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Friday, 11 June 2021

Mini Peaches and Cream Sheet Cake

A vanilla sponge topped with a layer of homemade peach curd, a Swiss meringue buttercream, dairy-free whipped cream stars and fresh peach slices. This cake is perfect for summer!

Watch me make this cake here.

Peach is the flavour of summer with it's fresh and fruity flavour. My peach cake takes the element of fresh peaches along with whipped and ultra creamy Swiss meringue buttercream to create the ultimate flavour explosion. Plus it looks glorious! 
I've never been the biggest fan of peaches over the years but since trying peach cobbler recently, I have been HOOKED!
Peach has a very creamy and sweet flavour, which pairs beautifully with cream. Everything about this cake is creamy, light and airy. 

- Let's start off with the sponge. 
I will happily say, I have one of the BEST vegan sponge recipes. I am very proud of my recipes and especially my cakes! It's super quick and easy to whip up a batch and doesn't require any special equipment, just a bowl and whisk. You can add a drop of orange food gel to give it a 'peachy' colour but this is completely optional. 
The sponge is the perfect base for the delicious toppings.
- Next up, peach curd. I was little worried about how to make a curd from peaches as I've only ever made lemon curd, but with lots of practice and attempts, I found a way. The best way to make the most delicious peach curd is to slice the peaches into segments, place them into a saucepan along with the rest of the ingredients and mash everything together with a potato masher until pulp like. Whilst the curd cooks and bubbles away, it turns thick like curd. It's a scrumptious curd perfect for topping off any dessert, but especial this fruity cake. Just make sure the curd is cool before you use it or it could end up melting the buttercream.

- Speaking of buttercream, I added on 2 different creams to this cake- a light vegan Swiss meringue buttercream and dairy-free whipped cream stars.
Swiss meringue has quickly become my favourite buttercream frosting to work with. It is extremly light, and has the texture of mousse. 
This wouldn't be a peaches and cream cake without cream. 
I whipped up some Elmlea Plant Based Alternative whipping cream, added it into a piping bag fitted with a open star tip nozzle and piped stars all around the edges of the cake. It doesn't only taste delicious but looks gorgeous too!
Looking for more fruity desserts? Look no further:

Notes*
- What is Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas. The Chickpea water or brine as it's called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, cupcakes and this delicious meringue buttercream. You can also get aquafaba in a carton for easy use. Check it out here.

- What vegan block butter to use?
As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block.

- Where can I buy vegan sprinkles?
My favourite sprinkles are from Fancy Sprinkles. They have one of the best ranges of vegan friendly sprinkles. I used their 'White Caviar'.
Get the sprinkles I use- Use code LITTLEVEGAN15 for 15% off your whole order on Fancy Sprinkles.
Check out their vegan sprinkle range here

- What condensed milk should I use?
My two favourites are Natures Charm Coconut Condensed Milk and Carnation Oat based condensed milk. Both are vegan and can be found in supermarkets and online. 

-What food gel should I use? You'll want to pick up a food gel. I have tried liquid food colouring and for me, it never works. Liquid food gels don't give you the pigment so you end up adding more which changes the texture of the batter/ buttercream.
Food gels on the other hand are highly pigmented and you only need a little bit, so it won't change the texture of the bake. Pro Gel from Rainbow Dust Colours are my go-to's. Check out all of their colours here


Preparation: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: Medium

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Ingredients for the cake 
  • 150ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 140g of self raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 120g of caster sugar
  • Orange food gel (see notes*)
  • 30ml of sunflower oil (or melted coconut oil)
Ingredients for the peach curd
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour + 1 tablespoon of water
  • 35g of dairy-free butter / margarine
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 100g of sliced peaches (I use tinned peaches)
  • 30g of vegan condensed milk (see notes*)
Ingredients for the buttercream
  • 100g of dairy-free block butter (See notes*)
  • 50ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
  • 210g of icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pink and orange food gel 
+
  • Dairy-free whipping cream (see notes*)
  • White caviar sprinkles (see notes*)
  • Fresh peach slices

Use code- LITTLEVEGAN15 for 15% off your order on FancySprinkles.com[Aff code] Check out Fancy Sprinkles range of vegan sprinkles here.

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Method (cake)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line a 6 x 8 inch rectangular cake tin or a small rectangular cake tin with grease-proof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the tin, this makes it easier to remove the cake when baked.

2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.

4. Add the oil into the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine. You can add a drop of orange food gel into the buttermilk, whisk to combine then add the wet into the dry. This is optional.

6. Pour the batter into the lined tin. Use a cranked pallet knife to smooth out the batter, making sure to get it into the corners of the tin.
Make sure to tap the tin on the worktop one or two times to remove any air bubbles.

7. Pop the cake into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 20 minutes.
You will know it is done when you put a knife or skewer down the middle of the cake and it comes out clean and it's springy to the touch.

8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before frosting. You can even place the cake in a sealed container once cool then frost the day after. It's a very light sponge so be careful with it when removing from the tin.

Method (peach curd)
1. In a small bowl, add in the corn flour and water. Stir together into thick paste.
Add the peaches into a small bowl, mash with a potato masher until pulp like, then add them into a small / medium saucepan along with the cornflour paste, dairy-free butter, sugar and condensed milk.

2. Place the saucepan on the hob and heat over low / medium, stirring constantly, preferably with a whisk to help break up any lumps. After around 5-8 minutes the peach curd will thicken. If the curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk. 

Pour the curd into a heat proof jar or bowl, cover and place aside to cool down. 
You can either put it in the fridge or keep it at room temperature to cool. Before you use it, give it a good stir as it will have thickened.

Method (frosting)
1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

2. Sift in the icing sugar and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

3. Pour in the aquafaba, vanilla extract and a drop of pink and orange food gel, not too much as you want it a baby pink colour. Whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don't over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it's thick and creamy.
 
4. Spread the peach curd over the cake using an offset spatula, then dollop the buttercream ontop and spread it out. Create swirls ontop of the cake using an off set spatula or pallet knife. 

5. Add the dairy-free whipping cream into a bowl and whip until stiff peaks. I use a Kitchenaid with a balloon whisk attachment, but you can use a hand held whisk to do this too.
Add the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a open star tip nozzle and pipe stars of cream around the outer edge of the cake.

Decorate with some white caviar sprinkles and fresh peach slices / segments. 

To store:
Serve fresh or store in a sealed container at room temperature. If stored in the fridge, the buttercream will set firm. Allow to come to room temperature for around 20 minutes before serving.
Best eaten within a few days!


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