Bringing real baking into your home with deliciously simple recipes.
Prep 50minBake 35-40minMakes about 40
When the French profiteroles arrived in Brazil, a bakery in Sao Paulo created its own version – the Carolinas. Instead of filling the profiteroles with vanilla custard, they used pure dulce de leche then it became one of the staples in Sao Paulo bakeries.
This version, created by Make Me a Baker student Ana Moreno for her graduation, includes cream to make them less sweet than the ones you find in Sao Paulo, but still with plenty of dulce de leche to give the authentic taste.
1 quantity Basic Choux Pastry
150g good-quality dark chocolate (45-54% cocoa), chopped into small pieces
Edible gold leaf flakes, to decorate
Dulce de Leche Cream
250ml (1 cup) thickened cream
30g (¼ cup) icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
320g (1 cup) dulce de leche
- To make the profiteroles, preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line 2 large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Spoon the choux pastry into a large piping bag fitted with a 0.9cm (#9) round piping tip. Pipe 3cm rounds onto the lined trays, about 2cm apart. Use a damp fingertip to smooth any peaks on each of the rounds. Sprinkle the lined tray with a little water.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until well puffed and golden. Reduce the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp on the outside. Remove from the oven and use a 0.7cm (#7) star piping tip to make a hole in the base of each of the hot profiteroles for the steam to escape. Place hole side up on a wire rack and allow to cool completely
- To make the Dulce de Leche Cream, combine the cream, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste in a mixing bowl and use a balloon whisk or hand held beaters with a whisk attachment to whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
- Spoon dulce de leche into a medium bowl. Add a third of the whipped cream mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold gently through the dulce de leche to retain as much air as possible until just combined evenly. Add the remaining cream in two more batches folding gently until just combined.
- Place the Dulce de Leche Cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.7cm (#7) star or round piping tip. Insert the tip into the hole in the base of a profiterole and fill with the Dulce de Leche Cream.
- To decorate the profiteroles, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl). Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts and is smooth.
- Dip the tops of each of the filled profiteroles in the melted chocolate to coat and set aside on a wire rack to stand for 10 minutes. Carefully decorate each profiterole with a little edible gold leaf before the chocolate is fully set.
- The unfilled profiteroles will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. They are best eaten the day they are filled with the Dulce de Leche Cream.
Prep 1hr45min (+ preparation time for Lemon Drizzle Pound Cakes, Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Striped Meringue Kisses)Bake 20minMakes about 20 serves
Created by Make Me a Baker student Janet Jackson for her graduation, this gorgeous cake brings together a selection of the techniques that she learnt during the 6-month program.
Janet said, "I love to bake cakes and have always admired decorated cakes but have never had the confidence to try one for myself. For my graduation bake, I wanted to bake and decorate a cake using produce from my garden at home and techniques I had learnt through the MMAB program. I trialled many different versions of lemon cake, some with poppy seeds and others with sour cream and Greek yoghurt, before settling on this delicious lemon drizzle cake which is lusciously moist and filled with the zing of freshly picked lemons."
Edible flowers, to decorate (optional)
3 Lemon Drizzle Pound Cakes
2 quantities Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5-15 yellow Striped Meringue Kisses
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
80g unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
60g unsalted butter, chilled, diced
80g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Candied Lemon Curls
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) water
- To make the Lemon Curd, use a balloon whisk to whisk the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar in a medium saucepan until smooth. Add the butter, juice and zest and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (if you run your finger across the back of the spoon through the curd a line should remain when ready and the mixture should be 70°C on a sugar thermometer). Do not boil. Stain through a sieve into a bowl (see Baker’s Tips). Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using.
- To make the Lemon Crumb, preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture just comes together in a dough. Use your fingers to press the dough onto the lined baking tray until about 3mm thick and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until pale golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely on the tray. Once cooled, break up the biscuit and process in the food processor again using the pulse button until a coarse crumb forms. Transfer the crumbs back to the lined tray and bake for a further 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool on the tray (see Baker’s Tips).
- To make the Candied Lemon Curls, line a baking tray with baking paper. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind from the lemon in long strips. Use a small sharp knife to remove any white pitch from the rind and then cut the rind into long, thin strips. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the lemon rind, bring to a simmer and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the rind is translucent. Remove the saucepan from the heat and use a skewer to remove the lemon strips, one at a time, from the syrup and twist around the round handle of a wooden spoon to make the curls. Allow to stand for about 5 seconds and then remove carefully from the wooden spoon by sliding off the end of the handle, using the skewer to help carefully release them if necessary. Set aside on the lined tray. Repeat with the remaining lemon rind strips.
