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Sweet Treat: Vanilla Berry Cookie Cake Recipe

Vanilla Berry Cookie Cake recipe

Make mum's special day even more so with a home-made, edible gift. Our heart-shaped cookie cake is as delicious as it is beautiful – think layers of vanilla-scented cookie and tangy berry mascarpone, garnished with the prettiest of pink decorations. We've opted for edible flowers, tiny cubes of Turkish delight and the freshest of berries, but feel free to let your imagination run wild. You'll find everything you need to make this picture-perfect show-stopper in-store, along with plenty more Mother's Day inspiration.

Vanilla berry cookie cake

Prep time 45 mins (plus cooling, 2 hours resting and 1 hour chilling time)
Cook time 15 mins
Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS

Fresh raspberries and sliced strawberries, to serve
Authentic Rose-Flavoured Turkish Delight, diced, to serve
Raspberry White Chocolate, broken into shards, to serve (see note)
Pink edible flowers, to serve
Raspberry mascarpone filling 250g cream cheese, diced, at room temperature
75g icing sugar, sieved
50g raspberries
1 tsp lemon juice 500g mascarpone
Vanilla shortbread 375g (2½ cups) plain flour
100g sieved icing sugar
220g chilled butter, diced
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

METHOD

1 To make the vanilla shortbread, process flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and process to fine crumbs. Add yolks, vanilla bean paste and 1 tbsp iced water and process until dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and form into 2 even discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).

2 Line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Roll out each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to 4mm thick. Cut a 20cm heart from each, using a paper template as a guide. Place on 2 prepared trays. Chill until firm (20-30 minutes). Using a small sharp knife, cut a smaller heart from the centre of each, leaving a 4cm border. Chill until required. Re-roll dough offcuts to 4mm thick and cut another 20cm heart from the dough. Place on remaining prepared tray and chill until firm (20-30 minutes). Using a small sharp knife, cut out a smaller heart from the centre, leaving a 4cm border.

3 Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Bake shortbread hearts, swapping and turning trays occasionally, until crisp and light golden (12-15 minutes). Cool completely on trays and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

4 To make the raspberry mascarpone filling, beat cream cheese, icing sugar, raspberries and lemon juice in an electric mixer until smooth and combined (3-4 minutes). Scrape down the side of the bowl, add mascarpone and beat until firm peaks form – don’t overbeat or the mixture will split. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (1 hour).

5 Transfer raspberry mascarpone filling to a piping bag fitted with a 12mm plain piping tube, twisting the bag to ensure there are no air bubbles. Pipe a few small dollops of filling on the underside of one of the shortbread hearts and place on a serving plate – these help hold it in place and make it easier to decorate. Pipe small peaks of raspberry mascarpone filling evenly over the top. Continue layering with remaining shortbread hearts and raspberry mascarpone filling. Decorate with raspberries, sliced strawberries, Turkish Delight,raspberry white chocolate shards and edible flowers.

Note: raspberry white chocolate is available at select stores from the Chocolate Counter.

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5 Easy & Delicious Avocado Recipes

5 of the Tastiest Avocado Recipes

Who doesn't love a perfectly ripe avocado? Full of flavour and rich with good fats, it’s is always a favourite. Sliced, diced, mashed or blended, these healthy green beauties add creamy goodness to a variety of dishes. Get inspired with these five simple recipes.

Seared Salmon and Avocado Salad

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil
4 skinless salmon fillets
1 lemon, halved
2 bunches of asparagus, ends trimmed
2 avocados, halved, sliced
½ cup mint leaves
2 tbsp buttermilk

METHOD

1 Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

2 Sear salmon, turning once, until browned on the outside and still pink on the inside (1-2 minutes each side).

3 Squeeze half a lemon into the pan and set aside.

4 Blanch asparagus in a pan of boiling salted water until just tender (1-2 minutes), drain and refresh under cold water.

5 Combine in a bowl with avocado and mint. Flake salmon into bowl and drizzle over pan juices.

6 Add buttermilk, season, toss to combine and serve with remaining lemon.

Avocado, Kale & Egg on Toast

Serves 4 as a light meal

INGREDIENTS

4 free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 cup torn kale
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
2 avocados, diced
¼ cup each mint leaves, dill sprigs and flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
8 slices seeded sourdough bread, toasted

METHOD

1 Bring a pan of water to the boil, add eggs and cook until yolks are semi-firm (6-7 minutes).

2 Drain, cool under running water, then peel.

3 Combine kale, oil and lemon juice in a bowl, season to taste and rub kale to soften slightly.

4 Add avocado, herbs and spring onion, and toss lightly to combine. 

5 Pile on top of toast, break eggs apart and add on top of salad, season to taste and serve.

Smashed Avocado with Crisp Tostadas

Serves 4 as a snack

INGREDIENTS

2 avocados, chopped
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2½ tbsp olive oil
Juice of 2 limes, or to taste
½ cup chopped coriander
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 soft corn tortillas

METHOD

1 Combine avocado, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and lime juice in a bowl and coarsely mash with a fork, then season to taste.

2 Add coriander and chilli, and stir to combine.

3 Heat a generous splash of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium/high heat and fry tortillas, one at a time, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown (you may need to add extra oil as you go).

4 Drain, season and break into shards. Serve with smashed avocado.

Avocado Hummus

Serves 4 as a snack

INGREDIENTS

2 avocados, coarsely chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
2 tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Vegetable crudités or sourdough bread, to serve

METHOD

1 Blend avocado, chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini and garlic in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Season generously.

2 Taste hummus and add more lemon juice if necessary.

3 Serve with crudités or bread.

Spring Green Smoothie

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 avocado, coarsely chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, coarsely chopped
1 banana, coarsely chopped
250ml (1 cup) apple juice
1 cup ice cubes
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup baby spinach leaves
Juice of 1 lime, or to taste

METHOD

1 Combine avocado, cucumber, banana, apple juice, ice cubes, mint and spinach in a blender and blend until very smooth, add lime juice to taste, and blend to combine.

2 Pour into chilled glasses and serve.

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