Peach & Lychee Opera Cake
A deceptively simple showstopping dessert that will wow any dinner party guest. Made with Five Valleys Peach & Lychee Cordial.
200g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
200 self-raising flour
¼ tsp almond extract
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
1 tin peach slices
150g granulated sugar
100g white chocolate
60ml double cream
Few slices of tinned peaches
Few lychees from a tin
Few small basil leaves
1. Firstly, make the sponge by creaming the margarine with the caster sugar, then add in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour and almond extract and add a little milk if needed to loosen the mixture.
2. Use a tin about 32cm x 11cm in size and cut these measurements from the sponge into a rough rectangular shape. If you don’t have a tin this size, you can use something smaller or bigger, as long as you increase or decrease the amount of sponge mixture accordingly.
3. Pour in ¼ of the mixture onto a greased and lined baking tray and spread out equally so the mixture is approx.1cm deep max. Bake at 160C for approx.15 minutes until cooked through. Repeat this step until you have four sponges. Put these sponges aside and cover with a tea towel or clingfilm to prevent them drying out.
4. To make the jam, chop up the sliced peaches and place into a heavy-bottomed pan alongside the sugar and heat on medium heat for about 20-30 minutes until the peaches have softened and the mixture becomes has a familiar jam-like consistency. The jam thickens whilst cooling.
5. 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.
6. For the lychee cream, whip up the double cream with the icing sugar until the cream is softly whipped, and then fold in chopped tinned lychees.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. To garnish, top with slices of peach, sliced lychees, and small basil leaves.