Showing posts with label peach cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peach cake. Show all posts

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A peachy cake and contest

Here's a  peachy idea and a comment contest from Victoria Abbott  (aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini)

A peachy little cake and a contest

We admit peaches are not in season here in this part of Canada yet.  None of our local fruit is.  We have to accept that. But for the Victoria Day weekend we had a little party outdoors with the grill and felt that a cake with some fruit would be just the ticket.  This little cake is a bit like a pound cake, a bit dense.  The lime syrup gives it some real zing.   

The peaches in our market seemed to be made of rock, so we used frozen peaches, just thawed, and blueberries.  Both times we made the cake (Mother’s Day and Victoria Day) it didn’t last long.  We look forward to trying it again in peach season.  It will be a regular at our table! 

You will need:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 eggs at room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
Zest of two small limes
2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp icing sugar
3 peaches unpeeled, but sliced or 1 cup frozen peach slices and ½ cup fresh blueberries

Here's how to make it! 

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Butter an 8-in round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Cream butter with ¾ cup sugar at medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk, lime zest and vanilla. Reduce speed to lowest and beat in flour mix until just blended. 
Transfer batter to pan and smooth top.

Bake in center of oven 30 – 35 minutes until a tester comes out clean. 

Boil the lime juice with 2 tablespoons of sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Cool slightly. 

Let cake rest for about 15 minutes and transfer to a rack (remove parchment first) Brush top with the lime syrup. It may not take the whole amount. 

Cool completely. 

Whip the cream with the icing sugar (and a bit of vanilla if you like) until you have soft peaks.
Just before serving slather cream on cake.  Top with peaches and blueberries. Or you could use strawberries - lots of options! 

 Help us celebrate!

Something else we think is just peachy is the approaching release of The Wolfe Widow, book three in our book collector series.

    Pre-order it here!

 We're celebrating with a draw for this Wolfe Widow mug.  All you have to do is leave a comment here!

Walter the Pug looks great on the cover. He's a dead ringer for Peachy, seen here in her tutu, dressed to kill for the launch of The Sayers Swindle.

 Come over and friend Victoria Abbott on Facebook
Tell  her  you love the pug!
and check out Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Abbott

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just Peachy!

For quite a while, I've been promising to tell you a little bit about my new series. The Paws & Claws Mysteries take place on fictional Wagtail Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Believe it or not, Wagtail is a real word. What do you guess it might mean?

a) a happy dog
b) a dog tail with particularly long feathery fur
c) a genus of bird
d) a type of fish

I'll tell you the answer below!

But back to Wagtail. It was once a thriving resort where people went to take the waters. Now that we don't do that anymore, the town has had to reinvent itself, and Wagtail has gone to the dogs -- and cats. Literally. It has become the premier vacation spot for people who want to travel with their animals. Cats and dogs are welcome in the restaurants and inns. There are special menus for them (and yes, there will be recipes for dogs and people in the books). Wagtail offers just about everything cats and dogs could want on vacation. Special trails, birdwatching, massages, grooming, acupuncture, and of course, pet psychics to tell their human moms and dads how Fluffy and Fido feel. There's even a daily Yappy Hour (for the people).

Holly Miller's grandmother owns the Sugar Maple Inn on Wagtail Mountain. I won't give away all the details, but can you imagine living in a place where someone else does the cooking and cleaning every day? Holly is adopted by Twinkletoes, a calico kitten, and Trixie, a Jack Russell Terrier, who help her sniff out murderers. The first book, MURDER, SHE BARKED will be out December 3rd.

I had Holly and her grandmother on the brain when I finally saw fresh peaches for sale at the market. This is the just the sort of thing they would serve at the inn for afternoon tea, except with a dollop of whipped cream!

The recipe reminded me of my mother's Danish Apple Cake. Similar dough and similar cinnamon sugar topping, but made with peaches. It was published in the Houston Chronicle. Nanny Fraioli's family obviously takes great pride in her cake. The similarities between the two cakes are so striking that I can imagine housewives all over Europe baking similar cakes for their families as the harvest came in. They must have used whatever fruit happened to be plentiful at the time. Naturally, I had to try it.

It tastes a lot like the Danish Apple Cake. Neither of the cakes are as sweet or sugary as American cakes, but they don't need to be because they're showcasing the fruit. It's great to know this version can be made with peaches! I used butter instead of margarine, and when I make it again, I'll use a food processor to make the dough. It's quite sticky, so I sprinkled a little bit of flour on my hands to assist in spreading it out. I used parchment paper in the bottom of a rimmed 11 x 16 baking sheet. Purists may prefer to grease the pan with butter instead. I used 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon on top. The ingredients, with the exception of butter instead of margarine are Nanny Fraioli's, but the instructions are what I did. It will take 7 to 8 peaches.

Nanny Fraioli's Peach Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
4 1/2 tablespoons margarine (not spread), melted (plus more to dot on cake)
1 egg
Fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 375. Line an 11 x 16 rimmed baking pan with parchment paper (or grease with butter).

