The Great Australian Bake Off

https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/27394/succulent-box-illusion-cake

lifestyle.com.au

Moist coffee cake with creamy mascarpone? Yes, please!

Ingredients

  • Coffee cake

  • 450g cake flour

  • 410g sugar

  • 29g baking powder

  • 7g table salt

  • 360ml milk

  • 1 1/2 shot of espresso

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened

  • 200g eggs

  • 5g vanilla extract

  • Mascarpone filling

  • 250g mascarpone, softened

  • 30g icing sugar mixture

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened

  • Chocolate cacao nib shortbread

  • 65g plain flour

  • 1/2 g bicarb soda

  • 58 unsalted butter, softened

  • 23g Dutch cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

  • 40g raw caster sugar

  • 25g cacao nibs

  • Wattle seed shortbread

  • 75g plain flour

  • 58 unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

  • 40g raw caster sugar

  • 1 tsp ground wattle seed

  • Swiss/Italian meringue buttercream

  • 350g egg whites

  • 700g caster sugar

  • 700g chilled unsalted butter

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • Decoration

  • 1/2 of the swiss/Italian BC

  • Juniper green gel colour

  • Black gel colour

  • Leaf green gel colour

  • Orange gel colour

  • Moss green gel colour

  • Sky Blue gel colour

  • Mauve gel colour

  • Rose Pink gel colour

  • Edible gold powder

  • Rose spirit or vodka

Method

  • 1.

    For the coffee cake, preheat oven to 170C and line 3 x 7 inch square cake pan with cooking spray and baking paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder. Warm the milk for 30 seconds in the microwave and add the espresso.

  • 2.

    Swap to a paddle attachment and add in the softened butter and half the milk/coffee. Beat on medium high for 1 minute. Scrap down the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla to mix in to batches, making sure that everything is incorporated. Pour batter into prepared tins evenly. Bake for 35-40 mins. Rotating the cakes halfway.

  • 3.

    For the mascarpone filling, beat soft butter until fluffy. Add icing mixture one tablespoon at a time. Add the room temp mascarpone. Beat until smooth.

  • 4.

    For the cocoa shortbread, in a mixing bowl, whisk together cacao, flour, cacao nibs and salt. Beat the butter with a paddle attachment for 4-5 mins, add the sugar and beat until fluffy.

  • 5.

    Add the dry mix in two batches, mixing only 15-20 seconds each time. Once all the dry mix is added mix together again for 30 seconds. Turn the dough out and wrap in cling film and chill for 20-30mins.

  • 6.

    Once chilled, roll out the dough in to a slab and cut into 4 squares. Place the squares on a lined cookie sheet and chill for another 15min. Bake for 15 mins in 170C Oven. Once cooled, add to a zip log bag and crush into a soil with a rolling pin.

  • 7.

    For the wattle seed shortbread, in a mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Beat the butter with a paddle attachment for 4-5 mins, add the sugar and wattle seed and beat until fluffy. To the fluffy butter mixture add the dry mix in two batches, mixing only 15-20 seconds each time.

  • 8.

    Turn the dough out and wrap in cling film and chill for 30mins. Once chilled, roll out the dough in to a slab and cut into 4 squares. Place the squares on a lined cookie sheet and chill for another 15min. Bake for 15 mins in 170C Oven. Once cooled, add to a zip log bag and crush into a soil with a rolling pin.

  • 9.

    For the swiss meringue buttercream, over a bain-marie, cook the egg whites and sugar until it reaches 63C, making sure that you’re stirring the entire time. Whisk the mixture until the meringue is cool. Swap to a paddle attachment and add in butter. Beat until buttercream is smooth and silky. Add vanilla and salt. Beat again to incorporate. 

  • 10.

    To assemble, sandwich the mascarpone buttercream between the cake layers with a sprinkling of the chocolate shortbread. Crumb coat with buttercream and then chill. Cut baking paper squares and pipe succulent flowers with different colors and tips. Use a large glass or vase base for the large flowers. Put the piped flowers on a baking tray and freeze until needed.

  • 11.

    Once the crumb coat is set, cover with a grey colored buttercream that has some wattle seed biscuit through it, to give a rough textured effect. Leave top and sides rough to create the illusion of a sandy ceramic look.

  • 12.

    Using a floral wire, dig out cracks in the buttercream and fill with gold dust mixed with rose spirit. On top of the cake, crumble the wattle seed biscuit and some chocolate biscuit. Decorate the top with the buttercream flowers.

Notes

This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department

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