Here’s a classic cake that’s a light and refreshing summer dessert. This version showcases fresh peaches, but feel free to use the fruit of your choice in the filling, such as fresh berries, nectarines or apricots. Regardless of the fruit you choose, the cake should be made the day before and chilled overnight, which makes it easier to roll without mishap. I cut the log in half so that it’s easier to handle, but you can serve it whole if you want a more dramatic presentation. A little whipped cream piped on top and garnished with your chosen fruit would also be lovely. For peeling the peaches, I highly recommend this tool, which is specifically designed for soft fruit.
Makes two 7 1/2-inch cake rolls, serving 8-10
- 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (73 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (54 grams) vegetable oil
- 2 ½ tablespoons (38) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 3 large peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon peach liqueur or Cointreau
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (160 grams) raspberry, peach or apricot preserves
- 1 cup (232 grams) heavy cream
- ¼ cup (60 grams) mascarpone cheese, crème fraiche or sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
- 3 tablespoons (18 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for garnish
Make the sponge cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil the bottom and sides of a 17 x 12-inch rimmed baking sheet and line it with a silicone baking mat or piece of parchment paper. Lightly oil the baking mat or parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of the granulated sugar at high speed until thickened and pale, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, then clean the mixer bowl and whisk attachment thoroughly and dry well.
- Put the egg whites in the cleaned bowl and, using the clean whisk attachment, whip at medium-low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whip at medium-high speed until the whites just begin to form soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons (75 grams) of sugar and whip at high speed until medium-firm peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the meringue into the whipped egg yolk mixture, then gently fold in the remaining meringue. Sift the flour and salt over the mixture and gently fold it in. Transfer a small amount of the batter (about ½ cup) to a small bowl and stir in the oil, milk and vanilla. Gently fold this mixture into the remaining batter. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake the cake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the top is a nice golden brown color. Cool the cake in the pan, set on a wire rack, for 30 minutes.
- Cover the cake with a clean kitchen towel and transfer it, still in the pan, to the refrigerator; chill overnight, at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
Make the filling
- Put the peach pieces in a medium bowl and toss them with the sugar, liqueur and lemon juice. Set aside to macerate.
- Put the preserves in a small, microwave-safe cup or Pyrex measure and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds, until the preserves are bubbling and liquified. Stir well, then pass them through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and brush the top with the strained preserves.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, mascarpone cheese (or crème fraiche or sour cream) and vanilla and whip at medium-high speed until the cream thickens and soft mounds begin to form. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and continue to whip at medium-high speed until firm peaks form. Strain the peaches, reserving the juice. Add about 1 cup of the strained peaches to the reserved juice, cover and reserve in the refrigerator for serving. Fold the remaining strained peaches into the whipped cream.
Assemble and serve the cake
- Spread the peach cream filling over the cake, leaving a 1-inch border along the long sides, and a ¼-inch border along the short sides. Starting with a long side and using the baking mat or parchment paper to help, roll the cake up jellyroll style, making it a compact log. Cut the log in half in the center to create 2 logs (which are easier to handle). Place each roll, seam side down, on a clean piece of parchment paper and wrap the paper around it, twisting the end tightly to hold the roll together. Wrap a kitchen towel around each cake as well, pulling it tight. Refrigerate the cakes until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
- Unwrap the cakes and trim off the ends with a serrated knife (chef’s treat!). Dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar. Cut the cakes into 1-inch slices and serve with the reserved peaches and juice.