- To assemble the cake, use a large sharp serrated knife to level the tops of the Lemon Drizzle Pound Cakes if necessary. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. Spoon about a quarter of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a #11 (1.1cm) round piping nozzle and pipe a border of buttercream around the top outside edge of the cake. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the chilled lemon curd into the centre of the cake and spread evenly to the buttercream. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the remaining buttercream in small dollops over the lemon curd and use a small palette knife or the back of a metal spoon to spread gently to cover the curd. Continue to layer the cake, curd and buttercream finishing with a cake layer.
- Spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream creating a semi-naked look. Decorate with the Striped Meringue Kisses, Lemon Crumb and Candied Lemon Curls and embellish with fresh flowers if desired.
- This recipe will make about 1½ cups of Lemon Curd, but you will only need about 1 cup of the lemon curd for this cake. The leftover curd will keep in a sealed sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- The Lemon Crumb will keep in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- The Lemon Curls will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Janet baked the cakes the day before and let them stand overnight allowing the lemon drizzle to soak in. The Lemon Curd was made a couple of days ahead of time and stored in the fridge to thicken and develop flavour. She also made the Candied Lemon Curls and Lemon Crumb well ahead of time so she could concentrate on the assembly and decoration of the cake on the day of Graduation.
Prep 40min (+1-2hr cooling time)Bake 1hrMakes about 50
2 egg whites
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
2 teaspoons cornflour, sifted
- Preheat oven to 110°C. Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl (preferably metal) and place over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir with a spatula or small whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot to touch (about 55-60°C on a sugar thermometer). Be careful not to allow the egg whites to cook.
- Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer (see Baker’s Tips). Whisk the egg white mixture with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until very thick and glossy and the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Whisk in the vanilla and cornflour.
- Fill a large piping bag fitted with a 4B (or #11/1.1cm round) piping nozzle with the meringue mixture. Holding the piping nozzle about 1cm above the tray, pipe small rosettes (or 'kisses') about 2.5cm in diameter and 2cm apart on the lined tray.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour or until the meringues are crisp, hard to touch and peel away from the tray easily, but are not coloured.
- Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar and leave meringues to cool completely in the oven for 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Striped Meringue Kisses: Use a paintbrush to lightly brush evenly spaced vertical lines of food colouring gel on the inside of the large piping bag before spooning the meringue mixture into the piping bag. continue as per the recipe.
- Allowing the egg white mixture to come to room temperature before whisking will reduce the time it will take to whisk it to a meringue.
- Use the convection setting on your oven to bake the meringues as fan-forced is often too intense and will cause meringues to crack. However, if the meringues do crack when using the convention setting, next time reduce the temperature by 5-10°C as this will often help prevent them from cracking.
- These meringues will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Prep 1.5hr (+ Meringue Rosettes prep)Bake 18-20minMakes 8-10 serves
An absolute must-try for any citrus fan, this light-as-air cake is the ultimate balance between light sponge, mouth-puckering lemon curd and beautiful hand-made adornments.
Created by Make Me a Baker student, Cate Tibbertsma for her graduation, this cake is a nostalgic one "that will fill your belly with sweet memories" as Cate says.
125ml (½ cup) thickened cream
125g (½ cup) sour cream
1 tablespoon pure icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon Citrus Dust (see recipe below), plus extra to sprinkle
Meringue Rosettes (get Cate's meringue recipe HERE), to decorate
Oven-dried orange slices (optional), to decorate
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
80g unsalted butter, diced
2 lemons, zest finely grated and juiced
Melted butter to grease
4 fresh eggs, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
30g butter, diced
110g (3/4 cup) self-raising flour
30g (1/4 cup) cornflour
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) strained fresh lemon juice
60ml (1/4 cup) strained fresh orange juice
Citrus Toffee Shards
100g caster sugar
2½ tablespoons water
1 tablespoon liquid glucose
½ teaspoon Citrus Dust (see recipe below), to sprinkle
- Combine the whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a small saucepan and stir with a whisk until smooth. Add the butter and the lemon juice and zest.
- Place the saucepan over a low heat and stir constantly with the whisk until thickened and the mixture reaches 75°C on a sugar thermometer.
- Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar or glass container with lid. Refrigerate until required (see Baker’s Tips).
Citrus Toffee Shards
- Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and spray lightly with oil; set aside. Combine the caster sugar, water and the liquid glucose in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring when it starts to boil and brush down the inside of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any crystals that have formed on the surface. Boil until the syrup turns a dark caramel colour (see Baker's Tips).
- Immediately pour the caramel over the entire surface of the baking sheet to create a thin layer. Sprinkle with the Citrus Dust. Set aside to cool and set. When completely cool, transfer to a sealed airtight container together with the baking paper.
- Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven and then preheat it to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush two 18cm springform tins with melted butter to grease and line the base of each with a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Combine butter and milk in a small saucepan and set aside. Combine the Citrus Syrup ingredients in a separate small saucepan and set aside also.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed to whisk the eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is very thick and pale and the sugar has dissolved (this will take about 8 minutes). Lift the whisk out of the mixture and slowly draw a figure eight, if the trail stays on the surface long enough for you to finish drawing then the mixture is ready. If not, continue to whisk for a further minute and then test again.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture is almost simmering. Remove from the heat. Pour the hot milk mixture down the side of the bowl and then sift the flour and cornflour together over the egg mixture. Immediately whisk briefly again with the electric mixer on low speed, until the flour mixture is just incorporated (make sure there is no flour caught at the bottom of the bowl and be careful not to over mix).
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins (see Baker's Tips) and gently tap the tins on the bench top three times to settle the mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cakes are a pale golden colour, spring back when lightly touched in the centre and start pulling away from the sides of the tins.
- About 5 minutes before the Sponge Layers finish baking, place the saucepan with the Citrus Syrup ingredients over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a very gentle simmer to keep warm.
- Remove sponges from the oven and immediately use a small palette knife to loosen the top of the sponges from the tins and turn onto a wire rack lined with a tea towel. Remove the baking paper and carefully turn the hot sponges back on their base onto a rack over a tray. Immediately pour hot syrup over the hot sponge layers. Set aside to cool completely before layering.
- Use an electric hand mixer with a whisk attachment or a balloon whisk to whisk the thickened cream, sour cream and icing sugar together in a medium bowl, until soft peaks form.
- Place one sponge layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread about 1/2 cup of curd over the sponge layer and use a small sieve to sprinkle the Citrus Dust over the curd. Spread about half the cream mixture over the curd layer, spreading gently to avoid over-working the cream. Top with the remaining sponge layer. Spread another 1/2 cup of curd on top followed by the remaining cream mixture, again spreading gently so you don’t over work it.
- Decorate with the Meringue Rosettes and Citrus Toffee Shards and sprinkle with extra Citrus Dust. Embellish with oven-dried orange slices, if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours (see Baker's Tips).
ORANGE CITRUS DUST: Preheat oven to 100°C (80°C fan-forced). Use a vegetable peeler to peel the rind from 1 large orange. Use a small knife to scrap any excess pith away. Place on a lined oven tray and bake in oven for 1-2 hours. Rind is ready when it has dried completely but still retains some of its original colour. Use a mortar and pestle or a small food processor to pound or process the rind to a fine powder that is aromatic and rich in colour. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to one month.
- The Lemon Curd will keep in a sealed clean, sterilised jar for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. My preference is to make and refrigerate the lemon curd 1-2 days in advance of using it so that the curd thickens and the flavour develops.
- As the Citrus Toffee Shards syrup begins to darken, gently turn the pan to encourage the colour to spread but avoid swirling the mixture too vigorously to prevent the mixture from crystallising.
- The Citrus Toffee Shards will store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a month, depending on the humidity.
- Having your butter and milk mixture for the Sponge Layers and the Citrus Syrup ingredients in separate saucepans, ready for heating, will make the preparation of this recipe more efficient and with help with the timing of when the different elements need to be ready.
- To divide the mixture evenly between the tins, weigh the tins with the mixture in them to make sure they are the same weight. Placing a small upturned bowl on the scale and for the cake tin to sit on will mean that the measurement display window can be easily viewed.
- Even though this cake is best eaten on the day it is baked, the unfilled syrup-infused sponge layers can be made the day before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. To avoid the layers sticking to each other, separate the sponges with a layer of baking paper or store in two separate airtight containers. An upturned cake tin, larger than the diameter of the cake, also makes a useful barrier for separating sponges for storing.
- To ensure this cake cuts easily, resist over-filling the middle layer of curd and cream and, if possible, chill the assembled cake for a few hours before serving. Decorate with the meringues, toffee shards and citrus dust just before serving.
Prep 11/2hr (+ standing time) Bake 15min (per batch) Makes about 28
Pretty to look at, divine to eat, these macarons were created by Allen Au, one of our Make Me a Baker graduates, to use as part of his Graduation cake recipe.
125g almond meal
125g pure icing sugar
96g egg whites
125g caster sugar
Gel colouring (see Baker's tip)
125g unsalted butter
125g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon sieved cherry jam
- Preheat oven to 165°C (145°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper or silicone baking mats.
- Sift together the almond meal and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add half the egg white and mix until a thick paste forms.
- Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat, brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush occasionally to prevent any sugar crystals forming. Do not stir. Once the sugar mixture has reached 115°C on a sugar thermometer, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the remaining egg white on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Once the sugar mixture has reached 118°C, remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly whisk the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites. Continue to whisk on medium-high speed until the temperature cools to 30°C. The meringue should be thick and glossy. Add enough gel colour to the meringue to tint to the desired colour, whisking until evenly combined.
