Prinsesstårta – this week’s technical challenge

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Inspired by tonight’s great British Bake Off, I decided to make a Swedish Princess Cake and see if I could manage tonight’s technical bake.

I looked up several recipes online and after getting little confused by mentions of ready-made sponges, Marsánkräm and shop-bought green marzipan tops, decided the only way to go was to consult the Swedish baking bible Sju sorters kakor.
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I started by making a fatless sponge (but had to swap potato flour for cornflour) and, while that was baking, started on my crème. As my cookbook didn’t actually tell me how to make the fabled Marsánkräm, I used the BBC food recipe for crème patisserie instead. Crème pat did make me rather nervous as it always seems to cause issues for the Bake Off contestants but it came out great first go (hooray!).

After cooling the cake, whisking the cream and rolling and rolling and rolling out my green coloured marzipan, it was time to construct my cake. I cut the sponge into three, layered the cakes with strawberry jam (my family doesn’t like the traditional raspberry) and cream, with my crème pat between the middle and top layers. I then threw on a lot of  whipped cream, covered in marzipan and added a rose.

As the recipe in Sju sorters kakor didn’t even include jam, and Bake Off‘s had a slightly different construction, I’m not certain I made the definitive version of a Swedish classic. Strawberry jam might be a controversial choice.. I also halved the recipe as otherwise I’d be eating this for weeks!

It’s not the neatest but it tastes good and for a first attempt I am quite impressed (though I say so myself). Next time, I’m keen to have a go at making a full size version now I’ve worked out the basics, and invite some friends for fika.

Mary Berry’s prinsesstårta recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prinsesstrta_17336

Pastry cream (crème pat): http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pastry_cream_36417#method

Have you been inspired to bake a prinsesstårta? Or do you have some other favourite Scandi recipes?

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Tove Jansson on Radio 4

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If, like me, you have only know Tove Jansson as creator of The Moomins, then you might like to check out the season exploring her work and short stories now airing on BBC radio 4 as part of celebrations of the centenary of her birth. As well as Moomins, she was an artist, illustrator and writer of novels and short stories.

Currently on Radio 4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p025nvbj

BBC News article on Tove Jansson’s amazing life: http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26529309