Have you made a Princess Cake?

plllog

Princess cake is a good friend's favorite. I don't usually bother making bakery style cakes even more than than I don't bother making restaurant style food, but after I saw them making Princess cakes on Food Network, I thought I might try one for the friend's birthday in a couple of months. I've made all the components, but never considered making them into a cake. I'd also only seen cut pieces before--the ones on FN were mostly domes. Is that just because dome molds are in style, or is it de rigeur?


So... If you've made a Princess cake, do you have any comments, hints, warnings, discussion?

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Olychick

I've not even heard of it! But google images for classic Swedish Princess Cake (Prinsesstarta - according to the Great British Baking show) returns mostly pics of dome shaped cakes.

It looks and sounds fabulous!

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bbstx

When I read “princess cake,” this is what my mind’s eye saw


Glad Olychick suggested googling. Now I know that is not what you meant!

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plllog

LOL!!! Thanks for the smile, Bbstx! I can't remember for sure, but it was my fifth birthday party that had a Cinderella theme. My mother made one of those using a chiffon cake pan. She didn't see why she should cut the doll, the way the instructions said, when she could just put the legs down the center and give it to me afterwards to play with. It definitely had a poofier skirt! But also enough cake for all the kids. There was also a giant high heeled pump covered with foil and full of candies, and crowns for all the "princes" and "princesses". Fond memory.

Olychick, thanks for the info. I didn't want to search and get overwhelmed before I asked here. :) Dome. Sigh. Some of the people on that show freehanded it. I doubt I have sufficient skill for that. If I use a mold, will I be able to get it out in one piece? My mother has a gigantic star shaped mold she used for Jell-o salads for 40. I can unmold that, but that's just upper arm strength. Jell-o has a lot more holding it together than cream. :)

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colleenoz

Have a look at this video, it looks a lot easier than you think!


Princess Cake

The doming happens naturally as a result of the method of making it.

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plllog

Wow! Thank-you, Colleen!! That does look a lot easier. The people on the show were using dome molds, but this looks much easier, except maybe that bend your cake layer over the top without squishing the cream out. I have small hands. :) But I might be able to do that with care. Having seen the video, I now see that those who freehanded it must have just kind of angled the edges. I might be able to do that pretty easily even without a miterbox. :) I can't remember for sure what they showed on FN, but there was a double top layer. I can deal with a crumb coat of cream. Much easier. And my friend will like it. She just wants cake. :) It did my confidence good to see how rough her bits looked underneath. I was taught that while cream covers a lot of sins, your cake should look perfect nude. I know you said that marzipan is the norm for covering a cake in Australia, I haven't done that before. It looks so much easier than fondant!! Not to mention, that much more edible. :)

Thanks so much!

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colleenoz

Marzipan is used to cover wedding fruit cakes (until quite recently a fruit cake was the norm for wedding cakes here) before covering again with fondant. For a fruit cake, you fill in any dips or holes with little bits of marzipan to make it quite smooth, then brush it with warmed apricot jam, then a layer of marzipan, then a layer of fondant.

Good luck with the princess cake! We have a chain of coffee shops here called Miss Maud's, started in the 70s by a Swedish immigrant lady, which introduced the delights of Danish pastries and princess cake on the WA public :-)

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party_music50

I've never heard of a princess cake, but after searching I'd say they look awesome! I have a friend who would love one. Good luck with yours. And post photos! :O)

I expected you to be asking about a doll cake. This is an example of what my mother always made for us -- her choice, it was my 3rd birthday cake. What I always really wanted was a chocolate cake!!! A photo is worth a thousand words so I cropped it for you. :)




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bbstx

party-music, your doll cake gave me a flashback. Like you and plllog, my mom made one for me. And, like plllog’s mom, it was made in a tube cake pan with the doll (Barbie? Miss Revlon?) standing in the hole. But what really brought it home was the hat in p_m’s picture. My mom crocheted a hat for my doll, too!!


plllog, I hope you will keep us posted on your progress with making princess cakes!

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party_music50

bbstx, my mother is a great seamstress but rarely crocheted, so I suspect she sewed both the top and hat for that doll. She always baked an angel food cake to use as the base for her doll cakes. If she could find the correct size doll, she'd put the legs into a paper towel cardboard, then wrap it all in foil and slide it down into the hole. If the legs were too long, she didn't hesitate to break them. LOL!!!!

