Is everyone ready for chametz yet? I AM. Over the weekend I actually went out and bought a box of KFP chocolate cake. It wasn’t good.
This Swedish Princess Cake is actually a really great recipe to break the leaven fast with, because you can still use some things you may have leftover from Passover like potato starch and matzo meal. Also, if you haven’t eaten all the charoset yet, you can definitely substitute it for the jam. Confession, I had never worked with a marzipan covering before, so it didn’t come out the smoothest I’ve ever seen, but not bad for a first time.
Ironically enough, “Princess Cake” seems to be a favorite of lots of men I know. I first heard about it from T.O., the manager at a bakery where I used to work. He had a thing for marzipan and whipped cream, so Princess Cake was the only cake that would do for his special occasions.
Then just the other week, I met a guy who found out I make cakes and asked if I knew how to make Princess Cake – it was his dad’s favorite. I told him I had never made it before, but it sounded like a good challenge. You can see the marzipan in the picture above. Getting the marzipan that thin and the right color will take a lot of upper body strength, but don’t worry. I believe in you. You can do it.
For the jam, I used some my mother had made and canned months ago. It was a little thinner than jam you would buy at the grocery store, but that was a benefit. The thin jam was soaked up by the sponge cake beautifully. I should also note here that I felt this recipe did not provide enough custard for the cake.
Look at the mound of whipped cream, right? Whipped cream is one of my favorite things in the world. And placing marzipan overtop this oddly-constructed cake was one of the scariest things in the world, but it all worked out with some nips and tucks.
I ended up covering the cake with Star of David cut-outs, because those were the only cookie cutters I had. It was either that or dreidels, which would have totally been the wrong holiday. When I showed up at services with the Princess Cake, it was a bit serendipitous. It happened to be a dear friend’s birthday. D.B., a man of course, told me it was the best cake he ever had. One more man for the Princess Cake, lol!
Recipe adapted from Semiswede:
- • 4 eggs
- • 1 cup sugar
- • 1/2 cup flour
- • 1/2 cup potato starch flour
- • 1 teaspoon baking powder
- • Matzo Meal
- • 1 cup heavy cream
- • 4 egg yolks
- • 3 tablespoons potato starch flour or 2 tablespoons corn starch
- • 2 tablespoons sugar
- • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- • 1 vanilla bean
- • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped
- • 10 ounces marzipan
- • green and yellow food coloring
- • powdered sugar for dusting
- • Whatever sort of marzipan garnish you would like to place on top (a flower is traditional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Thoroughly butter a 8? x 2? round baking pan. Toss in enough matzo meal to cover the bottom and sides of the pan and shake them around to ensure all surfaces are covered (the same as you would typically do with flour when baking a cake, you are just using matzo meal instead).
- Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on high speed until light colored and fluffy.
- Blend the flour and baking powder together and carefully fold them into the egg and sugar mixture until thoroughly blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in the lower portion of the oven for about 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool slightly in the pan before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.
- Place the cream, egg yolks, potato flour, and sugar in a small saucepan and whisk together (do not use a steel whisk as it can turn the custard grayish).
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator until cool (usually a couple hours)
- If cooking the custard with potato starch flour you need to use the custard shortly after you make it. If using corn starch the custard can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
- Knead the marzipan with your hands to soften it up and add the green and yellow food coloring sparingly until you have achieved a bright, spring green.
- Flatten the marzipan into a disk.
- Place it between two pieces of parchment paper or on a smooth surface dusted with powdered sugar and roll it into a thin, even circle ideally about 1/32? thick but do the best you can to thin it out. Keep in mind the circle has to be large enough to cover the entire cake.
- You can dust the marzipan and work surface with powdered sugar if need be to prevent sticking.
- Once the sponge cake has cooled completely, slice it into three layers keeping the top layer a bit thinner than the others.
- Start to assemble the prinsesstårta by spreading a thin layer of jam (or charoset!) onto the bottom layer of the sponge cake.
- Add a generous layer of vanilla custard by either piping or spreading it over the jam.
- Add the next layer of sponge cake and another generous layer of vanilla custard.
- Whip the 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff and pile a generous, fluffy mound onto the last custard layer.
- Add the final layer of sponge cake and gently form it into a dome shape over the cream being careful not to squish too much cream out of the sides.
- Spread a thin layer of cream over the top to even out and seal the surface.
- Gently lay the thin marzipan sheet over the top of the cake and use your hands to help define the shape.
- Trim the excess marzipan from the bottom of the cake by using a pizza or pastry wheel or a very sharp knife.
- Dust the top with sifted powdered sugar (you can use a tea strainer) and garnish with your marzipan decoration.
- The cake needs to be refrigerated until serving time and any leftovers need to be refrigerated as well.