19 July 2010

Peaches & Cream

Inspired by Bakertan’s beautiful Puffy Strawberry Napolean Shortcake, I decided to attempt a somewhat scaled-down version. I’d never had the courage to embark on such a complex baking project before, and it was daunting. But I decided I would not limit my repertoire to just plain simple cakes. I should face up to the challenge!!

So I studied his (very long) recipe intently, and decided I would use peaches instead of strawberries, omit the puff pastry, and coat the whole cake with cream and ground peanuts. Plus a tweak here and there.

Here’s how I spent the most part of my Saturday…

Making the sponge cake:

(A)
5 egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
50g sugar

(B)
5 egg yolks
50g sugar
60ml oil
60 ml water (I replaced 10ml with liquor for that extra punch)
1½ tsp vanilla extract

(C)
110g cake flour
½ tsp baking powder

Note: I chose to make the batter in 2 separate batches (2 eggs then 3 eggs), but you can make the cake in 1 batch and slice it in half lengthwise.

 
For (A) – Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy and soft peaks form. Then gradually add sugar, and whisk till stiff peaks form.

Tip: When whisking egg whites, making sure that they are at room temperature will result in maximum volume. Also make sure that your mixing bowl and beaters have absolutely no oil/fat on it.


For (B) – In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients and beat till creamy and fluffy. The mixture should have increased in volume by about 4 times.





For (C) – Combine flour and baking powder thoroughly.

Sift flour into egg yolk mixture and fold very gently using a balloon whisk till just combined. A balloon whisk (vs a spatula) cuts through and combines the mixture more effectively, while minimising the loss of air.


 
Now, still using the balloon whisk, gently fold in the egg whites till the batter has a uniform colour.

Pour into a greased 8” baking tin, preferably with the bottom lined with parchment paper.




Bake at 160 degC in a water bath for 30-35 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.


 
 
 
 
 
When done, remove from baking tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Making the whipped cream:
 
* 400ml whipping cream, very chilled
* 2 tbs icing sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 – Place your metal mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer for at least half hour.
2 – Combine all ingredients and beat till creamy and stiff. Do not overbeat or the mixture will separate into butter and milk.

Preparing the peaches:

For convenience, I used sliced peaches from the can. Drain the excess syrup first.
Chop up several slices to smaller bits. These are for the cream layer between the 2 sponge cakes.

Putting it all together:

1 – Place a small amount of cream on the cake board, then position the first cake layer in the centre of the board. The cream will act as a glue and hold the cake in place.
2 – Slather on as much cream as you like on top of the first layer. Then sprinkle the peach bits over the cream. Top with more cream if desired.
3 – Place the 2nd sponge layer on top.
4 – Spread cream on top and around the sides of the cake.
5 – Sprinkle ground peanuts (or any nut of your choice) all over and remove excess.
6 – Using your creativity, decorate with peach slices or any fruit of your choice.
7 – Place in cake box and store in the fridge till ready to serve.


 
 

10 comments:

Bakertan said...

Hi NEL,

The first time I embarked on a major cake project, I took almost half the day to finish. It was seriously tedious. Your peach cream cake turned out pretty well I must say. Congrats! =]

I like the layout for this post. Very interesting and easy to read. The balloon whisk (vs spatula) tip is very useful when making this type of sponge cake. Same for the tips on room temp egg whites and oil-free bowl and beater.

cheers and happy baking!

NEL said...

Hi Bakertan,
The success of this cake is all because of your blogpost :) And I have to say this again... your sponge cake recipe is the BEST!!

Thank you too, for reading my blog and for the encouraging feedback. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts in future.

Cheers!

wendyywy @ Table for 2 or more..... said...

The cake looks good, but I'm wondering, why is the cake baked in a waterbath?? I've tried baking sponge cake in waterbath once, and I found it to have a denser texture than baked w/o. But very moist sponge cakes with a large amount of liquid definately needs to be waterbathed.

NEL said...

Hi Wendy,
In my quest for the perfectly flat top cake, I researched the internet and learnt that cakes tend to dome because the sides cook faster (due to the pan's heat), while the middle cooks slower and has more time to rise.

In order to get more even cooking throughout the cake and prevent the dome effect, baking the cake in a water bath will help to slow down the cooking around the sides of the pan. In addition, greasing and flouring the sides of the pan helps too.

So far, this 'trick' has worked for me. Plus, the added moisture from the water bath is a bonus for keeping the cake moist. (So far, I haven't noticed denser textures. I use a convection oven.)

faithy, the baker said...

Looks awesome and yummy for first attempt!

NEL said...

Hi Faithy,
Thanks for the encouraging words :)

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Yours does look just as impressive as his! Well done! Somehow, yours gives me more of a store-bought feel lar ... (Take it as a compliment because it looks professional to me!)

BTW, thank you so so much on the sponge cake baking tip! Never knew of that water bath trick. I learned something from you today!

Glad to stumble upon another nice bake blog. Hope to see more from you. =D

Happy baking!

NEL said...

Hi Pei-Lin,
Glad I was able to share a useful tip with you :) You know, I was so convinced that this water bath trick would work (and desperate to have flat top cakes), I specially went to buy an 11-inch baking tin! LOL. Now I can make super big cakes if I have to!

And thanks for the very encouraging words. I will certainly be blogging as much as I can, and I look forward to your thoughts. Looking forward to your posts too :)

Cheers!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Your cake is beautiful! I have to agree with Pei-Lin, it looks professionally-made. ;)

DG said...

The cake looks pretty & delicious. Your peaches decoration very neat. The cake must be very soft, what I know if the cake baked in the waterbath is called cotton cake.

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