Saturday, August 29, 2015

Buttermilk Peach Coffee Cake

A lovely woman from Philadelphia emailed me the other day to tell me she had made the Buttermilk Peach Coffee Cake from The Cake Book and loved it so much that she was determined to make every recipe in the book. I told her to keep me posted on her 

progress—I hope her family likes cake!
            Inspired by my new friend in the City of Brotherly Love and the bounty of peaches that are now in season, I decided to make the very same coffee cake the other day, and it was as wonderful as I remember it to be. The cake has a tender 

crumb (thanks to the buttermilk) and a filling of juicy peaches and crumbly nut streusel. There’s streusel on top, too, along with a drizzle of sweet white glaze. It’s an easy cake to make – no need even to peel the peaches, just slice them thinly and layer them over the batter. I won’t guarantee that you will be inspired enough to make the rest of the cakes in The Cake Book, but do let me know if you are! I’ll send you a prize of some sort (maybe).

Buttermilk Peach Coffee Cake
From The Cake Book by Tish Boyle (Wiley, 2006)

Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 10
Storage: at room temperature, covered with foil up to 2 days; refrigerated, up to 5 days

Crumb Topping and Filling:
1 cup (4.3 oz/121 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3.8 oz/108 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (2 oz/57 g) slivered almonds, toasted
7 tablespoons (3.5 oz/100 g) unsalted butter, melted

Buttermilk Peach Cake:
2 cups (8.5 oz/242 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks/6 oz/170 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (8.8 oz/250 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk
1 heaping cup fresh or frozen peach slices, sliced 1/4-inch thick (though frozen peach slices are peeled, it’s ok to leave the skin on fresh peaches; if using frozen peach slices, slice them to 1/4-inch thickness while frozen or slightly thawed)

White Drizzle Glaze:
1/2 cup (2 oz/57 g) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with flour and set aside.

Make the Crumb Topping and Filling:
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and almonds until well blended.  Add the melted butter and mix with a fork, stirring until the butter is absorbed and the dry ingredients are uniformly moistened. Set aside the crumb mixture.

Make the cake:
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk until well-blended; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and the egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract.  On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the buttermilk in 2 additions.
5. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a small, offset metal spatula. Sprinkle half of the crumb topping evenly over the batter, breaking up any large lumps with your fingers. Arrange a circle of the peach slices, overlapping them slightly, around the outer edge of the pan, on top of the crumb filling. Arrange another circle of wedges in the center. Spoon the remaining batter over the filling and smooth it into an even layer, covering the filling. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top of the cake.
6. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Cover the cake with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking if it is getting too brown.) Cool the cake in the pan, set on a wire rack, for 20 minutes.
7. Remove the sides of the pan and cool the cake completely before drizzling with glaze.

Make the glaze and glaze the cake:
8. Using a rubber spatula, stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir vigorously until the glaze is completely smooth.
9. Scrape the glaze into a parchment paper cone or small sealable plastic bag (seal the bag and snip a tiny hole in one of the bottom corners). Drizzle glaze onto cake and let set for 10 minutes before serving.