Saturday, 3 November 2012

Amaretto Rosette Cake with Marzipan Heart and Irish Mammys

I wanted it to look like a wedding bouquet 

With a suprise heart inside 

Happy Birthday Mammy!! This was a design I've been wanting to try out ever since I flicked through the new Great British Bake Off Book in Dubray Books on Grafton Street, Dublin (one of those 'proper' bookshops). I needed a different nozzle to make proper rosettes but I think these swirls are quite pretty. I wanted the cake to resemble a tight bouquet of flowers. The heart design was made from a ring of marzipan moulded into a point at one end and two rounded points at the other.

It seemed a perfect theme for 'Rose' herself, feminine and pretty. Amaretto makes a beautiful scented cake, sweet and almond-y. Use almond essence either as the bottle of Amaretto is quite expensive.

The Irish Mammy is a hero to her offspring and pretty much a cultural icon. Even if she is not Irish there are several signs that your Mammy may indeed be an "Irish Mammy". Here are a choice few:

  1. She hates vulgarity and swearing 'for the sake of it' 
  2. She likes a nice glass of wine on a Friday night. 
  3. She drinks more tea than the country of India can supply. 
  4. She disagrees with 'airing your laundry in public', i.e. your personal business. 
  5. She spends hours on the phone talking to her sister/friend about the 'childer'. 
  6. She thinks meat and two veg is the meal of 'real men'. 
  7. She condenses her sentiments into numerous (readily repeated) clichés such as 'If there was work in the bed you'd lie on the floor!' or 'This isn't a hotel!' and 'You're lucky you didn't get pneumonia'.  
  8. She feeds her children like there is a famine approaching. 
  9. She thinks George Clooney is a 'decent looking man'. 
  10. She gets well narky when she misses an episode of certain soap(s).

For the Amaretto Victoria Sponge 
200g unsalted butter softened
200g caster sugar
200g plain flour sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp amaretto liqueur or almond extract
1 tbsp milk
4 large eggs at room temp.

I used 2 x 20cm round tins, with removable bottoms. The bottoms were greased with butter and lined with greaseproof paper and the sides brushed with melted butter.

1. Beat together the butter and sugar until pale- around 5 minutes with an electric mixer.
2. Add the eggs one at a time with 2 heaped tablespoons of flour to prevent the mixture curdling. Beat well after each addition- until there is no trace of egg yolk. Use up all the egg.
3. Add the amaretto liqueur and mix well.
4. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a dry bowl. Fold in the flour to the egg/butter/sugar mix or use the mixer on low speed until just combined. If the mixture is too thick, i.e. doesn't fall easily from a wooden spoon, add the milk and mix gently.
5. Bake at 190oC for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden and a skewer/cocktail stick comes out clean.
6. Remove from the tins carefully and allow to cool fully.

For the frosting (you will need about four quantities of this for the filling and the rosettes)
75g butter, at room temperature and diced
200g icing sugar
1 tsp amaretto/almond liqueur
2 tbsp milk
100g marzipan

1. Beat together all the ingredients until the icing is pale- almost white.
2. Tint the marzipan with colour- this will take quite an amount of time, even with good quality gel food colouring (don't use liquid colouring, it will leave the marzipan too sloppy). When the colour is evenly distributed, roll the marzipan into a sausage. Mould into a point at one end and the two rounded parts of a heart at the other. To make the two rounded parts I cut a line through the sausage with a sharp knife then carefully teased the two sides out to make the heart shape.
3. Spread a thick layer of buttercream on the bottom layer then push the moulded ring  gently into the buttercream point side down, then spread more buttercream on top before the other layer is gently placed on top. If you have any questions about the technique do comment and I'll help you out!!
4. Roughly spread buttercream around the sides of the cake and on the top. It will look a mess, you'll see the cake through the buttercream but don't worry because the rosettes will cover it.
5. Use a star tipped nozzle to pipe rosettes. The Wilton 1M nozzle seems the most popular one although I can't find Wilton tips on sale in Ireland. Youtube has some neat videos such as this one Rose Cake Tutorial


  1. aww the heart inside is so cute :)
    Happy Birthday to Mammy Rose!

  2. Thanks! Some of my experiments don't work out so well- I was pretty pleased with this one! x

  3. This looks like its from a magazine!!