This dessert is a celebration of beautiful seasonal stonefruit, along with just a little bit of creamy, cakey indulgence.
>Peach butter cake
250g unsalted butter
250g unrefined castor sugar
100g soft dried peaches, soaked in hot water, drained and finely chopped
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
juice and zest ½ lemon
100g almond meal
100g plain flour
2 lightly heaped tbsp icing sugar
zest 1 orange
½ tsp natural vanilla extract
350ml thickened cream
Roasted peaches and cherries
6 ripe white peaches, cut in half and pitted
100g castor sugar
2 vanilla beans, splintered on an angle
juice ½ lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 180C conventional. Grease and line a 20-22 centimetre square cake tin.
2. To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar with a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the chopped peaches and mix until very pale and creamy. Add the eggs in three or four additions while mixing on medium. Add the lemon zest and mix until combined.
3. Combine the flour and almond meal and slowly fold into the cake mix by hand. Once combined, fold in the lemon juice and tip into the prepared tin, smoothing down the top evenly. Bake for 40- to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool on a cake rack.
4. For the filling, add the ricotta, mascarpone and icing sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and reasonably smooth. Mix in the orange zest and vanilla extract.
5. Softly whip the thickened cream in a separate bowl until it is not quite stiff enough to hold a peak, and then carefully fold it into the mascarpone mix until combined. Refrigerate until well chilled.
6. Line the bottom of a long, thin cake tin, about 28 centimetres by 10 centimetres, with cling film.
7. Cut the cake in half and then cut each piece in half crossways to end up with four slabs. Line the bottom of the prepared tin with a piece of the cake, filling in any gaps with pieces cut from one of the other slabs. Spoon over one third of the ricotta mix and top with a second slab of cake. Again fill in the gaps with pieces cut from the spare slab. Repeat with another third of the mascarpone mix and the final piece of cake, patching as necessary, and wrap tightly in cling wrap. Refrigerate the torte along with the leftover mascarpone mix for a good two hours.
8. Preheat the oven to 200C fan-forced or 220C conventional.
9. Arrange the peaches in a baking dish, cut-side up, and sprinkle over the casteor sugar and vanilla beans. Drizzle over the lemon juice and bake for 15 minutes. Add the cherries and cook for 10 minutes. Cover the dish and set aside to cool.
10. Using the cling wrap lining to ease it out, carefully remove the torte from the tin and onto a serving plate. Smooth the remaining mascarpone mix evenly over the torte and arrange the peaches and cherries over and around. Drizzle over a little of the roasting syrup and serve.