Swedish princess cupcakes


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A Swedish Princess Torte is a genoise sponge layered up with crème patissiere, jam and cream covered in green marzipan – a bit like a trifle (minus the sherry) in a marzipan hat. The end result is then decorated with a pink rose.

The technical challenges seem to be focusing less and less on skill and knowledge and more and more on extreme speed. Mary’s cake had all the bakers racing against the clock to complete 24 stages using 26 different ingredients. This was one hell of a challenge to complete in 2 and a half hours, as was evident from some of the sad looking results on the judging table.

There was plenty to go wrong with this task. First there was the issue with flat genoise sponges. The most important thing with a genoise is to whisk, whisk, whisk. The eggs and sugar need to be whisked until pale and mousse-like. This can take a while, so an electric hand whisk is your friend here. I always whisk my sugar and eggs over a pan of barely simmering water until mixture is just warm to the touch, as this speeds up the process, but be careful not to let the base of the bowl touch the water, or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.

Another issue that came up was how to ensure the crème patissiere would set. People go wrong with pastry cream because they are nervous of letting it bubble too much. Although it is, essentially, a stiff custard, there’s no gentle stirring until it just coats the back of a spoon. You need to allow the flour to cook out properly and you need to let it bubble while constantly stirring to get it thick enough to spread or pipe.

The Swedish Princess Torte is a real project cake, but you can get all the flavours without the fuss with my simplified Swedish Princess Cupcakes. You don’t need to spend all day in the kitchen to impress your friends and I’ve simplified things further by using shop bought raspberry jam and marzipan.




Crème patissiere

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30g of caster sugar
  • 15g of cornflour
  • 175ml of whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
  • 1 knob of butter

Genoise sponge

To assemble the cupcakes

  • 4 tbsp of raspberry jam
  • 600ml of double cream
  • 500g of marzipan
  • green food colouring, paste not liquid
  • pink food colouring, paste not liquid
  • 50g of dark chocolate, melted
To make the crème patissiere, whisk the egg yolk and sugar together in a bowl until pale and thick. Add the flour and mix in. Score the vanilla pod down the centre and place it in a saucepan with the milk over a gentle heat
Bring the milk slowly up to the boil, fish out the vanilla pod and pour the milk over the egg, sugar and flour mixture, whisking all the time
Tip the mixture back into the saucepan and place it back on the heat, stirring all the time, until it comes up to a gentle boil. Leave it to boil, still stirring, for a couple of minutes, or until the mixture has thickened
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter. Pour the creme patissiere into a cold bowl or jug and cover the top with cling film to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool
If your mixture has gone lumpy, push it through a sieve before decanting into your clean bowl or jug
While the crème patissiere is cooling, make the cakes. Place the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water. Whisk continually until the mixture is pale and thick and leaves a ribbon of mixture when you lift the beaters that takes a few seconds before it disappears
Remove the bowl from atop the pan and whisk in the vanilla before sifting over the flour. Fold the flour in with a large metal spoon, being careful not to knock the air out of the batter. Pour the cooled melted butter down the side of the bowl and fold in
Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden and well risen. Leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack
Whip the cream and fold a third into the cold crème patissiere until smooth and spoon it into a piping bag. Place the remaining whipped cream in a second piping bag
Use a small knife to cut a cone shaped hole out of each cake and place a teaspoon of raspberry jam in each one. Top the jam with a squeeze of crème patissiere and pipe over a generous blob of the cream over the top. Pop the cakes in the freezer to harden slightly
Colour a fifth of the marzipan with the pink dye and make some roses (you can buy ready-made if you prefer)
Dye the remaining marzipan with green dye and roll it out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Cut out rounds big enough to top the cakes and place one round over each cupcake. Smooth the tops into a neat dome using your hands
Place the melted and slightly cooled chocolate in piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle and pipe over a chocolate pattern of your choice. Top each cake with a rose and serve
Swedish princess cupcakes
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