Saturday 23 March 2013


The food dept has turned 1! WOW!
Hip hip hooray it's our first birthday! It's a year since our very first post and what an amazing year we have had. Thank you everyone for supporting and following us and sending your wonderful messages and comments. We have really enjoyed working on our shoots, and we are sure you will agree the fun and friendship we experience on our days shooting translates to the blog. To celebrate we have created this divine red velvet layer cake.

Thanks to photographer: Noel Mclaughlin 

Red velvet layer cake with fresh raspberries and mascarpone icing
This fabulous cake has a little history for us. It all started with Anne Marie's mother Toni who made it for one of her five children's birthdays'. It was so popular amongst the Cummins family that Anne Marie made it for her Sydney hairdresser, Renya Xydis to try. Now Renya's family adore the cake and place regular orders for the cake, for their parties and birthday celebrations. Whenever Anne Marie makes this cake, it is quickly eaten (followed by lots of ooh's and ahh's) and then people ask for the recipe. So when it came to deciding on the perfect 1st birthday cake for the food dept, there was no contest, but to make this indulgent, creamy layer cake. In Anne Marie's word's "It's a show stopper cake!" Bon apetit!
Makes 1 x 20cm cake, serves 10 (or 8 people with a sweet tooth!).

• 125g butter, room temperature
1½ cups caster sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups plain flour
2 tablespoons corn flour
2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red gel food colouring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 quantity Mascarpone icing
2 punnets raspberries
white chocolate curls, to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm cake pans.
2. Combine the butter, caster sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3. Sift together the flour, cornflour and Dutch cocoa and set aside.
4. In a jug combine the buttermilk, red colouring and vanilla, whisk well.
5. Add half of the sifted flour mixture and half of the buttermilk mixture to the creamed butter mixture, stir well.
6. Add the remaining flour and buttermilk mixtures and mix through.
7. Combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar together and add to the cake mixture, mix well.
8. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked when tested.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to stand in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a cake cooler lined with baking paper and turn the cakes over so they are the right way up. Cool completely.
10. Wrap the cakes in plastic and place in the freezer for 45 minutes until firm. Remove from the freezer and cut each cake in half to form 4 layers.
11. Place the first layer of the cake onto the serving plate and spread over 2/3 cup of the Mascarpone icing. Break open the raspberries so they are flat and arrange evenly over the icing. Repeat with the icing and raspberries for the next 2 layers of cake and top with the final layer of cake. Pack extra icing where needed into the layers of the cake to make it even and straight sided.
12. Divide the remaining icing in half. Spread half of the icing over the cake to form a crumb coat. Recoat the cake with a fine layer of the remaining icing and decorate with chocolate curls. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Mascarpone icing
This beautiful icing is what makes the red velvet layer cake. If you have any left over, Sally's hot tip is to pipe it into sweet pastry shells, top with a raspberry or blueberry and sprinkle with icing sugar. YUM!

375g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
375g mascarpone
450ml thickened cream

1. Combine the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth. Add the thickened cream and beat until smooth and creamy.
2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm the icing and use as required.

White chocolate curls
 Makes 3 large curls

150g white chocolate, melted

1. Cut 2 strips of baking paper (20cm x 10cm). Using 1/3 of the melted chocolate brush onto one strip of the paper, repeat with remaining chocolate and paper.
2. Lay the chocolate-coated paper strips over a bottle or jar and allow to set in the fridge.
3. Once set, peel away the paper and use as required.