Prinsesstårta (Princess cake)

Yesterday the little princess Estelle, daughter of crown princess Victoria turned one and as it happens my father requested I bake a Prinsesstårta for his birthday celebration which took place on the same day. Although his birthday is on Tuesday. Anyway, the whole thing just seemed incredibly appropriate. I had never made one before and I heard the process is quite elaborate but really it wasn’t too bad at all.

(Side note: How do you like my new theme?)

The original recipe of the Prinsesstårta was published in “Prinsessornas nya kokbok” written by Jenny Åkerström in 1948. Back then it was simply called “Grön tårta” (“Green cake”) but the name was later changed because apparently it was a favourite of her princess students: Märtha, Margaretha and Astrid.

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This recipe is one I found in the fantastic little book that Pärlan’s Konfektyr here in Stockholm has published. Unfortunately for you international readers, it’s only available in Swedish. The shopkeepers and outstanding caramel makers are all retro 30′s/40′s/50′s connoisseurs and the book has the recipes for all their amazing caramels, cakes and even how-to’s about vintage hairstyles and more.

I did however adapt the recipe slightly.

One 26cm/10inch cake.

Sponge:

4 eggs

1.5 dl sugar

1.25 dl AP flour

1.25 dl potato starch

1 teaspoon baking powder

Vanilla pastry cream:

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons potato starch

3 tablespoons sugar

30g butter (unsalted)

1 vanilla pod

3 dl heavy cream

Lemon curd:

juice & zest of 1 lemon (should be about 50g of juice)

1 dl sugar

50g butter (unsalted)

2 eggs

 

Other ingredients:

2 dl raspberry jam

8 dl heavy cream (for whipping)

green marzipan for covering the cake

marzipan rose and leaves for decoration

icing sugar for decoration

 

How-To:

Lemon Curd:

Combine butter and half the sugar (0.5 dl) with lemon juice + zest in a pot and bring to a boil, cook until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Whip together the eggs and the other half of the sugar in a bowl until fluffy.

Keep whipping the egg mixture whilst slowly pouring in the lemon mixture.

Pour the now combined lemon curd mix back in the pot and heat up whilst stirring, until it becomes thick (this happens as the mixture comes to about 82 degrees C°).

Pour the thickened lemon curd into a bowl or jar and set aside until completely cooled.

Vanilla pastry cream:

Put all the ingredients in a bowl, whisk until combined and and heat it up in a pot until thick. (Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pot and add the seeds as well as the scraped out pod to the mix, take the pod out when the cream has thickened). Easy as that! Just set is aside to cool (same principle as with the lemon curd).

Sponge:

Turn your oven on to 175 C°.

Whisk eggs and sugar until white and fluffy.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, sift them and fold into the egg & sugar mixture.

Thoroughly grease and bread a  26cm/10inch spring form pan and pour in the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.

When cooled: cut the sponge into 3 layers using a serrated knife (first you should trim the top if it is uneven). Cut the layers so that the top and bottom of the cake are equally thick. The middle layer should be just slightly thinner than the two others.

Assembly:

Whip the cream (listed under “other ingredients) quite stiffly. If using a stand mixer, remember to keep a close eye on it. I got distracted, left the room and came back to butter instead of whipped cream and had to run to the store to get more. It happens quicker than you might think.

Place the bottom layer on a rotating cake stand or whatever you think works best for cake assembly. Pipe a border of the whipped cream on the outer edge of the sponge layer to keep the filling from spilling out the edges.

Spread out a layer of raspberry jam inside the border and then on top of the jam, do the same with your lemon curd.

Put the second layer on (this would be the “top layer” of the actual sponge, so by now you should just have that slightly thinner, middle layer left). Pipe another border around the edge and fill it with the vanilla pastry cream. Then plop on almost all of the remaining cream (you need a little bit left for covering the entire thing) and using an off set spatula, create a dome shape.

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Since I’m kind of rubbish at explaining this, I’m going to link you to a video tutorial I found helpful: CLICK HERE (this video is in Swedish but you don’t need the audio to see how it should be assembled). WATCH IT!

Now to the last sponge layer (the thinnest one), trim off the edges (since they’re a bit harder after cooking against the pan) because you want this layer to be a pliable as possible. Now put this layer on top of the whipped cream dome and press lightly, ensure the dome shape is still there. Now cover the entire thing in marzipan (rolled out of course). The easiest way of determining if the lid will be large enough is taking a sewing thread and with it, measure the diameter and height of the uncovered cake. Then compare the length you measured out with the thread to the marzipan you rolled out. Smooth out the sides and trim off any extras. Move to a display plate of your choice.

