Summer season

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This week, CW food writer Libby Kimber has sourced some delightful summer desserts using sublime seasonal fruits.

Vanilla cake with ricotta icing and roasted peaches

Just Desserts by Charlotte Ree, Published by Plum, RRP $29.99, Photography by Luisa Brimble, Styling by Lee Blaylock.

Vanilla cake with ricotta icing and roasted peaches

Serves: 8

  • 185g self-raising flour
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 80ml full-cream milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Edible flowers, optional, for decorating

Roasted peaches

  • 3 peaches, halved
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 vanilla pod, split

Icing

  • 250g full-fat ricotta, at room temperature
  • 250ml thickened cream, at room temperature
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper.

Place the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed until combined (about 30 seconds). Increase the speed to high and beat for 2–3 minutes, or until thick and pale. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5–minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the roasted peaches, arrange the peaches cut-side up on a baking tray sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle with 1–tablespoon of water, the honey and scraped vanilla seeds and add the vanilla pod to the baking tray. Bake for 30–minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

Once the cake and peaches have cooled, prepare the icing. Beat the ricotta, cream and icing sugar until thickened and combined. Spread the icing over the top of the cake. Just before serving, arrange the roasted peaches over the icing and drizzle any additional syrup over the top. Finish with some edible flowers, if you like. This cake is best eaten on the day it is made.

Summery fruit tart

Image and text from Incredible Plant-based Desserts by Anthea Cheng, photographer Anthea Cheng, Quarto Books, RRP $39.99.

summer fruit tart
Summer Fruit Tart – Incredible Plant-based Desserts

Serves: 8-10

Tart base

  • 1½ cups (218g) almonds, or any other nut or seed
  • ⅓ cup (53g) pitted dates, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 1 cup (140g) cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
  • 1 cup (235ml) coconut cream
  • ¼–½ cup (80-100g) rice malt or maple syrup, or any other plant-based liquid sweetener to taste
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) cacao butter or coconut oil, melted

Decorations

Mangoes, nectarines, passionfruit, or any other fruit in season!

Line the bottom of a 20cm loose bottom tart pan.

To make the tart base: Add the almonds to a food processor and process until it forms coarse crumbs. Drain the dates and add them to the food processor with the salt. Process until it is combined and stays together when it is pinched. Press the mixture into the tart pan.

To make the filling: Drain the cashews and add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend until it is as smooth as possible. Pour the mixture into the tart base. Set aside in the fridge to set for around 4 hours or until the cream is not wobbly in the middle.

Slice the fruit and decorate the tart as desired. Serve immediately or set aside in the fridge in a large airtight container until ready to serve! Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts