The Perfect Little Princess – Cake Expo Melbourne

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Swedish Princess Cake.

It’s perfect for a special occasion. It is a delicate cake, and looks best with simple decorations.

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Ingredients:

For the crème patissière:

75g egg yolks (approximately 3 small egg yolks)
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
500ml whole milk
50g cornflour                                                                                                                          45g Butter (Room Temperature)

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For the Jaconde sponge:
3 medium whole eggs
125g icing sugar
125g almond meal (sifted)
3 egg whites
15g caster sugar
40g plain flour

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For the filling:
2 tbsp Good Quality Raspberry Jam
Punnet of raspberries (approximately 150g)

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For the decoration:
400g marzipan
400g white Fondant
Pink food colour (or other colour if you prefer)

Equipment:

Two baking trays with a minimum width of 30cm
15cm half sphere mould
15cm round pastry cutter
Plastic piping bag
6 inch round cake card board

8 inch round cake board
Small non-stick rolling pin
Mould for flower decorations or you can try making a flower by hand
Scalped Edge Cutter
Egg carton or plastic paint palette with wells
Leaf Mould Veiner                                                                                                                                                                  Large Flower Petal Cutter
Plain round 2.5cm pastry cutter

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190°C

Line two baking trays with baking paper.

To make the crème patissière –
Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar in a mixing bowl, then add the cornflour and stir to combine. Place the milk, vanilla seeds and scraped vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Pour about a quarter of the hot milk onto the egg yolk mixture, immediately stirring until smooth.

Add the egg yolk and milk mixture to the pan with the remaining hot milk stir well till combined and smooth. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens and bubbles in the centre, stirring well to make sure the crème patissière does not burn on the base of the pan. Taste the crème patissière to check it is cooked; it should not taste floury. The texture should be smooth and thick.

Transfer to a bowl or tray. To prevent a skin from forming, cover tightly with cling film, pressing down firmly to make sure there are no air pockets. Allow to cool to room temperature place back into a clean mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and on medium speed begin adding the room temperature butter in small amounts beat until the butter is well incorporated and the custard is smooth, chill until further use.

To make the Jaconde sponge –
Beat the whole eggs and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. Sift together the flour and ground almonds, then gently fold into the egg mixture using a spatula.

In a clean dry bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until they reach soft peaks. Fold the meringue mixture into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared baking trays and level the surface using a palette knife or the back of a spoon.

Bake for 8–10 minutes on a low shelf, depending on your oven. The sponge is cooked when the sides are beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tin and the top is lightly golden brown and springs back to the touch.
Allow to cool outside of the oven but leave the sponges in the baking trays. Once cool, cover with cling film to prevent the sponge sheets from drying out.

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To assemble the cake –
Place the sphere mould on top of a small round cake tin to hold it steady. Line the inside of the mould with clingfilm, overlapping the edges.

Cut out a 30cm round from one of the sponge sheets. Use it to line the inside of the sphere mould, leaving a small overlap around the outside edge. Trim off any excess using a pair of kitchen scissors.

Fill a piping bag with the custard filling. Snip an inch off the tip and pipe a thick layer into the bottom of the cake mould, then place six fresh raspberries evenly over the custard. Pipe another layer of buttercream on top. Continue adding layers of buttercream and fresh raspberries until you have almost reached the top edge of the mould. Level off the last layer of cusard using a palette knife.

Cut out two 15cm rounds from the remaining sponge sheet using a pastry cutter. Sandwich the two rounds of sponge together with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Place the two sponge rounds on top of the buttercream-filled mould. Place a layer of clingfilm over the top then place the 6 inch cake board on top. Trim any excess sponge from around the edges of the mould. Cover all with another layer of cling film over the top tightly. Chill for at least 4–6 hours or preferably overnight.

To make the decoration –
While your cake is setting in the fridge, make the flower decorations.

For the pink-coloured fondant, mix 400g white fondant with few drops of pink food paste colour to blend together a very pale shade. To prevent it from drying out, keep the sugar paste wrapped in cling film until use.

Make 3–4 flowers in different shades of pink fondant with sugar paste hardener added so that the flowers will air dry quicker and hold their shape.

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To decorate
Once the cake has set, remove it from the fridge and turn it out on the 8 inch cake board. Remove the mould and the cling film.

On a surface dusted with icing sugar, roll the marzipan out to a thickness 3–4mm. It must be large enough to cover the dome. Using a rolling pin, lift the rolled marzipan and lay it over the dome cake. Smooth the marzipan down the sides of the dome using your fingers. Tuck the edges down and trim away any excess marzipan using a kitchen knife.

Roll out the pink sugar fondant and place over the marzipan the same way. Trim away any excess sugar paste as before.

Cut a 2.5cm wide strip or scalloped edge that is long enough to go all around the base of the dome to create a swag border.

To finish, placed a flower on top of the dome. Be creative its up to you but keep it simple!

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This cake has a shelf life of 3 days when stored in the fridge, however the decoration may become soft and sticky in cold humid conditions. Therefore, I recommend making the cake no more than 2 days in advance of serving and consuming it.

within 1 day.

This recipe was inspired by the wonderful Dome Cake by Peggy Porschen.

Walnut and Almond Semolina Halva – Karma-Free Dessert

Semolina halva is one of the most popular desserts found in Greece, India and the Middle-Eastern.

