Saturday, September 1, 2012

Peach Blossom Cake (MasterChef)

Since the success from 2009, I must admit that the name, MasterChef has been a very selling commercialised brand to me. Although this cooking game show has been selling lots of books, magazines, cookware and other products, it has inspired me a lot from my cooking point of view. 

Now, the name, MasterChef and its logo are widely used around the world. Accordingly to Wikipedia, the show is now produced in more than 35 countries worldwide and airs in at least 200 territories. Knowing that MasterChef is commonly known in every household now, I have decided to cook and bake with the MasterChef theme for the whole month of September 2012.

Amongst all the Australian MasterChef judges, celebrity chefs and contestants, Merle Parrish, the "poster girl" of Country Women's Association of Australia is a great inspiration to me. At age 78, Merle, had published her first book, Merle's Kitchen. How does she do it? It started when Merle had a one-off appearance on Australian MasterChef season three at 2011 and this peach blossom cake is the cake that she baked in the show. Merle won her first baking contest at the age of seven. Her subsequent 70 years of baking triumphs plus her appearance on MasterChef have given her the confidence to finally write this beautiful book.

Since this episode of MasterChef last year, this recipe has been in my to-bake list for ages and now it seems a great opportunity for me to bake this beautiful cake. Inspired by the current blooming Spring season, this county-style butter cake has subtle pink swirl inside the cake. I must admit that the cake does look a little girly with this sweet-looking pink swirl but it does give me a nice feeling too, eating a slice of this pretty cake. With a thin layer of frosting, this cake is not too sweet at all. The large amount of egg whites used makes the cake very fine and soft in texture.

peach blossom cake Masterchef


Making the cake batter
Making the peach blossom design in the cake
Yummy pink frosting...
Freshly baked cake and icing it
Can you see the subtle peach blossom swirl?
Another source of my inspiration... we didn't have peach blossom, only mini nectarine tree blooming at Spring.

Here's the recipe from the book, Merle's Kitchen by Merle Parrish
(with my modification in blue)

Serves 8

190g butter, at room temperature, chopped
1 1/4 cups white sugar (reduced to 1 cup)
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence (I used vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup cornflour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
6 egg whites
1-2 drops rose pink food colouring
(I used the natural pink colouring)

Icing
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
10g butter
2 tbsp boiling water
few drops of rose pink food colouring
(I used the natural pink colouring)

Preheat the oven to slow (150°C). Grease a 20cm (base measurement) round, deep cake tin. Line the base with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar in the small bowl of an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Gradually add half the milk to help dissolve the sugar, and beat well. Beat in the vanilla. Transfer to a larger bowl. 

Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together 3 times. Fold into the butter mixture, then add remaining milk (don't worry if it appears curdled at this stage). In another bowl, use clean beaters to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold half the egg whites into the cake batter, then fold in remaining egg whites. 

Transfer 1 cup of the mixture to a smaller bowl, and stir in 1-2 drops food colouring. Take about 3/4 cup of the white mixture, and spread over the base of the tin. Take half the pink batter, and spoon it in a ring about 1cm in from the tin edge - it should be about 1 - 1.5 cm wide. 

Very carefully spread half the remaining white batter over, taking care not to disturb the pink ring. Spoon the remaining pink batter into the centre of the tin, making about an 8cm round. Spoon the remaining white batter over the whole top, again taking care not to disturb the pink round. 

Bake for about 70 mins, until the cake is springy to a gentle touch in the centre and comes away from the sides of the tin. It may appear slightly cracked in the centre, but will settle flat on cooling. (If not, gently press the top flat with your fingertips.) Turn out onto a clean tea towel lined with a sheet of baking paper. Leave to cool. 

To make the icing, combine the ingredients until smooth. Spread over the top of the cooled cake, and leave to set.

Note: Using half of the recipe, I have baked a 14 cm cake at 150°C fan forced for 50 min.

Happy Baking
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40 comments:

  1. OOh I remember when that particular episode was aired and the look she gave to the poor contestant who pricked his cupcake with a toothpick to check if its done or not :D. Immediately after the show I logged on to the website and got the peach-blossom recipe and made it the very next day (well those were my pre-blogging days). You are right, this sure is a very soft textured cake and not too sweet also. Love the peach swirl in the middle of your cake. beautifully done

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    1. Hi Anuja,

      It was fun watching this Masterchef episode especially when Merle had time knitting while baking her cake at the challenge... LOL!

