Bake #6 | Prinsesstarta (Princess Cake)

In case you're not up to speed, this is the sixth bake in The Great Blogger Bake Along series. Read about it here.

Oh good gravy. This flipping cake.
First let me say, it's delicious. Like, REALLY good. This was the first bake that my husband legitimately LOVED. He practically licked his plate clean! It was complex, and now having done it once, I would be better prepared to do it again, but holy moly. This was HARD. I'll expand in a moment.

The Challenge

A Prinsesstarta (Princess Cake). This cake has layers of sponge, custard cream, raspberry jam, whipped cream, and marzipan. It needs to have nice layers and a dome top.

The Outcome

Okay. I'm gonna talk about the process, so hang tight while I go bananas up in here. This was a HOT MESS and it took me SIX straight hours.
First you have to make this fussy sponge. Mine was raw when the timer went off, so I had to keep it in there longer, and it didn't get a good rise either. Then you have to slice the dang thing in three even layers. Well, it was whilst slicing this cake I found chunks of flour that didn't get "folded" in properly. Whatever, I got it sliced just fine so I moved on.
Then you make a custard. Guys. I've never made lumpy custard IN MY LIFE until this day. It tasted fine, though, so I let it be. But it was sooo lumpy.
After that, you make a jam. It turned out delicious and I want to put it on everything, but mine didn't set quite right which was annoying. I let it cool completely, so I don't know what the heck I did wrong, but it was a smidge soupier than I would have liked.
Then, you make marzipan. Oh for the love of all that is holy, who thought of making marzipan?! You grind up almonds and add raw eggs and a butt-load of sugar and some almond extract. It was sticky and kind of slimy, and it just seemed off, so I figured I must not have ground my almonds enough. So I tried to run the mixture through a food processor... which did nothing. I moved on. I rolled my marzipan and cried as it got stuck to the counter. I put parchment paper over it and under it and everywhere, but that didn't make it any easier when it came time to pick the thing up and place it atop the cake... but somehow I did it! I'm actually pretty happy with the outcome of the marzipan.
Finally, you whip up a tiny leftover amount of whipping cream and do a little piping along the bottom of the cake. However, my whipping cream DIDN'T WHIP and it was all I had left, so I made a butter-cream frosting real fast. You also have to make a little flower out of pre-made fondant, and do a small chocolate decoration. All of these little bits and pieces just added up to a ton of steps and clean-up, making it incredibly time-consuming. Again, it was very tasty, though! If you're looking for a big challenge with a tasty result, this is your bake.

Would either of us bake this again?

Oh gosh. I don't know! It was definitely a test of patience, knowledge, and experience, but not exactly something I think I'd jump at the opportunity to make again. Maybe for the right occasion, but definitely not on a whim! My mom would probably agree. We laughed wondering if we'd have even got it done much faster had we baked it together! Ha!

Here's the glamour shots...

Here's my mom's report

Are you looking for a good laugh? You'll want to read this. Here goes...

I was looking forward to another challenge, but discovered that lack of knowledge can lead to disaster.   I began making this cake at 9:00 A.M.  There were multiple steps and one that I added because crushed almonds were unavailable to me.   It seemed so simple to run some almonds in the food processor until they became the fine sand like texture required.  However, any longer in the processor and I would have had almond paste.  But close enough and all would be well.   Next, the pudding.  First milk and a $5.00 vanilla bean.  Then the egg mixture, blending them both and cooking till thick.  Fine, done.  Oh, and after research I discovered that UK corn flour is US corn starch, not a fine version of corn meal. Thank goodness or this would have been a complete flop! Making the jam filling was easy, I just added corn starch to the sugar and let it cook a bit longer reducing it and it thickened nicely.  The cake (sponge) went together fine.  The assembly for me wasn't a problem. The next time I would whip ALL the cream called for at once reserving what is needed for decorating. The directions had sooooo many steps which I would streamline. 

The marzipan was next. It actually went together pretty well, but the rolling out and getting it onto the cake was a mess. I was flinging powdered sugar all over even though it said a thin layer, each time I tried to pick it up it ripped. By now I was sweating and getting panicky. My husband suggested using a pizza peel, which we did.  Oh, and the green food coloring was not a pretty shade of soft green. The "Grinch" came to mind. At this point, who cared! I laid that green blob over the cake and it was done. Drizzled some chocolate on, put on that fondant rose, and sat down in a chair.  It was 5:00P.M. when I finished. How this was made in 2 hours I will never know.  Joy and I have had some serious laughter over this one. The final blow came when it was shared with family.  My son-in-law and the rest of us did like it. The marzipan was tasty but later on too rich and we didn't eat it, just peeled it off.  He did describe the texture this way.  "You know, the dry skin you get on your knees or elbows?  It reminds me of that."  Zoom in on my pictures and you'll agree!

Phew! What a challenge! I'm proud to have done it, but glad it's behind me! Don't forget to use the hashtag #JoyLynnBakeAlong and join along on this super fun challenge. Coming up next...

Wednesday, May 24th
Bake #7: Kouign Amann