My explained absence and cake dedication to my Aunty Tina.October 31, 2011 4 Comments
Contained within this post is the recipe for White Chocolate and Raspberry Marquise Cake.
Hello blog, how I have missed you. I always thought that when I would take a few months of my blog it would be planned, organised and announced but this was definitely not the case. There has definitely been a lot going on with many good reasons as to my absence. Naturally I didn’t stop cooking during that time but my camera and computer got a much needed break and perhaps so did my credit card.
My break has been eventful, a mixed bag both good and bad. It all started when I found out the wonderful news of being pregnant. Welcoming baby Foodie Goddess into the world is such an exciting time but has also proven to be challenging. Due early Jan 2012 the first trimester I was basically a recluse, I didn’t do much because I was sick most of the time with one thing or another.
Then the second trimester started and slowly I started to feel better but then I was confronted with some very sad news. My aunty Tina, who I have been very close to during my life had been diagnosed with cancer and told she only had a few months to live as the cancer was very aggressive and there was nothing they could do. Within a month and a half of this news she became a paraplegic. The cancer successfully taking over her body and spine. Her close family being her siblings, nieces, nephews and her devoted friends rallied together to help her have her last few weeks be at home be as conformable as possible. This was not without its stresses and challenges but looking back we did it together and I am very proud of my family for this. I spent a lot of my time with her during that last month, doing what I could to spend time with her and to make her feel loved. I wonder if when they go they remember or realise how much you truely loved and care for them. Maybe technology has reached heaven and she is reading this right now? :)
My husband, my daughter and I where due to visit my husbands family interstate but cancelled as we wanted to be there for her last 2 weeks, and thankfully we did decide that because that’s all she had left at the time. She passed away on the 16th Sept at 6am in the morning, I had only left her bed side 2 hours prior and did so under duress. My mother worried about my needing sleep and rest while pregnant but we all knew she would pass very soon after. She was by the side of my mother, her bother and a very close friend and her beloved cat Regina.
My aunty Tina was an inspiration when it came to my cooking. Actually she was not only an inspiration but a great supporter of my cooking passion. There wouldn’t be a visit that she wouldn’t come over after having either bought me something she had noticed I needed or having raided her own cupboards and brought over kitchen bits and pieces or food for me to play with. She, as my mother is, was an amazing cook. I loved her creativity. Some of the memories I will hold onto forever are the countless dinner parties and BBQs she hosted for her family and friends, another great passion of mine.
So after her death I am not only left with this gaping whole of an aunty I loved deeply but of a fellow cooking companion. We would often talk about cooking, how to do this, do that etc. She was a perfectionist and when I cooked for her I did it with a little fear, because I really valued her opinion a lot and in part would be scared to disappoint her. In this post I will share with you the very last meal I cooked for her on her last ever birthday this year in late July 2011. She was already quite ill at this point and her taste buds where not really interested in too much food but I wanted to impress her anyway. Make her feel loved and special.
My mother helped with the cooking and for starters she cooked her wonderful ‘OX Tail sauce’ (one of my favourite meals) which we ate with fresh egg fettuccine. The second course I cooked the amazing Lamb Knuckles from the Murdoch books 365 Challenge. The desert was really the main thing I wanted to share with you within this post. Her special birthday cake.
White Chocolate and Raspberry Marquise Cake.
- 175g Unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 rounded tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 175g caster sugar (Blended till fine powder)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 bottle of imitation rum (I used imitation because I am pregnant but go the real stuff if you want)
Ingredients for Raspberry filling
- 360g mascarpone cheese
- 360g whipping cream
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 400g raspberries
- Use a mix of seasonal fruit – I used strawberries, blueberries, passion fruit and some raspberries too.
- If you can find them 85 chocolate cigarillos, each 10cm long are what you need to put around the outside or else you can do what I did which was chopped up sponge finger biscuts into pencil size strips and covered with melted white chocolate and refrigerated before applying them on the outside. Another solution for you might be Vanilla cream wafer sticks.
- Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease and base line 2 x 200cm round x 4cm deep loose-bottomed cake tins with baling paper. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add all the other cake ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth, dropping consistency. If a little stiff, mix in a dash of water to loosen.
- Divide the mixture equally between the tins and level. Bake for 25 minutes (approx) until risen, springy andy golden. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a LONG serrated pastry or bread knife, alive each cake horizontally into 3 thin discs, to give 6 in total. Be patient with this pit and it takes time to get is accurate.
- On each layer soak the imitation rum into the each sponge disk. I think i used one whole bottle on mine (albeit they are only small I was surprised).
- Put the mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and thickened.
- Put 1 disc, cut side up on a cake plate or cake stand. Spread over a little of the filling (about 1 fifth) and scatter with half the raspberries. Place a second (2nd) disc on top and spread with a little more filling, then top with a third (3rd) disc and spread half the jam. Put a fourth (4th) disc on top and spread with a little filling, scatter the rest of the raspberries and sit the fifth (5) disc in top. Spread with the remaining jam and more willing, then sit the final disc on top. Press so the filling oozes out a little. Spread the remaining filling on top. Chill to fir up.
- If you can’t buy the chocolate cigarillos or Vanilla cream wafer sticks make your alternative with cut up sponge finger biscuits and white chocolate. Melt the white chocolate on very low heat or over a double boiler with a dash of vegetable oil. Cut up your sponge finger biscuits into pencil size strips and dip face side into chocolate and allow to set and cool in the fridge before applying into cake.
- Smooth sides of cake with a palette knife and stick the chocolate cigarillos or alternative upright and side-by-side all round the cake. Secure with a piece of a wide ribbon of your choice.
- Pile the mixed fruit into the centre of the cake, arranging if you like.
This cake is totally awesome. My aunty loved it do much she asked if she could take a chunk home, what a compliment! My other aunty who has eaten lots of the cakes I have made in the past said that this was her favourite of all :) Try it and tell me what you think!
Thanks for sticking around and reading a perhaps not so happy post but this blog for me is an expression of cooking and life, how can you separate the two? Hope to hear from all my loyal readers soon.
Buon Appetito!Adapted from Delicious Magazine (UK) but I have made significant changes to ingredients.
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