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Tamara Jane's Valentine's Day baking recipes - 11 February

Red Velvet Cake

250g butter, softened
3 cups (660g) white sugar
6 eggs
30ml red food colouring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups (375g) plain flour
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar

For the icing
500g cream cheese
375g white chocolate
250g butter, softened


1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. Grease and flour three 20cm cake tins.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix food colouring with cocoa and add to mixture.
3. Add flour alternately with buttermilk. Add vanilla and salt.
4. Mix the bicarb with the vinegar, and gently stir into mixture. Be careful not to over mix.
5. Divide batter into three prepared 20cm round tins. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
6. To make the white chocolate cream cheese icing: Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave and allow to cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted white chocolate and softened butter. Beat until it is the consistency of whipped cream, then use to ice between the layers and on top of the cake.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecakes

250g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
100g unsalted butter, melted
250g frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1/2 cup water
300g white chocolate chips
1/2 cup whipping cream
600g cream cheese
extra 1/2 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In a medium bowl, mix together biscuit crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 23cm springform pan.
2. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, cornflour and water. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a sieve to remove seeds.
3. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
4. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and extra 1/2 cup of sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of mixture over the biscuit base. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over mixture. Pour remaining cheesecake mix on top and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set.
5. Cool, cover and chill for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.

Rose scented raspberry shortcakes


For shortcakes
8 tablespoons (160g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds reserved
1 cup plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup semolina
Icing sugar, for dusting

For filling
1 1/4 cups thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon rose water
4 cups raspberries

For decoration
12 miniature roses, unsprayed
6 mint sprigs
1 egg white, beaten
Sugar, for dusting


1. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Sift the flour and semolina together, then gradually work the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture to make a dough.
2. Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out quite thinly and prick all over with a fork. Using a 7cm fluted cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Place these on a baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Whisk the cream with the icing sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in the rose water and chill until required.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. To make the decoration, paint the roses and leaves with the egg white. Dust with sugar; dry on a wire rack.
5. Bake the shortcakes for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Lift them off the baking sheet with a metal spatula and cool on a wire rack.
6. To assemble the shortcakes, spoon the rose water cream onto half the cookies. Add a layer of raspberries, then top with second cookie. Dust with icing sugar. Decorate with dusted roses and mint sprigs.