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Saffron is one of the most festive spices in Scandinavia. It has the flavours of Christmas but is a bit fancier than serving a saffron bun.


100ml milk

Small pinch of ground saffron 4 eggs 325g caster sugar 300g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract

50g Greek yoghurt

Frosted redcurrants, to decorate (optional) For the marzipan buttercream:

75g marzipan (at least 50% almonds), grated 300g icing sugar

150g butter, softened

A few tbsp of milk (optional)

Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional) METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180?C/gas 4. Grease and line three 18cm round cake tins. You can use larger tins but your cake will be wider and not as tall. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the milk and saffron and set aside to infuse. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and fluffy.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together, then sift into the sugar mixture and fold in. Add the vanilla sugar or extract, yoghurt and the saffron milk to the mixture and fold again until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pans,dividing it evenly, and bake in the preheated oven for about 12-14 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Saffron is quite drying, so take care not to over-bake.

Every oven varies, so keep an eye on the cakes. Leave the layers to cool in the pans while you make the buttercream.

Add a few tablespoons of boiling water to the marzipan and mix it with a fork to melt it slightly (this avoids lumps of marzipan in the buttercream).

Using an electric beater, mix the sugar and butter on high speed, then add the marzipan. You may need to add a bit of milk, too. Beat and allow to fluff up for several minutes on high speed. If it tastes too sweet, add a few drops of lemon juice or similar.

Remove the cakes from the pans and peel off the paper. Place the first layer of cake on the serving plate, then add a layer of buttercream. Repeat until you have assembled all three layers.

You can leave the cake naked and just decorate the top with the remaining buttercream, or you can use the buttercream to give a light coating all around the sides, as shown here, for a very frosty-looking cake.

Decorate with frosted redcurrants for a snowy look, if you like.

BOOK: Recipes from ScandiKitchen Christmas by Bronte Aurell, PS16.99, published by Ryland Peters & Small. Recipes images: Peter Cassidy.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 2, 2018
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