A look at cooking freely within constraints –be they environmental or culinary or other.

Having major food allergies (all things cow related, shellfish, mushrooms and beer), I have had to adapt how and what I cook in order to eat “normally” – this in turn cultivated a love of cooking and feeding people.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Summer Cake - AKA the Amazing Disappearing Cake....

Where I am right now, Southern Hemisphere, we are at the entrance of summer, so I have access to wonderful peaches, plums, apricots and all sorts of sweet summer fruit.  I had bought in gluttony greed 2 kilos of peaches and a kilo of plums.  Which was wonderful, until I tried to stuff it all in my crisper in the fridge... oops... some were going to have to be sacrificed for all the others to fit in the fridge.

What to do?
Make a cake!!

But I did not want to make just any cake, I wanted something light, not too sweet, and something that would not get soggy from the ripe fruit.  After some messing around... and messes.... I came up with the following cake.  It has been nicknamed The Amazing Disappearing Cake in my house because the first good one that I made disappeared in less than 24 hours, and I only had 2 slices.  Sorin, bless him, tried to blame house gnomes for the cake's disappearance, but the trail of crumbs to his computer sort of clued me in as to where it went to.

There would be pictures of this wonderful cake, but the last one I made (which was only last night) is more than half way gone already  - damn house gnomes!!  Will have to make another one and hire guards to help me photograph it!

For those of you in the northern hemisphere who do not have access to summer fruit right now, apples would be a lovely substitution, especially honeycrisp, gala, or pink lady apples....  something that will stay firm and be slightly tart would be ideal.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9" square pan.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut milk or almond milk (I prefer coconut milk, but both are good)
2 large peaches sliced, 5 plums sliced, or one large apple sliced. 
(you can also mix it up, I made one cake that was half peaches and half plums and it was lovely)
In a separate bowl make some cinnamon sugar - proportion of cinnamon and sugar I leave to your taste, I prefer more cinnamon taste that sugar ;-)

Mix all your dry and set aside.
Cream your sugar and margarine.
Add the egg.
Alternate adding dry and coconut milk, starting and ending with dry.

Pour half the batter in the pan so that the entire bottom is covered. 
Layer in the sliced fruit.
Pour the remaining batter over the fruit and use a spatula to spread and cover fruit.  it is going to seem as though there is not enough batter, don't worry, just make sure the fruit is covered, the batter will rise as it cooks.

Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cake is puffed up, golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.