- Fold 2 large tablespoons of the meringue into the almond paste mixture until well incorporated. Fold in the remaining meringue until evenly combined. The consistency of the batter should look like molten lava. If you can draw a figure eight and the trail stays on the surface, then the mixture is ready to be piped.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm round nozzle. Pipe the macarons onto the lined trays into 3.5cm rounds. Tap the tray to remove any air bubbles from the macarons. Leave the macarons out in the open until a skin forms on the surface of the macaron. (This can take from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the humidity). The skin should be dry enough that it does not stick to your finger when touched lightly.
- Bake one tray of macarons in the centre of the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until shells don't feel soft at the 'feet' when touched. Set aside to cool on the tray and repeat with the remaining tray of macarons.
- To make the Filling, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it is pale and creamy. Beat in the icing sugar until well combined. Add the cherry jam and beat until well combined. Spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a 7mm star nozzle and pipe a small rosette onto the base of half the macarons. Sandwich with the remaining macarons.
- Store the macarons in the fridge overnight so the flavours from the filling are absorbed by the shells. Bring the macarons to room temperature before serving.
- Allen used Chefmaster Liqua-Gel colours to colour his macarons – he used 8 drops of Super Red with 0.5 drop of Black Diamond
- This recipe is based on a recipe from a course Allen did with Australian Patisserie Academy
Prep 11/2hr (+ macaron prep)Bake 18-20min (per batch)Makes 10 serves
Created by Make Me a Baker student, Allen Au for his graduation, this cake is certainly a show stopper.
Before starting the program Allen had always found making sponge cakes challenging and had almost given up on ever making another again. But, he set himself the challenge of perfecting a sponge and creating a version of Black Forest cake that his wife had always wanted him to. The result was a modern cake bursting with flavour and showcasing Allen's newly-acquired baking skills!
The sponge cake in this recipe is a version of the one students learn to make during the Make Me a Baker program.
Chocolate Sponge Cake (2 layers)
Melted butter, to grease
4 eggs, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
30g salted butter
110g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
Chocolate Sponge Cake (1 layer)
Melted butter, to grease
2 eggs, at room temperature
75g caster sugar
15g salted butter
55g self-raising flour
15g cocoa powder
80g caster sugar
900ml thickened cream
200g cherry jam
1½ x 680g jars pitted Morello cherries, drained
Chocolate bark (see Baker's tips)
10 Maraschino cherries with stems, drained
2 Cadbury Cherry Ripe double-dipped chocolate bar, cut into 3-4 pieces
1½ Cadbury Flake bar, broken into fine pieces
3 cherry macarons (get Allen's Cherry Macaron recipe HERE)
Chocolate Sponge Cake Layers
- To make the Chocolate sponge cake layers, place the oven rack in the oven so that the cake tins will sit in the middle of the oven and then preheat to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush two 20cm shallow cake tins with melted butter to grease and line the base of each with a sheet of non-stick baking paper. You will need to reuse one of the cake tins to make the third sponge layer later.
- To make the first two layers of sponge, use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed to whisk the 4 eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition, until the mixture is very thick and pale (this will take about 8 minutes). Lift the whisk out of the mixture and draw a figure eight. If the trail stays on the surface long enough to finish drawing, then the mixture is ready. If not, continue to whisk for a further minute.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost simmering. Remove from the heat and pour the warm milk mixture down the side of the mixing bowl. Quickly sift the flour and cocoa powder together over the egg mixture and then immediately whisk again with the electric mixer on low speed briefly until the flour mixture is just incorporated (be careful not to overmix). Scrape the base of the bowl and then whisk briefly again, if necessary.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins (see Baker’s tips) and gently tap the tins on the benchtop three times to settle the mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched in the centre and start pulling away from the sides of the tins. Remove from the oven and immediately use a small palette knife to loosen the sides of the sponges from the tins and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat steps 1–4 using the ingredients to make one more layer of sponge.
- Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Stir in the kirsch. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- When ready to assemble the cake, use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place one of the sponge layers on a serving plate or cake stand. Use a pastry brush to generously brush the whole top surface with about one-third of the kirsch mixture. Spread half the jam over the top and then spread with enough whipped cream to create a layer about 1cm thick. Sprinkle with half the drained morello cherries. Repeat with the remaining sponge layers, kirsch syrup, morello cherries and cream layer, finishing with a sponge layer and kirsch syrup.
- Spread the remaining whipped cream over the sides and top of the cake to cover.
- To decorate, attach the chocolate bark to the outside of the cake. Decorate the cake with the Maraschino cherries, chocolate bars, and macarons.
- To divide the mixture evenly between the tins, weigh the tins with the mixture in them to make sure they are the same weight.
