Having said that however, I do believe all young girls deserve to know what it feels like to be treated like a princess on special occasions, but like party food, should not be over indulged on a daily basis.
When I thought of what I could depict for my inchie today, I decided, without much thought, on Princess Cake...prinsesstårta. A celebratory Swedish confection that personifies sweet indulgence and is a perfect item for fika.
Food seems to feature fairly strongly in the rest of the inchie topics for the remainder of this year so I didn't feel I was venturing too far from the topic...
I first came across this cake at IKEA, in Sydney, many years ago...I have never made a Princess cake, but if I am in an IKEA store and stop for a coffee, I am sure to also have one of these cakes. Now, before proceeding further and before all Swedes start howling in dismay at my naivety, I really REALLY do know that eating something from a mass produced cafeteria refrigerated cabinet is not any measure of perfection...it is simply the only time I have been able to indulge in this treat. I almost never buy cakes, normally...one day I may just make one...maybe.
Princess cake is a fairly simple layered sponge, joined with layers of raspberry jam, whipped cream and crème Anglaise and covered with a thin dome of green or pink marzipan...but from memory, the IKEA version has a cover of royal icing rather than marzipan.
Tasmania has too small a population to support an IKEA store, so I do not get to indulge my liking for this cake very often...only on a trip to Melbourne or Sydney, so it has been quite a while between treats.
To me, this dessert is a version of a sophisticated trifle, with very similar textures and flavours...come to think of it, it would make a nice replacement for the trifle at Christmas...
The history of this cake stems from a Swedish cookbook, (the Prinsessornas Kokboks, several reprints), by Jenny Åkerström, who was for some time a domestic instructor to the three Swedish princesses, Margaretha, Märtha, and Astrid. The book was first printed in 1929 and contained the recipe for "Grön Tårta", or Green Cake, which became, due to the portraits of the three princesses being included on the cover of the cookbook, by popular usage, Princess cake. There you have it.
My new starter is now on day 3 and looking pretty good...it should be ready to start making loaves in a couple of days or so, despite our spell of cold weather which does not seem to have slowed it down at all.
This time round I will use more of the traditional proving and kneading techniques than I have bothered with in the past...time now not being an issue for me. I have been reading a useful Australian blog called Fig Jam & Lime Cordial after getting out a library book called Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, by Emilie Raffa. A third, and very useful and detailed source of information regarding sourdough techniques is the SBS foodie site by Anneke Manning . With all this information at my fingertips there should be no stopping me...