Nectarine Mousse Cake
There is an upcoming competition on desserts at work. So I am testing this recipe first before I make my entry. Let's hope I win because I actually think it turned out good enough -- a couple of things to improve, but mainly cosmetic issues. The cake is a classic French genoise -- no chemical (like baking powder) or biological (yeast) rising. The cake is purely risen based on the air bubbles beaten into the batter. It has just sugar, eggs, clarified butter, flour, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt. The final product has 2 layers of cake, with a nectarine mousse in between and on top, a peach glaze on the very top, and toasted cake crumbs on its sides. The recipe is adapted from the Gourmet Cookbook.
To make the nectarine mousse, first a nectarine puree must be made. Fresh chunks of nectarine is cooked with sugar and water, pureed , strained, and mixed with melted gelatin. the other part is whipped heavy cream (just slightly less beaten than the soft-peak stage)
This didn't show up very well in the picture. But the two combined to yield a beautiful pale orange-colored mousse.
Here the picture shows the 2 main cake layers, the trimming of the top of the cake to be made into crumbs, an imbibing syrup made with sugar, water, and peach schnapps, and the mousse.
Genoise really tastes better when imbibed, and it can REALLY soak up a lot of syrup. The cake layers were baked in a 9.5" pan. The assembly is done in a 10" pan, so that the mousse completely encases the cakes.
Here's a close-up after the first layer is completely covered with mousse, and the second layer is placed and imbibed. Then the rest of the mousse goes in, gets smoothed, and is refrigerated for 2 hours. A glaze is made with peach preserve, water, and gelatin. That gets poured onto the cold cake. After another hour of chilling, the cake is unmolded and cake crumbs pressed onto the sides. It is a very pretty cake.