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Monday, August 23, 2010

Heavenly Petite Peach Cakes
















There is something about a peach that brings out many emotions for me.
The sweet juicy taste of your first summer peach means endless hours of summer fun. I remember long lazy days with my sisters by the river. I remember my first crush on the boy down the street. I remember fresh cut grass. I remember my youngest sister dancing in the summer rain.

It also conjures up emotions of my first summers at the lake with Patrick. Red wet suits, hazy heat waves, blueberry goop and peach cobblers.

I love a summer peach!

Here is a recipe we worked on this summer a couple of nights in a row. These little cakes are delicious and served to guests in individual ramekins.

The original recipe called for making them as cup cakes! We preferred the thinner cake version-more peach less cake!

The "unpretty cupcake"!





To make the cupcake version, follow this recipe exactly including the buttering and flouring process, but bake them in cupcake tins as opposed to ramekins. Next time, to make the cupcakes look a little prettier I would take the time to cut the parchment paper in rounds that fit the bottom of each. Or, use a non stick cupcake pan.

Heavenly Petite Peach Cakes

For the Peaches
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pound of peaches about 6
3 tablespoons of light brown sugar

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (3/4) sticks of butter (softened)
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks

preheat oven to 350 degrees.


For Ramekins:
Butter each ramekin.
Lay a torn piece of parchment paper down to line the dish. ( people often cut out circles the same size of the dish and lay it flat. I find that to be an extra step that I can avoid).
Butter parchment paper and lightly flour each ramekin shaking off excess flour.

For the Peaches:
Step 1
Cut an x at the bottom of each peach.
Submerge in boiling water for 30 seconds.
Remove peaches and transfer to a bowl of cold water with ice.
Peel peaches.
Cut into wedges.

Step 2:
Melt tablespoon of butter in skillet over medium heat.
Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.
Stir until bubbling about 2 minutes.
Cut peaches will yield about 2 cups.
Add 2 cups fresh peaches to skillet.
Stir occasionally about 8 minutes.
Once caramelized- transfer into ramekins.






For the Cake:
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together milk and vanilla.
In another bowl beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
Add yolks one at a time beating well after each addition.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk mixture alternatively.
Be sure to begin and end with the flour mixture.




Spoon batter over caramelized peaches.
Bake until golden brown about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool only 2-3 minutes.
(if you allow the cakes to cool too long, the peaches will stick to the parchment paper and will become more difficult to invert.
Invert cakes onto plates and serve with unsweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

SHORTCUTS:

This is a process, but well worth the effort.
To cut corners simply change the fruit to a simpler fruit that does not need to be scored, blanched, peeled and cut.
Try blueberries, pineapple, raspberries etc.
Another shortcut I use which ends just as beautifully and gives me fantastic results is to use your favorite store bought already prepared cake or cup cake mix.
Barefoot Contessa, Stonewall Kitchen and even good old fashioned Betty Crocker are all good substitutions.

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