‘The pathway of June’
My birthday went and midsummer is almost here, which means it is time to leave to the summer place this week. On my birthday I wanted to visit the apple blossom meadows, but there had been a storm the night before so all the blossoms had fallen down. However, this did not matter as the meadow was beautiful and overgrown with wild flowers., which was quite magical to walk through. Also for the first time, I decided to try making a “voileipä kakku”, which literally translates to sandwich cake in Finnish. It is a traditional cake here and in other Nordic countries, that is eaten during festive occasions. I made a shrimp version with lemon zest, cream cheese and creme fraiche and it was absolutely delicious and easy to make. I’m happy I tried making it as it will be a great little savoury cake to make for parties. For my Finnish readers, I used the valio recipe that I modified every so slightly. For my English readers, here is the recipe:
(cake tin 16cm Ø –I specifically wanted to use a smaller but taller one as I feel this looks visually more appealing)
Begin by placing a parchment paper on the bottom base of your cake tin and it does not matter if the paper is a bit too large from the sides. Cut the edges into a rough frame of your base.
Trim the edges away from your toast. On a plate, add the water/lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Dip the bread slice into the liquid and press the bread into the base of your cake tin. Repeat this process so the base is covered with toast. The bread is easily shaped by pressing it down so it covers all the surface area.
Place the gelatin leaves into a cold bowl of water while you cook the filling.
Meanwhile, create the filling: In a large bowl, add the shrimps (note: self-peeled shrimps are always more flavorful than ready peeled ones), finely chopped red onion and the chopped dill.
In another bowl, add in the créme fraiche and cream cheese (I used a herb flavored version) and whisk until frothy. Pour this bowl with the shrimps and mix well. Add in the lemon zest, and a generous amount of black pepper.
In a small pot, heat up the tablespoon of lemon juice. Squeeze the excess water away from the gelatin leaves and place into the heated lemon juice. Immediately stir with a wooden spoon, turn of the heat and allow the gelatin leaves to dissolve. Pour this into the filling and mix well.
Now you are ready to layer the cake: Add a few large scoops of shrimp filling on top of the bread. Then gently dip the toast into the water/lemon liquid and create another layer. Add a round of filling. Add another layer of bread. Repeat the process until the filling and bread runs out. Once ready, place some kitchen foil on the cake tin and leave into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or even overnight.
Ready to serve: After four hours, gently remove the cake tin. Add a bit of “frosting” to the side by whisking crème cheese with a bit of lemon juice to thin it out. Depends on what type of look you are going for with the cake, but I like that not all sides are covered, just like with a semi-naked layer cake. With the help of a knife, spread some of the cream cheese on top and to the sides, to smoothen the surface. Garnish with microleaves (such as lamb’s lettuce) and fresh herbs like dill and thyme. I love to use the flowers from the thyme as well.
Overall, the beauty of this sandwich cake is that it can be modified to your liking with many different ingredients and it is easy to make, even if you are a beginner at cooking. Not only does it look impressive, but it can also be a delightful first to many, while for Scandinavians it holds a long history of summer memories. The comforting sandwich cake is a visual statement that lures you in with its delightful fresh flavors.
After allowing the cake to sit in the refrigerator for a good 5 hours, we decided to eat it on our plot in Suvisaaristo. I set up a little picnic under our oak tree, had coffee, lilac flavoured water and the skagen voileipä kakku that was just perfect. I spread a thin layer of diluted cream cheese on the surface (as you would with buttercream and a layer cake) and gently garnished it with simple fresh herbs.
here you can see how the base is made: basically press toast onto the bottom of a parchment paper lined tin/ add a layer of the filling and repeat the process.
The view from our future sauna- it has now been 2 years since we purchased this plot and we are still dealing with the house permits.
overgrown wild flowers on our beach