The Great Australian Bake Off

This classic Italian dessert features mascarpone cheese, roasted hazelnuts and coffee liqueur.


  • 4 eggs, separated

  • 1 teaspoon cold water

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar

  • 1 cup cornflour

  • 1 tablespoon self-raising flour

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda

  • 4 x 30ml shots of short black coffee (espresso)

  • 100mls coffee liqueur

  • 500g mascarpone cheese

  • 300mls double thick cream

  • 3 tablespoons pure icing sugar

  • 150g hazelnuts, roasted, skins rubbed off and roughly chopped

  • 100g cocoa powder

  • 65g dark chocolate, grated

  • Equipment:

  • Cake Tins (one large rectangular non-stick 24 cm by 34 cm by 5 cm and one square 15cm by 15cm by 10 cm deep).


  • 1.

    Put egg whites and cold water into a bowl and beat until stiff, but not dry. Gradually add the sugar, beating well between each addition until the sugar dissolves. In a small bowl, beat yolks lightly and fold into beaten egg whites. Sift dry ingredients and fold into egg mixture. Grease and line the base of one rectangular 24 cm by 34 cm by 5 cm non-stick tin and spoon the mixture evenly into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked. Cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin onto a cake rack. When the sponge is cool, slice horizontally and vertically so there are four equal slices.

  • 2.

    Make espresso to 150mls with cool water and add coffee liqueur.

  • 3.

    While this mixture is cooling, line the tin. Line a square tin with baking paper.  Use a square tin 15 cm by 15 cm by 10cms deep. Using long rectangles of baking paper line the tin so you have a long overhang each end to enable removal of the soft cake later.

  • 4.

    When this mixture is cool beat the mascarpone in the mixer until smooth. Gradually add the cream and icing sugar to make a spreadable mix.

  • Build::

  • 1.

    Put a sponge in the bottom of the deep and sprinkle over the coffee mixture about 1/4. Use enough but not enough to go soggy. Spread 1/4 of the Mascarpone/cream mix evenly over the sponge. Sprinkle with hazelnuts. Repeat for the remaining three cakes layers.

  • 2.

    Lift out carefully and then cover the top with the remaining mascarpone mixture and decorate with cocoa and grated chocolate.


The Great Australian Bake Off Companion cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $39.99.

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