Salted caramel and hazelnut ganache tart with toasted marshmallow & raspberries

My 3yo nephew was literally shaking with excitement when I put this tart down in front of him. If that’s not a win, then I don’t know what is 🙂 Here’s how y’all can bake it too.


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RECIPE

Serves: 6–8
Time: Around 5 hours

SWEET PASTRY
(video tutorial and recipe from Scoff)

  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 egg

Combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk and chilled water. Process until dough just comes together.

Turn pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place pan on a baking tray. Line pastry case with baking paper. Fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes. Remove weights and paper. Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until pastry is golden. Allow to cool.

SALTED CARAMEL  (recipe pinched from Donna Hay)

Chocolate brownie meringue cake with mascarpone cream, berries & raspberry coulis

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Aside from the days ending in ‘y’,  there are few occasions where it’s acceptable to eat my own weight in food.* So, huzzah for Christmas and all the wonderful things that come with it! – tonnes of nibbles, great company and (as it turns out) one of the sweetest Secret Santa presents I could have hoped for. I’m sending out a big squeezy hug to you Jess, as a thank you for bestowing upon me my very own Fakery Bakery wooden spoon and tea towel. My heart is still glowing with all the warm fuzzies. ❤

This year, Gary and Andy bravely sacrificed their home to the perils of our group’s festive shenanigans. To distract anyone from asking “who ate all the ham?”**, I brought along this chocolate brownie/meringue hybrid cake. If you’ve read my ‘baking buzzwords’ post, you’ll recognise this as a text-book ‘Superfood’. It’s essentially a brownie, which when half baked, is topped with chocolate meringue and left in the oven to bake to perfection. It’s then wrapped in chocolate and topped with mascarpone cream, natures candy (AKA berries), and raspberry coulis. It all looks a little tricky but it’s actually surprising easy.

All in all, I rate this Christmas 11/10. I hope your Christmas was wonderful too! xx

*Pro tip: Impress friends by eating your cake with no hands. Just your face. Really, the people love it. THEY LOVE IT.
** I once ate an entire ham all on my own. I ate it over the course of a week, but nevertheless, people don’t forget.

 

RECIPE

Serves: 20 elves
Time: Around 4 hours

CHOCOLATE MERINGUE CAKE (recipe pinched from Donna Hay)


CHOCOLATE SHELL 
(thanks to SnapGuide)

Naked chocolate, whiskey and maple soaked fig cake

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Chocolate! Whiskey! Maple! Figs! With their tasty powers combined… they create The Naked Chocolate, Whiskey & Maple Soaked Fig Layer Cake. That is, four of my husband’s all-time favourite snacks brought together to create one intoxicatingly glorious birthday cake.

I’ve never been a big fan of whiskey (except for its part in making irish cream), however I think this cake may have finally won me over. Not only does it give the cake great flavour, but the more I eat the more impressed I become with my own baking prowess; a perception which is, of course, directly proportionate to my increasingly tipsy state. Trust me when I say, the left over batter and sauce from this cake was sampled thoroughly… for quality control purposes. Yes, yes that sounds right.

Now, here’s the recipe. Don’t balls it up 🙂

RECIPE

Serves: 20 people
Time: 5 hours, 17 minutes, 12 seconds, 3 micro-seconds
Basic order:
Up to one week prior
1. Make sauce and keep in fridge until needed.
Up to a few days prior
1. Make cake and let cool overnight.
2. Gladwrap and keep in fridge until needed.
Day of
1. Assemble and frost.
2. Shovel all the deliciousness into your cake hole.
3. Regret nothing!


WHISKEY CHOCOLATE CAKE 
(Recipe ‘borrowed’ from Epicurious)

  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan
  • 3 cups brewed coffee
  • 1 cup American whiskey
  • 550g unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 165°C. Butter two cake pans well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup of cocoa powder in a saucepan over moderate heat, whisking  until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved (about 1 minute). Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool for 5 minutes.

While chocolate mixture cools, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Lightly whisk the eggs and vanilla (in a separate bowl), then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in centre comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.

