Almost all of the fruits and vegetables I buy are sourced from within Britain. This respect for locally produced, quality ingredients helps keep my kitchen frugal and fresh. But very occasionally, this rule is broken – as rules are made to be – and a certain item will tempt me across the Channel and into Europe. The doughnut peaches in my Caramelised Peach Cake were too much to refuse.
The doughnut peach is a relatively new craze in Britain. Flatter, sweeter and with almost nutty notes of flavour, they lend themselves better to almost all applications than a good ol’ “regular” peach. Even their skin is thinner and more pleasant, making their unadulterated form a fine choice.
One particularly popular use for the doughnut peach, given its sweetness, is in everyone’s favourite Italian fruit cocktail; the Bellini. But let’s not end our affiliation with such a fine juicy fruit just yet. Especially not when it makes such a fine addition to a delicately flavoured almond sponge. The peach is, after all, a distant cousin of the almond; a perfect pairing.
My recipe for caramelised peach cake itself is an excruciatingly simple one; delicately flavoured, but rustic all the same. There are no fancy frills. Who needs ‘em? Simply a delicious, moist sponge filled with decadently prepared fruit of the highest order. In need of icing? Look elsewhere!
Caramelised Peach Cake
Makes 1 tray cake (22x22cm)
for the sponge:
- 180g butter, softened
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp ground almonds, heaped
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 180g self-raising flour
for the peaches:
- 4 doughnut peaches, in rough chunks
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 25g butter
- Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Once melted, stir through the sugar and cook until you have achieved a golden-brown caramel.
- Add the peaches and cook for a few minutes, until the fruit has taken on some of the caramel colour. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C(fan). Grease and line a 22x22cm square baking tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Incorporate the eggs one by one, before stirring through the almonds and sour cream.
- Gently fold the flour through the batter. Transfer half of the cake mixture to the prepared tin and spoon in half of the peaches.
- Add the remaining cake batter to the top of the peaches and press any remaining fruit into the surface.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. Once cooked through, leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely.
Cost: Now we’re getting into summer doughnut peaches can be bought for relatively little. We managed to pick up 12 for £1.50! That means that this delicious caramelised peach cake shouldn’t set you back much more than £2.70.