Dust with icing sugar and decorate with a marzipan rose!

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Happy baking you guys!

 

Happy mind = happy body

So here’s the thing, when writing a blog about pastries and sweet things, you often think about the perception others might have of you or the concept of consuming sweets regularly. I have had a lot of self-image issues in my life time (because I’m so old you know) and I’m very sensitive of critique. I believe that there’s food that nourishes your body, and then there’s food that nourished you soul. Everyone needs to indulge, especially those who has a hard time grasping the necessity of letting loose a little. If you’re not happy, you’re not healthy. Moderation is the key, eat enough good “body” food regularly and indulge in “soul” food regularly but in sensible amounts. As long as your mind is satisfied and at ease, your body will feel good to. So that’s that.

Anyhow, I will be posting a recipe later this week for what I’m making for father’s day.

Happy living folks! Se you all later <3

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank, thank, thank you to the lovely Eve from Sam Loves Cake for nominating Sweet Endeavours for The Versatile Blogger Award! In this dark, dull and incredibly wet time of year we Swedes call fall, this was exactly the kind of boost I needed.

Seven things about Carolina:

1. I have an obsession with owls. On necklaces, shirts or note pads doesn’t matter, just give ‘em to me!

2. I have very vivid dreams, I’m talking full on films in my head at night.

3. I used to be scared of the dark and now I love walking in the dark.

4. I also love walking in the rain.

5. I miss having cats terribly and I’m getting one as soon as I move out.

6. My entire childhood I was completely convinced I was a witch who hadn’t received her powers yet…

7. …I’m genuinely disappointed I never got my letter from Hogwarts.

Here we go, to the good stuff. The 10 brilliant bloggers I nominate are:

  • Call Me Cupcake! – very well known but still, my daily inspiration!
  • Kale With Love – I’m not vegan or vegetarian but having access to guilt free desserts will never be a bad thing!
  • Made By Mary – Swedish blogger with amazing treats
  • Tattoologist – I dream away on this site for hours
  • Breakfastporn – my dear friends run a blog were they post pictures of their breakfasts, they’re great breakfasts too!
  • Pippi H – Swedish blogger who posts the most amazing pictures of her apartment and everything else in her life.
  • Style Gossiper – great pictures and great fashion
  • ….. This is where I realize I don’t read many blogs, these were at least the only ones I could nominate here. Oh well, less is more, right?

RULES:

-        Thank the person who nominated me and link back to them in my post
-        Share 7 things about myself
-        Pass the award on to 10 more bloggers that I enjoy
-        Contact the bloggers I have chosen to let them know that they have been selected!

XOXO

Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

This weekend I went to a dinner party with a couple of girlfriends. Everyone was supposed to bring something to contribute to the dinner part of the party. All in all, everything was very delicious, there was quiche, insalata caprese, roasted veggies, dessert cheeses, crackers, fruit, bread and more. I made cupcakes, because really… What else? I made them in mini formates and I had all these ideas on how to make them Halloween-y and spooky and super creative but in the end time ran away from me and all my intricate plans went into the bin and I just made cute little cuppy cakes. They were good though, so all ended well. It was a good night with good friends, good food and good wine. Success!

This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery’s cookbook, basically it’s an entire book with all sorts of delicious cupcakes and more. Honestly, of all the recipes for cupcakes (the base at least, when it comes to frostings and fillings I like to get creative) I’ve used, they have the best ones. I’ve been to the actual shop in London as well, it’s great!

So this is a devil’s food cake base and a basic cream cheese frosting.

I doubled the batch and got about 40 mini cupcakes (I did not double the batch however and I had enough to frost about 30, which was fine for me but obviously if you need 40 frosted cupcakes you’ll have to get a little creative with the calculator).

Chocolate cupcake base: (makes for approx. 12 full sized cupcakes)

100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

a pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter, at room temp.

120ml whole milk

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used about 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, which is icing sugar with vanilla bean in it)

Cream cheese frosting:

300g icing sugar

50g unsalted butter, at room temp.

125g cream cheese, cold

(I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar)

How to:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (325F).

In a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment beat, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, butter and salt on slow speed until a sand-like consistency is reached.

