Swedish Princess Cake

I finally started watching “The Great British Bake Off” on Netflix, I’ll admit I heard of it before but didn’t have much interest in it because I don’t really tend to like baking competitions. I watch them and they just seem really fabricated but then again admittedly I know a few people who have been on them and know that there is a little bit of TV magic that comes into play. GBBO has an entirely different feel to it though. I put on the Christmas special one day while I was working on some cupcakes in my free time and found myself completely enamored. From what I understand there’s no prize money, the only prize is being named the best amateur baker and a stunning glass cake plate so these people aren’t baking for $10,000 they are baking for the LOVE of baking. The technical challenge is really exciting to me as well because it reminds me of being in pastry school, read the recipe, scale things out, read through the recipe again.

The show has really inspired me to get back into my kitchen and find my bliss in pastry. My mother’s birthday was this week so I decided to prepare a Swedish princess cake  (season 1 episode 6). Now I did not follow Mary Berry’s recipe for this one because I decided to do a smaller version as it was just family for my mom’s birthday dinner but I thought this would be something that would be elegant and special for my mom’s special day.

There are a few different steps to this cake, full disclosure I did not make my own marzipan, but you can whip most of this recipe up in no time. I believe that this doesn’t count as a traditional Swedish princess cake because I have made my own almond cake recipe but here we go. I know I hate really long blog posts when I’m just looking for a recipe so this is for a 6” Swedish Princess Cake:

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Almond Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅛ cup almond meal
  • ½ Cup whole milk, room temp
  • 3 eggs, at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 oz sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon butter

Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray two 6-inch round cake pans with pan coating and line the bottom of the pans with parchment.

Process:

  1. Combine milk, eggs, and extracts and stir together. Set aside.
  2. In your mixer combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter in small chunks, mixing at a slow speed until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
  3. Add half of the milk mixture slowly and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down.
  4. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat for 30 seconds more, try not to over mix.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between your prepared pans.
  6. Bake until the cake bounces back when tapped about 25 minutes.  
  7. While your cake bakes prepare your pastry cream!

 

Pastry cream:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 ½ yolks
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon butter (cold, kept in the fridge until your ready to use and cut into small pieces)

Process:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer over a medium-high heat.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine the yolks, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add half of the scalded milk to the bowl containing the egg mixture. Whisk CONSTANTLY while adding the scalded milk or you’ll end up with sugary scrambled eggs which is not yummy.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan containing the remaining milk. Whisk over medium heat.
  5. Continue whisking constantly for about 2-4 minutes, until the mixture is thickened.
  6. Removed from the heat and whisk in the cold butter. Continue whisking until the butter has melted in.
  7. Transfer to another bowl and allow it cool completely. (I like the pour it through a sieve to be sure there are no egg-y bits)
  8. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours before using. Be sure to cover with plastic film, have the film touching your pastry cream or it will develop a skin.

Whipped cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Process

  1. In a chilled bowl, combine ingredients. Whip to stiff peaks.

Assembly

  1. Gather your components.
  2. Trim the tops of your cake and spread raspberry jam onto the middle layer.
  3. Put a portion, maybe a generous spoonful, of your pastry cream and fold into the whipped cream.
  4. Spread the remaining pastry cream on top of the raspberry jam.
  5. Stack the other cake layer on top sandwiching the pastry cream and raspberry jam.
  6. Frost the cake with the remaining whipped cream, spoon a hefty amount on top to cream a dome. (at this point I stuck my cake in the freezer)
  7. Roll out your marzipan, you’ll want to dust it with powdered sugar so that it doesn’t stick. Drape over your domed cake. Smooth it down the sides as you would with fondant. Cut off any excess at the bottom, enjoy as a snack.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar and add a marzipan rose if you’ve made one.

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This is my first attempt at a Swedish Princess Cake, and can I just say…it was a complete and utter disaster. Don’t let the pretty photo fool you, this cake had me annoyed. As a former pastry cook I looked at the recipe and said, “Yeah I can handle that.” My whipped cream was melting all over the place, I rolled the marzipan too thin, my filling was coming out. I felt defeated. Then I told myself “it’s just cake” my sweet robot assured me that it was ok that I was getting frustrated. I took a deep breath and told myself I would just have to step away from tradition. So I scraped the whipped cream off and instead covered the cake in a swiss buttercream. True it’s not as light as whipped cream but it kept the pastry cream contained.

I had already covered the cake once in marzipan when I decided to redo everything so I had to peeled the marzipan off and wipe as much of the whipped cream as I possibly could. I thought it was ruined, but honestly after I wiped the cream off, I covered my hands in powdered sugar and worked in a bit of untouched marzipan and it came back. Sometimes things happen, it can happen to any baker, I had a minor flip out and then pulled myself back together and made the cake. It probably helped that I had scraps to snack on. All in all it was a challenge, I’ll need to attempt it again at some point.

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Writing this post I realized what I did wrong, I didn’t read the recipe well enough because I inverted one of the steps which is probably why I had such a gooey mess. Chalk it up to experience and remember to READ THE RECIPE! I probably shouldn’t even show you the picture because the pastry cream is so runny but as I said it can happen to any baker. It was still delicious.

One thought on “Swedish Princess Cake

  1. Pingback: Religieuse-Nun Cream puffs | Ramblings

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