Mascarpone and Berry Layer Cake
Im so sorry it has taken me so long to get this recipe up. Ive had a lot on my plate recently. However, I do have some new posts in the works. In fact there definitely will be one released on Thursday in celebration of Easter. Chai spiced Hot Cross buns are coming your way so get excited!
Back to the main point…this cake is divine if I say so myself. ( I have plenty of taste testers to back me up on that one). It is a soft vanilla cake with a layer of filling if mascarpone and berry compote, topped with a creamy vanilla icing. Keep in mind when you make this cake it has a lot of components and a lot of steps so make sure you give it the time and love it deserves. Until next time on Secret Diary <3
This cake makes a 15cm cake with 3 layers.
150g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups Caster Sugar
1 tspn vanilla Extract
2 cups plain Flour
1 1/2 tspn baking powder
3/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Cream
1 tspn Vanilla Extract
1 tspn lemon zest
2 cups Mixed Frozen Berries
1 tspn Vanilla Extract
100g Butter Softened
4 Cups Confectioners Icing Sugar, sifted
1/3 Cup Milk
2 Tspn Vanilla Extract
Food dye for Decorating
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
To make the Berry Compote put the frozen berries in a saucepan and cook on low heat until it has defrosted and all the have wilted a little.Set aside.
To make the Vanilla Cake whip the butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, then add sugar gradually scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. This should take 5 minutes to cream the sugar with the butter. Then add eggs one at a time beating for a minute after each addition. Add the Vanilla and beat until just combined.
Make sure flour and baking powder have been sifted at least twice in a separate bowl. Then alternating between the flour mix and the milk mix on low speed until just combined. Then fold in with a wooden spoon the berries being very gentle…more like placing them rather than stirring.
Separate evenly into 3 lined 15cm tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until just cooked through and golden on the outside. Leave to cool in pans for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.
To make the Mascarpone Filling combine all the ingredients together and whisk until combined.
To make the Vanilla Icing cream the butter, half the icing sugar and the milk for 2 minutes until fluffy then add the remaining icing sugar followed by any food dye or vanilla. Mix for another 3 minutes until soft peaks form.
Fill the cake with Mascarpone filling and then top with vanilla icing.
Once eaten, keep on the fridge as it contains cream!
Coconut Cake with Lime cream cheese filling
Secret Diary followers its 2013 and this is my first post!! Get excited this little cake is perfect for afternoon tea. It will suit almost everyone and I assure you will go down a treat. This beautiful layer cake is a coconut cake with a lime cream cheese filling. It is topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and coated in moist coconut flakes.
Its perfect for summer and I hope you enjoy it all. I love hearing from you so keep the comments coming.
I promise I wont be MIA for so long this time. Until next time on Secret Diary!
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Coconut Cake recipe
Makes a 15cm cake
225g butter, room temperature
2 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups self raising flour, sifted
1 tspn vanilla extract
Juice & finely grated zest of 2 lime
100g cream cheese, softened
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 1/4 c icing sugar, sifted
4 cups icing sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
220g butter, softened
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
2 cups moist coconut flakes
To make the cake
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celcius. line and grease 2 x 15cm round pans.
Cream butter in an electric mixer until fluffy (3 minutes) then add the caster sugar in half-cup intervals. Mix until the sugar has dissolved (7 minutes).
Add eggs one at a time beating for 1 minute after each addition.
Alternate adding the flour and coconut milk and mixing on low speed. Then add vanilla and mix until just combined.
Divide batter into the 2 pans and place in oven for approximately half an hour or until cooked through and golden.
Leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool.
To make the filling
Mix on high speed of an electric mixer the cream cheese and butter until they are soft. Then gradually add the icing sugar and beat for about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and lime and beat until combined.
To make the frosting
Cream the butter for about 3 minutes, then add half the icing sugar, vanilla and milk and mix for another 3 minutes. Add remaining icing sugar and mix until a spreadable consistency.
Once cake has cooled, slice each half in 2 so you have 4 pieces all together. On each layer excluding the top put the lime filling in, then spread the outside with the vanilla frosting. Pour the coconut all over the cake liberally (you may have to use your hands a little)
Best eaten at room temperature.
Secret Diary has been in holiday mode! Get excited as I prepare new January posts! These are just a few of what happened during December.
Sorry Ive been MIA, I will be back soon. I hope you all had lovely holidays.
One of the most beautiful meals of my life. This is my photo journey. I wish I could write more than this but due to my small memory capacity I cant remember what most of these dishes are. What I can relay is that the service, food and plating were phenomenal. Arzak currently ranked as the 8th best restaurant in the world is a force to be reckoned with. It lacks in nothing and I highly recommend going there.
