Baking | Peaches & Cream Cake … light summer cake. Trifles too. #stonefruitlove #dessert # cake #summer

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C.

Peaches & Cream CakeIt was a Peaches & Cream Cake for my father’s birthday last week. Everything was going according to plan,and I toyed around with summer cake ideas in my head. Summer is for stone fruit, and the cake would most certainly have some! Peaches! I had a kilo of them in the fridge. Cream? Yes of course; there’s always some on hand. Time for peaches and cream!!

Peaches & Cream Cake Despite knowing that whipping cream in miserable summer heat is sure to fail, I marched ahead. At 43C, life was never going to be a cake walk in the record breaking heat and humidity we have had this summer. That the rains failed added to my misery. 75% humidity and everything looks like it’s condensing! Not the best weather to work with cream cakes in …… Peaches & Cream Cake 4…and then it was time for a power breakdown. It had been assembled but a cake needs chilling you know. I stuck the cake into the fridge and we finally left for dinner. The cake survived as power was back when we returned. I thanked my lucky stars that it held together until we cut it, well almost. It was YUM! Oh, did I tell you I never got to my kilo of peaches? Peaches & Cream Cake 3Yes that happened too. With all the unnecessary drama of no power, I just reached out for a tin of canned peaches; probably my best idea that day. Another good idea was the  Crème patisserie I made for the frosting … finger licking good.

Dell Venue 8 Pro TabletI also forgot to charge the camera battery. So there I was, ready with the cake waiting to be shot… and a dead battery! I could have wept. Some luck though came by way of this magical Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet that Dell sent me to review. It had been delivered a few hours before! The first thing I did was grab the sleek piece of technology and take a few pictures with it’s fab 5.0 mega pixel camera.

Peaches & Cream Cake It’s a thing of beauty, the Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet. Light, well designed and FAST, it’s got a crystal clear touch screen, and a dual {front and back} camera. I’ve got as far as using the camera, and then editing the pictures with the in-built basic editing tools. The editor is quite snappy and fun, and delivers a good end result. The 5MP front camera did the job that moment in time … and I hurriedly updated the recipe into the tablet too. The processor is FAST, actually an ultrafast Intel® Atom™ processor Z3740 (up to 1.8GHz Quad-Core).Peaches & Cream Trifles A great battery life, easy to use with Windows 8.1, and very light, you are going to read more about this piece of art in the near future. Oh did I tell you about the peace of mind it gave me while I was working in the kitchen. Dell’s optional Accidental Damage Service ensures your tablet stays protected. Rest easy. They promise to repair or replace your device in case of accidents, like spills, drops, falls or electrical surges.

Peaches & Cream TriflesI saved some cream and peaches; enough to make a few trifles. Layered the same way as the cake, they were fun to assemble … and eat of course! The goblets are one of my favourites from Urban Dazzle. I use them often for different stuff like Dark Chocolate Mousse, Peach Lime Coolers & Stone Fruit Salads.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake … deliciousness in every bite

“Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.”
Cherise Sinclair

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake … a promise of deliciousness in every bite. As the name suggests, the cake had everything we love about desserts – Coffee + Chocolate + Mascarpone! These days I crave coffee more than ever, so the cake was meant to have some! There was none other I would have made that day!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake ’twas a cake for my SILs birthday. It came together without a plan.  That’s just how life is these days. With the daughter in her final year in school, board exams round the corner, driving, driving and more driving is all I seem to do. The days are a whir of exam pick ups and drops. Loads of fast track shopping as school farewells, graduation ceremonies  etc are part of the muddled weave.

Food on PAB… and then there is junior. Recently back from a trip to HKG with his dad where all they did was eat, he is always hungry. Makes for an ideal guinea pig. He’s currently immersed into Krav Maga, a form of Israeli self defense. In addition is a new found love for boxing. More adds to the list – the dog, the neighbours little kitten {who Coco incidentally hates}, the soup trials, the dessert trials, olive oil cookies … and definitely not salad! 

