5 medium peaches, blanched, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/3 cup brown sugar (more for less ripe peaches)
juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz. mascarpone, cold
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
pinch sea salt
1.2 oz freeze-dried raspberries, processed to a powdered and sifted to remove majority of seeds
Preheat the oven to 325F. Line 3 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the brown sugar and 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl (or measuring cup) whisk together the egg yolks, oil, buttermilk and almond extract. Set aside.
Add the egg whites to the bowl of a clean stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and gradually increase the speed to high, whipping until the egg whites form very soft peaks.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a slow stream. Turn the mixer back to high and whip until the whites hold firm, shiny peaks. Set aside for a moment.
Add the wet ingredients (yolk mixture) to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
Using a spatula, very gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter until incorporated, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake until cakes are springy (they will not brown much) and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack to room temperature before removing cakes from the pans.
In a medium saucepan, combine the peaches, brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium low heat until peaches have broken down and mixture is thick and jam-like, about 20 minutes. (It will thicken more as it cools, so dont let it go too far.)
Stir in the vanilla then remove from the heat and let cool.
Add cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the mascarpone, cream and confectioners sugar and beat on low until combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
Turn the mixer to high and beat for 1-2 minutes until smooth and thick.
In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmer water.
Gently whisk the mixture until it hot to the touch, or 130F on a candy thermometer. Once temperature is reached, transfer the mixture to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
Whip the mixture on medium high until tripled in volume (4-5 minutes) then turn the mixer to low and continue to mix until the bowl is cool to the touch (another 4-5 minutes).
Kick the mixer back up to medium-high and add the butter one cube at a time, adding the next just as the previous one has been incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
At some point during this process, its possible that your buttercream will take on a curdled appearance -- dont worry, this is normal. Keep on going and the buttercream will eventually come together.
Once all butter in incorporated, add the raspberry powder and turn the mixer to high for another 30 seconds or until buttercream is fluffy and creamy and the raspberry is distributed throughout.
Place one layer of cake on your serving dish. Top with a layer of mascarpone filling and then a layer of peach compote. Top with another layer of cake and repeat. Once the top layer of the cake has been added, place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set up.
Once chilled frost the outside of the cake with a very thin layer of buttercream. This is known as the crumb coat and will keep any crumbs from sneaking into the final layer of frosting. Place in the refrigerator again to firm up.
Once your crumb coat is firm, finish frosting the cake with nice, thick layer of raspberry buttercream. Top with fresh peaches and raspberries just before serving.