- To make chocolate bark, spread melted dark chocolate thinly over a piece of baking paper, making sure the width is similar to the height that your final cake will be. Place a second piece of baking paper over the chocolate to cover. Roll the two sheets of baking paper together into a thin cylinder. Secure with bulldog clips or pegs on both ends. Place in the fridge until set and ready to use. To use the chocolate bark, carefully remove the baking paper and break to desired widths.
Prep 2hr (+ cooling time)Bake 8-10minMakes 18 serves
Created by Make Me a Baker student, Karthika Biju for her graduation, this stunning cake brings together numerous techniques learnt throughout the 6-month course. A real challenge, this dessert is an exquisite combination of chocolate and coffee-infused layers of almond sponge, ganache, chocolate croustillant, hazelnut praline and Swiss meringue buttercream. Karthika finished each portion of cake with gold dust and leaf and also personalised them with a chocolate disc monogramed with her initials. Not for the faint-hearted baker, this recipe is nothing short of a challenge but the results will definitely reflect the effort.
IngredientsEdible gold leaf and dust, to decorate
Joconde (Almond Sponge)Melted butter, to grease
5 eggs, at room temperature
140g almond meal
140g soft icing sugar mixture
30g plain flour
5 egg whites
30g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
30g unsalted butter, melted
Coffee Syrup160ml (2/3 cup) water
100g caster sugar
3 teaspoons instant coffee powder
Hazelnut Praline Paste125g whole raw hazelnuts
75g caster white sugar
2 teaspoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
Chocolate Croustillant40g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), chopped or callets
30g Hazelnut Praline Paste
70g Paillette Feuilletine (see Baker’s Tips)
Chocolate Ganache160g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), chopped or callets
160ml (2/3 cup) thickened cream
Swiss Meringue Coffee Buttercream4 egg whites, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Coffee extract, to taste
Chocolate Glaze6.6g gelatine leaves
250ml (1 cup) chilled water
125ml (1/2 cup) room temperature water
225g caster sugar
150g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa), callets or chopped
30g cocoa powder, sifted
65ml pure cream (35% butterfat)
Monogramed Chocolate Discs70g good-quality dark chocolate (45% cocoa), callets or chopped
Edible gold lustre paint (See Baker’s Tips)
Wax seal (kept in freezer for at least 45 minutes)
Joconde (Almond Sponge Cake)
- To make the Joconde, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Brush two 23cm x 33cm shallow baking trays with melted butter and line the base and sides of each with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit.
- Sift the almond meal and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the whole 5 eggs and use an electric hand mixer to mix until the mixture is creamy. Stir in the flour until just combined.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed to whisk the egg whites and salt in a large clean bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold the egg whites through the almond mixture. Add the melted butter and fold gently together.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through. Cool in the tins.
- Carefully turn the cooled cakes onto a cutting board and cut each into one 20cm square and one 10cm x 20cm rectangle.
- To make the Coffee Syrup, place the water, sugar and coffee into a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Leave it to heat until the sugar has melted. Do not stir. Continue cooking until it has turned a golden caramel.
- Meanwhile, fill your sink with cold water. Once the caramel is ready, dip the base of the saucepan in the cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Set the pan on a towel on the bench.
Hazelnut Praline Paste
- To Make the Hazelnut Praline Paste, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and roast the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes, or until aromatic and the skins start to crackle.
- Wrap the warm hazelnuts in a tea towel and set aside to steam for 10 minutes. Use the tea towel to rub to hazelnuts against it and each other to remove the skins.
- Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat. Place the sugar and water in a small heavy-based saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and simmer over medium heat, brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan, until a deep golden toffee forms. Remove from the heat add the toasted skinned hazelnuts but don’t stir. Pour immediately onto the lined tray and set aside to cool completely.
- When the toffee is cool, break into small pieces. Add about a quarter of the toffee shards to a food processor bowl and process until ground. With the motor running, add the remining toffee shards and process until ground. Add the salt and continue to process until a smooth paste with a peanut butter consistency forms (see Baker’s Tips).
Chocolate Hazelnut Croustillant
- To make the Chocolate Croustillant, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until melted and smooth.
- Add Pailleté Feuilletine and Hazelnut Praline Paste to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Spread the croustillant over the 20cm square layer of sponge cake on the board. Place in the fridge to set
- To make the Chocolate Ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just to the boil.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and set aside for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to a peanut butter consistency (see Baker’s Tips).
- To make the Coffee Buttercream, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water). Use a balloon whisk to stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue to stir until the mixture reaches 70°C on a thermometer.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture is very thick and glossy and has cooled completely to room temperature.
- Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment and gradually add the room temperature butter a tablespoon at a time, beating well on medium-high speed after each addition, before adding the next lot. Once all the butter has been incorporated, beat in the coffee extract.
- Remove the croustillant-coated sponge cake layer from the fridge and carefully flip it onto a on a another cutting board with chocolate croustillant facing down. Brush the sponge with about a third of the coffee syrup and then spread with half of the coffee buttercream. Place the two 10cm x 20cm sponge layers side by side on top to cover and brush with half of the remaining coffee syrup.
