Friday, May 01, 2015

Mazarintårta (Swedish Mazarin Torte)

 

I got a little homesick yesterday. Back home in Sweden, family and friends were posting pictures of everyone celebrating Valborg (also known as Walpurgis). Valborg is such a great holiday - whole neighborhoods and towns gather around huge bonfires at night to set off some fireworks and sing traditional Swedish songs to celebrate that spring has finally arrived. Growing up, it was always that night I got to break out my new white Adidas sneakers, because even though it was still freezing outside, it was officially spring.

So, to get into the spirit of Valborg, without setting anything on fire, I baked a Swedish Mazarin torte.




Mazariner are normally small, oval pastries made out of pastry dough with an almond paste center, and topped with a powdered sugar frosting. They have always been a part of my childhood, but this was the first time I've had it in the form of a torte.

This cake is very easy to make, but has an amazing almond flavor and complexity that sets it apart from your average pound cake. It's very moist, but still feels very light. My hubby even says it's  better than the ones he had in Sweden!

Traditionally you would use a few bitter almonds together with the sweet almonds in the batter, but they are really hard to find here in the States. It might have something to do with them being very poisonous when digested in large amounts. The almond extract that we use in baking is actually made from bitter almonds, which is why it works excellent as a substitute (and oh, it's not poisonous!). It has such a wonderful aroma, and I even love to put a little in my pancake batter or in my oatmeal in the morning.

This recipe also calls for vanilla sugar, which is very common in Swedish baking. It resembles confectioners sugar, but has been mixed with vanilla beans. You can find it at World Market and in other specialty stores that sell European products. If you have trouble finding it, you can make your own by putting 2 cups of white sugar in an airtight container. Take one vanilla bean, slice it open and mix the specks with the sugar and then bury the pod in the sugar. Cover, and let stand for a week before you use it.

To top this cake off, I used some edible flowers that I bought at Whole Foods in the herbs section. It's a beautiful way to take any dessert up a notch.




We tried our best to save half of the cake, but we just couldn't resist. Something tells me this will be a Raymer household staple.
 
 
 
 
Mazarin Torte
from the Swedish Baking Magazine Hembakat
 
7 oz butter 
>1 - 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
30 almonds (grind, or mix in a blender until grinded)
2 tsp almond extract
> 1 - 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
< 2/3 cup milk, cold

 
Frosting: (I doubled this)
> 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

2 tsp water
 
 Ps. Since this is a Swedish recipe with metric measurements, it was hard to get the exact amounts. I have used the symbols > and < to show when to use heaping cups and when to spare some.


Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 355 degrees. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add the ground almonds and the vanilla sugar.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder and add to the batter. Stir in the milk and almond extract.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 inch spring form pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 min.
  7. Let the torte cool. Mix confectioners sugar and water. Pour over the cake and let it set before cutting it. Enjoy!
 
 
 
Mazarintårta
från tidningen Hembakat
 
200 g smör
3 dl strösocker
2 ägg
2 msk vaniljsocker
25 st sötmandlar
6 st bittermandlar
3 dl vetemjöl
1 tsk bakpulver
1 1/2 dl mjölk, kall


Glasyr:
2 dl florsocker
2 tsk vatten



Gör så här:
  1. Sätt ugnen på 180 grader. Rör smör och socker vitt och pösigt.
  2. Tillsätt äggen, ett i sänder, och rör om.
  3. Rör ner de malda mandlarna och vaniljsockret. Tillsätt mjölet blandat med bakpulvret och till sist den kalla mjölken.
  4. Häll smeten i en smord och bröad form med löstagbar kant, ca 24 cm i diameter.
  5. Grädda kakan mitt i ugnen i ca 60 min. ¨
  6. Låt kakan kallna. Blanda florsocker och vatten till glasyren. Glasera kakan och låt den stelna innan du skär i den.


3 comments:

  1. There are different types of almonds??? I had no idea. I MUST try this recipe, especially since you say it is easy to make.

    Questions:
    What size pan and type of pan?
    Can I substitute almond flour for the regular flour?
    Substitute almond flour for the breadcrumbs?

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    Replies
    1. It's so easy, and I know you will love it!!
      To answer your questions: It says to use a 9 inch (24 cm) spring form pan in the recipe.
      Personally I would not substitute with almond flour, since you will lose the 'torte' feeling, but I'm sure it could work, even though the flavor and consistency would be different. Almond flour is relatively expensive in comparison too!
      I actually greased and floured the spring form pan, so you can definitely use almond flour! Happy baking! :)

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