Ok, I promise I will stop posting up cake recipes and do some more savoury soon, but I simply had to share this one with you as I am pretty excited! Yesterday I went to the CERES Autumn Harvest Festival and entered their cake baking competition. CERES is a not for profit urban farm and centre for environmental sustainability that has two cafes, a Permaculture Nursery, a Fair Food organics delivery and a weekend fruit, veg and organic grocery market. Each week they sell the best local organic produce harvested from their own market gardens and other small sustainable growers from around Melbourne. If you want to find out more about CERES, check out their website here. The CERES Autumn Harvest Festival celebrated their 30th birthday and included their weekend market as well as food and craft stalls and live music and of course a cake baking competition! The theme for the Cake Baking Competition was a birthday cake for CERES’ 30th Birthday and there were more than 20 entries. The judges were two lovely ladies from the Country Women’s Association who took their job seriously and knew what they were doing! I made a Lemon Mascarpone cake with a fondant vegetable garden decoration on the top, to follow the organic vegetable theme! The CWA ladies had the arduous task of tasting all 20 plus cakes and I was very honoured that they chose mine as the winner!! I luckily managed to get a slice of my cake too and it was a lovely moist lemony cake and the Mascarpone cream went beautifully with it! A few images of the cake and the day are below and of course, the recipe at the end of the post. The prize was a luxurious hamper of goodies from the CERES shop including some of my favourites Murray River Pink Salt, Cunliffe & Waters Raspberry Jam, Loving Earth raw organic chocolate, a Keep Cup and many more yummy goodies. The perfect prize for me!!

Putting the final touches on the cake

The finished product, cauliflower, tomatoes and carrots!

The CWA ladies tasting all the cakes

Posing for a photo in front of my cake!

The Organic Fruit and Veg Market

The market overlooks their amazing veggie garden

Lunch! Lentil burgers with homemade tomato sauce by Jerry’s Vegiburgers, they were delicious!

Ok and here is the recipe for those of you who would like to try, it is well worth the effort and the fondant vegetables are of course optional!

Lemon Mascarpone Cake Recipe

finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
125g softened butter
1 1/4 cups (275g) caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice

Mascarpone Cream
250g Mascarpone (1 sml punnet) – read more about Mascarpone here
300ml cream
finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
finely grated rind of 1 lime
1/2 cup icing sugar

Optional – fondant vegetables
dark chocolate sprinkles (for dirt)
fondant icing – read more about fondant here
food colouring

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Cream butter, sugar and lemon rind with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and mix until just combined. Add flour, milk and lemon juice and mix until you have a consistent cake batter, but do not overmix. Pour your cake batter into your lined tin and smooth the top. Bake for about 50mins, (check at about 40mins with a skewer to see if it is nearly done). Remove from oven and let sit in tin for 5 mins until turning out on to a wire rack to cool.

To make the Mascarpone cream, whip cream, icing sugar and rind until soft peaks form. Fold through Mascarpone and refridgerate until you are ready to assemble your cake.

Once cake is cool, slice in half with a serrated bread knife. Spread half the cream in the middle of the cake and half on the top. Refridgerate and remove from fridge about 1/2 hour before ready to serve. This cake is delicious just with the Mascarpone cream topping, although if you prefer to add fondant vegetables as a decoration, see below.

Fondant vegetables
I made by fondant vegetables a couple of days before the cake competition as they are a bit time consuming and it also gave them time to harden. To colour fondant, cut into four pieces (reserving one piece to keep as white). Place the other 3 pieces into small bowls and add about 5-8 drops of red food colouring to one bowl, green (or a mixture of green and yellow) to another and orange (or red & yellow) to the third. After putting on your gloves, knead each piece of fondant for a few minutes until the colour is evenly distributed. Knead the red first, then the orange, and then you may like to wash your gloves or get new gloves to do the green. The fondant will become softer as you knead it and as it heats up, it may become sticky. If it becomes too sticky, you may need to cover with plastic wrap and leave for a few hours until it hardens a bit. Once you have your colours, mould into desired shapes and place on baking paper. Leave to harden overnight so the vegetables hold their shape before you decorate your cake. You can of course make any colours or shapes that you can think of. This cake might look nice with little lemons or purple flowers instead of vegetables.

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Have you tried this recipe? We would love to know what you think…



6 Responses to CERES Autumn Harvest Festival Cake Competition – I won!! (Lemon Mascarpone Cake)

  1. Sally Parnis says:

    Brilliant effort Prue – many congratulations!

  2. Babette says:

    Fantastic Prue. It looks gorgeous!!

  3. Jo Archer says:

    Congratulations Prue….looks delicious. I’ll definitely be trying this one.

  4. Thanks Jo and Babette!!

  5. Pip Holmes says:

    A first place from the CWA!! Well done, the cake looked amazing and well deserving of first place!

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