Melt 4 1/2 tablespoons butter and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Crack the egg into a liquid measuring cup, and fill with milk to the 3/4 mark. Combine the butter, flour mixture and milk/egg and mix together. It will be sticky. Press into the prepared pan with your fingers. Don't worry if it's not perfect. You can add just a bit of flour to reduce the stickiness, but too much will make it tough.

Peel the peaches and slice. Lay them in the pan, overlapping them slightly.

Dot the peaches with 1 tablespoon of butter, cut into 16 tiny pieces. Mix the cinnamon with the sugar and sprinkle over the peaches.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bottom begins to turn golden brown.

So what's a Wagtail?
Which answer did you choose?
It's C, a genus of slender birds with long tails that they wag up and down.
Who knew? I didn't!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brunch Peach Cake ala Krista, but Gluten-free

From Daryl aka Avery: I have been scouring cookbooks lately for my next Cookbook Nook mystery, but there’s always one place I return to for a good recipe. 

Here. This blog.

I was in the mood for a breakfast sweet. With peaches. I ADORE PEACHES. I know peaches aren’t quite in season, but they’re in the bins at the store, and adding sugar seems to make the difference…

I remembered a peach cake that Krista made and I had to make it.

So I went to our recipe index. [See it on the left?] It’s easy to use, by category.

However, if you don’t find what you want there {hmm, scratching head, I didn’t find it…} then you can scan the words down the right column to see if a recipe you remember was “tagged.” It was! Under peach cake.

Here’s the link:  Krista’sPeach Cake.

Now, many of you know I can’t eat gluten (wheat flour and assorted related items). So I challenged myself to make this gluten-free. I did, and it was delicious!  Thank you, Krista.

served with Camembert Cheese


canola oil
2 cups sliced peaches, washed and picked over
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used nonfat)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup gluten-free flour [I used sweet rice flour mixed with tapioca flour]
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped cream (optional)
Camembert slices (optional)
Extra peach slices for decoration


Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan with the canola oil. Mix the peaches with the sugar and a light sprinkle of cinnamon. Let stand.

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, add the milk and then the melted butter. Beat well. Mix the baking powder with the salt, gluten-free flour and xanthan gum, and add to the egg mixture. Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat one last time.

Arrange the peaches on the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Pour the batter over top of the peaches.

Bake 30 minutes. Cool on a rack and refrigerate until set. Loosen edges gently until you can flip it over onto a cake plate.

Serve with whipped cream and/or Camembert slices.

[Note: I used fresh peaches. I’m not sure what frozen peaches would do. Krista, do you know? I also made this same cake using fresh berries and it was delicious, so I would bet any fresh fruit of the season would do!]

Happy Memorial Day [week] to all our veterans and families of veterans.
You do and have done so much for us.
I hope, one day, our country will return the favor
in a speedy fashion!!

* * * *

* * * * * * *

The first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is coming
July 2013!! It's set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California and features Jenna Hart, a "recovering" ad exec who returns home to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and cafe.

You can pre-order the book HERE.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out
You can order the book HERE. 

Daryl and Avery are the same author.

You can learn more about Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

You can follow and "like"and chat with my alter ego Avery Aames the same way:  Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Farmhouse Peach Cake

Would you believe that this is the third peach cake I've made this summer?  I haven't liked any of them until this one!  Some of them were prettier, but this one has the flavor that I wanted.  It's pure late summer sweetness.  The bottom is a little bit dry and not so sweet, which is actually a perfect balance to the very sweet and juicy fruit.  I served it with whipped cream, but honestly, I was perfectly happy to gobble it up plain.

This isn't the gorgeous peach cake you would make for company, but I'll bet anything your kids will eat their fruit if you make it this way.  It disappeared fast at my house.

The peaches are terrific.  I used figs as well, and to be honest, next time I'll probably use berries with the peaches or just peaches alone since they really are the star of this cake.

Peeling peaches is very easy if you slip them into boiling water for about two minutes.  The peels come off perfectly.  If you don't want to do that, just peel them with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler.

Note: This needs to be baked a day before serving to give the fruit juices time to set. 

Farmhouse Peach Cake

8x8 baking dish or 8-inch deep dish pie pan

1 tablespoon butter for the pan

3-4 peaches
1 lemon
2/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon flour

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
4 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Grease the baking dish with butter.

Peel and slice the peaches. Toss with the juice of the lemon.  Melt the butter (I used the microwave in short blasts).  Add the sugar, nutmeg, flour, and 3 tablespoons melted butter to the peaches and toss to coat.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat the egg with the sugar.  Add the milk, melted butter and vanilla and beat.

Place the fruit in the baking dish in a pleasing pattern, overlapping the peach slices.  When you have completely covered the bottom with fruit, pour the remaining liquid over top of it.  Then slowly pour the batter over the fruit in a thin ribbon so that you cover all the fruit as much as possible.  There may be a small part along the edges that isn't covered, and that's okay.

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until the fruit bubbles and the top is golden brown.

Do not turn out of the pan!  Allow to cool.  Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.  When cold, run a knife around the edges and press gently to loosen.  Top with a plate and flip.

Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream, creme fraiche, or clotted cream.