Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2007 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
This cake can be described as peachy-keen - from its fresh peach cake topped with its peach flavored brandy cream cheese frosting. I also like to include chopped pecans in the batter. I like to serve this baked cake with more fresh peach slices, with a few raspberries sprinkled on top, so you can bask in summer's bounty.
CAKE RECIPE HELP
3 cups peeled, diced fresh peaches
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peach-flavored brandy
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided into 2 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled
5 large eggs
3/4 cup chopped pecans; chop and then, measure
Brandied Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
1. Place the diced peaches in a bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Add the brandy and toss to coat the fruit. Refrigerate for two hours, stirring occasionally. Strain the peaches, reserving the brandy.
2. Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a pieces of parchment paper to fit each one of the bottoms of three, 9- x 2-inch round cake pans.
Grease the pans with vegetable oil spray or shortening, fit the paper into the pans, and grease the pans, again.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
4. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, one right after another, and reserved brandy from the peaches, mixing thoroughly.
5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture gradually to the sugar / butter / egg mixture, beating on low speed until blended. The batter will be thick.
6. Place the pecans in the bowl with the diced peaches and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Toss to coat the fruit.
7. Unclamp the mixer bowl with the cake batter. Place the fruit / pecan mixture on top of the cake batter.
Use a large rubber spatula to gently fold the fruit and nuts into the batter. Do not over-fold the mixture.
Divide the batter among the three cake pans.
8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes with a few moist crumbs but not batter.
9. Cool cakes in their pans for 10 minutes on a wire cake rack and invert on wire racks to cool thoroughly. Remove the parchment paper and cool completely.
Fill each layer with about 1/4 - 1/3 cup frosting and frost the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set the icing.
Store the cake, tightly covered, in the refrigerator and remove about 30 minutes before serving.
BRANDIED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING / Recipe alone
Makes enough to fill and frost 3, 9 x 2-inch cakes
12 ounces cream cheese, softened; preferably Philadelphia brand
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon peach-flavored brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted; measure and then sift
1. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed until creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat on low until combined.
2. Add the brandy and vanilla. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing until smooth.
SARAH SAYS: Do NOT overbeat. If the frosting is too thick, add in drops of milk or cream to correct. If too thin, add in more powdered sugar or cold CREAM CHEESE.
Cream cheese frosting is perishable. Store, well-covered for a few days in the refrigerator.