Swedish Saffron Cake

I have this really amazing cookbook, Long Nights and Log Fires – Warming Comfort Food for Family and Friends. I saw it in a  gift shop a couple of years ago, regrettably didn’t buy it and it went out of print. After first getting it from the library, this summer I got hold of a copy from the USA (alas forgetting their penchant for cups rather than grams). If theres one thing I love in a cookbook its beautiful photography (especially when you have random photos such as views or candles and glass wear), it really makes you delve into the atmosphere of the book – which here is ‘making winter warm and cozy’

Some recipe examples I’m aching to try include: Slow cooked onion and cider soup with Gruyere toasts, Polenta baked with Italian Sausage and cheese, and Languedoc beef stew with red wine herb and olives.

A very exciting part of the book is the Bakes and Desserts and the Swedish Saffron Cake caught my eye straight away. Saffron in a cake… how opulent and decacant! (apologies for the fuzzy photography)

long nights and log fires cake chapter

The first thing you need with this recipe is some time since you have to infuse the saffron in the warm milk for an hour.

Oven Temperature: 350F which is 177C

Cake Tin: It reccomnds 9in, i used a 20cm lose bottomed tin with a non stick liner (or use greased baking paper) with ground almonds sprinkled at the base (I used about 2 tablespoons)

1/2 cup (120ml) full fat milk

2 sticks (226g) slightly salted butter

1 teaspoon saffron threads

2 eggs (at room temperature)

1 cup (225-250g) raw sugar (I used golden caster – you can check the internet for more accurate conversions depending on what sugar you are using)

1  1/2 cups (188g) plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Ground almonds, enough to sprinkle on the bottom of the tin (you can use breadcrumbs if you don’t like almonds or are allergic to nuts) I don’t think this bit is essential but it certainly made the cake more fun

(I got all my gram conversions from the internet so do double check them if you are unsure)

Melt the butter and heat the milk together in a saucepan till its steaming but not boiling. Take off the heat, stir in the saffron and leave covered to infuse for an hour

Whisk the eggs till frothy then whisk in the sugar till the mixture is thick and mouse like and leaves a trail when you lift the whisk from the bowl. I found an electric mixer does this a treat (I love my KitchenAid)

When the saffron milk has infused fold it gently into the mixture. Sift in the flour and fold in gently with a metal spoon

Pour into the the tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 mins until it is golden brown, springy to the touch and if you insert a skewer (I don’t have one so use a steak knife) inserted through the centre comes out clean. Take out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. Once it is cooled sift over the icing sugar (I skipped this step and ate a slice after about 15 mins when it was still warm – it was so yum)

Store in an airtight tin and eat within 4 days

Swedish saffron cake

I have to say that this cake was truly delicious, the milk made it so creamy and the saffron gave it that special something. This is definitely something ill make again

Swedish saffron cake slice


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