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Smörgåstårta - Swedish Savory Cake

In Sweden, these sandwich cakes are typically served on special occasions, understandably, as they are a bit labor intensive to make.  They are popular enough to be available at the local supermarket regularly.  (We ate one at Margreta's in Nävlinge that Lilian bought. It had mostly shrimp on it.) I found this the perfect (as in ready to serve when it was time) dinner for many guests.  Plan ahead, it needs to be refrigerated for 12 hours+ before decorating and serving.

The cake can be constructed in any shape you desire.  I made a simple rectangle of 2 x 4 bread slices in four levels.  If you want to go higher or another shape, you may need to double the fillings and buy more bread.  Each layer is quite rich and dense so servings per cake are high, this one fed 25 easily.

Traditional layers in Sweden include liverpaste and smoked salmon.  I put together egg, ham and cheese layers instead to fit the very American palette of my teen guests.  Most cakes are topped with shrimp but if you google smörgåstårta, you will see the many variations and be inspired as to what to put on your own.  I will add cherry tomatoes next time because their color will be a perfect addition.

40 slices of basic white bread, (at least), crusts removed (barely) and squared
Choose one that is not too soft.  I found a whole grain white bread that held up well.

Egg layer -  mix together into a smooth paste:
8 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped fine
2/3 c mayonnaise
2 scallions/ green onions, chopped fine (white and pale green parts only)
1 t capers, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Ham layer - mix together into a smooth paste:
200 g sliced, cooked ham, chopped fine
1 1/2  c sour cream
1 c mayonnaise
1 c fresh parsley, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

Cheese layer - mix together into a smooth paste
1 1/2 c whipped cream cheese
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
6 T mixed herbs:  fresh flat-leaf parsley, dill and chives, chopped fine (keep whole extra for topping)
salt and pepper to taste

Assorted vegetable slices, cheese, ham, hard boiled eggs, fruit, herbs, etc. for decor atop the cake.
I used carrots, two different cheeses, ham, eggs, grapes, and of course, cucumbers are a must!

To construct:

On serving tray, line up 8 bread squares side by side, 2 x 4.
Spread half of the ham layer evenly over the top.
add the next bread layer but offset the squares to strength the cohesiveness (edge slices will need to be sliced in half to fit)
Spread the egg layer evenly over the bread slices.
Add another layer of bread slices
Spread the rest of the ham layer evenly
Add final layer of bread slices, offset as in second layer
Use the cheese layer as a 'frosting' over the whole cake.

Cover tightly with a layer of parchment paper on the cake followed by a layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours.

After chilling, add toppings atop the cake in any pattern desired.
I sliced a cucumber length-wise to surround the sides of the cake but you can align circled cucumbers or press on herbs, or.....


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