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Recipe: Prinsesstårta – Swedish Princess Cake

August 2, 2018 | Leave a comment

Prinsesstårta - Swedish Princess Cake

By popular demand, we are now posting the princess cake recipe from Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge – with a few added hints and tips for making the perfect cake. It’s not the easiest cake in the world to make, let’s be honest. But you can do it! You just need some patience and a bit of guidance… And soon you’ll have the perfect Fika cake for your afternoon tea party – and what a beautiful centre piece it is on the table. 


The cake stems from the royal household in Sweden. Back in the 1940’s when the 3 princesses were young, the Home Economist was teaching them how to cook and bake. This cake was called Green Cake and was published in the book (The 3 Princesses’ cookbook) as The Green Cake but eventually it earned the name Princess Cake as popularity grew – for obvious reasons. 

There are a few secrets to making a good Princess cake – the first is to get the ratio right of base, cream and pastry cream and marzipan. Too much of either and it is just a bit sickly. The second thing is perfecting the marzipan – it is tricky. It may take a few attempts to be able to pull the marzipan around soft whipped cream without making a mess of it – here, patience, cold clean fingers and perseverance is key. We’ve added some cheat’s steps along the way if you want to make things easier for yourself. In fact, lots of people use a few cheat steps along the way - and we think this is perfectly fine. If you use all the cheat’s steps, you can actually whip up a princess cake in 15 minutes from start to finish – and one that still tastes good and will look great. 

The original recipe can be found in the book Fika & Hygge, by Bronte Aurell, published by Ryland Peters and Small, photography by Peter Cassidy.

Ingredients

You need:

  • 3 layer cake bases
  • 1 x portion of pastry cream around 600g
  • 600 ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 150 g raspberry jam
  • 200 g light green covering marzipan
  • pink and green modelling icing for flowers and leaves decorations
  • Piping bag spatula, cake stand.
  • Tip: Depending on your schedule you might find it best to make the pastry cream first so it can cool and have time to set whilst you get on with the cake layers - but this is up to you.

Layer Cake Bases

In our book we do not use baking powder – which is a genoise sponge – but if you are a little unsure add the mentioned 1 tsp baking powder and your rise is pretty much guaranteed. For more experienced bakers, try without (and you avoid the baking powder slight aftertaste and get a lighter result).

  • 25 g butter melted and set aside
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 g plain flour
  • optional 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract or seeds from ½ pod
  • 3 baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper (and ideally a few puffs of non-stick spray).

Pastry Cream

  • Makes 600g gram approx.
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod seeds scraped out
  • 1 whole egg plus one egg yolk
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 30 g cornflour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 25 g butter

Make your own marzipan:

  • 200 g finely ground almonds use ground almonds, then re-grind them a few ties to make them extra fine.
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 medium pasteurised egg white
  • Green food gel

Instructions

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4

  2. In a stand mixer with the whisk attached, beat the egg and sugar on high until you reach ribbon stage. This means when you can see the traces of the mixture when you most the whisk through it. It will take a good 4-5 minutes to reach this stage and it’s crucial – especially if you are not using baking powder, this is your only opportunity to get air into the mixture.
  3. Using a 20cm plate, draw 3 circles on your baking paper. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder if using. Sift this into the egg mixture and very carefully fold to combine, using a figure of eight, until all the flour is incorporated. Be very gentle at this stage, but thorough. Pour the cooled, melted butter down the side of the bowl at the end and give a final few folds to incorporate it.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 circles and gently use your spatulas to guide to the drawn edge.
  6. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until baked through and lightly browned.  Allow to cool down. To remove from the baking paper, if it sticks, wet your hands and allow to damped the underside of the baking paper, this release the cakes.
  7. Trim any edges so you end up with 3 perfectly round and even sized bases.
  8. Tip: You can use 3 x 20cm baking tins if you have.
  9. Cheat’s tip: Use ready bought layers – these from Karen Volf are brilliant. Comes with 3 layers and are ready to use. They are light and not too sweet – a really good option.

