Has the time come to choose your Swedish wedding cake? Or perhaps you’re simply curious about Swedish wedding dinner customs? In our 3rd installment of Swedish Weddings we delve into what you might find on a typical Swedish wedding menu:
- Related article Swedish wedding traditions: customs and culture
- Related article Swedish wedding traditions: the engagement
The Swedish palate is certainly interesting. Swedes preference in food is often fresh, clean and simplistic, but it does have its cringe-worthy surprises. To help us understand what can be expected at the typical Swedish wedding dinner, we’ve spoken with two wedding culinary experts. For an inside perspective on the wedding dinner we spoke with Henrik Andersson owner and head chef of the gourmet catering company, Fleur de lis. And to help us understand Swedish wedding cakes we spoke with one of the official bakers of the Swedish royal wedding cake, pastry chef Conrad Thyrsén of Dessert & Choklad Stockholm.
Swedish wedding receptions will normally serve a three course meal or a buffét. Rarely will a Swedish wedding have a separate day and night reception, which means if you are invited to a Swedish wedding, you are normally invited to the whole event.
For Henrik Andersson, most of his customers come across Fleur de lis catering through personal recommendations or internet searches.
“The next step is to give the couple menu samples with prices and to check dates. I always ask them what they like so I can write a menu of their style. Then they usually come and try the food at my store.”
As we mentioned in our previous article on Swedish Wedding Traditions, a typical Swedish wedding will commence with a speech. For this reason many caterers will recommend a cold starter, usually consisting of cured meats, cheeses and fresh veggies. “Long speeches can make the food have to wait and the cold starter can be on the table when the guests arrive,” explains Henrik.
Other typical starters are Skagen toast, which is shrimps in mayonnaise and dill on toast often served with kalix löjrom (fish eggs), or Carpaccio on fillet of beef with rocket salad and truffle dressing, or a variety of herring served with potatoes and hard bread.
Main courses usually consist of slow cooked meat, chicken breast, salmon, or some game fillets. As a rule fish, unless it’s salmon, is not recommended because long-running speeches could cause the fish to be overcooked.
Desserts tend to be quite small since guests will usually be served a piece of the wedding cake with coffee and avec.
According to Henrik most Swedish couples try to do as much as they can themselves for the dinner, because it is often one of the biggest expenses. To save money couples may choose an inexpensive place to hold the dinner, hire a caterer and purchase the wine and drinks themselves.
Tel: 08-662 89 99
Email: [email protected]
After only 5 years working as a pastry chef, Conrad Thyrsén of Dessert & Choklad Stockholm, was requested to create the stunning 250 kilogram, 330 cm high royal wedding cake for Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel. In addition to wedding cakes Conrad’s bakery offers breads, pastries, various cakes and fine chocolates. We had the pleasure of sampling some of his elegant treats and getting an insight on Swedish wedding cakes.
As opposed to the common plum or carrot cake deceptively hidden underneath a beautifully decorated North American wedding cake; a Swedish wedding cake will not only look beautiful, but it will taste, well, like a delicious cake! “In North America they use a thicker cake, like plum, to stack the tiers,” explains Conrad, “but in Sweden we often have a layer of mousse inside so we cannot stack our cake tiers directly on top of each other.” Instead Swedish wedding cakes usually have separate tiers placed on their own stand. “Swedes always serve their cake to their guests so the most important thing is definitely that the cake tastes good, otherwise what is the point?”
According to Conrad a popular cake order right now is chocolate brownie with raspberry and chocolate mousse with icing made from sugar paste and butter. Swedes place a bigger emphasis on taste rather than appearance. Swedish style is very simplistic so naturally this influences their decorative style of wedding cakes. Not often will you find the bride and groom figures on the cake. The cakes are usually sparsely decorated with a few flowers. Sometimes using real flowers matching the brides bouquet, sometimes using sugar roses, like the ones used in the royal wedding.
“We made 110 sugar roses for the royal wedding cake and each rose took 45 minutes to make. The preparation for the cake took one month,” described Conrad. All the roses had to be made and frozen in advance. The week before the wedding required round-the-clock work on the cake.
According to Conrad the average Swede will spend 49 SEK per piece on their wedding cake and normally the cake is served out completely with no left overs.
Dessert & Choklad Stockholm
Patentgatan 7, 112 67 Stockholm
Tel: 08-656 20 20
Email: [email protected]