May 3, 2016

Mini princess cakes | Miniprinsesstårtor




Princess cake has been on my to-do list for a while now. Since last summer I think, but I never got around to making one. I've eaten so many slices of princess cake in my life and I figured it was high time to make my own. Princess cake is one of the most typical Swedish pastries, and I've been very into making Swedish pastries lately. I know there is always some debate as to whether a real princess cake should contain raspberry jam or not. Nowadays they usually always do, as far as I know.  I chose to go with raspberry cream instead of jam, because why not? Raspberries are delicious. As they're not really in season right now, I went for frozen ones.
And if I can, I always go for mini format. It does take a bit longer but aren't they adorable? Totally worth it in my opinion, to be able to serve individual little cakes for your guests.
And what's not to like? A light sponge, pastry cream, raspberry cream with a hint of lemon, more whipped cream and marzipan. They are actually lighter than you would think despite all that cream, and they aren't overly sweet. Delicious.









MINI PRINCESS CAKES
Makes 10 small cakes

Notes on this recipe
-Sponge cakes can be prepared 1-2 days in advance as long as they are stored in airtight containers, pastry cream can be made one day in advance. The finished cakes taste best the first two days.
-Don't use the marzipan that you buy already rolled out, it's way too stiff and thick to cover these tiny cakes. Believe me, I tried (so much for being lazy..)!
-Marzipan tends to dry out quickly, if this happens, wet your hands ever so slightly with some water and knead until smooth again. 
-It can be difficult to roll out all of the marzipan at once, especially to get the thickness even. My advice is to roll out half the marzipan, cover 5 cakes, and then do the rest. 


Ingredients
Sponge cakes
3 tbsp + 1 tsp (30 g) all purpose flour
3 tbsp + 1 tsp (40 g) potato starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (90 g) granulated sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla powder

Pastry cream
(makes 1 cup, a bit more than you need)
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1/2 vanilla bean
3 tbsp (45 g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (17 g) cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 egg yolk

Raspberry cream
75 g raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
finely grated zest from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream

Topping
1 2/3 cup (400 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tsp granulated sugar

350 g marzipan
green food coloring, if desired
powdered sugar, for dusting


Directions
Sponge cakes
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°C). Prepare a cupcake pan with 10 cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, potato starch, baking powder and salt with a fork (to get rid of any lumps).
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 2-3 minutes.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients and stir until batter is smooth.
5. Divide the batter between the 10 cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Pastry cream
1. Put milk in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add seeds and bean to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg and egg yolk. Slowly whisk in half of the hot milk to temper the eggs. Pour everything back into the saucepan and remove the vanilla bean.
3. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture becomes very thick. Put the saucepan in a cold water bath, stirring every now and then to prevent a skin from forming. When mixture is cool, pour into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the cream. Put bowl in the fridge.

Raspberry cream
1. In a bowl, mash the raspberries with sugar and lemon zest. Set aside about 2 tbsp of the mixture for brushing the cakes.
2. In a medium bowl, beat 1/4 cup cream until stiff peaks form. Add the raspberry mixture (not the reserved 2 tbsp) and stir until smooth.

Assembly
1. Remove the cupcake liners from the cupcakes. Cut each cupcake into three layers.
2. Put the widest layers (the "top" of the cupcake) on small plates or a cutting board. Pipe or spread a layer of pastry cream onto the first cake layers. Put the second layers on top and brush with the reserved raspberry mixture. Pipe or spread a layer of the raspberry cream over. Put the last layers on top.
3. Beat 1 2/3 cups cream with 2 tsp sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread a layer of cream over the cakes. Put the cakes in the fridge while you prepare the marzipan.
4. Knead the marzipan with a tiny amount of green food coloring, if desired. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on your work surface to prevent the marzipan from sticking to it.
5. Roll the marzipan out very thinly, about 2 mm thick. Cut out rounds large enough to cover the whole cake, my rounds were approximately 14 cm (5.5 inches) across. Drape the marzipan over the cakes and smooth out any wrinkles with your hands. Cut off excess marzipan around the edges. Dust with powdered sugar and decorate with fresh roses or marzipan roses. Store cakes in the fridge.