Vanilla Cream Patisserie

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla seeds.
  2. In a separate bowl, using a mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and corn flour.
  3. When the milk reaches just boiling point, take it off the heat and pour 1/3 into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the hot milk, return to the stove and bring to the boil whilst whisking. Whisk continuously as the mixture thickens and keep on boil for just under a minute (this removes the cornflour taste).
  5. Pour into a cold bowl and leave to cool and set for several hours in the fridge. To avoid a ‘crust’ forming on top, place clingfilm straight on to the cream, covering the entire surface.
  6. Cheat’s tip: Use an instant cream mix – we like this one from Dr. Oetker - just mix one sachet with 500ml whole milk, whisk for 1 minute and leave to set in the fridge. It has a nice vanilla taste and does not taste powdery – this is a great pastry cream alternative. You can also use this one for baking.

Green Marzipan Lid

  1. Here’s the admission: I usually buy green marzipan. Why? Because it’s easy and smooth and it’s ready to use. You can get one that fits a 20-cm cake here – Odense Green Marzipan Lid.

    Buy a covering marzipan from the supermarket and colour it green (should be minimum 25% almonds). To colour the marzipan, you must use a gel colour NOT a liquid green food colouring. If you use a green liquid colour, your marzipan will get sticky and hard to work with - and you will have to add a lot of extra icing sugar to make it workable.

  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth marzipan. Roll the mixture into a ball and wrap tightly with cling film. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using.
  3. Because this marzipan contains egg white, use within a day.

Recommended Products

    Dr Oetker Kagecreme Vanilje – Instant Vanilla Creme 3x85g
    £3.09
    Odense Marsipanlock – Marzipan Cake Cover 200g
    £5.59
    Karen Volf Lagkagebunde – Cake Sponges 3-pack
    £2.99

Recipe: Bløtekake – Norwegian Celebration Cake

May 10, 2018 | Leave a comment

Recipe: Bløtekake - Norwegian Celebration Cake

‘Bløtekake’ (also ‘Bløtkake’) literally means soft cake – and is Norway’s version of a Victoria sponge. The difference is that a Bløtekake is lighter – as it is traditionally made with a fat free sponge, ie. a type of Genoise sponge.

Layered with seasonal berries or fruit and whipped cream it is a traditional celebration cake in Norway – enjoyed for any occasion from birthdays to weddings, anniversaries and leaving parties. Easy to tweak to your preferences and great to look at. Ticks all the boxes in our book! You can use any sponge cake recipe you like – this is the one Martina’s Norwegian mormor (maternal grandmother) has been using forever. The mix of regular flour and potato flour makes for an extra tender crumb.

You will need for the cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 60g flour
  • 60g potato flour (we use this one)
  • 1 ts baking powder

For the filling / assembly:

  • 50-100ml milk or orange juice
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 heaped teaspoon vanilla sugar (like this one)
  • 400g fresh berries and fruit of your choice (use whatever is in season – a mix of strawberries and raspberries is good, and some like sliced fresh banana in the middle, too)
  • Optional: 100ml of your favourite jam

Method:
Whisk eggs and sugar until pale, light and fluffy – we recommend a hand mixer for this – 5-10 minutes. Mix your flours and baking powder and sift into the egg mixture, then fold carefully to combine. Try not to lose the volume you got from the frantic whisking.

Pour into a well buttered cake mould with loose base covered in baking parchment.
Bake at 190-200 degrees for 30 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool for 10 minuted before removing the mould. Let cool completely before using.

Assembly:
Slice your cake into two or three layers using a long serrated knife (or whatever works for you – just be careful to do it evenly all the way through). Splash each layer with a few tablespoonfuls of milk or orange juice to keep them moist and lovely.