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plllog

I think my mother used a cheap knockoff of Mme. Alexander. :) Shorter legs, more realistic body type. :) My father probably took a picture, and if so there might be a slide going orange around somewhere (much more likely to be Ektachrome than Kodachrome). I think it looked something like PM's, but I don't remember details. I remember the silver "glass" slipper much better!

It was so nice this morning to go into Amazon for something I need delivered right away, see the dome molds in my cart and chuck them!

I know I'm really bad at the follow up reports, but I will endeavor to take a picture and post when I get it made. In August. Meantime, I'm going to practice marzipan. That white modeling marzipan they make the candies out of freaks me out. I have (and can easily obtain) fleck free almond flour, which is a lot easier than trying to dry out home ground almonds. I also need to test if spinach coloring will affect the taste. I've seen a recipe that uses orange blossom water rather than rosewater, which I think will go with the cake better. Should be fun. Now it occurs to me that the compound covers on the show might have been because they were using unbleached marzipan. If the color doesn't come out nicely with the almond, I'm willing to make fondant to cover the cake and make it green. With a nice marzipan layer, properly applied, getting the fondant smooth shouldn't be too big a problem.


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jerzeegirl

I have wanted to make a Princess Cake ever since I saw one being made on the Great British Baking Show. I haven't tried yet . I am still doing research which involves going to Ikea and dissecting their version of the Princess Cake. It's actually a perfect little cake!

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sushipup1

Don't know if they currently carry them, but I've seen both large and individual Princess cakes at Ikea, in restaurant and in food area past the registers. Haven't looked in a while. Had one some years back and it was yummy.

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plllog

It makes sense that they'd carry them, being Swedish. I've never been to one of their stores. We don't have them around here, though there must be one down the freeway somewhere. I think I'm just going to go with the video Colleen posted and maybe read up some recipes for the cake sponge. It'll need to be moist and malleable to bend into the dome shape. I do have a wire cake cutter, which should be helpful, and while I don't have a cake turner, I do have three heights of gilded spinning marble buffet servers and I could toss a tea towel over one and press it into service. For regular frosting, I just turn the plate myself, but I can see that this dome thing might need more all sides fronting.

Jerzeegirl, I don't even remember the cake on GBBS. Have a good time with your tastings!

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jerzeegirl

It was a green cake! Here is the link to the recipe. Green Princess Cake

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Feathers11

I'm not a baker, but this cake looks divine. The only thing that deters me is the marzipan. I've never worked with it and it intimidates me. Will you go with store-bought or make your own, like in Jerzeegirl's link above?

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party_music50

Feathers, I've made marzipan before and I ground my own almonds... it's very easy to make if you use pre-ground, but I have never seen a recipe that included the whole egg, as that does. Working with marzipan is a lot like working with playdough. :)

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colleenoz

Plllog, I keep meaning to say, in case it isn't obvious, in the link I posted, where she's rolling out the marzipan, that's confectioner's sugar she's dusting with, not flour.

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plllog

LOL, Colleen!! I did know that. :) But it's good to point it out, just in case. Especially for the silent people who may read this but don't know.

Basic baking rule: When you're using a dusting of a dry, powdery food product to keep dough from sticking, use an ingredient of the dough. For bread or cookies, use flour. For fondant or marzipan, use powdered sugar. For something chocolaty, use cocoa powder so you won't have white spots. For some non-floury, non-rolled sweets, superfine/caster sugar is great for lining a pan/ramekin.

Feathers, What PM said. Almond based play-doh. :) Making it from your own almonds can be tricky because you want to keep little flecks of skin out, and perfectly peeling almonds after blanching is a pain in the neck. Then you have to deal with the oil. There's more oil in fresh almonds than you want, so you have to spread and dry it. Using the lovely almond meal is pretty easy. Then you can also control the flavor. Making marzipan dough is no biggie. Making beautiful little painted sculptures is only easy if you already can make the same from polymer or clay. :) Rolling it out to make a nice thin cake covering is a similar endeavor to rolling fondant, though the texture is very different. I think marzipan is an awful lot easier to use. It helps if you have a fondant roller. That's a super long rolling pin, so you're not getting creases from the edges of your pin as your circle gets bigger. It also helps with getting more pressure on the initial roll. Mine is metal, and can be chilled which can help.

