A new month, a new challenge! Korena of Korena in the Kitchen was our May Daring Bakers’ host and she delighted us with this beautiful Swedish Prinsesstårta! For those who don’t know, a prinsesstårta is a traditional Swedish princess cake – layers of sponge cake separated by fruit preserves, custard, and a large dome of whipped cream, all coated with marzipan. Your standard fillings are vanilla custard and raspberry preserves. These green domed cakes (I’m not sure why the traditional coloring is green, but it is) are topped with marzipan roses, the finishing touch on this royal cake.
As mentioned above, there are 4 parts to this cake; sponge cake, vanilla custard, whipped cream, and fruit filling. I’ll start with recipe for the sponge cake, then move onto the custard.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Putting it together:
1. Combine the eggs and the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat at a medium-high speed until the eggs are tripled in volume (They should be light/fluffy and fall off the mixer in thick ribbons. This will take about 5 minutes).
2. Sift the dry ingredients over the eggs.
3. Using a balloon whisk gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture (the goal here is to keep as much air in the eggs as possible).
4. Fill cupcake liners approximately 2/3 of the way with batter, and back at 350 for approximately 30 minutes. The cakes are done when they are golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.
If you want to do a full sized cake make sure you butter the pan and line it with parchment paper. Bake a full cake for 40 minutes.
1 cup cream
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the cream until smooth.
2. Scald the remaining half cup of cream.
3. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture – whisk CONSTANTLY. If the eggs heat up to much they’ll cook and you’ll have lumps of cooked egg in your custard.
4. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils (This gets rid of the starch tastes and thickens the custard). Whisk in the vanilla – taste the mixture here, I wanted more vanilla in mine, you may as well.
If your custard curdles (like mine did), don’t panic. Keep whisking, remove from the heat, and whisk in additional cream until the mixture is smooth.
Just dump some cream in a bowl and go to town. Sweeten to taste.
When planning out how to attack this cake, I had some trouble deciding on a flavor profile. I wanted fresh summery flavors, so I was thinking of adding lemon to the sponge cake, and using blackberry preserves for the fruit layer. However, I sort of forgot to flavor the sponge, so that idea got scrapped. When I was wandering around the store looking for inspiration, I found two things, fresh raspberries were on sale, and the store was advertising a wide variety of tropical drink mixes. Fruity drinks remind me of summer, so I grabbed some crushed pineapple and shredded coconut for a tropical inspired cake, and the fresh raspberries for a traditional one, then headed home to get decorating.
To prep the cupcakes I sliced off the tops, then trimmed off the bottom (mine got a little overcooked and I didn’t want any crunchy sections) and finally, sliced each cupcake into thirds. The traditional construction of this cake is a layer of cake, a layer of fruit, a layer of custard, a layer of cake, more custard, then a giant dome of whipped cream with a final layer of cake laid very gently over the top and tucked into the whipped cream (I’ve included the cross-sectional diagram below for those who get confused by this list). For the cupcake size, I found that this final layer of cake made it really hard to get the right shape so I omitted it on a lot of them.
Once you’ve got the layers, you ice the whole thing with a thin layer of whipped cream, and coat it in marzipan. (Confession, I used fondant because it’s cheaper. I was a little nervous because it was my first time working with fondant, but it wasn’t to bad, just use lots of powdered sugar to keep it from sticking and don’t roll it to thin.) I decided to coat the raspberry ones in green fondant (keeping it traditional), but coated the pineapple ones in white to play up the coconut which I rolled them in. Here’s some pictures of my final products – they were well received by the dance group I shared them with.