Monday, February 9, 2015

Swedish Princess Cake (Prinsesstarta)

Swedish Princess Cake

        My kids and I have been watching the Great British Baking Show .  We love it.  I love baking so its so interesting to watch.  I highly recommend it.  Each episode challenges the bakers to make something extraordinary so of course I have had to try some of them myself.   We have made biscuits,Tiramisu, Ciabatta bread, and Florentines.  Its been fun.  My most recent endeavor was the Swedish Princess Cake.

    The only problem with the recipes on the Great British Baking show is they use the metric system and it just takes forever to convert metric.  So I finally found an American blogger who made this and used her recipe with a few adjustments.    

     There are many layers to this cake.  

It goes from top to bottom:
       Sponge Cake
       Whipped Cream
        Sponge Cake
        Raspberry Jam
       Sponge Cake

    So the first thing we'll make is the green top which is made of marzipan.  You can buy marzipan or you can make it.  I chose to make it.

Here's the recipe by Emeril Lagasse:

   8 ounces almond paste (You can find this in the baking isle at most grocery stores.  Near the pie filling.)
   1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
   4 Tbsp. corn syrup
   food coloring

     In an electric mixer beat the almond paste until it breaks apart into crumbs.  Mine was kind of sticky so it wasn't perfect and stuck to the beaters, but then add 1 cup of the powdered sugar slowly so it doesn't fly all over.  This will help the almond paste break up more.  Then add the corn syrup and add the rest of the powdered sugar until it all comes together to your liking.  At this point I took a small ball out of the mixer and added yellow food coloring for the rose on top of the cake.  It should have been pink, but I was out of red food coloring.  Then add green food coloring to the rest of the marzipan.  
    Wrap up the marzipan balls in plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
   Now make the custard.  If I did this over again I would double the custard recipe and use more in the cake.  It was the best part.

    4 large egg yolks 
     2 Tbsp. cornstarch
     2 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
     1 cup heavy cream, divided
     1 cut open and scraped vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla

    Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream together.  Then heat up the other 1/2 cup of cream in a saucepan with the vanilla bean.  Whisk the entire time until it just boils.  Take out the vanilla bean and slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture.  If you do it too fast or don't whisk hard enough you will cook the eggs into scrambled eggs which will not taste good.  
   Poor this back into the saucepan and cook on low heat whisking the entire time until it comes to a boil and thickens up.  You'll know when this happens.  If its starts to curdle (become lumpy) take it off the heat and whisk like crazy!  If you didn't have a vanilla bean add the 1 tsp. of vanilla now.  Cover and let this cool off in the fridge for a while.
    Next make the Sponge Cake.  I had to make this twice.  It was really tricky to get it to rise properly.  

   4 eggs at room temperature (actually important to do this)
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup cornstarch 
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/8 tsp. salt
    3 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter.

     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 inch round pan and then dust with flour.  In an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar.  This takes about five minutes.  You want them to look pale yellow and form thick ribbons.  You can over beat them so watch them carefully.  Meanwhile mix the dry ingredients together in another bowl.   When the eggs are beaten to perfection slowly fold in the dry ingredients and then the butter.  Do not over mix and lose all the air that you beat into the eggs!
Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.  Let it cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove the sides of the pan.  Then let it cool the rest of the way.  Cut your sponge cake into three equal circles.

Whipped Cream:
Clean your bowl and beat 2 cups of whipped cream until stiff peaks form and add 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Now you are ready to assemble your cake.  

Place one circle of sponge cake on a serving plate.

Spread the raspberry jam on top of this and then 1/2 of the custard.
Place another piece of sponge cake on top and add the rest of the custard.
Place a 1/2 cup of the whipped cream on top of the custard and then the last piece of cake.  You might want to shave this piece into a slight dome.  Top this with the remaining whipped cream and form the whipped cream into a dome.
Roll out the green marzipan on a piece of parchment paper.  If it is too sticky use some powdered sugar to help it not stick to the rolling pin.  Carefully roll the thin circle onto the rolling pin and then onto the cake.  Pinch and press the marzipan so it is smooth on the cake.  Then shave off the excess.  

For the rose roll into in a cylinder shape with your hands and then roll it out with a rolling pin until it forms a long strip.  Carefully roll it up into a flour leaving the petals loose on top and the bottom tight.  Place this on top.  You can also make leaves.

Melt some chocolate and add 2 Tbsp. cream.  Pipe that on top and around the edges if you desire.  

Then cut it open and enjoy.  Chill any left overs in the fridge.

Valentine Mail Boxes

I decided to make my kids mail boxes to put their valentine goodies in from my husband and I.  I just thought it would be fun.  

 I just took some cardstock and decorated one sheet for each kid.
 Then I cut another piece in half and then lined it up with the top sheet and cut off a little on one end so it would match up.
 Then I taped the 8x10 sheet to the 1/2 piece.

 Then I traced this "box" on another sheet and cut out to pieces to form the end and the door.  Then I added a little flag.

Hopefully they like them!

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Butter cream Filling

Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Butter Cream

My kids and I have fun looking through recipes and coming up with things we want to try.  Of course this month we want everything heart shaped.

1 cup (2 sticks butter at room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. milk
5 Tbsp. cocoa powder (optional)

For the Filling:
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
a dash of raspberry jello powder
a dash of milk

    For the cookies preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Line two pans with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Beat the butter until creamy and add the sugar.  Add flour and cocoa powder if you are making chocolate cookies.  Add the vanilla and milk until the dough comes together.  Chill the dough in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.  Then roll out the dough and cut into heart shapes.

   Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Do not over cook!

   For the filling, beat the butter and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, raspberry jello powder, and enough milk to form a thick frosting.

   When the cookies are cool spread frosting in the middle and put another cookie on top.