich cake"
When I first moved to Sweden from the US 11 years ago, I knew right away that I would have to adjust my palate and start eating traditional Swedish food.
One of the first traditional Swedish foods I tried is called smorgastarta (smur-gos-tor-ta), which literally translates to "sandwich cake".
It was love at first bite. Even all this time later I can't get enough!
The two basic ingredients are bread and a mayonaisse/sour cream spread that you "frost" the cake with. Everything else is up to you!
Check out these gorgeous photos... I dare your mouth not to drool!
How to make a smorgastarta
The main component of any smorgastarta is the bread. In Sweden you can buy loaves of bread sliced lengthwise which work perfectly for smorgastarta.
You may use any bread, but white is the most common. Try getting an unsliced loaf (rectangle or round) and slice it horizontally. You should use 3 or 4 medium slices. Alternatively, you can use slices of white bread with the crust cut off, 3 for each layer when making a rectangle smorgastarta, "glued" together at the edges with butter.
You may also choose to do smaller individual sandwich cakes. Just cut your bread accordingly.
For the "frosting" combine equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream ( or creme fraiche if you can find it) plus lemon juice to taste.
Once you've got the bread and "frosting" ready, assemble them like a layer cake. Lay the bottom piece of bread on a plate or platter, then spread the mayonnaise/sour cream mixture evenly across the entire slice, then repeat till you've used all the slices, top and sides.
You may want to put some toppings between the slices too. Shrimp/prawns, sliced cheese, and thinly sliced cucumbers work nicely.
Once you've got the sandwich looking like a cake, it's time to "decorate" it. There's no real rhyme or reason to smorgastarta topping choices, so just go crazy with food you like. I usually use shrimp/prawns, avacado (don't add until serving time), tomato wedges, hard-boiled egg wedges, caviar, fresh dill, and cucumber slices. I've added a list to this lens of common toppings, but any cold sandwich-type food should work. Look at the pictures to get inspired.
Once the smorgastarta is done, cover with cling film and place it in the refrigerator for a while. Some people think it's best to leave it in the fridge overnight, but a couple hours will be fine.
The smorgastarta is most often served at special events. As you can see it makes a terrific potluck dish.
- Egg Slices/Wedges
- Tomato Slices/Wedges
- Sliced Ham
- Sliced Salmon
- Fresh Dill
- Lemon Slices/Wedges
- Liver PatÃ©
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