Crema de fruta (meaning cream of fruit) is a Filipino trifle consisting of a sponge cake base, custard , fruits and gelatine. I converted it into a gateau because it makes a nicer presentation. This is my favourite cake and is the cake I most often make when there's an occasion. It is not too rich and actually is quite refreshing because of the fruit and the jelly.
Filipino desserts are sometimes too sweet or all sweet. Adding fruit gives a welcome tangy twist. I used tinned peaches, bananas and strawberries but any fruit of your choice will do. The juice of the tinned fruit is used for making the jelly. The amount is more than the usual jelly glaze. If you use fresh fruits, just substitute that with any fruit juice and add sugar to taste. Give the gelatine time to set properly. I usually make the cake a day ahead and frost it on the day I'm going to serve it.
Ingredients for the cake:
1 c. plain flour
2 tbsps. corn flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
4 eggs, separated
1/4 c. water
2 tbsps. lemon juice
1/4tsp. cream of tartar
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F /180°C. Line the bottom of three 9" diameter cake pans with baking paper. Set aside.
Sift the flour, corn flour, baking powder, salt and 6 tbsps. of the sugar in a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center and to it add the egg yolks, oil, water and lemon juice.
Gently mix with a whisk, beginning from the center and slowly incorporating the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth and well blended.
Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the rest of the sugar gradually, while beating, until the mixture is stiff but not dry.
Add of dollop egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture and blend. This will slacken the egg yolk mixture and will make it easier to combine the two mixtures.
Add all of the egg yolk mixture to the rest of the egg white mixture and fold gently until well combined.
Divide the mixture into the 3 prepared baking pans. Give each a sharp tap against a level surface to eliminate large air bubbles and to distribute the mixture evenly.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Invert into baking racks and cool in the pans.
Ingredients for the custard:
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 c. milk
1 can of condensed milk
5 egg yolks
2 tbsps. butter
1 tsp. rum flavouring or vanilla extract
Mix the sugar and flour in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the milk while whisking. Add the condensed milk and egg yolks.
Cook on low heat until thick.
Take off the heat and add the butter and the flavouring.
Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with a disc of baking paper to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate when cooled.
Ingredients for the fruit and jelly topping:
1 tin of peach halves or slices, drain and reserve the juice
about 8 strawberries
1 tbsp. lemon juice plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. unflavoured gelatin
1/4 c. water
2 tbsps. sugar
1 c. reserved peach juice or any juice
Cut up three strawberries and half of a peach into cubes. Slice the bananas and mix with the lemon juice and sugar mixture to prevent it from browning.
Slice the rest of the strawberries and peaches for the topping.
Set aside 3 tbsps. of the peach juice for brushing the cake layers.
Put the gelatine in a small bowl and add 2 tbsps. of the water to make it swell.
Mix the rest of the water (2tbsps.) with the sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Take off the heat and add the gelatine. Stir until the gelatine is fully dissolved then add the juice. Leave to cool and thicken slightly (consistency should be like that of an egg white). Ice cubes could be added to the juice to make the 1 c. needed to quicken this process.
To assemble the cake:
All the ingredients must be cooled before you assemble.
Brush the cakes with the reserved 2 tbsps. of peach juice. Spread one half of the custard on the bottom cake layer and add half of the cubed peaches and strawberries and a few slices of the banana.
Top with another cake and do the same, using up the rest of the custard filling. Top with the last cake layer.
Arrange the fruits decoratively on top of the cake. Make sure the cake surface is completely covered with fruits so that the jelly is not absorbed into the cake.
Wrap foil around the cake and fasten with sticky tape or use a cake ring. This will hold everything in place as the jelly sets. Pour the cooled and slightly thick gelatine gently over the arranged fruits. Prick any bubbles with a toothpick.
Refrigerate until set.
This can be done a day ahead.
To finish the cake:
Whip 300 mls. (about 1 1/4 c.) of thick (double) cream and 1/2 c. icing sugar together until thick and fluffy. Ice the cake part of the gateau but leave the fruit topping bare. You can add more fruits on top for decoration. Enjoy.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
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