Funfetti ‘hot air balloon’ layer cake

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I’m gasp just gasp a little bit gasp INCREDIBLY excited. No, no, it’s not a sugar high*. My hussy (why do people shorten it to hubby?) and I just bought an amazing apartment AND booked a getaway to France. Oh oiu oiu! Magnifique! Croissant!

*…this time.

Now. Serious face. Focus! It’s blog writing time.

I’ve been oogling the funfetti cakes of Pinterest for some time now, so when my beautiful colleague Kim’s office ‘baby shower / farewell / don’t leave us / barricade the exits!!’ celebrations came up, I pounced. As it turns out, there are many things pregnant ladies can’t eat. Sadly this meant no gooey marshmallow (shock, horror!), but I’m ok again now.

So, without further adieu… I present! The pregnant-lady-friendly baby shower ‘hot air balloon’ cake.

WARNING: You have approximately two minutes before the lantern goes up in flames. But it sure is pretty in the meantime! And no, it won’t up and fly away.

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RECIPE

Serves: 20 people
Fakery level: Easy peasy lemon squeazy
Time: Around 5 hours (including oven time, cleaning and fending off toddler)
Basic order:
Night prior
1. Bake two vanilla sprinkle cakes.
Day of
2. Trim off yucky brown outside layer of cake
3. Make buttercream
4. Set 2/3 of buttercream aside. Mix sprinkles into remaining buttercream.
5. Spread plain buttercream on top of one cake, then cover with mini marshmallows and sprinkles.
6. Place second cake on top.
7. Crumb coat cake. Place in fridge for 15 minutes to firm up slightly.
8. Ice top of the cake with plain buttercream
9. Pipe two rounds of sprinkle buttercream around the base of the cake. Pipe plain buttercream rounds until you reach the height of the cake.
10. Using a long metal spatula, press the icing into the cake while moving around the circumference. Here a nifty step-by-step tutorial for making the icing lovely and smooth.
11. Pipe two rounds of buttercream dollops around the outside edge of the cake top. Cover the centre space with sprinkles. This technique will help create a smooth ombre effect.
12. Smooth out the icing.
13. Now to make your cake topper! Using a knife, cut an ice cream cone into two pieces. Place tea light inside cone top. Pearce the edges with two toothpicks on opposites side of the cones rim. Place the paper lantern on top.
14. Bask in your triumphant cake victory! *the crowd roars*


VANILLA SPRINKLE CAKE 
(base recipe thieved from here)

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 450g (3 cups) self-raising flour
  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 440g (2 cups) caster sugar
  • 300g butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 310ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • Oodles of sprinkles

Preheat oven to 140°C. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Brush a round 25cm (base measurement) cake pan with the melted butter to lightly grease (see Notes tab for instructions for other tin sizes). Line base and sides with non-stick baking paper.

Place the self-raising flour, plain flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric beater to beat on low speed for 30 seconds or until just combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and all the butter is incorporated. Mix in sprinkles. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Bake in preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cool.

Once cool, trim off the ugly brown outside layer. For structural integrity purposes, start with the top/bottom and finish with the outside edges.

BUTTERCREAM (recipe thieved from here)

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half

Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on a medium setting and cream the butter until it is smooth and has lightened in color, about 3 minutes.

Add confectioner’s sugar, ½ a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.

Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and combine until well-incorporated.

Add milk, heavy cream or half-and-half until the frosting has reached the preferred consistency. For a firmer frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar, a ¼ cup at a time. For a softer frosting, add more milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.

Set 2/3 of buttercream aside. Mix sprinkles into remaining buttercream.


CAKE TOPPER

  • 1 paper lantern
  • 1 ice cream cone
  • 2 toothpicks
  • 1 tea light candle

Using a knife, cut an ice cream cone into two pieces. Place tea light inside cone top. Pearce the edges with two toothpicks on opposites side of the cones rim. Place the paper lantern on top.

