Sockerkaka translates to “sugar cake”, but really it’s a type of sponge cake without all the fuss.
Today is my darling husband’s birthday and he requested I made him a sponge cake sandwiching strawberry jam and cream – for breakfast!
How could I say no?
Last weekend we bought almost 2kgs of strawberries for $9 and he’d asked me to turn them into jam, since strawberry is his favourite jam.
I’m glad I did, because nothing beats a sponge flavoured with homemade jam (see recipe below).
Although the recipe is very simple (and you can make it more so if you use 200ml milk and 100g butter instead of cream and buttermilk), the results are light, sweet and the perfect sponge substitute.
Sockerkaka (Swedish Sponge Cake)
Based on a recipe from www.sockerkaka.com. Serves 10-12.
400ml (4dl) sugar
2 vanilla pods (or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste)
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
600ml (6dl) flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
200ml cream, whipped
60ml (¼ cup) strawberry jam, slightly warmed (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 175’C. Grease and line 2 x 20cm round baking tins.
2. Scrape out seeds from vanilla pods.
3. Melt butter with buttermilk, cream, lemon zest and vanilla pods and seeds. Remove from heat once butter is melted. Set aside.
4. In a new bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light, fluffy and doubled in size (at least 5 minutes).
5. After removing vanilla pods, beat milk mixture into the egg mixture.
6. In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
7. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.
8. Divide between tins and bake in oven for 35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
9. Cool 5 minutes in tin, then turn out onto cooling rack. Cool completely.
10. To assemble cake, spread the strawberry jam on top of one cake, the spread over the whipped cream. Gently place the other cake on top then dust with icing sugar. Finish with strawberries.
Note: you can use 200ml milk and 100g butter if you don’t want to use cream and buttermilk. If you slightly warm the jam is goes a bit runny and soaks into the cake. But make sure it's not hot or it will melt the whipped cream.
Strawberry jam is quite difficult to get right because strawberries have little to no natural pectin and therefore making a jam that sets can be hard and takes longer than other fruits. I know I have trouble.
There are plenty of websites that offer fantastic advice on how to rescue jam that hasn’t set, even after you’ve put it in jars, so don’t let fear put you off trying. Besides, even if you end up with runny jam, it’s still going to taste amazing.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam
Anna’s very own recipe. Makes 6 x 250ml jars.
1.5 kg strawberries, washed and hulled
1kg caster sugar
300g raw sugar
100ml balsamic vinegar
1. Place a small saucer in the freezer. You’ll use this to test the jam.
2. Heat strawberries in a large pot with vinegar for about 5 minutes, stirring to release juices and prevent burning.
3. Meanwhile, warm sugar on a tray in the oven for around 5 minutes, being sure not to burn or dissolve it.
4. Add warm sugar and jamsetta to fruit purée, then heat and stir until sugar fully dissolves.
5. Bring to a gentle boil for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent burning.
6. To test the set of the jam, remove the saucer from the freezer and teaspoon on a little jam. Wait 30 seconds then run your finger through. If it crinkles and leaves a path, then the jam is ready. Otherwise continue cooking.
7. When ready, remove from heat and pour hot jam into sterilised jars. Seal immediately.