The Cakewich: the sandwich that looks like a cake!
This is not a joke dish. It is something people actually eat in Sweden on special occasions, where it’s called a Smorgåstårta. It’s also a good idea for people who don’t eat sugar, as they can have a birthday cake that is savoury! Smorgåstårta makes a fantastic centrepiece and is spectacular for kids’ parties, too.
This savoury ‘rainbow’ cake would be a great ‘carrier’ for leftovers. I’ve done it with traditional Scandinavian ingredients such as smoked salmon, fish roe, fish roe paste from Kalles and pickled cucumbers. But do use up whatever is in your fridge.
For the Cakewich Structure
800g cream cheese
1 loaf pre-sliced white bread, crusts removed
1 loaf pre-sliced brown bread, crusts removed
For the Fillings (Depending on how many layers you have)
1 cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
500g packet smoked salmon, thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, halved, stoned and sliced
For the Garnish
3 cold hard-boiled eggs, peeled and thinly sliced
A handful of cress or dill, washed and dried
(You could also add cooked peeled prawns, thinly sliced cheese, cold cuts, feathery dill sprigs, sliced radishes, thinly sliced deseeded red pepper or cod’s roe. Get creative!)
Star-shaped piping nozzle and a piping bag (optional)
Assemble your cakewich on your final serving plate, whether it’s a board, large plate, tray or cake stand. You don’t want to have to move it later and risk breaking your concoction.
For the cakewich structure, whip the cream cheese in a food processor until it is light and fluffy. Reserve 100g for the crumb coat and 200g for the top coat (spread on the outside of the constructed cakewich, which helps to ‘glue’ the cakewich together). Spread the white and brown bread slices on both sides with the remaining whipped cream cheese (you do not need to spread the bottom of the bread that will make up your base layer).
Create your base layer with some slices of white bread (cream cheese side up), fitted together tightly. Top with one of the filling ingredients. Do the next layer with brown bread, positioning the slices so that they overlap the white slices underneath, but facing the opposite direction. Top with another of the filling ingredients. Continue to build up your cakewich, alternating between white and brown bread and using a different filling for each layer. Finish with a layer of bread slices on top.
Once the layers are completed, use a rubber spatula to thinly spread the reserved 100g whipped cream cheese around the sides and top of the cakewich to make a crumb coat. Wrap the cakewich and plate/board/stand in cling film, then chill in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up.
Once the cakewich is chilled, spread the remaining 200g whipped cream cheese in an even layer around the cakewich sides and over the top, to create a top coat all over. Garnish the cakewich using any leftover filling ingredients, plus the thinly sliced boiled eggs, the cress and dill. If you like, you could pipe cream cheese rosettes around the edges using a star-shaped piping nozzle. Serve immediately, cut into slices.
A Few Tips:
Use a rubber spatula to spread the cream cheese on the bread. Processed bread is soft and difficult to butter when untoasted.
It’s easier to make a square or rectangular sandwich cake because of the shape of the bread, but for a more birthday-cake look you could make it round with the aid of a cake tin as a template.
Try to use bread slices of similar dimensions; it makes it easier to assemble, otherwise you will have to do a jigsaw of pieces, although you won’t see this once the cakewich is assembled and covered.
You could use mayonnaise instead of cream cheese if you want a lighter cake.
(*Recipe reproduced from Ms Marmite Lover's Secret Tea Party by Kerstin Rogers- Square Peg/ Random House, November 2014)