Skånsk spettekaka (Scania pyramid cake)

From Cookipedia

Skånsk spettekaka

Description

SGB Skånsk spettkaka is a Swedish pyramid cake which can only be made using a time-honoured method of the highest quality, the cake containing only fresh eggs with the addition of sugar and potato flour, and the ingredients being mixed in a special way to form a sticky batter. The shape of the cake is conical, as a result of the spit on which it is baked. Pyramid cake must be well baked to an even golden brown colour, with an attractive appearance; it has irregular spikes on its surface, but in terms of the general appearance of pyramid cake, it must present a harmonious impression. A white and/or pink sugar frosting is piped around the pyramid cake at regular intervals, and up towards the top which is decorated with white and/or pink piping. An old-fashioned Scanian pyramid cake is a delicacy, crisp but firm to the touch, having a pleasant taste, an enticing smell and a good aftertaste. The cake will keep for a considerable time without losing its taste, if kept in a dry, airtight container.

Geographical area

Scania in Sweden

Proof of origin

It was during the latter half of the 17th century that pyramid cakes were first made in Sweden, but then it was only the wealthy who could afford this delicacy. Not until the 19th century and early 20th century did pyramid cake become more common among ordinary people. In Scania there were often towns with a pyramid cake bakery where one could leave one's own eggs to be baked into a cake for a wedding, christening or some other festivity. Even at funerals one might find a pyramid cake on the table, hung with mourning crapes.

Method of production

The batter is held in a piping bag and is squeezed onto a conical rotating mould (spit) and baked at a high temperature. This method of production has remained basically the same as the method used when pyramid cakes were first made. No other equipment or instruments are used before the baking process and it is therefore a labour-intensive activity; the cakes themselves determine the time required to produce them and the number of eggs determines the size of the pyramid cake. The slow baking process is due to the fact that each layer of batter applied to the pyramid cake must be thoroughly cooked before the next layer is added, and the baking process is complete when the white and/or pink sugar frosting is piped onto the cake.

Link

Pyramid cake has been made in Scania for many centuries. The production method described above consists of the combining of ingredients in a way which means there is no significant fermentation of the batter, as a result of which the baking must be carried out in stages in order to achieve a certain size in the baked product. The reason why traditionally pyramid cake has been made only in Scania is that the ingredients used to make pyramid cake have been tied up with access to the raw materials such as poultry for eggs, sugar from beet and a plentiful supply of potato flour. This, in conjunction with a rich agricultural heritage in an affluent, densely populated area, is the main reason why, over the centuries, pyramid cake has been baked only in Scania.

Reference: The European Commission