Dahlias used to be one of my favorite flowers when I was a little girl. The garden at my grandma’s farm were graced with their vibrant and perfectly symmetrical flowers. There were many kinds with different sizes, petal shapes and colors to my contentment. The ones with the yellow honeycomb style along with the ruby giant were my favorites.
Last week I found some pretty dahlias and instantly I had the idea to make one of them with sugar paste. With the prettiest memories of my childhood spent in my grandma’s garden, I conquered one more sugar flower: a sweet yellow honeycomb, built petal by petal.
This summer flower is a befitting decoration for a cake filled with delicious summer flavors: peaches and raspberries. This indulgent cake consists of layers of almond cake filled with peach compote and raspberry jam covered with crème fraîche whipped cream.
(Inspired by the books Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater and Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julie Child)
Makes one 9-inch cake or three 4-inch mini cakes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (250g)
1 ¼ cups superfine sugar (250g)
2/3 cup whole almonds (75g)
3/8 cup all-purpose flour (50g)
3/8 cup potato starch (50g)
4 large eggs
Line the cake pan with parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Place the almonds and potato starch in a food processor. Process until the almonds are finely ground. Sift the ground almonds with the flour together. Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until white and fluffy.
Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time, with the beater on low. Turn the machine off and add a third of the almond and flour, then turn the mixer on low until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the second and then the third batch of almonds and flour, switching the machine off each time. If you do this too quickly you end up with a heavy cake.
Using a rubber spatula, transfer the mixture to the lined cake pan and bake for thirty-five minutes. Rum a thin spatula around the edge of the pan, turn the cake out onto sugared wax paper, and leave to cool.
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 vanilla been or 2 tablespoons vanilla paste
1 cup water
Simmer the water, honey, and vanilla paste or bean in the saucepan and stir for some minutes. Add the peaches to the simmering syrup. Bring again to the simmer until there are tender about 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
1 cup raspberry
1 tablespoon kirsch
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools).
Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
8 oz Crème Fraîche, cold
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Chill a mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. Beat crème fraîche and milk in the chilled bowl until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream barely mounds. Do not overwhip.