Baking | Prinsesstårta … or simply a princess cake for Pinktober #cake #dessert #Pinktober #pink

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C.

Pinktober Princess Cake,  PrinsesstårtaPrinsesstårta … a princess cake my way to mark Pinktober. Every October begins with a pink cake in support of breast cancer research, or Pinktober, as it is popularly known. October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness month. International campaigns are run each year to raise awareness and funds for research. In addition, the campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

Prinsesstårta, Princess cake for PinktoberThe first week of October sees Mr PABs birthday and he’s grown used to a pink birthday cake. I might be torn for time, tired to the bone, might not bake a cake on any other occasion but the Pinktober one is never missed. Neither is the ribbon. You can see the pink on my earlier  Pinktober posts, else catch them on my PINK board on Pinterest.

The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, and the color pink in general, identify the wearer or promoter with the breast cancer brand and express moral support for women with breast cancer. Pink ribbons are most commonly seen during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

pink-ribbon-296x300A Princess cake or prinsesstårta is the lads most favourite cake of all time. Years ago I did a recipe testing for Helene of Tartlette which included a Bavarian cream. That was a princess cake of sorts. We still remember how fantastic that cake was, a benchmark of sorts for birthday cake.

A princess cake (prinsesstårta in Swedish) is a traditional Swedish layer cake consisting of alternating layers of airy sponge cake, raspberry or strawberry jam, pastry cream, and a thick-domed layer of whipped cream. This is topped by marzipan, giving the cake a smooth rounded top. The marzipan overlay is usually green, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and often decorated with a pink marzipan rose.[1][2]

The original recipe first appeared in the 1930s Prinsessornas Kokbok cookbook, which was published by Jenny Åkerström, a teacher of the three daughters of H.R.H. Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland. The cake was originally called grön tårta (green cake), but was given the name prinsesstårta or “princess cake” because the princesses were said to have been especially fond of the cake.

Prinsesstårta, set upside downMy version of the prinsesstårta is a little off the traditional mark, just slightly. The layers of the traditional Swedish cake have jam and pastry cream. I skipped the jam as I thought my pastry cream was sweet enough. The dome of whipped cream wasn’t going to happen as I used a low fat 20% cream, so I stabilised it with gelatin. The dome happened in an upside down manner which is how I built up the cake and left it to set overnight.

PrinsesstårtaI hoped it would look fine the next morning …and it certainly did much to my delight! The other deviation was of course the marzipan cover for the cake. I made marzipan too that morning but it did not behave. At all. With October being unseasonably warm at 40C this year, the marzipan really sweated and wouldn’t roll out.almonds for marzipan

I had to do a rapid rethink as I didn’t want to jeopardise the poor stabilised dome. That would have been a disaster so my next best option was a chocolate coating, tricky but doable. The idea is to have the chocolate coating at a cool, or almost same temperature as the cream dome so that the dome doesn’t melt. It was touch and go. I won!! Sort of.

Prinsesstårta, Princess cake for PinktoberThe dome wasn’t as smooth as I expected it to be, or like I wanted it to be but given the weather, I was happy I had the cake covered! Left to set in the fridge, you can see the uneven bits, or maybe refer to it as an artisanal finish? Taking pictures was difficult again as the icing threatened to melt.

Prinsesstårta, Princess cake for Pinktober I used the marzipan to make a couple of hurried roses etc. Then the quintessential PINK ribbon. Minimalistic was the sensible and possibly only way to go. Stuck it all on and was just grateful to have a cake. Once cut, the honours done, it was fantastic to taste.

Prinsesstårta, Princess cake for Pinktober Much to my delight, the boy immediately exclaimed, “Yay, a Princess Cake! I just saw it on the Simpsons this morning.” What a delicious coincidence! The prinsesstårta layers behaved well while being sliced, the cake itself a winner on all counts {other than smooth looks!}. Light, airy, flavourful, creamy and a celebration! Try and challenge yourself to make this, right side up if possible, else use my way home. This is a cake every baker must make at least once. Must!

