Sunday, 19 August 2012

princess tarta

 Most celebrated National dishes tend to come with a story, a tale of how the dish became staple amongst households throughout the country. The Princess cake better known as the Prinsesstarta is no exception. 
The story goes that three Swedish Princesses began taking cookery lessons from Jenny Åkerström, a famous Swedish cook, who incorporated the three Princesses favourite ingredients to create the much loved Princess Cake. The recipes vary from person to person to which I can only assume that each family has put their own stamp on this Swedish classic. With fresh berries, lashings of whipped cream, moist vanilla sponge and covered in green marzipan, what is there not to like? I too have made my own version of this classic, I do tend to veer away from the green food colouring, and opt for blue, but the colour of the marzipan in merely a formality, one that you do not have to adhere to should you wish to experiment. 
Every bite of this rich creamy cake takes me back to long summers in Sweden, grilling sausages in the forest, picking blueberries, foraging for wild chanterelle mushrooms and splashing endlessly in crystal clear lakes warmed by the summer sun. Princess cake brings back memories of great family get togethers. This truly is a celebration cake, one to be enjoyed by the whole family.  

For the sponge:
4 eggs
300g Caster sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Corn or potato flour
200g Plain flour
6 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. baking powder

For the filling:
600ml of double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of icing sugar

4 tbsp of really good quality raspberry Jam
250g of raspberries
250g of strawberries
9 tbsp of amaretto liqueur
9 tbsp of juice from a can of tinned fruit (in juice not syrup)
1 pack of Marzipan

Preheat the oven to 180°c and line a 24cm cake tin with butter and greaseproof paper. Sift the flours and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar, add the eggs and whisk, this will look very thick but do not panic. Add the vanilla, salt and add the boiling water, whisk immediately as you do not want to scramble the eggs. Whisk until combined but do not over work the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the tin and cook for 30-35 minutes, leave to cool.
Whisk the cream to soft peaks and add the sieved icing sugar and vanilla cream and lightly fold in. ( soft peaks is when the cream is firm enough to hold shape, but will dollop off a spoon easily)
Don’t panic that the cake is dry as it needs to be to soak up the lovely flavours of the fruit, juice and alcohol. Cut the cake into three, each sponge will be roughly 2cm thick, distribute three tablespoons of the amaretto and juice over each layer. Roughly crush the fruit with a fork, but don’t go mad because we still want some fruit pieces. Place the bottom sponge on you serving platter, spread with half of the jam, fruit and a third of the cream, top with the second sponge and repeat the jam, fruit and cream process. Top with the final sponge layer and smother the rest of the cream all over the top and sides of the cake as the marzipan will adhere to this.
Dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan in a large round enough to cover the entire cake. Lay the marzipan on top and mould to the sides, cut the excess away with a knife. 
I have simply places a doyley on top of the marzipan and dust with icing sugar, the finishing touch is just a few raspberries and wild flowers placed in the centre

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