Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy birthday to me - Peach Melba Cake

It had to happen sometime - it is my turn for a birthday today, so I made myself this triple layer Peach Melba Cake, consisting of a cream cake filled with peach mousse and topped with raspberry cream, from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. If you love baking, do consider buying this book - it is magnificent, and most of the cakes are super easy (even though they are sometimes timne-consuming because of the number of steps involved). It is the best cake book that I own, and I have quite a few.

I loved the look of the Peach Melba cake - especially with the addition of edible glitter on top! The peach and raspberry flavours (especially the peach mousse) were also fabulous, but I wasn't so excited about the base cake. All three layers sank after being unmoulded (even though I let them cool for a fair while in the tin), and the taste was OK, but in my view, nothing exciting. It is not a diet cake - it has nearly a litre of cream in it, but hey, birthdays are special occasions, so my view is: go for it!

To make a Peach Melba cake, you will need:

Cream Cake

1 3/4 cups cake flour
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pouring cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons buttermilk

Peach Syrup

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup peach liqueur (I used brandy mixed with peach juice)

Peach Mousse

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons peach liqueur (I used brandy mixed with peach juice)
450g peeled and stoned peaches, sliced (I used drained, canned peaches)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon gelatine
1 cup pouring cream

Raspberry Cream

350g frozen raspberries, thawed (including juice)
1 cup pouring cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon rosewater

For the cake

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line 3 x 8 inch round cake tins.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together into a bowl and set aside.

Whip the cream and vanilla essence with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks until soft peaks form.

Combine the dry ingredients with the cream mixture by hand in three lots, then mix in the buttermilk.

Pour one third of the batter into each prepared cake tin, and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked through. Cool the cakes in tins for 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool. (I unmoulded one cake at 10 minutes and it sunk; I let the others cool in the tin before unmoulding, and they also sank - I am not sure why, because the cakes were cooked.)

For the syrup

Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil; simmer until the syrup is reduced to 1/2 cup in volume. Remove the syrup from the stove and stir through the liqueur.

For the mousse

Pu the peaches, sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the peaches are soft, then put the mixture in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Reserve one cup of the peach puree for garnish, and put the rest into a mixing bowl.

Soak the gelatin in the peach liqueur for about 5 minutes in a microwavable bowl, then microwave the mixture for aorund 10 seconds, and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir the gelatin into the peach puree in the mixing bowl.

Whip the cream until stiff, then fold into the gelatin/puree mixture.

Stage 1 - Cake assembly

Put one of the cake layers on a cardboard cake board. Brush it with 1/4 cup of the peach syrup.
Spread half of the mousse onto the cake layer, and place another cake layer on top of the mousse. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of peach syrup and the remaining mousse. Place the last cake layer on top, and brush with the remaining syrup. Cover the cake and refrigerate until the mousse has set (~1 hour).

For the raspberry cream

Put the raspberries and juice into a small saucepan and cook on the stovetop, squashing the berries with the back of a spoon, until they have released all of their juices. Remove the berries from the heat and process into a puree in a blender or food processor, then strain the puree to remove the seeds.

Mix 1/3 cup of the puree with the sugar and rosewater in a bowl. Mix the remaining puree with sugar to taste and reserve for garnish.

Whip the cream until stiff, then fold into the raspberry and sugar mixture.

Stage 2 - Cake assembly

Remove the set cake from the fridge, and frost all over with the raspberry cream. Reserve a small amount of raspberry cream to pipe decorations of your choice on the cake.

Serve the cake with small spoonfuls of peach and raspberry purees decorating the plate.


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Happy Birthday, Cakelaw! Many happy returns! I hope you're having a wonderful day. The cake is beautiful. I almost made the very same one for my BB, but the post took so long to put together, I never had time!

Meg said...

Happy Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoy that beautiful cake!

Arfi Binsted said...

hip hip hurrraaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!! happy birthday dear Gaye!! may all your wish comes true *I'm singing one of those Hi-5 songs with my kids* hehehe...


Deb said...

Happy Birthday!! Your cake looks very decadent and yummy.

The Caked Crusader said...

Yum! It certainly looks a great way to wish yourself a happy birthday!
Have a great day

Maryann said...

A very Happy Birthday to you, dear Cakelaw :)

Ivy said...

Happy Birthday Cake with lots of hugs and kisses. Your cake sounds delicious.

Agnes said...

Happy birthday! The cake looks scrumptious. :)

Cakelaw said...

Thank you to each and every one of you for your kind wishes. They made my day!

Mary said...

Happy Birthday! I love your fluffy pink girly cake!

Happy cook said...

Happy birthday dear cake law.
Love the melbe cake.
Creamy and delicious

Rosie said...

Happy Birthday to you Cakelaw! Sending you birthday hugs your way :)

Your cake looks divine I'll have a virtual slice with you if I may :)

Rosie x

Tammy said...

Happy Birthday!! I hope you have/had a fantastic day!

adele said...

Happy Birthday!

That is a marvellous-sounding cake. :)

Gloria (Canela) said...

Happy,Happy Birthday Cakelaw, Have a happy belated birthday !!! I come to say you I post a Milhojas Cake, we have a lot of recipes I post this if you want to see, (By our Indepedence day) and other time I post other recipe of Mil hojas, xxxxxxx Gloria

giz said...

Happy birthday!!! You share your birthday with my mother and I think she's pretty darned cool. Cake is gorgeous - can't wait to see the recipe.

Cakelaw said...

Thank you to all! I appreciate your kind thoughts.

Rosie said...

Hi 'dear' Cakelaw, to go with your birthday cake I wanted to share with you an award :)

Rosie x

Swati said...

Happy Birthday Dear... Lovely cake for celebrating your birthday!!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

hey cakelaw
first of all , a very very happy returns of the day and the peach melba cake is great ! I wish i could have a piece of it. Cheers !

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

Happy Belated Birthday! lovely cake! :)

Emiline said...

Happy Birthday!

Your cakes looks delicious!