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes I’ve done a real fun version of Swedish Prinsesstårta Cupcakes with the Daring Bakers in May 2013. It was hot as hot can be back then, but much easier to do little cupcakes than one huge domed prinsesstårta. Also, then the marzipan was store bought and possibly more smoother and easier to handle than home made. If you rather do pretty cupcake prinsesstårta, then here’s the place to be.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Peaches & Cream Cake … light summer cake. Trifles too #stonefruitlove #dessert # cake #summer

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C.

Peaches & Cream CakeIt was a Peaches & Cream Cake for my father’s birthday last week. Everything was going according to plan,and I toyed around with summer cake ideas in my head. Summer is for stone fruit, and the cake would most certainly have some! Peaches! I had a kilo of them in the fridge. Cream? Yes of course; there’s always some on hand. Time for peaches and cream!!

Peaches & Cream Cake Despite knowing that whipping cream in miserable summer heat is sure to fail, I marched ahead. At 43C, life was never going to be a cake walk in the record breaking heat and humidity we have had this summer. That the rains failed added to my misery. 75% humidity and everything looks like it’s condensing! Not the best weather to work with cream cakes in …… Peaches & Cream Cake 4…and then it was time for a power breakdown. It had been assembled but a cake needs chilling you know. I stuck the cake into the fridge and we finally left for dinner. The cake survived as power was back when we returned. I thanked my lucky stars that it held together until we cut it, well almost. It was YUM! Oh, did I tell you I never got to my kilo of peaches? Peaches & Cream Cake 3Yes that happened too. With all the unnecessary drama of no power, I just reached out for a tin of canned peaches; probably my best idea that day. Another good idea was the  Crème patisserie I made for the frosting … finger licking good.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

Peaches & Cream TriflesI saved some cream and peaches; enough to make a few trifles. Layered the same way as the cake, they were fun to assemble … and eat of course! The goblets are one of my favourites from Urban Dazzle. I use them often for different stuff like Dark Chocolate Mousse, Peach Lime Coolers & Stone Fruit Salads.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake … deliciousness in every bite

“Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.”
Cherise Sinclair

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake … a promise of deliciousness in every bite. As the name suggests, the cake had everything we love about desserts – Coffee + Chocolate + Mascarpone! These days I crave coffee more than ever, so the cake was meant to have some! There was none other I would have made that day!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake ’twas a cake for my SILs birthday. It came together without a plan.  That’s just how life is these days. With the daughter in her final year in school, board exams round the corner, driving, driving and more driving is all I seem to do. The days are a whir of exam pick ups and drops. Loads of fast track shopping as school farewells, graduation ceremonies  etc are part of the muddled weave.

Food on PAB… and then there is junior. Recently back from a trip to HKG with his dad where all they did was eat, he is always hungry. Makes for an ideal guinea pig. He’s currently immersed into Krav Maga, a form of Israeli self defense. In addition is a new found love for boxing. More adds to the list – the dog, the neighbours little kitten {who Coco incidentally hates}, the soup trials, the dessert trials, olive oil cookies … and definitely not salad! 

Food on PABIn the midst of this mayhem, there are recipes being developed for a client. That might explain the ‘trials‘. Between racing around madly, I try and sneak in the odd recipe testing as the deadline approaches fast. Of course there is normal everyday life too … laundry, groceries, da dog, da blog … birthdays too!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake happened as the day progressed. The sponge is my basic ‘in the head‘ recipe. It’s one that never fails me, and one I keep experimenting with it. This time I added a dash of baking powder, beat it in actually, to save time sifting it with the flour. Worked out fine.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake While the two sponges were baking, I figured I could make some mascarpone alongside. As the cream reached a cautious bubble, chocolate pastry creme seemed doable for a filling. It was a cake on the trot. I had the sponges baked and the rest of the components done the night before too! Happiness is … 

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake For the ‘day’, all I had was the cake to put together or assemble. I did that at the crack of dawn! That’s the fun part, and in many ways a relief. It does amount to a LOT of washing up though, so be prepared.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The cake was special. Beautiful flavours. Light. Moist. Full of flavour! 6 layers of deliciousness. It’s a bit of work I have to admit, but planning ahead is the key. If you get most of the work done a day or two before, you won’t feel the pinch.

Coffee quotes

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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