Saturday, July 23, 2005

Princess Cake Tasting - Part II

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who was a Princess Cake virgin! Two serious epicurean debaucherists - Sam and my flickr buddy, roboppy - both told me that princess cakes weren't on their daily dessert routine! I seem to remember Anne mentioning that she was a newbie in the princess cake field too.

So, let's get to the details!

The components of a princess cake are: 1. marzipan coating, 2. custard, 3. whipped cream, and 4. raspberry jam. As you can see from the picture of the spread we had yesterday, it looks like the raspberry jam is most frequently on the bottom layer. But as with all trends, some bakeries get adventurous and mix up the layering. The custard is frequently the main cream component and the whipped cream plays only a supporting role - although again, this is only a trend and bakeries have the liberty of having the custard and the whipped cream equally represented. The cake layer can also vary quite a bit from being firm to soggy, occupying different degrees of moist to wet in the spectrum.

My favorite of the many princess cakes I had was the slice from Ambrosia. The custard was silky smooth with a firm yet gently moist cake layer. What really stood out for me was the cake layer. It held together the jam and cream layers into one coherent experience. The marzipan layer also provided just the right sweetness and texture without any kind of leathery discomfort found in other marzipan layers. Ambrosia's cake reminded me of those perfectly coiffed starlets in the blistering heat. It retained its shape with perfection while others succumbed in the blaring summer sun.

The lovely afternoon of princess cake tasting ended with more plans of other epicurean tastings - like BBQ sauce tasting, tomato dish cook-off, and other fun things. Drop me a note if any of you Bay Area residents would like to join us for the next afternoon of tasty fun!


Anonymous said...

Alice: The Swedish House Bakery in Tiburon makes a lovely princess cake. A very picky friend always ordered it for her daughter;s birthday. I can hardly finish a slice of it, finding it almost too much of a good thing, but the style is beautiful and one of the few traditional desserts that is green!

Sam said...

Did anyone make a homemade one?
Of course that is what I would have to do.

Rose said...

interesting. Never heard of this cake before. I'll have to try it when I get back to New York...wonder where I can find it.

Uchipu said...

I have never heard of Princess Cakes...

I wonder if it's a west coast thing Oo?

pseudo chef said...


I've never tried a princess cake before either. It just seemed too rich to have it by myself but I might try to goad the husband into sharing a slice with me :)

Fatemeh Khatibloo-McClure said...

I can't do princess cake on account of I HATE, LOATHE marzipan.

That pretty much ruins that very pretty cake for me. :-(

Anonymous said...

Check out my version of a Princess Cake, nade ere at my home.

Alice said...

Oh, it just occurred to me that I never responded to these comments!!! Oh, no!

Here is a link to Part II.

Yes, I believe that was one of the ones included in our tasting, and I totally agree. Too much of a good thing!!


I would LOOOOVE to try your homemade one!! I also considered it, but since I was running around with too much work, I just ended up picking one up...

Rose, Uchipu, and J,

Sounds like the princess cake isn't quite all over the place like tiramisu and other named-cakes. Interesting!


I actually am not a huge marzipan fan either... but on a princess cake, that grittiness isn't as noticeable, especially paired with that wonderful tart jam!

The French Pastry Chef,

Interesting you make your princess cake with chocolate sponge cake!

Tami said...

Funny that I just stumbled upon this site today - fate, I think. My office had a princess cake today for a going away party! (I was searching the internet for nutritional info, which is nowhere to be found.) Our cake was from Victoria Pastry, and though I thought the cake itself was a bit dry, the marzipan was excellent and not at all gritty. And as a whole, it wasn't overly sweet (of course, I limited myself to half a slice, fooling myself into thinking that I was sticking to my diet that way...)

Anonymous said...

hey all those wat to have a pice of this delicious cake..go to ur neares IKEA store...sinc eit is ssweden...u have this there..i got to IKEA to eat this