Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fruit Pastry Cake

Posted by Quinn at Tuesday, August 03, 2010 30 comments Links to this post

This cake, to everyone probably need no further introduction. It was flooding the blogosphere years ago and has now make a come back. Couldn't remember anymore when I first saw it but the last post that really triggered me to make this was HappyHomeBaking's Post.

The beautifully arranged fruits over the cake, so colourful, so vibrant and completed with a sift of icing sugar left the cake charming and beautiful tasting. Perhaps, there is something I need to clarify. It's me and Aaron....While he's away, I couldn't help but I've found another guy. He's Irish and we really like each other. Been seeing him for a while and we've both been going for evening walk every other day that I'm not working and he's always there for me. Please meet Finnigan....My landlord and I and my other housemates, we all live in this huge mansion and live happily together. I know it's usually not the case but yeah, we do live harmonically. Finnigan's the family dog, Irish-terrier breed. I'm not much of a dog person but Finn changed it. I think if Aaron is not travelling this frequently, when we get our own place, I would love to get a dog too.


Back to the cake, I have nothing but good words to say about the cake. It's beautiful and browns beautifully. I really gotta thank my anodized pan for the even heating that cooks the centre of the cake to perfection.

Look at how evenly it browned. See the picture below and notice the two even brown line running through the bottom of the cake. The sides and bottom of the cake has a tender crust that tasted great as well as the yellow cake itself. Not too thick but just great ratio really....

I made one recipe, took one big slice and slice the rest smallish and brought it to my workplace and everyone really love it. I didn't cut back on the sugar but my fruits were really tart. Only the peach slices are sweet. They are the leftover from my Peach Melba.


The batter of the cake was really yellowish. I think it's the egg, the yolk was bright orange, I've never seen such bright yolk in my entire life really! The batter was thick and luscious and I confess, I dipped my fingers in twice just to taste the batter and I lick my spatula and whisk clean. I didn't even use an electric mixer. A hand whisk was all I need.

My beautiful anodized metal pan, buttered and floured generously. I am always freaking out if the cake refuse to plonk out from the tin in one piece!

Did I also mention I didn't want the cake to have the slightest dome. I wanted a flat tall cake. The batter was thick enough to hold it's shape. A trick here: Pour the batter into the pan and even out the top lightly. Then, spin the baking tin and you'll notice the batter spreading out towards the edges due to centripetal force. The cake batter will concave towards the centre of the cake.

Kinda hard to explain, not sure if the picture above shows you what I'm trying to say. By doing this, when the cake rises at the centre first, it will rise and be even with the sides as well, resulting in a flat cake, rather than a domed cake. I hope I made myself clear.

Then comes the fun part, arranging fresh fruits on the cake. Do note that you gotta slice the peaches to even thickness else the cake will cover some of it when baking. I felt the cake looks way way better before going into the oven but it doesn't matter, the beautiful aroma and taste that filled the kitchen after that made up for it's look.

Bake and cool it in pan for a while and unmould it onto a serving plate. No pieces of the fruit dropped off during the unmoulding process, they cling well to the batter.

Give the whole cake a good dust of icing sugar. The peaches were dusted but the sugar naturally seeps into it resulting into a beautiful macerated peaches.

Make a big cut and slice yourself a generous amount of serving. And give away the rest so everyone is happy. It's been a while since I last bake for others so everyone was happily munching away on the cake. Words like tender crumbs, moist cake, not too sweet when eaten together and yummy, they all filled my mind the whole of the day. And that is enough to make my day, I can be very simple-minded sometimes!



Fruit Pastry Cake
(adapted from HappyHomeBaking)

Ingredients:

100g butter, cubed smallish and softened to room temperature
1 cup castor sugar
50g sour cream (replaced with buttermilk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of seasalt
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest (replaced with a squeeze of fresh lime juice)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
210g plain flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder*
500g fresh fruits (I use 4 gigantic strawberries, handful of blueberries and canned peach slices)

* Just realise I ran out of baking powder. I substituted plain flour and baking powder for the same amount of self-raising flour and a pinch of seasalt.


Generously butter and flour an 9'' round baking pan and preheat your oven to 180°C. Cream the butter by itself until pale and smooth. Add in the sugar and continue mixing with a hand whisk until sugar completely dissolves. Run a finger through the batter and rub it, it should't feel grainy. Add in the buttermilk, vanilla extract, salt and lime juice and continue beating and creaming it until combined, light and fluffy.

Crack in one egg and gradually beat into submission. If you crack in the eggs and whisk very well after each addition, your batter shouldn't curdle but it really doesn't matter if it curdled. Sieve over the self-raising flour and mix till smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Give the pan a few good spin so batter spreads outwards.

Prepare the fruits. Use kitchen paper or a clean tea towel to wipe the peach slices and make sure it is not too wet. We don't wanna introduce too much moisture into the cake batter. Hull the strawberries and slice them in half. Arrange the fruits on top of the cake, anyway you like but just do not press the fruits into the batter.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 180°C for an hour or more until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Cover the top with a piece of aluminium foil (greased with butter!) in the last 15 mins of baking to prevent the top from getting too browned.

Cool the cake in pan for 10mins on a wire rack and then proceed to unmold and transfer the cake itself to the wire rack to let cool completely. Dust the cake with some icing sugar, slice and serve, just by itself or a dollop of cream and ice cream can kill no one.

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