05 September 2017

Nectarine Layer Cake

This easy vanilla cake filled with nectarine chunks and frosted with a mascarpone whipped cream is the perfect way to celebrate the end of summer.

vanilla cake + mascarpone whipped cream + nectarines
This cake is my way to hang on to those last couple weeks of summer. I mean, nectarines and whipped cream scream summer, right ?
vanilla cake + mascarpone frosting + fresh nectarines
Pinterest and Instagram have already been all pumpkin-everything and apple this and Halloween that these last few weeks, and I'm just scrolling through my feeds, internally screaming "SUMMER ISN'T OVER YET !". Let's just enjoy early September, when it's still warm enough to go out without a coat, before the leaves all turn yellow and it seems like it won't ever stop raining. I realise we're entering the most exciting time of year, with Halloween and Christmas (well, and Thanksgiving in between for those of you who celebrate). The thing is that a week before Halloween, people'll be talking about Thanksgiving like Halloween is a thing of the past, and it will be the same with Thanksgiving and Christmas, and can't we just enjoy things before moving on to the next one and time is just flying by so fast what even is the point of life ?
Alright, sorry, went a bit existential crisis on you there. I'll end my rant and go back to cake.
vanilla cake + mascarpone frosting + fresh nectarinesvanilla cake + mascarpone frosting + fresh nectarines
So, this cake : fluffy mascarpone whipped cream and nectarine chunks in between delicious layers of vanilla cake. It's a pretty easy cake to bake and assemble, I swear. Both the cake and frosting recipes require only a few ingredients, and they can be made using a hand-mixer.
The cake is my favorite cake recipe, one I've used on countless birthday and non-birthday cakes. It's a basic four ingredients, baking-powder free recipe, and you can add any flavoring you want to it. For this cake, I added some vanilla extract, vanilla sugar and powdered vanilla beans, because I'm clearly a big fan of vanilla.
The frosting entered my favorite frostings list (don't you have one of those ?) as soon as I tasted it the first time I made it for my birthday cake. Again, this requires four ingredients, you can use a hand-mixer, and it's a pretty easy frosting to work with when it's not hot as hell outside. It was 30°C+ outside the day I made this cake, so the frosting and half-assembled cake made a lot of trips in and out of the freezer to prevent melting, but the frosting still held up pretty well in the heat. The fact that it's pipeable is also a good thing ; you can go crazy with piped borders or use it on cupcakes.
vanilla cake + mascarpone frosting + fresh nectarines

nectarine layer cake

Ingredients :
300g of sugar
7 eggs
210g of flour
14cL of milk
1 packet (10g/2 tbsp) of vanilla sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of powdered vanilla beans

Instructions :
  • Preheat the oven.
  • Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks.
  • Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form, and set aside.
  • Whisk together the sugar, vanilla sugar and powdered vanilla beans, and add them to the egg yolks. Blanch the egg yolks : beat with a hand mixer (with the whisk attachments) until fluffy and light in color.
  • Whisk in half the flour, then half the milk and vanilla extract. Mix in the remaining flour, then the remaining milk, and mix.
  • Gently fold in the egg whites.
  • Grease and flour two 23cm round pans (or 3 20cm ones), and divide the batter between them.
  • Bake the cakes for about 45 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the cakes are golden in color.
  • Once baked, take the cakes out of the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then take them out of the pan and let cool.

    Ingredients :
    800mL of heavy whipping cream, cold
    200g of icing sugar
    500g of mascarpone, room temperature
    1 tsp of vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp of powdered vanilla beans (optional)

  • Put your hand- or stand-mixer attachements, bowl, and heavy cream in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and powdered vanilla beans to the heavy cream, then beat on medium spead until stiff peaks form.
  • Add in the mascarpone, and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
  • Keep the frosting in the fridge until ready to use.

    4 to 5 nectarines

  • Cut up the nectarines (either in cubes or in slices).
  • Slice the cakes in half horizontally.
  • Set your first layer on your serving plate, add some mascarpone frosting, some nectarines chunks or slices, and add a bit more frosting to smooth everything.
  • Place the second layer on top of the first one, and repeat until you have no more layers.
  • Crumb coat the cake (add a thin layer of frosting to the cake to seal in any crumbs) and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Take the cake out of the freezer, frost it and decorate it.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

  • vanilla cake + mascarpone frosting + fresh nectarines

    vanilla cake + mascarpone frosting + fresh nectarines

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