Today, however, this post is for your sweet tooth. Princesstårta is another traditional Swedish recipe, a cake often served on birthdays, weddings, christenings, and other special occasions. I promise I won't turn this blog into "Scandinavian Vegan Cooking" only - and don't you think it's justified I skip Sweden when we get to S in my E.A.T. World Challenge..? - but this cake is so good you should make it. Seriously. :)
For the cake:
- 3 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 2/3 c sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 c canola oil
- 2 1/2 c non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the filling:
- 1 2/3 c non-dairy whipping cream (I used Go Green visp)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar (I wouldn't use vanilla extract, but vanilla powder or paste might work ;))
- 1-2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 c raspberry jam
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (depending on your lemon), diluted with water
For the topping:
- 300 g/10 oz green marzipan
- confectioner's sugar
- a fresh rose, marzipan rose, or any decoration of your choice
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F). Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
In a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar with milk. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Add the vanilla and oil into the milk-vinegar mixture, and mix until combined. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and mix gently, until everything is well combined. Do not over-mix. Add a little more milk or oil (one tablespoon at a time), if the mixture seems too dry (I have noticed this varies greatly by the type of flour I use - hence the note ;)).
Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan, and bake in the preheated oven for about one hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cake is cool, cut it into four layers.
Now, it's time to make the filling...
In a bowl, whip the cream, and mix in the sugar, vanilla sugar, and lemon zest.
To assemble the cake:
Place the bottom layer of the cake on a cake plate, and brush with the lemon juice+water mixture. Spread a layer of raspberry jam on the cake, and a layer of whipped cream on top. Repeat with the remaining layers, but reserve a little whipped cream for the top of the cake as well.
Top the cake with the last layer, and spoon the rest of the whipped cream on top. Using a rubber spatula or a knife, spread the cream so that it makes mound. The cake should resemble a dome and be higher in the center, then slowly decrease in height towards the sides (I'm not sure my explanation makes any sense, but the point is to make the cake look, sort of, like half a basketball).
To make the topping:
This is the trickiest part. If you are lucky enough to have a store nearby that carries ready-cut marzipan tops, go ahead and use those (that is what I did, since these are sold in nearly every store in Sweden). If you have to make your own, however, here's how to proceed (I have also made this a number of times, but I would lie if I said I enjoyed it ;)):
First, knead the marzipan in your hands (or inside a plastic bag), until it gets soft and easy to work with. This is where you want to add a drop or two of green food coloring, if you use plain marzipan.
Once the marzipan is soft, place one baking paper on a working surface, put the marzipan on the baking paper, and top with another baking paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the marzipan out between the baking papers, until it is about 0.12 inches (0.3 cm) thick. You'll want to measure your cake pan top + both sides to get the right size, then use a plate/tray/cardboard of the right size to cut the marzipan into a circle.
Roll the marzipan back on your rolling pin, and carefully lift it on top of the cake. Press firmly against the sides of the cake, and trim the excess edges.
If you have the time, leave the cake in the refrigerator overnight - this will greatly enhance the flavor. :)
When you are ready to serve your cake, sift some confectioner's sugar on top, and decorate with a fresh rose or other flower (with the stem wrapped in foil), or any other decoration of your choice. I like to use a fresh flower - this time a yellow rose.
Unfortunately, as you can tell by the shades in my pictures, it was dark when I finished making the cake, and didn't manage to take many pictures. Our guests were quite puzzled when I rushed the cake from the coffee table and into the (snowy) porch to catch the last glimpse of daylight (you can see I had to turn on the porch lights as well, however, as the daylight was almost gone). I also didn't remember to take a picture of the inside of the cake or the working process, so I hope my instructions above were clear enough. ;)
Another traditional way to fill the cake is to use vanilla custard instead of or in addition to the whipped cream. I prefer the fresh, lemony taste in this recipe and think vanilla custard makes the cake too sweet - but if you prefer, or if you can't find whipped non-dairy cream, feel free to use your favorite vanilla custard instead. :)
Have a lovely Sunday!