This is the cake to make when peaches are at their peak. Buttery white cake layers sandwich a filling of whipped mascarpone cream, sliced peaches and fresh raspberries. I brushed the cake layers with a zingy ginger syrup, a spicy complement to the sweet peaches. I was also supposed to spread raspberry preserves over the cakes, but, honestly, I plum forgot! What can I say, mea culpa….Anyhow, the cake was still delicious, but would have been even better with the preserves, so please don’t follow my example.
Makes one 8-inch cake, serving 8
White Cake Layers
- 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons (414 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 19 tablespoons (269 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 ½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 1/3 cups (322 grams) whole milk
Fresh Ginger Syrup
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (78 grams) water
- 1/4 cup (28 grams) peeled and sliced fresh ginger root
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- 1 cup (232 grams) heavy cream
- 1 cup (237 grams) mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1/3 cup (32 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/3 cup (106 grams) raspberry preserves
- 2 large ripe but firm peaches, sliced
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- One 6-ounce container fresh raspberries
Make the cake layers
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 8-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with rounds of parchment, cut to fit.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt and gently whisk to combine well. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium-high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary, until light and very creamy, about 8 minutes. While mixing at medium speed, add the egg whites in four additions, mixing well after each addition before adding next, and mixing until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating them with the milk in two additions and mixing until just blended. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops to make even layers. Bake the cakes for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Set the pans on wire racks and cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.
Make the syrup
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until the syrup begins to boil and the sugar is dissolved. Add the ginger slices and bring the syrup to a boil again. Remove from the heat, cover the pan, and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.
Make the Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- Place the heavy cream, mascarpone cheese and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until it just begins to form soft mounds. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat at high speed until the cream forms medium-firm peaks.
Assemble the cake
- Using a long, serrated knife, cut the domed tops off of each cake layer. Place one of the layers, cut side up, on a cardboard cake round or serving plate. Brush the top of the cake with a generous amount of the ginger syrup. Spread half of the raspberry preserves over the cake. Evenly spoon half of the Mascarpone Whipped Cream in dollops over the cake layer, then spread it into an even layer. Put the sliced peaches in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice (to prevent them from browning). Top the mascarpone layer with half of the sliced peaches and half of the raspberries. Place the second cake layer over on top, cut side up. Repeat the brushing and layering process. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.