BAKING FOR BEGINNERS

20 Sep
The peach surprise that I alluded to is finally here… Our first GUEST COLUMN

Our esteemed guest blogger is the sublimely talented Mindy Cohrs, pastry chef extraordinaire and owner of What the Fudge Bakeshop (eep! how cute is that name!?). Yup, my friend’s a pastry chef. Jealous? If you are, have no fear, she’s here to teach us how to bake in our brand new column Baking for Beginners! Now without further ado, let’s give Mindy a warm welcome!

Peach Cobbler Cake

Mindy here, and I love grocery shopping. Love it. It’s one of my most favorite things. Now granted, I have lots of ‘most favorite things’, but this one is definitely top ten. And the love I feel is multifaceted. It encompasses every aspect of the grocery shopping experience, from the fabulous people-watching (always a fun pastime), to the fresh produce, to the cute-but-way-too-young-to-flirt-with boy bagging my (oh-so-hip) greek yogurt.
Speaking of produce, there’s a game I like to play. I call it “which fruit are you?” (because I’m super clever like that) and the goal, surprise surprise, is to match up your personality traits with that of a particular fruit. For example, my friend LJ is the perfect embodiment of pineapple: fresh, sweet, a little tangy, and pairs nicely with the sun and a good cocktail. My mom is more of an apple: traditional, sweet, always crisp and clean like her signature white collared shirts. Peaches are my favorite fruit and so, naturally, they are reserved for my favorite person. My grandpa. He was totes a peach. In every sense of the word. Sugary, syrupy sweet in the most charming way but with a flavor all his own and ripe with southern hospitality. He said things like, “gooder ‘n garlic” when you asked him how he was doing and called his pants “britches” but my favorite term he used was the one he reserved for me, “grandpa’s baby.” I was SO grandpa’s baby. Always will be. 
If grandpa were still here, this is the cake I’d bake him. We’d eat it sitting on the back porch with his dog, Peggy, and his parrot, Jack, while shelling pecans and listening to old country and western songs. Then we’d go for a ride in the golf-cart, maybe play a game of dominoes, and turn in for the night with Lawrence Welk lulling us to sleep in the background. It would be glorious. 

Keep reading for the ingredients and steps, after the jump!

Ingredients
10 1/2 oz unsalted butter (or 2 1/2 sticks), at room temp+ 2 tbsp for glazing
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz ground almonds
1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 (heaping) tsp baking powder
4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and halved
2 tbsp brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350* F.
  • Grease and flour a 10″ cake pan that’s been lined with parchment paper. (A springform pan is best if you have one, but it’s not a must.)
  • Cream together the 10 1/2  oz of butter with the granulated sugar until nice and fluffy, about three minutes. Scrape down bowl and add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl as you go. Add in vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. 
  • Toss your almonds into a food processor and pulse until you have a fine meal. In separate bowl combine ground almonds, flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to butter and egg mixture all at once and beat on medium to low speed until incorporated. It should be very thick.
  • Soon into prepared pan. Place halved peaches on top of the batter around the perimeter of the pan, flat side down. Melt the extra two tablespoons of butter and brush it onto the tops of the peaches. Finish by sprinkling the brown sugar on top of the buttered peaches.
  • Bake for approx. 70 minutes or until deep golden on top (if your cake is browning too quickly just make a tent with some aluminum foil and set it on top). It should be firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out ALMOST clean. 
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. The  moist nature of this cake gives it a nice shelf-life of about a week, but there’s no way it’ll last that long.

This cake tastes like every good memory. It’s got texture and heart and the mild warmth of a summer day bordering on fall. It’s, as grandpa would say, “gooder ‘n garlic.”
xoxo,
Mindy


p.s. If you have any baking questions or requests, be sure to leave them in the comments so we can focus on it for the next post! 

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4 Responses to “BAKING FOR BEGINNERS”

  1. Anathalia September 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Oh yum! It looks delicious and not very complicated. I might try it with my very limited baking skills – worse than beginner! 😉

  2. design roundup September 21, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    My mouth is watering as the peaches line the pan. Yum!xo, Londawww.designroundup.blogspot.com

  3. Cristina Cleveland September 21, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Give it a try! It was super simple and really delicious. Let me know if you do 🙂

  4. Cristina Cleveland September 21, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Haha Londa they make me pretty hungry too

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