We’re going to take a slight turn on this post and instead of doing an old recipe, I’m going to talk about the cake that kicked my ass. The Princess Cake has been on my bucket list of things to try for a long time now. Ever since I became obsessed with Great British Bake Off, I have always wanted to know how to do it, how it tasted and if it was as difficult as it looked.
The answer is a resounding yes. The bakers were given two and a half hours to do this cake and it took me the better part of an entire weekend. This cake is a nightmare. I walked into this process like a cocky ass who feared no cake. This recipe, when printed out, is three pages long with 24 different ingredient line items.
This is the recipe I used – straight from Ms. Mary Berry herself. I will admit that I said some VERY not nice things about Mary this weekend.
Let’s Bake…and bake….and bake
The first step was the pastry cream which is something I’ve made many times. If you haven’t made or had pastry cream – I strongly suggest you stop reading and make it. Immediately. Pastry cream is soooo good. Also, when everything has been added together and you put it back on the heat to thicken up – it’s like magic. I always sqee with joy every time it happens. Once the custard came together, I placed a cling wrap film on the top and set it in the fridge to cool. So far so good!
Next came the jam. Again, super simple to make. Take raspberries and sugar and cook. You hard boil for 4 to 5 minutes, and then set aside to cool. In this case, I used frozen raspberries which didn’t seem to cause any issues at all.
At this point I’m breezing through this, although I am thinking how completely unfair the time frames are that they are given. I’ve made pastry cream and jam and need to leave them to cool and I’m already an hour into the process.
Genoise is a Jerk
Next up is the cake. The only thing I saw as an issue in the beginning was that the recipe calls for a 9 inch springform pan. I only have a 10 inch. I can’t imagine that it would cause that big of a difference, right?
WRONG! What in the name of God is wrong with this cake?!? Why would anyone choose to do this? No cake should be this finicky. Everything can look perfect and as it should – and you won’t know until it comes out of the oven if it was mixed correctly! Just look at the difference in these two cakes! How in the hell am I supposed to cut that cake into THREE layers!?!?
I left the jacked up cake to cool and turned on Netflix to watch the specific episode where they made the Princess Cake – all the while screaming “That’s exactly what I did!”
Now I had a hard choice to make. Do I try to hack this cake into little pieces OR do I try to do it again. I have to choose wisely, because my egg supply is low and the marzipan, that has yet to be made, needs two eggs. Suddenly lightening strikes and I remembered that I had store bought marzipan in the pantry! Brilliant! Round two of cake was a bit more of a success!
Marzipan Is From The Devil
With all the separate components cooled the cake partially built – it was time to make the marzipan. Since I’m a genius and already have the store bought, all I have to do is tint it green and roll it out.
Rolling out store bought marzipan is the equivalent of me trying to put spanx on. It’s like trying to flatten a concrete cinder block by hand. This was like Thor’s hammer and Cap’s vibranium shield all rolled into one. I had LITERAL sweat running down my face. What the hell is this made of?!? Clearly this was not going to work AND even if I could roll it out – I don’t have enough to cover the whole cake.
I packed it up for the night and drank wine.
The next day I had to borrow eggs from my mother to make the marzipan. THIS time it’s gooey and soft and perfectly pliable. It’s easy to roll out and cover the whole cake.
Everything just sort of falls into place at this point and the cake is, thankfully, done.
I’ll admit the cake is very pretty, especially when it’s cut and you can see all the layers. It tastes lovely as well. The tart of the jam with the sweet of the pastry cream and cake really do meld perfectly. The marzipan adds an interesting texture with a slight almond taste.
Was it worth two days of work? Absolutely not.
Will I ever do this again? Hell no.
But I did it, and can cross it off my list.