Yields8 Servings
For the cake
 225 g butter or margarine
 225 g caster sugar
 1 tsp vanilla essence
 Juice and grated rind of 1 orange
 225 g self-raising flour
For the filling
 200 g caster sugar
 8 firm, ripe peaches, halved and stoned
 1 split vanilla pod
 450 g mascarpone cheese
 3 tbsp liqueur of your choice
 300 ml double cream
 2 tbsp apricot jam
 2 tsp arrowroot

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas5; lightly grease and base line a 20cm round cake tin; cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until pale; beat in eggs, orange rind and 2 tbsp juice until smooth; fold in flour; spoon into tin, bake for 45 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean; cool for 10 minutes in the tin; peel off lining paper and cool completely


put 300ml water and 125g caster sugar into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved; add vanilla pod and simmer for 10 minutes; place peach halves, cut side up, in the hot syrup and leave for 1 minute, remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and allow to cool; slip the skin off the peaches; remove vanilla pod and reserve syrup; cut 4 peach halves into wedges and leave the others whole


put mascarpone cheese, remaining 75g sugar and liqueur into a bowl and beat together until thick and creamy; beat the cream until still and fold into the mascarpone mixture; cut the cake into 3 equal layers and drizzle 6 tbsp reserved syrup over; arrange peach wedges over two layers of cake; spoon 1/3 of mascarpone mixture over top of peaches, layer one on top of the other; spread apricot jam over top layer of sponge and lift on to other layers; transfer to a serving plate


spread remaining mascarpone mixture around the edge of gateau; arrange peach halves on top of apricot jam


put remaining reserved syrup into a saucepan and sprinkle arrowroot over; heat gently, stirring until thick and glossy; brush over the top of the peaches; allow to cool completely before serving

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