I love peaches. I have been thinking about a peach dessert since I got the August Cucina Italiana. They had a beautifully presented "Meringata with Peaches in Syrup" that was my inspiration for this recipe. Mine looks a lot like this, but the bottom and middle layers are completely different.
For the cake (bottom) layer, I used a butter recipe yellow cake mix, substituting peach juice for the water, and baked it according to package directions, using two 9" springform pans. (I froze one layer for another time.) After cooling the cake for 5 minutes, I poked holes, and infused it with some Amaretto.
Next, I made a peach mousse layer:
Add one cup of boiling water to a 3 oz. package of peach jello (I used half od a 6 oz package).
In a blender or food processor, blend 3 fresh, sliced, peeled peaches with 2 T. honey and 1 T. almond extract. Add to hot jello. Chill for 1 1/2 hours.
Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream (may substitute Cool Whip here). Beat chilled peach puree-gelatin mixture on high speed for 4-5 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Chill for 1 hour. (At this point, you may spoon into glasses for a light, refreshing dessert all by itself.)
After mousse has chilled for an hour, carefully spread over cake layer. Chill again before decorating with fruit.
Peaches in syrup:
The recipe says to combine 3 cups of water with 1 1/4 cup sugar, and boil whole peaches for 3 minutes. I used 4 cups of water (to cover them in my pan), and reduced sugar to 1 cup. If I made this again, I would only boil the peaches for 2 minutes.
Cool, drain, remove pit, and slice into thirds.
Garnish top of cake with peaches, berries, meringues (I bought mine at Trader Joe's), or dollops of whipped cream, mint leaves, and powdered sugar.