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!