[Marie Land Andersen | Contributing Writer]
The Swedish Princess Torta cake originated in a recipe book named The Princesses New Cook Book, in 1948. The cake was originally named “The Green Torta”, but was later re-named the Princess Torta, supposedly because all of the princesses expressed a particular fondness for the cake.
You might know of this cake already, if you watched the 2014 season of The Great British Bake Off where it featured in a technical challenge.
For the marzipan:
500 grams of ground almonds
500 grams of powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
4 egg whites
Lime green food colouring paste or gel
For the sponge:
150 grams of caster sugar
150 grams of plain flour or potato flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
Milk for light soaking
300ml of whipping or double cream
150ml of raspberry jam (1 average sized jar will do)
300ml of custard or crème patisserie
For the marzipan:
Add the ground almonds and powdered sugar together in a bowl and mix using your hands, until it is roughly well combined.
Make a pit in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the egg whites in, then combine using your hands.
Once the paste is completely even, and has become a dough with no dry ingredients that you can feel with your hands or see, wrap the dough in cling film, or put in a plastic bag, and place in the fridge. Leave for at least 3 hours, so the almonds are softened/
For the sponge:
Pre-heat the oven to a 160 degrees.
Add the eggs and the sugar together in a mixing bowl and with an electric whisk or mixer, beat together for approximately 8 minutes on full speed, or until the egg mixture has turned a very, very pale shade of yellow – in fact more off-white or light beige, almost white, and TRIPLED in volume. This process is what will give you a light and airy sponge.
Sift the flour and baking powder in, a little at a time, and use a spatula to fold the flour in using rotary movements. Don’t whisk or the eggs will lose their air and you’ll get a flat sponge.
Once combined, pour into a 20cm tin that is lightly greased with butter and is lined with a baking sheet or greaseproof paper at the bottom.
Cook for 40 minutes, remove and let it cool on a wire rack or somewhere heatproof before attempting to remove the tin.
Putting it all together:
Take the marzipan out of the fridge and divide the mixture in half. Put one half in the fridge.
Place the other half in a bowl/ baking sheet on a flat surface, and add the food colouring, a little at a time.
Mix by kneading and add more food colouring to taste.
Put in a fresh cling film wrap and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
Once the sponge is cooled completely, pour all the whipping cream into a mixing bowl and whisk until slightly stiff.Set aside.
Take the marzipan out of the fridge and place between two baking sheets on a flat surface. Dust the bottom sheet with powdered sugar, and some on the surface of the marzipan, cover with the other baking sheet and using a rolling pin or equivalent to roll out the dough.
Keep changing the rolling direction and every so often take off the top baking sheet and dust with more sugar, then turn the whole thing on its head and dust with some more icing sugar.
Repeat process until the dough is about half a centimetre.
Use a large knife to divide the sponge into two layers and gently set one aside.
Evenly drizzle a small amount of milk onto the sponge for soaking.
Spread half the raspberry jam evenly across the whole surface. Add half the custard or equivalent.
Finally, add half the whipped cream.
Place the second layer on top and repeat the process with the rest of the ingredients.
Try and create a slight dome shape using the whipping cream.
Finally, remove the top baking sheet from the marzipan and gently, keeping the palm of your hand in the middle of the marzipan lid, on the side that is still covered with baking sheet, flip it over the cake so the middle, where your palm is, rests at the middle top of the cake.
Remove the baking sheet gently. Use a pizza cutter to trim off the excess marzipan around the sides.
And there you go, a Swedish princess cake has been made! It keeps in the refrigerator for 4-7 days
Decorate your cake:
Use some of the leftover marzipan to make a little red or pink rose to put on the top as a decoration if you like, to truly make it a classic Swedish Princess Cake.
Add the food colouring in very small amounts, to gently colour the paste, using your hands as before.
Leave to cool and once cooled completely, roll out in the same fashion you did the marzipan lid.
Using a 2 – 3 cm wide cookie cutter, or alternatively just a knife to cut out rounds that measure 2-3 cm in diameter, create several circles, 8 should suffice.
Take the first one and create the middle of the rose by just gently rolling it together.
Add the petals one at a time, folding around the middle, and around each other, like a real rose would look. This takes a little practice but isn’t very tricky. Just make sure the marzipan is cold it helps if you rinse your hands in cold water, to avoid heating the marzipan. The marzipan will not be affected by heat in flavour or quality, but becomes slightly frail to work with and will melt in your hands if exposed to body heat for longer periods.
Place it on top using a little powdered sugar combined with egg white or water, just to create a sticky liquid, and dust the whole cake with powdered sugar for an elegant finish.
[All images by Marie Land Andersen for Trident Media]
If you’ve made a Swedish Princess Torta cake send us your pictures @TridentMediaUK!