- Reserve about 1/4 cup of the ganache and spread the sponge evenly with the remaining chocolate ganache. Top with the remaining layer of sponge cake and brush well with the remining coffee syrup. Spread with the remaining buttercream to cover and even the surface using an offset spatula or cake scraper. Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Monogramed Chocolate Discs
- Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Remove the wax seal from the freezer and place in a bowl of ice.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 10 seconds bursts on high, stirring well after each burst until the chocolate is completely melted. Spoon the chocolate into a zip-lock bag and cut a small hole in one corner. Working quickly, pipe the chocolate onto the lined try to form three discs, each about the size of a dollar coin. Immediately use the chilled wax seal to imprint the chocolate discs, holding on each for 5 seconds. Place the seal back in the ice (see Baker’s Tips) and repeat with the remaining chocolate making and imprinting three discs at a time. Set aside at room temperature to set and firm.
- Once set use a small paintbrush to paint each disc with edible lustre gold paint to coat.
- When ready to glaze the cake, carefully transfer the cake to a rack over a tray lined with baking paper. Return to the fridge.
- To make the Chocolate Glaze. Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl and add 250ml (1 cup) of the chilled water to cover. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Combine the remaining 125ml (1/2 cup) water in a small saucepan with the sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil gently, brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the syrup reaches 104°C on a thermometer.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until combined and smooth. Add the cream and stir until the mixture cools to 60°C on a thermometer.
- Use your hands to squeeze as much water as possible from the gelatine sheets and add to the warm chocolate mixture. Stir until dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to a jug anduse a stick blender to blend until the mixture is emulsified and smooth. Strain the glaze through a fine mesh sieve.
- Once the glaze cools to 32°C on a thermometer pour it immediately over the chilled cake to create a smooth surface, allowing any excess to drip down the sides. Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until the glaze is set.
- Use a hot, dry knife trim the edges of the cake and then cut into 18 pieces (each about 7cm x 3cm). Transfer to a serving plate. Soften the reserved Chocolate Ganache by heating in 10 second bursts on high and stirring between each burst until smooth. Cool until almost a piping consistency. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle. Pipe a rosette of ganache at the end of each cake portion and rest a Monogramed Chocolate Disc against the rosette to hold it. Decorate with gold leave and dust as desired.
- Paillette Feuilletine is fine broken shards of Crêpes Dentelle (a crisp biscuit made from rolled crêpes)and is used to add texture to confections and desserts. It is available from specialty food stores and French delicatessens.
- Edible lustre gold paint is available from specialty cake decorating shops and suppliers and some craft stores.
- The Hazelnut Praline Paste will be coarse crumbs in the beginning, but it will eventually get smooth with processing. Don’t add water to thin the mixture but a little vegetable oil can be added to reach the right consistency is needed.
- The longer the Chocolate ganache stands at room temperature the thicker it will become. It is ready to use when it becomes a peanut butter-like consistency. If left for too long, it will become too thick to spread.
- The wax seal must be left in the ice between imprinting the discs for it to work effectively and not stick to the chocolate.
Karthika based this recipe on one from https://www.homecookingadventure.com.
Prep 2 hours (+ 4 hours chilling time)Bake 30-40 minMakes 18 serves
These divine desserts petite gateaux were created by Rachel Hunt, one of our Make Me a Baker students for her graduation. A crisp, nutty, meringue base is topped with a mirror-glazed, ever-so-light honey-infused mousse surrounding a floral lavender jelly. Using a number of techniques, this recipe showcases all the fantastic new skills and confidence Rachel gained over the course of our 6-month program and, lucky for you, she’s sharing it so you can make them at home! Rachel uses 18 x 30mm and 60mm (top measurement) half sphere silicon moulds however other shapes/sizes can be used.
- 6 fresh unsprayed lavender heads or 2 teaspoons
dried culinary lavender, plus extra to decorate
- 250ml (1 cup) water
- 110g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 1½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2½ tablespoons cold water
- Purple food colour (optional)
- 5 eggs, separated
- 40g butter, diced
- 135g good-quality white chocolate chips (like Callebaut)
- 60ml (¼ cup) good-quality honey
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 300ml thickened cream
- Vegetable oil, to grease
- 150g hazelnut meal or peeled toasted hazelnuts
- 7 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 385g (1¾ cups) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 250ml (1 cup) cold water
- 330g (1½ cups) caster sugar
- 160ml (2/3 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups good-quality white chocolate chips (like Callebaut)
- To make the lavender jelly, combine the sugar and 250ml water in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the lavender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- When the syrup is almost cool, place the cold water in a small heatproof bowl or dish and sprinkle the gelatin over. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatin is fully rehydrated. Sit the bowl or dish into another bowl of hot water and stir until dissolved and the mixture is clear.
