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baking and desserts

Princess Peach Cakes | #MarioMonth

This month’s Fandom Foodies theme is #MarioMonth, hosted by Lvl.1 Chef. There are so many cute and creative recipes this month inspired by our favorite brick-busting, turtle-tossing, tanooki-suited Italian plumber!

I had an idea to remix Swedish princess cakes (prinsesstårta) into something a little peachier. Full-size and layered felt a little daunting, so I took a cue from My Name is Yeh and made mini ones – very cute and much less fussy! I made a vanilla cake spread with a lovely peachy compote, then topped with vanilla whipped cream and marzipan – little cakes fit for a princess!

I also used this as an opportunity to try making marzipan; The Daring Gourmet has a detailed recipe, and as promised, it was really easy to make. Mine did crack a little as I lay it over the cakes – I read some tricks afterwards about how to avoid this, such as not over-kneading and drying out the marzipan, rolling it thin enough so it doesn’t pull, greasing your work surface with Crisco instead of powdered sugar. Regardless, I think they came out super adorable if not super profesh – hey, I can bring the competence, but if you’re looking for expertise, sorry, that princess is in another castle!

Princess Peach Cakes

For the cake

Recipe from Martha Stewart, I chose this spongy one because it has no butter so stays soft when chilled

  • 1 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Beat together egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in water and vanilla bean scrapings. Add dry ingredients and mix in with a spatula until just combined. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Pour into pan and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Cool, remove from pan and wrap in plastic and freeze for at least an hour and up to overnight.

For the cardamom peach compote

  • 10 ounces frozen peach slices (you can use fresh if in season
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • seeds of 3 cardamom pods

Combine peaches, sugar, and cardamom in a sauce pan and heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally and smashing gently with a wooden spoon, until peaches are thick and mostly broken down (leave some intact for texture). Chill in the fridge.

For the vanilla whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip together until stiff peaks form

For the marzipan

  • 1 3/4 cups almond meal
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 egg white

In a food processor, pulse together almon meal and powdered sugar. Add almond extract, rose water, and egg white and combine until a dough forms. Turn it out onto a surface dusted with powdered sugar and knead just a bit until it balls together. You can add food coloring to decorate.

To assemble the cakes

Cut six 3-inch circles from the sheet cake (save the scraps to dunk in coffee). Spread each with peach compote, and pipe whipped cream on top. Roll out the marzipan to a thin, even layer (I did mine in two batches), and cut 5 inch circles (I used a bowl). Form over the tops of the cakes. Decorate with artsy craftsy marzipan crowns.

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