Jerzeegirl, I'm not following "it's a green cake". Princess cake is always green unless people are being inventive. Or was the challenge on GBBS to make any green cake? As I said, I don't remember the episode. Most of what they do just isn't my kind of baking--neither is this except for wanting to make it for my friend whose family (including crack of dawn teen athletes and internecine war between the cats, dogs and husband) sucks all her time. She deserves her favorite cake. And I get to bake for someone who actually eats sweets. I think GBBS, at least as we've seen it on PBS, is a perfect show. Perfect. And I get to really enjoy it because I don't bake like that and don't have to do anything but watch.

...Though I was incensed by the American pie episode. Their definition of American pie is NOT what an American would define it as. Like when one leaves home and hears "California burger" to mean with avocado, like Florentine can mean with spinach. Inside California, it's with a whole salad's worth of sliced vegetables and mayonnaise. But the people on the show all seemed to think that the British definition of "American" pie was what we actually have here. I'm sure some Americans might goop up their pies that way, but it's not normal!

So, okay, I'm in a rant mood, I guess. That episode bugged me so much because the show is otherwise so perfect, from the setting, and the weather, to the candy colored appliances, to the civility and honest pleasantness and fellow feeling of the contestants, to the truly challenging tasks. And I LOVE that the bakers get to practice at home and bring their own special ingredients and props. Then have to do a blind challenge too, of something they might never have heard of, where they have to figure out what it's supposed to be. So they can show all their daily skills, and have those skills tested when they're thrown in the deep end too. Perfect. My favorite was the bread showstopper where the guy made the lion's head.


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party_music50

I saw all of the episodes of the GBBS that you mentioned and I was also not happy about their take on American pie and what they think Americans want in sweets in general. :p

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jerzeegirl

Sometimes they are pink. Ikea makes a pink version.

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annie1992

I'm glad that links were posted, because I also thought of this cake, which The Princess baked for her Apprentice Princess one birthday:



I'd have never thought of spinach in a cake, thoug it does give a lovely color. I'm definitely going to have to try one of those. Since I've also never been to an Ikea and there isn't one around here, I guess it's upon my shoulders to try one...

Annie


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plllog

Annie, the spinach is because commercial food coloring skeeves me out. I can eat it when presented with a fait accompli, but I can't bring myself to use it. When I was a kid, we had bakery level jars of coloring, and made cookies in thematic colors...then my mother had to apologize to the parents who freaked out at their kids' blue tongues. So I use pomegranate juice (or beet) for pink to red, turmeric for yellow-orange, annatto seeds for red-brown. I haven't had occasion to do green, yet, but spinach seems to be the go to green. Not surprising since it's watery and sweet, and a brighter color than most greens. I'll report back. :)

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Janie

I've bought a princess cake, does that count? My fav.........


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plllog

Today was the first marzipan experiment. I used this recipe, including the extra quarter cup of almond flour for marzipan, because it seemed the most traditional. I did pasteurize the egg (using sous vide circulator and my new from a sale lid that makes using a small pot easy, in a 2 quart Anchor Hocking heavy glass measuring jug). It tastes exactly like professional marzipan, including the slightly medicinal, slightly boozy flavor. :) I think for my own druthers I'd like it with less almond extract, but I'm impressed that it tastes exactly like the little sculptures from the sweet shop (for better or worse or old granny breath...)

I had looked up how to make spinach colorant. The directions basically said boil spinach and liquify. I felt free to wing it, so got a 5 oz. box of pre-washed power greens on sale, and boiled them with a little water for five minutes, strainered them, dumped them in the Vita-Mix with just enough fresh water to make the blender work, then into a smaller pan to steam off the liquid. At the end, minus the little bit that stuck to the pan (came right off with wash water, but not the rubber scraper) it made about a third of a cup (by eyeball) of dark green sludge. I did put a pinch of sugar in to neutralize the bitter and green taste. At the end it tasted pretty much like nothing, which one wants for food coloring. Below is what's left. It didn't occur to me that it matches the green soapstone counter, though the flash helps a lot.

