Thursday, August 22, 2013

Peach & Cherry Upside Down Cake

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With leftover peaches from this month's Dessert Challenge, I decided to forge ahead with my original idea ... an upside down cake featuring peaches and cherries.

And this was the result - almost a coffee cake kind of texture with a hint of spice cake due to a heavier dose of cinnamon.  I think it was better after resting overnight, and found it incredibly moist by day 2.
Peach & Cherry Upside Down Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 medium peach, peeled and sliced in wedges
10-12 fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place 3 tablespoons of butter and the brown sugar in a lightly greased 9-inch cake pan.  Set pan in preheated oven for 4-5 minutes or until butter and brown sugar are bubbly. Stir to be sure both are evenly distributed.  Let cool slightly.

Lay peach slices around the edge of the cake pan.  Place cherries, cut side down, between the peaches and around the center, filling gaps with any remaining peaches.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  Cream remaining 5 tablespoons of butter on low speed, add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add flour mixture, alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition.

Pour batter in cake pan, completely covering the fruit.  Tap pan lightly on the counter to remove any bubbles.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until center tests done.

Run knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen.  Place pan on a wire rack and cool at least 25 minutes.  Lay platter on top of pan and invert.  

Whew!  Now, that is a hold your breath kind of moment, waiting to hear the cake release from the pan ... and hoping ALL of it releases!  I have had some complete disasters, but fortunately this one slipped out like a dream!

Linking up at these parties:
Thursday's Treasures 100th Link Party
Six Sister's Strut Your Stuff Saturday #111
Mix It Up Monday
Time to Sparkle
Cast Party Wednesday #106
Tasty Tuesdays

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding

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Fresh peaches are plentiful right now and therefore perfect for Lady Behind the Curtain's dessert challenge for August ... Peaches and Cream!
I was headed in a different direction with the challenge ingredients until while putting groceries away I realized that we really shouldn't have bought that package of sandwich buns because there was already a partially used package of buns hiding in the corner of the bread drawer that needed to be used first.

I've seen a variety of breads mentioned in bread pudding recipes ... Italian bread, French bread, brioche, or simply a crusty white sandwich bread - but I decided to try the buns and they actually worked very well, soft enough to absorb the liquid but they also seemed to hold their shape nicely after baking. Whatever type of bread you use, I might suggest letting the bread pieces sit out and air dry before using, just to crust them up a little more.

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding
Day-old bread torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 1/2 cups)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 large peaches, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped almonds (or pecans!)
2 tablespoons sugar

Place bread pieces into a large bowl and set aside.  Whisk together eggs, whipping cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, and almond extract until well blended. Pour over bread, tossing to coat the pieces well.

Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium low heat.  Add diced peaches and stir gently.  Add chopped almonds (in my case, it was pecans because the almond bag was empty!) and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Add peaches to bread mixture and place in refrigerator to chill for about 15-20 minutes.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour pudding into a 11- x 7-inch baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray.  Bake 60-75 minutes until firm and lightly browned.

My topping of choice is a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream but it would also be nice with a dollop of whipped cream.
Husband said it would have been better with the almonds, and probably so, but I wouldn't turn around for the difference!

Linking to these parties:
Six Sisters' Strut Your Stuff Saturday