Peach and Cream Cake
Light sponge filled with lightly sweetened mascarpone cream, rum-infused fresh peach spread and fresh peaches. All topped up with delicious white chocolate sour cream ganache and toasted pistachios.
Every summer we bake a version of this cake. Peach and cream is our favourite. Light texture, bright and sunny bake. Nothing says summer celebrations better than light sponge cake filled with delicious cream and seasonal fruit!
We are using here Genoise sponge. If you have no time for that (or no kitchen thermometer) - you can use our drop sponge recipe. We love sponge with no raising agents or butter. Light, fluffy, delicate with only 3 core ingredients. Perfect for cakes filled with light cream and seasonal fruit.
We are also using our homemade, fresh peach spread. This will take you about 15 minutes to prepare. If you don’t have time - use apricot or peach jam. Making your own spread has advantages - fresh peaches, creamy taste coming from salted butter and you can spike it with extra rum or marsala to suit your taste. Cream here is mascarpone-based whipped cream, only lightly sweetened. Easy to prepare and simply delicious! All in all - this is a quick bake but always a little show stopper and a crowd pleaser.
For a good bake:
Timing - plan ahead. To make it quick and enjoyable, you may opt to bake sponge and prepare peach filling an evening before the cake is planned to be served. Also - once assembled, this Peach and Cream Cake needs to be refrigerated for about 4 hours - for ganache to set and cream/peach filling to infuse sponge with flavour. Assembling (preparing mascarpone/cream filling, ganache, pistachio nuts) takes about 30 minutes - so you can plan to assemble the cake in the morning, then refrigerate and have it ready for serving after the dinner or in the evening.
Sponge - we are using sponge Genoise in this bake. There are no raising agents or butter in this sponge. To make it firm, fluffy and moist - egg whites and sugar are steamed to 77C and then beaten until firm (glossy, stiff meringue is formed). By doing this, you will make sure your sponge is firm, airy and light. If you don’t want the hassle - bake sponge using this simplified recipe. It’s a similar method, without steaming the egg whites. What’s the difference? Without steaming the egg whites, the sponge is softer, more fluffy, eggy, less firm. You will notice that there are only 4 egg yolks added in below recipe - this is to make sponge light and less eggy. Firm, springy and light sponge genoise is what makes this cake enjoyable so it’s worth to give it a go! Also, once you steam the egg whites with sugar once - you will see that this method can be used in many desserts (pavlova, Swiss buttercream, tiramisu and many more). Last but not least - weigh your eggs when cracked.
Peach filling - again - do what works for you! If you want to save time - use peach/apricot jam. It does pay off to spend extra 15 minutes on this step though! Our fresh peach filling is creamy (salted butter) and infused with small amount of rum (or marsala). You can add some extra drop of rum/marsala if you are serving for adults only. This peach filling will have thick, marmalade-like consistency and is used as a spread on the sponge. In this bake we are also adding thinly cut fresh peaches (tinned are fine too) into the mascarpone filling.
Cream and Mascarpone filling - only lightly sweetened, simply delicious. This is a super easy cream filling. Some of the bakers have issues when preparing this filling. To avoid it - keep ratios as in the recipe. Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment(s) ahead of mixing. Make sure to use chilled cream and mascarpone. Remove any excess ‘juice/water’ from mascarpone before using. Beat cream with sugar first (2-3 minutes, until firm). Then start adding mascarpone cheese - 1-2 Tablespoons at a time, at the end add vanilla bean paste. Chill the cream for 10 minutes before piping or spreading on the cake. Bakers have issues with this filling if ingredients (together with mixing bowl) are not chilled enough OR if cream and mascarpone are beaten all at once (it will simply not set). When you assemble the cake, refrigerate before applying the ganache.
Sour cream white chocolate ganache - this is a delicious combination! Sour cream knocks back some of the sweetness coming from white chocolate. Pinch of ground nutmeg complements it really well. For this ganache to work - make sure to get a good quality white chocolate (I use Lindt or Callebaut). Melt and cool chocolate until lukewarm. Mix sour cream and nutmeg and warm up to 30-40C, then mix together with white chocolate. Cool the mixture and decorate the cake. This ganache will be semi-set and will set further in the fridge. There is a second option - if you prefer fluffy, set ganache - you may opt to prepare this ganache as in the recipe and then refrigerate for few hours (3-4 hrs). Then, beat ganache on high speed (whisk attachment) until fluffy (about 3 minutes). This whipped ganache will have more volume and will be lighter and more airy. In this bake - I used ganache straight after cooling.
Pisatchio nuts - toast before decorating otherwise nuts will turn soft. Few minutes on hot pan or few minutes in hot oven is all that is needed here.
Chilling - assembled cake needs to be refrigerated for about 4 hours before serving. Ganache will set in that time, sponge will have a chance to infuse flavours coming from mascarpone/cream and peach filling.
