Ok, be jealous. I’m still at the beach. I do love beach hair, although it’s really starting to smell like seaweed. (Don’t freak out, I do shower here…it’s just kind of soaking into my hair.) So far, no sunburn! Since I’m still busy tracking a trail of sand wherever I go, Ryan of the lovely Ryan Bakes has so kindly offered up our second guest post of the week! As you can read on her blog (as you should read on her blog, which you should be reading everyday), she’s part Southern and part Italian…and these are two of my favorite food groups. Everything she bakes makes me hungry and sad that I only baked cookies, when I could have made this or this. Today, she has made us the most summery, delicious looking cake ever. Be sure to check out her blog and all of her other delicious recipes! Thank you, thank you, thank you Ryan for writing this fabulous post for us!
Hi all you faithful readers of Fleur-de-licious! I was so excited when Hannah asked me to do a guest post for her blog. One, because this is my first guest post ever, and two, because I absolutely love Hannah’s blog and enjoy reading it so much myself. I usually browse through her posts thinking, oooh, I need to make that… and that… and that… and that… I know you all feel the same way. Hannah has such a great sense of humor and writing style and it’s so much fun to read her blog. I also recently discovered that she shares my obsession with cutting and printing out recipes from magazines and the internet. Maybe this is a common bond shared by all food bloggers, but it makes me feel better about the huge stacks of magazines and flagged recipes I have that would take an army of cooks to ever sort through. I don’t know if my husband anticipated my cookbook obsession when he married me but I think he’s come to terms with it by now or at least he knows he benefits from their presence in the house. 🙂
For my guest post, I decided to make a Peach and Toasted Pecan Cake with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting. I live in Virginia and peaches are everywhere right now and so fragrant and beautiful. It’s hard not to buy them and make them into yummy desserts. The peaches make this cake very moist and I added a hint of almond extract to complement their flavor. I added toasted pecans for some crunch and flavor. I always like to toast pecans before using them in baking because I think it really enhances their flavor and brings out their sweetness rather than just adding them to the batter raw.
For the cream cheese icing, I pureed some peaches in my food processor (I have a small 2 cup mini-chopper that worked great for this) and slowly added the puree tablespoon by tablespoon along with the powdered sugar as I was beating the icing. The peach flavor is not overpowering but I thought it was a nice and fresh addition to the usual recipe for cream cheese icing. It sort of reminded me of the peach ice cream my Mom used to make when I was a kid.
Peach and Toasted Pecan Cake with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cake:
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 8-inch cake pans. This cake is very moist so you may want to line the bottoms with parchment paper as well to prevent sticking.
Place chopped pecans on a cookie sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes until fragrant and toasted. Set aside and allow to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a small bowl prepare the flours. Set aside
In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla and almond. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in a bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and fold in the peaches and pecans. Carefully spoon the batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack and carefully invert the pans. Allow to cool fully and frost with peach cream cheese icing.
Basic yellow cake recipe from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
Peach Cream Cheese Icing
1 pound (2 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened slightly and cut into small pieces
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly and cut into small pieces
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
5-6 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 large peaches, peeled, cut into large pieces and pureed to make ¼- ½ cup of peach puree.
Place peaches in the bowl of a food processor and process until pureed.
In a medium-size bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and slowly beat until incorporated. In Tablespoon increments add the peach puree until the icing has reached the desired flavor (about 1/3 of a cup) add more powdered sugar and continue to beat until the icing is thick enough to spread on the cake. If you’ve found that you’ve added too much puree, simply add a little more sugar to thicken the icing.
Basic cream cheese icing adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook