Baking | Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake … deliciousness in every bite

“Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.”
Cherise Sinclair

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake … a promise of deliciousness in every bite. As the name suggests, the cake had everything we love about desserts – Coffee + Chocolate + Mascarpone! These days I crave coffee more than ever, so the cake was meant to have some! There was none other I would have made that day!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake ’twas a cake for my SILs birthday. It came together without a plan.  That’s just how life is these days. With the daughter in her final year in school, board exams round the corner, driving, driving and more driving is all I seem to do. The days are a whir of exam pick ups and drops. Loads of fast track shopping as school farewells, graduation ceremonies  etc are part of the muddled weave.

Food on PAB… and then there is junior. Recently back from a trip to HKG with his dad where all they did was eat, he is always hungry. Makes for an ideal guinea pig. He’s currently immersed into Krav Maga, a form of Israeli self defense. In addition is a new found love for boxing. More adds to the list – the dog, the neighbours little kitten {who Coco incidentally hates}, the soup trials, the dessert trials, olive oil cookies … and definitely not salad! 

Food on PABIn the midst of this mayhem, there are recipes being developed for a client. That might explain the ‘trials‘. Between racing around madly, I try and sneak in the odd recipe testing as the deadline approaches fast. Of course there is normal everyday life too … laundry, groceries, da dog, da blog … birthdays too!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake happened as the day progressed. The sponge is my basic ‘in the head‘ recipe. It’s one that never fails me, and one I keep experimenting with it. This time I added a dash of baking powder, beat it in actually, to save time sifting it with the flour. Worked out fine.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake While the two sponges were baking, I figured I could make some mascarpone alongside. As the cream reached a cautious bubble, chocolate pastry creme seemed doable for a filling. It was a cake on the trot. I had the sponges baked and the rest of the components done the night before too! Happiness is … 

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake For the ‘day’, all I had was the cake to put together or assemble. I did that at the crack of dawn! That’s the fun part, and in many ways a relief. It does amount to a LOT of washing up though, so be prepared.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The cake was special. Beautiful flavours. Light. Moist. Full of flavour! 6 layers of deliciousness. It’s a bit of work I have to admit, but planning ahead is the key. If you get most of the work done a day or two before, you won’t feel the pinch.

Coffee quotes

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Baking | Sinful Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche … chocolate + toffee = heavenly!

“In today’s world, when many of yesterday’s fashionable habits are today’s misdemeanors, we should rejoice that a chocolate dessert can bring so much innocent pleasure.”
Marcel Desaulniers

hocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche 1Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche … a sweet beginning to 2014. Always fun to end a year decadently {Dark Chocolate Kumquat Amaranth Mousse Cakes}, and begin the next one on a clean slate. As in my case, maybe with a dose of some more decadence? Actually, it’s more of a ritual because the daughter was born on the 2nd of Jan. Every year begins with a baking frenzy, and of late, chocolate is being demanded more than ever before!

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche It was more frenzied when she was young as there had to be cookies, brownies, dips too. The works! As they grow up, the pressure here falls … increases everywhere else I have to add! This year was the big 18 and most of her day went with friends as expected. For me, it was a situation which reminded me of Driving Ms Daisy … I drove her up and down all day long! Since I love driving, I cannot complain!

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche The previous day was busier than I could manage. The cake became a rushed affair. I did have this fancy fondant cake in mind, the colours that she would have loved, with stuff on top which might have knocked her breath away etc… that remained in my dreams! Instead, between racing around like a headless chicken for two whole days, I threw in one genoise after another. Cakes baked, frosting was the next challenge. Thankfully I had a tin of dulce de leche made from an earlier batch when I did this Banoffee Pie.

Dulce de leche,” meaning candy of milk or milk jelly in Spanish, is a rich and decadent sauce or syrup, similar in flavor to caramel. Unlike caramel, however, which is made by heating sugar, dulce de leche is prepared by heating sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de leche is especially common in the desserts of various South American countries, including Argentina and Uruguay.

