Posts Tagged ‘strawberry’

Strawberry and Watermelon Cake

Strawberry and Watermelon Cake

When I was a kid I wanted to be a gymnast.  I remember watching a movie on Romanian Nadia Comaneci and how she scored a perfect 10 on the uneven bars in the 1976 Olympics and thought to myself that I was born to be a gymnast. 

So my best friend and I started teaching ourselves cartwheels, back bends and once even decided to create our own  dismount station on the side of my brother’s bed so we could practice somersaults (I shrudder at the thought of our bravery then!).  During long car trips my Dad would play classical music and I would close my eyes and pretend to do a floor routine to the music of Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

So the logical thing to do was ask my parents permission to take proper gymnastic  lessons – and I was devastated when they said no. I am assuming they thought it was too dangerous.  Maybe they thought I wasn’t ready… maybe, they weren’t ready.  I brooded over what to do next for months.  Finally, I decided to write them what I thought was a tear jerker of a letter asking them to reconsider their decision.  And what a letter it was.  I’m pretty sure the phrases “this is my dream” and “please, please, please” came up many times.  The next day, they relented.


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Berries and Cream

Did I tell you the Blog Monster went back home?  Last Sunday.  It’s been almost a week since she left and while I can tell you I am missing her… my kitchen must be missing her much more.  Gone are the days when the refrigerator was so full that an actual free space was more coveted that Hong Kong  prime real estate.  Today, I opened it, and it was almost empty.  Now I don’t need to fight with anyone for kitchen space – but somehow I miss having to compete over kitchen time.

There  was none of the usual tears when she left though.  The reason being I knew I was going to see her in a two days!  That’s right – there’s going to be a Blog Monster reunion this Saturday!  Not only that – my two other sisters will also be joining us.  It’s been ages since the “girls” had a week away.  Shopping, eating, and shopping some more… It’s going to be fabulous!

So while I say good-bye for a bit (see you back in early February!!) – I will be enjoying the company of the Blog Monster once again!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a treat which was inspired by a dessert I had when I took my Mum to Quay Restaurant a few days before she left.

Berries with a Vanilla Mousse

How could I let my Mom leave without trying Quay restaurant?  She’s probably the only one in my family willing (and wanting) to sit down for more than three hours enjoying the food of one of Sydney’s best restaurants.  The dessert I had at Quay was called Cherries and Berries.  It was a plated dessert of various coloured cherries, assorted berries, a sorbet and what seemed like their vanilla mousse.  This is the super simplified version – but when you have berries as good as what we’ve got nowadays, you just really have to let the berries talk!

Berry Berry Nice!

Recipe – adapted from Quay Restaurant (original post here)

  • 250 ml milk
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 1/2 sheets titanium gelatine (7.5 grams) soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 250 ml cream
  • 70 ml egg whites ( about 2 eggs from 55 gram eggs)
  • 125 grams caster sugar
  • Berries in season (I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  1. Heat the milk, 50 grams sugar and vanilla bean until just simmering.
  2. Squeeze water from the gelatine and whisk into the milk until dissolved.  Cool slightly (15 to 20 minutes), strain into a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggwhites, gradually adding sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the cream and meringue gently through the cooled milk mixture.
  6. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until set (around 6 hours)
  7. Top with your choice of berries

Berries and Vanilla Mousse

Oh and, by the way, a big thank you to everyone who has left a comment for the Blog Monster.  I feel like you all know her already.  I wanted to give you an idea of how she looked like as well as show you some of the “friends” she met while she was in Australia.  Enjoy!

The Blog Monster & Friends (Margaret Fulton, Tetsuya Wakuda & Tony Bilson)

Stumble It!

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Berry, Mascarpone and Coconut Cake

One great thing about having a blog is that it pushes you to try out new recipes that you would never have tried otherwise. My attitude nowadays has evolved from “Why make it, when you can buy it” to “Why buy it, when you can make it”.

Take this Berry, Mascarpone and Coconut Cake I made over the weekend.  It is one of my favourite (I know, everything seems to be “one of my favourite”) desserts. Every weekend my husband and I pick up a rustic sourdough from Victoire in Balmain and on special occasions, the strawberry mascarpone coconut cake.


Layers of summery goodness!

It is a layered cake of coconut dacquoise, strawberries and a mascarpone cream. In my version, I took advantage of the fact that blueberries were in season and added that to a layer as well.

Recipe (Serves 8 to 10)


  • Jelly Roll Pan measuring 38cm by 24cm
  • Loaf Tin measuring around 23cm by 10cm

Ingredients for the Coconut Dacquoise

  • 6 egg whites
  • 70 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams shredded coconut
  • 80 grams desiccated coconut
  • 150 grams icing sugar, sifted

Ingredients for Mascarpone Mixture

  • 500 grams mascarpone
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 25 grams caster sugar


To Prepare the Dacquoise

  1. Grease and line with baking paper the jelly roll pan.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 130C.
  3. In a bowl, mix the coconuts and the icing sugar.
  4. Whisk the egg whites and when you start to see soft peaks, slowly add the caster sugar and whisk until firm peaks.  Add the coconut mixture.
  5. Spread on to the jelly roll and bake in a fan forced oven (increase the heat by 30C if using non-fan forced oven) at 130C for 35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in a cooling rack.


For the Mascarpone Mixture:

  1. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks and then add the 25 grams of caster sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, mascarpone and 50 grams of sugar until firm.
  3. Incorporate the two mixtures by folding the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.


To Assemble: 250 grams fresh strawberries and 250 grams fresh blueberries and brown sugar for dusting.

  1. Slice the strawberries and cut the blueberries in half.  Save a few whole blueberries for the edges of the cake.
  2. Cut the coconut dacquoise into three parts so that each will fit into the loaf tin.
  3. Layer the tin with plastic wrap so that the edges are sticking out.  You will want at least 5cm of plastic that sticks out because you will use it to wrap the cake.
  4. Place a layer of dacquoise  on the tin and cover with 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture and then the strawberries.
  5. Place a second layer of dacquoise over this and cover with the rest of the mascarpone mixture and the blueberries.
  6. Top with a final layer of dacquoise and cover with the plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate overnight before dusting with brown sugar and caramelizing the top with a blowtorch.


Alternatively, you can layer the dessert in a tea cup as well!


Looks good served in tea cups too!

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