Peach cake with honey cream cheese frosting
Posted: 03 June 2012 04:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I make this cake this week for a friend’s 50th birthday. The cake is a Biscuit de Savoie, the frosting is a honey cream cheese frosting, and the top of a pool of peach puree.

This cake is pretty much a remake of the last honey/peach cake I made (http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/forums/viewthread/3759/). I used the Biscuit de Savoie recipe from The Cake Bible. That recipe is for 3 9-inch pans, but I only have 2 9-inch pans, so I instead used strips of tin foil to make high walls and then split the batter between the two pans. I learned a really cool tip that I’m excited to share! You know how after the cake is baked and you need to remove it from the pan, typically you have to turn the cake out on to something, and then reinvert the cake so it’s right side up again? When baking this cake with the tin foil walls, the cake climbed up the walls and then stuck to them. So I was actually able to just grab the sides of the tin foil like handles and lift the cake out of the pan! And since I was able to lift the cake like that, I could also just lift a corner and read underneath to pull off the parchment paper, without needing to ever place the cake upside down on a surface.

The syrup for the cake was the syrup from canned peaches. I got that idea from one of Hector’s posts. I first tried using the syrup from the can, but it was so thick that it didn’t really absorb into the cake. It just kind of sat there on top, half absorbed in and half pooling on top. For the rest of the layers, I diluted the canned peach syrup with some water. That worked better.

For the honey cream cheese frosting, I used Anne in NC’s advice of trying raw honey. It worked out great, with one caveat. Anne suggested to heat the syrup gently to melt it, but when I did that, the slight heat from the honey ended up melting my cream cheese & butter a bit once I added it in. I got better results making my 2nd batch by just adding the room temperature raw honey to the cream cheese/butter mixture directly. My raw honey is not completely solid at room temperature but just very very gloppy, so it worked out well.

The puree on top was a little stressful. I knew that I had to harden the puree somehow, otherwise it would just pour out when I cut the cake. Or at least, that was what I was thinking would happen. So I decided to add gelatin to it. I wanted to make the topping soft, but not too rubbery. I had 2 cups of peach puree and I needed to know how much gelatin was needed. I googled forever to try to find out how much was needed.  I searched “gelatin puree cake” and “gelatin mango mousse” and over and over. All the recipes I found either didn’t specify an amount (“Oh, just add ‘some’ gelatin”) or specified using some weird measurement (“puree 2 baskets of raspberries and add 1 tsp of gelatin”). I finally got desperate and just googled “how much gelatin is needed” and up came David Lebovitz’s article “How To Use Gelatin”. In it, he says “1 envelope of gelatin will firmly set 2 cups of liquid, enough to unmold a dessert. 1 envelope of gelatin will softly set 3 cups of liquid. You will not be able to unmold this type of dessert.” Exactly what I needed! I added 1 envelope to my 2 cups of puree.

After all that, assembly was relatively straight-forward. Syruped the layers, put on the frosting, piped a frosting wall on the top to contain the puree, and then poured in the puree. It set up overnight, and then I served it the next day. The birthday guy said it was the best birthday cake he ever had and licked his plate clean. smile

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Posted: 03 June 2012 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Beautiful cake, wushujames!!!  The peach puree is so pretty.  The color of the cake it beautiful, too!  It looks so delicious!

Apologies re the raw honey—after I melt mine at VERY low temp, I let it cool (not until it’s solid again, but until its no longer warm), and sorry if I didn’t mention that.  Since yours is gloppy, I think you did the right thing in adding it unheated—mine would be almost like adding wax if I didn’t melt it!

So, just to confirm, you used 1 envelope of gelatin for canned peaches in heavy syrup that were drained and then, once pureed (without the syrup), made a volume of 2 cups?

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Posted: 03 June 2012 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Beautiful cake! It looks delicious!