Food on PABIn the midst of this mayhem, there are recipes being developed for a client. That might explain the ‘trials‘. Between racing around madly, I try and sneak in the odd recipe testing as the deadline approaches fast. Of course there is normal everyday life too … laundry, groceries, da dog, da blog … birthdays too!

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake happened as the day progressed. The sponge is my basic ‘in the head‘ recipe. It’s one that never fails me, and one I keep experimenting with it. This time I added a dash of baking powder, beat it in actually, to save time sifting it with the flour. Worked out fine.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake While the two sponges were baking, I figured I could make some mascarpone alongside. As the cream reached a cautious bubble, chocolate pastry creme seemed doable for a filling. It was a cake on the trot. I had the sponges baked and the rest of the components done the night before too! Happiness is … 

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake For the ‘day’, all I had was the cake to put together or assemble. I did that at the crack of dawn! That’s the fun part, and in many ways a relief. It does amount to a LOT of washing up though, so be prepared.

Coffee Chocolate Mascarpone Layered Cake The cake was special. Beautiful flavours. Light. Moist. Full of flavour! 6 layers of deliciousness. It’s a bit of work I have to admit, but planning ahead is the key. If you get most of the work done a day or two before, you won’t feel the pinch.

Coffee quotes

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Baking | Sinful Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche … chocolate + toffee = heavenly!

“In today’s world, when many of yesterday’s fashionable habits are today’s misdemeanors, we should rejoice that a chocolate dessert can bring so much innocent pleasure.”
Marcel Desaulniers

hocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche 1Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche … a sweet beginning to 2014. Always fun to end a year decadently {Dark Chocolate Kumquat Amaranth Mousse Cakes}, and begin the next one on a clean slate. As in my case, maybe with a dose of some more decadence? Actually, it’s more of a ritual because the daughter was born on the 2nd of Jan. Every year begins with a baking frenzy, and of late, chocolate is being demanded more than ever before!

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche It was more frenzied when she was young as there had to be cookies, brownies, dips too. The works! As they grow up, the pressure here falls … increases everywhere else I have to add! This year was the big 18 and most of her day went with friends as expected. For me, it was a situation which reminded me of Driving Ms Daisy … I drove her up and down all day long! Since I love driving, I cannot complain!

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche The previous day was busier than I could manage. The cake became a rushed affair. I did have this fancy fondant cake in mind, the colours that she would have loved, with stuff on top which might have knocked her breath away etc… that remained in my dreams! Instead, between racing around like a headless chicken for two whole days, I threw in one genoise after another. Cakes baked, frosting was the next challenge. Thankfully I had a tin of dulce de leche made from an earlier batch when I did this Banoffee Pie.

Dulce de leche,” meaning candy of milk or milk jelly in Spanish, is a rich and decadent sauce or syrup, similar in flavor to caramel. Unlike caramel, however, which is made by heating sugar, dulce de leche is prepared by heating sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de leche is especially common in the desserts of various South American countries, including Argentina and Uruguay.

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche Might work I thought. Well it had to because I had cut it too fine. While she had a friend over to ring in her birthday at midnight, the poor mother stood in freezing January temperatures trying desperately to fill a chocolate genoise with a hair brained ‘toffee inspired‘ filling idea. Fast approaching the Cinderella hour, I ended up using an adjustable dessert ring  {one of my best buys in Sydney many years ago} and gelatin to stabilize the filling.
Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche Thankfully it turned out fine and ‘set‘ overnight, else I might have wept copious tears. Chocolate and toffee are a wonderful combination. With less than an hour in hand, I did a quick dark chocolate ganache to frost the cake, and made some shards to garnish. There was just enough time to give it a dusting of powdered sugar, take a few snaps …

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche … and the rest is history! I didn’t get any shots of a slice as the cake went pretty quick after the 18 year old did the honours. I am however sure I will make this again soon. Maybe as soon as I get those cans of condensed milk into the pressure cooker again!

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