4 eggs, separated
4 ounces superfine (caster) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 ounces butter, metled and cooled
cream filling (recipe follows)
whipped cream (recipe follows)
simple syrup (recipe follows)
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 7-ounce tubes marzipan
red and green food coloring
Generously butter 6 ramekins (1 cup) and then line the bottoms with a disc of parchment paper; butter the parchment, as well. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Using a hand-held mixer, beat the egg yolks until they are pale in color and thickened. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form then – still beating – add the sugar slowly and beat until stiff. Lighten the yolk mixture with about 1/3 of the beaten whites, then gently fold in the remaining whites until no streaks are visible.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Sifting is key here – it helps to incorporate the flour with no lumps. Gently fold the sifted flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 additions. Gently stir in butter and divide batter among the 6 prepared ramekins. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a tin spatula and torn cakes out onto the rack.
While cakes are baking, color and roll the marzipan. Take 10.5 ounces of marzipan (1 1/2 tubes) and put them in a large, sturdy resealable plastic bag. Knead briefly, then add 5 drops red food coloring. Knead the coloring into the marzipan until it is even and no streaks of color occur. Repeat with the remaining 3.5 ounces in a smaller bag with 1 to 2 drops green food coloring. (You can reverse the colors for a more traditional cake, or mix them up to make yours match a theme.)
Using confectioner's sugar, "flour" your dough board and rolling pin. Roll out the pink marzipan to 1/12-inch thick. Using a template, cut out six 6-inch circles and stack them using waxed paper between each later. You will need to pull together your scraps, re-knead and re-roll in order to get the 6 circles. Knead together any remaining scraps to make roses for the final decoration. Place the circles and little pink scraps in the plastic bag you used for kneading, seal and set aside. Leave green marzipan in its bag for now; it will get rolled at the end.
When cakes are cool, slice each one horizontally into three layers using a serrated knife. Line up the cake layers: bottom, middle, top. Brush all three layers liberally with the simple syrup, then spread raspberry jam on the bottom layer, and stack the middle layer on top. Add a thick slather of pastry cream on the middle layer and then add the top layer. Once all cakes are stacked, frost each liberally on the sides and top (with extra on the top) with whipped cream.
Place a disc of marzipan on each cake and gently mold around the cakes. Chill. Divide green marzipan into six equal pieces and make 6 sets of decorations – leaves, diamonds, long strips, or whatever. Make 6 roses out of remaining pink scraps. Add the decorations to the cakes, using a little water or egg white to help them adhere, if necessary. Refrigerate the cakes, covered, until ready to serve.
Makes six mini Prinsesstårtas, serving 12.
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
Bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Whisk together the egg, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Add half of the milk into the bowl containing the eggs, whisking constantly, then return the mixture to the saucepan containing the remaining milk, whisking over moderate heat. Continue whisking until the mixture is thickened and begins to simmer. Allow cream filling to simmer, whisking for an additional minute. Do NOT let it get too thick! Transfer into another bowl, cover and let cool completely. Before using, whisk in a large dollop of the whipped cream (recipe follows) to lighten and loosen the pastry cream.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk at high speed until cream is very thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or flavoring of choice)
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool. Leave at room temperature until ready to use.