Roast Vegetable and Quinoa Salad
Welcome to the weekend! Why don’t you try a little quinoa, one of my favourite grains. The reason I love it is because its so filling and so good for you. It is the only grain that has all the complete proteins in it. It is very high in protein, low in fat and a good source of carbohydrate and it is so versatile. I prefer this salad cold but you can also serve it warm. Enjoy it at Secret Diary
1 Eggplant, cut in half
½ Butternut Pumpkin, chopped into bit size pieces
1 Red Pepper
2 Spanish Onions skin on, cut in half
2 cloves Garlic skin on
Olive Oil, extra
Sea Salt, extra
½ Cup Shelled Broad Beans
1 can Chickpeas
100g Fetta, crumbled
1 ½ cups white grain quinoa
3 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
½ Tspn Smoked Paprika
Preheat Oven to 200 Degrees Celcius and line a Baking Tray with Baking Paper. Place pepper, chilli, eggplant, red onion and garlic on the oven tray and drizzle with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. In another tray repeat the same process with the pumpkin. Place Vegetables in oven. Cook Pumpkin until, soft and slightly charred. Cook the other vegetables until the skin is very charred and everything is very soft and deflated. Allow to cool in tray. Once cool. Peel skin of vegetables and slice or chop into bite size pieces.
Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa thoroughly with cold water. Allow to drain. Then place in a medium sized saucepan with the stock. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until the stock has all soaked up. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few hours or overnight. Fluff the grains with a fork before serving.
In a small saucepan cook the chickpeas and broad beans until just cooked and drain immediately.
To make the dressing place into a jar all the ingredients and shake until well combined.
Put on a large serving plate the quinoa, chickpeas, broad beans and fetta and stir. Place the roast vegetables over the top and drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake
Its been a long time but here is a FRESH post from Secret Diary. About a month ago it was my birthday and I received some beautiful BON BON Chocolate Nutellas in white dark and Milk. This recipe is inspired by this chocolate however normal NUTELLA will suffice. It is a chocolate cake with hazelnut mousse layers and a Dark Chocolate Ganache. Its time consuming but well worth the effort.
1 Cup Water
125g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/3 Cup Cocoa, sifted
2 Cups Plain Flour, sifted
1 tspn Bicarb Soda, sifted
2 Cups Caster Sugar
2 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 Tspn Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Nutella or Bon Bon Chocolate Hazelnut and
1 Tspn powdered Gelatine
3 Tablespoons Chilled Water
280ml Thickened Cream
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
300ml Thickened Cream
225 Dark Chocolate, Chopped
To make the Cake preheat the oven to 160 Degrees Celcius. Grease 2 15cm Cake tins and line with baking paper. In a large bowl place the sifted dry ingredients and set aside. Put water, sugar and Chopped Butter in a medium sized saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter has melted. Whisk chocolate mixture into dry ingredients until combined then add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk until jsut combined then divide into the 2 pans.Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until just cooked through. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transfering to a wire rack.
While the cake is baking make the hazelnut mousse. To make the mousse put the chilled water into the saucepan and then sprinkle over the gelatine. Allow to set for 5 minutes. Once gelatine is slightly set, it should feel like a gel, place on a medium heat nd whisk until it has melted. Add nutella and whisk until it has all melted and combined. Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium sized bowl whisk the mascarpone and the gelatine mixture until well combined.In a large bowl beat the cream, cocoa and sugar until cream has created soft peaks. Fold through the mascarpone misture until jsut combined.Once Cake has cooled, slice each half in 2 and put mousse between layers, refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.
To make the Ganache heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan until just boiling, then pour over chopped chocolate. Leave for 5 minutes then stire until combined. Refrigerate until just set then remvoe from refrigerater and frost cake.
Keep mousse cake in refrigerater until ready to serve.
Feel free to post comments!!
Until next time on Secret Diary!
CHOC CHIP CHAI SPICE CUPCAKES
I know I have been in hiatus, moving and being sick all took its toll but I am back now with a vengeance and with Christmas around the corner I will have some goodies ready to share.
These cupcakes which I made a few weeks ago have been are inspired by T2’s Chocolate Chai Spice. These cupcakes are perfect for a tea party or a sneaky mid morning snack. Don’t skip the tea with these babies!
Until next time on Secret Diary
2 Tspn T2 Choc Chip Chai Tea mix
½ Cup Milk
100g Unsalted Butter, chopped at room temperature
1 cup Caster Sugar
2 large eggs
1 Cup Plain Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1 Tspn Baking Powder
2 Tspn Vanilla Extract
1 Tspn Ground Cinnamon
½ Tspn Ground Cardamom
½ Tspn Ground Star Anise
½ Tspn Ground cloves
1 Tspn Ground ginger
¾ Cup Chocolate Chips
4 cups Confectioners Icing Sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
½ Tspn Cinnamon
¼ Cup Milk, Room Temperature
100g Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
To make the cupcake start with making the milk tea. Put the milk in a saucepan and put the Chai mix in and brew over low heat. Do not let it boil. Just before it’s about to boil remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature sieve the milk and set Aside.
Preheat the oven to 170 Degrees Celcius and line a 12 cup muffin tray with cupcake wrappers.
Cream the butter until light and fluffy in a mixing bowl. Then add the caster sugar a third at a time, creaming until the sugar is almost mixed out. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Then add vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
In a separate bowl sift the spices, baking powder, cocoa and flour.