So, we did three tries. One with just the green, kneaded into beige marzipan, one with some sprinkles of turmeric powder added (I didn't have any fresh), and one where we added the turmeric to the green goo first. I was trying for a brighter, less blue, green. There was too much green goo in the last one, which is the frog green ball in the picture. The other turmeric one wandered off to be played with before I took the picture. It was distinctly yellower, but too muddy. The little green one in the picture has just the green, and while it isn't vibrant, I think it looks the best. I might try combining the green with some lemon, but I think the plain green would be fine. My friend isn't that picky about that kind of stuff. I'm going to try some pomegranate molasses for the rose.

I'm really pleased with the recipe, however, which was the biggest reason for making the tester. I haven't tried rolling it yet, but when we were kneading it and patted it and all that, it was a good consistency. Pliable without cracking. I'll probably make a few cupcakes and top them with pastry cream and marzipan to see how it goes.

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plllog

I hadn't thought about the pink earlier, but just went and tried it. The pomegranate molasses was deep jewel red, but kneaded into the marzipan was just dull and rusty. It mellowed the medicinal taste but then had a weird aftertaste, too. So I tried a sliver of cooked beet and that came up a brighter red. I had to keep adding more plain beige, and did finally get it down to pink, but it's a dull pink. That's due to the beige almond flour, I'm sure, because it's beets! I like it so much better than than the bleached almond flour I dealt with back when. It doesn't seem to have a flavor issue. I ate the rest of the beet, and it was also pretty flavorless, so I have to remember to taste the beet before I do this for real so it's not too beety.


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colleenoz

I agree about the green and the pink you've chosen, and am impressed by your mad skillz in creating it all from scratch :-)

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bbstx

plllog, this is amazing! Are you coloring the marzipan with food because you are generally averse to artificial colors or does your guest have some problem that you are trying to work around?

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Plant based dyes are the future. They have been around forever but now becoming mainstream by even the 'big boys'. They are getting hit hard in the pocketbook by so many avoiding artificial dyes. Even m&m's will be plant based soon.

I've been using powders like hibiscus, beet root powder, tomato, matcha, wheatgrass, and spinach. Freeze dried fruit works great powdered. I buy the whole fruit and grind it. Powders give a brighter color. Less water needed.

But, the spinach test looks great. A bit more work though. I just go to the freezer and take out a couple Tbsp's. And don't believe the bloggers. Vegetable juice does not keep at all in the fridge without preservatives. Nasty. Maybe mixed in with sugars it is more stable.

I like the more natural muted colors.

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bbstx

plllog, sleevendog’s post brings up a point of curiosity for me. For your pink color have you thought of using freeze dried strawberries? Would the color be sufficiently strong to overcome the beige of the marzipan? The taste would certainly beat out beets (no pun intended) in my book.

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plllog

Well. I wrote a nice answer this morning and it's gone. Perhaps I didn't press the submit button. This will be briefer, which with me is generally a good thing.

The power greens were on sale, and fine for an experiment. I might try parsley from the garden if there's still a lot in a month, when I'm making the cake. Otherwise, I'll just use spinach, which is lighter and yellower than the kale and chard.

Strawberry is a good idea for the pink. Rosier than the beet, and then I don't have to check for a flavorless beet. :) If the rose tastes of strawberry, that's fine. It'll be more likely fresh, however, since I have no other use for freeze dried strawberries and other than Amazon, I don't even know where to get them. I mean, I could find out, but I have a feeling they don't come by the berry. :)

It wasn't until I was writing up the green experiment that I even thought of the pink, and just tried what I had to hand for the rose color. I'm not making fondant just for the rose, and I don't see why it can't be marzipan, which is easier to model. I'm not pulling out my Japanese silk sculpture irons to make lovely roses, either. :) Gum paste is better for that anyway, and see my comment on the fondant. If I'm making marzipan anyway, why not make the rose marzipan too?

This isn't briefer, just different. Sigh.

Oh. Fridge. Don't worry, S. I don't have any illusions about how long my green sludge will last. If I don't have something cooking to dump it in by tomorrow, it goes. I doubt there's much nutritional value left anyway. So little went into the marzipan, I have no qualms about it rotting there. There's plenty enough sugar to preserve it, and I'm keeping the marzipan in the fridge as directed by the recipe. It occurs to me, however, that commercial marzipan has a very long shelf life, like other candies, so the put in fridge direction, and "keeps for a week" is likely because of the eggwhite, but given that it was pasteurized, I'm not worried about that either. Royal icing lasts forever untainted, too.

