The last giant muffin and litre-sized latte has yet to be served, but Stockholmers are increasingly looking to soothe the sweet tooth at cafés and bakeries that go beyond the American-style coffee shop. At Haga Tårtcompani & Bageri, luxurious cakes with all the trimmings are back in style. We spoke to owners Anna Cardelius and Oscar Målevik about their love for cake.
A few years ago, one struggled to find a good spot for decadent cakes in Stockholm. But at Haga Tårtcompani & Bageri, cakes of all sizes, shapes and flavours take centre stage. Why do you choose to celebrate the cake in particular?
The cake is a symbol for celebration! Cake is always present at any large events of life, such as christenings, weddings, birthdays, graduations, confirmations and even at funerals. We also love cake, and it has somehow been left aside during the last few years. We want to once again bring it out of the shadows and make it super hot. By only using really great ingredients and by preparing them by hand, we want to reintroduce the classic cake, but with a modern twist.
In what way does the “modern twist” come into play in your baked goods?
By adding something extra to juxtapose the classic flavours. For example, we use fresh raspberries in our Princess cake. It just makes it so fresh and tasty.
Speaking of which. Once Swedes do eat cake, we often resort to the Princess cake. Why are we so stuck in the piercing green marzipan that covers the cake, not wanting to move on and explore any other variants?
We actually adore the princess cake, especially in the way we make it ourselves – with homemade vanilla custard, fresh raspberries, real 40 percent cream and high-quality marzipan. But there are so many cakes out there worth sampling, and we find that many of our customers are quite open to try other options. Perhaps there hasn’t been a very large selection in the past? Our Williams cake has proven to be a bestseller.
What is your own personal favourite?
That would be the blueberry cake. It looks quite simple and innocent on the outside, but is quite the piece of art on the inside. Fresh lime mousse is layered with sticky blueberry sponge cake, lightly flavoured with cardamom. It is finally covered with a brittle but chewy Italian meringue.
Aside from all the sweet treats, you also offer a selection of savoury, so-called ‘smörgåstårtor’ – sandwich cakes. That seems like a bit of a blast from the past, as they were extremely popular in the 1970s?
The smörgåstårta has had such a bad rep for a long time. It is true that it is very associated with the 1970s and generally perceived as quite common. But we want to show the opposite – that it can be quite trendy and exclusive. It really is the perfect alternative to serving canapés or setting up a buffet.
Haga Tårtcompani & Bageri was shortlisted as “rising star” at White Guide’s recent competition ‘Sweden’s Best Cafés’. What is it like receiving all this attention after opening just about a year ago?
We really love it, but to be fair, there is quite a lot of hard work behind the success. We’ve got so many great plans for the future, so watch this space!