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peaches

“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.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

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

[print_this]Recipe: Peaches & Cream Cake
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Summary: A light summery birthday cake, the  crème patisserie lends a nice, deep flavour to the frosting on the Peaches & Cream Cake. Use fresh peaches or even apricots in season. The cake would work really well with mangoes too.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour plus cooling , chilling time
Ingredients:

  • Sponge Cake {Make 2 X 3 egg sponges}
  •  3 eggs
  • 100g Castor sugar
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • Filling & topping
  • 500g low fat cream, chilled
  • 75g icing sugar {adjust as per requirement}
  • 1 850g tin peach halves {I used Del Monte}
  • Crème patisserie {can be made a day before}
  • 200ml low fat cream
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 50g sugar
  • 15g cornflour

Method:

  1. Sponge Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line, grease & a 7″ loose bottomed tin.
  3. {If your oven in big, bake 2 X 7″ cakes together}
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt 3 times. Reserve.
  5. Beat the eggs, essence & sugar till mousse like {almost 10 minutes}.>
  6. Lightly fold the flour in 3 goes in figure 8 movements (so as no to release the air bubbles).
  7. Gently turn into prepared tin & bake for 20-25 minutes till light brown & spongy.
  8. Repeat for 2nd cake.
  9. Cool on racks completely, then slice horizontally into 2 layers each
  10. Filling
  11. Whip all ingredients together to medium peaks.
  12. Crème patisserie
  13. Bring cream and a pinch of salt to a gentle boil in a pot.
  14. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon in a big bowl until the mixture becomes pale and light. Stir in the cornflour slowly until it is thoroughly mixed with the egg mixture.
  15. Pour the boiling cream into the mixture a little by little while whisking continuously to avoid curdling.
  16. Transfer the whole mixture into a pot, with the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean {throw in the shell too}, and simmer over low heat. Stir it constantly with the wooden spoon or spatula scraping the sides and bottom until it has thickened.
  17. Once the custard has thickened, take it off the heat, and strain it into a clean bowl. Add a dash of peach liqueur if desired. Cool, cover with cling wrap touching the surface, then chill for a few hours. This is going to be very thick.
  18. Assemble
  19. Drain the peaches and slice 3-4 halves for topping. Chop up the rest.
  20. Reserve the peach syrup to moisten the sponge with.
  21. Reserve 1 cup of whipped cream for the frosting.
  22. Place 1 layer of sponge on serving platter, moisten with reserved peach syrup, top with 1/3 whipped cream, and 1/3rd chopped peaches. Repeat with remaining layers.
  23. Loosen the chilled crème patisserie and gently fold in the reserved whipped cream. Don’t whisk briskly or it will become too floppy for frosting.
  24. Taste and adjust sweetness if required. Frost the top and sides of cake with it.
  25. Top with peach slices, chill for at least half an hour for flavours to mature.

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“Everything you own should have value, either because it’s functional or beautiful or you just love it.”
Peter Walsh

Fresh Peach Streusel Coffee CakeYou can’t have too many kitchen & table accessories if you  are a food lover. Add food blogger to that, and accessories magically double up as props, even if your house is bursting at the seams with things you love! This footed platter is something I love, the simplicity and classic appeal just perfect to show off this Fresh Peach Brown Streusel Coffee Cake. Fresh Peach Streusel Coffee Cake Neelam from Urban Dazzle asked a few days ago if I would like some accessories to showcase on my blog! How could I say no? One look at her online venture and I was smiling. So much to choose from! Whats not to love about this Palladio 4-in-1? A multi-functional dining set, this spectacular creation from Borgonovo can double up as a punch bowl set, cheese dome as well as a footed cake platter.

She was sweet enough to send me an Ego Alter Banquet Footed Platter which is great on a tea table or as a cake platter. Smooth lines, stylish, clean contemporary appeal … things that gel with me! Here’s the last remaining slice of the Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette on it … I love how beautifully it showcases the colours. Elegant!Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette

Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette That morning I made wild Indian java plum {jamun} sherbet that morning inspired by Chinmayies beautiful post @ love food eat. Chinmayies memories woke mine up … and soon I was stirring some gorgeous purple sherbet! Mine had jamun, sugar, water, rock salt and some sour kokum water. The colours had me fascinated…Wild Indian java plum {jamun} sherbet In the parcel from Urban Dazzle was a Bottle Indro from the house of Borgonovo. With it’s tulip-like sculpting and blue top, it’s just what was missing from my collection. …  I reshot the sherbet in the new ‘Indro‘! {The sherbet is an acquired taste as these wild plums are quite astringent in taste}.Wild Indian java plum {jamun} sherbetNext I shall make pure vanilla extract in this sweetly shaped aesthetic bottle! Other ideas … spice vinegar, chili oil, garlic herb infused vinegar …. or maybe a peach liqueur! So much to do, so little time! Online shopping is rapidly becoming the convenient way to shop in India, especially in the hot summer. How fun is it to sip a glass of cool ‘sherbet’ in a cool room and shop online in glad rags!! All the time to browse, compare, and then have everything neatly shipped to your doorstep!

Urban Dazzle was one such experience … and for bakers in India, it’s a must visit. Bakeware, dessertware, bottles, cake plates, decanters, kitchen essentials, table essentials, tumblers, carafes … a huge variety under one roof! Be it Drinking, Dining, Decor or Gifting, it’s the one-stop shop for all such items. While most of their current selection is made of glass, they intend to diversify into other items going forward.Fresh Peach Streusel Coffee CakeThis is the season to be jolly stoned! The monsoons have arrived, it’s hot and now humid too. It’s raining peaches, plums and cherries here and I am rapidly becoming a peach monster. Daily oat-mango-peach smoothies, poached peaches, crisps, just peaches, frozen peaches, now some bottled in an attempt to make peach schnappes,  and then the Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette we certainly are getting stoned this season! PeachesHere a peach, there a peach, everywhere peach peach is the song I sing, constantly looking for new peach ideas! I adapted an apple streusel bars recipe from a beautiful cookbook ‘Frame-by-frame baking‘. Light, tender crumb, a beautifully flavoured streusel with undertones of almond, clarified butter and brown sugar marrying well.Fresh Peach Streusel Coffee CakeThe peaches were wonderful in there. I left the skin on, and the cake just melted in the mouth while warm. It was really good chilled too. It’s an easy straightforward tray bake, and you can dress it up a little bit with a drizzle of lime glaze, fresh peach slices and mint if you like. Use ripe but firm peaches  … Enjoy!

Monthly Mingle is the brainchild of the lovely Meeta @ Whats For Lunch Honey, and this month it celebrates Barbara’s spirit at the wonderful Jeanne @ Cook Sister with a Taste of Yellow. I am sending this to the MM for July 2012.

[print_this]Recipe: Fresh Peach Streusel Cake
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Summary: A melt in the mouth coffee cake that uses fresh in season peaches.  A light, tender crumb, a beautifully flavoured streusel with undertones of almond, clarified butter and brown sugar that come together well.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • Cake
  • 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 125g demerera sugar
  • 1t pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4-5 peaches, pitted, chopped and tossed in juice of 1 lime
  • Streusel
  • 30g almond meal
  • 50g plain flour
  • 40g demerera sugar
  • 30g clarified butter {or unsalted butter}, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line an 8 X 8 square tine with baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale. Gradually add the eggs, beating well.
  4. Stir in the flour mix and fold evenly, then add the peaches and mix lightly. Spread evenly in the tin.
  5. Mix the topping ingredients gently with a fork to make a crumbly texture, and sprinkle uniformly over the batter.
  6. Bake for approx 45 minutes until firm and golden / till a tester comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for about 20-30 minutes before slicing

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“I think that you’ve got to make something that pleases you and hope that other people feel the same way.”
Thomas Keller