Whip your cream with the vanilla sugar until soft peaks form – then, using manual labour, whip it for another 10-20 seconds until stiff enough to hold its shape. It is easy to overdo it with a mixer so we like using doing it by hand to finish. Rinse and prepare your fruit / berries and have ready in a bowl.

Place your bottom layer on your serving platter / cake stand and place strips of parchment paper all the way around, covering the plate. With a spatula, spread 1/4 of the whipped cream evenly across the cake (1/3 if only two layers). If using jam, dollop this evenly across the cream. Spread 1/3 of your fruit/berries over the top in an even layer. Repeat with the next layer, if your cake is 3 layers. If only two layers, proceed to the next step.

Place your final layer on top of the cream/jam/berry and try to align it neatly so it is not leaning that way or the other. Cover the top of the cake with the rest of the cream – covering the sides if you like. Arrange the remaining fresh fruit / berries across the top any way you like. Any extra ones can be dotted around the serving plate. When you have finished with the cream and berries, carefully remove the parchment paper to reveal the clean plate.

Best eaten immediately.

Sticky Chocolate & Coconut Cake – Ryttarkaka

January 24, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Ryttarkaka – Sticky Chocolate & Coconut Cake

A classic mixture of two much loved cakes: The sticky chocolate cake and the topping that goes on the Dream cake – gooey coconut. So very delicious!

It is very important not to over bake this – the base needs to be gooey, as in Brownie gooey and a bit more. Some Swedes like this almost runny – I do prefer it just set. Watch out on the baking time – as soon as the chocolate cake can take the topping so it does not seep into the batter, this is when you add it. Then you bake until golden on top and still gooey in the middle.

Baking times vary by oven so only use this as a guideline.

Yield: 15-18 pieces.

Ingredients

200g butter

50g dark chocolate

300g caster sugar

4 eggs

150g plain flour

40g cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract

Pinch of salt

 

Topping

120g butter

60g light brown sugar

100ml golden syrup

150ml cream

100g desiccated coconut and 100g coconut chips (or use all desiccated)

 

Method

Turn the oven to 170C

Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the chocolate and stir (it will melt)

Whisk eggs and sugar until very airy and light in a stand mixer.

Combine salt, flour and vanilla (if using vanilla powder, if liquid add to the sugar and egg).

Sift in the flour and combine, add the melted butter and chocolate and fold until smooth.

Pour into a 20x30cm lined baking tins and bake for around 10-12 minutes until just setting. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat up the ingredients for the topping on a slow heat until combines and liquid. As soon as the top as set on the chocolate base, carefully pour over the coconut topping evenly. Bake for a further 10 minutes – if needed – and keep checking, ensuring the toping does not go too dark.

The cake is ready to have the topping on when the top of the chocolate has just set, so do check. If the chocolate cake has baked too quickly, simply don’t leave the topping in for the full ten minutes but take out early.

Leave to cool down, the serve. It is fine if the middle is sticky and under baked – this is how a Swedish Sticky chocolate should be. Better under baked than over-baked.

FIKA – The Connoisseur’s Guide to Cake & Drink Pairings

March 17, 2016 | Leave a comment

Fika – The Connoisseur’s Guide to Cake & Drink Pairings

Aaaaah, Fika. That untranslatable, slightly odd-sounding Swedish word which encompasses so much loveliness. Fika may just be our favourite Swedish word ever.

Not sure what Fika is? Here’s an in-depth explanation of the meaning of ‘Fika’ for you. In essence, fika can be described as follows; ‘meet up, have a coffee and a chit-chat’. It often also includes something baked, sweet and comforting.
Fika can be a bit of a challenge – how on earth are you meant to decide on which treat to enjoy? Well – fear no more, we have asked our leading lady in the café, beautiful Tina, to share her best cake and drink pairings for us. Over to Tina;

10 Tasty Ways to Fika

Cinnamon Bun & Americano
The body of an americano can stand up to the enriched dough of a cinnamon bun, and that sticky-sweet spicy centre and crunch of pearl sugar brings out the natural sweetness of our lovely roasted Monmouth coffee. Good morning! (Or any time of day, to be honest.)

