Prinsesstårta – this week’s technical challenge


Inspired by tonight’s great British Bake Off, I decided to make a Swedish Princess Cake and see if I could manage tonight’s technical bake.

I looked up several recipes online and after getting little confused by mentions of ready-made sponges, Marsánkräm and shop-bought green marzipan tops, decided the only way to go was to consult the Swedish baking bible Sju sorters kakor.

I started by making a fatless sponge (but had to swap potato flour for cornflour) and, while that was baking, started on my crème. As my cookbook didn’t actually tell me how to make the fabled Marsánkräm, I used the BBC food recipe for crème patisserie instead. Crème pat did make me rather nervous as it always seems to cause issues for the Bake Off contestants but it came out great first go (hooray!).

After cooling the cake, whisking the cream and rolling and rolling and rolling out my green coloured marzipan, it was time to construct my cake. I cut the sponge into three, layered the cakes with strawberry jam (my family doesn’t like the traditional raspberry) and cream, with my crème pat between the middle and top layers. I then threw on a lot of  whipped cream, covered in marzipan and added a rose.

As the recipe in Sju sorters kakor didn’t even include jam, and Bake Off‘s had a slightly different construction, I’m not certain I made the definitive version of a Swedish classic. Strawberry jam might be a controversial choice.. I also halved the recipe as otherwise I’d be eating this for weeks!

It’s not the neatest but it tastes good and for a first attempt I am quite impressed (though I say so myself). Next time, I’m keen to have a go at making a full size version now I’ve worked out the basics, and invite some friends for fika.

Mary Berry’s prinsesstårta recipe:

Pastry cream (crème pat):

Have you been inspired to bake a prinsesstårta? Or do you have some other favourite Scandi recipes?


Tove Jansson on Radio 4


If, like me, you have only know Tove Jansson as creator of The Moomins, then you might like to check out the season exploring her work and short stories now airing on BBC radio 4 as part of celebrations of the centenary of her birth. As well as Moomins, she was an artist, illustrator and writer of novels and short stories.

Currently on Radio 4

BBC News article on Tove Jansson’s amazing life:

Crimes of Passion


Crimes of Passion starts tonight on BBC Four.

After seemingly months of promos, Crimes of Passion will finally air this evening. It looks super stylish and fun (on Wikipedia there is the comment “Mad Men meets The Killing”.. Hmmm) and it will be good to see Stefan from Wallander back on screen.

Are you looking forward to Crimes of Passion? Have you read Maria Lang’s novels?

More on the BBC Four series website:

The Hundred-Year-Old Man…

So it’s been out a week – have you seen it yet?

Sadly it’s not showing near me so I might be waiting for the DVD but I’m not sure how excited I am. Though it’s pretty fun that a Swedish film has such a big budget and wide release, the book was just a bit too silly for me.


What did you think of The One Hundred Year Old Who Climbed Out Of A Window And Ran Away?

Goodbye, Kurt


Tonight, Krister Henrikson’s final Wallander episode airs on BBC 4. After 3 series over 8 years, it’s time to say “hej då” to our favourite Skånsk polis.

Krister is interviewed in the Guardian about his departure from the show, you can read it here:

Krister is far and away my favourite Kurt Wallander. I respect Rolf and Kenneth as actors but didn’t feel they were a great fit for the role of a disgruntled and dishevelled provincial policeman. I prefer these films even to the source material, though I’m not not sure how popular that opinions is..

Hej hej Kurt, we’ll miss you from our TVs!

(However, many episodes are now available on UK Netflix if you want to relive some of the good old days)

Let me know what you think of tonight’s episode in the comments.

Wallander -The Sad Bird airs tonight at 9pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer after that.

Searching for Sugar Man

Fancy watching a Swedish Oscar-winner tonight?

As part of the Storyville season, BBC Four will show Searching for Sugar Man tonight at 9pm. This has been a hit worldwide and was awarded the 2013 Oscar for Best documentary – Sweden’s first Oscar since Fanny and Alexander in 1984. It also won a BAFTA and a Guldbagge.

The film has gained more publicity for tragic reasons recently due to filmmaker Malik  Bendjelloul’s death - So sad that so much more attention had to come from such tragic events and we won’t get to watch any more films from this young director.

Enjoy the film tonight and appreciate Bendelloul’s work, and the amazing story of Rodriguez.

Full details of the BBC Four showings and clips aplenty here:

Free on Saturday night?


Check out @ScaredToDance’s Tweet:

Why not head out and dance to some Scandi tunes? A Swedish special by Scared to Dance in London. I love Time Out’s Swedish music picks – Jens Lekman is my favourite!