Um, yeah hi, this Prinsesstarta is what dreams are made of.
That’s all that really needs to be said for this cake.
I had two pieces instead of dinner, and I don’t regret it.
…ok maybe I regret it a little bit. But not too much.
So I live in a part of Chicago where there are lots of Swedish things…the Swedish Bakery, the Swedish Hospital, Swedish History Museum, some Swedish restaurants.. There is a big Dala horse on the street corner a few blocks away. I feel like I should probably have taken more advantage of this Swedish neighborhood when picking what to bake for my stop in Sweden. Coulda just walked into the Swedish Bakery and asked for suggestions! But…I saw this Princess Cake online when I was doing research and liked the idea, my mom and sister in law both though I should make it, and when I watched that episode of the Great British Baking Show, I decided it was a winner.
Although I don’t know how the contestants of that show did it in 2.5 hours. I started the marzipan and the jam the night before, and finished the rest the next day, which took most of the morning and into the afternoon!
The history of this recipe is thus (according to the ever reliable source of Wikipedia!):
“The original recipe first appeared in the 1948 Prinsessornas Kokbok cookbook, which was published by Jenny Åkerström, a teacher of the three daughters of Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland. The cake was originally called grön tårta (green cake), but was given the name prinsesstårta or “princess cake” because the princesses were said to have been especially fond of the cake.”
It does indeed make you feel like a princess when you eat it. I mean layers of cake, jam, custard, and whipped cream, covered in marzipan and drizzled with chocolate and a flower on top, like…yes please.
Of course, I loved this recipe because its a cake that requires decorating, which is MY FAVORITE THING. Obviously my favorite part was decorating it with the chocolate. 🙂 #ALLTHEDETAILS!!
I did also have fun with this entire experience since I got to make raspberry jam from fresh raspberries (haven’t made many jams ever), my pastry cream actually turned out nicely this time, and I made my own marzipan! It was kind of grainy, which caused a few troubles for me, but I’m pretty sure it was because I didn’t grind my almonds fine enough. But it still tasted good! I had a little fondant on hand from previous projects, so I used that for the rose. And instead of using whipped cream for the piping around the bottom, I used buttercream, because this cake wouldn’t be consumed all at once between the three of us in my apartment, and buttercream holds up better for longer periods of time.
To go into more specific details of the make up of this Princess Cake, here is the exact build of it, from the bottom up- One layer of sponge cake, one layer of raspberry jam, a layer of pastry cream, another layer of sponge, a layer of pastry cream mixed with whipped cream, the last layer of sponge, and then a dome of whipped cream on top. This is all covered with the light green marzipan, topped with a chocolate drizzle and a pink fondant rose.
This is terrible. There goes my hopes to be eating healthy.
I have a lot of pictures from this recipe…
This was my ground almonds that I didn’t grind fine enough for the marzipan…
The worst part of this project was getting the marzipan onto the cake!! It took me four tries!! I blame it on my grainy marzipan. It just kept ripping apart every time I tried to lift it onto the cake! I finally figured out a complicated system involving both parchment paper and plastic wrap that finally worked to roll out the marzipan and lay it over the cake at least semi-smoothly. But then it still kinda cracked in some spots. Bah! (I’m a real, capable cake decorator I promise!!)
Ok! Some quick current events from Sweden!
-There was a record spike last week in British people applying for citizenship in Sweden following the Brexit vote. Apparently usually they ahve about 20 applications a week, but last week they had about 129…I know I shouldn’t find that humorous at all, but…I do a little. 😉 But lets be real, come November in the states and Trump gets elected, I will probably be trying to find a new country of citizenship too!!
-Sweden is testing out a small stretch of “electric roads”, with the hope that in the future, emission-free travel will be a more widely spread possibility. They’re using the same technique that you might see in cities for trains or buses or trolleys, where they’re connected to an electric wire over the street, and that’s where their power comes from. But they are adapting this to be used mainly for bigger trucks at the time being, seeing that the length of the cable to connect to the electric wire above the road would be too long to be practical for average cars. You can read more about this here.
-I found an article that expresses Sweden’s worry about what the effects of the Brexit vote will have on trade…and this article was particularly worried about cider exports. Apparently Britain holds a decent percentage of Sweden’s cider exports, and if they can’t find a fair trade agreement, then…Well, I dont know, Sweden will have to find a new market, and Britain will not have as much cider?? But it’s okay Sweden, the first and best cider I ever had was Swedish (Kopparberg), and I first had it while in Northern Ireland, and I can’t find the fantastical stuff in America anywhere, so…send it to America. I’ll put you in business!
