SPONGE CAKE WITH STONE FRUIT

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The more I cook, the more I feel that simple is best.  Simple doesn’t always mean easy, or even uncomplicated – I  mean, this is a sponge cake recipe – but it means that the ingredients are at the forefront, unobscured.  This simple sponge + cream frosting backdrop is perfect for any fruit in the peak of its season: stone fruit now, pears and persimmon in the fall, citrus in the winter, strawberries in the spring. It’s so delicious and all about those fresh, ripe flavors.

SPONGE CAKE WITH STONE FRUIT // The Kitchy Kitchen

SPONGE CAKE WITH STONE FRUIT // The Kitchy Kitchen

SPONGE CAKE WITH STONE FRUIT // The Kitchy Kitchen

INGREDIENTS (SPONGE CAKE)

For one 9 x 13 inch pan or three 9 inch round cake pans

1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted then measured

2 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup eggs whites (about 9 large eggs)

1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, packed

9 egg yolks

1/3 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F. Adjust rack in the lower third of oven.

Grease or spray 2 nonstick 10 inch pans and line the bottom with wax paper.  Grease the paper as well.  Sift flour, half of the sugar (1 cup and 2 tablespoons), and salt into a bowl; set aside.

Whisk egg whites in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer just until frothy. Add cream of tartar; whisk until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cups sugar in a steady  stream, whisking until thicker, stiffer, glossy peaks form – about 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Scoop white into a VERY large bowl (trust me, you’ll need it) and set aside.

In the same bowl you used for the whites, beat the egg yolks with remaining sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes. Add water and beat until thickened, about 4 minutes.  It should be very thick and pale. Pour yolk mixture over whites and gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle a third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture; fold to combine. Repeat two more times just until ingredients are incorporated. Gently pour batter into the pans and level tops with a spatula.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top springs back slightly when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean. Invert pan onto a cooling rack, and cool for about 45 minutes.

To  remove cake from pan, slip a butter knife down one side of pan and slowly trace perimeter to release the cake. When sides are free, cover cake with a rack and invert.  Remove cake pan and the wax paper. Let the cakes cool completely.

INGREDIENTS (WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING)

3 cups heavy whipping cream

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and soft

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Chill a metal or glass bowl in the fridge, then use this bowl to whip you heavy cream to stiff peaks. Careful not to over beat the cream though, as it will curdle if over worked.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese (I used an electric mixer with a paddle attachment), salt, sugar, and vanilla, until very smooth.  Add the whipped cream a third at a time, folding in to combine.

INGREDIENTS (TOPPINGS)

1 white peach, thinly sliced

1 yellow peach, thinly sliced

1 nectarine, thinly sliced

1 plum, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS (TO FINISH THE CAKE)

Put a third of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake, smoothing it out evenly.  Top with a third of the stone fruit slices.  Repeat until all done. Enjoy!