Princess Tea Party

Princess Tea Party

The Twinkies are planning a tea party to feature a gluten-free, gum-free, low-lactose version of a Swedish cake, the Prinsesstarta! Stay tuned to learn our soiree secrets and how to make this cake fit for royalty (and sensitive tummies). Low-FODMAP in small portions.

My Twinkie, Mollie of Fit Fab FODMAP and moi will be hostessing a Princess Tea Party for our closest family and friends this autumn. As you know from previous posts, we have lived parallel medical lives in Houston, Texas, and we share a passion for cooking to suit our medical needs and of playing hostess to our loved ones. This party all began with my audacious idea to make a FODMAP-friendly Prinsesstarta. Let me tell you more.

When I was a little girl, for my birthday I always wanted Princess Cake (Prinsesstarta) from Andres Confiserie Suisse (formerly in Houston's River Oaks neighborhood). This beautiful Swedish cake was everything a little girl dreams of in a sweet confection: pretty colors of white, pale green, and pink; fluffy whipped cream; deliciously indulgent, thick pastry cream; refreshing raspberry jam; topped with a pale green marzipan sheet that tastes of the sweetest almonds; and finished with a lovely, edible rose surrounded by decorative flourishes of chocolate ganache. I was a lucky girl, and my parents and grandparents spoiled me with treats of this lovely cake.

Y'all know that I love a good challenge. I have always wanted to make Princess Cake myself but saw it as something insurmountable for a home cook. Then, one evening, my Mr. Wonderful and I were watching our guilty pleasure on television, the Great British Baking Show. They featured a challenge of creating a Prinsesstarta using Mary Berry's recipe! I watched, took copious notes, watched again (over and over), and dowloaded the recipe from the BBC website. If I were going to finally tackle this lovely cake, I would need to psych myself into it, break it down into manageable components, recreate recipes to make it wheat-free and dairy-free to work with my medical dietary restrictions, and practice-practice-practice. OK. Baking game face will be required (can you tell it is the start of college football season?)!

When I mentioned my plan to Mollie, she, ever my personal cheerleader, insisted it was a splendid idea and suggested that we throw a tea party in celebration of my pending Arc de Triomphe! Of course! Every cake needs a party!

Mollie and I wish that we could invite all of you to our little soiree, but alas, tea parties are traditionally intended to be small, intimate affairs. So, we will give you an insider's peek at our planning. How about that? As always, I want to share with you my recipes for the various components of the Prinsesstarta so that you may, too, recreate it at home. The recipes will be released one at a time, as I will practice each piece of the cake up until the party. You will find the posts linked below and also located on the website under Recipes/Sweet.

Princess Tea Party Planning

It's official, Mollie is an unstoppable party-planning force! Between her orders on Amazon and Etsy, she has written an article about how to plan the perfect tea party!

Every Cake Needs a Party

As mentioned above, the Prinsesstarta is really the whole reason for this affair. Let me show you how I plan to make it.

  • Step 1: Research - think of this as the first rung on the winding staircase of mise en place
  • Step 2: Fairylike Genoese Sponge - wheat-free, dairy-free, and gum-free using British Self-Raising Flour
  • Step 3: Pastry Cream - wheat-free and dairy-free
  • Step 4: Seedless Raspberry Jam - a smidge less sugar and seedless
  • Step 5: Vegan Marzipan - less sugar than most, without raw eggs, glucose syrup, and corn-free, plus dyed with homemade food color powder (spinach)
  • Step 6: Decorative Rose - made of Vegan Marzipan dyed with homemade food color powder (beet juice)
  • Step 7: Gum-Free Coconut Whipped Cream - dairy-free, gum-free, preservative-free, and sugar-free
  • Step 8: Vegan Dark Chocolate Ganache (decorative swirls) - dairy-free, soy-free, gum-free, oil-free, and low fat
  • Step 9: Assembly - from bottom to top: layer of fairylike genoese sponge, layer of gum-free coconut whipped cream, layer of seedless raspberry jam, layer of fairylike genoese sponge, layer of pastry cream, huge dollop of gum-free coconut whipped cream, layer of fairylike genoese sponge, every surface covered in a mixture of pastry cream and gum-free coconut whipped cream, every surface covered in a layer of vegan marzipan topped with vegan dark chocolate ganache decorative swirls and a rose made of vegan marzipan (pictured below).
  • Now, to enlist my family and neighbors in taste-testing the practice drills.

    Every Party Needs a Cause

    In case you haven't already figured it out, I am a total nerd. I love research, almost more than I love desserts (gasp!)! In my readings about the history of the Prinsesstarta, I came across several entries speaking to a charitable component of this cake.

    It is a modern, annual Swedish custom that during the last week of September bakeries create Prinsesstarta with a special crown symbol decoration. For every special Prinsesstarta sold, a contribution is made toward the Crown Princess Victoria Fund for children. This fund provides recreational trips for children with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses.

    Following the lead of the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Mollie and Katherine will be making a donation to Houston’s TIRR Memorial Hermann's Camp Kids Unlimited program to provide an overnight camping experience to children with physical disabilities including spinal cord injuries. Scholarships of $150.00 provide one child with a 4-day overnight camping experience at Camp Aranzazu, a traditional summer camp with unique facilities equipped for campers with special needs, located in Rockport, Texas.

    If you are interested in making a donation to TIRR Memorial Hermann's Camp Kids Unlimited, please make donations directly to Camp Kids Unlimited either online (be sure to select Camp Kids Unlimited as the Donation Information "Designation;" it is the 6th item down on the Designation drop-down menu) or by mail (please add Camp Kids Unlimited in the message line of your check; mailing address listed in online link). If you know of a child who would benefit from such a camping experience, please refer them to TIRR Memorial Hermann's Camp Kids Unlimited.

    Update November 4, 2016: Our goal was to send two kids to camp for Summer 2017, and we EXCEEDED that goal! Thanks to all of y'all who made contributions totaling $466.00! That's enough to send three kids to a true summer camp experience! Thank you!!!

    Party Like a Princess

    Well, the day went off splendidly! I made two cakes (pictured below)! A princess never leaves her guests hungry, so of course I wanted to be certain everyone, including our prince charmings in the wings, had a bite of cake and maybe even a piece to take home. I took four days to make the cake: (1) seedless raspberry jam (stored in refrigerator), ganache (which I froze), and food coloring (pantry-stored the dried color for the green and froze the liquid color for the pink); (2) vegan marzipan (stored in refrigerator); (3) pastry cream (stored in refrigerator), gum-free coconut whipped cream (stored in refrigerator), and fairylike genoese sponge (wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in domed cake holder, and kept on counter); (4) assembly (after assembling, cakes were immediately transported to Mollie's castle where they sat on the counter until serving).

    We had a total of 16 princesses and two heirs apparent (infants) in attendance - quite the royal gathering. There were noshes, sweets, treats, and of course, lots to drink. Mollie did an amazing job decorating and getting all of the goodies together to make the event really feel special. Read all about what we served and see some fab shots of the day on Mollie's post.

    It wasn't even at my palace, yet I am still finding glitter here, there, and everywhere, which is such a fun reminder of our pretty little day.

    More important than all the fun, tiaras, and food is that we raised funds for a great cause. See above for our grand total announcement!