Im sure you will excuse my over eagnerness though, as with summer coming through in California (and San Francisco's "summer" thankfully still not making an appearance), the markets are full of stonefruit, which, after the beach and buying new summer sandals, is my favourite thing about summer. So, in lieu of the traditional raspberry jam, I made nectarine curd, then stirred through some fresh mint in the whipped cream, et voila, an afternoon tea standby is elevated to a celebration of summer - and too much time on a saturday afternoon.
I chose nectarines mainly because they were the cheapest at 1.99 a pound, but imagine if you will, peach curd, or even better, flat peach curd, or plum curd, apricot curd, pineapple curd, mango curd....the delicious list goes on and on...please go ahead and "make this cake your own" :)
Necatrine Curd and Mint Cream Victoria Sponge
Makes one 8 inch diameter, 3 layer cake
300 grams caster sugar
300 grams butter at room temperature
300 grams plain flour, sifted
3 tsp baking flour
4 tbsp milk
pinch of salt
Extra butter and flour to grease and flour the tins.
First, get the boring bit out of the way, and grease with butter then flour the sides of three 8 or 9 inch cake tins. In the bottom of the tins place round pieces of baking paper (using a smudge of butter to stick it in place if needed).
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, around 5 minutes in a stand beater or electric hand beater.
Add in the eggs one at a time and beat to combine. If the mixture begins to curdle from the eggs, put a few tablespoons of flour into it at this stage. Beat in remaining ingredients, just enough to combine.
Divide the batter between 2 greased and floured 8 or 9 inch cake tins.
Bake at 180 deg c for 15-20 minutes.
6 nectarines, peeled and flesh cut into around 1cm peices a,d blended until smooth in a food processor or blender.
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 egg yolks
110 grams sugar
150 unsalted butter
Place the blended nectarine, lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks into a saucepan, stirring constantly cook for around 8-10 minutes, until sugar has disolved and mixture has thickened.
Take off the heat and whisk in the butter. Place back on heat for a further 5 minutes, then cool in the fridge until has set a bit more.
250ml heavy cream/double cream/whipping cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Beat all of the above ingredients together until cream is whipped. Voila, possible the simplist instructions ever.
Nectarine slices, strawberry slices, mint leaves, tossed around at will
To assemble the cake, place the first cake on a large cake plate or cake stand. Cover with 1/3 of the nectarine curd, but leaving about 1cm around the edge (this is so when you layer the other cakes on top the filling wont all splurt out like mine did). Do the same with the cream. At this stage feel free to add some finely sliced strawberrys. Repeat with the next layer. For the final layer and top of the cake, cover in just cream, then add small dollops of curd on top, spreading it around lightly to achieve swirly patterns, with the back of a teaspoon. Garnish with slices of nectarines, strawberrys and mint leaves in your most creative fashion.