Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Peach Upside down Cake with Rosemary and Black Pepper

Friends were stopping by after dinner for a glass of wine, so I decided to make some kind of cake to enjoy with the wine. There were 3 peaches sitting in the fruit bowl, and lots of fresh rosemary in the garden...

I had made this cake before, but with pecans and peaches. I switched out the pecans for some chopped fresh rosemary, and at the last minute decided that some cracked black pepper would enhance the sweetness of the peaches. And it did!!!

Start off by pre-heating the oven to 325F and lining the bottom of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment, then sprinkle with sugar, about 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary and a light sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper.

Peel 2 fresh peaches and remove the pits. If they are ripe enough the skin will peel off easily just by pulling it with a knife. I prefer this to a quick blanching in boiling water, then immersing the peaches in ice water. It is way too easy to leave them in the hot water too long and end up with cooked peaches.

You will only need 1 1/2 peaches; eat the other half and enjoy it! Slice the peaches into 1/4" thick slices and lay them on top of the sugar, rosemary and black pepper.

Set this aside while you make the batter. Using a stand mixer cream:

4 oz soft butter
3/4 cup sugar

Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla, scraping the bowl down in between.

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)

Mix until just combined.

Add :

1/4 cup non fat plain Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons milk

Mix until just combined, scraping the bowl down halfway.

Spread the batter evenly over the peaches, being careful not to disturb the peach slices.

Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, until golden, and a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean and dry.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before gently removing the ring, then flipping the cake over onto a plate and carefully removing the bottom of the pan, and then the parchment paper.

This was a hit, everyone loved it, the rosemary and pepper really complimented the sweetness of the peaches. It was a lovely way to end a summer evening, watching the sunset and sipping wine on the patio with friends.

Other alternatives:

  • Nectarines, apples, pineapple, plums...all will work well.
  • If the idea of the rosemary doesn't appeal to you, use roughly chopped nuts instead.
  • Use sour cream instead of the yoghurt.
  • Feel free to use brown sugar instead of white, and add dark rum to the batter instead of 2 tablespoons of milk.
  • Spice up the cake batter with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger or nutmeg.
  • Drizzle the finished cake with caramel sauce, melted chocolate or serve with whipped cream, mascarpone or ice cream.

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