Renowned for her work at award-winning cafes such as The Grounds of Alexandria, Andy Bowdy Pastry and Chester Street, Stacy Brewer is the force behind some of the most delicious – and beautiful cakes – we’ve ever seen.
And despite what you might think, mama, you too can whip these up at home. Here Stacy Brewer talks us through the step-by-step guide to making her famed Coconut cake with dulce de leche and peanut praline.
by Stacy Brewer
// COCONUT CAKE
- 250g unsalted butter
- 230g sugar
- 1 tbs lemon rind
- 1 tbs lime rind
- 2 eggs
- 175g raising flour
- 70g desiccated coconut
- 260g milk
- To make the cakes, preheat oven to 160°C.
- Line 3 x 6 inch baking tins (round).
- Into a bowl, place butter, sugar and with either a kitchen aid or hand mixer beat until pale and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and then add half the dry mix and milk, scrape down the sides and then add the remaining dry mix and milk until well combined.
- Pour mix evenly into the three cake tins, and bake for 40 minutes (depending on your oven).
- Test with a skewer after 40 minutes, to check it comes out clean.
- Wait until cakes are cooled and then turn upside down to remove from tins. Place in fridge.
// SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 240g caster sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter (270g)
- To make the buttercream, in top bowl of double boiler, combine egg whites and sugar. Whisk constantly with hand whisk over simmering water, until all sugar is dissolved and no crystals are left.
- Transfer into a bowl which fits your mixer/hand mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until mixture cools down to room temperature. Touch the outside of the bowl to check it’s not too hot
- Switch to medium speed and add cold butter, one piece at a time, scraping down the bowl each time. Add vanilla, beat until combined.
// PEANUT PRALINE
- 200g caster sugar
- 75g water
- 100g roasted salted peanuts
- To make the praline, place peanuts onto a lined baking paper tray.
- In a small saucepan place the caster sugar followed by the water. Make it a slurry so the sugar is combined with the water.
- Place onto the stove on medium. Continue to boil until the caramel turns golden.
- Pour over the peanuts on the tray. Let cool.
- With the end of the rolling pin, smash up into pieces.
// BUILDING THE CAKE
- Make sure all cakes have been in the fridge.
- Remove cakes and place them on the bench, they will need to be levelled out to remove any raised areas, with a serrated knife.
- Your three cakes are all the same and are now ready to be assembled.
- Place your swiss buttercream into a piping bag with a large round nozzle.
- Place cake number one onto a cake board and starting in the centre of the cake pipe around in a continuous circle until you get to the edge.
- Open can of dulce de leche, and scoop teaspoon size pieces of caramel into the buttercream. Approximately six spoons.
- Sprinkle a layer of peanut praline over the buttercream.
- Place second cake on top, making sure to push down gently to create even edge.
- Repeat the piping process on this cake, with the buttercream, caramel and peanut praline.
- Place cake number three on top and push down to even.
- Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes.
- Remove cake from fridge; it is now time to do the final coat.
- With a palate knife, start on the outside edges; you can use a decent amount of buttercream on.
- Now you have covered the sides use your palate knife in one continuous motion to scrap off the unwanted buttercream until smooth. Now onto the top, use your palate knife lightly cover the top edge with buttercream. You may need to go back and do the sides again.
- Remove your cake with a palate knife onto display board/plate and decorate with seasonal florals.