I was very happy when I learned that Sheryl from Lady Behind the Curtain had picked peaches and cream for this month’s Dessert Challenge. Peaches are one of my favorite summer fruits.
I had been thinking about making a poke cake for some time, and this seemed like a good time to make one. Many poke cake recipes use a cake mix and flavored gelatin, but I wanted to see what I could do with made-from-scratch ingredients. I made the cake from the Basic Cake recipe I posted yesterday and chose to use peach nectar, pureed peaches and unflavored gelatin to make the filling.
Since I also needed to use cream, I went searching for a frosting recipe using whipped cream and found one over at allrecipes. I changed it a bit to suit my taste.
This is a dessert that needs to be made ahead, at least one day for best flavor. The cake needs to be made first. If your choose to use a commercial cake mix, that is fine. Just make it according to the package directions. Another option is to make Homemade Cake Mix and make the cake from that.
After letting the cake cool, it is necessary to poke holes all over the top of the cake. I like the holes to be about 1/4-inch and use a short length of 1/4-inch dowel that I keep in my kitchen. The handles of some wooden spoons will work also.
Make the peach filling and pour it over the top of the cake letting it seep into the holes. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill and allow the filling to set at least 4 hours. The "pokes" didn't show up too well on the cake I made using a yellow cake. Next time I will probably make a white cake or add a bit of food coloring to the filling.
Prepare frosting and spread on cake. (See my tip for quickly softening cream cheese here.) Refrigerate at least 2 hours to set frosting. Cover with plastic wrap and chill till serving time.
Peach Melba Poke Cake
1 prepared yellow or white cake (may be made from scratch, from a homemade mix, or a commercial mix)
1 (12 oz.) can peach nectar
2 fresh peaches
1/2 c. water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened (regular or low-fat)
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 pt. (2 c.) whipping cream
Prepare cake using your choice of methods. Bake and allow cake to cool. Poke 1/4-inch holes all over surface of cake about 1-inch apart and going about three-fourths of the way through the cake. Pour peach nectar in a medium saucepan. Peel and slice peaches into a blender or food processor container. Blend until smooth and consistency of applesauce. Add peaches to peach nectar. Place saucepan over medium heat and heat peach mixture to boiling. While nectar is combing to a boil, pour unflavored gelatin in the 1/2 c. water and allow gelatin to soften. Stir well. Boil nectar/peach mixture about 5 minutes to allow it to reduce slightly in volume, watching carefully and stirring often. Remove from heat and add gelatin/water mixture. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour nectar mixture over cake, allowing it to seep into the holes. Place cake in refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours. Place softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer bowl. If using a stand mixer, fit it with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl. While mixer is running, slowly pour in the whipping cream, beating until the mixture holds a stiff peak. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times. (It may take a few minutes for the mixture to get to the proper consistency.) Spread frosting over the top of the cake and chill at least 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. Makes 12 to 15 generous servings.
To see what other Dessert Challenge bloggers chose to make with peaches and "cream", check out the links below.
If you would like to join in September's Dessert Challenge which will feature apples and cinnamon, visit Sheryl's Dessert Challenge page.
Linking to these great parties:
Catch a Glimpse Party
Showcase Your Talent Thursday
Full Plate Thursday