Peach Melba cel­e­bra­tion cake

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Family Feast -

SERVES 12 PREP AND COOK TIME 1 HOUR 40 MIN­UTES (+ COOL­ING TIME)

4 eggs

2 cups (440g) caster su­gar

2 cups (300g) plain flour

2 tea­spoons bak­ing pow­der

¼ tea­spoon salt

1 cup (250ml) milk

125g but­ter, chopped

1 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract

1 tea­spoon co­conut ex­tract

1 cup (320g) rasp­berry jam, warmed

1 ½ cups (120g) flaked al­monds, toasted

3 medium

(450g) ripe peaches

RASP­BERRY COULIS

½ cup (110g) su­gar 375g fresh rasp­ber­ries

BUTTERCREAM

375g but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture

2 ta­ble­spoons vanilla ex­tract

6 cups (960g) ic­ing su­gar

1 Pre­heat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Grease 2 x 20cm cake pans; line bases with bak­ing pa­per.

2 In an elec­tric mixer, beat the eggs for 4-5 min­utes or un­til pale and creamy. With the mixer still run­ning, grad­u­ally add the caster su­gar and beat for 3-4 min­utes. To test if the mix­ture is ready, turn the mixer off. Lift the beat­ers; if the mix­ture falls and forms thick rib­bons on the sur­face for a mo­ment be­fore it sinks, it is ready.

3 In a bowl, sift to­gether the flour, bak­ing pow­der and salt. Fold through the egg mix­ture.

4 In the mi­crowave or a small saucepan on the stove­top, heat the milk and but­ter un­til just melted. Add the vanilla and co­conut ex­tract. Gen­tly fold the milk mix­ture through the bat­ter. Pour mix­ture evenly into pans.

5 Place the pans side by side on the cen­tre shelf of the oven. Bake for about 45 min­utes or un­til golden and a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. Cool 10 min­utes be­fore turn­ing onto a wire rack to cool.

6 RASP­BERRY COULIS Mean­while, place the su­gar and ½ cup wa­ter in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to the boil. Add 250g of the rasp­ber­ries; boil un­til they be­come liq­uid and slightly thick­ened. Push through a sieve over a bowl; pour into a jug and re­frig­er­ate. Re­serve re­main­ing rasp­ber­ries.

7 BUTTERCREAM Beat but­ter and vanilla in a bowl with an elec­tric mixer un­til lighter in colour. Sift the ic­ing su­gar into the bowl and com­bine on low speed. In­crease the speed and beat un­til light and fluffy.

8 To as­sem­ble, cut cakes in half. Place the base layer on a serv­ing plate. Spread with 1/3 of the jam and a 1cm-thick layer of Buttercream. Re­peat lay­er­ing twice. Top with re­main­ing cake layer and spread with a gen­er­ous layer of Buttercream. Use the re­main­ing Buttercream to evenly coat the side of the cake.

9 Press al­monds around the side of the cake. Peel peaches; cut into thin wedges. Ar­range on top of the cake. Pile re­served rasp­ber­ries in the cen­tre. Serve cake with Rasp­berry Coulis. Cakes suitable to freeze at end of step 5. Milk mix­ture suitable to mi­crowave.

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