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche Might work I thought. Well it had to because I had cut it too fine. While she had a friend over to ring in her birthday at midnight, the poor mother stood in freezing January temperatures trying desperately to fill a chocolate genoise with a hair brained ‘toffee inspired‘ filling idea. Fast approaching the Cinderella hour, I ended up using an adjustable dessert ring  {one of my best buys in Sydney many years ago} and gelatin to stabilize the filling.
Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche Thankfully it turned out fine and ‘set‘ overnight, else I might have wept copious tears. Chocolate and toffee are a wonderful combination. With less than an hour in hand, I did a quick dark chocolate ganache to frost the cake, and made some shards to garnish. There was just enough time to give it a dusting of powdered sugar, take a few snaps …

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche … and the rest is history! I didn’t get any shots of a slice as the cake went pretty quick after the 18 year old did the honours. I am however sure I will make this again soon. Maybe as soon as I get those cans of condensed milk into the pressure cooker again!

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Baking | Rainbow Cake for Pinktober … THINK PINK #birthday #pinktober

“Hope is a rainbow of thought.”
Harley King

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober Rainbow Cake for Pinktober. Ever tried baking with an 18 year old. Maybe , I should rephrase that. Ever tried with an 18 year old teen like mine who has a rainbow baking obsession? It’s a LOAD of work! LOTS!! Beware … but the fruits are sweet! Cut a slice and you know it’s so worth all the dishes, the messy kitchen, the batter splattered walls with ‘Ooops I did it again Mama!’, ‘Can Coco lick the bowl? Please?’

Coco, our cocker spaniel‘I’m gonna make Papa a rainbow cake for his birthday!  Coco’s gonna help me!‘ Coco was game of course … and the day began tediously! First to get the child out of bed, then to get her out of a shower, then to get her off the phone. By the time I was at my wits end, she was ready to paint the kitchen in rainbow colours! ‘Let’s start now!!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober

October 1st marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness month all over the world. American Cancer Society uses this time to boost their campaign to raise awareness to breast cancer and to inform people that there is now a 98 percent rate of survival if the cancer is detected early. October is the month where you will see pink ribbons everywhere, which has been the national symbol for breast cancer awareness since it was first introduced back in 1991.

It took us all day to get the cake going. Six layers and a small oven, only 2 baking tins and a load of power cuts, yet we marched on. Much to my chagrin, she took naps in between while I washed and cleaned the kitchen after every ‘round‘. Once again, be warned … there is tons of washing up!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober Time for the frosting. We ‘amicably’ settled for a salted caramel butter-cream icing {after a battle of sorts of course}. It’s a delicious frosting and soon she was spooning more into her mouth than onto the cake. A few disagreements later, in this incessantly hot October, she  ‘splooshed’ the icing on. That was when the Dad called from work. ‘Is the cake PINK he asked? My cake is always the Pinktober cake.’

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober Next cue! PINK!! It’s nice to have a daughter who loves art. Also nice to have some marzipan on hand. She had fun doing the letters, the ribbon {that she was well aware of as it’s an annual feature} … the rest was a breeze. She did the whole cake on her own!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober One slice later, the rainbow knocked our hearts away! This is the absolute joy of a birthday cake. Despite it being a butter rich cake, with an indulgent buttercream frosting, the Rainbow Cake is a fantastic ‘once in a while‘ baking adventure. A big {read greedy} slice is definitely on the sweeter side, but a thin slice hits all the right chords!

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober The cake tasted even better the next day, and being a butter cake, it keeps really well for a few days. However, the kids nibbled away at it and it was soon gone. The daughter later said that she was surprised I even let her make one! She knows that I barely ever make such heavily ‘buttery’ cakes. Then again, she has a thing for rainbows and a passion for baking rainbow cupcakes and cakes.

Rainbow Cake for Pinktober This cake was worth every dish I washed, worth the million times I cleaned the batter splattered counter and wall tiles, worth all the spoons she licked and all the piping bags she used up! It’s a fun cake to bake. You must try it for a special occasion bake!

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