Coconut, Pine/Lime Vanilla & Liquorice Cake
by Darren Perchese
Darren Purchese, owner, pastry chef and creative force behind Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio is one of most respected pastry chefs working in Australia today.
Renowned for his exquisite and extravagant sweet creations, he skilfully balances flavour and texture by thoughtfully combining delicious components, such as jellies, sponges, mousses, cream, crumbles & spreads, layer upon layer, to create his finished work of sweet art.
Darren opened Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne’s upmarket South Yarra area in 2011 to much acclaim. His studio showcases new and unique dessert combinations, celebration cakes, edible artworks and dessert table installations which are much sought after.
With a background working in some of the best restaurants in the country such as Vue de Monde and Bennelong restaurant at the Opera House Darren brings restaurant warmth & hospitality to retail. Alongside him is his wife Cath Claringbold, herself a prominent chef & restaurateur and together they work on creating an experience in store. An open kitchen, irresistible aromas and a sweet soundtrack combine, with a show stopping 4-metre-long cake cabinet that is packed with high quality desserts to be enjoyed at home or at the pink tables and chairs outside.
Darren’s sweet centrepieces are in demand at some of Melbourne’s most prestigious events. The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, The Australian Grand Prix, Polo at Portsea and even the Logies after parties have all enjoyed Darren’s signature ‘tube desserts’ and cakes.
Darren has produced a wonderful book titled - Sweet Studio - The Art of Divine Desserts
Coconut & liquorice sponge – makes 6 X 135g sponge bases
35g Liquorice Paste
100g Liquorice, chopped
50ml Sugar syrup
5ml Natural black carbon food colour
110g Butter, unsalted
110g Sugar, caster
110g White chocolate, melted
110g Desiccated coconut
40g Rice flour
120g (20g per sponge) Liquorice, chopped
Blend the liquorice paste, chopped liquorice, sugar syrup and colour until a smooth paste
Beat together butter and sugar slowly to remove lumps, add in the eggs one at a time
Add the liquorice paste and mix well before adding the melted white chocolate
Fold in desiccated coconut and rice flour
Place a 15cm diameter metal ring onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and liberally spray the inside of the ring with canola spray
Pipe 135g of the mix into the ring and sprinkle 20g of chopped liquorice into the batter
Bake the sponge 170°C for approximately 16 minutes
Spice base for jam
450g Sugar, caster
90ml Dark rum
1 Vanilla pod
20g Ginger, fresh, grated
5g Fennel seeds
5g Black peppercorns
10g Star anise
5g Dried chilli flakes
5g Ground cinnamon
300g Banana puree
300g Pineapple puree
Make a direct caramel with the caster sugar and vanilla seeds using the direct method
Once all of the sugar is golden brown deglaze the pan with the rum
Cook for 1 minute before adding the chillies and spices and again cook for 1 minute
Add the purees and re-boil for two minutes
Leave to cool slightly before blitzing well, straining and reserving for jam production.
Spiced pineapple jam
225g Pineapple 1cm cubes
200g Sugar, caster (A)
20g Sugar, caster (B)
5g Pectin medium set
80g Spice base for jam
Place the chopped pineapple pieces into a saucepan with the 200g sugar and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a plastic container to macerate in a plastic container overnight.
Mix the remaining caster sugar with the pectin and add this to the pineapple/sugar mix along with the spice base.
Mix well and cook over a high heat to 103°C, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pine/lime vanilla reduction for cream
300g Pineapple puree
200g Lime juice, fresh
3 Vanilla pods, seeds scraped
- Combine, heat and reduce to 350g, strain and reserve.
Pine/lime vanilla cream
350g Pine/Lime vanilla reduction
5 Egg yolks
90g Sugar, caster
7g Gelatine, gold leaves
90g Butter, unsalted
Soak the gelatin sheets in ice cold water for 4 minutes to soften, drain the leaves discarding the water.
Mix the yolks and sugar well in a bowl until pale.
Place the reduction into a saucepan and heat to a boil.
Temper with the egg/sugar and return to the pan, cook out over a medium heat to 85°C.
Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved gelatin until dissolved.
Pour the mix onto the butter in a bowl and blend until smooth.
Set 150g of mix into a 15cm diameter pastry ring and freeze until hard.
90ml Lime juice, fresh
1 Lime zest
120g Butter, unsalted
180g Sugar, caster
5g Gelatine, gold leaves
Blend and cook all of the ingredients together, except the gelatine to a temperature of 85°C.
Remove from the heat and blend in the soaked gelatine.
Set the curd on top of the frozen pine/lime vanilla cream 140g per 15cm diameter ring and freeze again to hard.
150g Pineapple puree
50ml Sugar syrup
5g Gelatine, gold leaves
Soak the gelatin sheets in ice-cold water for 4 minutes to soften, drain the leaves discarding the water.
Place the agar in the syrup and heat to 92°C, remove from heat and stir in the gelatine.
Gently heat the puree and add to the jelly mix and stir well.
Set 120g of the jelly onto the frozen lime curd layer and freeze again to hard.
250g Coconut cream (Kara brand)
3 Egg yolks
65g Sugar, caster
6g Gelatine, gold leaves
3g Pectin, medium set
400ml Cream 35% fat
Mix the pectin with the sugar. Mix this into coconut puree and cook to 95°C.
Temper with the egg yolks and cook to 85°C.
Remove from the heat and add the soaked gelatin, stir well and strain into a bowl set over ice.
Stir to cool to 35° before folding in the whipped cream.
650g mousse per cake
Assemble the insert – liquorice sponge, spread with the jam and add the frozen layers (jelly side up) and press to attach. Chill before insertion.
Place an 18cm pastry ring onto a tray lined with silpat or acetate, place two silicone rubber inserts 60mm and 45mm diameters into the ring (largest first)
Line the ring with acetate and pour over 650g of coconut mousse and insert the layers
Freeze well and invert, remove the silicone with a tip of a knife and demould the ring
Spray the cake with yellow chocolate velvet spray.
Garnish with black chocolate spheres, freeze dried liquorice and pineapple, lime curd, pineapple jelly cubes and chocolate décor.