Swedish Princess Torte
Makes approximately 16 servings
For the Soaking Syrup: (adapted from Baking Obsession’s soaking syrup recipe)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons berry juice (combination of blueberry/raspberry/strawberry juices), optional
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a boil. Cool. Right before using, stir in the berry juice if you are using it.
For the Pastry Cream: (adapted from Tartelette’s pastry cream recipe)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half, divided
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. In a small bowl filled with 1/4 cup of cold water, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the surface of the water and set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of the half-and-half and whisk until smooth. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the remaining half and half to a boil, then slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg yolk/cornstarch mixture to temper the eggs.
2. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens to a custard. This should take about 5 minutes. It is important to constantly stir to prevent the bottom from curdling or burning. If the pastry cream does curdle, whisk it vigorously with a balloon whisk until it is smooth, and if that does not work, pass the the cream through a mesh sieve. Take the pastry cream off the heat, stir in the softened gelatin, and keep stirring until the gelatin is completely melted and incorporated.1 teaspoon of gelatin softened in water to the pastry cream to make it hold better. Add it when you just remove it from the stove and stir until completely melted. Stir in the vanilla and then pour the pastry cream into a bowl to let it cool. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming while it cools. Let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
For the Cake: Make 2 batches of Tartelette’s genoise.
For the Swiss Buttercream: Make one batch of Baking Obsession’s Swiss Buttercream
For the Marzipan Coating:
Two 7 oz packages marzipan
Green food coloring
Powdered sugar for dusting
Break the marzipan into small pieces into a medium bowl and knead with your hands to smooth it out. Add 3 or 4 drops of green food coloring and knead it into the marzipan to turn it a pale shade of green. Dust your work surface with powdered sugar. Shape the marzipan into a 6-inch disk and coat both sides lightly with powdered sugar. Roll the marzipan to a circle about 16 inches in diameter and less than 1/8 inch thick. Add more powdered sugar to your work surface as needed to prevent it from sticking.
To Assemble the Torte:
Genoise, soaking syrup, and pastry cream
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
1. Cut the cakes into 3 equal layers and set aside. Line a bowl (5 to 6 cups in volume capacity and 8-inches in diameter) with plastic wrap. Cut 2 of the cake layers into long fingers, 1-inch in width. Fit the fingers tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the lined bowl, and then lightly brush them with the soaking syrup.
2. Whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Measure out a scant cup of the whipped cream and set aside. Transfer the rest of the whipped cream into the genoise-lined bowl and smooth the surface of the cream. Trip one layer of genoise slightly to fit into the bowl, brush it lightly with the soaking syrup, and place it syrup side down over the layer of the whipped cream.
3. Brush the other side of the cake with the soaking syrup. Spread the chilled pastry cream over this layer. Now trim a new layer of cake and brush it with the soaking syrup and place this layer syrup side down over the pastry cream.
4. Brush the other side of the cake with the soaking syrup, and spread the reserved scant cup of whipped cream over it. Finally, trim a final layer of cake and brush it with the soaking syrup, then grently spread the strawberry jam over it. Carefully place this layer, jam side down, over the whipped cream layer.
5. Place a cardboard cake round over the final layer, and wrap the entire cake in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours (or overnight).
6. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Put a small dab of the buttercream onto the cake cardboard to secure it to the serving platter. Place the serving platter over the cake and carefully invert it, and then unmold the cake. Lightly moisten the top of the cake with the soaking syrup and then spread a thin layer of the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Make this layer as smooth as possible, in order to insure that your marzipan layer will go on smoothly. Refrigerate the cake for two hours to firm up.
7. Finally, remove the cake from the refrigerator and drape the rolled out layer of marzipan over the cake. Gently press and smooth down the marzipan so that it adheres to the cake. Start from the top, and work your way down and around the sides of the cake. To remove the folds and creases, lift the outside edge of the marzipan with a hand on either side of a fold, and gently pull the marzipan out and down until the fold disappears. Work your way around the cake repeating this process until all of the folds are eliminated. Then rub the palm of your hand around the sides of the cake to further smooth it and eliminate any air pockets.
8. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, carefully trim away the excess marzipan along the bottom oedge of the cake (the cardboard should not show). Refrigerate the finished torte until ready to serve.