These pretty little cakes are a great favorite in Croatia at gatherings for family and friends. They are a cross between a sponge and a cookie and are sandwiched with a peach jam, cocoa and rum filling. Little peach cakes are also popular in Italy where they have a custard filling flavored with peach brandy and are known as Tortine di pesche.
Serves 20 | Preparation time 1 hour | Cooking time 14 minutes
Ingredients for the cake mixture
- 150g unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 100g caster sugar 2 eggs, beaten
- 400g plain flour
- ¾tsp baking powder
- 3tbsp lemon juice
Ingredients for the filling
- 6tbsp peach jam
- 1tsp cocoa powder
- 2tbsp chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1tbsp dark rum or milk
Ingredients for decorating
- Yellow and red liquid food colorings
- Caster or granulated sugar, for coating
To make the cakes, beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a tablespoon of the flour to prevent the mixture curdling.
Sieve in the rest of the flour with the baking powder and stir in with the lemon juice. Bring the mixture together with your hands, kneading it lightly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan 170°C)/gas 5. Pull off small pieces of the cake mixture and roll them with your hands into 40 walnut-sized balls.
Divide the balls between the baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes or until they are lightly colored underneath but not brown on top. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool and then carefully cut out the center of the base of each cake using the point of a sharp knife. Crush the pieces you have removed into crumbs with a rolling pin and set aside to add to the filling.
To make the filling, mix together the peach jam, cocoa powder, hazelnuts and rum or milk until evenly combined and then stir in the crumbs. Set aside.
To decorate the cakes, dilute the yellow and red food colorings with a little cold water. Using a small soft paintbrush, brush a little yellow color over the cake halves, followed by the red, blending the colors together to resemble the skin of fresh peaches.
Spread out caster or granulated sugar on a plate and roll the painted cake halves in it before the food coloring dries. Sandwich the cake halves together in pairs with the filling.