It was Tuesday. It was hot. I wanted a no cook dinner. What to make…? What to make…?
Four years ago I was riding up the elevator of a Chicago hotel with a woman who was holding a beautiful cake. On closer inspection, the “flowers” on the top were made out of salami. Of course, I had to ask about it. It was a Smörgåstårta. I couldn’t remember how to pronounce the word but I could remember “sandwich cake.”
After four years, this past Tuesday I finally decided to attempt a Smörgåstårta, or Swedish Sandwich Cake. In the most simple terms, you take a round loaf of bread, cut it into cake shape and then slice it into “cake layers.” Fill each layer with whatever you want and then “frost” the outside with whipped cream cheese. Decorate, slice, eat. Sounds pretty easy really and quite fun.
I decided on Tuesday that we were having it that night for dinner. I could have made my own loaf of bread (and wish I would have) but mine takes at least 24 hours and I obviously didn’t have that kind of time. No problem, I’ll go buy a loaf. BIG PROBLEM. If you don’t want to relive this comedy of errors with me, skip the next 3 paragraphs.
I went to the local bakery near our house, no French boule (round loaf). “It is a special order item expect on Saturday.” Ok. I went to Aldi because they sell a round, unsliced Tuscan loaf. Where is the Tuscan loaf? “We don’t carry it anymore.” Ok. This is getting annoying. I went to Schnucks (local grocery store). No round loaves. Now I’m frustrated. While at Schnucks I call Panera because they share a parking lot. I ask the guy who answers the phone (at Panera Bread) if they have a French Boule. He has no clue what I’m talking about. I’m annoyed already because of what I have put myself through but YOU WORK AT A BAKERY! IT HAS THE WORD BREAD IN THE TITLE! YOU SHOULD KNOW BREADS!!! I didn’t say any of this of course but I was screaming it in my head.
Next, I went to Dierbergs (another local grocery store) and I was determined to find something there. I didn’t need a round loaf, I could get a batard or something and make it look like a pound cake. Dierbergs had NO unsliced bread. They had already sold out for the day. The only unsliced loaf they had was rye. I HATE rye. Ready to freak, I went back to the first local bakery. They will have something I can use! Why didn’t I do this in the first place? I pulled into the parking space at 2:03. They close at 2. I HATE MYSELF.
This same local bakery sells bread at our little neighborhood market/deli. I decided to grab the girls, let them pick out a snack and pray there is an unsliced loaf. I know there won’t be but it is 2 minutes away so I’m going to hope. Of course, nothing. All sliced. I drop the girls off at home and head to Fresh Thyme. ONE boule. It’s mine! It’s too small but I don’t care because I have spent 3 hours looking for a loaf of bread. What is wrong with me? Oh! Guess who I see when I’m walking into Fresh Thyme… the owner of the little local bakery. I mean, I just had to laugh (so I wouldn’t cry).
Back to the actual making of my Smörgåstårta. Basically you can fill this with whatever you want. Think of things you like on your sandwiches and go for it. I went for a tea party/shower/Easter type of sandwich; main ingredients were smoked salmon and egg salad. It just sounded so good to me and nice and cool on a hot day.
First, I trimmed all the crust off the bread.
Technically, you should cut this into a cake form. Take a small round cake pan (6″ or larger if you have a bigger loaf) and use it as a guide to get a perfectly round loaf. Then, cut the top so it is completely flat. I did neither of these things but that is the correct way to do it. I wanted more sandwich to fill because I was nervous it wouldn’t be enough for dinner (it was plenty, I didn’t have to worry). I did trim everything but I didn’t make it perfect.
Then, slice the loaf into 3 horizontal layers.
I spread some cream cheese on both sides of what would be the top and bottom of my first layer. On top of the cream cheese I put capers, smoked salmon and cucumbers.
I spread a thin layer of mayo on both sides of what would be the top and bottom of my second layer. I spread on the egg salad I had made earlier (pg. 17 in your cookbook). You can buy your egg salad if you don’t want to make it. If you live in STL I recommend Companion’s; it’s the best (after mine, of course)!
After putting the lid on the sandwich I frosted the entire thing in whipped cream cheese.
Then I decorated with chives, smoked salmon and a little dill. It was so cute and made me so happy.
My girls LOVED this dinner. A is my more picky eater and I think she ate the most out of the four of us. The sandwich went great with a glass of chardonnay and we had an all around lovely evening.
For real, fill this however you want. Husband would probably love just lunch meats and cheeses. I was thinking of an Italian one with a layer of salami/prosciutto/etc. and the other layer similar to a Caprese salad. Different layers of veggies would be delicious. Actually, we should just head over to my Summer Toasts post to get some more ideas. What combos would you add to the list? Because, I might make this the summer of the sandwich cake so I’m gonna need some suggestions.
Smörgåstårta (Swedish Sandwich Cake)
1 French Boule
2- 8oz containers Whipped Cream Cheese
1 tsp Capers
6 oz Smoked Salmon (reserve some for decorating)
10-15 thin slices Cucumber
2 tsp Mayonnaise (divided)
3/4 c Egg Salad
Chives, Dill, etc, for decorating
Trim all the crust off the loaf of bread.
Use a 6″ round cake pan as a guide to cut the loaf into a circle then slice the off the rounded top so you have a flat surface.
Slice the cake shaped bread horizontally so you have 3 even layers.
Spread cream cheese on the top side of the bottom layer.
Sprinkle capers on top of the cream cheese, layer the smoked salmon on the capers, then evenly distribute the cucumbers.
Spread cream cheese on the underneath of the second bread layer and place (cream cheese side down) on top of the cucumbers.
Spread 1 teaspoon of the mayo on the top of the second bread layer.
Spread on egg salad. (If you want you can sprinkle some chopped chives or dill on the egg salad).
Spread remaining mayo on the underneath side of the top bread layer; place mayo side down on the egg salad.
Frost the entire sandwich cake in whipped cream cheese.
Decorate as desired.
Keep refrigerated until close to serving time.
Smörgåstårta (Swedish Sandwich Cake)
- 1 French Boule
- 2- 8 oz containers Whipped Cream Cheese
- 1 tsp Capers
- 6 oz Smoked Salmon reserve some for decorating
- 10-15 thin slices Cucumber
- 2 tsp Mayonnaise divided
- 3/4-1 c Egg Salad
- Chives, Dill, etc. for decorating
- Trim all the crust off the loaf of bread.
- Use a 6" round cake pan as a guide to cut the loaf into a circle then slice the off the rounded top so you have a flat surface.
- Slice the cake shaped bread horizontally so you have 3 even layers.
- Spread cream cheese on the top side of the bottom layer. Sprinkle capers on top of the cream cheese, layer the smoked salmon on the capers, then evenly distribute the cucumbers. Spread cream cheese on the underneath of the second bread layer and place (cream cheese side down) on top of the cucumbers.
- Spread 1 teaspoon of the mayo on the top of the second bread layer. Spread on egg salad. (If you want you can sprinkle some chopped chives or dill on the egg salad). Spread remaining mayo on the underneath side of the top bread layer; place mayo side down on the egg salad.
- Frost the entire sandwich cake in whipped cream cheese. Decorate as desired.
- Keep refrigerated until close to serving time.