A coworker brought in a bushel of peaches recently and something odd happened. They sat in our office all day. A store-bought cake would’ve been gone in 10 minutes. Day-old cupcakes, there would’ve been a line. So I took a handful, a few hours went by, another handful. The night crew came in, still they sat. So finally as I was heading home I looked in the box to see a half dozen or so cast offs, bruised or hard as rocks. Score! Perhaps it was the foodie in me or maybe just my frugal side coming out, but bruises can be cut off, a hard peach can ripen. I made off with the rest of the box. When I got home, the next night I had every intention of making this beauty. But I didn’t have almonds and who wants to do metric conversions at 7 p.m.? So I grabbed my new copy of Ratio and set out to recreate it. Envisioning a beautiful circle of white and yellow peaches, I made one wee error. I chose to make a sponge cake. The batter did what sponges will do, soaked up those peaches. Still, the result, while not as beautiful as the cake over at Things We Make, was rather tasty. The sponge was light and cutting into a cake to find peaches is rather fun.
Peach surprise cake
- 4 eggs, plus one egg yolk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter (melted)
- 1 cup flour
- 1-2 ounces Amaretto
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4-5 fresh yellow or white peaches or a combo
Set eggs out to bring closer to room temperature. Peel the peaches in your preferred manner. See note below. Slice peaches in half and remove the pit. Place in a bowl and splash on the Amaretto. This is better done by feel than measuring. They don’t have to be submerged. Let them sit two hours (less is fine) tossing occasionally to coat. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a springform pan. In a stand mixer, mix eggs, yolk and sugar on a high setting until triple in volume. This will take a few minutes. Add two teaspoons of Amaretto (the stuff the peaches are in is fine), the lemon juice and cinnamon. Sift in flour and blend until just incorporated. Fold in the melted butter and stir until incorporated. Place peaches in a circle around the edge of the prepared springform pan then pour in batter. Bake at 350 until golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-45 minutes.
Notes: To peel peaches, many like to cut a little X on the bottom, drop them in hot water, then pull the skins off after blanching. I have trouble doing that, perhaps I am doing it wrong, nevertheless I am also unable to eat the skins this way. So I peel them with a knife. They aren’t as even, but since they’re going in the cake anyway, who cares?
This would never happen with peaches: