29 April 2016
I used not to like the spring season - the autumn season is still my favorite season - but over the years I started to like and appreciate spring more and more. I still do not like spring in the city. As soon as it gets warmer people get fretful and hectic and I am not particular fond of this atmosphere. But spring in nature is another story. It is beautiful! It is a joy witnessing how quickly nature changes. Every single day nature gets a little bit greener; little flowers are making their appearances; birds are celebrating the arrival of spring by chirping louder and louder every day. And finally I can go on long bike rides again which I am very thrilled about being out in nature, picking the first spring flowers and having a little bouquet of wild flowers on my desk.
Celebrating these "greener (and warmer) days" I am sharing a classic Swedish pastry recipe today which involves a little bit of green color. There are different names for the pastry but the most common names are Punchrulle, Arraksrulle, Trådrulle or Dammsugare. I like the name Dammsugare the best and I also think it is the most common name for this classic Swedish pastry. Dammsugare literally means vacuum cleaner(s) in Swedish.
There are different stories of the origin of the pastry name. One story is that the pastry is named Dammsugare because there was a vacuum cleaner which was designed in 1920s and the pastry looks exactly the same. It was a very popular vacuum cleaner and the model was sold for decades. My grandparents had such a vacuum cleaner model but in the color red and this vacuum cleaner is still somewhere hidden in my uncle's basement. But the reason why I like the name Dammsugare for this particular pastry is not only because it looks like the vacuum cleaner model from the 1920s but it also perfectly describes how the pastry is made. The main ingredient of these delicious delights are cake crumbs and the crumbs are soaked up, not by a vacuum cleaner, but by a delicious cream and marzipan coat and chocolate decoration. I often make these little treats when I have leftover sponge cake and this my favorite excuse to make Dammsugare. Since I make little cakes a lot and for the bottom of the cakes I use sponge cakes - which I cut out - and then I am left with sponge cake leftovers which I keep in a cake tin for a few days. When I have enough sponge cake leftovers I clean my cookie tins or vacuum my tins and in the end I have "clean" cookie tins and I have delicious little cakes. Dammsugare are addictive and I try not to make them too often because the temptation is too great to eat more than one little cake a day.
NOTE: If you do not have any sponge cake leftovers you can make a simple sponge cake; my recipe is below. It is the best to make the sponge cake a day ahead because than it is easier to crumble the cake. If you do not have the patience do not worry but make sure that the sponge cake has cooled completely before crumbling the cake.
Makes 10 to 12 cakes
Sponge Cake or 200 g Leftover Cake Crumbs
- 2 eggs (medium size)
- 85 g / 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30 g / 5 tablespoons pastry flour, sifted
- 30 g / 3 tablespoons cornflour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 °F.
- Line the bottom of a cake pan (20 cm / 7.5 inches in diameter) with parchment paper. Do not butter the side of the pan.
- Beat eggs and sugar light and fluffy which takes about five minutes.
- Mix pastry flour, corn flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Fold the flour mixture along with the vanilla sugar or vanilla extract into the egg sugar mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake the sponge cake for 25 to 35 minutes. If you insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and it comes out clean the cake is done.
- Let the cake cool completely.
- Remove the cake pan and crumble the cake until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Cream And Decoration
- 100 g / 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 50 g / 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons raw unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon strong coffee, cold
- 2 tablespoons rum or punch liqueur
- 125 g / 4 1/2 ounces marzipan
- A few drops of green food coloring or matcha powder
- 125 g / 4 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate (50 %)
- Beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add cacao powder, coffee and rum or punch liqueur to the mixture and stir well. Add the cake crumbs and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Sprinkle a surface with powdered sugar and place the mixture onto the surface. Form two logs out of the cake mixture. Each log should be 2 cm / 0.8 inch in diameter. Be prepared that this is a little bit of a messy situation. Wrap each log into plastic wrap and place the cake rolls into the fridge for about an hour.
- Add green food coloring or matcha powder to the marzipan. I prefer using matcha instead of artificial food coloring. Add a few drops of lukewarm water to the matcha powder ( about 1/2 teaspoon) until it resembles a thick paste and add it to the marzipan. Knead the marzipan until it has an even green color.
- Roll out the marzipan - sprinkle your surface with powdered sugar - until it it 1 mm thin. Wrap the marzipan around the cake logs.
- Place the logs again in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- In the meantime temper the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate into a cup or small bowl.
- Cut each log into 5 cm / 2 inches long pieces, Dip the ends of each piece into the melted chocolate. Let the chocolate dry.
- Keep the Dammsugare in an air-tight container or cookie tin. The little cakes keep up for at least a week.