Food = Love
Chocolate meringue cake #chocolate #easter #cake
Chocolate meringue cake #chocolate #easter #cake

Chocolate meringue cake #chocolate #easter #cake

Paris with Love from SecretDiary

Secret Diary has been gone too long. Its been put on the backburner for a while now but has been reinstated recently thanks to a lovely friend of mine and her engagement. Unfortunately there aren’t many photos and they aren’t that great quality but I hope you enjoy them all the same!

The pictures above are a cake I recently made for her engagement party. She added some stunning flowers to the arrangement. You should check her work out at Francis Florestry.

I hope you enjoy the photos and I hope to bring you more of Secret Diary soon!

Until next time… xx

Mascarpone and Berry Layer Cake

Hey guys,

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.


Vanilla Cake

150g unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups Caster Sugar

3 eggs

1 tspn vanilla Extract

2 cups plain Flour

1 1/2 tspn baking powder

3/4 Cup Milk

Mascarpone Filling

125 mascarpone

1/4 Cup Cream

1 tspn Vanilla Extract

1 tspn lemon zest

Berry Compote

2 cups Mixed Frozen Berries

1 tspn Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Icing

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

50g butter,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.


San Sebastian

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

1 Chilli

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

Hazelnut Mousse

1/2 Cup Nutella or Bon Bon Chocolate Hazelnut and 


1 Tspn powdered Gelatine

3 Tablespoons Chilled Water

250g Mascarpone

280ml Thickened Cream

2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

3 Tablespoons Caster Sugar


300ml Thickened Cream

225 Dark Chocolate, Chopped

40g Butter

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!