Peach and rosemary cake

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Herbs – some of my most loved plants in the garden, and favourite ingredients in the kitchen. So simple, yet so versatile and powerful – in a moment they can turn something bland into something magical. I was recently lucky enough to attend a course at the Honesty Cookery School in West Berkshire, where the theme was ‘herbs’. From an apple and mint chutney, to a basil mayonnaise, I spent a wonderful morning celebrating these humble leaves. One recipe that I wanted to share, in particular, is this peach and rosemary cake, inspired by the flavours of a warm Italian summer. Sweet ripe peaches are complemented by the aromatic savoury taste of rosemary, resulting in a treat that is perfectly balanced – and delicious.

You will need

3 peaches, stoned and cut into quarters

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tsp finely chopped rosemary

200g butter

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

200g self-raising flour

1. Grease a 24cm spring clip cake tin, and line the base with baking parchment.

2. Place the peaches in a bowl with the brown sugar and rosemary, and toss together. Position the peaches, skin-side down in your cake tin, and top with any residual sugar mix from the bowl.

3. Cream the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, then fold in the flour with a wooden spoon.

4. Put the cake mixture on top of the peaches and bake in a preheated oven at 180C, for about 40 minutes.

5. Remove from the tin, when cool enough to handle, and serve with creme fraiche.

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