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April 19, 2016

Rhubarb crumble




The most difficult thing about putting this post together was coming up with a name for this... well, crumble I guess? But it isn't really a crumble either. It's like a hybrid of a crumble, a cake and a chewy cookie. Or is it a crisp? Can someone please tell me what the difference between a crisp and a crumble is? For me, a crumble has actual crumbles on top, whilst this batter is more like a runny cake batter... Whatever it is, the caramelized topping is crunchy and chewy and pairs incredibly well with the tart rhubarb underneath. I'm so happy the first rhubarb is finally popping out of the ground! Now I'm just waiting for the strawberries as well. 
If you've been following this blog for a while you probably know that I love pairing berries and rhubarb with cardamom. Ok, I love anything with cardamom. Really. And I love serving things with vanilla ice cream. All good.
I also finally got the chance to test my handcrafted pie server from Nershi woodworks. Isn't it just beautiful?

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March 23, 2016

Butterkaka - cinnamon bun cake with almond paste and vanilla custard




I've come to realize that the Swedish classics are grossly underestimated, in my book at least. I mean, the cinnamon bun and the semla are definitely on my top ten list of favorite pastries. Maybe even my top five list. So I'm kind of working my way through the classics and thoroughly enjoying it.
If you're a fan of cinnamon buns (and my guess is that you are), you will looove this recipe. It's exactly like cinnamon buns except filled with homemade almond paste (the classic recipe uses the "regular" cinnamon bun filling though) and vanilla custard.
And I know that everyone who ever made this recipe in Sweden makes a joke about it. 'Butter' means grumpy in Swedish. Tasting this will not make you grumpy. Quite the opposite. On the other hand, Swedish is kind of a funny language. We use the same word for 'married' as we do for 'poison' ('gift'). Strange. And yes, I am aware of the fact that 'kaka' means something completely different in certain languages.. In Swedish it simply means cookie or cake. Today's Swedish lesson. But I digress.

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February 25, 2016

Blood orange galette with frangipane and an almond crust



I see blood oranges (even blood clementines!) everywhere these days and I knew some of them were coming home with me. I wasn't sure how to tell if they are actually red inside though (sometimes the skins are a bit darker but not always!)? Because I wanted red ones, yes, I'm very superficial that way. I only managed to grab a couple though and the rest were orange inside. Oh well.

I must say I had my doubts about baking blood oranges like this in a galette. But I can happily report that they turned out really, really delicious. I thought they would become dry and dull, but quite the opposite. Especially together with my favorite flaky almond crust and the creamy, sweet frangipane filling underneath. It most certainly doesn't get better than that. Ok, maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I was never really a huge fan of pies but the past few months have really turned me around and made me into the biggest pie fan! Seriously, there is nothing more delicous or satisfying to bake than a pie. Can you believe I just said that? I think you will find out why very soon..





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February 17, 2016

Toscakaka - Swedish almond caramel cake





As a Swede who bakes a lot, what I'm about to say next is a bit embarrassing.
I have never baked a toscakaka before.
Why, you wonder? I have no idea.
But now, I must say I'm very glad I finally did. Better late than never, right?
Not only is each slice a buttery, moist, fluffy, crunchy, caramelly piece of heaven, it's also incredibly easy to make.

I thought I'd come back (as you may have noticed, I haven't blogged in quite a while) with something really fancy, like a crazy layer cake or something, but I quickly realized that was way too ambitious for the state I'm in (Exhausted! Uninspired!).
Cause it's kind of hard to get back, so I thought I'd make something very easy without compromising flavor. It worked out well, I must say. I think I happily announced finishing my new book about four months ago? Forget I even said that. Still working on it!
While I'm working on finishing that book, you go right ahead and make this cake. Ok?


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December 13, 2015

Lussekatter - Buttermilk saffron buns (recipe in English and Swedish)



I enjoy Christmas baking so much, but this year, there hasn't really been much time for it. So far.
These are a must for me though, no matter how busy I am, I always find the time to make these and pop them in my freezer. I actually just realized there are only two left in there.. I need to make another batch. I generally find most types of Christmas candy too sweet anyway, I mean I adore caramels but I just can't handle the sweetness. These Lussekatter though, are just perfectly sweet. I adore them.


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