9 September 2016

Caramella Cooks is 10!

Gosh, is it really that long ago? How time flies in some respects. I've been recording my recipes and bits of my life for a decade.


And the Great British Bake Off has kicked off with another series and there are lots of new ideas to inspire, but 10th anniversary requires a cake I think. However I've been making so many sweet things lately, I think it's time for something savoury - so I decided on a Smörgåstårta, i. e. a Swedish sandwich cake. But with a bit of a twist, after I caught up on the Green Kitchen Stories blog, where I found their recipe for the wonderfully colourful vegetable flat-breads. They use them as a snack, but I thought they'd look really pretty inside the smörgåstårta, with white filling for contrast. I was thinking of perhaps halving the recipes, but as it's a flat-bread, that would work out quite thin, so I'd need two layers of each colour to get the right proportions in the cake. Thus the full amounts it'd have to be. This meant a lot of eggs, since the breads are flour-less. Therefore, I skipped the eggs in the decorations.


Looking at my original blog post on smörgåstårta, as it was for a large party, the amounts are quite large scale and also seemed very unhealthy with the cream and all. I've also found out that my Mum has gone and made some changes to the mixture recipe she gave me all those years ago, so I've had to put together a new one, without the cream in the hopes that it'll be slightly less unhealthy. I bought another tub of the very sour tasting yoghurt and I strained it - it should be thick enough to work as a cake covering. I guessed the breads would be somewhat on the sweet side, what with carrots and beetroot as ingredients, so I thought the sourness of the yoghurt would off-set things a bit.


Green bread

570 g broccoli florets
140 g ground almonds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
4 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste

IMG_5116 IMG_5118
IMG_5119 IMG_5121
Orange bread

730 g cauliflower florets and carrots
140 g ground almonds
4 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste

IMG_5120 IMG_5128
IMG_5123 IMG_5124
Red bread

705 g cauliflower florets and beetroot
140 g ground almonds
4 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Sadly, after baking, some of the beetroot colour had disappeared, so I'll need to use more beetroot and less cauliflower next time:

IMG_5129 Creamy filling and covering

586 g strained Greek-style yoghurt
300 ml créme fraîche
180 g mayonnaise
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

IMG_5132 Decorations

sliced gravlax/cold-smoked salmon
1 lemon with good skin
colourful small sweet peppers
stripey beetroot
ready to eat king prawns
cherry tomatoes
curly lettuce


  1. There is a very good video for making the breads on the page. I followed the instructions, but also weighted the ingredients. Unfortunately I forgot to weigh the carrots/cauliflower and the beetroot/cauliflower proportions respectively.But basically it was to process each vegetable as finely as possible, mix with the eggs, ground almonds and season. It should be possible to shape and not ooze any liquid.
  2. The broccoli bread was the "driest" mixture, then the carrot mixture turned out wetter and the beetroot was so wet, that I had to drain it until it was about the same consistency as the carrot mixture.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven t 200 °C.
  4. Baking times: 30 min for the green broccoli bread, 40 min for the yellow carrot bread and 45 min for the red beetroot bread.
  5. Once each bread has been baked, it needs to cool down to room temperature. Place a clean piece of baking paper over the flat bread and flip over from the baking sheet onto a wire rack. Remove the paper the breads were baked on as soon as possible, taking care not to tear the breads. Make sure the breads have cooled down completely.
  6. For a round cake, I set up my extendable cake ring to the size I wanted and cut out 2 circles from each of the breads. Left-over off-cuts, can be cut into smaller pieces and frozen for later. The cake rounds went into an air-tight container and in the fridge until the day of construction.

I actually had a further problem when making the beetroot bread. The cauliflower for the beetroot bread had started rotting and I had to cut off most of it and throw away, not sure if it was like this when I bought it, I forgot to check sadly. So there wasn't enough and I ended up adding the very pale core of the broccoli stems I had left, as well as the core of the cauliflower stems, after peeling them. This might have caused the whole thing to go more orange-yellow, rather than red and it paled a bit in during the bake as well, so I think more beetroot next time to get a stronger colour. Also, I'll need to squeeze a lot of the liquid out before mixing with some cauliflower.


One thing that was wrong in the recipe was the amount of ground almonds - I measured 1 cup of it, and it weighted 140 g, not 100 g. This is significant for the overall texture, which although visibly nowhere near like bread, certainly felt like it when eating. Shaping the breads and having them no more than 1 cm thick is also key to this deception. Preferably the breads should be even thinner, but for my cake, this was OK.


I made the breads 3 days before I needed the cake. Now usually, when using regular bread, it is important to construct the cake on the day before, to allow the bread to soak up some of the moisture from the fillings. But these vegetable flatbreads are quite moist to begin with, so I decided to construct the cake just a few hours before it needed to be served. I had the two green circles at the bottom, then the two yellow circles and finally the two red circles on top. The cream in the middle was about half the thickness of the flatbreads.

There was more than enough left from the white cream, to cover the outside of the cake.


Then on with the decorating. This time, I went a bit silly and took photos after almost every item had been placed on the cake:

IMG_5137 IMG_5138
IMG_5140 IMG_5142

It was very tasty, very much like I'd imagined it, but also, thanks to the eggs in the breads, extremely filling, so small pieces is a must here and the cake should be dished out by a person who's aware of this. Otherwise, I suspect people might be tempted to cut nice large pieces and not be able to eat them.

The guests for this celebration were Lundulph's parents, so we had quite a bit of cake left over. There are two ways to handle left-over sandwich cake - if it's likely to be eaten in the coming couple of days, store in the fridge. If not, remove all decorations, then freeze the cake for later. It can be defrosted and the cream covering will likely require some touch-up and a new lot of decorations.

Lundulph's comment was that the bread was too heavy for the cake, i. e. the wrong type of bread for the job. The shop-bought, sliced bread, which is light and fluffy is the way forward as a conveyance of the other ingredients. I quite liked it, but perhaps rather than making a regular sized cake, some miniature cakes for individual starters perhaps. Certainly I liked the look of the slices when cutting them.

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