Whisk milk, egg and vanilla in a jug and incorporate half the wet ingredients into the flour mixture while beating at slow speed until everything is combined, turn the mixer up to high for a couple of seconds to get rid of any lumps. Add the remaining egg mixture and mix on slow until everything is combined, then continue beating for a minute or two until smooth. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter between paper cases in a muffin tin until 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minute (if you’re making mini cupcakes, bake for about 16 minutes) or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re done. I’ve learned this the hard way. The best way to make sure they’re done is to touch them and make sure no dents form, they should spring right back.

Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Frosting:

Beat icing sugar, vanilla sugar and butter until combined and well mixed with the paddle attachment, then add the cold cream cheese and continue beating until everything completely combined. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until light fluffy, this will take about 5 minutes. Check on it regularly as cream cheese frostings tend to easily become runny.

Happy baking!

Thumbrint almond cookies with strawberry jam and vanilla glaze

So I was bored, home alone and… Bored. So I made cookies.

225g room-temp butter

2 dl sugar

5 dl all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

strawberry jam

Glaze:

1.75 dl icing sugar

1-3 teaspoons milk

1/2 tablespoon vanilla sugar (icing sugar with vanilla beans)

How to:

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.

In a standing mixer, beat butter, sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy.

The gradually add the flour until combine, do not over beat.

Roll into balls, about 2.5 cm in diameter. Make an indentation in the middle and fill with jam.

Bake for 14-16 minutes (until the bottoms are lightly browned)

Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely before they’re ready to be glazed.

Glaze:

Mix the dry ingredients and gradually add the milk until desired consistency is reached.

Using a piping bag, drizzle the glaze on the cookies.

There you go! Enjoy!

Happy baking!

Strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Sorry it took so long for me to upload this post, I’ve been having issues transferring my photos from my camera memory card to my computer.

So a few weekends ago I was home alone and got extremely bored so I decided to make cupcakes. We had some strawberries in the fridge as well as cream cheese, so I thought: Perfect combo!  I divided this recipe so that I got like three cupcakes out of the batch because, well, I wasn’t about to gulp down 12 of them on my own. That’s just not healthy. But I’m gonna post the whole recipe for you :)

Also, I’ve decided to stop writing both US and metric measurments, because well, the conversion gets a little iffy sometimes and if you want it converted, it’s pretty easy to just Google for a converter. Hope that’s OK. Feel free to comment if you feel otherwise.

Makes twelve regular sized cupcakes

Strawberry cupcakes

120 grams plain flour

140 grams caster sugar

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

40 grams softened, unsalted butter

pinch of salt

120 millilitres whole milk

0.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 organic egg (my preference)

12 large strawberries, chopped into small pieces

1 tablespoon corn flour (corn starch)

Cream Cheese Frosting

300 grams sifted icing sugar

50 grams softened, unsalted butter

125 grams cold cream cheese

zest of 1 lime

SMALL pinch of salt

How-to:

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius (325F)

Beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into a mixer with the paddle attachment on low until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Pour in the milk and vanilla and turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until everything is well combined. Then add the egg and continue mixing untill everything is well incorporated.

Mix the chopped strawberries with the corn flour in a separate bowl until the berries are coated. This is to seal in some of the liquid the berries release whilst being cooked so that the cupcakes don’t become too mushy.

Divide the batter between the cupcake cases in your muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. A skewer should come out relatively clean. Leave them to cool slightly in the tin (this is to ensure they don’t lose their shape) and them move them onto a cooling rack. Do not frost until they’re completely cooled or the frosting will become a melted mess.

While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make the frosting.

Start by beating the sugar and butter in a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until combined. Then add the cold cream cheese and lime zest, continue beating until it comes together and is well mixed. Then turn the speed up to medium-high and mix for at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, cream cheese frostings has a tendency to quickly become runny.

Frost your cooled cupcakes with the frosting and decorate with sliced strawberries or whatever else you prefer.

Happy baking!

Mid-week getaway

I’m at my country house at the moment but I just wanted to let you know that there will be two more blog posts uploaded later this week. I hope this looks OK, I’m sending this from my phone because I didn’t bring my computer with me.

Anyway, this morning I took the subway into the city
and had a french little breakfast at my favorite café. If you’re ever in Stockholm, make sure to visit café Saturnus. They serve the greatest breakfast on weekends and their cinnamon rolls are as big as your head. Literally. The coffee is amazing too. This morning I had a bit a craving for something sweet so I had an almond croissant and a cappuccino. The croissant was stuffed with almond paste and topped with slivered almonds and lots of icing sugar. It was divine.

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The picture does not do the croissant justice, it looked much better in real life.

Happy baking!