For the June Cake Slice Bakers group, I chose the Peaches and Mascarpone Layer Cake. I figured peaches would be great around now, but seems it's a little early. They're juicy, but still kind of tart.
At this point I was wishing Aleksandra Crapanzano's cake book had photos so I could see what the cake is supposed to look like. I took a good shot at it, but not sure it's supposed to look like this.
I could give a seminar on how not to make this cake - it didn't go as well as planned.
The cake is supposed to be springy and a bit fluffy, and mine ended up rather flat and dense. I journeyed on, though, thinking I could fix it at the end.
This French cake, also called Grand Gâteau Aux Pêches et Mascarpone, isn't difficult to make - it's just time consuming.
I ended up making the cake one day, then the peaches and cream the next day, plus assembly. There were pots, pans, appliances, and utensils everywhere by the time I finished.
But what a pretty cake it ended up being, and tasty, too, even though I didn't make it correctly.
(Oh, and just a note - the original recipe calls for rum to soak the peaches, but I used water for that and added almond and vanilla. Didn't want to buy a bottle of rum just for that.)
I followed the instructions, but accidentally added ¼ cup more sugar than called for in the cake part, and definitely must've over-folded the batter.
The cake ended up short and dense, although still good.
I'll make this Peaches and Mascarpone Layer Cake again, taking great care with the technique next time. I must say, the mascarpone cream filling and macerated peaches are delicious!
You may ask 'hey, why didn't you make it a second time for this post?' Well, besides the 8 eggs (!) that it takes, it's going to take me a week to clean up the mess I made from the first cake!
- For the Cake:
- 7 tablespoon butter
- 8 large eggs, room temperature, separated
- 1 ¼ C (250g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 C (240g) cake or all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- For the Peaches and Cream:
- 4 medium peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
- ⅓ C (66g) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoon water
- 1 ⅓ C (333g) mascarpone
- 1 C (114g) powdered sugar
- 1 ½ C heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon almond flavoring
- 3 ripe peaches for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9" cake pans and line each with a round of parchment paper.
- Melt the butter and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a clean, cold bowl and set in refrigerator.
- Wipe out the mixing bowl and add the yolks and superfine sugar together. Beat a medium-high speed until they are pale and leave a trail of ribbons, about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in the cooled melted butter and vanilla.
- Place a sieve over the mixing bowl and sift in the flour and salt. Fold the flour into the yolks until combined. Fold in roughly a third of the beaten egg whites, to lighten the mixture, then fold in the remaining whites, being careful to blend well but not deflate the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly out to the edges of the pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and let the cakes cool completely.
- For the Peaches and Cream:
- Placed the peeled and sliced peaches into a non-reactive bowl and set aside.
- Bring the sugar and water* to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool for a few minutes, then pour over the peaches. Let them soak for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
- In a stand mixer, whisk the mascarpone and powdered sugar at low speed to combine. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the cream. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 1-2 minutes, until the cream becomes thick and forms soft peaks. Mix in the vanilla and almond flavoring. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To assemble the cake, use a serrated knife to cut each cake horizontally into two layers.
- Strain the peaches, reserving the liquid to use as a soaking syrup for the cakes.
- Place one cake layer on a platter or cake stand. Brush with the peach syrup. Once absorbed, spread about a quarter of the cream onto the cake, then top with a third of the macerated peaches. Place another cake layer on top and repeat the process, making a four layer cake. The top of the cake should be covered only in cream.
- Just before serving, peel and slice the remaining peaches and arrange the slices in a pretty pattern on top o the cake.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until ready to serve.
* The original recipe calls for 5 tablespoons of rum, but I used water and flavoring as a preference.
Give yourself plenty of time to make this cake. I made the cakes on one day, then then peaches and cream the next day and assembled it then.
Don't overbeat the mascarpone cream.
Do not overfold the batter or it will be dense (like mine was!)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 207mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g
Nutrition Values are Approximate
Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!
Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.
The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.
It is a new year and a new book - Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes - and our choices for June 2023 were ~
Walnut Espresso Cake
Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Savory Loaf