Friday, February 12, 2010
I’m having trouble snapping out of holiday mode. I just spent six glorious days in Perth with my favourite person, where the weather was lovely, the mood was lazy and miraculously, I didn’t get a single work call all week. It’s an interesting feeling, being on holidays in a familiar place. I’ve been to Perth quite a few times now, and although there’s still lots of things I want to see, and lots of restaurants I want to visit, it doesn’t feel like I have to jam-pack my schedule. I know that I’ll be back, in less than a month to be precise!
Instead, we cooked – the chicken with ratatouille made an appearance, as well as a lovely slow-roasted pork shoulder that was then shredded and served in tacos, and duck donuts (!) inspired by those at Sparrow Kitchen & Bar in Adelaide, which were almost perfect and that I hope to share with you soon. We had a picnic lunch in a gorgeous park with views of the city and Swan River, danced badly and sang loudly at Big Day Out, went for motorbike rides, watched movies (I finally saw Up! So gorgeous!) and just enjoyed spending time together.
This gorgeous cake reminds me of summer holidays and lazy days. The peaches have been beautiful this year, and this is a fantastic way to make the most of them, save of course eating them for breakfast with the juice running down your arm. Yoghurt Cake, or Gâteau au Yaourt is a French classic, and one of my favourite simple cakes to make. I’ve been making the version from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook for about two years now, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to mention it here! It would be wonderful to take on a picnic lunch, or to have for afternoon tea on a summer’s day.
The cake comes together quickly and easily, and is a great base for adapting the flavour. I made a great version using pink grapefruit last year, though lime is another firm favourite. You could of course substitute other fruit for the peaches on top. Berries or apricots would work nicely, I think. The cake tastes best on the day it is baked.
Yoghurt and Almond Cake with Orange Caramel Peaches
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller
• 140g self-raising flour
• 4 eggs, separated
• ½ cup (110g) white sugar
• ¾ cup (210g) Greek-style yoghurt
• 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
• 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
• 70g almond meal
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
Orange Caramel Peaches
• 3 peaches, cut into wedges, stones discarded
• 200g white sugar
• Juice of 1 orange
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Sift flour into a bowl and set aside. Whisk yolks and white sugar in a medium size bowl until pale and creamy. Add yoghurt, olive oil, rind and juice. Stir to combine, then fold in flour and almond meal and set aside.
2. Whisk egg white in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add caster sugar and whisk until firm peaks form. Fold egg white mixture through yoghurt mixture, pour into a 23-cm springform pan lined with baking paper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in tin on a wire rack. Cake is best eaten the day it is made.
3. For orange caramel peaches, place peaches in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan, and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook until caramel coloured (8-10 minutes). Add orange juice, being careful as mixture may spit, and then stir to dissolve. Pour over the peaches, stir to combine and set aside for 1 hour. Spoon over cake to serve.