Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tender Yellow Cake with Nectarine-Basil Syrup and Mascarpone

After making Nectarines Poached with Basil, I had quite a lot of nectarine-basil syrup left over. So I decided to make this cake, which seemed like a perfect way to use up the tasty (and quite sweet) syrup.

The cakes I tend to make are rarely multilayered, but this was an exception. I baked the two layers per the original recipe, and then I soaked each layer in syrup. I also took about ¾ cup mascarpone, added some syrup to it to give it some flavor (but not so much as to make it runny), and layered the mixture between the 2 cake layers and on the cake top. The result was a very moist (and heavy), delicious cake that required minimal effort, especially for a layer cake!

Tender Yellow Cake with Nectarine-Basil Syrup and Mascarpone
Adapted from Food52

3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2¼ cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk (I used skim and it was fine)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Beat egg whites until frothy, then add ½ cup of the sugar (reserving the rest) a bit at a time until egg whiles are stiff and glossy. (I did this step in my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the whisk attachment.)

3. Mix the flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add all of the oil and all of the vanilla, and ½ cup of the milk. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed - the mixture will be quite thick. (I did this step with a handheld mixer because my stand mixer had the egg whites in it. If you reverse the mixer usage, user the paddle attachment of the stand mixer for this step.)

4. Add the egg yolks and remaining milk to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

5. Fold in the egg whites and distribute into the baking pans.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10-20 minutes in the pan then turn out onto cake rack (or plates in my case) to cool completely.

7. Spoon nectarine-basil syrup (or jam) over cake layers. You can stack the layers together or have 2 cakes!


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