I’ve made a cake that is far too delicious not be shared, and is perfect for anyone who has an abundance of homegrown fruit and is a bit over making jam 🙂 The first version I made was with nectarine, and the second was with peaches and raspberries.
The vanilla cream part of the recipe only came about when making the peach and raspberry version, this was because (a) I was looking to make an Australian themed something for Australia day and decided on a peach melba version, and (b) I actually cooked it for too long and was worried it would be a bit dry. Turned out the cake wasn’t dry at all, but the vanilla cream (which is basically unfrozen, soft-as-you-like-it ice cream) is amazing, so this is one time when I am very glad I overcooked the cake.
Just as a side note, for those who don’t know, peach melba is an Aussie desert named after the famous Aussie opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba. A peach melba consists of peaches with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. I have no idea why the guy who invented this dessert went with this particular dessert, but I have to say, if this is what someone made in my honour, I might be a bit disappointed, it is not the prettiest dessert I have seen, a couple of examples below…. I’m sure it tastes really nice :).
But anyway, back to my delicious cake. This recipe is for the peach and raspberry version, but you could use nectarines, plums, or apricots, and then in the winter I think it would be delicious with apples and/or pears, but with those fruits I would lose the vanilla and add cinnamon instead.
I am a huge fan of vanilla, I use it all the time, but vanilla essence from the shops has sugar, and often other unpleasant stuff in it. In the past I’ve made my own vanilla essence, (it’s super easy – you just soak vanilla beans in vodka) but it takes forward planning as you need about a month’s worth of soaking time. So I’m also a huge fan of the a vanilla bean grinder, which is 100% vanilla bean in a salt grinder, you can purchase them in the shops, or you could make one yourself 🙂 My recipe here uses the vanilla bean grinder, if you are using vanilla essence you will probably use about 1 tspn every time I use a few grinds.
4 large ripe peaches
Vanilla bean grinder
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
80 grams softened butter
½ cup honey
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream (or you can use plain yoghurt)
3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarb
¼ teaspoon good quality salt
What to do
You want to “marinate” your fruit (actually, I believe the ‘technical’ term is macerate, but to me the word sounds nasty, so I would rather marinate. You are very welcome to macerate yours). Chop the fruit and put it in a bowl with the sugar and a few good grinds of the vanilla bean, and set it aside for at least 2 hours, but you can leave it longer.
Turn that butter into cream using an electric beater and then add the honey, egg and a few more good grinds of the vanilla bean and mix it all up. Add the sour cream and any liquid that is at the bottom of the marinated fruit bowl.
Combine all your dry ingredients and mix them, quite gently, into the wet stuff. Pop the batter into a prepared cake-tin (you will probably have to use some anti-sticking stuff, I have found that just “having a chat” does not seem to prepare the cake tin enough).
Now you want to add the marinated fruit all over the top of the batter, and then kind of press it in a bit with your fingers. Chuck this loveliness into the oven, keep it low to avoid overcooking (ahem), around 150c fan forced is good, and cook it for about 40 minutes, but check it after 30, the old clean knife trick will work. Once cooked let it cool in the tin as you need the fruit to ‘set’ a bit before taking it out or it will fall apart. Now get making your vanilla cream.
Vanilla cream ingredients
Thickened cream – be sure to read the labels and buy the one thickened with gelatine.
vanilla bean grinder
maple syrup – to taste
Whip up your cream and then slowly add your vanilla and maple syrup until it tastes delicious. Start with a couple of grinds of the vanilla, and about a tablespoon of maple syrup and just keep going until you are happy.
The combination of this cream and cake is magic 🙂
p.s. you may note the absence of photos of said magical cake, well that is because every time I have made it, I have been too busy eating it to remember to take a photo, and by the time I remember, there is no cake to be photographed. So, I would be very happy if you could please take photos of yours and post them in the comments for me 🙂