Peach and lychee opera cake

Peach and lychee opera cake


1. Cream margarine with caster sugar, then add eggs, one at a time. Fold in flour and almond extract, adding a little milk if needed.
2. Pour 1/4 onto a greased and lined baking tray, spreading to approx.1cm (1/3in) deep. Bake at 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Make 4 sponges this way, cut to 32 x 11cm (12 1/2 x 4 1/2in), then wrap in clingfilm and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, chop the peaches and place over medium heat with the granulated sugar. Cook for 20-30 minutes to make jam.
4. Cream the butter and 120g (4oz) icing sugar together, then mix in the cordial.
5. Separately, whip 300ml (1/2pt) double cream with 20g (3/4oz) icing sugar, then fold in lychees.
6. Microwave the remaining cream in short bursts, until it boils. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Chill to cool.
7. To assemble, spread one sponge with a few tablespoons of jam. Place another on top and spread with buttercream. Add the third sponge, spread with lychee cream, then top with the final sponge. Pour over chocolate ganache then chill for 1 hour.
8. Trim the cake edges with a sharp knife. Garnish with leftover peaches, lychees, and some basil.

Recipe by Ali Imdad from GBBO in conjunction with Five Valleys Cordials.
Made with Five Valleys Cordial, available from Waitrose.


Don't worry if your jam is a tad runny – it will thicken as it cools


200g (7oz) margarine
200g (7oz) caster sugar
3 medium eggs
200g (7oz) self-raising flour
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tin peach slices
150g (5oz) granulated sugar
70g (23/4oz) softened, unsalted butter
140g (43/4oz) icing sugar
70ml (23/4fl.oz) peach and lychee cordial
360ml (121/2fl.oz) double cream
1/2 tin lychees, chopped
100g (31/2oz) white chocolate
Few slices peaches and lychees, reserved, plus basil leaves to garnish


Time: 2 1/2 hours, including chilling time
Serves: 10
Nutrition: 771 calories, 47g fat, 22g sat. fat