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Hello Sweden, this is Perth calling

May 18, 2013 · 16 comments

It’s the time of year when you become one of two types of people – those who carry on their lives without a care in the world, and those who shut themselves away from society, shunning usual pleasures of Facebook and Reddit and madly turning off carelessly left on radios and TVs with their elbows while blocking their ears with their fingers and singing “lalala I can’t hear you!” lest they inadvertently find out who won Eurovision before the big (delayed) reveal on SBS.

Our hosts this year are Sweden, presumably receiving Paid Eurovision Leave from their satisfying work-life balanced day jobs to bring us the magic that comes but once a year.


When I was living in Sweden, our corridor held a Homeland Food dinner, where we all contributed a dish from our home countries. One of our resident Swedes explained that she was going to make us a smörgåstårta, which got me excited as it sounded like smörgåsbord and I am a pig. But then I got confused – I may not have developed much past the most useful of phrases “the boy and the girl are in the car” with my Swedish lessons, but I was pretty sure that smörgåstårta meant sandwich cake.

Oh yes, it does.

And not in a ‘cream sandwiched between layers of sponge’ kind of way, but in a ‘smoked salmon and cream cheese pass me the gelatin I think we’re back in the 70s’ kind of way.

So, last year when we were invited to a friends’ annual celebration of awkward banter by ESL speakers, I thought it was time to return to my roots (of 6 months) and bust out a cake of sandwich.


You would be forgiven for thinking a wheat and carb avoider such as myself would be foolish for making anything sandwichified, but this was a great dish to make using pure flax (linseed) bread. I simply made my usual flax bread with round cake tins to get the right shape, and the remainder of the ingredients were all wheat-free and pretty low-carb.


As I was making the smörgåstårta, I made careful notes and diagrams with which to share my recipe with you. However, given that since that time and now I’ve managed to complete a PhD thesis, I seem to have lost my carefully written notes in a fit of procrastination cleaning and thus have nothing specific to share. Vaguely speaking, the lower inner layer is an egg salad of chopped egg, herbs, lettuce and mayo, while the top inner layer is some cream cheese with dill and lemon, and smoked salmon. The ‘icing’ is a mixture of cream cheese and something else – possibly yoghurt – and the decorations are hopefully obvious in nature.


The density and high fat content of the flax bread means that a slice of this smörgåstårta makes for a very filling meal, which is just as well given how long it takes for each voting country to have the comic timing of their overly rehearsed jokes be ruined by slight time delays when conversing with the host country.

Happy Eurovision to you all, and if you tell me who the winner is before I’m falling asleep on my friends’ couch tomorrow night, may collective noun of vikings descend upon you.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Ai-Ling@blueapocalypse May 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I have never heard of a smörgåstårta before and like you I would have confused it with smörgåsbord but damn that is a fine looking cake-sandwich!


Conor May 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Thanks Ai-Ling! Get on board the umlaut train, toot toot! Or, maybe töt töt?


Gcroft May 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Very pretty dish, delish no doubt!


Conor May 21, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Thank you! It was luckily quite tasty, as we were eating it for a couple of days.


Bradley Backhouse May 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

I like this sandwich cake, may try it sometime. When I first saw it I thought it was a normal cake garnished with cucumber, haha


Conor September 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Mmmm delicious sugary cucumber :/


Martine @ Chompchomp June 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm

That is one hell of a sandwich, it really looks impressive! Talk about covering all food groups!
Martine @ Chompchomp´s last blog post ..Miss Kitty’s Saloon, Inglewood


Conor September 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm



GourmetGetaways July 1, 2013 at 9:42 am

Hey! It has been ages since I popped over but you made it worthwhile, what an incredible construction!
GourmetGetaways´s last blog post ..Cookies & Cream Ice-cream Tart


Conor September 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Thank you!


Arwen from Hoglet K August 1, 2013 at 6:41 am

Your comment about passing the gelatine for our trip to the 70s made me laugh in the quiet carriage! Sounds like a hearty meal beneath the cream cheese veneer.


Conor September 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I often pine for a quiet carriage. Or just a personal cone of silence on the bus.


Jean | August 7, 2013 at 1:27 am

Thought of my Aussie bloggers when I posted lamb (my first ever!) the other day. Love your sandwich “cake”! It’s just the sort of thing my mother would have taken the trouble to make. She was constantly making dazzling displays in her kitchen. Love the sound of the bread too (I went gluten-free for the month of July). Gorgeous!
Jean |´s last blog post ..Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine – and Rocky Mountain Organic Meats Giveaway


Conor September 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Thank you! I love the idea of Swedish mothers whipping these up back in the day. And snap – I just posted about lamb yesterday so I’m thinking of you too :)


laurasmess January 3, 2014 at 8:36 am

Haha, I have family in Sweden so I’ve visited a few times. I seriously struggle with the food over there… all that fermented fish, cheese, cream cheese, smoked fish, potatoes, potatoes, rye bread, Haribo lollies, more potatoes… argh! I did get addicted to kanel snacka though. Mmm, cinnamon goodness! You did an incredible job with the smörgåstårta, love that you managed to healthy it up a bit. I still think it could sink a small dinghy though… but it’s worth it for Eurovision! x
laurasmess´s last blog post ..Fresh Egg Noodles with Coriander, Chilli and Toasted Peanuts (with Hippy Vic)


Conor January 4, 2014 at 7:20 pm

I’m very jealous you have family over there, I wish I was able to go back more often but it’s just so far away (and an expensive place to visit once you’re there!). My only saving grace when I was living there was that I cycled everywhere, so I managed to not put on a kilo a week. Thanks very much, I think you’re right about the dinghy. Might need to get myself a small culinary wheelbarrow…


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