 

Fudgey chocolate, raspberry & toasted marshmallow layer cake

Here’s a moorish little number I whipped up for my colleague birthday. It’s fair to say that I’ve take my office-cake-making-responsibilities very seriously…

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Building the layers

The final 'ermaaaagaaawd' result

The final ‘ermaaaagaaawd’ result

RECIPE

Serves: 20 people (or one hungry hungry hippo)
Time: Around 5 hours (including oven time and cleaning… so much cleaning!)
Basic order:
Night prior
1. Bake cakes.
2. While cakes are baking, make chocolate fudge.
3. Once cakes are baked, used the cakes tins to press down on and flatten the top of each cake.
4. Allow both cake and fudge to cool overnight.
Day of
5. Divide each of the cakes in two to create four layers.
6. Make raspberry buttercream.
7. Assemble layers (with buttercream, raspberries and chocolate fudge between each layer).
8. Lightly ice top and sides of cake, place in fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
9. Coat it once more with the remaining frosting.
10. Cover top of cake with chocolate fudge and allow it drizzle naturally down the sides.
11. Make meringue.
12. Pipe dollops of marshmallow onto the top of the cake. Blow torch them (while laughing hysterically*).

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*Optional, but encouraged.

CHOCOLATE CAKE (recipe more-or-less pinched from Donna Hay)

Baking buzz words

To ‘talk the walk’, you’re going to need these essential baking terms:

Frosting
 [fros-ting, or fraw-sting (if you’re from Boston)]: 1. Sugar and fat. 2. Delicious.
Salted frosting [salt-ed fraw-sting]: 1. Trifecta of sugar, fat and salt. 2. Extra delicious. Combine with cakey carbs to achieve euphoria.
Martha Stewart [Mar-tha Stew-art]: 1. Formidable. 2. Deity, mentor and inspiration.
Sharing [share-ing]: 1. Is caring. 2. Often achieved by coercion.
Decorating [dec-or-eat-ing]:  A verb best known for its 2:1 repeat ratio (ie. 2 for me, 1 for the cake, repeat).
Superfood [soo-per-food]: The product of  two already-awesome foods joining forces. (ie. Cronut, cheesecake brownie)
Moist [moist]: A term that makes people cringe, except when spoken in the context of cake.
Cacao [cack-cow!]: 1.Tasty bean dust. 2. A rather amusing safe word.

Macarons

This. THIS guide right here (by Tartelette Blog) taught me just about everything I know about the wizardry of macarons, and is by far the best resource I’ve come across.

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After making a few basic macarons, I dared attempt these beautiful marbled macarons. Here’s how to create the same effect:
1. Separate a small amount of batter into a glass and gently folded in the pink colour.
2. Dab a small amount of pink batter on to the piped macarons (before they form a shell).
3. Insert a metal skewer into the pink dab. Without lifting the skewer, draw three circles in ascending size. Upon completing the third circle, draw a line back through the middle of all three.

Marble macaron

Now… go forth and conquer the macaron!

Tiramasu baked cheesecake

Espresso baked cheesecake with mascarpone cream and ladyfingers — this deliciousness is my take on the classic Italian dessert tiramisu. OOOM nom nom nom nom…

Espresso baked cheesecake with mascarpone cream and ladyfingers.

RECIPE

Serves: 20 people
Time: Around 3 hours

ESPRESSO BAKED CHEESECAKE (Recipe pinched from Taste)

250g Granita biscuits
170g butter, melted
500g cream cheese
3/4 cup (175g) caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
300g sour cream
Coffee and chicory essence
300ml double cream

Preheat oven to 160°C. Process 250g Granita biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add 170g butter, melted and process until combined. Press the crumbs 2/3 of the way up the sides and over the base of a 22cm springform pan. Pop into the fridge until required.

Use an electric beater to beat 500g cream cheese and 3/4 cup (175g) caster sugar until smooth. Beat in 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons Kahlua (coffee liqueur). Beat in 300g sour cream. Pour into biscuit crust and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for 1 hour, to cool slightly. Put into the fridge overnight to chill.

MASCARPONE CREAM (recipe pinched from Food)

1 cup whipping cream
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
6 tablespoons sugar

Using an electric mixer, whip marscarpone with cream and sugar until thick like firmly whipped cream. Add vanilla. Cover and chill.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

1 tablespoon cocoa
10 sponge fingers (for decoration)
Ribbon (for decoration

Cut sponge fingers in half and place around the edge of the cheesecake. Pipe dollops of the mascarpone cream onto the cake and use a sifter dust top with cocoa. Tie ribbon around. Stand back and admire your handiwork.