- Strain the jelly syrup through a sieve to remove the lavender. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the syrup until well combined.
- Tint the jelly syrup with purple food colouring if desired. Place 18 x 30mm (top measurement) half-sphere silicon moulds on a tray and pour in the jelly syrup (there will be some syrup left over and you can set it in other moulds or glasses if you wish). Place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, or until well set.
- To make the honey mousse, lightly whisk the egg yolks and combine in a medium saucepan with the butter, chocolate and honey. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is just melted (be careful not to overheat). Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Place the cold water in a small heatproof bowl or dish and sprinkle the gelatin over. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatin is fully rehydrated. Sit the bowl or dish into another bowl of hot water and stir until dissolved and the mixture is clear. Stir gelatin mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined. Cover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand-held balloon whisk to whisk the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture until just combined. Whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and gently fold through. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold through until just combined.
- Place 18 x 60mm (top measurement) half sphere moulds on a tray and pour in the mousse mixture to fill each until almost full. Remove the lavender jelly domes from the smaller moulds and press into the centre of each individual mousse, ensuring the mousse completely covers the jelly. If the jelly isn't completely covered, add a little more mousse. If necessary, scrape a palette knife across the top of the moulds so that the base of the mousse domes will be level. Chill for at least 4 hours, or until set.
- To make the hazelnut meringue, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Lightly grease 2 oven trays and line with non-stick baking paper.
- If using whole toasted hazelnuts grind the nuts with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar in a food processor until fine but still with some texture.
- Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg whites and vinegar until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once half the sugar has been added start adding the rest in larger quantities, whisking well after each addition, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Use a metal spoon or spatula to fold the hazelnuts through the meringue. Spoon the meringue onto the prepared trays and spread evenly in a rectangle until about 1-1½cm thick. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until a crisp crust forms. Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes on the trays and then transfer them to wire racks, still on the baking paper, to cool completely. Carefully remove the baking paper and transfer to a cutting board. Use a 6cm round cutter to cut discs from the meringue sheets. Set aside in an airtight container.
- To make the mirror glaze, place 80ml (1/3 cup) of the cold water into a small bowl or dish and sprinkle the gelatin over. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatin is fully rehydrated.
- Combine the remaining water, sugar and condensed milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Add the white chocolate chips and stir slowly until melted. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large jug and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Remove the petit gateaux domes from the fridge and place on a wire rack over a larger oven tray to catch the drips. Carefully and slowly pour the glaze over ensuring the domes are completely covered. Sprinkle dried lavender on top to decorate if desired.
- Set aside at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or until the glaze is set.
- Use a palette knife to transfer the mousse domes to the hazelnut meringue discs and serve.
- The mousse domes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- The Hazelnut meringue will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Photography by Alan Benson.
Prep 15 mins (+1 hour cooling)Bake 40minMakes 10 serves
This cake was shared by Hannah Scott as part of her Make Me a Baker program homework for Module 5.
"This sturdy but moist cake is a real crowd pleaser and a favourite in my family. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure why it’s called a Mexican Wedding Cake as I don’t think it’s traditionally served at weddings, but since my family usually make it for family gatherings and celebrations, the name has stuck. It’s super easy to make using the measure and beat method."
- 15g melted butter mixed with 1 teaspoon plain flour
- 310g plain wholemeal flour (unsifted)
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 165g brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
- 85g slivered almonds
- 100g coarsely chopped glace ginger
- 450g tin crushed pineapple in natural juice, (with its juice)
- 75g butter, at room temperature
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 125g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract or essence
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Brush a 2 litre (8 cup) fluted ring or bundt tin with the melted butter and flour mixture to grease.
- Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, brown sugar, eggs, almonds, glace ginger and crushed pineapple into a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on low speed until well combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Stand the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about an hour).
- Meanwhile, to make the Icing, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.
- Once cake has cooled completely, use the back of a metal spoon to gently spread the icing all over the cake. Serve in slices.
- This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
Hannah Scott (aka @thefoodstoryteller) won a scholarship to BakeClub's Make Me a Baker program thanks to SBS Food. Her rustic approach to baking is partly to thank for winning her the top spot in the competition. Stay tuned to Instagram and the blog to follow her Make Me a Baker journey over the next 6 months! In the meantime, click here to get to know a little more about her.
To find out more about how you can be part of a future Make Me a Baker program, click here.
Photography by Hannah Scott.
Prep 25min (+ cooling and chilling time)
This recipe was created by Lisa Frost, one of our Make Me a Baker graduates, to use as part of her Graduation cake recipe. She wanted to create a curd she could use in, and serve with, the vegan cakes she was baking through her baking business, The Naked Lion Co. The result was this egg- and butter-free rich curd that will bring sunshine to any cake or dessert.