Storage - store refrigerated for up to 2 days. It’s fresh cream, fresh fruit cake. Mascarpone will hold it for longer but 2 days is really a maximum. It’s not suitable for freezing.
Peach and Cream Cake
Yield: 8-10 servings
Time: 1hr 30 min
Tin: 21 or 23cm round tin with removable base (spring form)
Genoise sponge (or use this recipe for quicker version of fluffy sponge):
6 large eggs (360g), separated (you will use 6 egg whites/240g and 4 egg yolks)
1/5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
150g all-purpose (plain) flour
1 kg (10) peaches or nectarines, split 600g (spread, fresh peaches) and 400g thinly chopped (fresh peaches or tinned)
60g brown sugar
20g salted butter (or unsalted with pinch of salt)
20ml golden rum or marsala
Cream and Mascarpone filling:
380g cream (36%), straight from the fridge
2-3 Tbsps confectioners’ (icing) sugar - to taste
340g Mascarpone, straight from the fridge
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
White Chocolate Sour Cream Ganache:
180g white chocolate
90g sour cream
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
+ 60g shelled pistachio nuts to decorate
Preheat oven to 170C (150C fan). Line baking tin with parchment paper, grease sides with butter. You may opt to prepare cake collar. We bake this sponge in one tin only and divide when baked and cooled.
Prepare genoise sponge: Fill a pot with 5-7cm of water, with a thick ring of crumpled tinfoil placed on the bottom (this will prevent the mixing bowl from touching the bottom of the pot). Bring water to boil, then lower the temperature to maintain a simmer. In your main mixing bowl combine egg whites, sugar, salt. Set over steaming water, stirring and scraping constantly with a flexible spatula or wooden spoon, until egg whites reach 77C. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Once ready, transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use handheld mixer) and whip at high speed for about 10 minutes, until meringue is glossy, stiff, and cool to the touch. At the end of mixing, add cardamom and mix until combined. Now, start adding 4 egg yolks - one at a time, mixing well after each addition. As a last step, gently fold in flour (all at once) - use paddle attachment (lowest speed) or wooden spoon/spatula. Mix only until combined to keep as much volume as possible. Transfer fluffy and airy batter into cake tin, even out the surface and bake at 170C (150C fan) for 33-35 minutes. When baked, tap gently the tin (to lock some of the air bubbles). Let the sponge cool for 5 minutes, then run thin knife around the edges and release the sponge from the tin. Transfer to the cooling rack and allow to cool fully (gently remove the parchment paper from the bottom to prevent ‘sweating’). You may opt to prepare the sponge an evening before - when cooled fully, wrap in clean kitchen towel and store in closed oven overnight.
Prepare peach filling: Peal and core 600g of peaches to prepare peachy spread. Blend or chop thinly. In a large pot bring 20g salted butter to sizzle, add peaches and sugar. Cook on medium-high heat stirring every so often for 10-15 minutes - the mixture will splutter so you may opt to half-cover the pot. In that time, the mixture should reduce to thick jam consistency. At the end, add rum/or marsala and keep cooking for another 2-3 minutes. When done, set aside to cool down fully. You may opt to prepare this peach spread an evening before - when cooled, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare cream and mascarpone filling: Beat chilled cream with icing sugar until firm (3-4 minutes, high speed, whisk attachment), add vanilla bean paste and start adding chilled mascarpone (2 Tablespoons at a time). It will take 2 minutes to incorporate fully. The cream should be firm but fluffy and pipe-able. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes then use to decorate the cake.
Prepare fresh (tinned) peaches: Thinly cut remaining peaches (400g).
Assemble: Divide sponge into 3 equal parts. Place the bottom of the sponge on cake stand, spread peach filling leaving some 1-2cm space around the edges. Place mascarpone/cream filling on top (you can use piping bag or just spread on top of the peach filling), then place half of thinly chopped peaches on top of the cream. Spread some mascarpone filling at the bottom of 2nd sponge layer and cover the first part with it. Repeat steps until cake is assembled. Refrigerate your cake until ready to decorate with white chocolate sour cream ganache.
Prepare white chocolate sour cream ganache: Melt white chocolate. Set aside to cool. Mix sour cream with nutmeg and in a small pot warm up to 38-40C. Mix with melted white chocolate and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside to cool (cooled but spreadable). In a meantime, chop (or crush) pistachio nuts and toast (180C for 8 minutes, or few minutes on hot pan) - cool down fully before decorating.
When ready, finish decorating: Spread white chocolate sour cream ganache on top of the cake and decorate with toasted pistachio nuts. Refrigerate assembled cake for 4 hours before serving (don’t skip that step as this will give the chance for ganache to set and cream/peach filling to infuse sponge with flavour). Best enjoyed within 2 days from assembling. This cake is not suitable for freezing.