Upside-Down Peach Cake
It's weird, the weather's gone all warm again. I wasn't here in the UK this summer, but I can just imagine that it wasn't exactly summery. Suddenly though, at the end of September, it's decided to be a tease and flirt with us with the sun and breeze etc. etc. It's not really the most conducive weather for studying and working, which is what I'm supposed to have done all day. OH WELL. There's always tomorrow, right? Right??
Who am I to fight the dictate of the sun? I gave up on working and decided to make a cake. What better way to say goodbye to the summer than with peaches? Not just peaches, but Upside-Down Peach Cake!
Upside-Down Pineapple Cake was one of my earlier forays into baking, courtesy of Nigella's Express cookbook. I suppose today's cake is a more refined cousin of that one, which uses tinned pineapple and originally, glacé cherries (ugh).
Only fresh peaches in today's cake - on discount, I might add. However, it's only too clear that it isn't really summer, so for a slight autumnal tinge to the cake, I added quite a bit of cinnamon. I love cinnamon so much, and my dad's most oft-repeated cooking advice was that 'printed recipes never tell you to put enough spices'. Unlike my parents, I can't say I always believe in the kitchen philosophy of 'more is more', but a lot of recipes which say cinnamon are usually so... anaemic. I like punchy, spicy flavours.
First, I had to peel the peaches, which are easily done by cutting a light cross in their bottoms and then submerging them in boiling water for a minute or so, then straight into a cold water bath they go. The skin comes right off after that.
Peaches probably are the prettiest fruits. Not intriguing or interesting looking, particularly, but just plain pretty. The way the yellow hits the rosy-red colour and they kind of swirl together, and there's that just plain cute fuzz...
Upside-Down Peach Cake
Three peaches, peeled
150g plain flour
150g sugar + Plus around 50g extra for coating the tin
150g unsalted butter, softened + Plus around 50g extra for coating the tin
One and a half teaspoons baking powder
One and a half teaspoons vanilla extract
Half teaspoon cinnamoon - use more if you like!
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons orange or lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 170°c. You'll need a springform cake tin, about 20cm in diameter. Butter the bottom and sides generously using the extra butter, then sprinkle the extra sugar (I use golden caster sugar, but I suspect muscovado sugar would be really nice here) over the base of the tin.
Slice the peaches into wedge/slice things, and try your best to lay them attractively on the base of the cake tin. This is the best I could do:
In a big mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until well-mixed and slightly fluffier. Next, beat in the eggs one by one, mixing well each time. Mix in the vanilla and orange or lemon juice. You could also use rum or some other kind of liquor you like here, or just water.
Next, sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones well, so that there are no more visible lumps.
I had an extra peach, so I chopped half of that up into small cubes and folded them through at the end, but this is not essential.
Pour the cake batter over the prepared peaches in the tin and spread out the top so it's even. Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, but start checking with a cake tester after 30 minutes. Once the cake tester or skewer come out of the cake clean, it's done.
I vaguely remember telling myself to eat more healthily, but I have a cold and feel pretty shitty, so I'm allowed. Anyway, it's fruit, so it's more than allowed. I probably cancelled any fruity effects out by making a quick rum syrup to top the cake with. I just boiled a good splosh of dark rum with some sugar until it look reduced and syrupy. I imagine this syrup would be really good with some lime zest and juice, but I didn't have any limes. Then, just pour on the cake and DIG IN.