Friday, June 22, 2007
Marzipan cake with strawberries and cream
Pretty, isn't it?
I guess you're not really surprised that I'm posting a recipe for a strawberry cake just a day after I posted a photo of local Estonian strawberries which are finally on sale pretty much everywhere (though I did notice - still!?! - some imported Southern European ones in some stores. Why, oh why?). K's mum's half-brother Ülo turned 60 yesterday, and K's mum threw a small party for him. I've never met the man before, but I still offered to make a birthday cake for him. He's a lone bachelor, you see, and I doubt he gets home-made, specially-for-him, cakes very often.
As strawberries are currently at the peak of their season, I decided to make a strawberry cake - you cannot be more summery & festive than that, can you? The base is sponge-like, but enriched with 200 grams of one of the best marcipans available here. Ren Rå Marcipan ('clean raw marzipan') from the Danish Odense Marzipan company contains 2 parts almonds, 1 part sugar; the almonds hail all the way from California, which is supposedly where the best almonds grow. The base cooked beautifully, filling our kitchen with a strong and pleasant almondy smell.
The cake went down a treat. I got a phone call from K's mum in the early afternoon, where she praised the cake, and then the phone was handed over to the birthday 'child' Ülo, who claimed it was the best strawberry cake he has ever had. I don't know about that, but it was definitely pleasing to my tastebuds (K. popped by his mum's place again on the way back from work, and brought back the cake stand with a tiny slice of cake for us to share in the evening).
Marzipan Cake with Strawberries & Cream
Adapted from Odense Marcipan, Denmark
200 grams sugar
150 grams plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
200 grams marzipan, coarsely grated (I used ODENSE Ren Rå Marcipan, 60% almonds)
1 tsp pure orange oil or zest of 1 orange
75-100 ml of milk or orange juice
300 ml whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
shredded fresh lemon balm leaves
Using an electric mixer, whisk eggs with sugar until pale and frothy. Add the sifted flour and baking powder mixture, then fold in the grated marzipan and orange oil/zest. Mix gently until combined, pour into a buttered 24 cm springform tin and bake at 175 Celsius for about 30 minutes, until the cake has risen and turned pale golden.
Remove from the oven, cool a little, then transfer the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Before serving, moisten the cake with orange juice or milk, cover with whipped cream and garnish with strawberries, pistachios and shredded lemon balm leaves.
UPDATE 25.6.2007: As you can see, then sweet Zarah Maria did bake this cake for her Martin's birthday, as she said in the comments :) It looks gorgeous, Zarah Maria, and I hope that Martin liked it!