Punschrulle & Espresso
For an instant, intense hit, you can’t go wrong with our strong, aromatic coffee cutting through rich marzipan-chocolate, followed by that subtle liquor-flavoured kick. This powerful combination is a guaranteed pick-me-up. If Punschrulle isn’t your thing, try one of our other sweet Delicato treats on offer.

Kladdkaka & Organic Fog Green Tea
The Wild Card. The intense sweetness of this brownie-cake is tempered by the smoky, leafy flavour of the green tea, which refreshes the palate of the cake’s stickiness and the accompanying whipped cream’s richness (and helps you feel slightly less guilty for your indulgence).

Apple and Cinnamon Cake & English Breakfast
Cinnamon goes wonderfully with a classic black tea, and the bright, fresh bite of the sweet apples and vanilla creme complements the subtle astringency of the tea’s tannins. Our Apple Cake is also the top choice for a breakfast cake, so this union was clearly meant to be.

Banana and Pecan Cake & O’Boy Hot Chocolate or Mocha
Chocolate, bananas and pecan nuts – can there be a better combination? Throw in a shot of coffee for that extra kick. To dial up the exotic nature of the cake’s ingredients, have your hot O’Boy/mocha made with coconut milk.

Love Cake & Latte
Just enough coffee to compliment the mocha-coconut topping without detracting from the flavour of the cake or overwhelming your tastebuds, whilst the silky milk goes wonderfully with that decadent chocolate sponge.

Carrot Cake & Peppermint
Peppermint rounds off the sweetness of the cream cheese icing, complimenting the zesty lime on top, whilst bringing out the flavour of the pine nuts, but is delicate enough to let the soft, spicy sponge dominate.

Dream Cake & Cappuccino or Flat White
A stronger coffee flavour cuts the the caramel-sweetness of the coconut topping, whilst bringing out the vanilla aroma of the sponge, and the light, fresh milk brings together and rounds off the flavours and textures of the cake.

Tosca Cake & Swedish Filter Coffee
Thinner but flavoursome coffee softens the dense, marzipan-enriched sponge, and the coffee cuts through and heightens the intense caramel crunch of the almond topping. (I like to dip my Tosca cake into my filter coffee like some kind of fika heathen – but trust me: try it once and you’ll be a convert to the true British tradition of dunking forever.)

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Orange Brownie & Earl Grey
The bergamot of the Earl Grey compliments the orange of the brownie beautifully and the tea’s brightness lightens up the strong, dark chocolate.

..if that made you fancy a fika – call a friend and head over to our café. Or, browse our range of Scandi cakes and biscuits for a little Swedish Fika-feeling delivered to your door.

Your great cinnamon buns

October 8, 2014 | Leave a comment

Thank you to all of you who sent in great photos for our bun week.

We’re so very impressed by the home baking skills of you guys.

Here’s a selection of the pictures we received.

If you fancy having a go at baking buns at home, try this recipe.

BUNPHOTOS

 

 

[button type=”default” size=”large” link=”../shop”]Shop around for more scandi food…[/button]

Recipe: “Jordgubbstårta” Strawberry Celebration Cake

June 19, 2014 | Leave a comment

Strawberry Celebration Cake

Ahhhh.... This is such a nice cake. It tastes of summer. Pure summer. We re-tested the recipe last night and the result lasted only for as long as it took us to eat it. With second helpings. For us, no Midsummer is complete without strawberrry layercakes, also known as "Jordgubbsstårta". If you want to cheat and make it easy for yourself, cheat's notes are at the bottom of the post. We do feel that it is worth the effort, though, to make everything from scratch.

