Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you all had a fantastic time celebrating and ringing in the new year. I honestly can’t believe that it is already 2017. Like, wasn’t it 2015 all of five minutes ago?! But here’s hoping that this year is only bigger and brighter than the last. And that it goes a bit slower!
I’m not one to make resolutions, or to set concrete goals, but I do have a lot of dreams and things I would like to achieve this year. I have a wedding (or two) to plan (any tips would be greatly appreciated), a home renovation to organise (tips here would be even more greatly appreciated), a tiny business I’d love to grow (if you’d like me to make you a cake or pastry, hit me up here), and some exciting new things I’m hoping to bring to the blog (stay tuned).
So the year looks like it will be super busy, and hopefully, promising. The only way to start a year like that is with champagne, a beach holiday (on one, currently. If only the sun would come out), and dessert.
I began last year with my first Raffaello dessert creation. I’ve made many versions of that tart since and even turned it into a cake, which quickly became one of my most popular custom orders. Here, I’ve made the cakes mini, piled on the white chocolate coconut filling and paired them with berries for some refreshing tartness.
Here’s to 2017! May it be brilliant. X
- VANILLA BERRY CAKES
- 110g unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)
- 165 caster (superfine) sugar (3/4 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
- 160g plain flour (1 cup + 2 tbsp approx.)
- ⅔ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- RAFFAELLO TOPPING
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 200ml can coconut milk (7 oz)
- 40g shredded coconut (1/2 cup)
- 100g white chocolate (1/2 cup), finely chopped
- 375g mascarpone (1½ cups)
- ¼ cup icing (powdered) sugar
- ⅓ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 40g shredded coconut (1/2 cup) extra, for topping
- 1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved
- FOR THE VANILLA CAKES
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and butter 9 small 3" cake tins (you can of course also bake these in muffins tins or similar, or even as a single large cake. Adjust baking time accordingly).
- Combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
- On a low speed, mix in a third of the dry ingredients until just combined, then follow with half the buttermilk. Continue alternating the wet and dry ingredients until they are just combined, finishing with dry.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins, I find it's easiest to do this by piping it in or using a cookie scoop. Scatter some raspberries over each cake.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the cakes are lightly golden and spring back when pressed in the centre.
- Allow to cool.
- RAFFAELLO TOPPING
- To make the Raffaello filling, place the coconut milk and 1 cup shredded coconut in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Cook for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut has soaked up all the coconut milk.
- Stir in the white chocolate until it's completely melted and incorporated. Transfer into a bowl, cover the surface with cling wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
- Once the mixture is cool, whip the mascarpone and icing sugar for 10 seconds or so, till just combined. Fold into the white chocolate coconut mixture.
- TO ASSEMBLE
- Place two pieces of halved strawberry, cut-side down onto each little cake. Top with a large scoop of the white chocolate coconut cream.
- Coat the cream with the extra shredded coconut, shaping it into a dome as you go.
- Optionally, top with edible flowers. Makes 9 little cakes.
- Keep refrigerated.
- Happy baking!
Vanilla cake recipe adapted from Batter & Dough.
Raffaello recipe adapted from Kwestia Smaku via this recipe.