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Swedish Princess Cake

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Bread, pizzas, rolls, and yeasted pies

Creamy desserts (custards, mousses, etc.)

Pancakes and waffles, crpes and blinis

Quiches, savory tarts, and strudels

This classic Swedish cake was a birthday present to my very dear friends daughter. She liked it living back in Europe during her delicate childhood years (the girl is 17 now and what a beauty she is). Traditionally, the cake composed of three layers of gnoise filled with a bit of strawberry (sometimes, raspberry) jam, pastry cream, and topped (more, than generously) with whipped cream. This quite loose construction is wrapped in pale-green marzipan (nobody knows why its green). The cake doesnt last. The marzipan simply melts from the direct contact with cream. And I desperately needed this cake to spend a night in a fridge. Looking for the solution, I found Bo Fribergs advice to spread a layer of buttercream over the rolled marzipan. How does it sound to you? I didnt find his tip very much appealing. Instead, I baked an extra gnoise sheet, cut it into wedges, and lined a bowl. Then I proceeded with an upside-down assembly. Once unmolded, the cake was covered with a thin layer of buttercream. And after a couple of hours in the fridge, it was ready to be covered with marzipan. This extra work might be unnecessary if you plan to serve the cake the same day you make it. If this is a case, assemble the cake as its usually done, freeze it briefly, then wrap in marzipan. Unfortunately, I cant show you a slice. But I sketched some diagram below to explain my way of assembling this cake.

Makes one large dome-shaped cake, about 16 servings

For the gnoise (the gnoise recipe is adapted from Paul Bugat):

You will need two jelly-roll pans: one is a 1318-inches (half-sheet pan) and another one is a 1015-inches.

Bake the gnoise sheets in batches and mix the batter, one batch at a time (unless you operate a commercial high-capacity stand mixer ).

Combine the almond paste and the most of the icing sugar (leave about a scant 1 cup aside it will be used for kneading later) in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse several times until fine crumbs form. Add the corn syrup and keep pulsing until large clumps are formed. Transfer the marzipan onto a silicone mat, dusted lightly with the icing sugar, and knead the marzipan, adding more of the remaining icing sugar, until a pliable and not oily mass forms. Pinch off a small portion for the rose (if you wish). Knead in the food color (pastel green for the most of the marzipan and pink for the small portion (or leave it uncolored; an ivory rose looks fabulous on the pale-green)). Wrap tightly in several layers of plastic. Store away from a daylight.

Making the marzipan rose is not much different from the molding it from thechocolate plastic. Let the formed rose dry undisturbed.

The method for both gnoise sheets is the same.

Lightly brush the pans with melted butter, line with parchment paper, then butter the paper. Set aside.

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F.

Sift the flour and cornstarch together three times; return to the sifter and set aside.

In a bowl of your electric mixer, using a whisk, combine the eggs, sugar, and salt thoroughly. Place the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs to lukewarm (about 105F). Remove the bowl from the pan; leave the skillet on the stove but turn off the heat. With an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture at medium-high speed until it has cooled, tripled in volume, thickened and become almost white in color, about 5 minutes in a heavy-duty mixer or longer with a less powerful mixer.

Meanwhile, place the clarified butter and vanilla extract into a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in the skillet of hot water, with the burner off, to keep it warm.

Sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the mixture-quickly but gently-until combined. Fold in half the remaining flour, then fold in the rest. Remove the warm butter mixture from the skillet. Scoop about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl with the butter and fold together until completely combined. Use the large rubber spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the remaining batter. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with a large offset spatula.

Bake until the gnoise is lightly browned but not crusty, about 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and loosen the edges of the gnoise from the parchment using a paring knife. Slide the gnoise off the baking sheet onto a wire rack. Cool slightly, cover the cake with a sheet of parchment paper, place a rack over the parchment and turn the cake upside down. Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use to cover the cake. Place another rack on the cake and turn the cake again, remove the parchment from the top, and cool completely.

Its the best to bake the gnoise the same day you plan to assemble the cake; the sheets are thin and will dry out quickly.

In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over the medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to the boil. Cool. Right before using, stir in the kirsch.

Can be made several days in advance.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla bean (scrape the seeds into the milk) to the boil over the medium heat. Off the heat, cover and let steep for an hour.

Return the vanilla-infused milk to the medium heat. Reheat the milk once again to the boiling point. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Once the milk has reached the boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.

Pour the yolk-milk mixture back into the saucepan and place the pan over the medium heat. Whisk vigorously and continuously until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat). The pastry cream should be thick and the cornstarch taste should be all gone. Strain the pastry cream into a small bowl set into the ice-water bath to stop the cooking process.

Continue stirring the mixture at this point so it remains smooth. Once the cream has reached the temperature of 140F remove it from the ice-water bath and stir in the butter in two additions.

Let the cream cool to 98F. Meanwhile, whip ½ cup of the whipping cream to soft peaks (dont overbeat; its important) and set aside. Soften the leaf of the gelatin in cold water for a couple of minutes, then melt it in a microwave (about 15 seconds on high) or in hot water bath. Whisk about ½ cup of the pastry cream into the melted gelatin, then whisk the cream-gelatin mixture back into the rest of the pastry cream. Cool to about 85F (the mixture shouldnt feel warm anymore). Fold about a quarter of the softly whipped cream into the pastry cream, then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly over the surface of the cream. Refrigerate at least for 4 hours, better overnight.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a wide skillet. Turn the burner off . In a bowl of a stand mixer, lightly whisk the egg whites, sugar, and salt together, then set the bowl in the hot water. Whisk until the egg-white mixture is hot to the touch and an instant read thermometer reads 140F. You might need to return the skillet to the lowest heat to reach the desired temperature of the egg whites. It will take about 8 minutes.

