Cherry-Blossom Princess Cake

The traditional princess cake, a Swedish wedding standby, is normally covered in green marzipan. In our floral interpretation, we cloaked the cake in pink fondant and topped it with real cherry blossoms, some coated with sugar. Inside, luscious layers of almond genoise, cherry jam (a nod to the sakura theme), pastry cream, and whipped cream in pink await guests.

  • Servings: 12

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2010

Ingredients

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 6 tablespoons almond flour, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (preferably 40% fat)
  • Rose-pink food coloring
  • Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves
  • Pastry Cream
  • 1 pound fondant, tinted pale pink
  • Cherry blossoms, plain and sugared, for decoration

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat two 12 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray; line with parchment, and spray again. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, almond flour, and salt; set aside.

  2. Heat eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl over a pot of simmering water; whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 2 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer; whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes. Raise speed to high, and beat until pale and thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from mixer, and sift flour mixture over eggs. Gently fold in using a rubber spatula. When almost incorporated, slowly add melted butter in a steady stream, and continue to fold until completely incorporated.

  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared baking sheets, and bake until cakes are golden brown and springy to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire rack and let cakes cool completely.

  4. Run knife around sides of cooled cakes and flip over, removing parchment. Using an 8-by-3-inch cake ring, cut out four circles; choose the three thickest ones (reserve the fourth for another use).

  5. To assemble, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cream in a small bowl. Let soften for 3 minutes. Bring 1/4 cup cream to a boil in a small pan, and pour over gelatin; let sit 30 seconds. Whisk to dissolve gelatin; then add to remaining cream; add drops of food coloring to tint pale pink. Transfer cream to a cold bowl, and whisk until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, mix simple syrup and kirsch.

  6. Place the cake ring on a same-size cardboard circle. Set first layer of cake inside ring; brush with kirsch syrup. Using an offset spatula, spread preserves in a thin layer over entire cake. Cover with 1/2 cup whipped cream. Top with second layer of cake, brush with syrup, and cover with pastry cream. Place last cake layer on top, pressing down gently; brush with syrup. Fill ring to the top with whipped cream; smooth the top. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

  7. Roll out fondant to 1/4 or 1/8 inch thick. Place over cake, smooth around sides (this will make a dome), and trim bottom edges with a pizza cutter. Refrigerate up to 1 hour, until ready to serve. When ready to serve, decorate with cherry blossoms.

Cook's Notes

Use an 8-inch cake ring to cut and shape this cake. If you're having a sizable wedding, consider serving a trio of cakes on stands of varying heights for an especially striking display.

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