Sleevendog, thanks for the rundown on the colors. I'll be sure to refer back if I have more coloring to do in the future.

And why? Bbstx, I did say up topic, but I don't expect you to remember. Commercial food dyes creep me out. I know that to the best of their knowledge, they're safe. I will eat things that have food dyes in them. But I just can't deal with bakers' pastes and the boiled greens give a far better green and the beet gives a far better pink than the boughten food based dyes I've tried. Of course, "natural" and "plant based" are no guarantee of safety either. Aniline dyes are much less toxic and much more environmentally safe than the scavenged from the forest dyes and mordants that were popular for cloth awhile back.

To be honest, the color of green that one sees in the princess cake pictures, to me, might as well be electric blue, it looks so unnatural. French macarons looks so pretty all bright and shiny. Much more so than my food based coloration of homemade (this isn't my first go with coloring almonds!), but the more natural colors seem much more appealing to eat.

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bragu_DSM 5

pillog:

you could go the green route with a chimichurri type sauce for your marzipan with cilantro and parsley puree

what about freezing strawberries whole, and then c a r e f u l l y slicing them on a mandolin or grating them for your 'pink' color ... and better, less earthy, flavor?

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party_music50

I love the colors you're getting with the greens and beets! As an alternative to using beet juice, I was going to suggest trying the juice from crushed dark sweet cherries or red raspberries. Or use a fruit powder?!

ETA: My marzipan masterpiece was the cake I made for my sister's engagement party. It was a large cake and I made 5 dozen pink roses/buds, leaves, etc., to cover and drape it. It was a gorgeous cake! and not one single photo was ever taken of it. :(

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plllog

LOL!! Dave! There's no flavor involved. The sugar neutralized the flavor of the greens, and there was none from the beet. Now you're trying to add flavor! Thanks for the laugh.

PM, I actually used a little piece of beet. About the size of a raisin. I couldn't have gotten that much color from beet juice. The advantage of the beet is that it isn't seasonal and I almost always have some. They sell flavored beet snacks here that are awesome and so not worth making myself. :) Sleevendog also mentioned fruit powders, but I don't think it's worth going there for a one off project. I'll try a fresh strawberry and/or cherry if I'm getting them for the house anyway.

I'm so sorry no one got a photo of your magnificent cake!! I only have to make one rosebud. :) I've made paper and cloth flowers in that kind of quantity, but nothing that ephemeral. I hope the guests, at least, appreciated your effort!

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annie1992

PM, that's sad that there is no picture of that cake, I would have loved to see it. I'll bet it was as delicious as it was beautiful, though.

Annie

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bragu_DSM 5

nah, no pix, she's just making it all up. feeling better yet P?

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plllog

Yes, thank-you. The weather goes in and out, but I've been much more with it. :) BTW, you can call me JC if the screen name is a bother (I don't mind P, just sayin'). How is your darlin's foot?

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bragu_DSM 5

started PT Tuesday, so she's on the mend. Can/can't believe it's been six weeks already. Still, it's the driving foot, which means another upcoming whirlwind drive to Chicago (6 hour trip one way) and we gotta fly to the triangle - Raleigh/Durham/Cary - so she can train on a new software system. Like that area a lot, although it's hot, but not as humid as corn/bean country here. A lot of together time. She loves my cookin' (thank goodness). Thanks for askin'.

Can hardly wait til we get the Star Trek 'beaming' technology down ...

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bbstx

Bragu, if you have a weekend while you are in the RDU area, go to Highlands, Cashiers, or Beech Mountain for some cool air! (Highlands would be my first choice.)

ETA: Oops, just checked distances. Highlands would be about 6 hours, Beech Mountain about half that.

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plllog

It's Princess Cake day. The birthday girl (adult) was thrilled, even though it wasn't beautiful. Everything was going fine but I had a board meeting yesterday and had to put in a couple hours work, so the cake and pastry cream were done at quarter to midnight. Which would be okay--I'm owlish--but then I had to get up a couple hours early to assemble it, and no time for do overs. The cake didn't bend like it does on TV. I know it sat too long, but there was no other way to do it. It does have a slight dome. And then the marzipan cracked and the sides fell off before I could stick them to the cream. There was no way to save or redo it, so I patchworked it up the sides. They're downright ugly, and little dots of cream show, but the cake is more or less sealed, and it should taste fine. It's "rustic". Yeah. I'm sticking with that story. The recipient said it was "beautiful", spontaneously, so I'm happy with that.