Place the bowl with the egg whites to the stand mixer base and whip with a wire attachment onmedium-highspeed until double in volume and cool; the meringue should not move around in the bowl when you are finished. It takes another 6 to 8 minutes.

Replace the wire whisk onto the paddle.Gradually, 2 tbsp at a time, beat in the softened butter atmedium-medium/highspeed. Add the next portion of the butter after the previous portion has been incorporated. When all of the butter has been added, slowly increase the mixers speed tomedium-highand continue beating the buttercream until the mixture begins to look light and fluffy. It might take up to 10 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Reduce the speed tolow.Add the vanilla extract and kirsch, and continue to beat onlowspeed for a minute. Increase the speed tomedium-highand beat again for an additional minute until the cream is light and fluffy.

The buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (bring to room temperature and beat again until light before using) or frozen for up to 3 months, in an air-tight container. But I prefer to use it right away.

Line a bowl (5 to 6 cups capacity; 8-inch in diameter) with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Cut out two 8-inch circles from the 1318-inches gnoise sheet, and cut out another 8-inch circle from the 1015 gnoise sheet. Cut the remaining gnoise into wedges and fit them tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared bowl (like for Italian zuccotto) and lightly soak with the kirsch sugar syrup.

Whip 2 ½ cups of the whipping cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form, but dont overbeat. Measure out a scant cup of the whipped cream and set aside. Transfer the rest of the cream into the gnoise-lined bowl, smooth the surface of the cream. Take one of the total three gnoise circles (trim it if its necessary to fit), brush lightly with the soaking syrup and place, soaked side down, over the layer of the whipped cream. Brush with the soaking syrup again. Spread the chilled pastry cream filling over the gnoise layer. Take a second gnoise circle, brush with the syrup and invert, soaked side down, over the pastry cream. Brush with the syrup and spread the reserved scant cup of the whipped cream over. Now take the last gnoise circle, moisten it lightly with the syrup and gently spread with the strawberry jam. Carefully invert this layer, jam side down, over the cake. Place a cake cardboard over, cover with plastic and refrigerate at least for two hours and up to a night.

Once unmolded, the cake will be difficult to move, so choose your serving platter now. Remove the cake in the bowl from the refrigerator, unwrap. Put a small dab of the buttercream onto the cake cardboard to secure the cake to the serving platter. Place the serving platter over the cake and carefully invert. Unmold. Lightly moisten the top of the cake with the syrup and spread a thin layer of the buttercream over the sides and the top of the cake. You might have some buttercream left over; freeze it for later use. Refrigerate the cake for two hours to firm up.

On the icing sugar-dusted surface, roll the marzipan to 1/8-inch thickness and drape over the cake. Smooth the surface, trim the excess. Glue the marzipan rose with a small amount of the buttercream or royal icing to the top of the cake. Refrigerate until serving time.

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I just wanted to let you know, that Ive used your exact recipe for over 6 years! Several times a year I make this cake for birthdays and I get so many compliments for it!

This has been so long overdue, but thank you sooooo much for posting this recipe! Its truly amazing!

Great cake recipe very detailed and precise.. also challenging My friend and I worked on it yesterday for 10 hours I think folding the flour to the genoise was the hardest challenge I guess it needs practice

1. What is the role of the clarified butter and is there a substitute?

2. Would you recommend adding some gelatin to the whipped cream to firm it up?

Hello I completely adore your cake! I am a huge swedish princess cake fan and my son is as well so I am going to attempt to make the above cake for his 4th birthday in July. I will have to boy it up a bit by making a sonic the hedgehog out of the almond paste to drape over the top (the logistics I am not quite solid on yet). All that being said I have a few questions about the cake I hoped you could answer possible saving me from a practice cake having to be make.

Q1-As it is a party for 4 year olds i must ask if the kirsch leaves a noticeable alcohol flavor?

Q2-Can I completely assemble this cake the night before almond paste and all?

Q3-My commute to the birthday location is 1.5 hours can this cake transport without sinking?

Any and all extra information that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Alina, Im glad you liked it! Thank you very much for your feedback!

I baked this exact cake using this recipe a few months ago. It took me 8 hrs in the kitchen to whip everything up, and let me tell you the cake was to die for!

However, I did make a couple of changes; I used fondant instead of almond paste and amaretto instead of kirsch.

Great recipe and thank you for posting it!

Comes out delicious but the way the recipe is written here it is a major hassle to create a shopping list. Ingredients are listed by each element of the cake and sometimes twice in a single element. What a pain.

Challenging but delicious. Maybe the greatest tasting cake in the history of everything.

Marilyn, you cut a cake circle into wedges as you cut a pizza. Then you fit these wedges into a round bowl with the points in the center. Hope it helps.

Hi can you explain a bit further about the wedges. Im having a hard time visualizing how to do this.

Just made this recipe for my wifes birthday.

It was a lot of work but it was worth it. She is a Swedish Princess Cake connoisseur. The response I got, This is the best cake Ive ever eaten. Home run.

Word of warning. Not having enough room in your kitchen and the proper equipment could double your making time.

Lillemor, thank you. Thats an interesting story. I wish I would have been found this way one day ))

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Bread, pizzas, rolls, and yeasted pies

Creamy desserts (custards, mousses, etc.)

Pancakes and waffles, crpes and blinis

Quiches, savory tarts, and strudels

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