On a low speed add a third of the flour mixture, then half the milk. Alternate until both mixtures are in, then immediately switch off mixer. Stir through with a wooden spoon the chocolate chips. Spoon into the lined muffin tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes to cool on a wire tray.
To make the frosting, cream the butter, then add the milk, half the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat for a few minutes. Then add the other half the icing sugar and cinnamon. Beat until a spreadable consistency. Pipe the icing onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon.
A few weeks ago I finally ventured into a cafe I’d been wanting to try for some time in Bondi. Bondi Hardware cafe on Hall Street is this new industrial cafe perfect for the hipster and cool people alike to merge and eat and drink. After being swayed into trying the Morrocan Eggs which were to die for, served with toasted sourdough on the side. I decided I had to recreate my own version of this. This is my attempt I hope you like it. We here at Secret Diary enjoyed it!
Morrocan Baked Eggs with Eggplant Cous Cous and Minted Yoghurt
Eggplant Cous Cous
3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Eggplant, diced into 1.5cm pieces
250g Small Grain Cous Cous
425ml Liquid Vegie stock
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 knobs butter
1 tspn Ground Cumin, 1 tspn extra
1 tspn Ground coriander
1 tspn Fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 Can of Cherry Tomatoes
1 tspn Chilli flakes
1 tspn chopped Anchovies
1 chorizo, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
250g Greek Yoghurt
1 Tablespoon Roughly Chopped Coriander
1 Tablespoon Roughly Chopped Mint
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Place eggplant on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with the cumin, and season with pepper and salt. Drizzle with half the olive oil. Bake in oven until eggplant is soft and slightly golden. Remove and set aside. Keep oven on.
Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce fry the anchovies, garlic, chorizo and chilli flakes for a minute then add the cherry tomato can. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced to a chutney. Set aside.
To make Cous Cous bring the stock to the boil. In a pan slowly fry the onion with the olive oil and half the butter, then add the spices. Fry until fragrant and then, add the vinegar so it turns into a syrup. Add the couscous and stir, then ladle the hot stock and simmer until the couscous has sucked the liquid. This usually only takes a few minutes, so don’t leave the pan! Once cooked add the rest of the butter and the eggplant.
In an ovenproof dish, compress the couscous into the base, then layer with the tomato sauce, and then crack the eggs into the top of the dish. Bake for roughly 10 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking! Serve with the yoghurt.
After seeing it on Masterchef Australia and Masterchef All Stars one does wonder how hard this tower of delight is to make. So my friend and I booked a course a few months back at the Sydney Cooking School in Neutral Bay. It was their very first Croquembouche course and it went down without a hitch. The 2 and a half hour course taught by Pastry Chef Brett is a hands on summary of how to make a Croquembouche.The small class size of 8 is the perfect ratio for teaching to students.
This giant profiterole tower has many components, the hardest being the spun sugar, which is what dazzles its audience. The base is made from a shortbread pastry which is then stacked with profiteroles filled with Pastry cream and stuck down by Caramel. The tower once assembled is then wrapped in spun sugar.
While a normal size tower would probably take a whole day to make, our mini ones had most of the components premade to save time so we could concentrate on learning and the assemblage. Ours consisted of about 15 choux profiterole balls.
The Teacher was helpful and knew when to step in to aid or guide. Questions were thoroughly answered and notes were given a long the way.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in learning about the Croquembouche or the art of spinning sugar. It is an enjoyable course and very lighthearted. The school is 73 Military Road, Neutral Bay and the course price is $130.00 inclusive of what you get to take home.
Congratulation Sydney Cooking School on your first Croquembouche Course it was great! Secret Diary will be back!
330g White Sugar
280g Almond Paste
1 cup Cake Flour, 1/3 Extra Flour
280g Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1 3/4tspn Baking Paper
1 1/4tspn Vanilla Extract
1 1/4tspn Almond Extract
7 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
1 x half Punnet Fresh Strawberries
200g Butter at Room Temperature
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Cups Sifted Icing Sugar
Preheat Oven to 160 Degrees Celcius. Grease and flour 2 x 15cm Cake Pan and line the bottom with Baking Paper.
In a food processer, add the sugar, almond paste, and 1/3 Cup of the flour until it resembles sand.
In a small Bowl, whisk the flour and Baking Powder.
Once the Almond Paste is completely broken up, add the butter and extracts and process until batter is smooth and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time. Processing after each addition. Then add half the flour mixture and blend a few times. Then add remaining flour and baking powder and pulse until just combined.
Scrape batter into 2 x 15cm Cake pans and Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes or until deep brown and cooked through. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the sides and leave to cool in pan completely.
Remove Leaves from strawberries, and roughly chop. Place in a blender and process until there are no lumps. Then put a sieve over a bowl and pour strawberry mixture into sieve.
Note: This make take about half an hour. You can help it along by pushing it through with a fork.
Meanwhile, cream butter for a few minutes, then add sugar 1 cup at a time, until light and whipped. Add Strawberry liquid and lemon juice and beat until just combined.
Ice cake. Keep for up to 3 days.