Ingredients

For the Vanilla Patisserie Cream

  • NOTE: Needs to be cooled before using in the cake or the cream will split.
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 45 g corn flour

For the Strawberry layers

  • 700 g strawberries washed, trimmed and sliced
  • 75 g raspberry jam

For the Cake Layers

  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 130 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar

For the Whipped Cream

  • 700 ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar

Instructions

Vanilla Patisserie Cream:

  1. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds and add to a saucepan with the milk. Bring to the boil. Take care not to burn and turn off heat as soon as boiling point is reached.

  2. Whisk egg yolk and sugar until it goes almost white, then turn off the whisk and add the corn flour. Turn the whisk back on medium and slowly add the hot milk to the bowl, whisking continuously.
  3. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring back to the boil and cook for 1 minute to thicken. Turn off, sieve the mixture into a bowl, cling film directly on to the cream to avoid a skin forming and cool down completely in the fridge before using.

Cake Layers:

  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

  2. Trace 3 identical circles onto baking paper – approximately 20-22 cm diameter. Place baking paper onto flat baking trays.
  3. Whisk egg and sugar until white and fluffy. The key here, is to whisk for a long time to incorporate as much air as possible as there are not raising agents in the mixture.
  4. Sift flour and vanilla sugar into the egg mixture and fold, very carefully, until completely incorporated. Preserve as much air as possible, so fold carefully but thoroughly.
  5. Carefully divide the batter between the three circles and ensure batter fills the circles all the way around, neatly.
  6. Bake in the oven until just golden brown and done – this will depend on your oven, but 5-6 minutes is usually fine.
  7. Remove from and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack. Very carefully remove the baking paper – if it sticks, wet the back of the paper a little bit and it should come off with more ease.

Whipped Cream

  1. On high speed, whisk all ingredients until stiff peaks form. The cream needs to be quite firm to hold when decorating the cake - but take care not to over whip.
  2. Divide the cream into two equal portions. Fold one half of the whipped cream together with the cold vanilla patisserie cream until completely incorporated (The other half is used to decorate the final cake).

Assembly

  1. Place the first layer cake on the plate you wish to serve on. Spread a nice layer of raspberry jam, follow by a 1cm thick layer of the patisserie cream / whipped cream mixture. Add a good handful of sliced strawberries evenly spread out. Add another cake layer and repeat over again and then add the final cake layer on top (You may have a bit of excess custard cream left).
  2. Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the top of the cake. Using a piping bag with a star nozzle, add the rest of the whipped cream and pipe carefully around the edge of the cake in an up-and-down motion until the sides are completely covered. If you do not have a piping bag, you can use the palette knife for this and just make smooth edges. If you prefer less cream and a more rustic look you can omit the cream around the edges all together.
  3. Finish by adding the remaining strawberries on the top of the cake. It doesn’t have to look too arranged – just scatter them so the cake is evenly covered.
  4. This cake greatly improves after a few hours in the fridge so all the flavours are soaked into the cake layers.

Recipe Notes

Cake layers – in speciality shop, you can buy sponge layers already baked. (Scandi Kitchen sells ‘Lagkage bunde’ – already come split into three layers).

Crème patisserie: We stock a product called 'Kagecreme’ which is sachet of instant creme patisserie. Mix one sachet with 500ml cold milk, wait ten minutes and it is ready to use.

Substituting with custard will not give you the exact same result, but you CAN do it at a push – but don’t use half and half, use ¼ custard to ¾ whipped cream volume. Omit the sugar in the whipped cream as custard is really sweet.

Recommended Products

    Torsleff Vaniljesukker – Vanilla Sugar 100g
    £3.19 £2.87
    Dr Oetker Kagecreme Vanilje – Instant Vanilla Creme 3x85g
    £3.09
    Den Gamle Fabrik Hindbær Marmelade – Raspberry Jam
    £3.59
    Kungsornen Vetemjol Finaste Kärn – Wheat Flour 2kg
    £2.59
    Karen Volf Lagkagebunde – Cake Sponges 3-pack
    £2.99

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