Rustic Peach 'n Plum Summer GaletteAh summer! With fruit and colour in equal abundance, what more can one ask for! Yet with the Indian summer comes stuff I don’t need! Power cuts, high temperatures and no time to bake! Then 2 days ago, the monsoons appeared, schools reopened, and I got a tiny breather. The first thing I did was to roll out a Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette.Rustic Peach 'n Plum Summer GaletteWhats not to love about a season that offers crumbles, crisps, sorbets, fro yos, cheesecakes, mousse, ice creams, panna cottas, coolers, sangrias, chutneys, preserves, … and so much more! HAPPINESS! And then there are galettes, moorish in every way, full of rustic appeal! A simple free form pastry filled with fresh seasonal fruit has got to be one of my favourite summer desserts {among a slew of others!} Summer is for stone fruitThere is SO MUCH you can do with stone fruit, it’s amazing! This year the quality has been exceptionally good. I looked at the peaches and wondered if they were ripe enough to peel; I really wanted to see if I could slip ‘them off‘. The fruit was perfect and for the first time in years I looked at a bowl of perfectly peeled peaches. Plums next and success again!Rustic Peach 'n Plum Summer Galette I have a friend, an old lady, who spoils me silly constantly sending me stuff from chocolates to tangerines, and everything in between. Her grandson is quite fond of my baking so I try and bake him a little something when he visits from Moscow where he works. He’s visiting these days and this was for him!Rustic Peach 'n Plum Summer GaletteMade one for him, and then had some fruit left, so made one for us too! Got me high fives from the family. The peach monster said it was ‘really really nice‘, and so did the dieting diva. “Pie, pie, pie“, she screamed, “I want more!Rustic Peach 'n Plum Summer GaletteThe pastry was nice and crisp despite all the fresh fruit it held. The cornmeal added a touch of texture and crispness. It’s a good tart to make. Serve it warm if you like, though we loved it cold!

A few more rustic tarts on PAB …
Strawberry Galette with Vanilla Scented Frangipane
Savoury Spinach, Tomato & Cheese Galette
Mini Peach, Cherry & Blueberry Galettes
Peach & Plum Galette
Fresh Fig Galette with Vanilla Scented Frangipane

Monthly Mingle is the brainchild of the lovely Meeta @ Whats For Lunch Honey, and this month it celebrates Barbara’s spirit at the wonderful Jeanne @ Cook Sister with a Taste of Yellow. I am sending this to the MM for July 2012.

[print_this]
Recipe: Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette
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Summary: A rustic dessert bursting with flavour and colour, full of all the fruity goodness that summer offers baked into a simple free form tart.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • Pastry
  • 150g {1 1/2 cups} plain flour
  • 25g {1/4 cup} cornmeal
  • 100g unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
  • 25g {1/8 cup} vanilla sugar {or plain}
  • 2-3 tbsp ice cold water
  • Filling
  • 450g fruit {net weight, peeled, pitted, chopped}, 5-6 peaches, 4-5 plums
  • 50g {1/2 cup} vanilla sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1tbsp Kirsch {optional}
  • 1/4 tsp almond essence
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp marmalade
  • Topping:
  • 15ml {1 tbsp} cold milk
  • Turbinado/demerera sugar for sprinkling
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • Slivered pistachios/almonds for garnish

Method:

  1. Fruit filling
  2. Place the fruit in a bowl, add in the remaining ingredients {except flour} and leave to macerate for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Drain out the juices and reserve the fruit in a large bowl. Place juice in a non reactive pan over low heat and reduce it till it becomes thick and syrupy. Add back to fruit in bowl with the flour and mix well. Chill until required.
  4. Pastry
  5. Combine flour, cornmeal and sugar in the bowl of your processor and pulse 2-3 times. Add chilled butter and pulse 4-5 times, or until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the processor running, slowing pour the chilled water through the chute, processing until the dough begins to clump up. {It should stay together when pinched with the fingertips}
  6. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and quickly pull together to form a ball, flatten, wrap in film and chill for about 30 minutes or more if the weather is warm.
  7. Assemble
  8. Place the pastry on a large sheet of parchment paper. Starting at the center of the dough, roll out, forming a 14-15-inch wide circle.
  9. Brush about an 8-9″ circle  in the centre with the marmalade .{This will prevent the pastry from going soggy with the fruit juices}
  10. Turn the prepared fruit filling over the marmalade keeping it within the inner circle, leaving a 2-inch border.
  11. Gently fold the border over the filling, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds, using a touch of water if necessary. Place tray in freezer until the oven preheats.
  12. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  13. Before popping the galette into the oven, brush the overlapping sides of the pastry with cold milk and sprinkle turbinado sugar over it.
  14. Bake for about 30-35 minutes till the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. {Tent the top if the pastry browns too fast}
  15. Remove to cooling rack, and brush the visible fruit portion with honey, and top with slivered pistachios, almonds etc.
  16. Cool for at least 30 minutes to allow the pastry to firm up before serving. {Cutting it too quickly will cause the dough to crack}. We had it cold with a drizzle of single cream.

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