Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Getting Seriously Stoned

Almond Cakes with Roasted Peaches

There's been a chill in the air of late. Autumn is well and truly here and although summer may well be done and dusted, some of it's late harvest has decided to stick around for a farewell party. Yes, stone fruits are something to look forward to come summer, but there's always enough left behind to tide you over till the beginning of autumn. In a last ditch effort to relive summer days, I suggest getting stoned.

Of course I'm not talking about sparking up a doobie and getting fried, but rather enjoying the last that summer has to offer in its stone fruits. I'm having summer weather withdrawals right now, seeing that we never really got to have a proper one on the east coast. So this was my way of sparking up some lost memories of summer.

Peachy keen

And really, what's a summer without a peach? The quintessential image of biting into a ripe one, its juice dripping from the corners of your mouth, can make up for all the lucklustre weather we have had for months. They said it was going to last till March and it certainly did, and it looks like we just sailed right into autumn without even the slightest bump. Maybe there was the odd lightning crash and tree falling on one's roof, but other than that, as far as I'm concerned we've been in autumn since December.

So this is my long overdue swan song for the summer we never had- almond cakes topped with roasted peaches. There's only one way to bid her farewell and it's with the best she had to offer. So rosy blushed peaches was an appropriate choice for a goodbye offering.

Almond Cakes with Roasted Peaches

I actually made this a few weeks back, although never had time to blog about them for a while. I found the peaches at the Entertainment Quarter Farmer's markets going for a song and couldn't pass them up. Then I happened upon a recipe for Almond cakes with roasted apricots on the Australian Gourmet Traveller website, and you know when you see a recipe that you simply must have right now, well that sheer impulse overcame me and I was bent on making this that very same day. I'm sure the droolworthy photograph on the AGT website helped in stoking the urge for them right away.

Seeing as I didn't have apricots but had a heap of cheap peaches lying around, well, you know what I did. When life gives you peaches, you can decide to make a cake.

Almond Cakes with Roasted Peaches

Peaches, like many other stone fruits, roast very well and there's very little you can do to improve on its flavour. So you might as well stick to the basics, a little sugar and little bit of booze and you have yourself a top notch dessert. It's amazing what wine does to a syrup. The booze of choice for this fare was a Seppelt Rutherglen Tokay that we bought on our last trip to the Hunter Valley- a sweet, honey flavoured dessert wine that was ideal for a fruit based dessert.

I have to say that the almond cakes didn't turn out as dark as they were pictured on the website, so I was a little worried I had made a mistake. But after tasting the cakes, there wasn't anything to worry about. Not sure why there was a lack of colour, but at least it wasn't lacking on taste. Two thumbs up for this recipe and perhaps
a better and less illegal way of getting stoned.

Almond cakes with roast Peaches and orange blossom fool

Serves 6
Adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller

Almond Cakes with Roasted Peaches

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: blowtorch (optional)

110g (½ cup) raw caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
8 peaches, halved, stones removed
4 pieces of orange rind, removed with a peeler
80ml (1/3 cup) dessert wine
1 tbsp orange juice
3 tsp orange blossom water
300g crème fraîche
30g brown sugar, sieved

120g (¾ cup) pure icing sugar, sieved
50g almond meal
35g plain all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp finely grated orange rind
2 eggwhites, lightly whisked
90g butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 200ºC.
Using a blowtorch, scorch the peach skins until they blister. They should peel off easily.
Combine sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl and scatter over the base of a roasting pan large enough to hold peaches snugly.
Place peaches, cut-side down, in a single layer in pan, pressing into sugar.
Turn peaches and scatter over orange rind.
Combine wine, orange juice and 2 tsp orange blossom water in a jug and pour around apricots.
Roast for 10 minutes or until just tender and golden.
Set aside to cool, then, using a slotted spoon, remove 4 peach halves from syrup and process using a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

For almond cakes, reduce oven to 170ºC.
Combine dry ingredients and rind in a bowl, add eggwhite and fold through until just combined.
Add butter, stir to combine, then divide among six shallow pie moulds, smooth tops and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and centre springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack placed over a tray.
Spoon a little apricot syrup over cakes and cool completely.

Combine crème fraîche, brown sugar and remaining orange blossom water in a bowl and whisk until thick and smooth. Fold through apricot purée to form a ripple effect. Top each cake with 2 apricot halves and a generous dollop of fool. Serve with syrup to the side.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

While it's cooling down where you are, it's FINALLY warming up here for spring - hope you don't freeze though! :0)

I never thought to pair the flavors of almonds and peaches - that dessert looks positively LOVELY!!

RecipeGirl said...

Truly beautiful, and a good excuse to buy a blow torch!

Maggie M. said...

This looks so good... makes me nostalgic for fall, even though spring is just arriving here.

Anonymous said...

What a great title!

Of course I also like the pictures and have to admit that I am looking forward to Spring here - today was the first "No-jacket-required" Day of the year.

Cheryl said...

Just a delightful looking dessert. The cake looks so moist too.

Summer will be starting here in a few weeks, I will be more than happy to ship it to you. I like the colder months.