      Zoe

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  2. It's MasterChef already ?! Gosh , it's already September ! lol

    Will find some recipe online !

    That girly :D cake looks pretty delicious ! The moist texture reminds me of Japanese cheesecake :D

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  3. Thanks for suggesting MasterChef as this month's theme. I was so excited when it was finally the 1st of the month, couldn't wait to blog hop with everyone. Btw my URL is goodyfoodies.blogspot.com only.

    Your peach blossom cake looks simple but elegant :)

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    1. Hi Baby Sumo,

      I have updated all your links in this post. Thanks :D

      Zoe

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  4. I do think that MasterChef is too commercialized..money making machine.. Don't know what could change my mind :)

    Cake looks lovely, so soft.. Yummy!

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  5. I don't recall ever seeing a cake using 3/4 cup cornstarch/cornflour. It's sounds interesting and with 6 egg whites I bet it's fluffy. I'm intrigued - I need to try this and of course if this was a winning recipe it must be sensational.

    This is my first time stopping by. I will be back again. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. What a sweet looking cake! I love girly looking cakes that aren't too overdone. And the flavours seem like they would be similar..delicate and sweet

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  7. This cake is so pretty! Love how sweet it looks with the pink icing... Texture looks great too, am sure its delicious!

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  8. Zoe~~
    haha!! good job~~ i think i sd find out the receipe ta i like.... n summit it... can??
    haha~~~ ur cake looks very nice to eat^^

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  9. yes, this is certainly a very good recipe. Something we should all try. Thank you for sharing, it looks divine.

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  10. This cake is loooking nice and moist ^___^

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  11. It looks so tender and fluffy, and yes you can see the swirl.
    Have a nice Sunday Zoe!

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  12. What a delicate yet delicious looking cake!

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  13. Love this Zoe !!Look amazing and beauty and love your pics here the trees are blossom too!

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  14. This is a very pretty and feminine cake. It looks delicate and I am sure it is very delicious.

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  15. A lovely moist summer cake. Bet your kids loved it x

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  16. Love the color of this cake! You are right, it looks girly but is beautiful :)

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  17. Lovely post and cake! Will hop-a-long soon.

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  18. Such a lovely name for this cake! And a really nice recipe. Very through and clear instructions. Good stuff - thanks.

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  19. Oh Zoe! this is so beautiful - it looks SO delicious - I have to tell you it made me smile just to look at it, it's so pretty!
    Mary x

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  20. Zoe, I love the pink icing and pink swirl in the cake, looks so lovely. Hope I am able to join in this month baking fun too.

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  21. My boyfriend works for Masterchef. He cooks some amazing things :) Very nicely done little lady!

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  22. Hi Zoe,
    This is a pretty pink icing and pink swirl cake. Does this cake taste a bit of angel food cake?
    I bet it is very soft and nice..
    Have a wonderful spring time!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Doreen,

      This cake doesn't taste like angel food cake or chiffon cake. It tastes more like butter cake with a fluffy and fine texture. With the large egg whites in this cake, it also tastes a little like sponge cake.

      Zoe

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    2. Hi Zoe,
      I really adore you. You really know how to present your food so nice and attractively.
      Oh! If this cake is like butter cake , my mum will love it . I am searching for a cake recipe to make for he birthday.
      Thanks so much dear friend: )

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  23. Hi Zoe,
    Lovely looking cake! Yes, the sweet colour of the pink in the centre makes a very girlie cake!
    I do not know much about Masterchef, only watch about, the most, 4 or 5 of the shows. Will be posting something soon!

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  24. The cake looks very lovely and delicious, need to start finding some masterchef recipes!

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  25. Oh what a lovely cake, Zoe...that pink swirl and the pretty pink icing being some of the best parts! What a great way to kick off spring! : )

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  26. looks so pretty! at first i actually thot there are peaches in the cake or something..! LOL!

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  27. This is such a lovely cake with my favorite color - pastel pink; So SWEET! :)

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  28. Have been so wanting to make this ..you have reminded me to give it a try soon. Great job

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  29. The cake looks so tender, Zoe! And beautiful.

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  30. This is an absolutely charming cake. I just love the soft colors. So, so pretty. A recipe worth trying!

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  31. Out of curiosity, what sort of cup did you use to measure the ingredients, Zoe? The ones used to measure liquid (ie with 250ml marking) or the one for dry ingredients?

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      The cup / spoon measurement that I used is 1 cup = 250ml 1 tbsp = 15ml 1 tsp = 5ml. Cheers!

      Zoe

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