Mazarin cake is a classic Danish cake made with a pie crust, almond filling and dark chocolate on top. It first appeared in a cookbook in 1888, the time period (the 1800's) where the upperclass in Copenhagen started to go to patisseries. The Danish Patisseries was greatly influenced by German and Austrian ones. The cakes were named after royalty or historic figures, mostly French sounding names. This cake was named after The Italian cardinal Mazarin.
Even though Mazarin cake started off as a fancy cake, my first encounter with the cake was as a cheap store bought cake. A cake that you find in most supermarkets, kiosks and gas stations. The kind of cake you only buy, when you had no other options.
As I got older, working at a bakers shop, I got a new appreciation for the mazarin cake. The Mazarin cake had a flaky pie crust, the filling tasted more like marzipan and the decoration was thoughtful and pretty. Suddenly the Mazarin cake was elevated to a delicious treat worth sinking you teeth into.
To this day I still love this cake, but I rarely make it, because my version calls for a lot of marzipan. Marzipan is an ingredient I love, but also one that I am very picky about. My favorite marzipan for eating raw is the one made by the Danish company “Summerbird," - btw they also make the best chocolate ever! The marzipan I use for baking is "ren rå" (pure raw) from "Odense."
The Mazarin cake can easily be made in advance, a couple of days even, but the fresher the cake, the crispier the crust will be. The original cake was decorated with dark chocolate and candied petals from violets, but I dressed it up a notch with fresh berries.
I played a little with the crust. I have been looking for a crispy, flaky pie crust, but I haven't been completely satisfied with the ones I have tried previously.
But this one is close to perfection. Crispy, flaky, buttery with some texture to it. Next time I want to make my strawberry tart, I'll use this crust. I know that it works perfectly when baking it with the cake-part in it.
Makes two 8 inch cakes.
- 100 g almonds, grounded to flour
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 150 g butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- 100 g confectionary sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
- 300 g marzipan (almond pate)
- 200 g sugar
- 150 g butter
- 4 eggs
- 100 g dark chokolate, use a good one like Valrhona
- 40 g blød nougat, optional (you can use 1 tablespoon non-flavored vegetable oil in stead)
- fresh brerries
Ground the almonds to a flour in a food processor. Add flour and sugar and mix it well. Add butter, egg and vanilla paste, and pulse until it almost come together as a dough. Form the dough into two disks and refrigerate for a about 2 hours. The dough is more sticky than a normal pie crust.
Roll out each dough disks between 2 sheets of parchment paper. You need to have a bigger piece of dough than the pie pan you are using. Put the rolled dough into the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes, to make the butter freeze up. This will prevent the crust from shrinking while baking.
Preheat the oven to 360℉ (180℃).
Take the dough out when you are ready with the filling. Let the dough settle a few minutes on the counter before putting it in the pan. Carefully place the dough into the pan, make sure to get it into the corners. Cut off any excess dough. Do not stretch the dough, this will course shrinking.
Mix the marzipan with sugar and butter until fully incorporated. Mix in one egg at a time. Fill the crusts half up with the marzipan filling. Smooth the filling out for an even baking.
Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown.
Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack.
Melt the chocolate (and blød nougst) and pour a thin layer on top of the cooled cake. Decorate with fresh berries and serve it with a nice cup or tea or coffee
The danish version:
- 100 g mandler, malet til mel (i en foodprocessor)
- 200 g hvedemel
- 150 g smør, koldt og skåret i små tern
- 100 g flormelis
- 1 æg
- ½ tsk vanilla pasta eller kornene fra ½ vanilliestang
- 300 g marcipan (ren rå)
- 200 g sukker
- 150 g smør
- 4 æg
- 100 g god mørk chokolade (jeg brugte Valrhona)
- 40 g blød nougat
- friske bær
Kom mandlerne i en foodprocessor og mal dem til mel. Bland mel og sukker i. Tilsæt smør og vanille og pulse (kør foodprocessoren i få sekunder ad gangen) indtil dejen kun lige samler sig. Form dejen til to flade cirkler (hvis du laver runde tærter), pak dem ind i plastik film, og lad dem køle i ca. 2 timer. Dejen er mere klistret end en almindelig mørdej.
Rul dejen ud mellem to stykker bagepapir, lidt større end tærteformen du vil bruge. Læg den nu udrullede dej i fryseren i mindst 30 minutter, dette vil hindre at tærtebunden krymper, når den bages.
Opvarm ovnen til 180℃.
Tag dejen ud, når du har lavet mazarinmassen. Lad dejen hvile på køkkenbordet i få minutter, så den bliver lettere at få ned i formen. Læg dejen i tærteformen, og sørg for den kommer helt ud i hjørnerne, men pas på at du ikke strækker dejen, da det gør at tærtebunden trækker sig sammen ved bagningen.
Bland marcipan med sukker og smør intil du har en homogen masse. Bland eet æg i ad gangen, og sørg for det er helt blandet sammen, inden du tilsætter det næste. Fyld mazarinmassen i tærteformene. De skal fyldes ca halvt op. Glat massen ud med en paletkniv, så du får en fin glat overflade.
Bag kagen i ca 30 minutter indtil kagen er flot og mørk gylden. Køl kagen helt af før den pyntes.
Smelt chokolade og nougat og kom et tyndt lag på kagen. Dekorer med friske bær.