Peach Melba celebration cake
SERVES 12 PREP AND COOK TIME 1 HOUR 40 MINUTES (+ COOLING TIME)
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
(450g) ripe peaches
½ cup (110g) sugar 375g fresh raspberries
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.