My maternal grandmother was a good cook and baker and when it was her or granddad’s birthday they would usually celebrate it the old-fashioned Swedish way with and afternoon cake party. Normally there would be seven types of cakes and cookies, including danishes or cinnamon rolls, a sponge of some form, and a proper birthday cake as the main attraction.
Some of these cakes could be quite grown-up in taste, so to please us grandchildren she would make a chocolate sheetcake with frosting, which we loved (well, I still do). And mind you, frosting didn’t even exist in rural Sweden in the mid-eighties, so she was well before her time.
But the cake was lovely and I think about it a lot. Unfortunately I never managed to get the recipe off her before she died, but my mother think she knows how she made it. I have yet to try that method for frosting, I think I have been putting it off because I so want it to be right.
But now, I can experiment again, because even if the recipe my mother has suggested turns out wrong, this Hummingbird Bakery frosting is so close to what I remember it tasted like, although containing completely different ingredients, that I am pleased either way.
400 ml caster sugar
330 ml plain flour
4 tbsp cocoa
2,5 tsp vanilla sugar
2,5 tsp baking powder
135 g melted butter
200 ml boiling water
Mix the dry ingredients. Add eggs, butter and water, stir to incorporate. Pour into a greased springform. Bake in a low oven, 175 C for 35-45 minuten. Leave to cool completely. Cut in half with a serrated knife (bread knife).
200 g icing sugar
75 g softened butter
30 g cocoa
150 g cream cheese, cold
Beat sugar, butter and cocoa with an electric whisk. Add the cream cheese and beat until you have a glossy and even frosting.
Divide the batch into two. Use half as filling in the middle. Use the rest to either cover the cake all around or to pipe decorations on top. Sprinkle with icing sugar (which I forgot).