Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides for easy unmolding. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
Slice peaches in half, starting and ending at the stem of the fruit. Twist each peach half in opposite directions to separate the halves. Carefully remove pits; if necessary use a sharp paring knife to loosen or carve the pit from the flesh. Repeat process with the remaining peaches.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, water, strips of lemon zest, and salt. Place onto medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Stir in the vanilla extract and carefully lower peaches into the simple syrup. Use a ladle to spoon the hot syrup into the cavities of the peaches. Place a parchment round (cut to the size of the saucepan used) over the peaches and poaching liquid. This helps to keep the peaches submerged while it gently simmers; 5 to 8 minutes, or until a sharp knife can easily pierce and slide out of the fruit.
Remove saucepan from heat and allow peaches to cool to room temperature in the syrup.
Gently remove and discard skins from the peach halves. Transfer peach halves and cooled syrup to a bowl and place in the fridge to chill; at least 1 hour.
With a slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches from the poaching liquid; reserve the poaching liquid.
With a sharp knife, cut each peach half into 6 slices and place into a dish. Place peaches and the poaching liquid back into the fridge until needed.
In a medium, high-sided bowl or container, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the reserved poaching liquid, lemon juice, and the Redpath® Icing Sugar.
Using an immersion blender, blend until raspberries are completely broken down and smooth.
Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl or airtight container, strain the raspberry mixture, pushing the liquid through the sieve using a spatula or spoon; discard seeds. Store the raspberry coulis in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (see Chef’s Tips), whip the heavy cream until slightly thickened.
Sift the Redpath® Icing Sugar over the surface of the cream. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Whip at medium-low speed until the sugar is incorporated into the cream, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until medium to stiff peaks form; do not over whip.
Remove the chilled loaf pan from fridge. With a small offset spatula, evenly spread about ⅔ cup of the chantilly cream onto the base of the lined loaf pan.
Place 2 cups (500 ml) of the remaining poaching syrup into a shallow dish. Dip cookies into the poaching syrup and add a layer of dipped cookies over the cream, breaking or cutting cookies in half or in quarters to fill any large gaps. Place another layer of chantilly cream, about ¾ cup, over the cookies. Place 16 peach slices over the cream and sprinkle the peaches with ⅔ cup of the fresh raspberries.
Repeat process until there are 7 layers of chantilly cream, 4 layers of cookies (the last layer being cookies), and 3 layers of fruit (peaches and raspberries). There should be about ¾ cup chantilly cream left over; cover and place into the fridge.
Cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil and place into the fridge to chill; minimum 8 hours, but preferably overnight to make slicing easier.
Remove foil. Ensure the parchment overhangs are hanging on the sides of the loaf pan. Place a platter over the loaf pan. With a hand underneath the loaf pan and a hand securing the platter over the pan, carefully flip the pan and platter together. Carefully pull the pan away from the cake. Peel off the parchment paper.
With a whisk, re-whip the leftover chantilly cream. Spread the chantilly cream over the top and, if desired, the sides of the cake (see Chef’s Tips).
Drizzle the top of the cake with the raspberry coulis. Slice and serve. Garnish with peaches and/or raspberries, if desired.
Spoon raspberry coulis onto a plate, place a slice of the cake onto the coulis. Garnish with peaches and/or raspberries, if desired.
Place a slice of the cake onto a plate. Drizzle slice with the raspberry coulis and garnish with peaches and/or raspberries, if desired.
*Make this dessert the day before or at least 8 hours before serving, as it will benefit from the time it sits in the fridge to allow the Maria cookies to soften fully.
*Whenever possible, use freestone peaches if they are available versus clingstone peaches, as pitting clingstone peaches can be cumbersome.
*Maria cookies (also called Marie biscuits) can be replaced with rich tea biscuits, digestive cookies, graham crackers, or even vanilla wafers. Use the total weight of cookies rather than the number since these cookies are all different sizes. When using a thinner or more porous cookie, dipping the cookies in the poaching syrup is optional.
*Chill the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk attachment for at least 15 minutes in the freezer before whipping the heavy cream; this helps the fat globules in the cream whip up more quickly, and the cream will hold its shape longer.
*Leftover poaching syrup can be used to moisten cake layers, drizzle over pound cake, ice cream, or plain yogurt, toss into a fruit salad, or add to sparkling water or tea.
*After frosting the cake with the remaining chantilly cream, place it into the freezer for 20 minutes to “set” the chantilly cream and help make cutting the cake easier.
*Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar can be substituted for the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, though note that the resulting cake will have stronger undertones of caramel and a slightly darker syrup.