by Colin Cahill

“Assume Nothing!” A mantra for The Crown as we worked towards opening our doors in March of 2019, the phrase became a Menu section, encouraging our visitors to drop their preconceptions and be open to new and delicious experiences. And now it’s the title of a recipe series, for you to recreate at home. Here’s to a year of assuming nothing!

After what was a brutal winter for many of us, Spring greeted us here in the bay with foggy mornings, viridescent hillsides, lush blooms, and the arrival of berries. Drawing inspiration from the lush visual treat of the greens around us—both botanical and ceramic—and the transition into the decadence of Summer in the Bay, we have turned a most monarchical confection into a latte. The classic Swedish Princess cake is both Royal and green; it contains layers of white cake, vanilla cream, and jam, all covered by a verdant dome of marzipan. Some call a version with yellow marzipan a Prince Cake. We lean into the yellow Chartreuse spectrum with our pistachio-heavy marzipan crumble that tops a latte layered with fresh raspberry compote, espresso, vanilla syrup, and silky steamed milk. The Princess is classic, composed, and decadent, whether hot or iced.  

Come by The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab and Tasting Room and meet The Princess.  

Raspberry Compote recipe: 

  • 2 pints of raspberries (170 grams * 2 = 340g) 
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 tsp lemon zest 
  • 1/3 cup sugar 

Rinse the lemon thoroughly and the raspberries gently, discarding any moldy berries. Do your best to remove stray plant matter from the berries, though everything will go through a strainer that will catch anything you miss. When zesting the lemon, do your best to stay near the surface and avoid digging into the pith (the white layer under the oily yellow outer layer), as it can make everything more bitter. I chose a fine zester, but coarse will do the job as well, as any chunks should get caught by the strainer. Similarly, with the lemon juice, any seeds will get caught by the strainer, so don’t worry if you drop some in. 

Combine the clean raspberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar in a pot, and bring the contents to a simmer in medium, stirring frequently. Lower the heat if it starts splattering. Cook for about 20 minutes, for the berries to break down, and to reduce the compote. Larger batches will take more time to reduce and thicken.  

Once you are happy with the consistency (it will thicken further as it cools), poor into a fine mesh strainer and gently agitate with a heat-friendly spatula, massaging the compote through the strainer while catching the seeds of the raspberries and any larger matter. This should result in a silky, seedless compote with just a hint of pulpy texture. 

Marzipan Crumble recipe: 

  • 75g Pistachio
  • 50g Almond Meal
  • 50g Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp Almond extract 

This recipe is inspired by classic marzipans, adjusted to be a light crumble that can be dusted on top of a soft, wet steamed milk foam. We opted for a higher amount of pistachio to increase the golden-green tones to approximate the color of a classic Princess cake marzipan. To make, toss the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until a large amount has been reduced to a fine meal. Add to the ground pistachios the almond meal and powdered sugar and pulse a few times. Add the almond extract as the food processor is running and observe as the extract is evenly distributed through the sugar and nut blend. Transfer into a preferred storage container. 

Click here to get the Vanilla Syrup recipe

Drink Recipe: 

Pour a nice layer of compote into a cup to cover the bottom. In a pitcher, steam the milk of your choice. After steaming to a nice wet foam, pour 25 grams of classic syrup and a double espresso into the steamed milk.  Pour gently to preserve the compote bottom and fill the cup to the brim.  Using a coarse strainer, sift the marzipan crumble over the drink.  You’ll find the finer parts of the crumble cover the drink, but you’ll be left with some larger pieces of pistachio.  Pour those remaining chunks onto the drink, creating a nice, layered effect.  For this drink, one can choose their own adventure in when they’d like to incorporate the compote with a spoon. Enjoy a drink fit for royalty! 

Check out the Assume Nothing series, and if you are in the Bay Area, stop by The Crown to taste the seasonal signature beverage.