Peach & Lychee Opera Cake
200g margarine or butter
200g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour
¼ tsp almond extract
1 tin peach slices
150g granulated sugar
Peach & Lychee Buttercream:
70g softened unsalted butter
120g icing sugar
70ml Five Valleys Peach & Lychee Cordial
Lychee Chantilly Cream:
300ml double cream
20g icing sugar
½ tin of tinned lychees
100g white chocolate
60ml double cream
Few slices of tinned peaches
Few lychees from a tin
Few small basil leaves
1. Grease and line a baking tin about 32cm x 11cm in size and pre-heat the oven to 160C.
2. Make the sponge by creaming the margarine/butter with the caster sugar, then add in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour and almond extract. Add a little milk if needed to loosen the mixture.
3. Pour a quarter of the mixture into the baking tray and spread out evenly. The mixture should be a maximum of 1 cm deep.
4. Bake the sponge for approx.15 minutes until cooked through. Turn the sponge out to cool on a wire rack and cover with a tea towel to prevent it drying out.
5. Repeat this step until you have four sponges.
6. To make the jam, chop up the sliced peaches and place in a heavy-bottomed pan with the sugar. Place on a medium heat for about 20-30 minutes until the peaches have softened and the mixture has a familiar jam-like consistency. The jam will thicken as it cools.
7. To make the buttercream, simply cream the butter and icing sugar together, then add in the cordial and continue to mix until it is all combined.
8. For the lychee cream, whip up the double cream with the icing sugar until the cream is softly whipped. Then fold in the chopped tinned lychees.
9. For the ganache, warm up the double cream in a microwave in 30 second bursts until it begins to boil. Add in the white chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted. Refrigerate to allow it to cool and set slightly.
10. To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges on a board, then add a few large tablespoons of jam. Spread evenly, ensuring it reaches the edges – it doesn’t matter if the jam spills over. Add another sponge on top of this and repeat with the peach and lychee buttercream. Place a third sponge and then a layer of the lychee cream. Finally add the final sponge and drizzle over the ganache, ensuring it covers the entire top of the sponge. Put this into the fridge to set for an hour.
11. After an hour, take your opera cake out of the fridge and with a sharp knife, trim off the edges of the cake on all four sides about ½ cm in. This will give you crisp, neat lines, highlighting the layers.
12. To garnish, top with slices of peach, sliced lychees, and small basil leaves.
Recipe courtesy of Five Valleys Cordials