125ml (½ cup) strained fresh lemon juice
165-220g (¾-1 cup) caster sugar (depending on sweetness preferred)
40g (⅓ cup) cornflour
Pinch ground turmeric
20g coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut cream
- Combine the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and comes to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the turmeric, or enough to reach the rich yellow colour typical of lemon curd. Mix in the coconut oil and then add the coconut cream, a little at a time until the curd reaches a good consistency (it will thicken a little more on cooling).
- Place mixture into a medium bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and set aside to cool. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until well chilled before using.
- This lemon curd will keep well in a sealed jar in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Prep 25min (+ lemon curd making time)Bake 50minMakes 10-12 serves
This wonderful cake was created by one of our Make Me a Baker graduates, Lisa Frost, for her graduation ceremony. "The foundations for my baking business all began with this cake and encompass all I now do through The Naked Lion Co – create wholesome baked goods using the finest local produce. A layer of my vegan lemon curd is baked into the cake giving it a fabulously tangy, moist centre."
1 quantity Vegan Lemon Curd, chilled
Double / thick cream, to serve
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios, to serve
Cooking oil spray, to grease
160g (1¼ cups) finely chopped pistachios kernels
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g (¾ cup) organic coconut sugar
1½ tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
50g (¼ cup) apple puree
3 eggs, at room temperature
100g (⅔ cup) plain cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 22cm round springform tin then line base and sides with 2 layers of baking paper. Spray the side lining paper with oil, avoiding the base of the pan. Place ¼ cup of the pistachios in the pan and rotate pan on its side to coat the side with nuts.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and lemon rind until pale and creamy, scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary. Mix in the apple puree on low speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add ⅔ cup of the remaining pistachios and stir to combine. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined.
- Spoon the cake mixture into tin, spreading evenly. Drop the tin on the bench to settle the mixture. Spread 1 cup of the chilled curd over batter, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Cover the surface of the remaining curd with plastic wrap and return to the fridge.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Cover the surface of the cake lightly with a round of baking paper to prevent the nuts from burning and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (the top of the cake will still be slightly wobbly).
- Allow the cake to stand in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing the side. Serve warm or at room temperature with the cream, remaining lemon curd and pistachios.
Prep 1hr 15min (+ cooling and chilling time)Bake 45-75minMakes 8-10 serves
One of our Make Me a Baker graduates, Dimi Jayawardene, baked this beautiful tart at her graduation ceremony – chocolate pastry filled with a chocolate custard and topped with chocolate ganache, it's the definition of decadent!
Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry
200g (1⅓ cups) plain flour
Good pinch salt
3 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
150g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
3-3½ tablespoons iced water
Chocolate Custard Filling
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon custard powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
300ml thin cream
250ml (1 cup) milk
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
250g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
2-3 tablespoons Tia Maria, or to taste
- To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs with some larger pieces of butter still visible.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the iced water over the flour and butter mixture. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together. Press a little of the mixture between your fingers – if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more water; If it doesn’t add the remaining ½ tablespoon water and combine. The pastry should be soft but not sticky.
- Bring the pastry together with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured, cool bench top. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 10 seconds or until it comes together but isn’t completely smooth. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap well in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 4mm-thick disc. Line the base and side of a 23cm (base measurement) round, fluted tart tin with removable base, pressing into the sides. Roll the rolling pin over the top to trim any excess pastry. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
- Place the tart tin on an oven tray. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beads, or dried rice or beans. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the rice or beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until pastry is just cooked through. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
- Meanwhile, to make the Chocolate custard filling, combine the egg yolks, custard powder and sugar in a saucepan. Add the chocolate, cream and milk and place over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally with a balloon whisk, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- Pour the chocolate custard mixture into the pastry case (see Baker's Tips). Reduce oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and bake for 20-40 minutes or until custard is just set. (The baking time will depend on your oven and a the depth of your tart tin.) Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely in the tin.
- While the tart is cooling, make the Chocolate ganache. Heat the cream for 30-50 seconds or until bubbling in the microwave. Place the chocolate, butter and Tia Maria in a bowl. Pour the cream into the bowl. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes until chocolate is melted and then start mixing with a small balloon whisk or spoon until the mixture is beautiful and smooth (the butter gives the ganache a lovely glossy look). Pour the ganache over the layer of custard and place in the fridge to set.
- Transfer the tart to a serving plate. Top with berries and slivered almonds, decorate with gold leaf and edible flowers. Serve with whipped cream.
- Adding the filling to the pastry cases while still sitting in the oven on the tray will mean you can fill the tart completely and minimise the chance of it spilling when transferring it to the oven.
- This recipe makes one large tart or it can make 8 individual tarts in 10-11cm tins.
- The tart can be made the day before. Leave the decorating for the day of serving.