Alright, now that we’re up to date on the really important things, now we can move on to the recipe I used.
I actually used the same recipe they used on the Great British Baking Show (except probably not as vague as they had to deal with!). Everything is from scratch, from the sponge, to the raspberry jam, to the marzipan! Fun fun!!!
Recipe source: here
My only note: remember that “cornflour” in the UK means “cornstarch” in USA.
Prinsesstarta (Princess Cake)
- For the vanilla custard:
- 600ml (20 fl oz) milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeded scraped out
- 6 free-range egg yolks
- 100g (3½ oz) caster sugar
- 50g (1¾ oz) cornflour
- 50g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter
- For the jam:
- 200g (7 oz) raspberries
- 175g (6 oz) jam sugar
- For the sponge:
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 150g (5½ oz) caster sugar
- 75g (2½ oz) cornflour
- 75g (2½ oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g (1¾ oz) butter, melted
- For the fondant rose:
- 25g (1oz) pink ready-to-roll icing
- icing sugar, for dusting
- To decorate:
- 750ml (1⅓ pints) double cream
- 50g (1¾ oz) dark chocolate (36% cocoa solids), melted
- For the marzipan:
- 400g (14 oz) ground almonds
- 150g (5½ oz) caster sugar
- 250g (9 oz) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp almond extract
- green food coloring paste (do not use liquid food coloring)
- For the vanilla custard, pour the milk into a pan with the vanilla seeds and vanilla pod and place over a low heat until just simmering. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together until pale and creamy.
- Remove the vanilla pod from the warm milk. (You can rinse this off to use in making vanilla sugar.)
- Stir the warm milk slowly into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, whisking, until the mixture thickens. (It should be very thick.)
- Remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted and incorporated. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool. Set aside to chill in the fridge.
- For the jam, tip the raspberries into a deep saucepan with the sugar and two tablespoons of water. Cook gently over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil and boil vigorously for about four minutes, or until the temperature reaches 104C/219F on a sugar thermometer. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and leave to cool completely.
- For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan)/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 23cm (9 in) springform tin with baking parchment.
- Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and using an electric mixer, whisk together until the mixture is very pale and thick and the whisk leaves a trail on the surface when lifted. This will take about five minutes.
- Sift the cornflour, flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and carefully fold in using a large metal spoon. Fold in the melted butter, taking care not to over mix.
- Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until the sponge is golden-brown and has just started to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the fondant rose, roll 10 little pieces of fondant into small balls about the size of a cherry stone.
- Dust two small pieces of greaseproof paper with icing sugar and one by one, place the balls of fondant between the sheets of greaseproof and flatten each ball out with your fingers, to a thin circle, approximately 2cm/1in in diameter. These form the petals. Roll the first petal up like a sausage to form a bud and wrap the remaining petals around the bud to make a rose. Bend and curl the edges of the petals, to make them look more realistic. Leave to dry for at least an hour.
- To assemble the cake, using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into three even layers. Place one of the sponges onto a serving plate. Spread a very thin layer of custard over the base of the first sponge.
- Spoon a quarter of the custard into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a border around the edge of the sponge – this is to contain the jam.
- Spoon the jam over the sponge, and spread evenly within the border.
- In a bowl, whip 600ml/20fl oz of the double cream to firm peaks. Fold half of the whipped cream into the remaining custard.
- Spread one-third of the custard cream over the jam.
- Place the second sponge on top and spread over the remaining custard cream.
- Place the third sponge on top. Spoon over the remaining whipped cream covering the sides and smoothing into a small dome shape on the top. Set aside in the fridge for an hour.
- For the marzipan, mix the ground almonds and sugars in a mixer fitted with a dough hook, before adding the eggs and almond extract.
- Knead in the bowl until it forms a stiff dough. Turn out onto a surface dusted with icing sugar. Using a cocktail stick add a tiny amount of green food coloring and knead to an even pastel green color.
- Roll out the marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, to a 40cm/16in diameter circle, large enough to cover the cake. Lift the marzipan up over the cake and using your hands, shape the marzipan around the sides of the cake to get a smooth finish. Trim any excess.
- Whip the remaining 150ml/5½fl oz of cream to medium peaks and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle. Pipe around the base of the cake.
- Spoon the melted chocolate into a small paper piping bag. Snip off the end and pipe a swirl over the top of the cake. Top with the fondant rose.