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

wow this looks absolutely fantastic!! a definite sunday dinner delicious dessert

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

Sometimes I forget that you are on the other side of the world! I have a funny story about nectarines that I will be posting about soon. Let's say that they were not good. But of course, why should they? It's not summer where I live!
Your photos are so beautiful and bright and colorful, and, and... happy!

test it comm said...

Those photos of the peaches are really good.

Katie said...

They look fabulous. The little alomond cakes look so moist and tempting and the fruit so colourful and fresh.
Its still cold and snowing here in the UK, I can't wait for summer.

Anonymous said...

looks so delicious! i had to submit it to www.tastespotting.come and hope it gets featured! :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

You’ve been given an “Excellent Blog Award”. See Whisk: a food blog for more information. Congratulations!

Mari said...

You may not have had much of a summer, but at least you got some peaches. We hardly ever have summer and the peaches are imported ghosts of themselves over here in ClogLand.

Jerry said...

Jen Jen these look fantastic! Spring is here for us! So that means peaches! I will make this when they come!

Anonymous said...

Haha seriously stoned, eh? Those peaches do look fantastic, especially atop an almond cake!

Katy said...

gorgeous! but, ok, i am a huge dork -- i am reading the Golden Compass series, and some of the characters keep drinking "Tokay," which I figured was wine, but I thought it was just a made-up word! I didn't realize it really existed until I saw your picture!

Anonymous said...

thhey're simply dreamy.

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Those look absolutely amazing! Yum!

Simply...Gluten-free said...

How beautiful!

Christine said...

Delicious! The spring is supposed to be here where I live, so I still have a ways to go before peaches are in season. (Excluding the rocks I can buy year-round; those don't count.)

Anonymous said...

Hi jenjen,

Great dessert! I bet if you had smoked a doobie you would have had the munchies so bad that there would have been no dessert left to photograph :-) Good thing you didn't...

Anonymous said...


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Great work! Thank you,


Mel @ Skye Rocket Sews said...

Oh my,Oh my!
I need to try this one!
I found your blog a couple of weekends ago and my daughter and I made the carrot,cream cheese cookie sandwiches!
The whole family loved them!
Need to head over to Dulwich Hill to pick up some snags next.
Thanks for your wonderful blog,

Katie said...

Hi Jen,

I have tagged you for a Six Word Memoir.
Please go to my blog for info

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Yum that looks amazing!

Nina Timm said...

Peaches are my absolute favorite fruits. I prefer them fresh, but this dessert got my attention....well done!

Starfruit Gypsy said...

Arrrr, I'm jealous. It suddenly turned all warm and sunny today, but the peaches in our supermarket are still hard as well... stones. I can't wait until they're in season, though. I'll try this for sure!

giz said...

I just happened upon your blog - it's lovely - the picturs are amazing and you definitely caught my attention with the title of this post :)

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Looks delicious! I love the flavor combo and the photos!

Gloria Baker said...

Lovely, delicious and beauty pictures!!!Looks so nice.Gloria

Sharona May said...

Fantastic! Looks so good!

Sharona May

Anonymous said...

this is on my list for things to make this winter ...

need to stock up on fresh supplies from the Pyrmont markets.

CalicoSabry said...

Hi! I've been visiting your food blog for some time now and just wanted to say thanks for the lovely recipes and beautiful pictures!
Calicosabry from Italy

Anonymous said...

really love your yummy food photography!

Squishy said...

Such a beautiful looking cake. Making me hungry. It seems cakes and puds are about alot at the moment. We are only now starting to get a cool breeze in the evening about 9.00pm. NQ weather is still in the thirties during the daytime up here. But just enough cool breeze for me to want to make a nice cake or pud for comfort.

tyler said...

wow, my mouth is watering, looks delish. its now spring here -- must give this a try. i just found you and the raving comments will keep me coming back. learning to cook as i'm a fairly new mom so your blog will be a wonderful inspiration. thanks!

Helene said...

I saw the first peaks of gorgeous stone fruits at the market and they are the only reason why I love summer that much. I could do without the heat. The cakes and fruits look wonderful!

Natália Eleutério said...

i think it's good and the photo are beautiful :)
from Portugal

Sylvia said...

I made roasted peaches last Christmas , but I never thought in combine in a cake. Looks delicious for the mouth and beautiful for the eyes

Anonymous said...

absolutely love the title. anyway, i'd recently purchased some ground almonds. now i think I know what i could use them for. brill!

Brittany said...

I know, this weather has been awful. Someone tell me the sun isn't gone for good.

But I bet if I had some roasted peaches and almond cake, I wouldn't mind so much if it rained for the ninth day in a row.

Ange said...

I am drooling looking at these gorgeous creations

Sheltie Girl said...

Talk about fabulous. Now I can't wait for the peaches to come as my mouth is just watering with the idea of trying this out.

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten a Go Go

Renee said...

Oh my god, that looks amazing. I LOVE peaches, they are without a doubt the best part of the summer. Your dessert looks elegant but not too frou-frou...love it!

Anonymous said...

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Ginny said...

Delicious! I'll keep it in mind for when the peach stands start popping up at the side of the road towards the end of the summer...my favorite summer fruit! :)

JP said...

your photos are amazing. I am a photography major at uvu, and I am just loving the photos on your site.