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Posted: 03 June 2012 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sponge cake, fruit and cultured dairy, nothing could be better!  Looks beautiful, and I’ll bet it tasted great smile

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Posted: 03 June 2012 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Anne, I *think* what you said is right, but just to be extra sure, here’s what I did:
1) A 15oz can of sliced canned peaches “in 100% Natural Fruit Juice from Concentrate”
2) Drain the juice.
3) After the juice is drained, take the peaches.
4) Blend them. This will yield 2 cups of blended peaches.
5) 1 packet of Knox unflavored gelatin, sprinkled over 3tbsp or so of water. Let it bloom for 5 minutes. (The side of the box says that 1/4 envelope = 1.8 g of gelatin, so 1 envelope of gelatin must be 7.2 g or so)
6) Microwave gelatin/water sludge in 10 second increments until liquidy.
7) Stir in to peach puree.

BUT! If I made this cake again, I would do the topping differently. First of all, the peach surprisingly wasn’t very flavorful! I think since I poured it on top of the unfrosted cake, the juices from the puree seeped into the cake a bit. This make the cake flavorful, but the puree not very flavorful. The other thing is, though, the texture wasn’t really what I was looking for! I think because I used pureed peaches instead of peach juice, the puree topping was kind of… meal-y. It wasn’t a smooth texture.

I think what I was *really* looking for was something like the soft texture of a lemon curd. I wanted something soft and smooth and fruity. The puree worked and looked great, but didn’t have the texture or flavor that I envisioned. Even so though, it worked, it didn’t leak, and the presentation was great. I’m still super happy!

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Posted: 03 June 2012 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for the info!

I wonder if you used frozen, rather than canned, peaches; thawed them, strained and did Rose’s trick of reducing the juices in the microwave to concentrate the flavor; blended the peaches in a blender (rather than food processor, which I think makes things smoohter); and then thickened if it would work better?

I think Rose mentions that her peach puree and curd have the mildest flavor of all the fruit choices. They make freeze dried peaches, which you could powder and add to the puree to pump up the flavor.  You could also soak “regular” dried peaches in the juice from the thawed peaches to soften them and then blend them with the puree.  In either case, all that “peach” without the water to dilute the flavor would give it oomph.

As you say, your presentation was beautiful, and that looks like one fabulous cake!!!  Luckily, the recipients don’t usually know what we envision in baking, so they don’t see or taste anything but perfection!

—ak

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Posted: 04 June 2012 02:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Anne, it turns out that my honey is labeled “creamed honey”. A quick google search says that it’s the same as normal liquid honey but has been whipped, which causes crystallization and makes it more solid. So it sounds like mine is actually different from raw honey.

That’s a great point that you make about recipients not knowing what we were planning. Actually, whenever there is a baking event, my friends eagerly ask me what I’m baking, and I always tell them it’s a secret. The reason I never tell them is, it lets me change my mind until the last minute and then I never have to explain why a recipe or decoration didn’t work out!

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Posted: 04 June 2012 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi, Wushu!

This is the raw honey I use:  http://www.amazon.com/Y-S-Eco-Bee-Farms-Honey/dp/B000Z93FQC  It is wonderful in everything (i.e, tea, yogurt, frosting, etc.)

That’s very interesting about the whippped honey—sort of a middle ground.  Always a nice position ...

Yes, almost no one can notice the problems with cakes.  I once had my layers not rise AT ALL, so I had to make 2x cake for 3 layers (had one left over), but they tasted great!  Once I didn’t leave enough time for my midnight ganache to set, so I had to whip it with cream cheese and butter for a totally different frosting.  And my fudge didn’t set, so I had to add beaucoups of cocoa butter and nuts/coconut (depending) to it to get it firm.  There’s almost always some kind of rescue going on, but only my hairdresser knows!!!!  (Like I have one.  But if I did, I would almost surely bore her with the details!)

—ak

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Posted: 04 June 2012 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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James, thx for sharing.  It sounds delicious and I am so glad you devised your own takes on the different components for this cake.  I feel like I must make the cb Queen Bee cake soon!

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