Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fresh Peach Cake

Ok, I'm just going to admit this now - I watch the food network when I work out. I know this sounds more or less, oxymoronic, but I get some pretty good ideas while sweating like an animal (maybe part of it is drool?). That and Tuesdays are the best - Cupcake Wars is on.  Monday's are not bad either since there is a new show called Tough Cookies. Has anyone seen it? That crazy Susan is awesome! Anyways, I've gotten some great ideas while watching the food channel at the gym, including this cake. A few weekends ago while getting my sweat on, I turned on the TV and there was Barefoot Contessa  She made some delicious items on that episode (everything she makes is fabulous), but this fresh peach cake really stuck out. It's one of those summer recipes that screams "make me"! And who doesn't have fresh peaches around their house in the summer? My dad called me this week to tell me he had a ton of peaches that were going to go bad if they were not used soon and he knew I would be able to use them. Boy was he right. If you don't have fresh peaches, I think frozen would be just fine (but of course fresh is always best!). That and you could mix it up too - use apples, berries or even pears!

After trying this creation, I think it could be both a dessert and a breakfast/brunch item. If you serve it for dessert, I would serve it with a scoop of your favorite ice cream (vanilla bean would go great with this so you can really taste those peaches!). If you make it for breakfast or brunch, I think this would go best with a good cup of coffee or tea and maybe some fruit salad on the side. Mine was a little drier then I would have liked, but maybe that's the coffee cake like consistency it was suppose to be. Maybe I should "Ask Ina" (does anyone get this?). The recipe says to bake for 45-55 minutes, but mine was definitely still wiggly in the middle at that point and not any where close to being done. It took over and hour for it to be fully set and done. Next time I think I'll take it out at 55 minutes and just let it finish cooking with the residual heat of the pan.

Needless to say, this is a great summer time cake that will be a crowd pleaser for any meal of the day!

Now, let's get on to cake! 

you want to make sure your peaches are ripe - not too hard, not too soft.

Jess peeling the peaches. She has skills.

sliced peaches and cinnamon sugar ready for the filling and topping!

mixing the eggs, butter and sugar together.

#1 tip for this cake - use parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. It will be SO much easier to get out and much prettier for presentation and serving.

layering the peaches. you might want to use your hands to try to spread the first layer of cake batter. it was a little sticky and I was getting frustrated with my spatula.

more batter and more peaches. this time topped with cinnamon sugar and pecans.

finally baked and cooling!

BONUS photo - I scored two Ina Garten cookbooks at Costco for a killer price. She has awesome recipes and are relatively easy and always taste great. I have yet to try one that was bad!

Are you ready to make the cake now? Here's what you'll need...

Fresh Peach Cake (from Barefoot Contessa's "How Easy is That?")

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat - this is what I used)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.

Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans. 

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes (note, mine too well over an hour, so keep an eye on your cake and your oven!) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Doesn't that sounds delicious? Well, it was. Now to find time to make the fresh peach ice cream that is marked in that cookbook. Yum!

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