I made a Swedish Princess Cake! This was for my friend Erin's birthday last weekend. We had an awesome fall picnic in Prospect Park with perfect weather and amazing food. I even won a game a horseshoes.
This was probably one of the most difficult, or at least time consuming, cakes that I've ever made. The part that gave me the most trouble was the genoise cake itself. My layers kept coming out very flat and eggy, and you were supposed to cut the cake into three layers, which would not have been possible with the cake I ended up with.
I think the main problem was that I wasn't mixing the flour in enough. I was trying to be so careful folding in the flour, but it was all sinking to the bottom of the batter and not mixing in evenly. It took three attempts to get some usable cake, but then I had some leftover to make a mini princess cake as well.
I was actually the most worried about the marzipan because I've never made it before, but that part was actually really easy. A friend had recommended making my own from almond paste instead of using ready made marzipan, so that's what I did. It was simple to make and rolling it out and placing it over the cake wasn't too bad. It wasn't quite as smooth as I would have liked over the cake and I had to fix a few cracks, but I'm pretty happy with my first attempt.
I think it was worth all the eggs that it took to get to the final product. The cake looked awesome, and it tasted great. All the different layers came together really well.
Swedish Princess Cake
recipe from Pete Bakes! via iVillage (but I couldn't find the recipe on the ivillage site).
Vanilla Genoise Cake
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
Rum Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp dark rum
3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups half and half
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 lb almond paste
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2-3 tablespoons water
1/8-1/4 tsp green food coloring
1/3 cup raspberry jam, seedless or heated and strained
confectioner's sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease and flour a 9x2 inch cake pan (or 2 9x1 cake pans).
To make the cake, beat the eggs in a stand mixer until well blended. Whisk in the sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture constantly so the eggs do not cook. Once they feel warm, move the bowl to your mixer and whip on high speed with the whisk attachment for about 4-5 minutes or until tripled in volume.
Melt the butter in a small dish and add the vanilla, set aside. Sift a small about of the flour over the top of the egg mixture, and gently fold the flour in using a rubber spatula. Continue sifting a small amount of flour in at a time, folding it all in before adding the next addition, until all the flour has been added. Add about a cup of the egg and flour mixture to the butter that you set aside and fold together until combined. Slowly and gently fold the butter mixture into the egg and flour until everything is fully combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the center rack for 30 minutes. The cake will pull away from the sides of the pan and the top will spring back when it is done. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then let it finish cooling on a wire rack. When cool, cut the cake into three equal layers. If you want to make the cake in advance (like I did), you can store it wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a much longer time.
To make the marzipan, put the confectioner's sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the almond paste a little at a time. You can break it into pieces with your fingers and add it slowly to the sugar. When all added, the mixture should be crumbly. Add the corn syrup and mix for a few more minutes.
If you want to make marzipan flowers for on top of the cake, put a small amount of the mixture aside. Combine the water and food coloring in a small bowl and add to the remaining mixture while the mixer is running. Turn it out to the counter and knead with your hands. Add more food coloring if you want it darker. Add red or pink food coloring mixed with a little water to the marzipan that you set aside to use for flowers. Flatten the marzipan into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
To make the simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat, cool and add the rum. Store in a covered container in the fridge until you are ready to use.
To make the pastry cream, bring the half and half to a simmer in a medium saucepan. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar and water. Beat in the egg yolks. Slowly add the cornstarch/egg mixture to the half and half, whisking constantly. Once it becomes very thick (this will happen very quickly), remove from the heat and add the vanilla. If there are little lumps in it, you can push it through a fine sieve to make more smooth. Allow it to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
To make the whipped cream, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer on high speed until peaks form.
Now it's time to assemble the cake. Remove the marzipan from the refrigerate to let it come to room temperature. Place one layer of the cake on a cake board. Brush it with the rum simple syrup and then spread with a layer of the raspberry jam. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on top of the jam. Lay another layer of cake on top of the whipped cream. Brush with the simple syrup, then spread a thick layer of the pastry cream. Place the last layer of cake on top of the pastry cream. Brush with the simple syrup and then spread with remaining raspberry jam.
Using an offset spatula, cover the sides of the cake with a thin layer of the whipped cream. Mound the remaining whipped cream on top of the cake and form a dome. You should not see any cake when you're done. Place the cake in the refrigerator to cool while you roll out the marzipan.
Dust a large surface with confectioner's sugar and place the marzipan disk on top. Begin to roll out with a rolling pin (coated in confectioner's sugar) and roll into a 16 inch circle (about an 1/8 inch thick).
Roll the circle of marzipan up on your rolling pin and hen carefully unroll it over the whipped cream dome. Once it is draped over top, gently smooth out the marzipan to form a smooth coating. Cut the excess marzipan around the bottom
I found a youtube video that showed how to make marzipan flowers, so I used that. You can also roll the remaining marzipan into shapes and place on the top of the cake. Dust the cake with confectioner's sugar before serving.
I stored my cake in the fridge for a day before using it, and I stored the mini cake in the fridge for almost a week and it was still good.