Summer fruits offer so many baking possibilities! For Father’s Day, I made a favorite of mine, the fresh fruit tart, with a pâte sucrée crust baked with a thin layer of almond cream, and topped with custard (crème légère) and sliced fruit. A light brushing of apricot glaze seals the fruits and gives a great sheen to the tart.
But, another delicious one that I have made a couple times, thanks to plums from a colleague’s backyard, is a baked plum & almond tart. This one works with any type of crust (I used pâte sucrée since I had a big batch of dough), and is filled with almond cream and sliced plums arranged on top.
I brushed the plums with some melted butter and sprinkled with vanilla sugar, and then covered the exposed almond cream sections with sliced almonds. When baked together, the almond cream puffs up in line with the plums so that the slices look like they were pressed into the almond cream.
Depending on your oven, you can get your almonds lightly browned during the baking. Doesn’t happen in my home oven though unless I bake much longer than necessary. Still delicious in any case!
For Thanksgiving this year, I got a request for a chocolate dessert. So I took the opportunity to make one of my favorite very very chocolatey desserts, the Viking cake from Extraordinary Desserts. This is a 3-layer chocolate sour cream cake, with a dark chocolate creme brulee filling, as well as a milk chocolate chantilly cream filling. The cake is also brushed with cocoa simple syrup and lined with ganache.
Finally, the cake is covered with the ganache and crushed cocoa almond praline. For decoration, I dusted the top of the cake with powdered sugar and made some marzipan autumn leaves and acorns.
This is best consumed in thin slices to avoid chocolate overdose 🙂
For my friend’s 30th birthday, her husband requested a peach cake, since peach is one of her favorite fruits and something that the couple consumes by the Costco-flat per week. Unfortunately, the birthday fell on the week of the nationwide peach Listeria contamination scare when all Costco peaches got recalled. Fortunately, Safeway had (presumably) non-contaminated fruit in stock.
I made this cake based on the Beau Soleil cake in the Extraordinary Desserts cookbook. Readers of my blog already know how much I love Karen Krasne and her cakes, but in case you’re new here, I love Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego!
This is a 10″ cake with hazelnut joconde (sponge cake) layers, soaked with orange simple syrup and filled with mascarpone mousse, peach curd, whipped cream, and some hazelnut praline (for crunch) and drizzled honey.
The mousse is a French style one with an egg yolk base, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and vanilla beans (which make everything better).
The peach curd contains some peaches sauteed with brown sugar, and folded into the remainder of the pureed and gelatinized fresh peaches.
The outside is coated with the mousse and a thin layer of whipped cream. The sides are covered with the hazelnut praline, and the top is decorated with thinly sliced fresh peaches. The vibrant color and floral pattern make this cake aptly named Beau Soleil (beautiful sun).
I didn’t have a big enough box handy for this cake, so the sides got a little smashed when the wait staff took the cake out of the box for slicing. But, it was still delicious! I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to both make this cake and eat it too 🙂