Cecilia Andersson was 6 years old when she made sand cakes while her friends built sand castles. That was in Malmköping. What her friends are doing today we cannot tell you, but Cecilia continued perfecting her baking skills and was recently crowned “Årets konditor” (Pastry Chef of the Year).
“I’ve never been so nervous in my entire life,” she says. Cecilia has worked at Tössebageriet in Stockholm the past five years. “I just can’t help but bake,” she says.
“It’s so much fun. I’m stuck to it and I give it my all. And it makes me so happy to bake. It’s like creating a piece of art, but the great thing is that you don’t just get to look at it, you get to taste it, too.”
Incidentally, Cecilia’s boss, Mattias Ljungberg, was a member of the Swedish team of chefs that recently won the Culinary Olympics in Germany. “I was nervous,” Cecilia says, “but as soon as I laid my hands on the dough I felt all right.”
Cecilia won on an intricate cake made of caramelized pears and brownies on a puff pastry and “smörkola” bottom, and with a pear-flavored Bavarian cream. The recipe for the entire cake is a bit intricate for the layman to execute, but it can be found here (in Swedish): Cecilia Anderssons Höstpärontårta

If you want to try to at least make part of the cake, here’s Cecilia’s recipe for the buttery “smörkola,” which is a sort of toffee, and reportedly excellent with vanilla ice cream. (It serves, well, a lot ...)
360 g heavy cream (1½ cups heavy cream)
180 g sugar (3/4 cup)
130 g molasses (4½ ounces—"gul sirap" is similar but not the same ...)
60 g corn syrup (3 Tablespoons)
270 g butter (1 cup)
15 g flake salt (2 tsp)

Bring cream, molasses and corn syrup to 250° F. Mix butter and salt, beat heavily until the mixture is smooth. Pour over vanilla ice cream.