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Solsthumper

Very pretty, Plllog ♥


Sol

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bbstx

WOW! Even in the face of some bumps in the road, you produced a cake that pleased and surprised your friend. What a good friend you are to carry on when the rest of us may have folded. If Paul and Mary were judging, I’m sure they would find the rusticity endearing.

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plllog

You are an absolute dear to say so, but if Paul and Mary were judging they'd have some dire things to say about it. I didn't show you the awful sides. :) But this isn't a competition and in the real world, ugly cake is far superior to no cake!! I'm not sure about the sponge, itself. It's very sweet, but traditional. The other components, however, do taste very good indeed, and I got a hit of the jam, pastry cream and whipped cream together and that was stellar. :)

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2ManyDiversions

First and foremost, I think your Princess Cake is lovely. Your determination - and final results to get the colors just so using all-natural ingredients are extraordinary. Did you have fun forming the rose? I ask because the modeling part was always my favorite when working with sweet doughs. Your friend is quite fortunate to have a friend that would put so much love into a cake : )

I don’t know how I missed this thread, though I remember reading the initial posts early one morning prior to working on our remodel. Both you and Sleevendog are correct in that natural food coloring is becoming more popular as people understand more of what is in the pigments of pre-made food colorants. I remember watching an episode of the Cake Boss (not a fan) and seeing Forest Green being used in fondant (and the comment that it was one of their favorite colors to use). I literally shouted at the TV (futile, I know) ‘that’s toxic!’. I like that you chose to keep with the better tasting marzipan for the decoration rather than going with fondant or gum paste (the tooth cracker I always called it).


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jerzeegirl

That's just beautiful, pillog. The color is perfect. I am hoping the next one will be a Spanische Windtorte!

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plllog

NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, Jerzeegirl, if you were here and it were your birthday, I might try. I'm terrible at piping however, and the whole description of all that meringue and cream doesn't even sound tasty. It's one of those old if it's hard to do it must be better kinds of things. Other than the marzipan breaking up, the Princess Cake wasn't hard to make.

I just figured out that I should have rechilled the rolled out marzipan before trying to put it on the cake.

Would you be satisfied with a Pavlova?

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bbstx

For those like me who read ”Spanische Windtorte” and wonder what it is, here is Mary Berry’s take on it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spanische_windtorte_64745


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jerzeegirl

haha! The Spanische Windtorte does seem to be the Rococo of Cakes.

I am not a big cake fan with one exception - I love Cassata Cake (made properly).

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plllog

LOL! Rococo indeed!

Cassata isn't that different in concept from Princess. Do you like yours boozy?

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Islay Corbel

Well I'm sure you didn't have a soggy bottom which is the worst thing in Mary's view! Lovely.

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jerzeegirl

Do you like yours boozy?

You betcha!

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plllog

Final word on the princess cake: You know those amazing friends who tell you the truth? Such a blessing! The jam was the best part. The cake tasted good. The sponge was "biscuity". I'm not sure what that means, because it formed that sponge cakey meringuey crust. I think it densed up as it went along. It was feathery out of the pan, striff the next morning, and biscuity the next night, so I'm thinking "biscuity" must mean dense, whereas real sponge should be a feather. I should have gone with a really nice sponge recipe, instead of the "authentic" Scandinavian one. I'll make her another one sometime...

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bbstx

Even if it may not have been exactly what you were hoping for, I’m sure your friend appreciated your efforts to make something special for her.

When I first started learning to cook about 110 years ago, I figured out there were two things necessary to a successfully feeding other people: (1) give your guest LOTS to drink beforehand; (2) cook something they had never heard of before. Works every time!

Since your friend knew what a Princess cake was supposed to taste like, that only left you with giving her lots to drink beforehand. I hope you followed through. ;-)

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plllog

LOL!! I meant it about loving her more because she tells the truth. I wasn't at the cutting of the cake, so had no idea how it was in the eating. She didn't savage it, but gave honest feedback. I just hope she wasn't disappointed. Getting her sloshed at noon before a long drive just wasn't possible, anyway, but I love your thought process. :)

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