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The secret to good halva is to roast the semolina and the almond meal very slowly with the oil constantly stirring so as not to scorch the grains. Steam the finished halva by covering the plastic wrap and allow it to sit covered till it cools. This will ensure that every grain will be fluffy and plump.

My mother and grand mother both enjoyed making and eating halva. They had their own secret recipe which I found to be either too oily or too sweet or the grains were well crunchy would be the best descriptive word to use…..ok call me fussy!  Thankfully, after I did a little experimenting and made my version of the dessert neither of them would make it their way again preferring to use my recipe. I hope you enjoy this recipe too and it becomes your favourite.

The beauty of this dessert is that you can make small variations like adding 1/4 of soaked sultanas or use cashew nuts even adding coconut milk and vanilla extract. You have a base recipe to start with. 🙂

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:
Group A
3 cups Water
1 cup Sugar (I like to use Raw Caster Sugar)

Group B
1 1/4 cup Semolina
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/3 cup Rice-Bran Oil

Group C
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
1/3 cup Walnut pieces

Method:
Combine the Group A ingredients, place over moderate heat, stirring only till sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then remove from heat.

Combine Group B in a 2 -3 litre sized saucepan and stir fry the grains over low heat till the grains are light golden and aromatic. (Take care not to scorch the grains it takes about 10 minutes).

Add Group C stir till all combined stir for a further 2-3 minutes.

Remove the saucepan of semolina from the heat, slowly pour the hot syrup into the semolina, stirring constantly. The grains will splutter at first (take care) it will quickly stop as the liquid is absorbed.

Pour the mix into a nonstick Bunt Cake pan (sprayed with oil) or as I have used individual moulds. Cover the halva with plastic wrap very tightly and set aside till it has cooled and ready to remove from the mould.

Serve cold with an extra sprinkle of semolina and crushed walnuts. I do also like making a vanilla custard to serve with the halva hot. I know it sounds strange but don’t knock it till you try it. 🙂

Enjoy

Cheers

Maria

Aromatic Wine Poached Pear and Almond Tart

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Poaching pears in a blend of good red wine, and boosting the warmth of the poaching liquid by adding spice aromatics like a cinnamon stick, star anise, lemon and orange peal and you have a pear that will tantalise your every taste bud with every spoonful.  

Wine Poached Pears

150g Marsalla Wine

750g Red Wine

150g Caster Sugar

1 Cinnamon Stick

Lemon and Orange Peal

1 Star Anise

10-12 Small Corella Pears (pealed and seeds hulled)

Now don’t over complicate this its as easy as.

1: You will need a pot (with a lid) that will fit all your pears side by side in an upright position.

2: Add all poaching ingredients to the pot – the wine, sugar, spices and peal. On low heat stir till sugar has dissolved.

3: Peal pears and remove the core if possible leave the stems for now (you can remove after they have been poached and cooled)

4: Place the pears in the pot, lid on and allow them to poach for about 20 – 30 minutes. Test the pears to see if they are ready by piercing with a small knife if  the tip of the knife slides in easily then they are ready, under poached pears do not have a very pleasant texture.

Just a note: At this stage you can ditch the rest of the recipe, pop the cooled poached pears with the liquid  in the fridge. They make an amazing dessert on their own with a dollop of double cream, or your favourite vanilla ice-cream and for crunch place the pear on some recently baked puff pastry sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar and you have lovely individual desserts. Don’t forget to drizzle some of the poaching liquid over the top!

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Sweet Pastry Crust

125g Butter (cubed)

125g Icing Sugar

1 Free Range Egg

250g Organic Plain Flour

25g Almond meal

The hard work has been done its time to let the food processor take over.

1: Place the flour, butter, almond meal and icing sugar in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse 4 – 6 times till all resembles an even crumble.

2: Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water, pulse the flour mix again till it starts to come together. Remove the pastry dough push it all together, flatten out into a disc shape wrap in food grade plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 10 – 15minutes.

3: Time to make the Almond creme, once again another a handheld mixer standard mixer is perfect for this job.

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Almond Creme

125g Butter (room temperature)

125g icing Sugar

125g Almond Meal

2 Free Range Eggs (room temperature)

1 teaspoon Queens Vanilla Bean paste

1: Cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste, be a little patient and don’t rush. Once the butter and sugar are pale light and fluffy in appearance add the eggs one at a time.

2: Add the almond meal, stop beating when all ingredients have combined. Set aside for the moment.

3: Pre-Heat the oven 180 Deegrees.

Tart shell filled with almond creme
Tart shell filled with almond creme
Baked to a golden finish
Baked to a golden finish

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Arranging the poached pears
Arranging the poached pears

Assembly

1: On a lightly floured surface, roll-out the pastry about 4-5 millimetres thickness. Line the base and sides of a 26cm round nonstick fluted tart baking pan and trim the edges.

2: Fill the tart shell with the Almond Creme filling no more than 3/4 full.

3: Bake the tart on the middle shelf for approximately 25 minutes or till light golden colour. Once baked remove form the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the baking pan.

4: Decorate the cooled tart with the poached pears.

Just a note: Baking is part science and a whole lot of creativity! So you can either cut the pears in half, or slice them into wedges and arrange them around the tart. If they are small pears they look great left whole as an individual serving. Its up to you.

Happy Baking by Baking Beautiful

Maria – The Great Australian Bake Off

Band of Bakers Australia

Instergram: BakingBeautiful