Masterchef Australia

Like most people in South Africa, for the past few months I have been completely glued to the TV, watching the contestants battle it out in the exciting third season of the tremendously popular Masterchef Australia series. Apart from the incredible cuisine and skilful cooking, most of us are hooked on the drama – watching the dynamics between the contestants and backing our favourites through each nail-biting challenge.

From dreamy Hayden, the lifeguard turned chef extraordinaire, to upbeat Dani, vivacious Rachel and culinary mastermind, Michael – the talent this series was unbelievable and certainly made for some entertaining viewing. Here is a recipe by cooking queen, Kate Bracks, for a delectable retro coffee cake, served with coffee butter cream and sticky cinnamon apples. This recipe calls for plenty of spices and is ideal for warding off the autumn chill.



  • 250g softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup espresso coffee
  • 2/3 cups milk

Butter cream:

  • 250g softened butter
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua
  • 3 tablespoons liquid espresso coffee

Cinnamon apples:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Robertsons Cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons toasted, flaked almonds


  • Preheat the oven to 180⁰C, and grease 2×20 cm spring form cake tins.
  • To make the cake: cream the sugar, butter and vanilla paste together until light and fluffy. Slowly add each egg, beating well between each addition.
  • Sift the flour into the mixture and then gently mix in the milk and coffee, until the batter is smooth. Pour it into the cake tins and then allow it to bake for thirty minutes, or until the cakes are cooked though. Allow them to cool before icing.
  • For the butter cream: beat the butter until it becomes a pale yellow colour and then add the icing sugar, Kahlua and espresso to the mix. Beat it until it becomes light and fluffy.
  • For the apples: combine the water, sugar, cinnamon and star anise in a pan above a low heat, until the sugar dissolves. Add the apple and turn up the heat, bringing the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow the concoction to simmer until the apples are tender and the liquid has become syrupy. Add the Kahlua and almonds.
  • To serve: cut the cake into rounds and layer the rounds with butter cream. Cover the cake with the remaining butter cream and drizzle the apple mixture over its top. Arrange the apples next to the plate to create a lovely finish. Other types of spices can also work well with this recipe, such as a pinch of nutmeg in the apple mixture.



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